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Battle Of The River Plate | DVD | (11/06/2007)
from £4.49 | Saving you £8.50 (65.40%) | RRP
Something of a swan song for the legendary Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger partnership, 1956's The Battle of the River Plate is their penultimate film together (the following year's Ill Met By Moonlight was the last). Shot in a semi-documentary style that stands apart from the "magical realism" of much of their previous work--Canterbury Tales, A Matter of Life and Death, The Red Shoes--the film tells the story of the pursuit of the German pocket battleship Graf Spee by three British cruisers off the River Plate in Uruguay during November 1939. Incorporating actual wartime footage adds to the authentic air, albeit one that sits uneasily with the obviously studio-bound look of the rest. Among the solid cast Peter Finch stands out as the beleaguered Captain Langsdorff of the Graf Spee, while John Gregson is his counterpart, the stalwart British hero type. Things get a bit odd when Christopher Lee pops up in the unlikely role of a Latin-American nightclub boss. It's an atypical Powell and Pressburger picture and not exactly their best, but still a fine World War II picture that documents an important incident in the opening salvos of the war. --Mark Walker
Chicken Run | DVD | (04/12/2000)
from £3.99 | Saving you £9.00 (69.30%) | 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
You Again | DVD | (28/03/2011)
from £3.99 | Saving you £6.00 (60.10%) | 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 £6.99 | Saving you £4.01 (25.10%) | 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
Operation Pacific | DVD | (21/07/2003)
from £5.74 | Saving you £8.25 (59.00%) | RRP
'Duke' Gifford an ultra devoted commander feeling guilty about the death of his former commanding officer and the failure of his marriage leads his submarine crew up into uncharted waters in the battle for the Pacific...
In Which We Serve | DVD | (26/09/2008)
from £4.39 | Saving you £11.60 (72.50%) | RRP
Based on the true story of Lord Louis Mountbatten's destroyer HMS Kelly, In Which We Serve is one of the most memorable British films made during World War II. Unfolding in flashback as survivors cling to a dingy, constantly strafed by the Luftwaffe, the film recounts the history of HMS Torrin through various battles to her sinking off the coast of North Africa, interwoven with the onshore lives of her crew. The film was the inspiration of Noel Coward, who desperately wanted to do something for the war effort, and he produced, wrote the screenplay, composed the stirring musical score and starred as Captain Edward Kinross. Coward also officially co-directed, though in reality he soon handed the reigns over to David Lean, whose directorial debut this became. There is a fine performance from Celia Johnson, anticipating her character in Lean and Coward's Brief Encounter (1946) and excellent support from John Mills, as well as a star-making debut from an uncredited Richard Attenborough. The use of real navy and army personal as extras, together with lavish studio production and authentic shipboard location footage lends the film a sense of realism unusual for the time. A landmark in the careers of many of the most important names in British film, this moving and occasionally harrowing classic has a vital place in the development of British cinema. On the DVD: The image is presented in a close approximation of the original 1.37:1 Academy ratio using a print that is good for its age but which would benefit from some restoration, several scenes showing notable damage. The sound is robust mono, though the main title music is very distorted. Speech is very clear. Extras are the original trailer, a stills gallery set to music from the film and a 23-minute retrospective documentary. This last is excellent, containing information on how to simulate bullets hitting water using condoms, and interviews with surviving members of the production including Sir John Mills and cinematographer Ronald Neame. --Gary S Dalkin
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.
Penelope | DVD | (23/06/2008)
from £4.19 | Saving you £13.80 (76.70%) | 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 Lizzie McGuire Movie | DVD | (02/02/2004)
from £5.95 | Saving you £-1.80 (-10.00%) | 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
Bringing Up Baby | DVD | (04/06/2007)
from £9.05 | Saving you £0.94 (9.40%) | 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.
Nativity Combi Pack | Blu Ray | (22/11/2010)
from £5.89 | Saving you £1.55 (20.80%) | 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.
In Which We Serve | DVD | (15/09/2008)
from £4.69 | Saving you £8.30 (63.90%) | RRP
The story of the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Torrin and those that serve in her. In the Battle of Crete she is dive-bombed while streaming at thirty knots and goes down fighting. We see through the memories of her survivors the ordeals achievements and gallantry of HMS Torrin from her commissioning until she sinks in her last battle.
College Road Trip | DVD | (26/01/2009)
from £3.98 | 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
Henry V | Blu Ray | (19/10/2009)
from £6.79 | Saving you £13.20 (66.00%) | RRP
Henry V is one of Shakespeare's most compelling historical plays. Early in the play Henry sets out to press his claim to the Crown of France. His small expedition encounters vastly superior French forces at Agincourt and there Henry delivers his famous exhortation to the soldiers. His army victorious the King visits the French Court where he meets and marries Catherine of Valois thereby establishing the beginning of a promising alliance with France.
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House | DVD | (04/05/2007)
from £9.05 | Saving you £0.94 (9.40%) | 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.
The Santa Clause 2 | DVD | (17/11/2003)
from £4.29 | Saving you £13.70 (76.20%) | 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
Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium | Blu Ray | (08/12/2008)
from £6.95 | Saving you £4.04 (36.80%) | RRP
You have to believe it to see it... Molly Mahoney (Portman) is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium the strangest most fantastic most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store (Hoffman) bequeaths the store to her a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium.
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.
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?
The Rookie | Blu Ray | (10/03/2008)
from £4.19 | Saving you £19.80 (82.50%) | RRP
When a shoulder injury ended his minor league pitching career twelve years ago Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) resorted to the next best thing: coaching. But Jim's team knowing their coach is a great ball player makes a deal with him: if they win the district championship they want Jim to try out for a major-league organization. Going from worst to first the team makes it to state and Jim is forced to live up to his end of the deal. While there prove to be a lot of pitches to be thrown before he makes it off the mound big-league dreams are revived and there's no telling where he could go!