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Dustin Hoffman

  • Papillon [1974] Papillon | DVD | (04/12/2000) from £4.49  |  Saving you £8.50 (65.40%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Franklin J Schaffner's Papillon is quite possibly the definitive prison escape drama. Not as thrilling as The Great Escape, nor as emotionally cathartic as The Shawshank Redemption, its unflinching emphasis on the barbarism of "civilised" societies is nevertheless unparalleled. Significantly, the only characters to display any real kindness in this film are the social outcasts: the lepers and native Indians; everyone else has been corrupted and debased by the true villain, the penal system itself. Based on Henri Charrière' s heavily fictionalised "autobiography", the film's timeless themes of man's insatiable desire for freedom and the indomitability of the human spirit are thankfully not dependent for their impact on the source material's veracity. Dalton Trumbo's liberal-minded screenplay echoes the themes of his earlier script for Spartacus, and Schaffner's innate gift for epic cinema (this was made just two years after his great war biography Patton) is fully equal to the task of realising it on screen. The director's painterly eye for widescreen composition and his careful pacing impart a gravitas to proceedings even during the film's most squalid depictions of brutality, of which there are many emphasising the cheapness of human life among the convicts and their equally criminal prison guards in the penal colony of French Guiana. Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman form a remarkable screen pairing, with Hoffman outstanding as the pusillanimous Dega. McQueen magnificently overcomes his tough-guy persona in the extraordinary solitary confinement sequences as he is gradually reduced to a shambling, cockroach-eating wreck. Longtime collaborator Jerry Goldsmith, who had previously scored Schaffner's Planet of the Apes and Patton, attained yet another career high with his music. On the DVD: The anamorphic widescreen print of the original Panavision 2. 35:1 ratio looks fine without being as stunning as some more modern prints; the Dolby 5.1 audio does however do great service to Jerry Goldsmith's score, which can also be selected separately from the Audio Setup menu as an isolated track (note that there's no music at all in the first 20 minutes of the film). The 12-minute "Magnificent Rebel" featurette was made at the time of the film's release , and includes some fascinating footage of Henri Charrière touring the prison se t, reminiscing about his experiences and pontificating ("Society does not want free men, society wants conditioned men"). --Mark Walker

  • Roald Dahl's Esio Trot [DVD] [2014] Roald Dahl's Esio Trot | DVD | (30/03/2015) from £5.39  |  Saving you £14.60 (73.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play.  Mr Hoppy (Dustin Hoffman) lives a quiet retiree's life, tending to his balcony garden, pottering to the shops and back and secretly being passionately, hopelessly in love with his downstairs neighbour, Mrs Silver (Judi Dench). From their first meeting in a cramped lift he is utterly captivated by her sparkle and warmth, but he regularly fails to tell her this during their neighbourly chats over the balcony. When he finds she is distraught that her beloved tortoise, Alfie, doesn?t appear to be growing, Mr Hoppy spots a chance to make his true love happy, and maybe even get closer to her in the process. When Mr Pringle (Richard Cordery), another neighbour, sets his more lascivious sights on Mrs Silver, Mr Hoppy?s world crumbles. Stoically, he continues with his cunning plan to make Alfie miraculously grow and finally wins his way into Mrs Silver?s heart ? only to find he had been there all the while.

  • Marathon Man [1976] Marathon Man | DVD | (04/03/2002) from £4.29  |  Saving you £8.70 (67.00%)  |  RRP £12.99

    In New York City the brother of infamous Nazi war criminal Christian Szell (Laurence Olivier) is killed in a car accident. Shortly thereafter members of a covert US government group called 'The Division' who are investigating the incident begin to be murdered one by one. When Doc Levy (Roy Scheider) a 'Division' agent is the latest to be attacked his brother Babe (Dustin Hoffman) witnesses his death and unwittingly becomes the pawn in a deadly game in which former SS dentist

  • Sneakers [VHS] [1992] Sneakers | DVD | (19/03/2012) from £8.69  |  Saving you £19.30 (69.00%)  |  RRP £27.99

    This enjoyable thriller, written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson (the screenwriter of Field of Dreams), follows a raggedy group of corporate security experts who get in over their heads when they accept an assignment poaching some hot hardware for the National Security Agency. Robert Redford plays the group's guru, an ageing techno-anarchist who has been hiding from the feds since the early 1970s; his companionable gang of freaks includes Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, the late River Phoenix, and Sidney Poitier, as a veteran CIA operative turned "sneaker." The technological black box that everybody is after, an array of computer chips that can decode any encrypted message, isn't a very plausible invention, but it's a serviceable McGuffin, and the megalomania of the master plotter played by Ben Kingsley has more resonance than most. Modest inferences can be drawn about the very latest high-tech threats to civil liberties. --David Chute, Amazon.com

  • The Graduate [1967] The Graduate | DVD | (15/09/2008) from £7.43  |  Saving you £5.56 (42.80%)  |  RRP £12.99

    In his first major film role Dustin Hoffman plays an ultra-nave college graduate who's seduced by a middle-aged woman played by the scintillating Anne Bancroft and then falls in love with her daughter. With the sharpest of scripts and a perfect soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel this film was deservedly nominated for 6 Oscars and won Nichols an Academy Award for Best Director.

  • Rain Man [1989] Rain Man | DVD | (30/08/2004) from £5.49  |  Saving you £14.50 (72.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Heartless Charlie Babbitt expects a vast inheritance after his estranged father dies. But Raymond his institutionalised older brother someone he's been totally unaware of is willed the entire fortune instead. Raymond is an `autistic Savant' with severely limited mental abilities in some areas but with genius gifts in others. When Charlie kidnaps Raymond the crazy cross-country drive back to Los Angeles teaches them both a few lessons in life. For as they overcome their mutual dist

  • Kung Fu Panda [2008] Kung Fu Panda | DVD | (01/09/2014) from £3.18  |  Saving you £15.67 (78.40%)  |  RRP £19.99

    What's a panda to do when his dreams of kung-fu awesomeness awake to the cold reality of noodle-making? Clumsy, overweight Po (Jack Black) dreams of becoming a kung fu master like China's revered "furious five," but instead seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in the restaurant business. When great leader Oogway has a vision that the imprisoned kung fu warrior Tai Lung (Ian McShane) will soon escape, he declares it time to choose China's dragon warrior--one kung fu master deemed worthy of possessing the dragon's scroll and its secret to limitless power. Po and all the townspeople rush to the Jade Palace atop the highest mountain to witness the contest between Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Crane (David Cross) and Viper (Lucy Liu), but Po is locked outside the palace. After a miracle of sorts, Po lands inside the palace gates, where he is chosen as the dragon warrior and placed under the tutelage of the decidedly non-plussed master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). An unconventional student to say the least, hilarity reigns as Shifu tries desperately to make Po into some semblance of a kung fu warrior. Can Po possibly fulfill his destiny as dragon warrior, or was Oogway's final decision a critical mistake? A film rich with hilarious moments, superior animation, and an important message about believing in oneself and the power that comes from within, Kung Fu Panda is great entertainment that will have the whole family laughing and begging for more. (Ages 3 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

  • Outbreak [1995] Outbreak | DVD | (11/05/1998) from £3.37  |  Saving you £7.50 (53.60%)  |  RRP £13.99

    When Warner Brothers was unable to secure the rights to Richard Preston's terrifying non-fiction book The Hot Zone (purchased by a rival studio), they took the basic idea of a fatal virus on the loose in the US, added Dustin Hoffman and director Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot) and produced an unusual thriller--a surprise hit--called Outbreak. The other picture, slated to star Robert Redford and Jodie Foster, fell through. The premise of Outbreak, which owes something to Elia Kazan's 1950 plague-scare movie, Panic in the Streets, is as terrifying as it is timely. As developers slash their way deeper into the previously unexplored tropical rainforests, they are exposed to radically new forms of life, including diseases, that in these days of commonplace international travel could turn into deadly epidemics almost before we know it. Hoffman's character and his estranged wife (Rene Russo) are disease experts called in to identify the unknown killer, which was carried into the country by an illegally smuggled monkey. The best sequence shows the disease spreading--through recycled air on a passenger jet or a sneeze in a crowded cinema. The final chase is pretty conventional but the cast is terrific, including Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Cuba Gooding Jr., J.T. Walsh and Zakes Mokae. --Jim Emerson

  • Meet the Fockers [2004] Meet the Fockers | DVD | (02/07/2006) from £2.89  |  Saving you £17.10 (85.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Meet the Parents found such tremendous success in the chemistry produced by the contrasting personalities of stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller that the film's creators went for broke with the same formula again in Meet the Fockers. This time around, Jack and Dina Byrnes (De Niro and Blythe Danner) climb into Jack's new kevlar-lined RV with daughter Pam (Teri Polo), soon-to-be son-in-law Gaylord (Stiller), and Jack's infant grandson from his other daughter for the trip to Florida to meet Gaylord's parents, Bernie and Roz Focker (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand in a casting coup). The potential in-laws are, of course, the opposite of Jack, a pair of randy, touchy-feely fun-lovers. The rest of the movie is pretty much a sitcom: put Bernie and Roz together with Jack, and watch the in-laws clash as Gaylord squirms. As with the original, there is a sense of joy in watching these actors take on their roles with obvious relish, and the Hoffman-Streisand-Stiller triumvirate is likeable enough to draw you in. But the formula doesn't work as well in Fockers mostly because much of the humor is based on two obvious gimmicks: Gaylord Focker's name, and the fact that Streisand's character is a sex therapist. As a result, the movie itself is more contrived and predictable, and a lot less fun than the original. The casting is grand, but one wishes more thought was put into the script.--Dan Vancini, Amazon.com

  • Sphere [1998] Sphere | DVD | (23/10/1998) from £4.26  |  Saving you £9.73 (69.50%)  |  RRP £13.99

    From yet another derivative science fiction novel by Michael Crichton comes Sphere, an equally derivative and flaccid movie, in which three top Hollywood stars struggle to squeeze tension and excitement out of material that doesn't match their talents. You're supposed to find awe and mystery in Crichton's story about a team of scientists and scholars who discover a 300-year-old alien spacecraft deep on the ocean floor, but mostly you feel that this is all much ado about nothing. The exploration team consists of a psychologist (Dustin Hoffman), mathematician (Samuel L Jackson), biochemist (Sharon Stone), and an astrophysicist (Live Schreiber), and when they enter the alien ship they discover a mysterious sphere inside. What they don't know is that the sphere has the power to manipulate their thoughts and perceptions, and before long the scientists' undersea habitat is a veritable haunted house of frightening visions and creeping paranoia. Who can be trusted? What is the sphere's purpose, and why is it on the ocean floor? Sphere makes some attempt to answer these questions, but the film is a mess, and it leads to one of the most anticlimactic endings of any science fiction film ever made. There are moments of high intensity and psychological suspense, and the stellar cast works hard to boost the talky screenplay. But it's clear that this was a hurried production (Hoffman and director Barry Levinson made Wag the Dog during an extended production delay), and as a result Sphere looks and feels like a film that wasn't quite ready for the cameras. Though it's by no means a waste of time, it's undeniably disappointing. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • Hook [1991] Hook | DVD | (03/11/2008) from £3.99  |  Saving you £6.00 (60.10%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Peter Pan - the hero who never grows old - has grown up! And he's even forgotten how to fly! Enter the magical mystical world of a hundred fun summers as the ageless avenger and faithful fairy Tinkerbell return to Never Never Land in search of Peter's forgotten childhood his lost children and a fearless confrontation with his evil pirate enemy - Captain Hook. Dustin Hoffman Robin Williams Juila Roberts and Bob Hoskins hook up for the fantasy flight for a lifetime as dream-maker Steven Spielberg brings this amazing tale of adventure to the screen. All children grow up...except one!

  • Midnight Cowboy [1969] Midnight Cowboy | DVD | (01/02/2000) from £4.19  |  Saving you £8.80 (67.70%)  |  RRP £12.99

    The first, and only, X-rated film to win a best picture Academy Award, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy seems a lot less daring today (and has been reclassified as an R), but remains a fascinating time capsule of late-1960s sexual decadence in mainstream American cinema. In a career-making performance, Jon Voight plays Joe Buck, a naive Texas dishwasher who goes to the big city (New York) to make his fortune as a sexual hustler. Although enthusiastic about selling himself to rich ladies for stud services, he quickly finds it hard to make a living and eventually crashes in a seedy dump with a crippled petty thief named Ratzo Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman, doing one of his more effective "stupid acting tricks," with a limp and a high-pitch rasp of a voice). Schlesinger's quick-cut, semi-psychedelic style has dated severely, as has his ruthlessly cynical approach to almost everybody but the lead characters. But at its heart the movie is a sad tale of friendship between a couple of losers lost in the big city, and with an ending no studio would approve today. It's a bit like an urban Of Mice and Men, but where both guys are Lenny. --Jim Emerson

  • Kramer vs Kramer [1979] Kramer vs Kramer | DVD | (16/04/2007) from £2.48  |  Saving you £2.00 (33.40%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Actor, and Screenplay, Kramer vs. Kramer remains as powerfully moving today as it was when released in 1979, simply because its drama will remain relevant for couples of any generation. Adapted by director Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, this is perhaps the finest, most evenly balanced film ever made about the failure of marriage and the tumultuous shift of parental roles. It begins when Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) bluntly informs her husband Ted (Dustin Hoffman) that she's leaving him, just as his advertising career is advancing and demanding most of his waking hours. Self-involvement is just one of the film's underlying themes, along with the search for identity that prompts Joanna to leave Ted with their first-grade son (Justin Henry), who now finds himself living with a workaholic parent he barely knows. Juggling his domestic challenge with professional deadlines, Ted is further pressured when his wife files for custody of their son. This legal battle forms the dramatic spine of the film, but its power is derived from Benton's flawlessly observant script and the superlative performances of his entire cast. Because Benton refuses to assign blame and deals fairly with both sides of a devastating dilemma, the film arrives at equal levels of pain, growth, and integrity under emotionally stressful circumstances. That gives virtually every scene the unmistakable ring of truth--a quality of dramatic honestly that makes Kramer vs. Kramer not merely a classic tearjerker, but one of the finest American dramas of its decade. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • Rain Man [1989] Rain Man | DVD | (01/02/2000) from £3.65  |  Saving you £10.00 (62.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Rain Man is the kind of touching drama that Oscars are made for--and, sure enough, the film took Academy honours for best picture, director, screenplay and actor (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988. Hoffman plays Raymond, an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust. This gets the attention of his materialistic younger brother, a hot-shot LA car dealer named Charlie (Tom Cruise) who wasn't even aware of Raymond's existence until he read his estranged father's will. Charlie picks up Raymond and takes him on a cross-country journey that becomes a voyage of discovery for Charlie, and, perhaps, for Raymond too. Rain Man will either captivate or irritate you (Raymond's sputtering of repetitious phrases is enough to drive anyone crazy), but it is obviously a labour of love for those involved. Hoffman had been attached to the film for many years, as various directors and writers came and went, but his persistence eventually paid off--kind of like Raymond in Las Vegas. Look for director Barry Levinson in a cameo as a psychiatrist near the end of the film. --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com

  • Hook Hook | DVD | (24/04/2000) from £4.08  |  Saving you £15.91 (79.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Hook is Steven Spielberg's most spectacular film of the 90s. It is also seriously underrated, arguably the equal of ET, (1982) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, (1977). An unofficial sequel to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, Hook adopts the startling premise of what happened after "the boy who never grew up", grew up. Robin Williams, in his career best performance, is the corporate suit forced to remember he once was "The Pan", returning to Neverland to battle nefarious Captain Hook (a splendid Dustin Hoffman), for his children's love. This is a ravishingly beautiful, stunningly designed film, at once highly imaginative and with a genuinely magical atmosphere which ranges from exquisite, delicate fantasy to slapstick tomfoolery. There is fine support from Maggie Smith, Julia Roberts and Bob Hoskins, and John Williams' rapturously romantic score is yet another career high. Slated upon release, and dubbed a flop though it grossed $200 million, Hook reacted against the "greed is good" 80s by upholding family values and responsibility while evoking a genuine sense of wonder. Only the somewhat pantomime final showdown disappoints, but alongside Legend, (1985)and Labyrinth, (1986), Hook is ripe for reassessment as a fantasy classic. The DVD transfer is superb and the disc, though not packed with additional features, has some interesting extras. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Kung Fu Panda 2 [DVD] Kung Fu Panda 2 | DVD | (14/11/2011) from £4.28  |  Saving you £12.02 (60.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    From the studio that brought you Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five-Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey. But Po's new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. It is up to Po and The Furious Five to journey across China to face this threat and vanquish it. But how can Po stop a weapon that can stop kung fu? He must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.

  • The Choir DVD The Choir DVD | DVD | (05/10/2015) from £6.48  |  Saving you £9.51 (59.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    From acclaimed director François Girard comes the inspirational story of a rebellious young boy with a remarkable singing voice. After being sent to a prestigious music school he is challenged by a demanding teacher. A stellar ensemble cast - including two-time Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman Oscar-winner Kathy Bates two-time Emmy-winner Eddie Izzard three-time Oscar-nominee Debra Winger Josh Lucas (A Beautiful Mind) and Kevin McHale (Glee) - plus an exciting group of newcomers star as the teachers and young singers battling through fierce national contests in order to take their boychoir to new competitive heights. Featuring a stunning soundtrack of choral music by Handel Britten Tallis and Mendelssohn The Choir is an uplifting story of talent adolescence and mentorship that proves what can be achieved when you dare to dream.

  • The Tale of Despereaux The Tale of Despereaux | DVD | (20/04/2009) from £2.61  |  Saving you £17.38 (86.90%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The Tale of Despereaux looks a little like Shrek. The storytelling and animation draw on everything from Ratatouille and classic fairytales to Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Indiana Jones, and, in its action sequences, even Bourne and Bond. But this movie stands on its own; too dark and violent for very young children, perhaps, but for the most part it?s exciting and funny, and it delivers a message about bravery and forgiveness that is relevant to us all. Voiced by Matthew Broderick, the title character is a little guy, even by mouse standards, with enormous ears and an imagination to match; much to the dismay of his elders, he "never cowers, won?t scurry, and refuses to be taught to be scared" (he?d much rather read a book than eat it, a pursuit that fills his head with visions of valiant knights, damsels in distress, and a life defined by "courage, honor, and decency"). That leads to his being banished from Mouseworld to the realm of the rats, where, it is presumed, he will be eaten. But no. Ratworld--a dark, chaotic, genuinely scary place--happens to be the current residence of one Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman), a peaceful sort whose shenanigans in the human world have accidentally led to the death of the Queen, the imprisonment of the Princess (Emma Watson), and, worst of all, the banning of Soup Day (no small deal) and the end of soup itself! Roscuro and Despereaux join forces, inadvertently helped out by a homely but soft-hearted farm girl named Miggery Sow (Tracey Ullman), and, well, you can imagine how it all turns out. Directors Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen and scriptwriter Gary Ross (adapting Kate DiCamillo?s book) have concocted some vivid and interesting worlds for their film; the look is unusual, often washed out, muted, and bathed in hazy light; and the voice acting is excellent (others include William H. Macy, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, and Frank Langella). All in all, despite a conclusion that?s confusing even while it?s predictable, The Tale of Despereaux is a worthy addition to the crowded animation field. --Sam Graham

  • Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium [2007] Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium | DVD | (12/05/2008) from £2.96  |  Saving you £13.03 (81.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    You have to believe it to see it... Molly Mahoney (Portman) is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium the strangest most fantastic most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store (Hoffman) bequeaths the store to her a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium.

  • Little Fockers [DVD] [2010] Little Fockers | DVD | (18/04/2011) from £5.59  |  Saving you £14.40 (72.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) has finally begun to earn the respect of his ex-CIA father-in-law Jack Byrnes (Robert DeNiro) but one important test still lies ahead: will Greg prove that he has what it takes to be the family's next Godfocker ... or will the circle of trust be broken for good? Returning co-stars Owen Wilson Blythe Danner Teri Polo Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are joined by newcomers Jessica Alba Laura Dern and Harvey Keitel in this hysterical family affair.

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