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The Goonies | DVD | (04/10/2004)
from £5.45 | Saving you £8.54 (61.00%) | RRP
You may be surprised to discover that the director of the Lethal Weapon movies and scary horror flick The Omen, Richard Donner, also produced and directed this classic children's adventure (which, by the way, was written by Donner's screen-wizard friend Steven Spielberg). Then again you may not. The Goonies, like Donner's other movies, is the same story of good versus evil. It has its share of bad guys (the Fratelli brothers and their villainous mother), reluctant-hero good guys (the Walsh bothers and their gang of friends), and lots of corny one-liners. Like in an old-fashioned Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew plot, the Goonies need to solve a problem: a corrupt corporate developer has bought out their neighbourhood and plans to flatten all their homes. Luckily, the beloved gang stumbles on a treasure map. In the hopes of finding the treasure to buy back their houses, the Goonies embark on their quest through underground passages, aboard pirate ships, and behind waterfalls. This swashbuckling and rollicking ride was also a great breeding ground for a couple of child actors who went on to enjoy numerous successes in adulthood: Sean Astin (Rudy, Encino Man) and Martha Plimpton (Pecker, 200 Cigarettes). --Samantha Allen Storey, Amazon.com
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince | DVD | (07/12/2009)
from £2.99 | Saving you £22.00 (88.00%) | RRP
10 Things I Hate About You | DVD | (22/03/2010)
from £4.29 | Saving you £13.70 (76.20%) | RRP
It's, like, Shakespeare, man! This good-natured and likeable update of The Taming of the Shrew takes the basics of Shakespeare's farce about a surly wench and the man who tries to win her and transfers it to modern-day Padua High School. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is a sullen, forbidding riot girl who has a blistering word for everyone; her sunny younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) is poised for high school stardom. The problem: overprotective and paranoid Papa Stratford (a dryly funny Larry Miller) won't let Bianca date until boy-hating Kat does, which is to say never. When Bianca's pining suitor Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets wind of this, he hires the mysterious, brooding Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to loosen Kat up. Of course, what starts out as a paying gig turns to true love as Patrick discovers that underneath her brittle exterior, Kat is a regular babe. The script, by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, is sitcom-funny with peppy one-liners and lots of smart teenspeak; however, its cleverness and imagination doesn't really extend beyond its characters' Renaissance names and occasional snippets of real Shakespearean dialogue. What makes the movie energetic and winning is the formula that helped make She's All That such a big hit: two high-wattage stars who look great and can really act. Ledger is a hunk of promise with a quick grin and charming Aussie accent and Stiles mines Kat's bitterness and anger to depths usually unknown in teen films; her recitation of her English class sonnet (from which the film takes its title) is funny, heartbreaking and hopelessly romantic. The imperious Allison Janney (Primary Colors) nearly steals the film as a no-nonsense guidance counsellor secretly writing a trashy romance novel. --Mark Englehart
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2 Disc Special Edition) | DVD | (12/11/2007)
from £4.19 | Saving you £21.80 (83.90%) | RRP
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts and discovers that much of the wizarding community has been denied the truth about his recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort. Fearing that Hogwarts' venerable Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is lying about Voldemort's return in order to undermine his power and take his job the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge appoints a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to keep watch over Dumbledore and the Hogwarts students. But Professor Dolores Umbridge's Ministry-approved course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the dark forces threatening them and the entire wizarding community so at the prompting of his friends Hermione and Ron Harry takes matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students who name themselves ""Dumbledore's Army "" Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead.
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire | DVD | (20/03/2006)
from £2.99 | Saving you £23.00 (88.50%) | RRP
Director Mike Newell takes plenty of time to explore character development, but the story still moves along at a breathless pace, with memorably intense moments involving fire-spewing dragons, dark magical rites, and near-drownings at the hands of slimy mer-people, all of which may prove too much for the youngest of viewers.
Star Trek XI (1-Disc Edition) | DVD | (16/11/2009)
from £2.69 | Saving you £16.00 (80.00%) | RRP
Star Trek is back! Director J.J. Abrams brings you a brand new version of the classic space adventure! Star Trek chronicles the early days of James T Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew. Leonard Nimoy returns to his iconic role as the half-Vulcan half-human Spock whilst Zachary Quinto stars as the young Spock. Chris Pine Karl urban Simon Pegg Anton Yelchin Zoe Saldana and John Cho star as the original series' characters whilst Eric Bana plays the Enterprise crew's nemesis; Nero!
The Lovely Bones | DVD | (28/06/2010)
from £4.79 | Saving you £15.20 (76.00%) | RRP
Director Peter Jackson takes a personal, risky leap in his direction of the film version of Alice Sebold's bestselling novel The Lovely Bones. Yet the leap pays off, in emotional depth and riveting visuals that transport the viewer to other worlds--even ones the viewer may not want to visit. The Lovely Bones is lofted by its star-making performance by the young Saoirse Ronan (Atonement), who plays Susie Salmon, the 14-year-old girl who is murdered early in the film, and who narrates the action from her "in-between place" after dying but before going to heaven. Ronan makes Susie as earthy and awkward as any young teen, yet her presence, and her gorgeous pale eyes, remind viewers that she's otherworldly too. The Lovely Bones takes some big departures from the book, as many critics have pointed out, but it works well on its own merits. The drama involves how (even whether) Susie's family will recover after her ghastly murder, and what happens to her killer and the futile-seeming search for justice and closure. The entire cast is stellar, including Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as Susie's nearly destroyed parents; the composed young New Zealand actress Rose McIver, who plays Susie's younger sister, whom Susie watches grow up to be the young woman that Susie will never get to be; and Susan Sarandon, the boozy, wisecracking grandmother who may or may not be able to help keep the family from splintering into a million pieces. The other true standout is Stanley Tucci, almost unrecognisable as the quiet, creepy neighbour who kills Susie, obsessing over every detail and perhaps having left a whole trail of gruesome murders in his shambling wake. Jackson's deft direction keeps the mourning humans moving along believably, numbly, and gives breathtaking life to the afterlife, in scenes of fantasy and dread that recall his Heavenly Creatures. --A.T. Hurley
Star Trek XI | Blu Ray | (01/11/2010)
from £7.99 | Saving you £19.00 (70.40%) | RRP
Reinventing Star Trek was always going to be controversial but Lost's J.J. Abrams has pulled it off with style creating a bold vision that is faithful without being slavish. The young cast step boldly into iconic roles and the action is bigger and more epic than ever before! Director J.J. Abrams (Alias) re-teams with his MI: III screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to bring a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time.
I Robot - Single Disc Edition | DVD | (03/12/2004)
from £1.99 | Saving you £14.00 (87.60%) | RRP
As paranoid cop Del Spooner, Will Smith displays both his trademark quips and some impressive pectoral muscles in I, Robot. Only Spooner suspects that the robots that provide the near future with menial labor are going to turn on mankind--he's just not sure how. When a leading roboticist dies suspiciously, Spooner pursues a trail that may prove his suspicions. Don't expect much of a connection to Isaac Asimov's classic science fiction stories; I, Robot, the action movie, isn't prepared for any ruminations on the significance of artificial intelligence. This likable, efficient movie won't break any new ground, but it does have an idea or two to accompany its jolts and thrills, which puts it ahead of most recent action flicks. Also featuring Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, and James Cromwell. --Bret Fetzer
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (1 Disc Edition) | DVD | (24/07/2006)
from £4.98 | Saving you £6.00 (54.60%) | RRP
Beset by nightmares that leave his scar hurting more than usual Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is all too happy to escape his disturbing dreams by attending the Quidditch World Cup with his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson). But something sinister ignites the skies at the Quidditch campsite; the Dark Mark the sign of the evil Lord Voldemort. It's conjured by his followers the Death Eaters who haven't dared to appear in public since Voldemort was last seen thirteen years ago - the night he murdered Harry's parents. Harry longs to get back inside the safe walls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) can protect him. But things are going to be a little different this year. Dumbledore announces that Hogwarts will host the Triwizard Tournament one of the most exciting and dangerous of the wizarding community's magical competitions. One champion will be selected from each of the three largest and most prestigious wizarding schools to compete in a series of life-threatening tasks in pursuit of winning the coveted Triwizard Cup...
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant | DVD | (01/03/2010)
from £4.49 | Saving you £11.50 (71.90%) | RRP
Adapted from Darren O'Shaughnessy's book series the Saga of Darren Shan, Cirque du Freak: A Vampire's Assistant is an endearingly goofy teen-vampire tale reminiscent of The Goonies or Lost Boys. Like those kids' horror classics, Cirque du Freak is a coming-of-age tale in which maturity is hastened by horrific discoveries of alternate realms. Best friends Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia) and Steve (Josh Hutcherson) embark on a life-changing career path as monster prodigies after attending a taboo freak show starring various mutants and Madame Octa, a fluffy, neon orange, Muppetlike spider that Darren is irrevocably compelled to kidnap. Darren's petty theft results in the boys' introductions into the dualistic realm of good vampires, including the paternal Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly), and less-generous bloodsuckers such as Murlaugh (Ray Stevenson) and his Vampaneze family. Part of the fun is in learning how vampires are defined in this world; for example, they can't turn into bats but they have magic spit. The film's additional appeal is in its clever teen-vampire cultural nods, such as when Darren plays his Gameboy inside his coffin. The actual circus, too, offers a wide array of fun, spooky characters, such as ringleader Mr. Tall (Ken Watanabe) and Darren's scaly buddy Snakeboy (Patrick Fugit). Cirque du Freak: A Vampire's Assistant has tough moments, too, once the boys realize they can't look back. These moments transform Cirque du Freak: A Vampire's Assistant into a film parents may even be charmed by. --Trinie Dalton
War Of The Worlds | DVD | (14/11/2005)
from £2.42 | Saving you £21.80 (87.20%) | 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.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (1-Disc) | DVD | (30/11/2009)
from £2.99 | Saving you £17.00 (85.00%) | RRP
Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen starring Megan Fox and Shia LeBouef will transform your Christmas with its robot-busting action. Join Sam Prime and the gang in a heart-stopping thrill-ride across several continents to save the Earth from an ancient Decepticon foe. Play.com Review Revenge is coming DreamWorks and Paramount reunites the cast and crew of the 2007 summer blockbuster in Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen. With executive producer Steven Spielberg on board performances from Shia LeBouef Megan Fox and John Turturro plus Star Trek script-writing team Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman this sci-fi action spectacular marks 25 years since the original animated television show Transformers: The Series graced our screens. Two years have passed since Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBouef) Optimus Prime (voiced by Transformers: The Series' Peter Cullen) and the Autobots saved the planet from Megatron (voiced by The Matrix Trilogy's Hugo Weaving) and the Decepticons. Despite Sam's extreme heroics the battle of Mission City has become an urban legend believed only by conspiracy theorists. Now he's preparing for the biggest challenge in his life: Leaving home for college. What will happen to his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) and his robot protector Bumblebee? Meanwhile the Autobots work with the US military Major Lennox ((Josh Duhamel) and USAF Master Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) to track down the remaining Decepticon forces on Earth although Nantional Security Advisor Theodore Galloway (John Benjamin Hickey) has other ideas when it comes to the safety of the human race. When Sam's college experience sours amidst nerdy roommates (Ramon Rodriguez) sexy stalkers (Isabel Lucas) and strange unexplainable visions he seeks to understand what the Decepticons know only too well. A normal life will have to wait because an ancient enemy is on its way to destroy Earth! Can Sam Optimus and co. save the day in the ultimate battle of good vs. evil? The second highest opening day gross of all-time behind The Dark Knight Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is currently the highest grossing film of 2009. With giant robots huge explosions awesome vehicles a myriad of locations a classic tale of good vs. bad and plenty of Megan Fox fan service this is the perfect summer blockbuster. We urge you to transform your life and check out Revenge Of The Fallen as soon as you can.
Minority Report - Single Disc Edition | DVD | (06/10/2003)
from £2.17 | Saving you £15.82 (87.90%) | RRP
Full of morally flawed characters, and shot in grainy desaturated colours, Steven Spielberg's Minority Report is futuristic film noir with a far-fetched B-movie plot that's so feverishly presented the audience never gets a chance to ponder its many improbabilities. Based on a short story by Philip K Dick, the film is set in the Orwellian near-future of 2054, where a trio of genetically modified "pre-cogs" warn of murders before they happen. In an SF twist on the classic Hitchcockian wrong-man scenario, Detective John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is the zealous precrime cop who is himself revealed as a future killer. Plot twists and red herrings drive the action forward, and complications abound, not least Anderton's crippling emotional state, his drug habit, his avuncular-yet-sinister boss (Max Von Sydow) and the ambitious FBI agent Witwer (Colin Farrell) snapping at his heels. Though the film toys with the notion of free will in a deterministic universe, this is not so much a movie of grand ideas as forward-looking ones. Its depiction of a near-future filled with personalised advertising and intrusive security devices that relentlessly violate the right of anonymity is disturbingly believable. Ultimately, though, it's a chase movie and the innovative set-piece sequences reveal Spielberg's flair for staging action. As with A.I. before it, there's a nagging feeling that the all-too-neat resolution is a Spielbergian touch too far: the movie could satisfactorily have ended several minutes earlier. Although this is superior SF from one of Hollywood's greatest craftsmen, it would have been more in the spirit of Philip K Dick to leave a few tantalisingly untidy plot threads dangling. --Mark Walker
Independence Day | DVD | (17/05/2004)
from £2.33 | Saving you £9.66 (80.60%) | RRP
One of the biggest box office hits of all time delivers the ultimate encounter when mysterious and powerful aliens launch an all-out invasion against the human race. The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies. But wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. Now the world's only hope lies with a determined band of survivors uniting for one last strike against the invaders - before it's the en
Planet Of The Apes | DVD | (19/07/2004)
from £3.99 | Saving you £9.00 (69.30%) | RRP
Tim Burton's "re-imagining" of Planet of the Apes is about one thing above all else: monkey movement. But for most filmgoers, whether fans of the 1967 original or not, that’s simply not enough. Thematically the story of an outsider in a society that doesn't know what to do with him chimes in nicely with Burton's other work. As always with Burton, the focus is more on what's colourfully going on around the central character (Mark Wahlberg) than his own story. It all looks stunning, of course, as make-up, set design and costumes outdo the accomplishments of the original. But otherwise a direct comparison with the classic version simply shows up holes in the Burton approach. The breakneck pace at which the pared-down plot is told makes little sense of the material and misses all the satire and social comment potential. What sold the idea to Burton was the opportunity to goof around with apes as humans: as a result the background is constantly peppered with lame visual gags which fall as flat as the unnecessary homages to Charlton Heston, who pops up repeating lines of his own dialogue from the first movie. Slick, action-packed and ultimately nonsensical, this is the film that made a monkey of Tim Burton. On the DVD: balancing out the disappointing movie experience is an exceptional 13 hours of extra material. From the heavily CG-animated menus, you'll encounter some standard fare like libraries of promo material (posters, ads and trailers) and concept art. But they're enormous, as are the 26 cast and crew text profiles. If the THX optimiser tests don't convince you of the need for top equipment, there's DVD-ROM and NUON-enhanced player features as well. The "White Rabbit" Enhanced Viewing Mode for FX vignettes and four multi-angle featurettes on shooting scenes may seem a little dry, but the other features ranging from 10 to 30 minutes aren't. You'll find it hard picking a favourite between Rick Baker gushing over the lifetime dream of ape make-up, Michael Clarke Duncan playing to camera on location, or Danny Elfman at work on the scoring stage. Of the two commentaries Elfman’s is better by far, even if somewhat sporadic and clearly not recorded to picture. Burton's is typically fragmented, and is certainly not the place to discover what on earth the "shock-value-for-the-sake-of-it" ending means. --Paul Tonks
Spider-Man 3 | DVD | (15/10/2007)
from £3.89 | Saving you £19.10 (83.10%) | RRP
Based on the legendary Marvel Comics series Peter Parker has finally managed to strike a balance between his devotion to M.J. and his duties as a superhero. But there is a storm brewing on the horizon. When his suit suddenly changes turning jet-black and enhancing his powers it transforms Peter as well bringing out the dark vengeful side of his personality that he is struggling to control. Under the influence of the suit Peter becomes over confident and starts to neglect the p
Signs | DVD | (31/03/2003)
from £4.39 | Saving you £13.60 (75.60%) | RRP
Director-writer M Night Shyamalan brings his distinctive, oblique approach to aliens in Signs after tackling ghosts (The Sixth Sense) and superheroes (Unbreakable). With Mel Gibson replacing Bruce Willis as the traditional Shyamalan hero--a family man traumatised by loss--and leaving urban Philadelphia for the Pennsylvania sticks, the film starts with crop circles showing up on the property Gibson shares with his ex-ballplayer brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and his two troubled pre-teen kids (pay attention--all these character quirks turn out to be important). Though the world outside is undergoing a crisis of Independence Day-sized proportions, Shyamalan limits the focus to this family, who retreat into their cellar when "intruders" arrive from lights in the sky and set out to "harvest" them. Just as Unbreakable slowly revealed itself to be Superman re-thought as an intense personal drama, this is The Birds redone as a religious drama of faith lost and perhaps regained. The tone is less certain than the earlier films--some of the laughs seem unintentional and Gibson's performance isn't quite on a level with Willis's commitment--but Shyamalan still directs the suspense and shock dramas better than anyone else. On the DVD: Signs has THX-certified Dolby Digital Surround Sound which reproduces in the home exactly as the scary sounds that creeped you out in the cinema. A selection of deleted scenes are mostly tiny, but there's a self-reflexive joke (wisely dropped but worth preserving) as Gibson wishes his dead wife were here in the crisis because she was so smart: "She always knew how movies would end." A six-part making-of goes deeper than the usual puff-piece, including an interesting alternative to a commentary track as Shyamalan talks through a précis of clips and on-set snippets. A tradition continued from the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable DVDs is an extract from Pictures, "Night's first alien film". It's a teenage camcorder effort in which the future A-list Hollywoodian is menaced by a tiny Halloween-masked robot. Also included are a "multi-angle storyboards" feature, subtitles in a clutch of languages and eerie menu screens. --Kim Newman
Super 8 | DVD | (12/12/2011)
from £3.99 | Saving you £16.00 (80.00%) | 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.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus | DVD | (29/03/2010)
from £4.99 | Saving you £15.00 (75.00%) | RRP
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus tells the story of the titular Doctor and his travelling 'Imaginarium' where audience members get the chance to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Doctor parnassus long ago made a bet with the devil trading his immortality for youth on the grounds that when his first born reached its 16th year he or she would become the property of the devil. Dr Parnassus' daughter Valentina is now approaching her 16th birthday and he is desperate to protect her from the imminant handover. The devil arrives but as a betting man makes another wager. Now in order to win Valentina the victor must be the first to seduce five souls. Joined by many wild and eccentric characters in his journey Dr Parnassus promises his daughter's hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. This new Terry Gilliam flick will be notable for being the last film Heath Ledger worked on his role in the film being unfinished before his untimely death. As the story is centered on a 1 000 year old magician with a magic mirror that serves as a portal the film was saved by Johnny Depp Jude Law and Colin Farrell all playing versions of the same character portrayed by Ledger changing as they pass through the mirror.