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  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [DVD] [2017] Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | DVD | (04/09/2017) from £4.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [Blu-ray] [2017] Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Blu Ray | (04/09/2017) from £6.49  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Bonus: Featurettes / Bonus Round: The Making Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Featurettes / Guardians Inferno Music Video Gag Reel Deleted Scenes (4 in total) Audio Commentary Play Movie With James Gunn Visionary Intro

  • Star Trek Beyond (DVD + Digital Download) [2016] Star Trek Beyond (DVD + Digital Download) | DVD | (21/11/2016) from £5.39  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    From producer J.J. Abrams come the third instalment to the new Star Trek films, with all of the main crew returning (Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin) with the additions of Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella. The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. Click Images to Enlarge

  • Guardians of the Galaxy & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Doublepack [DVD] [2017] Guardians of the Galaxy & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Doublepack | DVD | (04/09/2017) from £15.00  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Guardians of the Galaxy: From Marvel, the studio that launched the epic franchises of Marvel's Iron Man, Marvel's Thor, Marvel's Captain America and Marvel's Avengers Assemble, comes an unlikely new teamthe Guardians of the Galaxy. The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands into the cosmos when brash space adventurer Peter Quill steals a coveted orb and becomes the object of a relentless bounty hunt. To evade his enemies, Quill forges an uneasy truce with Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly assassin Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb, he must rally his ragtag band of misfi ts for a desperate battle that will decide the fate of the galaxy. Featuring amazing new characters and exclusive bonus features, this must-own blockbuster will have you hooked on a feeling of pure adrenaline! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2: Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Doublepack [Blu-ray] [2017] Guardians of the Galaxy & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Doublepack | Blu Ray | (04/09/2017) from £20.00  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Guardians of the Galaxy: From Marvel, the studio that launched the epic franchises of Marvel's Iron Man, Marvel's Thor, Marvel's Captain America and Marvel's Avengers Assemble, comes an unlikely new teamthe Guardians of the Galaxy. The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands into the cosmos when brash space adventurer Peter Quill steals a coveted orb and becomes the object of a relentless bounty hunt. To evade his enemies, Quill forges an uneasy truce with Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly assassin Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb, he must rally his ragtag band of misfi ts for a desperate battle that will decide the fate of the galaxy. Featuring amazing new characters and exclusive bonus features, this must-own blockbuster will have you hooked on a feeling of pure adrenaline! Guardians of the Galxy Vol.2: Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Bonus: Featurettes / Bonus Round: The Making Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Featurettes / Guardians Inferno Music Video Gag Reel Deleted Scenes (4 in total) Audio Commentary Play Movie With James Gunn Visionary Intro

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [Blu-ray] [2017] Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Blu Ray | (04/09/2017) from £17.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Bonus: Featurettes / Bonus Round: The Making Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Featurettes / Guardians Inferno Music Video Gag Reel Deleted Scenes (4 in total) Audio Commentary Play Movie With James Gunn Visionary Intro

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 UHD [Blu-ray] [2017] Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 UHD | Blu Ray | (04/09/2017) from £24.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Bonus: Featurettes / Bonus Round: The Making Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Featurettes / Guardians Inferno Music Video Gag Reel Deleted Scenes (4 in total) Audio Commentary Play Movie With James Gunn Visionary Intro

  • Star Trek Beyond (Blu-ray + Digital Download) [2016] Star Trek Beyond (Blu-ray + Digital Download) | Blu Ray | (21/11/2016) from £7.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    From producer J.J. Abrams come the third instalment to the new Star Trek films, with all of the main crew returning (Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin) with the additions of Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella. The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. Click Images to Enlarge

  • Guardians of the Galaxy [Blu-ray] Guardians of the Galaxy | Blu Ray | (24/11/2014) from £13.22  |  Saving you £7.99 (34.80%)  |  RRP £22.99

    From Marvel the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man Thor Captain America and The Avengers comes a new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed epic space adventure Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with an uneasy truce with a quarter of disparate misfits – Rocket a gun-toting racoon Groot a tree-like humanoid the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases 1 August 2014 and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

  • Star Trek Beyond (4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital Download) [2016] Star Trek Beyond (4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital Download) | Blu Ray | (21/11/2016) from £21.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    From producer J.J. Abrams come the third instalment to the new Star Trek films, with all of the main crew returning (Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin) with the additions of Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella. The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

  • Avatar [DVD] Avatar | DVD | (26/04/2010) from £4.99  |  Saving you £20.00 (80.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Avatar is set in the year 2154. The world is dying. Its energy resources are almost spent and its inhabitant have travelled to a distant planet called Pandora where they hope to extract a valuable mineral called Unobtanium.

  • Star Trek Into Darkness [DVD] Star Trek Into Darkness | DVD | (02/09/2013) from £5.24  |  Saving you £14.75 (73.80%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A good portion of Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on one's level of Star Trek obsession) have special affection for episodes of the original TV series that related to Earth and other-Earth cultures visited by the crew of the Enterprise, version 1.0. Some of the shows unfolded in distorted forms of the past, some in the present day of Star Trek's future reality. Director J.J. Abrams recognised the importance of this relationship in his origin-story reboot of the franchise in 2009, and in Star Trek Into Darkness he has made it an even greater touchstone to the roots of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's defining philosophy from nearly 50 years ago. The human home world is key to the plot of this spectacularly bold leap into Star Trek lore, which cleverly continues along the alternate path that was established as separate from the "original" Star Trek universe in Abrams's first whiz-bang crack at advancing the mythology. But it's not just Earth that is cool and imperiled in this rendering of adventure in the 23rd century; Into Darkness also plays with the original conceit that Earthlings were member to a multi-species United Federation of Planets ruled by a "Prime Directive" of noninterference with other civilisations. The conflict comes when rogue elements in the Earth-based Starfleet Command hunger to shift focus from peaceful exploration to militarisation, a concept that is anathema to the crew of the Enterprise and her ongoing mission. The new cast is again inventively reunited, each of them further investing their characters with traits that reveal novel acting choices while staying true to the caricatures that are ingrained in our popular culture. The interplay between Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock is deeper, and Zoe Saldana as Uhura is a solid third in their relationship. John Cho (Sulu), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), and Karl Urban (McCoy) all have standout roles in the overall ensemble mystique as well as the plot-heavy machinations of this incarnation's narrative. Fortunately, the burdens of the story are well served by some important additions to the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch's Shakespearean aura, ferociously imperious gaze, and graceful athleticism make him a formidable villain as the mysterious Starfleet operative John Harrison. Harrison has initiated a campaign of terror on Earth before leading the Enterprise to even greater dangers in the enemy territory of Klingon-controlled space. That his background may make dedicated Trekkies/Trekkers gasp is just one acknowledgment of the substantial and ingrained legacy Star Trek has borne. There are many references, nods and winks to those with deep reverence for the folklore (some of them perhaps a little too close to being inside-baseball), though the fantastical and continually exciting story stands as an expertly crafted tale for complete neophytes. Another new face is Peter Weller--iconically famous in sci-fi-dom as RoboCop--here playing a steely, authoritative Starfleet bigwig who may also be following a hidden agenda. Not only is he running a covert operation, he's also at the helm of a fearsome secret starship that looms over the Enterprise like a shark poised to devour its prey. Which brings us to the awesome CGI effects driving the dazzling visual style of Into Darkness and the endlessly fascinating cosmos it makes real. The wow factor extends from the opening set piece on an alien world of primitive humanoids, garish vegetation, and a roiling volcano to the finale of destruction in a future San Francisco that is elegantly outfitted with gleaming-spired skyscrapers and all manner of flying vehicles. (London also gets a breathtaking 23rd-century makeover). With a coolness that glistens in every immaculately composed shot, the movie never forgets that humanism and creativity make the myriad design details and hyper-technology pop out as much more than eye candy. The biggest achievement of Star Trek Into Darkness is that it hews to the highest standard of a highly celebrated tradition. Though Kirk and co. may bend it a little, the Prime Directive remains unbroken. --Ted Fry

  • Star Trek Beyond (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital Download) [2016] Star Trek Beyond (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital Download) | Blu Ray | (21/11/2016) from £9.59  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    From producer J.J. Abrams come the third instalment to the new Star Trek films, with all of the main crew returning (Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin) with the additions of Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella. The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. Click Images to Enlarge

  • Guardians of the Galaxy [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] Guardians of the Galaxy | Blu Ray | (24/11/2014) from £19.99  |  Saving you £6.00 (23.10%)  |  RRP £25.99

    From Marvel the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man Thor Captain America and The Avengers comes a new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed epic space adventure Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with an uneasy truce with a quarter of disparate misfits – Rocket a gun-toting racoon Groot a tree-like humanoid the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases 1 August 2014 and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

  • Crossroads [2002] Crossroads | DVD | (19/05/2003) from £5.50  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    When a pop singer at the height of her career appears in a film there's never going to be any doubt who the star is, and Crossroads makes sure the audience doesn't forget it. Britney Spears is Lucy, who, along with her friends Kit (Zoe Saldana) and Mimi (Taryn Manning), buries a time capsule to be opened upon their high-school graduation. They all grow apart because of their different backgrounds, but reunite after the prom and bizarrely decide to embark on a road trip to Los Angeles for various reasons. Enter Enrique Iglesias look-alike, the lovable rogue Ben (Anson Mount), who kindly drives them all the way cross country. Throw in car trouble, singing for money and Britney falling in love and that's the journey over with. By the time they get to LA it gets even more predictable and ends with Britney singing "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" at the audition for Slide Records, winning the respect of her father (played by Dan Aykroyd) and gaining the love of Ben. Spears performance and that of her costars is perfect for the nature of the film--an homage to 80s flicks about teen angst--which even begins with Lucy dancing round her 80s-themed bedroom singing along to an old Madonna record. Spears' Lucy is a resourceful gal who saves the day every time, whether they need a mechanic, an accountant, a driver, a lead singer, or just a shoulder to cry on. She writes poetry, too. Is there anything Britney Spears can't do? On the DVD: Crossroads the DVD comes with an impressive list of interactive features, including a "Pop-Up Britney" where her head bursts through the screen and describes how she felt filming the current scene. There are TV adverts; a cinematic trailer and a teaser trailer (overkill); deleted scenes and outtakes; plus two music videos ("I'm Not a Girl" and an alternate Darkchild mix and video for "Overprotected"). Things to watch in awe and bewilderment are "How to make a T-shirt like Britney", which means cutting the sleeves and bottom half off, and "Edit your own music video", where you get a choice of three scenes from "Not a Girl" to put in any order you want. --David Trueman

  • Avatar / Titanic Double Pack (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) [1997] Avatar / Titanic Double Pack (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (17/06/2013) from £18.69  |  Saving you £21.30 (53.30%)  |  RRP £39.99

    AvatarThe widely-acclaimed film that ushered in a new generation of 3D filmmaking, it's unsurprising that, come its Blu-ray release, Avatar remains one of the finest proponents of the technology. Whilst the 3D obviously doesn't have quite the impact it had on a massive cinema screen, it nonetheless still works strikingly well on Blu-ray. It's surprising, considering the number of films that have attempted to surpass Avatar's visual feats since it was released just how few have come close. Such is the standard of director James Cameron's visual work. Parts remain as jaw-dropping as they always were. The film itself smashed records on its release, and it's easy to see why. It's perhaps not the masterpiece it was initially proclaimed at, but this is intense, exhilarating blockbuster entertainment nonetheless. Ambitious, too. It's hard to think of too many other films that have so convincingly put across a fictional alien world as Avatar manages, and particularly in the intense final half hour, it looks simply glorious. James Cameron is a notorious perfectionaist too when it comes to the presentation of his work, and this disc release is a real testament to that. The Blu-ray presentation is exquisite, and Avatar stands up as a reference disc. Not just on the visual side, either. The audio quality the Blu-ray offers is quite brilliant. It all adds up to a strong film, on one of the best discs on the market for a home cinema workout. --Jon Foster TitanicWith eleven Oscars on its mantelpiece, star-making turns from Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, and a soundtrack that continues to sell, Titanic's place in movie history has long since been assured. However, director James Cameron, one of the biggest advocates of 3D technology, invested a heavy amount of time, resources and hard cash in adapting his hugely popular film. And this 3D release is the end result. The film itself needs little introduction. Epic in ambition and scale, Titanic tells the story of the sole voyage of the infamous ship, focusing its story on a young couple from different walks of life. It's a feature whose merits have been vigorously debated since its release, but the consensus remains hugely positive. The spectacle alone, especially in this crystal-clear, effective 3D Blu-ray transfer, is something to behold. But there's both a compelling drama and a modern day disaster movie classic also mixed in. The 3D Blu-ray Titanic is an example of how to present a film superbly well. --Jon Foster

  • Star Trek Into Darkness [Blu-ray] [2017] Star Trek Into Darkness | Blu Ray | (20/02/2017) from £21.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    4 X SHARPER THAN HD When a ruthless mastermind known as Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) declares a one-man war on the Federation, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the daring crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will embark on the greatest manhunt in history. It will take all of their skills and teamwork to defend Earth and eliminate Khan's threat in J.J. Abrams' exhilarating belter of a blockbuster (The Sun). DISC ONE: 4K ULTRA HD MOVIE DISC TWO: BLU-RAYâ?¢ MOVIE + BONUS FEATURES Creating the Red Planet Attack on Starfleet The Klingon Home World The Enemy of My Enemy Ship to Ship Brawl by the Bay

  • Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) [Region Free] Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) | Blu Ray | (02/09/2013) from £7.99  |  Saving you £19.00 (70.40%)  |  RRP £26.99

    A good portion of Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on one's level of Star Trek obsession) have special affection for episodes of the original TV series that related to Earth and other-Earth cultures visited by the crew of the Enterprise, version 1.0. Some of the shows unfolded in distorted forms of the past, some in the present day of Star Trek's future reality. Director J.J. Abrams recognised the importance of this relationship in his origin-story reboot of the franchise in 2009, and in Star Trek Into Darkness he has made it an even greater touchstone to the roots of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's defining philosophy from nearly 50 years ago. The human home world is key to the plot of this spectacularly bold leap into Star Trek lore, which cleverly continues along the alternate path that was established as separate from the "original" Star Trek universe in Abrams's first whiz-bang crack at advancing the mythology. But it's not just Earth that is cool and imperiled in this rendering of adventure in the 23rd century; Into Darkness also plays with the original conceit that Earthlings were member to a multi-species United Federation of Planets ruled by a "Prime Directive" of noninterference with other civilisations. The conflict comes when rogue elements in the Earth-based Starfleet Command hunger to shift focus from peaceful exploration to militarisation, a concept that is anathema to the crew of the Enterprise and her ongoing mission. The new cast is again inventively reunited, each of them further investing their characters with traits that reveal novel acting choices while staying true to the caricatures that are ingrained in our popular culture. The interplay between Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock is deeper, and Zoe Saldana as Uhura is a solid third in their relationship. John Cho (Sulu), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), and Karl Urban (McCoy) all have standout roles in the overall ensemble mystique as well as the plot-heavy machinations of this incarnation's narrative. Fortunately, the burdens of the story are well served by some important additions to the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch's Shakespearean aura, ferociously imperious gaze, and graceful athleticism make him a formidable villain as the mysterious Starfleet operative John Harrison. Harrison has initiated a campaign of terror on Earth before leading the Enterprise to even greater dangers in the enemy territory of Klingon-controlled space. That his background may make dedicated Trekkies/Trekkers gasp is just one acknowledgment of the substantial and ingrained legacy Star Trek has borne. There are many references, nods and winks to those with deep reverence for the folklore (some of them perhaps a little too close to being inside-baseball), though the fantastical and continually exciting story stands as an expertly crafted tale for complete neophytes. Another new face is Peter Weller--iconically famous in sci-fi-dom as RoboCop--here playing a steely, authoritative Starfleet bigwig who may also be following a hidden agenda. Not only is he running a covert operation, he's also at the helm of a fearsome secret starship that looms over the Enterprise like a shark poised to devour its prey. Which brings us to the awesome CGI effects driving the dazzling visual style of Into Darkness and the endlessly fascinating cosmos it makes real. The wow factor extends from the opening set piece on an alien world of primitive humanoids, garish vegetation, and a roiling volcano to the finale of destruction in a future San Francisco that is elegantly outfitted with gleaming-spired skyscrapers and all manner of flying vehicles. (London also gets a breathtaking 23rd-century makeover). With a coolness that glistens in every immaculately composed shot, the movie never forgets that humanism and creativity make the myriad design details and hyper-technology pop out as much more than eye candy. The biggest achievement of Star Trek Into Darkness is that it hews to the highest standard of a highly celebrated tradition. Though Kirk and co. may bend it a little, the Prime Directive remains unbroken. --Ted Fry

  • Star Trek / Star Trek Into Darkness / Star Trek Beyond [Blu-ray] [2016] Star Trek / Star Trek Into Darkness / Star Trek Beyond | Blu Ray | (21/11/2016) from £14.89  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    A good portion of Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on one's level of Star Trek obsession) have special affection for episodes of the original TV series that related to Earth and other-Earth cultures visited by the crew of the Enterprise, version 1.0. Some of the shows unfolded in distorted forms of the past, some in the present day of Star Trek's future reality. Director J.J. Abrams recognised the importance of this relationship in his origin-story reboot of the franchise in 2009, and in Star Trek Into Darkness he has made it an even greater touchstone to the roots of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's defining philosophy from nearly 50 years ago. The human home world is key to the plot of this spectacularly bold leap into Star Trek lore, which cleverly continues along the alternate path that was established as separate from the "original" Star Trek universe in Abrams's first whiz-bang crack at advancing the mythology. But it's not just Earth that is cool and imperiled in this rendering of adventure in the 23rd century; Into Darkness also plays with the original conceit that Earthlings were member to a multi-species United Federation of Planets ruled by a "Prime Directive" of noninterference with other civilisations. The conflict comes when rogue elements in the Earth-based Starfleet Command hunger to shift focus from peaceful exploration to militarisation, a concept that is anathema to the crew of the Enterprise and her ongoing mission. The new cast is again inventively reunited, each of them further investing their characters with traits that reveal novel acting choices while staying true to the caricatures that are ingrained in our popular culture. The interplay between Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock is deeper, and Zoe Saldana as Uhura is a solid third in their relationship. John Cho (Sulu), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), and Karl Urban (McCoy) all have standout roles in the overall ensemble mystique as well as the plot-heavy machinations of this incarnation's narrative. Fortunately, the burdens of the story are well served by some important additions to the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch's Shakespearean aura, ferociously imperious gaze, and graceful athleticism make him a formidable villain as the mysterious Starfleet operative John Harrison. Harrison has initiated a campaign of terror on Earth before leading the Enterprise to even greater dangers in the enemy territory of Klingon-controlled space. That his background may make dedicated Trekkies/Trekkers gasp is just one acknowledgment of the substantial and ingrained legacy Star Trek has borne. There are many references, nods and winks to those with deep reverence for the folklore (some of them perhaps a little too close to being inside-baseball), though the fantastical and continually exciting story stands as an expertly crafted tale for complete neophytes. Another new face is Peter Weller--iconically famous in sci-fi-dom as RoboCop--here playing a steely, authoritative Starfleet bigwig who may also be following a hidden agenda. Not only is he running a covert operation, he's also at the helm of a fearsome secret starship that looms over the Enterprise like a shark poised to devour its prey. Which brings us to the awesome CGI effects driving the dazzling visual style of Into Darkness and the endlessly fascinating cosmos it makes real. The wow factor extends from the opening set piece on an alien world of primitive humanoids, garish vegetation, and a roiling volcano to the finale of destruction in a future San Francisco that is elegantly outfitted with gleaming-spired skyscrapers and all manner of flying vehicles. (London also gets a breathtaking 23rd-century makeover). With a coolness that glistens in every immaculately composed shot, the movie never forgets that humanism and creativity make the myriad design details and hyper-technology pop out as much more than eye candy. The biggest achievement of Star Trek Into Darkness is that it hews to the highest standard of a highly celebrated tradition. Though Kirk and co. may bend it a little, the Prime Directive remains unbroken. --Ted Fry

  • Avatar Extended Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] Avatar Extended Collector's Edition | Blu Ray | (15/11/2010) from £12.25  |  Saving you £9.02 (36.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    After 12 years of thinking about it (and waiting for movie technology to catch up with his visions), James Cameron followed up his unsinkable Titanic with Avatar, a sci-fi epic meant to trump all previous sci-fi epics. Set in the future on a distant planet, Avatar spins a simple little parable about greedy colonizers (that would be mankind) messing up the lush tribal world of Pandora. A paraplegic Marine named Jake (Sam Worthington) acts through a 9-foot-tall avatar that allows him to roam the planet and pass as one of the Na'vi, the blue-skinned, large-eyed native people who would very much like to live their peaceful lives without the interference of the visitors. Although he's supposed to be gathering intel for the badass general (Stephen Lang) who'd like to lay waste to the planet and its inhabitants, Jake naturally begins to take a liking to the Na'vi, especially the feisty Neytiri (Zoë Saldana, whose entire performance, recorded by Cameron's complicated motion-capture system, exists as a digitally rendered Na'vi). The movie uses state-of-the-art 3D technology to plunge the viewer deep into Cameron's crazy toy box of planetary ecosystems and high-tech machinery. Maybe it's the fact that Cameron seems torn between his two loves--awesome destructive gizmos and flower-power message mongering--that makes Avatar's pursuit of its point ultimately uncertain. That, and the fact that Cameron's dialogue continues to clunk badly. If you're won over by the movie's trippy new world, the characters will be forgivable as broad, useful archetypes rather than standard-issue stereotypes, and you might be able to overlook the unsurprising central plot. (The overextended "take that, Michael Bay" final battle sequences could tax even Cameron enthusiasts, however.) It doesn't measure up to the hype (what could?) yet Avatar frequently hits a giddy delirium all its own. The film itself is our Pandora, a sensation-saturated universe only the movies could create. --Robert Horton

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