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Holy Smoke | DVD | (29/04/2002)
from £4.99 | Saving you £-1.98 (-19.80%) | RRP
New Zealand film director Jane Campion is one of a kind. Forget money and fame; she's inspired by the pleasure of sharing her cinematic dreams with friends and film audiences. Her globetrotting heroines (in such films as Angel at My Table, The Piano, The Portrait of a Lady) may be wilful, crazed, self-absorbed, wrong--but who can resist joining these passionate women on their voyages of self-discovery, whether they lead to safe harbour or a dead end? Holy Smoke opens deliriously in a magical India, saturated with light, colour, sensuality. Celebrated by Neil Diamond's opening anthem, "Holly Holy", Ruth Baron (Kate Winslet, delivering a breathtakingly luminous performance) explores a world that encourages spiritual epiphany--and falls hard for the cartoonish guru who opens her "third eye". Back home in Australia, her hilariously dysfunctional, distinctly down-to-earth family hires hotshot deprogrammer PJ Waters (Harvey Keitel, his dyed hair and cowboy boots telegraphing desperate machismo) to cure Ruth. In an isolated Outback shack, the two of them wrestle each other for control of their souls--and bodies, too. This duel's in deadly earnest: Ruth assaults Waters's petrified masculinity; PJ aims to strip this radiant girl of her unexamined faith. Their wild ride--funny, brutal, erotic--towards brand-new selfhood is punctuated by indelible images: Ruth dancing in a white sari beside an emu corral; naked in the night, Ruth offering her lush body to her tormentor; lost in the desert, cross-dressed in red gown, PJ "saved" by a golden vision of Ruth as a magnificent Indian goddess. For those who love the way movies can sometimes project truth and beauty, Holy Smoke is a feast for the eyes and mind. --Kathleen Murphy, Amazon.com On the DVD: Holy Smoke sees good overall quality of the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, with the graininess coming from the film rather than the transfer. The soundtrack (which is mostly populated with Neil Diamond tracks) is rich, but what really raises this DVD above mediocrity though (and it had to be something seeing as it is woefully short of extras) is the commentary track. Winslet and cowriter Anna Campion (Jane's sister) are given free reign to talk about their experiences of filming Holy Smoke as well as their thoughts on India, cults and nudity. The result is always interesting, often entertaining and fans of Winslet will fall in love with the graceful star all over again. --Kristen Bowditch
Secretary | DVD | (05/01/2004)
from £4.60 | Saving you £5.86 (29.30%) | RRP
Secretary is a kinky love story featuring a standout performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal, an offbeat young actress in her first starring role. Gyllenhaal plays Lee, a nervous girl who compulsively cuts herself, but who then gets a job as a secretary for Edward, an imperious lawyer (James Spader, an old hand at tales of perverse affection). Edward's reprimands for typos and spelling errors begin with mild humiliation, but as Lee responds to his orders--which are driven as much by his own anxieties and fears as any sense of order--the punishments escalate to spankings, shackles and more. Secretary walks a fine line: it finds sly humour in these sadomasochistic doings without turning them into a gag and it takes Lee and Edward's mutual desires seriously without getting self-righteous or pompous. Certainly not a movie for everyone, but some people may be unexpectedly stirred up by this smart and steamy tale of repressed passion. --Bret Fetzer
The Evil Dead | UMD | (17/10/2005)
from £14.61 | Saving you £-8.62 (-143.90%) | RRP
Project X (Extended Cut) - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) | Blu Ray | (02/07/2012)
from £5.81 | Saving you £13.54 (54.20%) | RRP
This extended cut of Project X follows three seemingly anonymous high school seniors - Thomas, Costa and J.B. - as they attempt to finally make a name for themselves. Their idea is innocent enough: let's throw a party that no one will forget, and have a camera there, to document history in the making... but nothing could prepare them for this party. Word spreads quickly as dreams are ruined, records are blemished and legends are born. Project X is a warning to parents and police everywhere.
Whipped | DVD | (06/05/2002)
from £11.25 | Saving you £0.22 (1.70%) | RRP
While not the adult-interest title that its moniker might suggest, Whipped is still a near-the-knuckle, extremely bawdy comedy of grown-up pursuits. Set in New York, it takes a less than flattering look at the games played by the single men and women of the city, in particular three young males--Brad, Jonathon and Zeke. Their lives centre around "scamming" women and meeting up once a week to brag about their exploits, that is until they all come across the woman of their dreams. Coincidentally, this happens at the same time. Less than coincidentally, it happens to be the same woman, Mia (Amanda Peet). The machinations that follow their discovery of this strange turn of events form the bulk of the storyline, as each attempts to stab his friend in the back in order to win Mia’s affections. The film fails, however, because its portrayal of the three desperate men is so uncanny that it's impossible to establish even the slightest empathy towards them. Consequently Whipped degenerates into a succession of base sexual jokes and charmless attempts at emotion before finally running out of steam after 90 minutes. Its denouement is doubtless intended to be seen as a pro-feminist statement, but merely indicates that women can be just as shallow and unpleasant as men. In the hands of an independent European filmmaker, Whipped could have been a comedy of style and panache but, as it is, the movie is a joyless experience. On the DVD: Whipped on DVD has good, yet unremarkable, sound and picture quality. There are no extras aside from a trailer, which gives a fair indication of the less-than-stunning experience ahead. --Phil Udell
Peep Show | DVD | (01/05/2006)
from £5.05 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
Welcome to the ordinary world of Jeremy and Mark - two very ordinary wierdos. Peep Show is the innovative comedy series from Channel 4 seen through the eyes of the core characters. In an inventive twist their inner thoughts and feelings can be heard - whether they be dark stupid or embarrassingly over-blown. Wannabe popstar Jeremy (Robert Webb) is a lazy man with big ideas mostly about himself. He has been thrown out by his ex 'Big Suze' and has ended up living with Mark (David Mitchell) his old friend who has completely different no-pain-no-gain view of the world. Socially dysfunctional in their different ways Mark and Jeremy have an unhealthy reliance on one another - a dependance that can turn to frustration. And to further complicate their existence Mark - in his cack handed way - is in pursuit of the love of his life co-worker Sophie (Olivia Coleman) while Jeremy lives in awe of his idiotic and manipulative mate Super Hans and their beautiful brittle neighbour Toni...