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Pokemon The Movie 2000 | DVD | (14/05/2001)
from £20.00 | Saving you £-6.01 (-43.00%) | RRP
Pokémon 2000, the second film to spin off the powerhouse child-friendly franchise of the turn-of-the-millennium, consists of the colourful if babyish human-presence free, short Pikachu's Rescue Adventure and the more elaborate feature The Power of One. The main attraction is up to snuff animation-wise, with imaginative settings (an island lair, a huge dirigible) that crossbreed cyberpunk futurism and Jules Verne style retro-fantasy. It even has the germ of an interesting, almost subversive idea, in that the story's wealthy villain is a green-haired fanatic who is as obsessive about collecting Pokémon as the film's target audience--he's after three fabled birds, Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno, but is really interested in the cute Loch Ness Monster-type being Lugia--but his philosophy is so skewed that he is more interested in owning and numbering the fabulous creatures than training or befriending them. A clever pun in a prophecy decrees that in a predestined crisis, "the world will turn to ash"--this turns out not to be a gloomy foretelling of holocaust but the revelation that human hero Ash is a messianic "Chosen One" who can restore the balance of nature when the collector's antics have unleashed worldwide climatic change. Adults might find the whole thing an endurance test for its shrill voicings, with Americanised kids and Japanese baby-talking Pokémon, not to mention the meld of incredibly simplistic storyline with amazingly intricate backstory. A trace of self-awareness comes in a brief snippet from a Weird Al Yankovic's song ("Polka mon") under the crowded end credits. --Kim Newman Video description DVD special features: The nice-looking DVD (letterboxed to 1.85:1) comes with a "special edition" Pikachu card; trailers for this film and Pokémon 3; video clips of Pokémon--themed songs performed by Dream Street, Alysha Antonio and Youngstown; a snippet-like "making of the soundtrack" featurette, DVD-ROM features that won't play on a Mac (mostly Web-site links and ads for new poképroducts--"for the first time you will be able to discover if your Pokémon are male or female"!); soundtracks in English, French, Dutch, German and Italian with subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Arabic.
A Christmas Carol Super Play (with 3D Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (08/11/2010)
from £28.75 | Saving you £1.24 (4.10%) | RRP
Fans of Robert Zemeckis's brilliant special effects, and of Jim Carrey's transformative acting abilities, will be swept away by their collaboration in the stunning A Christmas Carol. Perhaps more surprising is that Charles Dickens purists will also be impressed and captivated by this version of the oft-told tale--which is dark, complex, and in its way, uncompromising. Which is all to say that this Christmas Carol is an instant holiday classic, easily taking its place alongside the Alistair Sim version, the Patrick Stewart version, and even the Mr. Magoo version of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his ultimate holiday redemption. Carrey is dazzling as not only Scrooge, the most miserable, and miserly, man in 19th-century England, but as the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. As with The Polar Express, Zemeckis animates the film over the actors' physical performances onscreen, but here, the emotion is intact--even heightened by the brilliant effects. Joining Carrey in the cast are terrific players, including Gary Oldman (Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the ghost of Marley), Cary Elwes, Bob Hoskins, and Robin Wright Penn. But the heart of the film is Carrey, whose dramatic acting has shone in films like The Truman Show and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. The emotional connection Carrey makes with his characters is what brings Dickens's classic alive--and what connects the viewer with the true spirit of the holidays. "God bless us, every one". --A.T. Hurley
Tom's Midnight Garden | DVD | (02/04/2001)
from £19.99 | Saving you £-5.99 (-37.50%) | RRP
Tom's Midnight Garden is a charming adaptation of Philippa Pearce's children's story. It's the 1950s, and young Tom Long (Anthony Way) is sent to stay at the house of an Aunt (Greta Scacchi) and Uncle (James Wilby) while his brother is poorly. All seems drearily disciplined until the downstairs grandfather clock strikes 13, and Tom discovers a secret garden of enormous size. There he meets a girl named Hatty (Florence Hoath), who seems to be both a part of and the answer to the magical mystery. Through the changing seasons the garden ages, and so does Hatty. Eventually all is revealed: the importance of a tree struck by lightning, the reclusive landlady in the attic (Joan Plowright), and the present-day setting of the film's opening with a grown-up Tom watching the house being torn down. Some amusing computer trickery allows for the redecoration of the house each time Tom travels in time, and also allows him to pass through solid objects in supernatural fashion. All of which makes the movie a visual feast for children. Although adults will think it rather stiffly directed, the poignant tale about what happens to memories and friendships as we grow old shines through, helped immensely by composer Debbie Wiseman's luminous music score. --Paul Tonks
Coraline (Includes the 2D and 3D Version and 4 Pairs of 3D Glasses) | Blu Ray | (12/10/2009)
from £5.00 | Saving you £3.81 (15.20%) | RRP
Neil Gaiman adapts his own fantasy novel for this stop-motion animated adventure from the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas. 11-year old Coraline (Dakota Fanning) must escape an alternate reality where her parents dote on her when this seemingly perfect world starts to turn bad. From Henry Selick the visionary director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and based on Neil Gaiman's best-selling book comes this spectacular stop-motion animated adventure! Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) is bored until she finds a secret door and discovers an alternate better version of her life on the other side. When this seemingly perfect world turns dangerous Coraline must use her resourcefulness determination and bravery to save her family.
Sky High | UMD | (06/02/2006)
from £20.97 | Saving you £-1.98 (-10.40%) | RRP