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Science Fiction

  • Signs [DTS] [2002] Signs | DVD | (31/03/2003) from £4.19  |  Saving you £13.80 (76.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Director-writer M Night Shyamalan brings his distinctive, oblique approach to aliens in Signs after tackling ghosts (The Sixth Sense) and superheroes (Unbreakable). With Mel Gibson replacing Bruce Willis as the traditional Shyamalan hero--a family man traumatised by loss--and leaving urban Philadelphia for the Pennsylvania sticks, the film starts with crop circles showing up on the property Gibson shares with his ex-ballplayer brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and his two troubled pre-teen kids (pay attention--all these character quirks turn out to be important). Though the world outside is undergoing a crisis of Independence Day-sized proportions, Shyamalan limits the focus to this family, who retreat into their cellar when "intruders" arrive from lights in the sky and set out to "harvest" them. Just as Unbreakable slowly revealed itself to be Superman re-thought as an intense personal drama, this is The Birds redone as a religious drama of faith lost and perhaps regained. The tone is less certain than the earlier films--some of the laughs seem unintentional and Gibson's performance isn't quite on a level with Willis's commitment--but Shyamalan still directs the suspense and shock dramas better than anyone else. On the DVD: Signs has THX-certified Dolby Digital Surround Sound which reproduces in the home exactly as the scary sounds that creeped you out in the cinema. A selection of deleted scenes are mostly tiny, but there's a self-reflexive joke (wisely dropped but worth preserving) as Gibson wishes his dead wife were here in the crisis because she was so smart: "She always knew how movies would end." A six-part making-of goes deeper than the usual puff-piece, including an interesting alternative to a commentary track as Shyamalan talks through a précis of clips and on-set snippets. A tradition continued from the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable DVDs is an extract from Pictures, "Night's first alien film". It's a teenage camcorder effort in which the future A-list Hollywoodian is menaced by a tiny Halloween-masked robot. Also included are a "multi-angle storyboards" feature, subtitles in a clutch of languages and eerie menu screens. --Kim Newman

  • Planet Of The Apes [Blu-ray] [2001] Planet Of The Apes | Blu Ray | (14/05/2007) from £2.95  |  Saving you £16.10 (80.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    In the year 2029 interstellar reconnaissance missions are relegated to chimpanzee pilots from the Space Station Oberon in deep space. On such a mission a chimp loses communication and vanishes from the radar. Fearless astronaut Leo Davidson launches a rescue mission and following a malfunction lands on a jungle-like planet not unlike the Earth. To Leo's astonishment English-speaking apes and primitive humans inhabit the planet. Following his capture by the apes and subsequent escape Leo assembles a small band of defiant humans and empathetic apes in an attempt to re-establish contact with Oberon but his focus changes following an unexpected discovery. Armed with this new information Leo leads a rebellion against an overpowering ape force that will result in freedom or complete annihilation.

  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith [2005] Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith | DVD | (31/10/2005) from £3.59  |  Saving you £20.13 (80.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere. In a stunning move the fiendish droid leader General Grievous has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine leader of the Galactic Senate. As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage two Jedi Knights lead a despe

  • The Fifth Element [1997] The Fifth Element | DVD | (25/10/1999) from £5.25  |  Saving you £6.74 (56.20%)  |  RRP £11.99

    Ancient curses, all-powerful monsters, shape-changing assassins, scantily-clad stewardesses, laser battles, huge explosions, a perfect woman, a malcontent hero--what more can you ask of a big-budget science fiction movie? Luc Besson's high-octane film The Fifth Element incorporates presidents, rock stars and cab drivers into its peculiar plot, traversing worlds and encountering some pretty wild aliens. Bruce Willis stars as a down-and-out cabbie who must win the love of Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) to save Earth from destruction by Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) and a dark, unearthly force that makes Darth Vader look like an Ewok. --Geoff Riley

  • Planet Of The Apes [2001] Planet Of The Apes | DVD | (19/07/2004) from £4.16  |  Saving you £8.06 (62.00%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Tim Burton's "re-imagining" of Planet of the Apes is about one thing above all else: monkey movement. But for most filmgoers, whether fans of the 1967 original or not, that’s simply not enough. Thematically the story of an outsider in a society that doesn't know what to do with him chimes in nicely with Burton's other work. As always with Burton, the focus is more on what's colourfully going on around the central character (Mark Wahlberg) than his own story. It all looks stunning, of course, as make-up, set design and costumes outdo the accomplishments of the original. But otherwise a direct comparison with the classic version simply shows up holes in the Burton approach. The breakneck pace at which the pared-down plot is told makes little sense of the material and misses all the satire and social comment potential. What sold the idea to Burton was the opportunity to goof around with apes as humans: as a result the background is constantly peppered with lame visual gags which fall as flat as the unnecessary homages to Charlton Heston, who pops up repeating lines of his own dialogue from the first movie. Slick, action-packed and ultimately nonsensical, this is the film that made a monkey of Tim Burton. On the DVD: balancing out the disappointing movie experience is an exceptional 13 hours of extra material. From the heavily CG-animated menus, you'll encounter some standard fare like libraries of promo material (posters, ads and trailers) and concept art. But they're enormous, as are the 26 cast and crew text profiles. If the THX optimiser tests don't convince you of the need for top equipment, there's DVD-ROM and NUON-enhanced player features as well. The "White Rabbit" Enhanced Viewing Mode for FX vignettes and four multi-angle featurettes on shooting scenes may seem a little dry, but the other features ranging from 10 to 30 minutes aren't. You'll find it hard picking a favourite between Rick Baker gushing over the lifetime dream of ape make-up, Michael Clarke Duncan playing to camera on location, or Danny Elfman at work on the scoring stage. Of the two commentaries Elfman’s is better by far, even if somewhat sporadic and clearly not recorded to picture. Burton's is typically fragmented, and is certainly not the place to discover what on earth the "shock-value-for-the-sake-of-it" ending means. --Paul Tonks

  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [1999] Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace | DVD | (20/09/2004) from £9.99  |  Saving you £8.73 (43.70%)  |  RRP £19.99

    George Lucas transports audiences back to the future with Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace, the first instalment of a prequel trilogy in which the director imagines the foundation for the entire six-part saga. Reflecting the symbolic and mythological bases of at least five story arcs, The Phantom Menace wields a newly emerged, youthful vibrancy courtesy of Lucas' invigorating return to the director's chair and his healthy respect for the emotional sources of fantasy. Despite receiving a storm of adverse criticism (notably for Jar Jar Binks) Lucas continually fascinates with his ability to place his characters--some new, some old, some CGI--in the same dramatic situations posed in the original trilogy: whether it be the juxtaposition of primitives with technologically advanced societies or the timeless battle between good and evil, the very familiarity of these recurring scenarios and rhythms galvanises the viewer. Of course, the state-of-the-art visual effects contribute mightily to the final impact. Much has been written about the kinetic Pod Race sequence (compared favourably with the chariot race in Ben Hur) and the War and Peace-style military battles, but even these events are upstaged by the new planetary vistas: consider the Romanesque grandeur of Naboo, the underwater city of Otoh Gunga illuminated by Art Nouveau lamps, the decadent brio of Tatooine, or the dizzying skyscrapers of the city planet Coruscant (imagine Blade Runner in daylight). Despite the beauty of his iridescent images, Lucas exercises discipline, cutting fast within frames filled with rich detail and activity. As a result, The Phantom Menace lends itself to repeated viewings. On the DVD: This spectacular two-disc DVD set was certainly worth the wait. Simply put, this is the most comprehensive packaging of supplementary materials so far assembled for DVD. Most importantly, Lucas film offers an anamorphic, 2.35:1 film transfer and a highly active Dolby 5.1 audio mix. Disc 1 includes an insightful commentary with Lucas--his first for DVD--and other key personnel, making for a great tour. The bulk of extra treasures can be found on Disc 2, including seven deleted scenes completed just for this set that possess the same quality as the film; in fact, some moments (the "Air Bus Taxi" and "Pod Race Grid" sequences) are so good that Lucas reincorporated them into the film proper. Viewers can also enjoy no less than 12 Web documentaries, five informative featurettes, the popular John Williams music video "Duel of the Fates" and numerous galleries of stills, trailers and television spots. Better yet, Lucas premieres "The Beginning," a 66-minute documentary edited from hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes footage. This is not your standard-issue studio documentary, instead "The Beginning" is an Oscar-worthy, cinema verityé-style exploration of the creative process behind every aspect of the film's production. One of the most memorable moments involves a late-day visit to the set by Steven Spielberg: watching Lucas and Spielberg behave like kids in a candy store is one more reminder why the Star Wars saga remains enduringly popular. --Kevin Mulhall

  • Doctor Who - The Hand Of Fear [1976] Doctor Who - The Hand Of Fear | DVD | (24/07/2006) from £6.99  |  Saving you £13.00 (65.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    When the TARDIS lands in on Earth in a quarry the Doctor and Sarah are caught in a mining explosion. She is found clutching what appears to be a fossilised hand buried in 150 million-year-old strata. Analysis shows the hand to be silicon-based and inert but when Sarah begins to act as if possessed the Doctor suspects that it may still be alive... Originally transmitted on BBC1 2 October to 23 October 1976.

  • Highlander [1985] Highlander | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £3.98  |  Saving you £8.84 (63.20%)  |  RRP £13.99

    This 1986 fantasy/action thriller has since spawned two sequels, a TV series, numerous comic-book spin-offs, and a loyal (if somewhat oddly obsessive) following of fans. Directed by music-video veteran Russell Mulcahy (which explains the dizzying camera work and soundtrack contributions from Queen), the original theatrical release made a hash of an intriguing story about an "Immortal" from 16th-century Scotland (Christopher Lambert) who time-leaps to modern-day America with his arch-enemy (Clancy Brown) in hot pursuit. It becomes a battle to the death (yes, Immortals can die) and Lambert seeks survival training from an Immortal mentor played by Sean Connery. Highlander is dazzling, energetic and altogether confusing. --Jeff Shannon

  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones | DVD | (11/11/2002) from £3.15  |  Saving you £15.70 (78.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The most densely plotted instalment of the saga so far, Attack of the Clones is a tale of both Machiavellian political drama and doomed romance; it's epic war film and silly comic-book fantasy combined, as teenage Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) chafes at the restrictions imposed by his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and falls in love with Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). Renegade Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) is leading a breakaway federation of disgruntled systems; while the insidious influence of Darth Sidious is felt rather than seen as his invisible hand guides apparently unrelated events, from Jar Jar's unwitting instigation of a disastrous Senate decision to bounty hunter Jango Fett's revelatory role at the centre of the conspiracy. Along the way the story has fun with the conventions of Chandleresque detective fiction as Obi-Wan explores the seedier side of Coruscant, and incorporates the noble warrior ethos of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in its portrayal of the Jedi order. The portentous tone is lightened by tongue-in-cheek self-referential dialogue and the antics of robotic clowns R2D2 and C3PO. (One niggle for music fans, though, is the cavalier cut-and-paste approach to John Williams's music score.) Like the Empire Strikes Back, Clones is the bridging film of the trilogy and thus ends on an equivocally bittersweet note. On the DVD: Attack of the Clones is an all-digital film, and so looks suitably superb in this anamorphic widescreen transfer, accompanied by a THX encoded Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. Anyone who owns The Phantom Menace two-disc set will know what to expect from the special features: here's another group commentary led by George Lucas, two lengthy documentaries on the digital effects ("From Puppets to Pixels" and "The Previsualisation of Episode II") plus several other featurettes and Web documentaries, notably "Films Are Not Released, They Escape", a look at the sound design. There's also a fun trailer for the R2-D2 mockumentary "Beneath the Dome", trailers, photo galleries and more to satisfy any Star Wars fan. --Mark Walker

  • Doctor Who - The Genesis Of The Daleks Doctor Who - The Genesis Of The Daleks | DVD | (10/04/2006) from £6.45  |  Saving you £13.51 (67.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Transported back in time to the planet Skaro Doctor Who and his companions have to try and stop Davros from ever creating the Daleks.

  • Resident Evil: Retribution [DVD] Resident Evil: Retribution | DVD | (28/01/2013) from £4.08  |  Saving you £15.91 (79.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Alice is captured by Umbrella and awakens in the heart of their operation facility; as she moves further in the complex more of her past is unveiled and continues to hunt for those responsible for the outbreak. Her quest takes her and her newfound allies from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow. After a mind-blowing revelation, she is forced to rethink everything she once thought to be true.

  • Dark Matter: Season 3 [DVD] Dark Matter: Season 3 | DVD | (11/09/2017) from £18.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Following season 2's explosive finale, the survivors of the EOS-7 fight to regroup against the backdrop of corporate war. Meanwhile, Ryo Ishida s former allies become his enemy and the past comes back to haunt...

  • Event Horizon [Blu-ray] [1997] Event Horizon | Blu Ray | (27/04/2009) from £5.45  |  Saving you £14.54 (72.70%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The year is 2047. Years earlier the pioneering research vessel Event Horizon vanished without a trace. Now a signal from it has been detected and the United States Aerospace Command responds. Hurtling toward the signal's source are a fearless captain (Laurence Fishburne) his elite crew and the lost ship's designer (Sam Neill). Their mission: find and salvage the state-of-the-art spacecraft. What they find is state-of-the-art interstellar terror. What they must salvage are their own lives because someone or something is ready to ensnare them in a new dimension of unimaginable fear.

  • Doctor Who - The Brain Of Morbius Doctor Who - The Brain Of Morbius | DVD | (21/07/2008) from £6.99  |  Saving you £13.00 (65.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The Time Lords have taken control of the TARDIS sending the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith into dangerous territory... On the graveyard planet of Karn the eternal Sisterhood fights to keep the sacred flame alive. High in the castle the brilliant surgeon Mehendri Solon conducts gruesome experiments on living flesh. And as a storm approaches evil from the depths of Time Lord history plots its return to the land of the living. But is even the Doctor's mind a match for the Brain of Morbius? This story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 3rd January 1976 - 24th January 1976

  • The Doctors: The Pat Troughton Years (Multi-Region DVD) The Doctors: The Pat Troughton Years (Multi-Region DVD) | DVD | (12/06/2017) from £9.49  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    This is the definitive set of interviews with the team of actors who brought the PATRICK TROUGHTON era of DOCTOR WHO to life! Together with a special tribute to PATRICK TROUGHTON (the Second Doctor), containing messages from a host of stars and production staff from DOCTOR WHO, this DVD also features the best in-depth interviews ever undertaken with, ANNEKE WILLS (Polly), MICHAEL CRAZE (Ben), FRAZER HINES (Jamie), DEBORAH WATLING (Victoria) and WENDY PADBURY (Zoe)! Presented by voice of the Daleks NICHOLAS BRIGGS. For all DOCTOR Who fans, this 2 DISC special collector s edition is 5 hours of pure nostalgia, which will give you a whole new insight into the making of your favourite science fiction series!

  • Terminator 2 - Judgment Day [1991] Terminator 2 - Judgment Day | DVD | (04/08/2008) from £4.50  |  Saving you £5.30 (40.80%)  |  RRP £12.99

    The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) a cyborg sent back through time joins forces with Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) a woman haunted by nightmares of mankind's inevitable nuclear destiny. Together they must protect her son John (Edward Furlong) - the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future - from the deadliest machine ever created the liquid metal T-1000 (Robert Patrick).

  • Firefly - The Complete Series [2003] Firefly - The Complete Series | DVD | (19/04/2004) from £10.95  |  Saving you £24.04 (68.70%)  |  RRP £34.99

    Much praised and much missed after its premature cancellation, Firefly is the first SF TV series to be conceived by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy and cocreator of Angel. Set five centuries in the future, it is a show where the mysterious personal pasts of the crew of the tramp spaceship Serenity continually surface. In fact, it's a Western in space where the losers in a Civil War are heading out to a barren frontier. Mal Reynolds is a man embittered by the war, yet whose love of his comrades perpetually dents his cynicism--even in the 14 episodes that exist we see him warm to the bubbly young mechanic Kaylee, the preacher Book, the idealistic doctor Simon, even to the often demented River, Simon's sister, the psychic result of malign experiments. Firefly is also about adult emotional relationships, for example Kaylee's crush on Simon, the happy marriage of Mal's second officer Zoe and the pilot Wash, the disastrous erotic stalemate between Mal and the courtesan Inara. Individual episodes deal with capers going vaguely wrong, or threats narrowly circumvented; character and plot arcs were starting to emerge when the show was cancelled. Fortunately, the spin-off movie Serenity is planned; and in the meantime, what there is of Firefly is a show to marvel at, both for its tight writing and ensemble acting, and the idiocy of the executives who cancelled it. On the DVD: Firefly on DVD is presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 with Dolby Surround Sound. It includes commentaries on six episodes by various writers, directors, designers and cast members as well as featurettes on the conception of the show and the design of the spaceship Serenity, four deleted scenes, a gag reel, and Joss Whedon singing the show's theme tune, more or less. One of the things that emerges from all of this is how committed to the project everyone involved with it was, and is--unusually, you end up caring as much for the cast and crew as for the characters. The discs have subtitles in English and Spanish and the option of listening to the soundtrack dubbed into Spanish or French. --Roz Kaveney

  • Mission To Mars [2000] Mission To Mars | DVD | (05/03/2001) from £4.19  |  Saving you £13.80 (76.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    If Brian De Palma directed Mission to Mars for 10-year-olds who have never seen a science fiction film, he can be credited for crafting a marginally successful adventure. Isolated moments in this film serve the highest purpose of its genre, inspiring a sense of wonder and awe in the context of a fascinating future (specifically, the year 2020). But because most of us have seen a lot of science fiction films, it's impossible to ignore this one's derivative plot, cardboard characters and drearily dumb dialogue. Despite an awesome and painstakingly authentic display of cool technology and dazzling special effects, Mission to Mars is light years away from 2001: A Space Odyssey on the scale of human intelligence.After dispensing with a few space-jockey clichés, the movie focuses on a Mars-bound rescue mission commanded by Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise), whose team (Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O'Connell) has been sent to retrieve the sole survivor (Don Cheadle) of a tragic Mars landing. During the sequence en route to Mars, De Palma is in his element with two suspenseful scenes (including a dramatic--albeit somewhat silly--space walk) that are technically impressive. But when this Mission gets to Mars, the movie grows increasingly unconvincing, finally arriving at an alien encounter that more closely resembles an astronomical CGI video game. But this is a $75 million Hollywood movie, and no amount of technical wizardry can lift the burden of a juvenile screenplay. Kudos to Sinise, his co-stars, and the special effects wizards for making the most of hoary material; shame on just about everyone else involved. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • Daredevil: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Daredevil: The Complete First Season | Blu Ray | (03/10/2016) from £11.99  |  Saving you £19.00 (61.30%)  |  RRP £30.99

    All 13 episodes from the first season of the action adventure following the Marvel Comics superhero. Idealistic lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), along with his long-time friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), uses his newly established firm to tackle the rising levels of criminal activity in New York City. By night however, Murdock - who was blinded by a chemical spill as a young boy - uses his heightened senses to fight crime on the streets as vigilante Daredevil. With the influence of underworld kingpin Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) continuing to grow, Murdock faces a fight on two fronts to keep the city safe. The episodes are: 'Into the Ring', 'Cut Man', 'Rabbit in a Snowstorm', 'In the Blood', 'World On Fire', 'Condemned', 'Stick', 'Shadow in the Glass', 'Speak of the Devil', 'Nelson v. Murdock', 'The Path of the Righteous', 'The Ones We Leave Behind' and 'Daredevil'.

  • Skellig Skellig | DVD | (27/04/2009) from £6.29  |  Saving you £13.70 (68.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Skellig

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