DVDBeaver Newsletter for August 18th, 2005


Hello again,

A combination of the doldrums of Summer and my poor business sense have us in the red again (sorry). Any generous support is appreciated. PayPal links are on the homepage and the bottom of every review. If we can survive the next 45 days, we will coast through the busy 4th quarter.

On a positive note we have a full slate this week (20 reviews, 6 comparisons)... including these warnings:


WARNING #2: DVDBeaver no longer recommends the e-tailor DVDSoon as we have received numerous complaints as to their reliability. Any existing links we have to them will be removed as soon as we are able. The problem being that no one seems to be getting their orders.

GOOD NEWS: Second Run DVDs are for 'real' Congratulations to consumers for the emergence of this new UK DVD production label that is doing everything right so far. See our reviews of In the Land of the Deaf and Nighthawks !

Strong personal recommendations of stuff we have recently reviewed/compared this week would be the Masters of Cinema's Kaneto Shind?pairing of Kuroneko and Onibaba. Two recent Ozu's that 'did it for me'  were What Did the Lady Forget? and The Only Son . Hong Sang-soo's A Tale of Cinema and New Yorker's Platform are further Asian treasures. Frankly, we are loaded with great stuff: Lars Von Trier's E-Trilogy - Element Of Crime / Epidemic / Europa (Tartan) (not my taste but great for his fans), Tiresia and of course the two (above) Second Run releases. The Altman Vincent & Theo was great too!   

Director's Chair database - Anh Hung Tran added - see Homepage (right column) for all.
Two favorite directors in the works. One, regarded as the best director of the 90's... or the other; an unconventional and highly lauded Hungarian...

Imminent releases (All coming the week of the 21st and many we have already reviewed)::
Boudu Saved from Drowning
(Jean Renoir, 1932) Criterion, Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini, 1950) Criterion, Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi, 1962) Criterion, Head-On (Fatih Akin, 2004) [R2-UK], Heimat 3 (Edgar Reitz, 2004) Artificial Eye [R2-UK], Home of the Brave (Paola di Florio, 2004) Home Vision, Killing of Sister George (1968, Robert Aldrich) - MGM, Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindo, 1968) Eureka/MoC [R2-UK], Life Is a Miracle (Emir Kusturica, 2004) Artificial Eye [R2-UK], Oldboy (Chan-wook Park, 2003) TLA Releasing, Onibaba (Kaneto Shindo, 1964) Eureka/MoC [R2-UK], Preston Sturges Collection: Sullivan's Travels/The Lady Eve/Hail the Conquering Hero/The Great McGinty/Christmas in July/The Palm Beach Story) (Sturges) Universal [R2-UK], Tiresia (Bertrand Bonello, 2003) Tartan [R2-UK], Twenty-nine Palms (Bruno Dumont, 2004) Tartan [R2-UK], Vincent & Theo (1990, Robert Altman) - MGM, Weekend (1967, Jean-Luc Godard) New Yorker Films, A World Apart (Chris Menges, 1988) MGM

Most Recent Reviews:

Vincent & Theo - the MGM DVD gives some respect to this Altman masterpiece!

What Did the Lady Forget? Ozu's nuanced 1937 comedy about a henpecked medical school professor who makes up a story for his wife so he can sneak off with his freethinking niece for a holiday.

Early Spring - one of Ozu's most earnest. While there are some touches of humor it essentially provides quasi-paternal guidance. Panorama DVD is not their best.

Lars Von Trier's E-Trilogy - Element Of Crime / Epidemic / Europa (Tartan) - It is 100% identical to the one from Electric Parc, except the cover and the booklet are translated into English. A 'must' for his fans!

Heimat (Facets) - our review has only one purpose and that is to get you to avoid buying this upcoming Facets DVD. In our eyes they are misrepresenting a masterpiece.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Milos Forman directs Jack in perhaps the ultimate antihero movie of the 1970's.

Kuroneko - ohhhhhh yes! - this is a sparse, Japanese atmospheric horror story, ascribing to the director's philosophy of using beauty and purity to evoke emotion.

In the Land of the Deaf - Nicolas Philibert shows himself to be one of contemporary cinemas most acclaimed documentarists.

A Tale of Cinema - South Korean talent Hong Sang-soo takes on the structure of a film-within-a-film as it tells the story of two hopeless romantics who fall in love with the same woman. Masterpiece.

Arakimentari - a close-up portrait of Araki, the Japanese photographer who is, depending on whom you ask, somewhere between a genius and a dirty old man.

Anklaget - One of the films in competition for the Golden Bear in Berlin, Anklaget (aka 'Accused') is unadulterated human drama, where we share the pain every second of the way, and learn, that to be accused is worse than the crime itself.

Dear Wendy - A young boy in a nameless, timeless American town establishes a gang of youthful misfits united in their love of guns and their code of honor.

Twentynine Palms - is a fascinating attempt at experimental horror. This film has polarized viewers - you'll either love the unusual hyperreal emotion or you'll totally close down on the film.

Tiresia - In his second film, Bonello spins his story upon the Greek myth of Tiresia, who was both man and woman, who was blinded by Hera when failing to settle a dispute between her and Zeus on love, and was given the gift of soothsaying by Zeus as compensation for having no sight.

Who Killed Bambi? - a charming Hitchcockian cat and mouse thriller about nurse trainee Isabelle (nicknamed Bambi) who believes that the good doctor is doing something bad.

Nighthawks - As one of the first commercially regarded features to emerge from London's gay underground in the '70s, Nighthawks had to tread a thin line between challenging public misconceptions and presenting an accurate portrait of the gay community.

The Only Son - Ozu's first talkie has, for me a few other identity markers; I found it possibly the most melodramatic of all his films that I have seen and it contains the least dialogue (for one of his sound films).

The Color of Lies - Claude Chabrol is still (after a hugely busy career) able to breathe life into suspense with subtlety, irony, and humor.

Blonde Ice - One of the dirty old Noirs that we love - Like the tagline says, "ICE in her veins - ICICLES in her heart"

Once Upon a Time in America - Sergio Leones final film as a director and one he spent 17 years developing. Like the spaghetti westerns he was famous for, this concerns itself with a mythic America as seen from the perspective of a foreigner who grew up experiencing the United States through its movies and culture.

Platform - One of the richest films of the past decade, Jia Zhangke's three-hour epic Platform spans the 1980s.

NEW Comparison:

Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC "Witness" vs. Paramount (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

Eureka - Region 2 - PAL "Onibaba" vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Asmik - Region 2 - NTSC
- The Eureka MoC edition is the definitive release

Kin?ique (Japanese) - Region 2 (Limited edition) - NTSC "The Brown Bunny" vs. Columbia Tri-Star (Sony Classics) - Region 1,3 - NTSC vs. Movie Affairs - Region 2 - PAL
- View the optical censoring of the Japanese version - but it does have the Gallo commentary!

Paramount Home Entertainment (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2 - PAL "The Ten Commandments" vs. Paramount Home Entertainment (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

Warner (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL "Bullitt" vs. Warner (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner (First Release) - Region 2 - PAL

Bitwin- Region 3 - NTSC "Vive L'amour" vs. Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC
- not initially mentioned but the Bitwin Region 3 version is censored. The scene where Lee Kang-sheng enters the tub naked was edited so that we can't see his butt. I suppose not totally relevant unless you are keen on seeing his butt.

Speak to me with suggestions for DVDBeaver! - I try to be very accessible. Gary@DVDBeaver.com

Sept 6th is coming (Mann + De Toth westerns, Preminger Noir's, Fellini, Boxsets etc.):
3-Iron (2004, Ki-duk Kim) Columbia Tri-Star, Bela Lugosi Collection (Murders In The Rue Morgue (1932) , The Black Cat (1934) , The Raven (1935) , The Invisible Ray (1937) , Black Friday (1940) ) - Universal, The Blue Bird (Maurice Tourneur, 1918) Kino, Career Girls (Mike Leigh, 1997) Fox, Chronicle Of A Disappearance (Elia Suleiman, 1996) Kino, The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Jean-Marie Straub/Dani?e Huillet, 1968) New Yorker, Fear & Trembling (Alain Corneau, 2003) Home Vision, Fellini's Casanova (Federico Fellini, 1976) Fremantle Home Entertainment R2-UK, Garbo: Signature Collection 10-disc (Anna Christie (English and German versions), Camille , Anna Karenina, Ninotchka, Queen Christina, Grand Hotel, Mata Hari, the TCM original documentary "Garbo", the "TCM Archives: Garbo Silents": contains Flesh and the Devil, The Temptress, and The Mysterious Lady. ) Warner Home Video, Hammer Horror Series (Brides of Dracula / Curse of the Werewolf / Phantom of the Opera (1962) / Paranoiac / Kiss of the Vampire / Nightmare / Night Creatures / Evil of Frankenstein)- Universal, Harry and Tonto (Paul Mazursky, 1974) Fox Home Entertainment, The Holy Girl (La Ni? Santa) (Lucretia Martel, 2004) HBO, The House on 92nd Street (Henry Hathaway, 1945) Fox Home Entertainment, The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961) Fox Home Entertainment, The Last Frontier (Anthony Mann, 1955) Columbia Tri-Star, A Lawless Street (Joseph H. Lewis , 1955) Columbia Tri-Star, The Lina Wertmuller Collection (Lina Wertmuller) Koch-Lorber, Man in the Saddle (1951, Andr?De Toth) Columbia Tri-Star, Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944, Preston Sturges) Paramount, Le Paltoquet (Michel Deville, 1986) C'est la vie [R2-UK], Save the Green Planet (Jang Jun-hwan, 2003) Koch Lorber, Somewhere in the Night (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1946) Fox Home Entertainment, Stranger Wore a Gun (1953, Andr?De Toth) Columbia Tristar, Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety, 1973) Kino, Whirlpool (Otto Preminger, 1949) Fox Home Entertainment

We have 20 new Malata 393a Region Free Players! So far - 136 sold! - 6 returns (defective) Best selling Region-Free player ever made! If you haven't made the plunge yet see HERE and then start shopping HERE and HERE!

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Take care and go for some long walks and get some fresh air!,