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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Edition) [2001] The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Edition) | DVD | (19/12/2001) from £6.00  |  Saving you £12.70 (63.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    In every aspect, the extended edition of Peter Jackson's epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is superior to the theatrical version. No-one who cares at all about the film should ever need to watch the original again. Well, maybe the impatient and the squeamish will still prefer it, because this extended edition makes a long film 30 minutes longer and there's a wee bit more violence. But the changes--sometimes whole scenes, sometimes merely a few seconds--make for a richer film. There's more of the spirit of JRR Tolkien, embodied in more songs and a longer opening focusing on Hobbiton. There's more character development, and more background into what is to come in the two subsequent films, such as Galadriel's gifts to the Fellowship and Aragorn's burden of lineage. Some additions make more sense to the plot while others are merely worth seeing, such as the wood elves leaving Middle-earth or the view of Caras Galadhon (but sorry, there's still no Tom Bombadil). On the DVDs: The Fellowship of the Ring--Extended Version comes in two distinct packages: choose either the four-disc set itself, handsomely presented in a hardback book-style fold-out, or the huge and more expensive Collector's Box Set, which has the same four-disc set accompanied by two chunky "polystone" sculpted Argonath bookends, both of which are solid enough to support either your DVD or Tolkien book collection. The discs themselves have extremely useful chapter menus that indicate which scenes are new or extended. The only drawback is that the film is now spread over two discs, with a somewhat abrupt break following the council at Rivendell, due to the storage capacity required for the longer running time, the added DTS ES 6.1 audio, and the commentary tracks. But that's a minor inconvenience. Of the four commentaries those with the greatest general appeal are the one by Jackson with cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and the one by 10 cast members; but the more technically orientated commentaries by the creative and production staff are also worth hearing. The bonus features (encompassing two complete DVDs) are far superior to the largely promotional materials included on the theatrical release, delving into such matters as script development, casting, and visual effects. This extended edition DVD set is the Fellowship to rule them all. --David Horiuchi

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) [2001] The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) | DVD | (06/08/2002) from £2.34  |  Saving you £12.65 (84.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    A marvellously sympathetic yet spectacularly cinematic treatment of the first part of Tolkien’s trilogy, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the film that finally showed how extraordinary digital effects could be used to support story and characters, not simply overwhelm them. Both long-time fantasy fans and newcomers alike were simultaneously amazed, astonished and left agog for parts two and three. Jackson’s abiding love for the source material comes across in the wealth of incidental detail (the stone trolls from The Hobbit, Bilbo’s hand-drawn maps); and even when he deviates from the book he does so for sound dramatic reasons (the interminable Tom Bombadil interlude is deleted; Arwen not Glorfindel rescues Frodo at the ford). New Zealand stands in wonderfully for Middle-Earth and his cast are almost ideal, headed by Elijah Wood as a suitably naïve Frodo, though one with plenty of iron resolve, and Ian McKellen as an avuncular-yet-grimly determined Gandalf. The set-piece battle sequences have both an epic grandeur and a visceral, bloody immediacy: the Orcs, and Saruman’s Uruk-Hai in particular, are no mere cannon-fodder, but tough and terrifying adversaries. Tolkien’s legacy could hardly have been better served. On the DVD: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring two-disc set presents the original theatrical release (approx 171 minutes) on the first disc with a vivid Dolby 5.1 soundtrack and a simply splendid anamorphic print that allows even the darkest recesses of Moria to be glimpsed. The second disc contains 15 short behind-the-scenes pieces originally seen on the official Web site plus three substantial featurettes. The Houghton Mifflin "Welcome to Middle-Earth" is a 16-minute first look at the transition from page to screen, most interesting for its treasurable interview with Tolkien’s original publisher Rayner Unwin. "Quest for the Ring" is a pretty standard 20-minute Fox TV special with lots of cast and crew interviews. Better is the Sci-Fi Channel’s "A Passage to Middle-Earth", a 40-minute special that goes into a lot more detail about many aspects of the production and how the creative team conceived the film’s look. Most mouth-watering for fans who just can’t wait is a 10-minute Two Towers preview, in which Peter Jackson personally tantalises us with behind-the-scenes glimpses of Gollum and Helm’s Deep, plus a tasty three-minute teaser for the four-disc Fellowship special edition. Rounding out a good package are trailers, Enya’s "May It Be" video and a Two Towers video game preview.--Mark Walker

  • Definitive Edition - The Great Escape [1963] Definitive Edition - The Great Escape | DVD | (05/03/2007) from £4.99  |  Saving you £8.00 (61.60%)  |  RRP £12.99

    In 1943 the Germans opened Stalag Luft North a maximum-security prisoner-of-war camp designed to hold even the craftiest escape artist. In doing so however the Nazis unwittingly assembled the finest escape team in military history - brilliantly portrayed here by Steve McQueen James Garner Charles Bronson and James Coburn - who worked on what became the largest prison breakout ever attempted. One of the most ingenious and suspenseful adventure films of all time The Great Escape is a masterful collaboration between director John Sturges screenwriters James Clavell and W.R. Burnett and composer Elmer Bernstein.

  • Fantastic Four - The Rise Of The Silver Surfer [2007] Fantastic Four - The Rise Of The Silver Surfer | DVD | (08/10/2007) from £2.99  |  Saving you £21.95 (87.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Marvel's first family of superheroes The Fantastic Four meets their greatest challenge yet in Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer as the enigmatic intergalactic herald The Silver Surfer comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc Reed Sue Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy Dr. Doom before all hope is lost.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four Disc Collector's Box Set) [2001] The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four Disc Collector's Box Set) | DVD | (12/11/2002) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £44.99

    In every aspect, the extended edition of Peter Jackson's epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is superior to the theatrical version. No-one who cares at all about the film should ever need to watch the original again. Well, maybe the impatient and the squeamish will still prefer it, because this extended edition makes a long film 30 minutes longer and there's a wee bit more violence. But the changes--sometimes whole scenes, sometimes merely a few seconds--make for a richer film. There's more of the spirit of JRR Tolkien, embodied in more songs and a longer opening focusing on Hobbiton. There's more character development, and more background into what is to come in the two subsequent films, such as Galadriel's gifts to the Fellowship and Aragorn's burden of lineage. Some additions make more sense to the plot while others are merely worth seeing, such as the wood elves leaving Middle-earth or the view of Caras Galadhon (but sorry, there's still no Tom Bombadil). On the DVDs: The Fellowship of the Ring--Extended Version comes in two distinct packages: choose either the four-disc set itself, handsomely presented in a hardback book-style fold-out, or the huge and more expensive Collector's Box Set, which has the same four-disc set accompanied by two chunky "polystone" sculpted Argonath bookends, both of which are solid enough to support either your DVD or Tolkien book collection. The discs themselves have extremely useful chapter menus that indicate which scenes are new or extended. The only drawback is that the film is now spread over two discs, with a somewhat abrupt break following the council at Rivendell, due to the storage capacity required for the longer running time, the added DTS ES 6.1 audio, and the commentary tracks. But that's a minor inconvenience. Of the four commentaries those with the greatest general appeal are the one by Jackson with cowriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and the one by 10 cast members; but the more technically orientated commentaries by the creative and production staff are also worth hearing. The bonus features (encompassing two complete DVDs) are far superior to the largely promotional materials included on the theatrical release, delving into such matters as script development, casting, and visual effects. This extended edition DVD set is the Fellowship to rule them all. --David Horiuchi

  • Goldfinger (James Bond) Goldfinger (James Bond) | DVD | (20/10/2008) from £4.25  |  Saving you £9.03 (60.20%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Investigating a gold magnate's gold smuggling James Bond (Sean Connery) uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

  • The Chronicles Of Narnia - Prince Caspian [DVD] [2008] The Chronicles Of Narnia - Prince Caspian | DVD | (01/02/2010) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £17.99

    More exciting than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian continues the movie franchise based on C.S. Lewis' classic fantasy books. The movie picks up where the first left off... sort of. It's been a year since the Pevensie children--Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley)--returned to England from Narnia, and they've just about resigned themselves to living their ordinary lives. Just like that, they're once again transported to a fantastical land, but one with a long-abandoned castle. It turns out that they are in Narnia again--and they themselves lived in that castle, but hundreds of years ago in Narnia time. They've been summoned back to help Prince Caspian (Stardust's Ben Barnes, resembling a young, cultured Keanu Reeves), the rightful heir to the throne who's become the target of his power-hungry uncle, King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto). And he's not the only one threatened: Miraz's people, the Telmarines, have pushed all the Narnians--the talking animals, the centaurs and other beasts, the walking trees--to the brink of extinction. Despite some alpha-male bickering, Peter and Caspian agree to fight Miraz alongside the remaining Narnians, including the dwarf Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage) and the swashbuckling mouse Reepicheep (voiced by Eddie Izzard). (Also appearing is Warwick Davis, who was in Willow and the 1989 BBC version of Prince Caspian.) But of course they most of all miss the noble lion, Aslan, who would have never let this happen to Narnia if he hadn't disappeared. Prince Caspian is epic, evoking memories of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. (Some of the battle elements may seem too familiar, but they were in Lewis's book.) And it's appropriate for kids (Reepicheep could have come out of a Shrek movie), though the tone is dark and there is a lot of death, albeit bloodless. After two successful films, Disney and Walden Media's franchise has proved successful enough that many of the characters are scheduled to return in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. --David Horiuchi, Amazon.com

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