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The Party | DVD | (27/09/2004)
from £5.24 | Saving you £14.75 (73.80%) | RRP
Though this film is a relatively minor one in the massive canon of Peter Sellers, it has moments of absolute hilarity. Written and directed by Blake Edwards, one of Sellers' most fertile collaborators, the film stars Sellers as a would-be actor from India (let them try to get away with that today) who is a walking disaster area. After ruining a day's shooting as an extra on a film, he finds himself unintentionally invited to a big Hollywood party. That's pretty much it as far as plot goes, but Edwards and Sellers know how to milk a simple idea for an unending string of slapstick gags. The result is a film that is episodic and sketchy but also frequently loony in an inspired way. --Marshall Fine
The First Wives Club (1996) | DVD | (02/10/2000)
from £6.49 | Saving you £6.50 (50.00%) | RRP
Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton prove revenge is a dish best served cold. Former college buddies, they reunite at the funeral of a dear friend who took a swan dive onto Fifth Avenue. All three discover they share the same unhappy history of husbands who dove into middle-age by dumping them for trophy wives. Forming a warring triumvirate, they decide to get even, and along the way remind themselves of long-forgotten capabilities. The action gets a little too "wacky" at times, but the gals are great. Portraying an ageing actress, Hawn is sometimes a little too flamboyant, but there is much fun to be had in her flashiness, especially when she pokes fun at Tinseltown and her persona. Instead of her usual brashness, Midler stretches herself and shows us a woman who is not just unhappy, but also deeply sorrowful. Not that she isn't quick with a wisecrack, but her expressive face alone tells the story of her marriage. As the repressed and guilt-ridden spouse of a self-involved ad executive, Keaton finds her anger, and her voice, when her psychiatrist (Marcia Gay Harden) oversteps ethical boundaries. Watching Keaton grow from an ineffectual homemaker into a powerful businessperson reminds us that it has been far too long since she has done a comedy. Director Hugh Wilson smartly chose supporting players who each brought something unique to the film. However, he does not maintain the first hour's effervescent humour throughout the film, as the ending is weakened by a softening of the wives' resolve. --Rochelle O'Gorman
The Other Woman | DVD | (13/10/2014)
from £5.39 | Saving you £14.60 (73.00%) | RRP
After discovering her boyfriend is married a woman tries to get her ruined life back on track. But when she accidentally meets the wife he's been cheating on she realizes they have much in common and her sworn enemy becomes her greatest friend. When yet another affair is discovered all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on their cheating lying three-timing SOB. Hilarious comedy starring Cameron Diaz Leslie Mann and Kate Upton.
The Big Lebowski | DVD | (09/04/1999)
from £3.27 | Saving you £10.59 (66.20%) | RRP
The Big Lebowski, a casually amusing follow-up from the prolifically inventive Coen brothers (Ethan and Joel), seems like a bit of a lark and the result was a box-office disappointment. It's lazy plot is part of its laidback charm. After all, how many movies can claim as their hero a pot-bellied, pot-smoking loser named Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) who spends most of his time bowling and getting stoned? And where else could you find a hair-netted Latino bowler named Jesus (John Turturro) who sports dazzling purple footgear, or an erotic artist (Julianne Moore) whose creativity consists of covering her naked body in paint, flying through the air in a leather harness, and splatting herself against a giant canvas? Who else but the Coens would think of showing you a camera view from inside the holes of a bowling ball, or an elaborate Busby Berkely-styled musical dream sequence involving a Viking goddess and giant bowling pins? The plot--which finds Lebowski involved in a kidnapping scheme after he's mistaken for a rich guy with the same name--is almost beside the point. What counts here is a steady cascade of hilarious dialogue, great work from Coen regulars John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, and the kind of cinematic ingenuity that puts the Coens in a class all their own. --Jeff Shannon
Sneakers | DVD | (19/03/2012)
from £8.69 | Saving you £19.30 (69.00%) | RRP
This enjoyable thriller, written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson (the screenwriter of Field of Dreams), follows a raggedy group of corporate security experts who get in over their heads when they accept an assignment poaching some hot hardware for the National Security Agency. Robert Redford plays the group's guru, an ageing techno-anarchist who has been hiding from the feds since the early 1970s; his companionable gang of freaks includes Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, the late River Phoenix, and Sidney Poitier, as a veteran CIA operative turned "sneaker." The technological black box that everybody is after, an array of computer chips that can decode any encrypted message, isn't a very plausible invention, but it's a serviceable McGuffin, and the megalomania of the master plotter played by Ben Kingsley has more resonance than most. Modest inferences can be drawn about the very latest high-tech threats to civil liberties. --David Chute, Amazon.com
Sarah Millican: Outsider | DVD | (21/11/2016)
from £9.59 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Sarah Millican returns with her biggest tour yet, Outsider. In the past when you put Sarah Millican outside, she asked things like: ?Why? Where is the taxi? Do I need a cardie?' and said things like: ?There'll be wasps. I've nothing to sit on. Is that poo? Can we go home?' But things have changed. Now she has outside slippers. She can tell a chaffinch from a tit (hey). But she still can't tell if it's an owl or her husband's asthma. Sarah Millican is venturing outside. Bring a cardie.
The Sting | DVD | (29/05/2000)
from £5.59 | Saving you £14.40 (72.00%) | RRP
Winner of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay, this critical and box-office hit from 1973 provided a perfect reunion for director George Roy Hill and stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who had previously delighted audiences with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969. Set in 1936, The Sting features a pair of Chicago con artists (Newman and Redford) who find themselves in a high-stakes game against the master of all cheating mobsters (Robert Shaw) when they set out to avenge the murder of a mutual friend and partner. Using a bogus bookie joint as a front for their con of all cons, the two feel the heat from the Chicago Mob on one side and encroaching police on the other. But in a plot that contains more twists than a treacherous mountain road, the ultimate scam is pulled off with consummate style and panache. It's an added bonus that Newman and Redford were box-office kings at the top of their game, and while Shaw broods intensely as the Runyon-esque villain, The Sting is further blessed by a host of great supporting players including Dana Elcar, Eileen Brennan, Ray Walston, Charles Durning, and Harold Gould. Thanks to the flavourful music score by Marvin Hamlisch, this was also the movie that sparked a nationwide revival of Scott Joplin's ragtime jazz, which is featured prominently on the soundtrack. One of the most entertaining movies of the early 1970s, The Sting is a welcome throwback to Hollywood's golden age of the 30s that hasn't lost any of its popular charm. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Boys from the Blackstuff | DVD | (26/05/2003)
from £8.48 | Saving you £-1.48 (-21.10%) | RRP
Alan Bleasdale's Boys from the Blackstuff gripped television audiences in 1982 with its bleak, fiercely funny exploration of the effect of the UK's economic depression on a group of Merseyside characters, originally introduced in his 1978 play, The Blackstuff. Bleasdale's writing is unsparing in both its pain and its unconditional affection for characters being pushed to the very limit of civilisation. Yosser Hughes (the outstanding Bernard Hill) is still, and rightly, recognised as one of the great creations of modern television drama: a man on the brink of madness, unlikeable, ostracised, digging a deeper hole with every desperate act, but ultimately a human being deserving our sympathy. The performances are wonderful throughout: particularly Peter Kerrigan as Malone, the once giant union leader reduced to a shadow but still with the spark that commands love and respect; Michael Angelis as Chrissie and, in a typically sharp cameo, Julie Walters as his wife. "My dreams still give me hope and faith in my class. I can't believe there's no hope," says Chrissie towards the end. And it's testament to Bleasdale's skill and the resilience of his characters that somehow, that flicker of hope remains unextinguished. The blackstuff--the tarmac--of the title becomes increasingly ironic. There is none. The boys have no work. The dole office scenes have a grimly nostalgic, documentary quality. Each second drips another droplet of disillusionment on people whose expectations are crushed by every effort to haul themselves up. Thatcher's Britain was a cruel place for many people. The unspoken question that hangs in the air after watching Bleasdale's poetic dissection of ruined lives is, have things really changed that much? Television drama doesn't come any more powerful or honest than this. On the DVD: Boys from the Blackstuff is presented in standard 4:3 TV format with a mono soundtrack that often suffers from a muffled quality. There's only one additional feature, but it's a treasure: The Blackstuff, Alan Bleasdale's original 90-minute play, is presented as a prelude to the series with the bonus of an insightful commentary from the author and the director, Jim Goddard. --Piers Ford
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World | DVD | (11/03/2002)
from £5.78 | Saving you £7.21 (55.50%) | RRP
Stanley Kramer's 1963 It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World is a sprawling comedy about a search for buried treasure by at least a dozen people--all played by well-known entertainers of their day--is the kind of mass comedy that has recently come back to the for-front of Hollywood with the film Rat Race. After a number of strangers (including Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Sid Caesar, Phil Silvers and others) witness a dying stranger (Jimmy Durante) identify the location of hidden money, a conflict-ridden hunt begins, watched over carefully by a suspicious cop (Spencer Tracy). The ensuing two and a half hours of mayhem has its ups and downs--some sketches and performers are certainly funnier than others. But Kramer, who is better known for socially conscious, serious cinema (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?), is in a mood for broad comic characterization, and some of his jokes are so intentionally obvious (Durante literally kicks a bucket when he dies), they could have derived from the Airplane! reject bin. Watch for lots of cameo appearances, including Jerry Lewis. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
The Money Pit | DVD | (06/09/2010)
from £5.59 | Saving you £4.40 (44.00%) | RRP
Steven Spielberg produced this underwhelming 1986 effort at a slapstick spin on Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. The pre-Oscar Tom Hanks stars with Shelley Long as a married couple whose efforts to finish construction on their home are sabotaged by costly and sporadically funny accidents. The unfinished domicile becomes a metaphor for their troubled relationship, as evidenced by the attraction of Long's character to a madman violinist (Alexander Godunov). Hanks is the only reason at this point to check this film out. Richard Benjamin (My Favorite Year) directs but with no flair or distinction. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
Nine Lives | DVD | (12/12/2016)
from £6.21 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Barry Sonnenfeld directs this feline comedy caper starring Kevin Spacey as Tom Brand, a billionaire businessman who has neglected his relationship with his family. When his daughter (Malina Weissman) asks for a cat for her birthday, as she has done for years, due to a lack of other ideas Tom caves despite his hatred for felines. Quirky pet shop owner Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken) sells him Mr. Fuzzypants, a gorgeous tomcat. However, a terrible accident results in Tom being trapped in the cat's body. Will this give him the opportunity to learn more about his daughter and wife (Jennifer Garner)?
Bring It On: Worldwide Showdown | DVD | (09/10/2017)
from £8.48 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Vivica A. Fox makes her Bring It On debut as Cheer Goddess, the internet's most popular Cheer-lebrity. When Destiny (Cristine Prosperi), captain of three-time national champion The Rebels, is challenged to a global cheer showdown by an edgy new team called The Truth, Cheer Goddess organises a virtual battle for squads from all around the world. It seems like the whole world wants to take down Destiny and her team, and they just might succeed, unless Destiny can rise to the challenge, set her ego aside and figure out who her real friends are.
Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure | DVD | (06/10/2008)
from £5.99 | Saving you £6.50 (50.00%) | RRP
Bill and Ted are two cool dudes but to their teacher they are high school no-hopers. They fantasise about forming a band called 'Wyld Stallyns' - one day they'll put themselves together and learn to play guitar. But unless Ted achieves the seemingly impossible and passes a history presentation he will be shipped off to military school. End of friendship. A figure from the future appears in the nick of time providing a time-travelling phone booth. The two jump in and out of different eras collecting historical figures (from Socrates to Billy the Kid) and confronting them with West Coast culture!
Sightseers | DVD | (25/03/2013)
from £6.99 | Saving you £11.00 (61.10%) | RRP
Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way - on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina's led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see - the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that accompanies these wonders in his life. But it doesn't take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked caravan sites, not to mention Tina's meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris's dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him up the wrong way, over a very jagged edge...
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Christmas Decoration) | DVD | (24/10/2016)
from £6.29 | Saving you £1.70 (21.30%) | RRP
Jim Carrey is up to all his old tricks (and some nifty new ones) in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, a live-action film of Dr Seuss's holiday classic. Under a thick carpet of green-dyed yak fur and wonderfully expressive Rick Baker makeup, he commands the title role with equal parts madness, mayhem, pathos and improvisational genius, channelling Grinchness through his own screen persona so smoothly that fans of both Carrey and Dr Seuss will be thoroughly satisfied. Adding to the fun is a perfectly pitched back-story sequence (accompanied by Anthony Hopkins's narration) that explains how the Grinch came to hate Christmas, with a heart "two sizes too small". Ron Howard proves a fine choice for the director's chair with a keen balance of comedy, sentiment and light-hearted Seussian whimsy. Production designer Michael Corenblith gloriously realises the wackiness of Whoville architecture, and his rendition of the Grinch's Mt Crumpit lair is a marvel of cartoonish, subterranean grime. Then there's Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), the thoughtful imp who rallies her village to recapture the pure spirit of Christmas and melts the gift-stealing Grinch's cold, cold heart. You've even got a dog (the Grinch's good-natured mongrel, Max) who's been perfectly cast, so what's not to like about this dazzling yuletide movie? The production gets a bit overwhelmed by its own ambition, and the citizens of Whoville (including Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon and Bill Irwin) pale in comparison to Carrey's inspired lunacy, but who cares? If a film can unleash Jim Carrey at his finest, revamp the Grinch story and still pay tribute to the legacy of Dr Seuss, you can bet it qualifies as rousing entertainment. (Ages five and older.) --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com.On the DVD: You'd be hard pushed to cram any more special features on to this disc: as well as four deleted scenes, there's over an hour of behind the scenes featurettes. From a documentary about the stunts, the Oscar-winning make-up and how the team visually translated Dr Suess' festive tale to the screen, to a segment on the visual effects and CGI, allowing you to follow the filmmaker's process from beginning to end. And just when you think you have filled up on Grinchy extras there's another menu with the cinema trailer, "Wholiday" recipes, statistics about the film, cast and crew biographies, a trailer for the PlayStation game and the Faith Hill music video "Where are you Christmas". In a bid not to exclude the kids in this DVD bonanza, the Grinch's canine chum takes you through "Max's Playhouse" including interactive games and music, Dress the Grinch, a read-along story and a rhyming game. The candy-cane colours of the Christmas-obsessed town of Whoville shine brightly in anamorphic widescreen; the Dolby 5.1 Soundtrack will fill your house with festive cheer; and the intelligent commentary from Ron Howard give you some great behind the scenes info. --Kristen Bowditch
Beetlejuice | Blu Ray | (06/10/2008)
from £7.89 | Saving you £12.10 (60.50%) | RRP
What's a young ghost couple to do when their quaint New England home is overturn by trendy New Yorkers? They hire a freelance bio-exorcist to spook the intruders. And everyone gets more than he she or it bargained for! Alec Baldwin Geena Davis Winona Ryder and Sylvia Sidney share starring honours with the movie's wondrous production design Harry Belafonte soundtrack tunes and Academy Award winning Best Makeup. So exorcise your right to fun. Say the word three times and have a wonderful Day-O!
Why Him? | DVD | (01/05/2017)
from £6.95 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective dad, visits his daughter at Stanford where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). A rivalry develops and Ned's panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns Laird is about to pop the question.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- Two-disc set | DVD | (04/03/2002)
from £4.49 | Saving you £14.25 (71.30%) | RRP
The second best comedy ever made, Monty Python and the Holy Grail must give precedence only to the same team's masterpiece, The Life of Brian (1979). Even though most of this film's set-pieces are now indelibly inscribed in every Python fan's psyche, as if by magic they never seem to pall. And they remain endlessly, joyfully quotable: from the Black Knight ("It's just a flesh wound"), to the constitutional peasants ("Come and see the violence inherent in the system!") and the taunting French soldier ("Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"). Not forgetting of course the migratory habits of European and African swallows... The film's mock-Arthurian narrative provides a sturdy framework for the jokes, and the authentic-looking production design is relentlessly and gloriously dirty. The miniscule budget turns out to be one of the film's greatest assets: Can't afford horses? Use coconuts instead. No money for special effects? Let Terry Gilliam animate. And so on, from Camelot ("it's only a model") to the rampaging killer rabbit glove puppet. True it's let down a little by a rushed ending, and the jokes lack the sting of Life of Brian's sharply observed satire, but Holy Grail is still timeless comedy that's surely destined for immortality. On the DVD: Disc One contains a digitally remastered anamorphic (16:9) print of the film--which is still a little grainy, but a big improvement on previous video releases--with a splendidly remixed Dolby 5.1 soundtrack (plus an added 24 seconds of self-referential humour "absolutely free"!). There are two commentaries, one with the two Terrys, co-directors Jones and Gilliam, the other a splicing together of three separate commentaries by Michael Palin, John Cleese (in waspish, nit-picking mood) and Eric Idle. A "Follow the Killer Rabbit" feature provides access either to the Accountant's invoices or Gilliam's conceptual sketches. Subtitle options allow you to read the screenplay or watch with spookily appropriate captions from Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II. The second disc has lots more material, much of it very silly and inconsequential (an educational film on coconuts, the Camelot song in Lego and so on), plus a long-ish documentary from 2001 in which Palin and Jones revisit Doune Castle, Glencoe and other Scottish locations. Perhaps best of all, though, are the two scenes from the Japanese version with English subtitles, in which we see the search for the Holy sake cup, and the Ni-saying Knights who want... bonsai! --Mark Walker
Last Of The Summer Wine - Series 15-16 - Complete | DVD | (26/10/2009)
from £6.89 | Saving you £18.10 (72.40%) | RRP
Episodes Comprise: Series 15: 1. How to Clear Your Pipes 2. Where There's Smoke There's Barbecue 3. The Black Widow 4. Have You Got a Light Mate? 5. Concerto for Solo Bicycle 6. Stop That Bath 7. Springing Smiler 8. There Are Gypsies at the Bottom of Our Garden 9. Aladdin Gets on Your Wick 10. Welcome to Earth Season 16: 1. The Man Who Nearly Knew Pavarotti 2. The Glory Hole 3. Adopted by a Stray 4. The Defeat of the Stoneworm 5. Once in a Moonlit Junkyard 6. The Space Ace 7. The Most Powerful Eyeballs in West Yorkshire 8. The Dewhursts of Ogleby Hall 9. The Sweet Smell of Excess
Red Dwarf: Series 3 | DVD | (03/11/2003)
from £3.79 | Saving you £13.52 (67.60%) | RRP
The third series of Red Dwarf introduced some radical changes--all of them for the better--but the scripts remained as sharp and character-focussed as ever, making this a firm candidate for the show's best year. Gone were the dull metallic grey sets and costumes, gone too was Norman Lovett's lugubrious Holly, replaced now by comedienne Hattie Hayridge, who had previously played Hilly in the Series 2 episode "Parallel Universe". New this year were custom-made costumes, more elaborate sets, the zippy pea-green Starbug, bigger special effects and the wholly admirable Robert Llewellyn as Kryten. The benefits of the show's changes are apparent from the outset, with the mind-bending hilarity of "Backwards", in which Kryten and Rimmer establish themselves as a forwards-talking double-act on a reverse Earth. After a modest two-hander that sees Rimmer and Lister "Marooned", comes one of the Dwarf's most beloved episodes, "Polymorph". Here is the ensemble working at its best, as each character unwittingly has their strongest emotion sucked out of them. Lister loses his fear; Cat his vanity; Kryten his reserve; and Rimmer his anger ("Chameleonic Life-Forms. No Thanks"). "Body Swap" sees Lister and Rimmer involved in a bizarre attempt to prevent the ship from self-destructing. "Timeslides" delves deep into Rimmer's psyche as the boys journey haphazardly through history. Finally, "The Last Day" shows how completely Kryten has been adopted as a crewmember, when his replacement Hudzen unexpectedly shows up. On the DVD: Red Dwarf, Series 3 two-disc set maintains the high standard of presentation and wealth of extra material established by its predecessors. Among other delights there are the usual "Smeg Ups" and deleted scenes, plus another fun commentary with the cast. There's a lengthy documentary, "All Change", specifically about Series 3, a tribute to costume designer Mel Bibby, Hattie Hayridge's convention video diary, and--most fascinating--the opportunity to watch "Backwards" played forwards, so you can finally understand what Arthur Smith's backwards-talking pub manager actually says to Rimmer and Kryten in the dressing room. --Mark Walker