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  • Alien [UMD Universal Media Disc] Alien | UMD | (05/09/2005) from £19.37  |  Saving you £2.62 (11.90%)  |  RRP £21.99

  • Mad Max [UMD Mini for PSP] [1979] [DVD] Mad Max | UMD | (01/01/2008) from £4.75  |  Saving you £-0.95 (-15.90%)  |  RRP £5.99

    The story of Mel Gibson's stately anti-hero begins in Mad Max, George Miller's low-budget debut, in which Max is a "Bronze" (cop) in an unspecified post-apocalyptic future with a buddy-partner and family. But, unlike most films set in the devastated future, Mad Max is notable because it is poised between our industrialised world and total regression to medieval conditions. The scale tips towards disintegration when the Glory Riders burn into town on their bikes like an overcharged cadre of Brando's Wild Ones. Representing the active chaos that will eventually overwhelm the dying vestiges of civil society they take everything dear to Max, who then has to exact due revenge. His flight into the same wilds that created the villains artfully sets up the morally ambiguous character of the subsequent films. --Alan E Rapp, Amazon.com

  • Matrix: Reloaded [UMD Universal Media Disc] [2003] Matrix: Reloaded | UMD | (25/11/2005) from £11.59  |  Saving you £1.40 (10.80%)  |  RRP £12.99

  • Gone in 60 Seconds [UMD Universal Media Disc] Gone in 60 Seconds | UMD | (03/10/2005) from £19.60  |  Saving you £1.39 (6.60%)  |  RRP £20.99

  • Spider-Man [UMD Universal Media Disc] [2002] Spider-Man | UMD | (08/05/2006) from £19.61  |  Saving you £-6.62 (-51.00%)  |  RRP £12.99

  • Manga - Galerians: Rion [UMD Universal Media Disc] Manga - Galerians: Rion | UMD | (12/12/2005) from £9.95  |  Saving you £-1.62 (-10.80%)  |  RRP £14.99

  • Casino Royale [UMD Mini for PSP] [2006] Casino Royale | UMD | (19/03/2007) from £14.61  |  Saving you £-1.62 (-12.50%)  |  RRP £12.99

  • Akira [UMD Universal Media Disc] Akira | UMD | (19/09/2005) from £14.61  |  Saving you £-1.62 (-12.50%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Artist-writer Katsuhiro Ôtomo began telling the story of Akira as a comic book series in 1982 but took a break from 1986 to 1988 to write, direct, supervise, and design this animated film version. Set in 2019, the film richly imagines the new metropolis of Neo-Tokyo, which is designed from huge buildings down to the smallest details of passing vehicles or police uniforms. Two disaffected orphan teenagers--slight, resentful Tetsuo and confident, breezy Kanada--run with a biker gang, but trouble grows when Tetsuo start to resent the way Kanada always has to rescue him. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, military men, and politicians wonder what to do with a collection of withered children who possess enormous psychic powers, especially the mysterious, rarely seen Akira, whose awakening might well have caused the end of the old world. Tetsuo is visited by the children, who trigger the growth of psychic and physical powers that might make him a superman or a supermonster. As befits a distillation of 1,318 pages of the story so far, Akira is overstuffed with character, incident, and detail. However, it piles up astonishing set pieces: the chases and shootouts (amazingly kinetic, amazingly bloody) benefit from minute cartoon detail that extends to the surprised or shocked faces of the tiniest extra; the Tetsuo monster alternately looks like a billion-gallon scrotal sac or a Tex Avery mutation of the monster from The Quatermass Experiment; and the finale--which combines flashbacks to more innocent days with a destruction of Neo City and the creation of a new universe--is one of the most mind-bending in all sci-fi cinema. --Kim Newman

  • Matrix [UMD Universal Media Disc] [1998] Matrix | UMD | (23/01/2005) from £1.14  |  Saving you £-1.62 (-12.50%)  |  RRP £12.99

  • Spider-Man 2 [UMD Universal Media Disc] Spider-Man 2 | UMD | (17/10/2005) from £6.30  |  Saving you £0.40 (2.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

  • Die Hard 2 [UMD Mini for PSP] Die Hard 2 | UMD | (17/12/2007) from £2.37  |  Saving you £-5.60 (-93.50%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Director Renny Harlin (Cutthroat Island) took the reins of this 1990 sequel, which places Bruce Willis's New York City cop character in harm's way again with a gaggle of terrorists. This time, Willis awaits his wife's arrival at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC, when he gets wind of a plot to blow up the facility. Noisy, overbearing and forgettable, the film has none of the purity of its predecessor's simple story; and it makes a huge miscalculation in allowing a terrible tragedy to occur rather than stretch out the tension. Where Die Hard set new precedents in action movies, Die Hard 2 is just an anything-goes spectacle. -- Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

  • Speed [UMD Universal Media Disc] [1994] Speed | UMD | (27/03/2006) from £11.59  |  Saving you £4.40 (27.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

  • Dukes Of Hazzard [UMD Universal Media Disc] [2005] Dukes Of Hazzard | UMD | (09/01/2006) from £11.59  |  Saving you £9.40 (44.80%)  |  RRP £20.99

  • Pirates Of The Caribbean [UMD Universal Media Disc] Pirates Of The Caribbean | UMD | (05/09/2005) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £18.99

    You won't need a bottle of rum to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, even if you haven't experienced the Disneyland theme-park ride that inspired it. There's a galleon's worth of fun in watching Johnny Depp's androgynous performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, a roguish pirate who could pass for the illegitimate spawn of rockers Keith Richards and Chrissie Hynde. Depp gets all the good lines and steals the show, recruiting Orlando Bloom (a blacksmith and expert swordsman) and Keira Knightley (a lovely governor's daughter). They set out on an adventurous quest to recapture the notorious Black Pearl, a ghost ship commandeered by Jack's nemesis Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), a mutineer desperate to reverse the curse that left him and his (literally) skeleton crew in a state of eternal, undead damnation. Director Gore Verbinski (The Ring) repeats the redundant mayhem that marred his debut film Mouse Hunt, but with the writer's of Shrek he's made Pirates of the Caribbean into a special-effects thrill-ride that plays like a halloween party on the open seas. --Jeff Shannon

  • Rush Hour [UMD Universal Media Disc] Rush Hour | UMD | (01/09/2005) from £17.59  |  Saving you £0.40 (2.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The plot line may sound familiar: Two mismatched cops are assigned as reluctant partners to solve a crime. Culturally they are complete opposites, and they quickly realize they can't stand each other. One (Jackie Chan) believes in doing things by the book. He is a man with integrity and nerves of steel. The other (Chris Tucker) is an amiable rebel who can't stand authority figures. He's a man who has to do everything on his own, much to the displeasure of his superior officer, who in turn thinks this cop is a loose cannon but tolerates him because he gets the job done. Directed by Brett Ratner, Rush Hour doesn't break any new ground in terms of story, stunts, or direction. It rehashes just about every "buddy" movie ever made--in fact, it makes films such as Tango and Cash seem utterly original and clever by comparison. So, why did this uninspired movie make over $120 million at the box office? Was the whole world suffering from temporary insanity? Hardly. The explanation for the success of Rush Hour is quite simple: chemistry. The casting of veteran action maestro Jackie Chan with the charming and often hilarious Chris Tucker was a serendipitous stroke of genius. Fans of Jackie Chan may be slightly disappointed by the lack of action set pieces that emphasize his kung-fu craft. On the other hand, those who know the history of this seasoned Hong Kong actor will be able to appreciate that Rush Hour was the mainstream breakthrough that Chan had deserved for years. Coupled with the charismatic scene-stealer Tucker, Chan gets to flex his comic muscles to great effect. From their first scenes together to the trademark Chan outtakes during the end credits, their ability to play off of one another is a joy to behold, and this mischievous interaction is what saves the film from slipping into the depths of pitiful mediocrity. --Jeremy Storey

  • Rush Hour 2 [UMD Universal Media Disc] Rush Hour 2 | UMD | (26/09/2005) from £17.59  |  Saving you £0.40 (2.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

  • Bad Boys [UMD Universal Media Disc] Bad Boys | UMD | (01/09/2005) from £16.61  |  Saving you £1.38 (7.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    A cheerfully over-the-top action film, Bad Boys is notable chiefly for the rapport between its two stars, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, as two Miami cops on the trail of a drug kingpin as they try to protect a witness (Tea Leoni). Smith is the swinging bachelor and Lawrence the family man, and both must juggle their personal lives as they baby-sit the one chance they have to recover a stolen drug shipment, save their jobs, and take down the drug dealer. While the film is almost always implausible and its story is something seen many times before, director Michael Bay (The Rock) keeps things moving stylishly and at a feverish pace, as Smith and Lawrence prove themselves a terrific comic pairing. Their odd couple banter flies at a faster clip than the bullets and explosions, and becomes the best reason to see this hyperbolic but entertaining action flick. --Robert Lane

  • Welcome To The Jungle [UMD Universal Media Disc] Welcome To The Jungle | UMD | (05/12/2005) from £17.59  |  Saving you £0.40 (2.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

  • Predator [UMD Universal Media Disc] Predator | UMD | (07/11/2005) from £11.09  |  Saving you £10.90 (49.60%)  |  RRP £21.99

  • The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe [UMD Universal Media Disc] [2005] The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe | UMD | (03/04/2006) from £21.61  |  Saving you £-2.62 (-13.80%)  |  RRP £18.99

    C.S. Lewis's classic novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe makes an ambitious and long-awaited leap to the screen in this modern adaptation. It's a CGI-created world laden with all the special effects and visual wizardry modern filmmaking technology can conjure, which is fine so long as the film stays true to the story that Lewis wrote. And while this film is not a literal translation--it really wants to be so much more than just a kids' movie--for the most part it is faithful enough to the story, and whatever faults it has are happily faults of overreaching, and not of holding back. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tells the story of the four Pevensie children, Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan, and their adventures in the mystical world of Narnia. Sent to the British countryside for their own safety during the blitz of World War II, they discover an entryway into a mystical world through an old wardrobe. Narnia is inhabited by mythical, anthropomorphic creatures suffering under the hundred-year rule of the cruel White Witch (Tilda Swinton, in a standout role). The arrival of the children gives the creatures of Narnia hope for liberation, and all are dragged into the inevitable conflict between evil (the Witch) and good (Aslan the Lion, the Messiah figure, regally voiced by Liam Neeson). Director (and co-screenwriter) Andrew Adamson, a veteran of the Shrek franchise, knows his way around a fantasy-based adventure story, and he wisely keeps the story moving when it could easily become bogged down and tiresome. Narnia is, of course, a Christian allegory and the symbology is definitely there (as it should be, otherwise it wouldn't be the story Lewis wrote), but audiences aren’t knocked over the head with it, and in the hands of another director it could easily have become pedantic. The focus is squarely on the children and their adventures. The four young actors are respectable in their roles, especially considering the size of the project put on their shoulders, but it's the young Georgie Henley as the curious Lucy who stands out. This isn't a film that wildly succeeds, and in the long run it won't have the same impact as the Harry Potter franchise, but it is well done, and kids will get swept up in the adventure. Note: Narnia does contain battle scenes that some parents may consider too violent for younger children. --Dan Vancini

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