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Alice in Wonderland | DVD | (04/06/2010)
from £3.98 | Saving you £15.80 (79.00%) | RRP
Tim Burton was born to bring Alice in Wonderland to the big screen. Ironically, his version of the Victorian text plays more like The Wizard of Oz than a Lewis Carroll adaptation. On the day of her engagement party, the 19-year-old Alice (a nicely understated Mia Wasikowska) is lead by a white-gloved rabbit to an alternate reality that looks strangely familiar--she's been dreaming about it since she was 6 years old. Stranded in a hall of doors, she sips from a potion that makes her shrink and nibbles on a cake that makes her grow. Once she gets the balance right, she walks through the door that leads her to Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Matt Lucas), the Dormouse (Barbara Windsor), the Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), and the Cheshire Cat (a delightful Stephen Fry), who inform her that only she can free them from the wrath of the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter channeling Bette Davis) by slaying the Jabberwocky. To pull off the feat, she teams up with the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp in glam-rock garb), rebel bloodhound Bayard (Timothy Spall), and Red's sweet sister, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway in goth-rock makeup). While Red welcomes Alice with open arms, she plans an execution for the hat-maker when he displeases her ("Off with his head!"). Drawing from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Burton creates a candy-colored action-adventure tale with a feminist twist. If it drags towards the end, his 3-D extravaganza still offers a trippy good time with a poignant aftertaste. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind | DVD | (31/01/2011)
from £3.00 | Saving you £2.99 (49.90%) | RRP
Anybody who has written him off because of a string of stinkers--or anybody who's too young to remember The Goodbye Girl--may be shocked at the accomplishment and nuance of Richard Dreyfuss's performance in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Here, he plays a man possessed. Contacted by aliens, he (along with other members of the "chosen") is drawn toward the site of the incipient landing: Devil's Tower, in rural Wyoming. As in many Spielberg films, there are no personalised enemies; the struggle is between those who have been called and a scientific establishment that seeks to protect them by keeping them away from the arriving spacecraft. The ship, and the special effects in general, are every bit as jaw-dropping on DVD as they were in the theatre (well, almost). Released in 1977 as a cerebral alternative to the swashbuckling science fiction epics then in vogue, Close Encounters now seems almost wholesome in its representation of alien contact and interested less in philosophising about extra-terrestrials than it is in examining the nature of the inner "call." Ultimately a motion picture about the obsession of the driven artist or determined visionary, Close Encounters comes complete with the stock Spielberg wives and girlfriends who seek to tether the dreamy, possessed protagonists to the more mundane concerns of the everyday. So a spectacular, seminal motion picture indeed (albeit one with gender politics that are all too terrestrial). --Miles Bethany
Serenity | DVD | (03/10/2011)
from £3.25 | Saving you £2.74 (45.70%) | RRP
Can't stop the signal... Beloved television cult director Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer Angel) makes a spectacular first foray onto the big screen with Serenity the cinematic adaptation of his wildly popular but short-lived sci-fi series Firefly. A mix of space western comedy and drama Serenity follows captain Malcolm ""Mal"" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and his ragtag crew as they trade their way around the edges of civilized society. Of particular inte
Ice | DVD | (16/10/2017)
from £4.49 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
The human race finds itself contemplating the dawn of a new ice age in this epic disaster starring Richard Roxburgh, Frances O'Connor, Claire Forlani, Ben Cross, Simon Callow, Patrick Bergin with Stephen Moyer and Sam Neill. The destructive effects of global warming cause unimaginable devastation and panic worldwide. It is 2020. Global warming has turned the regions of Southern Europe to desert and the Arctic polar ice cap is disappearing rapidly. There is a refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale as populations migrate north. Energy companies are turning to increasingly dangerous methods to extract what little oil is left on Earth. Environmental scientist and activist Professor Thom Archer, warns of the imminent possibility of a new ice age. His findings suggest that Halo, the corporate energy company drilling on the Greenland Glacier are causing it to melt, with alarming consequences. Archer heads to the Polar Alliance subcommittee and presents his findings to a sceptical audience, failing to convince anyone of the danger ahead. Intent on exposing Halo, Archer receives a frantic call from friend and colleague Ben Jameson and heads to the glacier. Jameson, an expert Glaciologist, claims to have found damning evidence that proves Archer's findings are correct. Arriving on the ice cap, the effects of Halo's actions are clear to see. With the realisation that the human race is under immediate threat, Archer races home to his family hoping he's not too late. The collapse of the glacier is every bit as devastating as Archer imagined. Astonishing weather patterns emerge and plunge the world's temperatures into steep decline.
Contact | DVD | (25/09/1998)
from £3.59 | Saving you £10.40 (74.30%) | RRP
The opening and closing moments of Robert (Forrest Gump) Zemeckis's Contact astonish viewers with the sort of breathtaking conceptual imagery one hardly ever sees in movies these day--each is an expression of the heroine's lifelong quest (both spiritual and scientific) to explore the meaning of human existence through contact with extraterrestrial life. The movie begins by soaring far out into space, then returns dizzyingly to earth until all the stars in the heavens condense into the sparkle in one little girl's eye. It ends with that same girl as an adult (Jodie Foster)--her search having taken her to places beyond her imagination--turning her gaze inward and seeing the universe in a handful of sand. Contact traces the journey between those two visual epiphanies. Based on Carl Sagan's novel, Contact is exceptionally thoughtful and provocative for a big-budget Hollywood science fiction picture, with elements that recall everything from 2001 to The Right Stuff. Foster's solid performance (and some really incredible alien hardware) keep viewers interested, even when the story skips and meanders, or when the halo around the golden locks of rising-star-of-a-different-kind Matthew McConaughey (as the pure-Hollywood-hokum love interest)reaches Milky Way-level wattage. Ambitious, ambiguous, pretentious, unpredictable--Contact is all of these things and more. Much of it remains open to speculation and interpretation but whatever conclusions one eventually draws, Contactdeserves recognition as a rare piece of big-budget studio film making on a personal scale. --Jim Emerson
Fame | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £3.69 | Saving you £10.30 (73.60%) | RRP
This early effort by director Alan Parker is lively but jagged as it follows four students through their years in the New York City High School for the Performing Arts. Rather predictably, the kids fall into four clearly defined stereotypes: brazen, gay and hypersensitive, prickly, shy. Fame makes up for a disjointed presentation with a lot of heart and a great soundtrack (for which it won two Academy Awards). The hopes and disappointments, failures and successes of these teens are fodder for emotional scenes and exuberant dancing in the streets. It also turned out to be the first of many imitators and spawned a popular television series. (It was the breakout film for the short-lived feature-film career of Irene Cara, who sang the title song.) --Rochelle O'Gorman
The Black Hole | DVD | (02/06/2003)
from £4.99 | Saving you £10.00 (66.70%) | RRP
A research team on a fruitless search for life in space encounter a lost spaceship perched on the event horizon of a black hole where they find an Earth scientist who harbours a terrible secret...
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones | DVD | (11/11/2002)
from £4.45 | Saving you £15.54 (77.70%) | RRP
The most densely plotted instalment of the saga so far, Attack of the Clones is a tale of both Machiavellian political drama and doomed romance; it's epic war film and silly comic-book fantasy combined, as teenage Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) chafes at the restrictions imposed by his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and falls in love with Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). Renegade Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) is leading a breakaway federation of disgruntled systems; while the insidious influence of Darth Sidious is felt rather than seen as his invisible hand guides apparently unrelated events, from Jar Jar's unwitting instigation of a disastrous Senate decision to bounty hunter Jango Fett's revelatory role at the centre of the conspiracy. Along the way the story has fun with the conventions of Chandleresque detective fiction as Obi-Wan explores the seedier side of Coruscant, and incorporates the noble warrior ethos of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in its portrayal of the Jedi order. The portentous tone is lightened by tongue-in-cheek self-referential dialogue and the antics of robotic clowns R2D2 and C3PO. (One niggle for music fans, though, is the cavalier cut-and-paste approach to John Williams's music score.) Like the Empire Strikes Back, Clones is the bridging film of the trilogy and thus ends on an equivocally bittersweet note. On the DVD: Attack of the Clones is an all-digital film, and so looks suitably superb in this anamorphic widescreen transfer, accompanied by a THX encoded Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. Anyone who owns The Phantom Menace two-disc set will know what to expect from the special features: here's another group commentary led by George Lucas, two lengthy documentaries on the digital effects ("From Puppets to Pixels" and "The Previsualisation of Episode II") plus several other featurettes and Web documentaries, notably "Films Are Not Released, They Escape", a look at the sound design. There's also a fun trailer for the R2-D2 mockumentary "Beneath the Dome", trailers, photo galleries and more to satisfy any Star Wars fan. --Mark Walker
Excalibur | DVD | (15/05/2000)
from £4.19 | Saving you £9.80 (70.10%) | RRP
A lush retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Excalibur is a dark and engrossing tale. Director John Boorman (Deliverance) masterfully handles the tale of the mythical sword Excalibur, and its passing from the wizard Merlin to the future king of England. Arthur pulls the famed sword from a stone and is destined to be crowned king. As the king embarks on a passionate love affair with Guenevere, an illegitimate son, and Merlin's designs on power, threaten Arthur's reign. The film is visually stunning and unflinching in its scenes of combat and black magic. Featuring an impressive supporting cast, including early work from the likes of Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, Excalibur is an adaptation of the legend both faithful and bold. --Robert Lane
Twelve Monkeys | DVD | (04/10/1999)
from £4.19 | Saving you £6.80 (61.90%) | RRP
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | DVD | (05/09/2005)
from £4.49 | Saving you £18.50 (80.50%) | RRP
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
Tron Legacy | DVD | (18/04/2011)
from £2.29 | Saving you £15.70 (87.30%) | RRP
Disney presents a high-tech motion picture unlike anything you've ever seen. Immerse yourself in the digital world of Tron as celebrated actor Jeff Bridges stars in a revolutionary visual effects adventure beyond imagination. When Flynn the world's greatest video game creator sends out a secret signal from an amazing digital realm his son discovers the clue and embarks on a personal journey to save his long-lost father. With the help of the fearless female warrior Quorra father and son venture through an incredible cyber universe and wage the ultimate battle of good versus evil. Bring home an unrivaled entertainment experience with Tron: Legacy - complete with never-before-seen bonus features that take you even deeper into the phenomenal world of Tron.
Gravity | Blu Ray | (03/03/2014)
from £3.59 | Saving you £2.62 (42.20%) | RRP
Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock ('The Blind Side') and George Clooney ('Syriana') star in 'Gravity ' a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed by Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n ('Children of Men'). Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone - tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth...and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.
Barbarella | DVD | (02/10/2000)
from £4.79 | Saving you £8.20 (63.10%) | RRP
Barbarella is marked by the same audacity and originality fantasy humor beauty and horror cruelty and eroticism that make comic books such a favorite. The setting is the planet Lythion in the year 40 000 when Barbarella (Jane Fonda) makes a forced landing while traveling through space. She acts like a female James Bond vanquishing evil in the forms of robots and monsters. She also rewards in an uninhibited manner the handsome men who assist her in the adventure. Whether she is
Starship Troopers | DVD | (11/06/2001)
from £3.99 | Saving you £12.00 (75.00%) | RRP
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
War Of The Worlds | DVD | (14/11/2005)
from £4.00 | Saving you £20.94 (83.80%) | RRP
Steven Spielberg?s War of the Worlds, staring international superstar Tom Cruise. A contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells? seminal classic, the sci-fi adventure thriller reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it.
Tron | DVD | (15/04/2013)
from £4.29 | Saving you £5.70 (57.10%) | RRP
A Milestone In The History Of Computer Animation! When Flynn (Jeff Bridges) hacks into the mainframe of his ex-employer to prove his work was stolen by another executive, he finds himself on a much bigger adventure. Beamed inside by a power-hungry Master Control Program, he joins computer gladiators on a deadly game grid, complete with high-velocity 'Light Cycles' and Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), a specialized security program. Together they fight the ultimate battle with the MCP to decide the f...
Legend Of The Guardians | DVD | (11/04/2011)
from £3.69 | Saving you £16.30 (81.50%) | RRP
Adapted from the popular series of children's books by Kathryn Lasky Guardians Of Ga'Hoole finds a group of barn owls facing an evil that wants to destroy their forest and so must fight together to keep their home. While Soren dreams of someday joining his heroes his older brother Kludd scoffs at the notion and yearns to hunt fly and steal his father's favor from his younger sibling. But Kludd's jealousy has terrible consequences-causing both owlets to fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones. Now it is up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave young owls. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Tree home of the legendary Guardians of Ga'Hoole-Soren's only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms.
Mission To Mars | DVD | (05/03/2001)
from £4.27 | Saving you £13.72 (76.30%) | RRP
If Brian De Palma directed Mission to Mars for 10-year-olds who have never seen a science fiction film, he can be credited for crafting a marginally successful adventure. Isolated moments in this film serve the highest purpose of its genre, inspiring a sense of wonder and awe in the context of a fascinating future (specifically, the year 2020). But because most of us have seen a lot of science fiction films, it's impossible to ignore this one's derivative plot, cardboard characters and drearily dumb dialogue. Despite an awesome and painstakingly authentic display of cool technology and dazzling special effects, Mission to Mars is light years away from 2001: A Space Odyssey on the scale of human intelligence.After dispensing with a few space-jockey clichés, the movie focuses on a Mars-bound rescue mission commanded by Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise), whose team (Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O'Connell) has been sent to retrieve the sole survivor (Don Cheadle) of a tragic Mars landing. During the sequence en route to Mars, De Palma is in his element with two suspenseful scenes (including a dramatic--albeit somewhat silly--space walk) that are technically impressive. But when this Mission gets to Mars, the movie grows increasingly unconvincing, finally arriving at an alien encounter that more closely resembles an astronomical CGI video game. But this is a $75 million Hollywood movie, and no amount of technical wizardry can lift the burden of a juvenile screenplay. Kudos to Sinise, his co-stars, and the special effects wizards for making the most of hoary material; shame on just about everyone else involved. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Super 8 | DVD | (12/12/2011)
from £4.75 | Saving you £15.24 (76.20%) | RRP
From critically acclaimed director J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) and Oscar Winning producer Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan) comes this action-packed science fiction thriller. It’s summer 1979, and a group of friends from Ohio are in the middle of making their own student film. While shooting a scene at a nearby train station one night, things take a drastic turn for the worse and the group of friends witness a devastating train crash. Soon after, they begin to notice strange happenings around their town as people begin disappearing and inexplicable events begin to occur. Disturbed by what they have seen, the kids set out on a dangerous mission to investigate into this spine-chilling phenomenon and uncover the truth. But what they unearth proves to me much more sinister than they ever imagined. -M.F.