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

  • Ghost In The Shell [UMD Universal Media Disc] Ghost In The Shell | UMD | (17/10/2005) from £11.99  |  Saving you £-1.62 (-12.50%)  |  RRP £12.99

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • King Kong [UMD Universal Media Disc] King Kong | UMD | (10/04/2006) from £23.59  |  Saving you £1.40 (5.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • 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

  • Ocean's Thirteen [UMD Mini for PSP] [2007] Ocean's Thirteen | UMD | (23/02/2009) from £5.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £5.99

  • Spider-Man 2 [UMD Universal Media Disc] Spider-Man 2 | UMD | (17/10/2005) from £17.59  |  Saving you £0.40 (2.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

  • 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

  • Ultraviolet [UMD Mini for PSP] [2006] Ultraviolet | UMD | (30/10/2006) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £12.99

  • The World Is Not Enough [UMD Mini for PSP] The World Is Not Enough | UMD | (01/12/2008) from £3.25  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £5.99

    In his 19th screen outing The World is Not Enough, Ian Fleming's super-spy is once again caught in the crosshairs of a self-created dilemma: as the longest-running feature-film franchise, James Bond is an annuity his producers want to protect, yet the series' consciously formulaic approach frustrates any real element of surprise beyond the rote application of plot twists or jump cuts to shake up the audience. This time out, credit 007's caretakers for making some visible attempts to invest their principal characters with darker motives--and blame them for squandering The World is Not Enough's initial promise by the final reel. By now, Bond pictures are as elegantly formal as a Bach chorale, and this one opens on an unusually powerful note. A stunning pre-title sequence reaches beyond mere pyrotechnics to introduce key plot elements as the action leaps from Bilbao to London. Pierce Brosnan undercuts his usually suave persona with a darker, more brutal edge largely absent since Sean Connery departed. Equally tantalising are our initial glimpses of Bond's nemesis du jour, Renard (Robert Carlyle), and imminent love interest, Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), both atypically complex characters cast with seemingly shrewd choices and directed by the capable Michael Apted. The story's focus on post-Soviet geopolitics likewise starts off on a savvy note, before being overtaken by increasingly Byzantine plot twists, hidden motives and reversals of loyalty superheated by relentless (if intermittently perfunctory) action sequences. Bond's grimmer demeanour, while preferable to the smirk that eventually swallowed Roger Moore whole, proves wearying, unrelieved by any true wit. The underlying psychoses that propel Renard and Elektra eventually unravel into unconvincing melodrama, while Bond is supplied with a secondary love object, Denise Richards, who is even more improbable as a nuclear physicist. Ultimately, this world is not enough despite its better intentions. --Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com On the DVD: There are three different documentaries on this disc, as well as a "Secrets of 007" featurette that cuts between specific stunt sequences, behind-the-scenes footage and storyboards to reveal how it was all done, and a short video tribute to Desmond Llewelyn ("Q"), who died not long after this movie was released. The first "making of" piece is presented by an annoyingly chirpy American woman and is aimed squarely at the MTV market (most fascinating is watching her interview with Denise Richards in which the two orthodontically enhanced ladies attempt to out-smile each other). "Bond Cocktail" gamely distils all the essential ingredients that make up the classic Bond movie formula--gadgets, girls, exotic locations and lots of action. Most interesting of all is "Bond Down River", a lengthy dissection of the opening boat chase sequence. Director Michael Apted provides the first commentary, and talks about the challenges of delivering all the requisite ingredients. The second commentary is less satisfactory, since second unit director Vic Armstrong, production designer Peter Lamont and composer David Arnold have little in common. There's also the Garbage song video, and the booklet has yet more behind-the-scenes info. The anamorphic CinemaScope picture and Dolby digital sound are as spectacular as ever. --Mark Walker

  • Hitman [UMD Mini for PSP] Hitman | UMD | (30/06/2008) from £2.25  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £5.99

    It?s hard not to feel like one has entered a certain dimension of video-game logic while watching Hitman, a lightly enjoyable action-suspense movie indeed based on a popular and bloody game about a mysterious hired gun with a bar-code tattoo on his bald head and a number (47) in lieu of a name. Living like a chaste monk while slipping past borders to kill his targets, 47 (Timothy Olyphant of Deadwood) moves like a determined shark and speaks softly to his contact at the enigmatic "the Organization," which raises cast-off children to become well-paid assassins. Fruitlessly pursued by an Interpol cop (Dougray Scott) who can never get sovereign governments to cooperate, 47 has no trouble slipping in and out of countries to ply his trade. Until, that is, he?s set up to take a fall in Russia by shooting a national leader who is promptly replaced by a lookalike double. Suddenly on the run, 47 has to retrace his steps and formulate a lethal plan for extricating himself from a trap. Caught in the chaos is the lovely Nika (Olga Kurylenko), forced into sex slavery by 47?s new enemies and the one person who seems uniquely qualified to break through 47?s many personal barriers. Directed by France?s Xavier Gens, Hitman features loads of bloody mayhem and unabashed moments of pulp absurdity, such as a scene in which 47 and three other Organization killers agree to fight one another respectfully, then proceed to pulverize each other with swords and fists. As fodder for gamers, however, Hitman is packed with visuals and dramatic moments that seem so odd on the big screen until one realizes they are basically placemarkers for the video-game edition. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

  • Aliens [UMD Universal Media Disc] [1986] Aliens | UMD | (27/03/2006) from £11.11  |  Saving you £4.88 (30.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

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

  • Hellboy [UMD Universal Media Disc] Hellboy | UMD | (01/09/2005) from £3.75  |  Saving you £3.40 (18.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

  • 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

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

  • Kingdom Of Heaven [UMD Universal Media Disc] Kingdom Of Heaven | UMD | (03/10/2005) from £11.88  |  Saving you £13.11 (52.50%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • Kung Fu Hustle [UMD Universal Media Disc] Kung Fu Hustle | UMD | (03/10/2005) from £3.50  |  Saving you £0.62 (3.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Movie-kinetics genius. Kung Fu Hustle takes the gleeful mayhem of Hong Kong action movies, the deadpan physical humor of silent comedies, and the sheer elasticity of Wile E. Coyote cartoons and fuses them into a spectacle that is simple in its joys and mind-boggling in its orchestration. A run-down slum has been poor but peaceful until a bunch of black-suited gangsters called the Axe Gang show up to cause trouble --and discover that, hidden among the humble poor, are three kung fu masters trying to live an ordinary life. But after these martial artists repulse the gang with their flying fists and feet, the gang leader hires a pair of assassins, whose arrival leads to the unveiling of more secrets, until both the screen and the audience are dizzy with hyperbolic fight artistry (choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping, who also choreographed MThe Matrix). Weaving through this escalating fury is a loudmouthed loser (writer/director/actor Stephen Chow) who suddenly finds himself having to live up to his bragging. Kung Fu Hustle more than lives up to the promise of Chow's previous film, Shaolin Soccer -- it's a movie made by an imagination unfettered by the laws of physics. Hugely entertaining. --Bret Fetzer

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