DVDBeaver Newsletter - May 19th, 2006


Hello! - Lots to read today - 4 new Criterion releases - vintage westerns - Satyajit Ray - Robert Altman, Peckinpah, Japanese anime, calendar updates, a contest... and some new sales at Amazon.


Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.


The Sales:

36 FOX STUDIO CLASSICS AT 47% OFF! HERE including The Ox-Bow Incident, The Three Faces of Eve, Leave Her to Heaven, The Song of Bernadette, My Darling Clementine, An Affair to Remember, All About Eve, The Grapes of Wrath, The Day the Earth Stood Still and MORE!


NoShame Film have expanded their sale at Amazon.com (50% off!):

The Railroad Man, The Desert of the Tartars, Love and Anger, Boccaccio '70, Massacre in Rome, Story of a Love Affair, Devil in the Flesh, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, and Partner



BELOW AT 45% OFF! (click titles for more)

Mr. Arkadin, Ugetsu, Brazil, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Short Cuts, M, Seven Samurai, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Third Man, Grand Illusion, My Own Private Idaho, Do The Right Thing and Traffic


Stay Tuned - The Chicago Reader's Jonathan Rosenbaum will be writing for us again soon...


If you will purchase more than 35 DVDs (or anything) in a 365 day period (and live in the Continental US) it makes excellent financial sense to subscribe to Amazon Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on everything!


The Most Popular Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER and SAVE!)

Black Cat, White Cat [Emir Kusturica, 1998] Artificial Eye R2 UK

Back Door to Hell (Monte Hellman, 1965) 20th Century Fox

L'Humanite [Bruno Dumont, 1999] Artificial Eye R2 UK

Cinema 16 - American Short Films (Gus Van Sant, Todd Solondz, Payne, Sollett, Warhol etc.) Artificial Eye R2 UK

Clark Gable - The Signature Collection (Dancing Lady / China Seas / San Francisco / Wife vs. Secretary / Boom Town / Mogambo) Warner

Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 1 - (Charlie Chan in Egypt / Charlie Chan in London / Charlie Chan in Paris / Charlie Chan in Shanghai / Eran Trece - The Spanish-language version of the lost film 'Charlie Chan Carries on') 20th Century Fox

The Batjac Suspense Collection (Ring of Fear / Track of the Cat / Plunder of the Sun / Man in the Vault) - Paramount Home Video

Sympathy for the Devil (Jean-Luc Godard , 1968) R2 UK - Fremantle

Red Angel (Yasuzo Masumura , 1966) R2 UK - Yume Pictures

Faust (F.W. Murnau, 1926)- R2 UK - Eureka Masters of Cinema

The Magnificent Ambersons [Orson Welles, 1942] - R2 UK Universal Pictures Video

Masterworks of Silent Cinema: Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller, 1920) Kino International

Masterworks of Silent Cinema: Sir Arne's Treasure (Mauritz Stiller ,1921) Kino International

Masterworks of Silent Cinema: The Saga of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1928) Kino International

The Loved One (Tony Richardson, 1965) Warner Home Video


RECOMMENDATIONS:  I'll be brief - I'm a big western fan of late and just adored Yellow Sky. To a lesser extent These Thousand Hills as well. For war/action drama that hits home - Immortal Sergeant Fonda and Maureen O'Hara. Criterion has done their usual masterful work on À nos amours and the film speaks volumes. Many are oblivious to this Peckinpah masterpiece - Cross of Iron is the real deal. I haven't seen but new reviewer Eddie seemed okay with Purple Butterfly. Considered by many Buñuel's best film - Viridiana is represented very well on a new Criterion DVD. Even censored (because of music rights issues) Altman's California Spilt is a great, underappreciated film.     


New Reviews:


These Thousand Hills - vintage western time - Don Murray plays Latt Evans, an ambitious cowboy who puts himself in the fast lane for success in Montana's cattle country. There is a very good supporting cast in this story with Stuart Whitman as his friend, Albert Dekker as a banker and Patricia Owens as the banker's niece. Lee Remick plays her usual strong role as Callie, another friend of Evans. Richard Egan plays an uncharacteristically villainous role and does it pretty well. the DVD has wonderful colors. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006


Immortal Sergeant - Just a few months before entering the Service in a real-life role, Henry Fonda starred in this movie as a shy, self-doubting Canadian corporal, Colin Spence, who is thrust into a life-and-death position of leadership when his sergeant (Thomas Mitchell) is killed. As circumstance has it - most of the platoon are dead and the 4 remaining troops are stranded in the desert with water quickly running out. To sustain himself during this hardship, Spence, recalls flashes of the past and his courtship with Valentine (a stunning Maureen O'Hara). DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006


The Seven-Ups - As New York City cops wage a war against assorted hoods and criminals after one of their own is brutally killed by a hoodlum - a tough detective, who is part of an elite unit, is trying to find solve the murder (his partner), but uncovers a plot to kidnap mobsters for money. This is a fast paced action thriller with car chases and a lot of 70's appeal of that kinetic milieu. A notch below Bullitt and The French Connection (both produced by Seven-Ups director Philip D'Antoni), but still has some merit for its gritty realism and working cop charm. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006


Yellow Sky - Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident) helms this gem involving of a band of outlaws, led by strong quiet James 'Stretch' Dawson (Gregory Peck), who find themselves knocking at death's door after becoming lost in the treacherous western Badlands. Their only salvation is a lonesome town called Yellow Sky, where the inhabitants consist of a doddering old prospector (James Barton) and his mysterious, alluring daughter (Anne Baxter). But their deliverance from danger is short-lived when the gang discovers a fateful secret hidden within the dusty, rotting walls of this ghost town... GOLD! A perfectly cast genre pearl that seems to have been all but forgotten. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006

À nos amours -
With his raw style of filmmaking, Maurice Pialat has been called the John Cassavetes of French cinema, and the scorching À nos amours is one of his greatest achievements. In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father (played with astonishing magnetism by Pialat himself), ineffectual mother, and brutish brother. A tender character study that can erupt in startling violence, À nos amours is one of the high-water marks of eighties French cinema. DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006


Kwaidan - AV Channel - Region 4 - PAL added to the existing comparison - Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn's classic Japanese ghost stories. For this lavish, 'scope production, Kobayashi drew extensively on his own training as a student of painting and the fine arts. Indeed, the breadth of the film's poetic expression is unmatched in all of Japanese cinema: breathtakingly photographed on handpainted sets, the film is at once a miniature writ large, and an abstract wash of luminescent colors that seem to hail from another world. Eureka MoC DVD Release Date: May 22nd, 2006


Cross of Iron - HensTooth Video (Widescreen Special Edition) and Full Screen added to the existing comparison - Cross of Iron is an anti-war film in that it focuses on the average foot soldier, the harshness of his daily existence, and the horrors inflicted on him by war. These men dream about survival, peace, sex and home. Yet Steiner, like many of Peckinpah's male protagonists, is unwilling or incapable of being open to other ways of existing. DVD Release Date: April 18th, 2006


Delicatessen - Momentum Region 2- PAL edition added  - visually, the film evokes Gilliam, Lynch, the Coens and Carné, but the allusions never get in the way of the nightmarish humour. The sets, special effects, photography, pace and performances all contribute to the brash comic-strip vivacity, and even the fairytale romance avoids sentimentality. Increasingly inventive as it progresses, Jeunet and Caro's fast, funny feature debut entertains from sinister start to frantic finish.


Purple Butterfly - On a technical level, the movie is assembled with much care and artistry. You’ll need to adjust to the jittery camerawork and rapid editing, though the visual style is a big part of what makes the movie so satisfying to watch. In fact, the cinematography is first-rate; the image compositions and generally moody atmosphere reminded most viewers of Wong Kar-wai.

- Abhijan was Satyajit Ray's most popular film in Bengal: a "conscious" effort to communicate with a wider audience. The project was originally conceived by his friends and Ray stepped in when they panicked at the prospect of directing. Ray's mastery turned a starkly conventional plot into a subtly nuanced story which topped the Bengali box office for months. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006

Dazed and Confused
- America, 1976. The last day of school. Bongs blaze, bell-bottoms ring, and rock and roll rocks. Among the best teen films ever made, Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused eavesdrops on a group of seniors-to-be and incoming freshmen. A launching pad for a number of future stars, Linklater’s first studio effort also features endlessly quotable dialogue and a blasting, stadium-ready soundtrack. Sidestepping nostalgia, Dazed and Confused is less about “the best years of our lives” than the boredom, angst, and excitement of teenagers waiting . . . for something to happen. DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006

Viridiana -
Banned in Spain and denounced by the Vatican, Luis Buñuel’s irreverent vision of life as a beggar’s banquet is regarded by many as his masterpiece. In it, novice nun Viridiana does her utmost to maintain her Catholic principles, but her lecherous uncle and a motley assemblage of paupers force her to confront the limits of her idealism. Winner of the Palme d’or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, Viridiana is as audacious today as ever... DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006

Harlan County USA -
Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award–winning Harlan County USA unflinchingly documents a grueling coal miners’ strike in a small Kentucky town. With unprecedented access, Kopple and her crew captured the miners’ sometimes violent struggles with strikebreakers, local police, and company thugs. Featuring a haunting soundtrack—with legendary country and bluegrass artists Hazel Dickens, Merle Travis, Sarah Gunning, and Florence Reece—the film is a heartbreaking record of the thirteen-month struggle between a community fighting to survive and a corporation dedicated to the bottom line. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006

California Spilt
California Split belongs to this side of Altman (the only 'genre' it could be said to belong to is the 'gambling movie') as well as another: it joins Images (1972), A Perfect Couple (1979) and Quintet (1979) as one of the least seen and most infrequently discussed of all of his '70s works. NOTE: the DVD has some music censorship issues.

Patlabor: The Movie -
This stylish science fiction detective story bears the stamp of Mamoru Oshii, who would later direct Ghost in the Shell. Labors are gigantic robots used for everything from construction work to law enforcement, but a massive land-reclamation project in Tokyo Bay is threatened by robots going on unexplained rampages. DVD Release Date: April 25th, 2006


CONTEST - DVDBeaver, in conjunction with Image Entertainment, are giving away 5 copies of their Patlabor: The Movie Collector's Edition DVD package (value over $80 each). For details see HERE.


Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of May 22nd, 2006

Abhijaan (Satyajit Ray, 1962) Eureka Masters of Cinema R2 UK

100 Rifles (Tom Gries, 1969) 20th Century Fox

The Boondock Saints (Troy Duffy, 1999) 20th Century Fox

Cecil B Demille Collection (5pc) (Cecil B. DeMille directs Sign of the Cross, Four Frightened People, Cleopatra, The Crusades and Union Pacific) Universal

Classic Crime Collection - Street Justice (Murder Inc., The French Connection, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, The Seven-Ups) 20th Century Fox

Compulsion (Richard Fleischer, 1959) 20th Century Fox

Decision Before Dawn (Anatole Litvak, 1951) 20th Century Fox

Guns at Batasi (John Guillermin, 1964) 20th Century Fox

Harlan County, U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple, 1976) Criterion Collection

Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat (Halls of Montezuma, Decision Before Dawn, D-Day the Sixth of June, Guadalcanal Diary) 20th Century Fox

Heroes of War Collection - Navy Battles (The Enemy Below, The Frogmen, Morituri, Sink the Bismarck!) 20th Century Fox

Hidden aka Caché (Michael Haneke , 2005) Artificial Eye

Histoire (s) du cinéma - 4 DVD (Jean-Luc Godard) Gaumont R2 France

House of Flying Daggers [Blu-ray] (Yimou Zhang, 2004) Sony Pictures

Immortal Sergeant (John M. Stahl, 1943) 20th Century Fox

Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1964) Eureka - Master's of Cinema R2 UK

Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott , 2005) 4-disc - 20th Century Fox

The Last Wagon (Delmer Daves, 1956) 20th Century Fox

The Longest Day (Ken Annakin , 1962) 2-disc SE - 20th Century Fox

Murder, Inc. (Burt Balaban, 1960) 20th Century Fox

Music in Darkness (Ingmar Bergman, 1947) Tartan [R2-UK]
Prison (Ingmar Bergman, 1949) Tartan [R2-UK]

The Proud Ones (Robert D. Webb, 1956) 20th Century Fox

The Seven-Ups (Philip D'Antoni, 1973) 20th Century Fox

These Thousand Hills (Richard Fleischer, 1959) 20th Century Fox

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Chan-wook Park, 2005) Tartan UK

Tora! Tora! Tora! (Richard Fleischer , Kinji Fukasaku 1970) 2-disc SE - 20th Century Fox

Yellow Sky (William A. Wellman , 1949) 20th Century Fox

Viridiana (Luis Bunuel, 1962) Criterion Collection

Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws (The Proud Ones, Forty Guns, Broken Lance, The Culpepper Cattle Co.) 20th Century Fox


Week of May 29th, 2006


The Bette Davis Collection, Vol. 2 - (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Jezebel, The Man Who Came To Dinner, Marked Woman and Old Acquaintance) Warner Home Video

The Magnificent Ambersons [Orson Welles, 1942] - R2 UK Universal Pictures Video


Many more reviews coming soon - stay tuned!



P.S. - Prices are on the rise - nab while you can!:

Laurel-Hardy 21-disc collection (42% off),  The Gospel According To St. Matthew (40% off), Jamon Jamon (60% off), Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf (65% off), Girl on the Bridge (70% off), Baise-Moi (56% off), The Seventh Seal (65% off), Central Station (68% off), Kes (62% off), The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (2-disc) (70% off), Amelie (Two Disc Special Edition) [DTS] (72% 0ff), Pedro Almodovar Collection: Bad Education / Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down / Live Flesh / All About My Mother / Talk To Her (58% off), Visconti's Conversation Piece (61% off), The Fallen Idol (43% off), Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection (54% off), Katherine Hepburn - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Rita Hayworth - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Barbara Stanwyck - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Sophia Loren - 6-disc Screen Goddess Collection (52% off), Marilyn Monroe - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off)