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Drama

  • Ghost [DVD] [1990] Ghost | DVD | (14/01/2013) from £5.49  |  Saving you £14.50 (72.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The biggest hit of 1990, Ghost is part comedy, part romance, part supernatural thriller. Patrick Swayze, previously best known for Dirty Dancing, stars as Sam, the banker who is killed following a mugging. Caught in a limbo between here and the afterlife, he uses Whoopi Goldberg's fake psychic as an intermediary to warn wife Molly (Demi Moore) that his death was no accident but a murder and that she is in danger too. Ghost's original popularity and notoriety originally arose not from its dealings with the supernatural but the scene involving Moore fondly astride her potter's wheel fashioning a somewhat phallic-shaped vase, with Swayze fondly astride her. So infamous did this scene become that it's now more likely to raise a chuckle than a sultry sigh. As for the rest of the movie, it still somehow manages to engage despite the awkward juxtaposition of lachrymose melodrama and zaniness. Demi Moore, whose massive Hollywood success was always a mystery to some, is a little flat as the tomboy-coiffed Molly, her tears occasionally seeming onion-induced. Swayze, however, delivers as Sam while Whoopi Goldberg turns in the best performance of her career, delivering the requisite zip and sass to what otherwise might have been a morose movie. On the DVD: Though well restored, DVD enhancement has only served to emphasise the slightly quaint feel of the special effects here--Ghost was made just prior to the digital era. Otherwise, this is a good package and an essential purchase for fans. There's a 22-minute featurette, "Remembering the Magic", in which scriptwriter Bruce Joel Rubin explains that the film was inspired by the scene in Hamlet in which the Prince meets his Father, and how initially appalled he was that his masterpiece of the supernatural was to be directed by Jerry Zucker, previously responsible for Airplane!. They also reveal that Tina Turner was originally cast for the Goldberg role. Zucker and Rubin team up for a funny commentary track. --David Stubbs

  • Locke [DVD] Locke | DVD | (25/08/2014) from £4.49  |  Saving you £13.50 (75.00%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Tom Hardy (Inception The Dark Knight Rises) stars as Ivan Locke in the second film from writer/director Steven Knight (Eastern Promises Hummingbird). LOCKE is the story of one man's life unravelling in a tension-fuelled 90-minute race against time. Ivan Locke has the perfect family his dream job and tomorrow should be the crowning moment of his career. But one phone call will force him to make a decision that will put it all on the line. Locke also stars; Ruth Wilson (Saving Mr. Banks Luther Jane Eyre) double BAFTA-winner Olivia Colman (The Iron Lady Broadchurch Tyrannosaur) BAFTA-winning actor Andrew Scott (Sherlock) Ben Daniels (House of Cards) Tom Holland (The Impossible How I Live Now) and Bill Milner (Son Of Rambow X-Men First Class).

  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 [DVD] The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 | DVD | (12/03/2012) from £3.00  |  Saving you £15.50 (77.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 delivers strongly for the rabid fan base who have catapulted the young adult novel series and subsequent movie adaptations to the worldwide phenomenon that it's become, but it alienates a broader audience with a lack of any real action. Similar to the tone of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the first film of the two-part Twilight conclusion is heavy on romance, love, and turmoil but light on fight scenes and gruesome battles. The movie doesn't waste any time getting to the goods and opens with Bella and Edward's much-hyped wedding scene. It works--the vows are efficient and first-time franchise director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) moves the party along quickly and amusingly with a well-edited toast scene and some surprisingly moving moments between Bella and her father, cast standout Billy Burke. The honeymoon plays as a slightly awkward soft-focus made-for-TV movie, with a lot of long moments spent staring in the mirror and some love scenes that feel at once overly intimate and completely passionless. It's a relief when Bella retches on a bite of chicken she's cooked herself and quickly concludes she's pregnant with a potentially demonic baby. From bliss to horror, the Cullens return to Forks, where Bella spends the second half of the movie wasting away and Edward and Jacob are aligned in their anger and frustration over her decision. Throw in some over-the-top scenes with Jacob and his pack--including a strange showdown where the wolves communicate in their canine form by having a passionate nonverbal fight in their minds (a plot point that works much better in print, it's portrayed in the film via aggressive voice-over)--and the film overshoots intensity and goes straight to silly. The birth scene is horrific, but not as gruesome as in the book, and by the end, Bella has of course survived, though is much altered. The final scene features a delightfully campy Michael Sheen as Volturi leader Aro and makes it clear that the action and fun in Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is ready to start. Fans will just have to wait until Part 2 to get it. --Kira Canny

  • Before You Go [2002] Before You Go | DVD | (21/04/2003) from £3.89  |  Saving you £16.10 (80.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Three sisters return to their family home after their mother passes away. In the days leading up to the funeral the sisters struggle to come to terms with their conflicting childhood memories and the trials and disappointments of their adult lives.

  • Private Peaceful [DVD] Private Peaceful | DVD | (31/03/2014) from £4.19  |  Saving you £8.80 (67.70%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Private Peaceful is based on the brilliant bestselling novel by Michael Morpurgo. It is the story of the unbreakable bond between two brothers from the innocence of their childhood in the fields of Devon to the violence of the battlefields of Flanders. In the trenches they experience the brutal injustice of war far removed from rural family life and their rivalry for the love of the beautiful Molly Monks. Directed by Pat O'Connor (Dancing at Lughnasa) with an all-British cast Private Peaceful is a powerful and emotional tale of injustice love heroism and fierce family ties that will never be broken. Starring George MacKay (How I Live Now Sunshine on Leith) Jack O'Connell (300 Skins) Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady One Chance) Maxine Peake (Silk Shameless) Frances de la Tour (Hugo Alice in Wonderland) John Lynch (Sliding Doors The Fall) and in his last film the incomparable Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter History Boys). Special Features: Bonus Features Interview With Award-Winning Author Michael Morpurgo On set with Jack O'Connell On wet with George MacKay On set 'Empire Day' With Richard Griffiths On Set 'The Dance' With Maxine Peake Fix Bayonets! On set with John Lynch Life in the trenches

  • Under The Tuscan Sun [2004] Under The Tuscan Sun | DVD | (20/09/2004) from £3.94  |  Saving you £10.50 (70.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Though she made her first movie at the age of 13, Diane Lane has only blossomed into a true star in her 30s, and Under the Tuscan Sun marks her full flowering. After a brutal divorce, Frances (Lane) is persuaded by her friend Patti (Sandra Oh) to take a tour of Italy--where, on a whim that she hopes will rescue her from her desperate unhappiness, she buys a rundown villa and sets out to renovate it. Along the way, she gets advice from a former Fellini actress, meets a scrumptious Italian lover, and helps support Patti after her own relationship derails. The conclusion of Under the Tuscan Sun holds no surprises, but the deft turns and observations along the way are delightful. Lane carries the film effortlessly but surely, exuding both heartbreak and re-awakening passion. --Bret Fetzer

  • Lord Of The Flies [1990] Lord Of The Flies | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £5.49  |  Saving you £7.50 (57.70%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Adapted from the William Golding novel this drama tells the story of a group of boys who having survived a plane crash find themselves up against nature and eventually each other as they strive to survive in the wilderness.

  • Sweet Home Alabama [2002] Sweet Home Alabama | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £3.99  |  Saving you £14.00 (77.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Melanie Carmicheal (Reese Witherspoon) is a New York fashion designer with the ideal glamourous life; beautiful successful and newly engaged to perfect-on-paper bachelor Andrew (Patrick Dempsey). All would be perfect if not for her past life with Jake (Josh Lucas) the redneck husband she married in high school who refuses to give her a divorce. When the too-good-to-be-true Andrew son of Mayor Kate Hennings (Candice Bergen) sweeps her off her feet by proposing Melanie goes back

  • My Cousin Rachel [DVD] [2017] My Cousin Rachel | DVD | (30/10/2017) from £5.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.

  • The Stranger [Blu-ray] The Stranger | Blu Ray | (29/06/2015) from £12.79  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    The legendary story that hovers over Orson Welles' The Stranger is that he wanted Agnes Moorehead to star as the dogged Nazi hunter who trails a war criminal to a sleepy New England town. The part went to Edward G. Robinson, who is marvellous, but it points out how many compromises Welles made on the film in an attempt to show Hollywood he could make a film on time, on budget and on their own terms. He accomplished all three, turning out a stylish if unambitious film noir thriller, his only Hollywood film to turn a profit on its original release. Welles stars as unreformed fascist Franz Kindler, hiding as a schoolteacher in a New England prep school for boys and newly married to the headmaster's lovely if naive daughter (Loretta Young). Welles, the director, is in fine form for the opening sequences, casting a moody tension as agents shadow a twitchy low-level Nazi official skulking through South American ports and building up to dramatic crescendo as Kindler murders this little man, the lovely woods becoming a maelstrom of swirling leaves that expose the body he furiously tries to bury. The rest of the film is a well designed but conventional cat-and-mouse game featuring an eye-rolling performance by Welles and a thrilling conclusion played out in the dark clock tower that looms over the little village. --Sean Axmaker

  • In The Fade [DVD] In The Fade | DVD | (20/08/2018) from £7.05  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Out of nowhere, Katja's (Diane Kruger) life falls apart when her husband Nuri and little son Rocco are killed in a bomb attack. Her friends and family try to give her the support she needs, and Katja somehow manages to make it through the funeral. However, the mind-numbing search for the perpetrators and reasons behind the senseless killing complicate Katja s painful mourning - opening wounds and doubts. Danilo (Denis Moschitto), a lawyer and Nuri's best friend, represents Katja in the eventual trial against the two suspects: a young couple from the neo-Nazi scene. The trial pushes Katja to the edge, but there's simply no alternative for her: she wants justice.

  • Quadrophenia [1979] Quadrophenia | DVD | (20/09/1999) from £5.00  |  Saving you £10.99 (68.70%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Franc Roddam's terrifically energetic movie, set to music from the Who's Quadrophenia, is--at the very least, the best film ever based on a rock album (and, yes, that includes Tommy, Pink Floyd: The Wall, and Jesus Christ Superstar). Actually, this tale of the battle between two early 1960s youth subcultures--Mods and Rockers--in the seaside teenage wasteland of Brighton, isn't so much a cinematic "version" of the Who's 1979 double-record rock opera as it is a story based on the sequence of songs on the album. Quadrophenia is about that crucial time in teenhood when the lion's share of your sense of identity is tied up in the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, and the groups you hang out with. Jimmy (Phil Daniels) identifies himself with the sharp-dressing, scooter-riding Mods, who listen to American soul and British pop-rock. The Rockers, on the other hand, are leather-jacketed, black-booted, motorcycle-riding tough guys who listen primarily to classic American rock & roll. The film captures this minor pop-culture revolution perfectly. Look for Sting as a club-hopping slickster, who's shameful secret is that he's a hotel bellboy by day. --Jim Emerson

  • Brief Encounter [1945] Brief Encounter | DVD | (15/09/2008) from £4.18  |  Saving you £8.50 (65.40%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Noel Coward's sensitive portrayal of what happens when two happily married strangers played by Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson meet and their acquaintance deepens into affection and eventually into love. It is the story of two people thrown together by the chance meeting of the title helpless in the face of their emotions but redeemed by their moral courage. Over the years few films have equalled the compassion and the realism of Brief Encounter.

  • A Matter of Life and Death Steel-Book [Blu-ray] [2018] A Matter of Life and Death Steel-Book | Blu Ray | (08/10/2018) from £17.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    It's night over Europe, the night of the 2nd May 1945: A crippled Lancaster Bomber struggles home across the English Channel. All the crew are dead save for the young pilot desperately scanning the radio waves for signs of life. His prayers are answered. June (Kim Hunter), a young radio operator

  • The Take [DVD] [2009] The Take | DVD | (06/07/2009) from £5.19  |  Saving you £7.80 (60.00%)  |  RRP £12.99

    The Take

  • A Night to Remember (Digitally Re-mastered) [DVD] [1958] A Night to Remember (Digitally Re-mastered) | DVD | (19/03/2012) from £5.89  |  Saving you £10.10 (63.20%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Two years after 20th Century Fox released its melodramatic disaster film Titanic in 1953, Walter Lord's meticulously researched book A Night to Remember surprised its publishers by becoming a phenomenal bestseller. Lord had an intuition that readers craved the reality of the Titanic disaster and not the romantically mythologised translations (like Fox's film, starring Barbara Stanwyck), which relied on fictional characters to "enhance" the world's worst maritime disaster. Lord's book proved that the truth was far more compelling than fiction, outlining the many "if onlys" (if only the iceberg had been spotted a few minutes earlier, etc.) that lent sombre irony to the loss of 1,500 Titanic passengers. Three years after Lord's book appeared, it was brought to the screen with the kind of riveting authenticity that Lord had insisted upon in his own research. The 1958 British production of A Night to Remember remains a definitive dramatization of the disaster, adhering to the known facts of the time and achieving a documentary-like immediacy that matches (and in some ways surpasses) the James Cameron epic released 39 years later. The film erroneously perpetuates the once-common belief that the Titanic sunk in one piece (instead of breaking in half as its bow began to plunge), but many other misconceptions are accurately corrected, and the intelligent screenplay by thriller master Eric Ambler is a model of factual suspense. By making Titanic the star of the film, director Roy Baker emphasises the excessive confidence of the booming industrial age and creates an intense you-are-there realism that pays tribute to Walter Lord's tenacious quest for truth. --Jeff Shannon

  • Brooklyn [DVD] Brooklyn | DVD | (29/02/2016) from £5.99  |  Saving you £14.00 (70.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    BROOKLYN is the story of a young woman, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan; Atonement) who moves from a small town in Ireland to Brooklyn, where, unlike home, she has the opportunity for work, a future - and love, in the form of Italian-American Tony (Emory Cohen; The Place Beyond The Pines). However, when Eilis returns temporarily to Ireland she finds herself absorbed into her old community, but now with eligible Jim (Domhnall Gleeson; About Time) courting her. As she repeatedly postpones her departure back to America, Eilis finds herself confronting a terrible dilemma - a heart-breaking choice between two countries and two futures.

  • Cast Away [DVD] [2000] Cast Away | DVD | (14/01/2013) from £4.69  |  Saving you £15.30 (76.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Cast Away reunites star Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis in their first collaboration since the heavy-handed sentimentality of Forrest Gump. Thankfully, this time their film's life-affirming message is delivered with more subtlety, attributable both to an extraordinarily committed, physically demanding central performance from Hanks and to Zemeckis' technically masterful but carefully understated direction. It's also a film with three distinct "acts" or, to be old-fashioned about it, a proper beginning, middle and end. The story follows schedule-obsessed but fulfilled FedEx supervisor Chuck Noland (Act 1) on a personal journey into the bleakest, most solitary despair (Act 2), before Helen Hunt, in the thankless role of ex-girlfriend, unwittingly allows him to glimpse an optimistic future full of untapped possibilities (Act 3). Hanks' sojourn on the island is the centrepiece, but this is no tropical island idyll: following a terrifying plane crash (the one sequence in the film where Zemeckis shows off his uncanny ability to choreograph action), life on the island is seen to be a depressing and bitter experience filled with disappointment, danger and suicidal despair. Having lost all hope of rescue, ultimately Noland's greatest test is not to survive, but to find a reason to survive. He has no Man Friday for company, just a volleyball named "Wilson" that is both a narrative device allowing Hanks to deliver dialogue and an intriguingly pagan personification of the island's spirit under whose protection Noland is finally able to summon fire (significantly, and heartbreakingly, Wilson leaves him as he regains contact with the world). In an era of MTV-style film editing, Zemeckis and Hanks fearlessly take their time establishing with total conviction the grim realities of Noland's situation, his devastating loss of hope and the means by which he achieves his escape. Like Contact before it, Cast Away is a refreshingly thoughtful piece of mainstream cinema that explores weighty existential issues but retains a warm human intimacy. On the DVD: The luminous anamorphic print with vivid Dolby 5.1 soundtrack is accompanied on the first disc by a technical commentary from Zemeckis and key crew personnel. It's plenty insightful for budding filmmakers, although for pure listening pleasure one might have preferred a more relaxed piece with just the director and Tom Hanks. The second disc includes a 30-minute making-of documentary in which the director sums up the moral of the movie--"Surviving is easy but living is difficult". This draws on material from the three other mini-documentaries about survival skills, Wilson the volleyball and the Fijian island location of Monu Riki respectively. There's also a section on the sometimes surprising use of CGI effects and a storyboard-to-film comparison sequence. Tom Hanks chats with American TV host Charlie Rose about this movie and his career in the extensive 50-minute interview. Trailers, artwork and stills round out a valuable two-disc set. --Mark Walker

  • Saturday Night Fever [1978] Saturday Night Fever | DVD | (07/10/2002) from £5.00  |  Saving you £10.99 (68.70%)  |  RRP £15.99

    The years have endowed Saturday Night Fever with a powerful, elegiac quality since its explosive release in 1977. It was the must-see movie for a whole generation of adolescents, sparking controversy for rough language and clumsily realistic sex scenes which took teen cinema irrevocably into a new age. And of course, it revived the career of the Bee Gees to stratospheric heights, thanks to a justifiably legendary soundtrack which now embodies the disco age. But Saturday Night Fever was always more than a disco movie. Tony Manero is an Italian youth from Brooklyn straining at the leash to escape a life defined by his family, blue collar job and his gang. Disco provides the medium for him to break free. It was the snake-hipped dance routines which made John Travolta an immediate sex symbol. But seen today, his performance as Tony is compelling: rough-hewn, certainly, but complex and true, anticipating the fine screen actor he would be recognised as 20 years later. Scenes of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge, representing Tony's route to a bigger world, now have an added poignancy, adding to Saturday Night Fever's evocative power. It's a bittersweet classic. On the DVD: Saturday Night Fever is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack, both of which help to recapture the unique atmosphere of the late 1970s. The main extra is a director's commentary from John Badham, with detailed descriptions of casting and the improvisation behind many of the scenes, plus the unsavoury reality behind Travolta's iconic white disco suit. --Piers Ford

  • Florence Foster Jenkins [DVD] [2016] Florence Foster Jenkins | DVD | (05/09/2016) from £5.89  |  Saving you £14.10 (70.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS is the inspirational true story of the eponymous New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice Florence (Meryl Streep) heard in her head was divine, but to the rest of the world it was hilariously awful. At private recitals, her devoted husband and manager, St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), managed to protect Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give her first public concert at New York's Carnegie Hall, St Clair realised he had perhaps bitten off more than he could chew. The comedy drama directed by Stephen Frears (Philomena, The Queen) celebrates the human spirit, the power of music and the passion of amateurs everywhere.

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