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Science Fiction

  • The Giver [DVD] The Giver | DVD | (19/01/2015) from £2.42  |  Saving you £17.57 (87.90%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Sci-fi drama directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Brenton Thwaites. Set in a seemingly utopian future where all war, emotion and personal freedom have been eradicated, the film follows Jonas (Thwaites), a young man who is chosen to be the recipient of the community's collective memories. As he learns the details of the community's history from The Giver (Bridges), he grows frustrated with the power those in charge hold over his fellow citizens and the terrible.

  • Donnie Darko [Blu-ray] Donnie Darko | Blu Ray | (09/01/2017) from £10.48  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Donnie Darko is a thought-provoking, touching and distinctive offering from relative newcomer, Richard Kelly (II). It's 1988 in small-town America and Donnie, a disturbed teenager on medication and undergoing psychoanalysis for his blackouts and personality disorders, is being visited by a being in a rabbit suit whom he calls Frank. It's this anti-Harvey that saves Donnie from being crushed to death when an airplane engine falls from the sky onto his house. This is the beginning of their escalating relationship, which, as Donnie follows Frank's instructions, becomes increasingly violent and destructive. Added to this is Frank's warning of the impending apocalypse and Donnie's realisation that he can manipulate time, leading to a startling denouement where nearly everything becomes clear. "Nearly everything", because Donnie Darko is a darkly comic, surreal journey in which themes of space, time and morality are interwoven with a classic coming-of-age story of a teenage boy's struggle to understand the world around him. The film leaves the viewer with more questions than it answers, but then that's part of its charm. Performances are superb: Jake Gyllenhaal underplays the mixed-up kid role superbly and Donnie's episodes of angst positively erupt out of the screen. There are also some starry cameos from Mary McDonnell as Donnie's long-suffering mother, Patrick Swayze as Jim Cunningham, the personal-development guru with a terrible secret, and Noah Wyle and Drew Barrymore as Donnie's progressive teachers. Undoubtedly too abstruse for some tastes, Donnie Darko's balance of outstanding performances with intelligent dialogue and a highly inventive story will reward those looking for something more highbrow than the average teenage romp. --Kristen Bowditch

  • 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

  • Gattaca [1998] Gattaca | DVD | (20/12/2004) from £4.34  |  Saving you £0.85 (14.20%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Confidently conceived and brilliantly executed, Gattaca had a somewhat low profile release in 1997, but audiences and critics hailed the film's originality. It's since been recognised as one of the most intelligent science fiction films of the 1990s. Writer-director Andrew Niccol, the talented New Zealander who also wrote the acclaimed Jim Carrey vehicle The Truman Show, depicts a near-future society in which one's personal and professional destiny is determined by one's genes. In this society, "Valids" (genetically engineered) qualify for positions at prestigious corporations, such as Gattaca, which grooms its most qualified employees for space exploration. "In-Valids" (naturally born), such as the film's protagonist, Vincent (Ethan Hawke), are deemed genetically flawed and subsequently fated to low-level occupations in a genetically caste society. With the help of a disabled "Valid" (Jude Law), Vincent subverts his society's social and biological barriers to pursue his dream of space travel; any random mistake--and an ongoing murder investigation at Gattaca--could reveal his plot. Part thriller, part futuristic drama and cautionary tale, Gattaca establishes its social structure so convincingly that the entire scenario is chillingly believable. With Uma Thurman as the woman who loves Vincent and identifies with his struggle, Gattaca is both stylish and smart, while Jude Law's performance lends the film a note of tragic and heartfelt humanity.--Jeff Shannon

  • Cocoon / Cocoon The Return [1985] Cocoon / Cocoon The Return | DVD | (17/05/2004) from £5.19  |  Saving you £9.80 (65.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Cocoon: A group of senior citizens residing in a rest home find their lives turned upside down after they are offered the gift of eternal youth by benevolent aliens in Ron Howard's wonderful tribute to the human spirit. Brian Dennehy is Walter an alien who returns to earth to rescue 20 of his friends now hibernating in cocoons off the coast of Florida. With the help of a charter boat captain (Steve Guttenberg) the cocoons are stored in a deserted swimming pool. When three men

  • (Classic) Doctor Who: Ace Adventures Box Set [DVD] [1987] (Classic) Doctor Who: Ace Adventures Box Set | DVD | (07/05/2012) from £11.99  |  Saving you £18.00 (60.00%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Ace Adventures Boxset In these two classic stories Ace joins the Seventh Doctor aboard the Tardis where she’s soon battling a biomechanoid and liberating a world where just feeling sad can get you shot! Dragonfire On the planet Svartos, the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Mel unexpectedly encounter an old friend – Sabalom Glitz. Joined by Ace, a teenage waitress with a love for explosives, the group ventures off to find the fabled Dragonfire treasure. Commentary Deleted / Extended scenes Trivia subtitles Video and audio restoration Coming soon trailer Radio Times billings (PDF) Making-of Documentary Photo gallery Danny Bang - Documentary The Doctors Strange Love - Documentary The Happiness Patrol (Ace Box) On the planet Terra Alpha, the population constantly displays happy smiles. Anyone feeling remotely glum disappears. Quickly. Having heard disturbing rumours, the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace arrive to topple the entire regime. Commentary ''Ace'' wishes Blue Peter a happy birthday (archive clip) Isolated score Deleted / extended scenes Trivia subtitles Video and audio restoration Coming soon trailer Radio Times billings (PDF) Making-of Documentary Photo gallery Politics in Doctor Who - Documentary

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Limited Edition, Includes Theatrical Version) Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Limited Edition, Includes Theatrical Version) | DVD | (11/09/2006) from £16.98  |  Saving you £6.01 (26.10%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Available for a limited time only! Luke Skywalker a young farm boy from Tatooine is thrust into the struggle of the rebel alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire.

  • Outcast - Season 1 [DVD] [2016] Outcast - Season 1 | DVD | (12/12/2016) from £14.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    OUTCAST, based on the Skybound/Image comic title by creator Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta, follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. Now, with the help of Reverend Anderson, a country preacher with personal demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers to obtain a normal life he has never known. But what Kyle discovers could change his fate and the fate of the world forever. Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl, Almost Famous) stars as Kyle, a man searching for answers, and for redemption, who sequesters himself from those he loves for fear of causing greater hurt. Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) stars as Reverend Anderson, a West Virginia evangelist who believes he is a soldier in God's holy war against the forces of evil on Earth. An inveterate drinker and gambler, he doesn't believe God intends people to sweat the small stuff. Gabriel Bateman (Stalker) stars as Joshua Austin, an eight-year-old who lives across town from Kyle. To his family's dismay, Joshua appears to be in the clutches of demonic possession, but there's something very different about this possession and its connection to Kyle Barnes

  • Stargate (Director's Cut) Stargate (Director's Cut) | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £4.79  |  Saving you £15.20 (76.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A self-consciously epic sci-fi adventure of Cecil B DeMille-sized proportions, Stargate refreshes and combines several well-worn sci-fi and sword 'n' sandal genre conventions with some Erich von Daniken-style Biblical Egyptology. The directing-writing-producing team of Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin had previously collaborated on B-movies Moon 44 (1990) and Universal Soldier (1992), but handed a significantly bigger budget they were able to give their Steven Spielberg pretensions free reign here ("Indiana Jones and his Close Encounters with the Chariots of the Gods" might be a suitable subtitle). James Spader is endearingly dithery as the fish-out-of-water academic who finds himself teamed with taciturn tough guy Kurt Russell: the two excellent leads are largely responsible for imparting what depth there is to otherwise two-dimensional characters. British composer David Arnold makes his major studio debut in the grandest fashion with an outstanding score that pays suitable homage to epic film music (John Williams' CE3K and Maurice Jarre's Lawrence of Arabia in particular). It's all done with such unabashed enthusiasm that viewers will happily forgive the film's derivative elements and even overlook the high-camp theatricality of Jaye Davidson's bizarre bad guy. Despite subsequent huge box-office hits (Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot), Stargate remains Emmerich and Devlin's freshest, most satisfying film. On the DVD: This special edition version adds approximately seven minutes of additional footage, much of which is in the form of slightly extended scenes, but does also include an opening sequence in Ancient Egypt, a scene with Kurt Russell and the fossilised Horus guards, and Ra's bath scene. These are also collected in a bonus "Promo Reel". The anamorphic widescreen presentation of the 2.35:1 Panavision picture looks sharp and clear, although some of the additional footage is degraded; the sound is suitably spectacular 5.1 or DTS. Devlin and Emmerich provide a relaxed, chatty commentary ("We have nothing to do with the TV series"!), although you have to access this from the Set Up menu not the Special Features menu. There's a photo gallery and trailer, but sadly no "making-of" documentary. --Mark Walker

  • Paprika [Blu-ray] [2006] Paprika | Blu Ray | (07/01/2008) from £6.15  |  Saving you £13.84 (69.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Based on a novel by the noted Japanese science fiction writer Yasutaka Tsutui, the brilliant and unsettling feature Paprika continues director Satoshi Kon's exploration of the disturbingly permeable boundaries between dreams and reality. Techno-geek Kosaku Tokita invented the DC Mini to allow therapists to enter a patient's dreams and explore his unconscious, but an evil cabal uses the Mini to create a mass nightmare that causes multiple suicides. Psychotherapist Atsuko Chiba uses her alter-identity, "dream detective" Paprika, to intervene. Entering the nightmare, she witness a bizarre parade of appliances, toys, and kitsch objects: all of her intelligence and imagination are needed to escape this nightmare and its perpetrators. As he did in Millennium Actress and Paranoia Agent, Kon effortlessly carries the audience between reality and fantasy, confirming his reputation as one of the most talented and interesting directors working in animation today. (Contains violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon, Amazon.com

  • The Daemons of Devil's End (Region 0 Multi Region DVD) The Daemons of Devil's End (Region 0 Multi Region DVD) | DVD | (13/11/2017) from £13.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

  • Doctor Who - The Keys Of Marinus [DVD] Doctor Who - The Keys Of Marinus | DVD | (21/09/2009) from £6.99  |  Saving you £13.00 (65.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    On a remote island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid there is a machine that can remove evil from the minds of an entire population - the Conscience of Marinus. Fearful of its immense power falling into the wrong hands its sole guardian has scattered the machine''s operating keys across the planet. The TARDIS crew arrive to find the island under attack by the evil Voord. Marinus'' last line of defence - and its only hope - is the Conscience machine. The Doctor and his companions must undertake a deadly quest to recover the Keys of Marinus...

  • Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray] [1995] Twelve Monkeys | Blu Ray | (07/09/2009) from £8.85  |  Saving you £11.14 (55.70%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A lone time traveller from the year 2035 must solve a riddle that may save his people... but it may also take him to the brink of madness. Bruce Willis Madeline Stowe and Brad Pitt star in this brilliant sci-fi masterpiece from Terry Gilliam. After the world's population is devastated by a killer virus survivors must live in dark underground communities. Cole (Willis) volunteers to travel into the past to obtain a pure virus sample thereby helping scientists develop a cure. Along the way he crosses paths with a beautiful psychiatrist (Stowe) and a one-card-short-of-a-full-deck mental patient (Pitt). But the race is on as Cole searches for The Army of the 12 Monkeys a radical group linked to the deadly disease. With unforgettable performances and imaginative special effects 12 Monkeys is a modern-day classic laced with Gilliam's trademark wit and dazzling visual style.

  • Terminator Salvation [DVD] Terminator Salvation | DVD | (23/11/2009) from £3.26  |  Saving you £16.06 (80.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

  • Willow [1988] Willow | DVD | (05/08/2002) from £4.98  |  Saving you £7.20 (55.40%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Billed as a fantasy to please kids and adults alike in 1988, Willow was revolutionary in its day. Not only did it have a vertically challenged actor (Warwick Davis) as its leading man, it also set new standards for special effects, using the first known "morfing" (sic) systems. To top it all off it combined the talents of two of Hollywood's biggest names, director Ron Howard and writer-producer George Lucas, and changed Val Kilmer's destiny, influencing both his career and love life. In theory all this should have added up to a rip-roaring success of a film. Alas, the end result has been unkindly if accurately described as the bastard son of Lord of the Rings, with Star Wars as its doting mother. The plot line (plucky young man sent off on a quest to protect something which could change the reign of evil) has obvious links to Tolkien's classic; Kilmer's Madmartigan (the diamond in the rough) has distinct similarities to Hans Solo. And with the great advances in modern cinemas special effects, Willow's ferocious two-headed dragons now look like something out of 1963's Jason and the Argonauts. However, even though it marked the end of the road for fantasy films in the 1980s, Willow's combination of locations, set design and groundbreaking SFX set new standards and influenced much modern cinema, including Peter Jackson's epic Lord of the Rings. All in all, this is a movie with its heart, soul and magic in the right place. On the DVD: Willow is brought up to date on DVD with this excellent special effects enhancing anamorphic transfer of the original 2.35:1 screen ratio; the Dolby 5.1 surround sound boosts the power behind Badmorda's roar as well as spotlighting James Horner's swashbuckling score. A lively commentary is offered by Warwick Davis, although he has a tendency to dwell on his own musings rather than the film as a whole. Other features include "The Making of the Adventure", which is a standard TV behind-the-scenes documentary/advert and a wealth of TV spots, trailers and photos. By far the most interesting feature is the "Morf to Morphing: The Dawn of Digital Film" documentary including interviews with George Lucas, Ron Howard and Dennis Muren (the renowned special effects guru) on the creation of morphing and its influence on later movies. –-Nikki Disney

  • Starship Troopers [1998] Starship Troopers | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £4.19  |  Saving you £11.80 (73.80%)  |  RRP £15.99

    A gloriously over-the-top treat, Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers takes the militaristic moralising of Robert Heinlein's pulp classic and sets about undermining it mercilessly. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) desperately wants to join the Mobile Infantry and kill some Earth-threatening alien bugs. He also desperately wants Carmen (Denise Richards), but only gets to fulfil one ambition in the second of Verhoeven's futuristic satires (also cowritten with his RoboCop scriptwriter Ed Neumeier). Set in a fascistic future where kids must do military service to qualify as citizens, own property or even have babies, the film's dark Vietnam and Nazi-era parallels are all the more disturbing given its deceptively sunny Beverly Hills 90210 teenage cast (though scenery-chewing veteran Michael Ironside steals the movie as tough-talking Lt Rasczak). The CGI arachnids are among the most convincing and dangerous-looking creatures ever seen on screen, and with the movie clocking up the highest number of blanks ever fired on a film set, it's also pretty loud! Verhoeven went on to be Executive Producer of the Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles animated TV series a couple of years later. On the DVD: Starship Troopers in this DVD incarnation can now be played continuously on one side of the disc (the original Region 2 release version was that crime against the DVD format, a "flipper"). You'll also feel really spoiled by the extras here: five deleted scenes (approximately six minutes) pad out Carmen's love triangle problems. There are impressive screen tests for Denise Richards and Casper Van Dien (three-and-a-half minutes). An eight-minute featurette zips by with key interviews and fact flinging. And a real treat is three scene developments with layers of FX work explained by Verhoeven. But what makes this DVD essential is the director's enthusiastic commentary alongside screenwriter Ed Neumeier: dissing astrology, making a stand for feminist issues, saying how he went nude to placate the actors for their shower scene, and drooling with praise for his FX team, Verhoeven makes a fascinating statement that "war makes fascists of us all". After a studio disclaimer, and beginning with his reaction to the film's critique in Time Magazine, this is no-holds-barred fun. --Paul Tonks

  • Stargate SG-1: Season 1 [1997] Stargate SG-1: Season 1 | DVD | (21/10/2002) from £9.49  |  Saving you £40.50 (81.00%)  |  RRP £49.99

    Like the very best of SF TV, Stargate SG-1 began very simply. Of course it had the benefit of a movie preceding it--in which the alternate universe, its rules and its characters were largely established--so this premiere season was therefore able to concentrate on good storytelling. In 1997 not every new show was obsessed with securing a syndication-guaranteed franchise (same goes for Buffy debuting the same year), instead one-off episodes were the way of things, exploring interesting scenarios and conundrums. Naturally there were allusions to the feature film, but most were subtle and inspired. For example, a trip to retrieve the trapped professor who'd worked on the Gate decades ago was an unusual way of tying up loose ends. Some groundwork was laid for continuation should the show be renewed into an ongoing series. Knowing that these elements were pure wishful thinking at the time makes the tapestry of System Lords and the interlinks with our history and mythology all the more enjoyable in revisiting the show from its beginnings. With Richard Dean Anderson, leading the team in a far more charismatic and empathetic way than Kurt Russell in the movie, the series also benefited from some spot-on casting that instantly won audiences over. Special effects and use of studio sets may be less dazzling in these initial shows, but its solid grounding in old-fashioned SF won for the show a loyal audience. --Paul Tonks

  • Torchwood: Complete BBC Series 2 Box Set [2008] [2007] Torchwood: Complete BBC Series 2 Box Set | DVD | (30/06/2008) from £13.99  |  Saving you £34.60 (69.20%)  |  RRP £49.99

    Separate from the government outside the police beyond the United Nations: Torchwood sets its own rules. With fearsome new aliens compelling new storylines and amazing guest stars the second series will take the close-knit Torchwood team through dare-devil action temptation heartache... and a life changing event for one of the team. The high-octane new episodes take Torchwood on journeys to the 51st Century and World War I. The team battle a rogue Time Agent investigate alien sleeper cells save a stranded creature from horrific abuse and come face to face with an entity that may well be Death itself. Joined for three episodes by Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones in Doctor Who) and with guest appearances from Richard Briers (Monarch of the Glen The Good Life) Alan Dale (Ugly Betty The OC) and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Smallville) Captain Jack will have his work cut out as the stakes get higher and his team are stretched further than ever before.

  • Inception [DVD] Inception | DVD | (06/12/2010) from £2.48  |  Saving you £18.12 (78.80%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [2005] The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | DVD | (05/09/2005) from £3.99  |  Saving you £17.61 (76.60%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Don't panic... Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew English everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def) who is actually not human but an alien researcher penning a new edition of the essential travel tome known as ""The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy"". Landing aboard a spaceship from the Vogon Constructor Fleet which has just obliterated the Earth Arthur is flun

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