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The Santa Clause 2 | DVD | (17/11/2003)
from £3.88 | Saving you £14.00 (77.80%) | RRP
Considering how lame this sequel could have been, The Santa Clause 2 makes for a pleasant seasonal diversion. It's got the familiar smell of Disney marketeering, and more than a few parents will object to this further embellishment of the St Nick legend, but Tim Allen's amiable presence provides ample compensation. As a divorced dad who inherited the jolly man's job in The Santa Clause, Allen now faces another Yuletide challenge. According to the "Missus Clause" in his North Pole contract, he can't continue to be the real Santa until he gets married. As luck and five credited screenwriters would have it, Allen falls for the Scroogey principal (Elizabeth Mitchell) of his son's school, while a phoney, power-hungry duplicate Santa wreaks havoc on the North Pole's overworked elves. It's all as sweet as spiced eggnog, with that warmed-over feel of a mandated sequel, but the Christmas spirit does prevail with the sound of sleigh bells and Allen's rosy-cheeked "Ho, ho, ho!". --Jeff Shannon
2001: A Space Odyssey | DVD | (01/06/2006)
from £5.45 | Saving you £8.54 (61.00%) | RRP
Confirming that art and commerce can co-exist, 2001: A Space Odyssey was the biggest box-office hit of 1968, remains the greatest science fiction film yet made and is among the most revolutionary, challenging and debated work of the 20th century. It begins within a pre-historic age. A black monolith uplifts the intelligence of a group of apes on the African plains. The most famous edit in cinema introduces the 21st century, and after a second monolith is found on the moon a mission is launched to Jupiter. On the spacecraft are Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Poole (Gary Lockwood), along with the most famous computer in fiction, HAL. Their adventure will be, as per the original title, a "journey beyond the stars". Written by science fiction visionary Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, 2001 elevated the SF film to entirely new levels, being rigorously constructed with a story on the most epic of scales. Four years in the making and filmed in 70 mm, the attention to detail is staggering and four decades later barely any aspect of the film looks dated, the visual richness and elegant pacing creating the sense of actually being in space more convincingly than any other film. A sequel, 2010: Odyssey Two (1984) followed, while Solaris (1972), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), The Abyss (1989) and A.I. (2001) are all indebted to this absolute classic which towers monolithically over them all. On the DVD: There is nothing but the original trailer which, given the status of the film and the existence of an excellent making-of documentary shown on Channel 4 in 2001, is particularly disappointing. Shortly before he died Kubrick supervised the restoration of the film and the production of new 70 mm prints for theatrical release in 2001. Fortunately the DVD has been taken from this material and transferred at the 70 mm ratio of 2.21-1. There is some slight cropping noticeable, but both anamorphically enhanced image and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack (the film was originally released with a six-channel magnetic sound) are excellent, making this transfer infinitely preferable to previous video incarnations. --Gary S Dalkin
Chicken Run | DVD | (04/12/2000)
from £5.59 | Saving you £7.40 (57.00%) | RRP
As warming as a nice cup of tea on a cloudy day, Chicken Run is that charming singularity, a commercially successful British family movie that has near-universal appeal without compromising its inherent British pluckiness (that will be the first and last poultry-pun in this review). It invites us into the Plasticine-world of Tweedy's farm, a far-from-free-range egg factory ruled with an axe of iron by greedy Mrs.Tweedy. One intrepid chicken, Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha) sets her sights on breaking out the whole flock, a cast of beautifully individuated chicken characters including ditsy Babs (voiced by Jane Horrocks), matronly Bunty (Imelda Staunton) and practical-minded Mac (Lynn Ferguson). Each effort is thwarted, and Ginger repeatedly reaps a spell in the coal bunker for her troubles, prompting the first of many allusions to The Great Escape, one of several World War II films name-checked throughout. (Grown-ups will have a ball playing Spot-the-Allusion Game here.) When an American rooster named Rocky (Mel Gibson) literally drops in from the air, the hens are set all a-flutter with excitement thinking he'll help teach them to fly away at last. But Rocky is not all he seems. Although the action sags just a fraction around the 40-minute mark, it's the set pieces that really lift this into the realm of cartoon genius: the montage of inept flying attempts, Rocky and Ginger's narrow escape from Mrs Tweedy's new pie machine (an horrific contraption of chomping steel and industrial menace) and the magnificent, soaring climax. Despite the fact British animators (such as the directors, Nick Park and Peter Lord, themselves) regularly scoop Oscars for their short films, our record in full-feature length cartoons has been scrappy at best. There have been a few highlights--Animal Farm (1955), The Yellow Submarine (1968), Watership Down (1978)--and, er, that's about it really, unless you count The Magic Roundabout: Dougal and the Blue Cat. ChickenRun, made by the Aardman production house who produced the delightful Wallace and Gromit shorts among many other treats, has proved that Britain can compete with the most calculated, merchandised and screen-tested Disney production and win. --Leslie Felperin
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace | DVD | (20/09/2004)
from £3.05 | Saving you £11.00 (55.00%) | RRP
George Lucas transports audiences back to the future with Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace, the first instalment of a prequel trilogy in which the director imagines the foundation for the entire six-part saga. Reflecting the symbolic and mythological bases of at least five story arcs, The Phantom Menace wields a newly emerged, youthful vibrancy courtesy of Lucas' invigorating return to the director's chair and his healthy respect for the emotional sources of fantasy. Despite receiving a storm of adverse criticism (notably for Jar Jar Binks) Lucas continually fascinates with his ability to place his characters--some new, some old, some CGI--in the same dramatic situations posed in the original trilogy: whether it be the juxtaposition of primitives with technologically advanced societies or the timeless battle between good and evil, the very familiarity of these recurring scenarios and rhythms galvanises the viewer. Of course, the state-of-the-art visual effects contribute mightily to the final impact. Much has been written about the kinetic Pod Race sequence (compared favourably with the chariot race in Ben Hur) and the War and Peace-style military battles, but even these events are upstaged by the new planetary vistas: consider the Romanesque grandeur of Naboo, the underwater city of Otoh Gunga illuminated by Art Nouveau lamps, the decadent brio of Tatooine, or the dizzying skyscrapers of the city planet Coruscant (imagine Blade Runner in daylight). Despite the beauty of his iridescent images, Lucas exercises discipline, cutting fast within frames filled with rich detail and activity. As a result, The Phantom Menace lends itself to repeated viewings. On the DVD: This spectacular two-disc DVD set was certainly worth the wait. Simply put, this is the most comprehensive packaging of supplementary materials so far assembled for DVD. Most importantly, Lucas film offers an anamorphic, 2.35:1 film transfer and a highly active Dolby 5.1 audio mix. Disc 1 includes an insightful commentary with Lucas--his first for DVD--and other key personnel, making for a great tour. The bulk of extra treasures can be found on Disc 2, including seven deleted scenes completed just for this set that possess the same quality as the film; in fact, some moments (the "Air Bus Taxi" and "Pod Race Grid" sequences) are so good that Lucas reincorporated them into the film proper. Viewers can also enjoy no less than 12 Web documentaries, five informative featurettes, the popular John Williams music video "Duel of the Fates" and numerous galleries of stills, trailers and television spots. Better yet, Lucas premieres "The Beginning," a 66-minute documentary edited from hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes footage. This is not your standard-issue studio documentary, instead "The Beginning" is an Oscar-worthy, cinema verityé-style exploration of the creative process behind every aspect of the film's production. One of the most memorable moments involves a late-day visit to the set by Steven Spielberg: watching Lucas and Spielberg behave like kids in a candy store is one more reminder why the Star Wars saga remains enduringly popular. --Kevin Mulhall
Nativity Combi Pack | Blu Ray | (22/11/2010)
from £5.39 | Saving you £2.05 (27.60%) | RRP
Starring Martin Freeman Ashley Jenson Alan Carr and Mark Wootton comes the ultimate British feel-good Christmas film for the whole family. This Christmas primary school teacher Paul Maddens (Martin Freeman) is being charged with the biggest challenge of his life - mounting the school's musical version of the Nativity. Competing against the posh local school for the honour of best reviewed show in town the stakes are raised when Paul idly boasts that his ex-girlfriend Jennifer (Ashley Jenson) a Hollywood Producer is coming to see his show with a view to turning it into a film. The only trouble is - they haven't spoken in years. With eccentric assistant Mr. Poppy (Mark Wootton) fuelling his 'little white lie' Maddens suddenly finds himself a local celebrity and at the centre of quarrelling parents and over-excited children desperate in their bid for fame and fortune. Now Maddens' only hope is to get back in touch with Jennifer and lure Hollywood to town so that everybody's Christmas wishes come true.
Aliens | DVD | (15/05/2000)
from £2.69 | Saving you £17.30 (86.50%) | RRP
In this action-packed sequel to Alien Sigourney Weaver returns as Ripley the only survivor from mankind's first encounter with the monstrous Alien. Her account of the Alien and the fate of her crew are received with skepticism until the mysterious disappearance of colonists on LV-426 lead her to join a team of high-tech colonial marines sent in to investigate. Personally supervised by director James Cameron this special edition includes scenes eliminated prior to the film's 1986 release which broaden the narrative scope and enrich the emotional impact of the film.
You Again | DVD | (28/03/2011)
from £4.33 | Saving you £5.51 (55.20%) | RRP
When a young woman realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school she sets out to expose the fiance's true colors.
The Importance Of Being Earnest | DVD | (21/07/2003)
from £9.99 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest revolves around the clever scheming of two friends Algernon Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) and Jack Worthing (Colin Firth) both of whom lead double lives in order to increase their opportunities for pleasure. Jack who lives in the country comes to London as often as he can to look after his wicked invented brother Earnest while Algernon creates an invalid friend called Bunbury whose constant illnesses allow him to escape family pressures
My Favourite Wife | DVD | (04/04/2005)
from £6.87 | Saving you £9.12 (57.00%) | RRP
The funniest fastest honeymoon ever screened! Ellen Arden (Irene Dunne) has been shipwrecked for seven years but returns to discover her husband Nick (Cary Grant) has had her declared dead and remarried. She wants her man back and makes him jealous over Stephen (Randolph Scott) a man with whom she was shipwrecked. After all these years can true love still find its way? Leo McCarey's My Favourite Wife puts the wide-ranging comedic talents of Grant and Dunne to hilarious use.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie | DVD | (02/02/2004)
from £5.95 | Saving you £-2.00 (-11.10%) | RRP
The Lizzie McGuire Movie spins around the axis of Disney Channel starlet Hilary Duff, whose glossy good looks and rather mature figure are balanced by a sweetly bashful persona and an endearing klutziness. On a school trip to Rome, Lizzie is discovered to be the virtual twin of an Italian pop star named Isabella--and her dreamy former partner wants Lizzie to take Isabella's place at an award show to avoid a lawsuit. Only Lizzie's loyal best friend Gordo (Adam Lamberg) suspects that Paolo may not be all that he seems. The Lizzie McGuire Movie is competent fluff, with the most fun to be had coming from Lizzie's pesky little brother (Jake Thomas) and his Machiavellian friend Melina (Carly Schroeder), who plot to humiliate Lizzie for fun and personal gain. It also features Alex Borstein as Lizzie's tyrannical principal and chaperone. --Bret Fetzer
College Road Trip | DVD | (26/01/2009)
from £4.15 | Saving you £9.84 (70.30%) | RRP
Choosing a college and striking out on one's own is an exciting time that requires a big adjustment by both child and parent, but few parents will have as much difficulty relinquishing control over their daughter's life as Chicago police chief James Porter (Martin Lawrence). The ultimate in loving but overprotective fathers, James wants his daughter Melanie (Raven-Symoné) to attend nearby Northwestern College, so when she's waitlisted and called for an interview at Georgetown in Washington, D.C., James gets more than a little nervous. Squashing her plans for a road trip to D.C. with her girlfriends, James insists on a father-daughter expedition which he envisions being full of reminiscing, heart-to-heart conversations, and a healthy dose of persuasive promotion of Northwestern. The car trip definitely doesn't turn out as planned--instead it’s a trip rife with strained silences and festering conflict in which the police vehicle rolls down a wooded embankment, Melanie's little brother (Eshaya Draper) and pet pig stow away in the back of the truck, and the Porters inexplicably keep running into a syrupy sweet father (Donny Osmond) and college-bound-daughter (Molly Ephraim) whose close relationship, clean-cut enthusiasm, and willingness to befriend and help the Porters is downright unsettling. Absurdly funny scenes include the family pig crashing and demolishing a fancy outdoor wedding; James' party-loving mother (Arnetia Walker) scrambling to live up to her son's uptight image of her as a fragile, elderly woman; James breaking into a local sorority house and hiding under a bed in hopes of protecting Melanie's innocence, and James' and Melanie's unexpected skydive into Washington, D.C., in order to keep Melanie's interview appointment at Georgetown. In the end, James and Melanie both mature as a result of their road trip and are finally able to forge an emotionally healthy relationship with one another. (Ages 8 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
Penelope | DVD | (23/06/2008)
from £3.89 | Saving you £14.10 (78.40%) | RRP
Penelope is afflicted by a secret family curse that can only be broken when she is loved by one of her own kind. Hidden away in the family's majestic home she is subjected to meeting a string of blue-bloods through her parent's futile attempt to marry her off and break the curse. Each suitor is instantly enamored with Penelope (and her sizable dowry)... until the curse is revealed. When a willing mate cannot be found mischievous tabloid reporter Lemon (Peter Dinklage) hires Max (James McAvoy) to pose as a prospective suitor in hopes of snapping a photo of the mysterious 'Penelope.' Max who is really a down-on-his-luck gambler finds himself drawn to Penelope and not wanting to expose or disappoint her disappears and leaves Lemon in the lurch. Fed up by this latest betrayal and determined to live life on her own terms Penelope breaks free from her family and goes out into the world in search of adventure - curse be damned.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green | DVD | (29/07/2013)
from £3.88 | Saving you £6.70 (61.00%) | RRP
Disney brings enchantment home with The Odd Life of Timothy Green an inspiring magical story for the whole family starring Jennifer Garner. Cindy (Garner) and Jim Green are a happily married couple who can't wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy shows up on their doorstep one stormy night Cindy and Jim - and their small town of Stanleyville - learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life's greatest gifts. From Academy Award-nominated director/writer Peter Hedges (About A Boy Best Adapted Screenplay 2002; Dan In Real Life; What's Eating Gilbert Grape) &mdash; and complete with engaging bonus features - it's a heartwarming celebration of family as only Disney can deliver. Special Features: Glen Hansard This Gift Music Video Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Peter Hedges
The Importance of Being Earnest | DVD | (02/05/2011)
from £5.15 | Saving you £14.84 (74.20%) | RRP
Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest revolves around the clever scheming of two friends Algernon Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) and Jack Worthing (Colin Firth) both of whom lead double lives in order to increase their opportunities for pleasure. Jack who lives in the country comes to London as often as he can to look after his wicked invented brother Earnest while Algernon creates an invalid friend called Bunbury whose constant illnesses allow him to escape family pressures in London. The pairs' deception leads to complications in their romantic lives when they are discovered by Cecily (Reese Witherspoon) Jack's ward whom Algernon is pursuing and Gwendolyn (Frances O'Connor) Algernon's cousin whom Jack adores. Looming over everything and everyone is Gwendolyn's mother Lady Bracknell (Judi Dench) a tyrannical figure with plots of her own to hatch. The pursuit of love sex money and social position lead all the characters into a series of hilarious entanglements.
2001: A Space Odyssey | DVD | (03/03/2008)
from £8.98 | Saving you £3.35 (21.00%) | RRP
When a large black monolith is found beneath the surface of the moon the reaction immediately is that it was intentionally buried. When the point of origin is confirmed as Jupiter an expedition is sent in hopes of finding the source. When Dr. David Bowman discovers faults in the expeditionary space craft's communications system he discovers more than he ever wanted to know.
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House | DVD | (04/05/2007)
from £7.99 | Saving you £2.00 (20.00%) | RRP
Cary Grant and Myrna Loy draw up a blueprint for hilarity! New York adman Jim Blandings is ready to say goodbye to his cramped city apartment and build from the ground up a Connecticut home with room enough for his growing family and dreams. All it will cost him is his time and money... and perhaps his job marriage happiness and what's left of his sanity. Goodbye Manhattan. Hello comedy. As Jim Cary Grant is a flustered poster boy for homeowner anxiety in this gleeful laughfest. Myrna Loy her voice and line phrasing like musical chimes plays Jim's ever patient wife. Louise Beavers is the sunny housemaid whose enthusiasm for Wham Ham saves Jim's career bacon. And Melvyn Douglas is the perhaps too friendly family friend. ""Drop in and see us sometime "" Jim says. Invitation accepted.
Bringing Up Baby | DVD | (04/06/2007)
from £7.99 | Saving you £2.00 (20.00%) | RRP
A dog belonging to an eccentric heiress (Hepburn) steals a dinosaur bone from David (Grant) an absent-minded Zoology professor. David follows the heiress to her home and all hell breaks loose when he loses his pet leopard known as 'Baby'. Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn give fantastic performances in one of Hollywood's finest screwball comedies superbly directed by Howard Hawks.
Boo, Zino And The Snurks | DVD | (21/03/2005)
from £2.76 | Saving you £12.23 (81.60%) | RRP
German animation with featuring the voice of Captain Jean Luc-Picard! When Gaya's power stone the Dalamite is stolen by the diabolical scientist Professor N. Icely (Lander) using his vortex machine local hero Zino (Wrage) his trusted companion Boo (Mariot) the major's daughter Alanta (Watson) and the local trouble makers The Snurks are pulled into the swirling vortex as well. They awake to find themselves in a strange world filled with giants monster rats and buildings that rea
Aliens (Two Disc Special Edition) | DVD | (12/04/2004)
from £4.69 | Saving you £18.30 (79.60%) | RRP
James Cameron's Aliens digests all the virtues of Alien and regurgitates them bigger, louder and brasher than before. By the simple expedient of turning the singular beast of the original into a plural, Cameron transforms the franchise's focus from horror to all-out action. Sigourney Weaver's Ripley--one of the strongest roles for a female lead in mainstream cinema--is centre-stage throughout, more than able to hold her own either among the butch Marines and insectoid aliens. Although the director later revealed that there were only ever six alien costumes in any one shot, rapid-fire editing makes it seem like hundreds. Aliens is one of the most dynamic, viscerally exciting movies of the decade and, as a bug-fest, remained unsurpassed until the glorious Starship Troopers in 1997. On the DVD: The Director's Cut reinstates 17 crucial minutes of footage deleted from the theatrical release. It reveals how the colony on LV-426 encountered the aliens, and more importantly why Ripley's maternal bond with Newt is so strong, which adds an extra dimension to the film's climax. Also included is a short, fairly bland interview with James Cameron, recorded at the time of the cinema release, as well as some background explanation on how specific special effects were created. Unlike the Alien disc, there is no directorial commentary. --Mark Walker
Hotel For Dogs | Blu Ray | (13/07/2009)
from £7.48 | Saving you £17.51 (70.10%) | RRP
Hotel For Dogs stars Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Kyla Pratt with Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle in a smart, funny comedy adventure that shows how far love and imagination can take you. When 16 year old Andi (Roberts) and her younger brother, Bruce (Austin), find themselves in a foster home with a strict 'no pets' policy, Andi has to use her quick wit to help find a new home for their dog, Friday. The kids stumble upon an abandoned hotel and begin transforming it into the perfect home for Friday - as well as all the strays in the city. In no time, the kids have transformed the old hotel into something truly magical: a home for both the dogs and for themselves. But they have also aroused the suspicions of the police who want to know - who let the dogs in?