DVDBeaver Newsletter - May 26th, 2006
Hello! - We have complete reviews of 4 impressive boxset packages this week. A Warner mega-star and classic crime, western and war sets covered. On top of that more Satyajit Ray, Marco Bellocchio, an avant-garde laugh and an Indie expression. Plus many new Calendar listings...
Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.
NOTE: The Criterion sale (Mr. Arkadin, Ugetsu, Brazil, etc.) we advertised at Amazon.com ended the morning of our last newsletter - we hope many were able to take advantage.
36 FOX STUDIO CLASSICS STILL AT 46% 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 haveexpanded 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
NOT Surprising: -We've been told that - The Facets release of Three Films By Otar Iosseliani is lifted entirely from the Blaq Out (PAL). It exhibits ghosting which results from a PAL to NTSC transfer.
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!
More Fox Classics and Noir - The Most Popular Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER and SAVE!)
Hidden Blade(Yôji Yamada , 2004) Tartan Video
Fifth Horseman is Fear(Zbynek Brynych, 1964) Facets
Lemming(Dominik Moll, 2005) Strand Home Video
Great Yokai War(Takashi Miike, 2005) Tokyo Shock
Almanac of Fall(Béla Tarr, 1984) Facets Video
Masters of Horror: Lucky McKee - Sick Girl(2006) Anchor Bay
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls(Russ Meyer, 1970) 20th Century Fox
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang(Widescreen Edition) (Shane Black, 2005) Warner Home Video
The Quiet Earth(Geoff Murphy, 1985) Anchor Bay
Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims(Yasuki Chiba, 1958) Tokyo Shock
Shock(Alfred L. Werker, 1946) 20th Century Fox
Vicki(Harry Horner, 1953) 20th Century Fox
Fourteen Hours(Henry Hathaway, 1951) 20th Century Fox
The River's Edge(Allan Dwan, 1957) Fox Studio Classics
The Black Swan(Henry King,1942) Fox Studio Classics
The Keys of the Kingdom(John M. Stahl, 1944) Fox Studio Classic
Lon Chaney Jr. Collection- Indestructible Man, Telephone Time, Lock Up and Manfish - Image Entertainment
Almodóvar Collection Vol. 2: Matador/Law of Desire/Kika/The Flower of My Secret (Almodóvar, Pedro / NA) [Optimum / R2 PAL / UK]
Cache (Hidden)(Michael Haneke, 2005) Sony Pictures
Yom Yom(Day After Day) (Gitai, Amos / 1998) [Kino / R1 NTSC / USA]
Music in Darkness(Bergman, Ingmar / 1948) [Tartan / R2 PAL / UK]
Devarim / Zihron Devarim(Gitai, Amos / 1995) [Kino / R1 NTSC / USA]
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada(Jones, Tommy Lee / 2005) [Sony / R1 NTSC / USA]
You Are Not Alone / Du er ikke alene(Nielsen, Lasse & Ernst Johansen / 1978) [TLA Releasing / R1 NTSC / USA]
Winter Soldier(1972) New Yorker
Cinema 16 - American Short Films(Gus Van Sant, Todd Solondz, Payne, Sollett, Warhol etc.) Artificial Eye R2 UK
Cinema 16 - British Short Films- Ridley Scott, TonyScott, Chris Nolan, Mike Leigh etc. - With over 3 hours of films and 3 hours of commentaries - Artificial Eye R2 UK
Cinema 16: European Short Films- Lukas Moodysson, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jean-Luc Godard, Tom Tykwer and Lars von Trier etc. - Artificial Eye R2 UK
The Omen(2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Richard Donner , 1976) 20th Century Fox
Mr. Moto Collection, Vol. 1(Various starring Peter Lorre) Mr. Moto Takes a Chance, Mysterious Mr. Moto, Thank You Mr. Moto and Think Fast Mr. Moto 20th Century Fox
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?(Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1977) Fantoma
RECOMMENDATIONS: I'm big on all the Boxsets that we reviewed - great savings and even better classic films. So, thumbs up to The Bette Davis Collection, Vol. 2, Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat, Classic Crime Collection - Street Justice, and Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws. Warner are thankfully continuing their excellent quality and Fox are bringing us some worthwhile entries grouped together for a steal - even if you already own one of the 4 - its a savings! and... I was very pleased with Marco Bellocchio's My Mother's Smile - a wonderful film with a great premise.
OPEN MINDED? : Some may get a big kick out of William Wegman: Video Works 1970-1999. Nuff' said.
AVOID: Shameful of me to tell people to avoid Satyajit Ray's masterpiece Charulata but the DVD quality is so poor - it is losing the essence of the film. Only buy if you don't use VHS anymore - that is as positive as I can get on this DVD.
William Wegman: Video Works 1970-1999 - Avant-garde fun - Some of it had
me laughing to almost tears. Wegman has a keen sense of humor and the dogs have
perfect timing. 4 straight hours may be a bit much for anyone though. I
suggested dividing your viewing up. A segment or two is the perfect compliment
to showing friends who visit.
Jezebel - compared the old out-of-print edition to the new Warner (Restored and Remastered Edition) - New Orleans, 1852, the Lympus Ball. Enter Julie Marston (Bette Davis) dressed in scarlet. Deep shock from the maidens in white and the matrons in grey. She starts to waltz and couples shrink from the contaminating touch of her red gown. This justly famous scene from Jezebel (filmed, incidentally, in black-and-white) telescopes many of the film's themes. Julie is socially and sexually transgressive. DVD Release Date: May 30th, 2006
Charulata - Satyajit Ray's fascination with Rabindranath Tagore culminated in CHARULATA, his twelfth film and arguably his greatest achievement. Based on a short story by Tagore, it is a surprisingly modern tale of love, lust, fidelity, and a woman's growing self-awareness against the backdrop of the Bengal Renaissance, a vibrant intellectual awakening in 19th-century India. Watchout for the DVD quality... DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2006
The Bette Davis Collection, Vol. 2 - 6 discs: Feature Films - Marked Woman, Jezebel, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Old Acquaintance and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? plus the bonus disc - Stardust: The Bette Davis Story. We should consider ourselves lucky that Warner are going to these lengths providing such digital care for these great films. DVD Release Date: May 30th, 2006
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? - Two faded stars caricaturing themselves, one Hollywood-baiting director snapping at the hand that feeds him, and a Grand Guignol hothouse of jealousy and celebrity fuel What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, a nightmarish psychodrama from Robert Aldrich. Silver screen legends Joan Crawford and Bette Davis play two sisters desperately clinging to their long lost glory days. Grotesquely camp, it's one of the most acidic indictments of Tinsel Town since Gloria Swanson got ready for her close up in Sunset Boulevard. DVD Release Date: May 30th, 2006
The Man Who Came To Dinner - After a string of high-powered, emotional performances, Bette Davis took a rare back seat to another performer with the uncharacteristic role of an unflappable secretary in The Man Who Came to Dinner. Monty Woolley reprised his George S. Kaufman/Moss Hart Broadway triumph as the imperious "Sheridan Whiteside" in this delightful, lightning-paced farce. The Man Who Came to Dinner focuses on famed author Whiteside (Woolley), an esteemed critic who possesses a sharp mind and an acid tongue. DVD Release Date: May 30th, 2006
Old Acquaintance - Adeptly directed melodrama by Vincent Sherman based on the play by John Van Druten. Established serious author Kit (Bette Davis) inspires hometown pal Millie (Miriam Hopkins) who has written a trashy novel published with Kit's overseeing. Millie's husband Preston (John Loder) leaves her. A decade of trashy novels later Millie tries to reconcile, but Preston has had enough of this back-stabbing, she-cat for one lifetime and weds another. Overwrought with pettiness and jealousies Millie accuses Kit of husband-stealing and the over-the-top performances are a joy to behold. Beware the Candice Bergen and Jacqueline Bissett (RICH AND FAMOUS) 1981 remake. This little gem is the real deal. DVD Release Date: May 30th, 2006
Marked Woman - Inspired by Thomas Dewey's indictment of Lucky Luciano--at a trial where many prostitutes who suffered at the gangster's hands testified against him--this gritty 1937 Warners crime movie is one of the least compromised melodramas of the period in expressing solidarity with women. Co-starring Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart, written by Robert Rossen and Abem Finkel, and directed by Lloyd Bacon, it's one of the key films discussed in the 1995 video documentary Red Hollywood, and it packs a serious punch. DVD Release Date: May 30th, 2006
Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat - Halls of Montezuma, Decision Before Dawn, D-Day the Sixth of June and Guadalcanal Diary in one package for a big savings in an already pragmatical and reasonably priced package. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
Guadalcanal Diary - The first part of the film is almost documentarily real—the part showing the shipboard preparations and the landings on Guadalcanal, And it is in this part that the film sticks most closely to the facts set down in Mr. Tregaskis' book. Here we see the marine force approaching the zero hour—the hour of dawn on the memorable morning of Aug. 7, 1942. Directed by Lewis Seiler USA 1943 - Starring Richard Conte, Anthony Quinn etc. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
Halls of Montezuma - sports a great ensemble cast. Alongside Richard Widmark are Jack Palance, Robert Wagner, Karl Malden, Richard Boone and Jack Webb (the last two most well known through their TV incarnations as Paladin and Sgt Friday). It's a strong cast of utterly believable actors. Their believability comes from a strong script by Michael Blankfort and seamless direction by Lewis Milestone, which portrays genuine heroism, of the sort where courage subordinates very real, omnipresent fear. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
D-Day the Sixth of June - The romance that happens in this picture is between a stalwart American captain married and a devilishly dapper English girl. She is the daughter of a retired British brigadier and is engaged to a British Commando major when the captain comes along. But he being Robert Taylor, the major being in North Africa, the captain's wife being back home in Connecticut and war being what it is, it doesn't take long for the little lady to give herself to the captain, heart and all. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
Decision Before Dawn - Within the inflexible framework of a straight undercover spy film, which in this case goes by the title of "Decision Before Dawn," Twentieth Century-Fox and Anatole Litvak have packed not only lots of thrills but a clear and cold look at Western Germany in the last year of World War II. They have also worked into this thriller, which opened at the Rivoli yesterday, a persuasive amount of compassion for a German soldier who turns traitor on his own. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
My Mother's Smile - "A very odd thriller" is how Italian director Marco Bellocchio describes My Mother's Smile, his uncannily beautiful and deeply humanist exploration of the nightmares that resurface from a Roman atheist's Catholic childhood. The ever excellent Sergio Castellitto plays the unbeliever, Ernesto, a successful painter and children's book illustrator, separated from his wife (Jacqueline Lustig) but devoted to his young son. One afternoon, a messenger from the Vatican arrives at his studio in Rome and announces, to Ernesto's dismay, that the painter's late mother—whom he never particularly liked—is now a candidate for sainthood. DVD Release Date: May 16th, 2006
States of Control - The film, which was made in 1997 and has since been waiting for its time to come, is technically very assured. Mr. Winestine is a former cinematographer whose filmography includes work as a camera assistant on Stanley Kubrick's ''The Shining,'' and his eye for composition is steady and solid. There is none of the herky-jerkiness of the currently official indie film style. The symphonic score by Richard Termini is impressive and adds all kinds of cosmic significance to Mr. Winestine's frequent, unmotivated cuts to clouds scudding across a blue sky.
Classic Crime Collection - Street Justice - Murder, Inc., The French Connection, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre and The Seven-Ups in another 20th Century Fox ripe deal. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
The French Connection - It’s a standout cinematic achievement that won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Gene Hackman), Best Film Editing, and Best Writing. Ernest Tidyman’s story follows the adventures of two New York narcotics cops, "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman), and his partner, Russo (Roy Scheider). They track a lead about a large drug delivery that develops into a plan that could entirely destroy the marijuana trade between Paris and New York. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
Murder, Inc. - An amusingly vicious performance by Peter Falk in the role of Abe Reles, the notorious gangland killer who came to the end of his career out of a window in Coney Island's Half Moon Hotel, is the one minor distinction of Burt Balaban's "Murder, Inc.,"... DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre - This film has some uniqueness for instilling such vivid memories, albeit with the use of one powerfully violent scene. Corman's re-creation of the famous Chicago gang massacre of the 20s has a strong cast that seems to go on and on, even in bit parts - Jason Robards, George Segal, Ralph Meeker, Jean Hale, Frank Silvera, Bruce Dern John Agar, Harold Stone, and even Jack Nicholson (better look quick). Judged solely as cinema it is only slightly above average but as a gangster drama it is one of the more eviscerating ever made. Definitely worth seeing. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws - A fine westerns package from Fox containing Broken Lance, Forty Guns, The Proud Ones and The Culpepper Cattle Co. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
The Proud Ones - The action, if not the suspense, is plentiful. Mr. Ryan and Jeffrey Hunter, as the cowboy, handle their guns well. Walter Brennan's jailer is a delight. And those pioneer days must have been something, what with Flat Rock's leading restaurant proclaiming "All you can eat for 50 cents." DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
The Culpepper Cattle Co. - Although a small movie, "The Culpepper Cattle Company" is arguably one of the top ten westerns of all time. It takes a fairly basic but relevant coming of age story and sets it in the American West. But the "been there-done that" stuff gives way to something that has extremely heavy Peckinpah influences. DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
SERIOUS BUFFS ONLY!
Warner's Classics Mega Collection (237 titles!) is now 50% off! A savings of over $2000 - SEE HERE. Assuming you have less than half the titles you could be saving...
DVDBeaver surfers - YesAsia are offering $2 off $15 spent (per
Use the Coupon Code : ASSOMAYNC
(For new customers only - good till June 1st, 2006).
For our listing of YesAsia recommendations (and those to ignore) see HERE
Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:
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
Lon Chaney Jr. Collection - Indestructible Man, Telephone Time, Lock Up and Manfish - Image Entertainment
The Magnificent Ambersons [Orson Welles, 1942] - R2 UK Universal Pictures Video
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1977) Fantoma
Winter Soldier (1972) New Yorker
Week of June 5th, 2006
Almodóvar Collection Vol. 2: Matador/Law of Desire/Kika/The Flower of My Secret (Almodóvar, Pedro / NA) [Optimum / R2 PAL / UK]
The Batjac Suspense Collection (Ring of Fear / Track of the Cat / Plunder of the Sun / Man in the Vault) - Paramount Home Video
Boomerang! (Elia Kazan, 1947) 20th Century Fox
Chaplin Mutual Comedies: Restored Edition (2-disc) - Image Entertainment
Cinema 16 - American Short Films (Gus Van Sant, Todd Solondz, Payne, Sollett, Warhol etc.) Artificial Eye R2 UK
Cinema 16 - British Short Films - Ridley Scott, TonyScott, Chris Nolan, Mike Leigh etc. - With over 3 hours of films and 3 hours of commentaries - Artificial Eye R2 UK
Cinema 16: European Short Films - Lukas Moodysson, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jean-Luc Godard, Tom Tykwer and Lars von Trier etc. - Artificial Eye R2 UK
Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993) Criterion Collection
Devarim / Zihron Devarim (Gitai, Amos / 1995) [Kino / R1 NTSC / USA]
La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995) Optimum Home Entertainment
House of Strangers (Joseph L. Mankiewicz , 1949) 20th Century Fox
I Wake Up Screaming (H. Bruce Humberstone,1941) 20th Century Fox
John Wayne-John Ford Film Collection (The Searchers Ultimate Edition / Stagecoach Two-Disc Special Edition / Fort Apache / The Long Voyage Home / The Wings of Eagles / She Wore a Yellow Ribbon / They Were Expendable / 3 Godfathers) - Warner Home Video
The John Ford Film Collection (Cheyenne Autumn, The Informer, Sergeant Rutledge, Mary of Scotland, The Lost Patrol) Warner Home Video
Louis Malle Collection: Vol.1 (4 Discs) Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (1958), Le Feu Follet (1963), Les Amants (1958), Zazie Dans Le Metro (1960) - R2 UK
Man in the Vault (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1956) Paramount Home Video
Masterworks of Silent Cinema: Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller, 1920) Kino International
Masterworks of Silent Cinema: Sir Arne's Treasure (Mauritz Stiller ,1919) Kino International
Masterworks of Silent Cinema: The Saga of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924) Kino International
Ŕ nos amours (Maurice Pialat, 1983) Criterion
Ring of Fear (James Edward Grant, 1954) Paramount Home Video
Sympathy for the Devil (Jean-Luc Godard , 1968) R2 UK - Fremantle
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Jones, Tommy Lee / 2005) [Sony / R1 NTSC / USA]
Track of the Cat - Special Collector's Edition (William A. Wellman, 1954) - Paramount Home Video
Yom Yom (Day After Day) (Gitai, Amos /
1998) [Kino / R1 NTSC / USA]
You Are Not Alone / Du er ikke alene (Nielsen, Lasse & Ernst Johansen / 1978) [TLA Releasing / R1 NTSC / USA]
Busy days - enjoy the sunshine and stay tuned!
P.S. - Although the percentages keep juggling around you can still pick up some amazing deals at Amazon.UK!:
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)
The 5WINNERS of our GIVEAWAY of the Limited Collector's Edition packages of Patlabor: The Movie (valued at over $80 US each) are: