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The Incredibles (Disney Pixar) (2 Discs) | DVD | (18/03/2005)
from £4.99 | Saving you £16.00 (76.20%) | RRP
After creating the last great traditionally animated film of the 20th century, The Iron Giant, filmmaker Brad Bird joined top-drawer studio Pixar to create this exciting, completely entertaining computer-animated film. Bird gives us a family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash. When a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit. Bird has his cake and eats it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life ("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!"). The animated Parrs look and act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode. Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing. The Presentation This two-disc set is (shall we say it?), incredible. The digital-to-digital transfer pops off the screen and the 5.1 Dolby sound will knock the socks off most systems. But like any superhero, it has an Achilles heel. This marks the first Pixar release that doesn't include both the widescreen and full-screen versions in the same DVD set, which was a great bargaining chip for those cinephiles who still want a full-frame presentation for other family members. With a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio (that's big black bars, folks, à la Dr. Zhivago), a few more viewers may decide to go with the full-frame presentation. Fortunately, Pixar reformats their full-frame presentation so the action remains in frame. The Extras The most-repeated segments will be the two animated shorts. Newly created for this DVD is the hilarious "Jack-Jack Attack," filling the gap in the film during which the Parr baby is left with the talkative babysitter, Kari. "Boundin'," which played in front of the film theatrically, was created by Pixar character designer Bud Luckey. This easygoing take on a dancing sheep gets better with multiple viewings (be sure to watch the featurette on the short). Brad Bird still sounds like a bit of an outsider in his commentary track, recorded before the movie opened. Pixar captain John Lasseter brought him in to shake things up, to make sure the wildly successful studio would not get complacent. And while Bird is certainly likable, he does not exude Lasseter's teddy-bear persona. As one animator states, "He's like strong coffee; I happen to like strong coffee." Besides a resilient stance to be the best, Bird threw in an amazing number of challenges, most of which go unnoticed unless you delve into the 70 minutes of making-of features plus two commentary tracks (Bird with producer John Walker, the other from a dozen animators). We hear about the numerous sets, why you go to "the Spaniards" if you're dealing with animation physics, costume problems (there's a reason why previous Pixar films dealt with single- or uncostumed characters), and horror stories about all that animated hair. Bird's commentary throws out too many names of the! animators even after he warns himself not to do so, but it's a lively enough time. The animator commentary is of greatest interest to those interested in the occupation. There is a 30-minute segment on deleted scenes with temporary vocals and crude drawings, including a new opening (thankfully dropped). The "secret files" contain a "lost" animated short from the superheroes' glory days. This fake cartoon (Frozone and Mr. Incredible are teamed with a pink bunny) wears thin, but play it with the commentary track by the two superheroes and it's another sharp comedy sketch. There are also NSA "files" on the other superheroes alluded to in the film with dossiers and curiously fun sound bits. "Vowellet" is the only footage about the well-known cast (there aren't even any obligatory shots of the cast recording their lines). Author/cast member Sarah Vowell (NPR's This American Life) talks about her first foray into movie voice-overs--daughter Violet--and the unlikelihood of her being a superhero. The feature is unlike anything we've seen on a Disney or Pixar DVD extra, but who else would consider Abe Lincoln an action figure? --Doug Thomas
Last Exit To Brooklyn | DVD | (04/06/2007)
from £5.95 | Saving you £-0.06 (-1.00%) | RRP
In April 1994 the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda crashes and the Hutu militias slaughter the Tutsi population. In the Ecole Technique Officielle the Catholic priest Christopher and the idealistic English teacher Joe Connor lodge two thousand and five hundred Rwandans survivors in the school under the protection of the UN Belgian force and under siege of the Hutu militia.
Shooting Dogs | DVD | (31/07/2006)
from £3.99 | Saving you £13.50 (67.50%) | RRP
1994: 800 000 killed in 100 days. Would you risk your life to make a difference? April 6th 1994: a bloody genocide in central Africa gets underway. In just one hundred spring days a million Rwandan Tutsis were massacred by their fellow Hutu countrymen and a small African country was turned into a charnel house. The barbarity was beyond imagination. But not beyond prevention. The UN was there watching. Watching but not acting. And at the heart of it all a British priest
Les Destinees Sentimentales | DVD | (26/09/2005)
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Protestant cleric Jean Barnery (Berling) when he divorces his severe wife after falling in love with Pauline (Beart) the independent-minded niece of an upper-crust parishioner. Heir to a porcelain factory in Limoges Jean gives his fortune to his ex-wife to assuage his guilt over the divorce. Living idyllically in Switzerland with Pauline duty calls: ignoring the wishes of his new wife his family asks him to return to Limoges to run the business. His new responsibilities as well as
The Decline Of The American Empire | DVD | (23/02/2004)
from £16.94 | Saving you £3.05 (15.30%) | RRP
You've never seen a sex comedy quite like The Decline of the American Empire. That's because there's no sex in this comedy--just a lot of entertaining talk about it (and a few discreet flashbacks). The speakers are eight Montreal academics. For most of the film, the men--Rémy (Rémy Girard), Claude (Yves Jacques), Pierre (Pierre Curzi), and Alain (Daniel Brière)--fix dinner while talking about sex. The women--Dominique (Dominique Michel), Louise (Dorothée Berryman), Diane (Louise Portal), and Danielle (Geneviève Rioux)--work out while talking about sex. That evening, they all gather for dinner... and talk about sex. The Decline of the American Empire made the reputation of writer-director Denys Arcand, but his greatest success would arrive 17 years later with The Barbarian Invasions. In that 2003 Oscar-winner, Arcand revisits the lovably loquacious characters from the first film, all of whom are older, wiser--and just as obsessed with sex. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
All In | DVD | (21/07/2008)
from £1.69 | Saving you £6.09 (61.00%) | RRP
As a young girl Alicia Ace Anderson had been taught the fine art and mathematical probabilities of Texas Hold-em poker by the father she adored. But that world came to an abrupt end when her father was taken from her in a fatal car accident. Years later as she enters medical school she will need to call upon the skills her fathe taught her as she struggles with the rigorous training mounting financial pressure and the seamier side of medicine. Her friends and fellow students combine their unique talents and skills to produce a team that may well be the ultimate poker machine. But as the stakes in both the casinos and the operating room continue to rise Ace comes to understand what her father taught her: in order to really live you need to go all in.
Cars/The Incredibles (Disney Pixar) | DVD | (29/10/2007)
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Titles Comprise: Cars:Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is a cocky rookie race car. Speeding on his way to a big race he crashes into Radiator Springs destroying lots of the inhabitants' belongings! In order to make up for what he did the raucous roadster is sentenced to community service. Though he will do anything to get away from the work McQueen must learn to respect and bond with the Radiator Springs inhabitants in order to get out of the town and back on the racetrack... After taking moviegoers magically into the realm of toys bugs monsters fish and superheroes the masterful storytellers and technical wizards at Pixar Animation Studios (The Incredibles Finding Nemo Monsters Inc.) and Academy Award-winning director John Lasseter (Toy Story A Bug's Life) hit the road with a fast-paced comedy adventure set inside the world of cars. Fuelled with plenty of humour action heartfelt drama and amazing new technical feats Cars is a high octane delight for moviegoers of all ages. The Incredibles:From the Academy Award-winning creators of Toy Story and Finding Nemo comes this hilarious animated adventure about a team of superheroes. Bob Parr was once known as Mr Incredible the world's greatest superhero. Fifteen years later Bob and his wife Helen (Formerly Elastigirl) have adopted civillian identities and retreated to the suburbs to lead ""normal lives"" with their three children. Now Bob's a clock-punching insurance claims adjuster fighting boredom and an ever-bulging waistline. However Bob is thrown back into the world of super-heroism when he receives a mysterious communication summoning him to a remote island for a top-secret mission. Yet again Pixar continue their trend for making ground-breaking animated films stretching the boundries laid down by their previous movies.