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Cadillac Records | Blu Ray | (20/07/2009)
from £14.39 | Saving you £8.60 (37.40%) | RRP
In the 1950's Leonard Chess' record label 'Chess Records' was at the forefront of blues soul and rhythm and blues in the States. With a fine musical ear and canny business acumen Chess managed to collate a roster which included such legendary stars as Etta James (Beyonce Knowles) and Chuck Berry (Mos Def). Sex violence and rock 'n' roll hit hard in this dramatic telling of a famous music empires' rise and fall.
Syriana | HD DVD | (04/12/2006)
from £10.00 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Everything is connected. From writer/director Stephen Gaghan winner of the Best Screenplay Oscar for Traffic comes Syriana a political thriller that unfolds against the intrigue of the global oil industry. From the players brokering back-room deals in Washington to the men toiling in the oil fields of the Persian Gulf the film's multiple storylines weave together to illuminate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power. As a career CIA operative (George Clooney) begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to an up-and-coming oil broker (Matt Damon) faces an unimaginable family tragedy and finds redemption in his partnership with an idealistic Gulf prince (Alexander Siddig). A corporate lawyer (Jeffrey Wright) faces a moral dilemma as he finesses the questionable merger of two powerful U.S. oil companies while across the globe a disenfranchised Pakistani teenager (Mazhar Munir) falls prey to the recruiting efforts of a charismatic cleric. Each plays their small part in the vast and complex system that powers the industry unaware of the explosive impact their lives will have upon the world.
Syriana | DVD | (10/07/2006)
from £3.32 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Syriana is an oil-based soap opera set against the world of global oil cartels. It is to the oil industry as Traffic was to the drug trade (no surprise, since writer/director Stephen Gaghan wrote the screenplay to Traffic): a sprawling attempt to portray the vast political, business, social, and personal implications of a societal addiction, in this case, oil. A major merger between two of the world's largest oil companies reveals ethical dilemmas for the lawyer charged with making the deal (Jeffrey Wright), and major global implications beyond the obvious; a CIA operative (George Clooney) discovers the truth about his work, and the people he works for; a young oil broker (Matt Damon) encounters personal tragedy, then partners with an idealistic Gulf prince (Alexander Siddig) attempting to build a new economy for his people, only to find he's opposed by powers far beyond his control. Meanwhile, disenfranchised Pakistani youths are lured into terrorism by a radical Islamic cleric. And that's just the start. As in Traffic, in one way or another all of the characters' fates are tied to each other, whether they realize it or not, though the connections are sometimes tenuous. While Syriana is basically a good film with timely resonance, it can't quite seem to measure up to Gaghan's ambitious vision and it very nearly collapses under the weight of its many storylines. Fortunately they are resolved skilfully enough to keep the film from going under in the end. To some viewers, Syriana will seem like an unfocused and over-loaded film that goes, all at once, everywhere and nowhere. Others will find it to be an important work earnestly exploring major issues. In either case, it's a film that deserves to be taken seriously, and it's likely to be one that will be talked about for a long time to come. --Dan Vancini