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  • Alice in Wonderland [DVD] [2010] Alice in Wonderland | DVD | (04/06/2010) from £3.00  |  Saving you £16.99 (85.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Tim Burton was born to bring Alice in Wonderland to the big screen. Ironically, his version of the Victorian text plays more like The Wizard of Oz than a Lewis Carroll adaptation. On the day of her engagement party, the 19-year-old Alice (a nicely understated Mia Wasikowska) is lead by a white-gloved rabbit to an alternate reality that looks strangely familiar--she's been dreaming about it since she was 6 years old. Stranded in a hall of doors, she sips from a potion that makes her shrink and nibbles on a cake that makes her grow. Once she gets the balance right, she walks through the door that leads her to Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Matt Lucas), the Dormouse (Barbara Windsor), the Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), and the Cheshire Cat (a delightful Stephen Fry), who inform her that only she can free them from the wrath of the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter channeling Bette Davis) by slaying the Jabberwocky. To pull off the feat, she teams up with the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp in glam-rock garb), rebel bloodhound Bayard (Timothy Spall), and Red's sweet sister, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway in goth-rock makeup). While Red welcomes Alice with open arms, she plans an execution for the hat-maker when he displeases her ("Off with his head!"). Drawing from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Burton creates a candy-colored action-adventure tale with a feminist twist. If it drags towards the end, his 3-D extravaganza still offers a trippy good time with a poignant aftertaste. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

  • Independence Day [1996] Independence Day | DVD | (17/05/2004) from £4.88  |  Saving you £7.11 (59.30%)  |  RRP £11.99

    One of the biggest box office hits of all time delivers the ultimate encounter when mysterious and powerful aliens launch an all-out invasion against the human race. The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies. But wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. Now the world's only hope lies with a determined band of survivors uniting for one last strike against the invaders - before it's the en

  • Enemy Mine (1985) (Blu-ray) Enemy Mine (1985) (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (20/06/2016) from £12.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Enemy Mine is, in essence, a sci-fi remake of John Boorman?s Hell in the Pacific (1969), only instead of a US pilot and a Japanese naval officer stranded on a Pacific island during WWII, here we have a lizard-like Draconian (Louis Gossett Jr.) and his mortal enemy, Earthling Dennis Quaid, both having crash-landed on a hostile planet during a brutal space battle. Forced to rely on one another for survival, they overcome their differences and become fast friends. (You can almost hear them break into an off-key version of "It's a Small World".) German director Wolfgang Petersen, so brutally honest with his film Das Boot, turns warm and cuddly on us with this intergalactic buddy movie. Although the script sets us up for an intriguing encounter, it ultimately settles for a simple and sentimental resolution. Noteworthy set design and strong performances, especially by Gossett, push this beyond mere mediocrity. His performance is fascinating, as he must speak in an alien tongue, which he maintains with artistry and consistency.--Rochelle O'Gorman, Amazon.com On the DVD: Enemy Mine on disc is presented anamorphically in its original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio with a vivid Dolby 4.0 soundtrack. Thankfully picture and sound are excellent, since the extra features are lamentably poor, consisting merely of the theatrical trailer and three (yes, three) "behind the scenes" still pictures. The disc is also equipped with multiple language and subtitle options.--Mark Walker

  • Star Trek XI (1-Disc Edition) [DVD] Star Trek XI (1-Disc Edition) | DVD | (16/11/2009) from £3.13  |  Saving you £16.86 (84.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Star Trek is back! Director J.J. Abrams brings you a brand new version of the classic space adventure! Star Trek chronicles the early days of James T Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew. Leonard Nimoy returns to his iconic role as the half-Vulcan half-human Spock whilst Zachary Quinto stars as the young Spock. Chris Pine Karl urban Simon Pegg Anton Yelchin Zoe Saldana and John Cho star as the original series' characters whilst Eric Bana plays the Enterprise crew's nemesis; Nero!

  • Gravity [DVD + UV Copy] [2013] Gravity | DVD | (03/03/2014) from £4.99  |  Saving you £14.50 (72.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock ('The Blind Side') and George Clooney ('Syriana') star in 'Gravity ' a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed by Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuarón ('Children of Men'). Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone - tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth...and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith [2005] Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith | DVD | (31/10/2005) from £4.35  |  Saving you £17.14 (68.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere. In a stunning move the fiendish droid leader General Grievous has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine leader of the Galactic Senate. As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage two Jedi Knights lead a despe

  • Blade Runner: The Final Cut [Blu-ray] Blade Runner: The Final Cut | Blu Ray | (03/12/2007) from £7.89  |  Saving you £20.10 (71.80%)  |  RRP £27.99

    Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) prowls the steel-and-microchip jungle of 21st century Los Angeles. He's a blade runner stalking genetically made criminal replicants. His assignment: kill them. Their crime: wanting to be human. The story of Blade Runner is familiar to countless fans. But few have seen it like this. Because this is director Ridley Scott's own vision of his sci-fi classic. This new version omits Deckard's voiceover narration develops in slightly greater detail the romance between Deckard and Rachael (Sean Young) and removes the uplifting finale. The result is a heightened emotional impact: a great film made greater. Most intriguing of all is a newly included unicorn vision that suggests Deckard may be a replicant. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Is Deckard a replicant? As with all things in the future you must discover the answer to find yourself

  • The Lobster [DVD] The Lobster | DVD | (08/02/2016) from £8.48  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

  • Skellig Skellig | DVD | (27/04/2009) from £4.46  |  Saving you £14.00 (70.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Skellig

  • Independence Day [1996] Independence Day | DVD | (26/02/2001) from £5.24  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £22.99

    In Independence Day, a scientist played by Jeff Goldblum once actually had a fistfight with a man (Bill Pullman) who is now president of the United States. That same president, late in the film, personally flies a jet fighter to deliver a payload of missiles against an attack by extraterrestrials. Independence Day is the kind of movie so giddy with its own outrageousness that one doesn't even blink at such howlers in the plot. Directed by Roland Emmerich, Independence Day is a pastiche of conventions from flying-saucer movies from the 1940s and 1950s, replete with icky monsters and bizarre coincidences that create convenient shortcuts in the story. (Such as the way the girlfriend of one of the film's heroes--played by Will Smith--just happens to run across the president's injured wife, who are then both rescued by Smith's character who somehow runs across them in alien-ravaged Los Angeles County.) The movie is just sheer fun, aided by a cast that knows how to balance the retro requirements of the genre with a more contemporary feel. --Tom Keogh

  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [1999] Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace | DVD | (20/09/2004) from £9.55  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    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

  • Gravity [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013] [Region Free] Gravity | Blu Ray | (03/03/2014) from £9.99  |  Saving you £20.00 (66.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock ('The Blind Side') and George Clooney ('Syriana') star in 'Gravity ' a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed by Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuarón ('Children of Men'). Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone - tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth...and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy [1981] The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy | DVD | (28/01/2002) from £6.29  |  Saving you £18.70 (74.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The original BBC radio adventures of Arthur Dent (an ape-descendant whose anger at the apparently inexplicable destruction of his home planet Earth, situated in an obscure corner of the outer spiral arm of the galaxy, is expressed in frequent irritation at friendly automatic doors and vending machines) and his travelling companions, Ford Prefect (an itinerant towel-carrying hitch-hiker originally from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse), Zaphod Beeblebrox (the notorious ex-Galactic President and patron of Eccentrica Galumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six) and Marvin the Paranoid Android (who's still suffering from that terrible pain in all the diodes down his left side) proved to be such a success for the BBC that its transition to TV was (almost) inevitable. In 1981 several key members of the radio cast made the move to the small screen. Simon Jones' bewildered Arthur Dent remains the central character, shambling around in his dressing gown (a fact easy to forget on radio); Mark Wing-Davey's Zaphod Beeblebrox is the same as his boastful radio persona, even if the second head utterly fails to convince. Unfortunately, newcomers David Dixon (as Ford Prefect) and the irritating Sandra Dickinson (as Trillian) are no match for their radio predecessors.The problem here is not so much the low-budget look as the script itself, which is lovingly faithful to the radio series in a way that Douglas Adams' novels aren't. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a lucid, satirical, occasionally profound, utterly unique comic invention on radio. As such, it has nothing to gain from TV. The script needs no visual elaboration--that's best left to the listener's own imagination. Only the animated renditions of the Guide itself enhance Peter Jones' wonderfully dry narration; otherwise--paradoxically, perhaps--by supplying images the concept is oddly diminished here.On the DVD: A suitably eclectic not to say eccentric collection of extra features makes this a wholly satisfying two-disc set, neatly packaged in a fold-out slipcase. On the second disc there's an hour-long "making of" documentary from 1992 featuring contributions from the cast and crew, including Douglas Adams; and then there's even more in a 20-minute section entitled "Don't Panic!". A fascinating behind-the-scenes peek at filming as the clock runs out on studio time and a look at the recording of the original radio series complete the first part. Then navigate to the "Outer Planets" to find outtakes, a deleted scene, Zaphod's animatronic second head on Tomorrow's World and Peter Jones's witty and shambolic introduction to the first episode, plus more besides. The series itself is presented in standard 4:3 ratio and Dolby stereo. --Mark Walker

  • Gattaca [1998] Gattaca | DVD | (20/12/2004) from £3.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Confidently conceived and brilliantly executed, Gattaca had a somewhat low profile release in 1997, but audiences and critics hailed the film's originality. It's since been recognised as one of the most intelligent science fiction films of the 1990s. Writer-director Andrew Niccol, the talented New Zealander who also wrote the acclaimed Jim Carrey vehicle The Truman Show, depicts a near-future society in which one's personal and professional destiny is determined by one's genes. In this society, "Valids" (genetically engineered) qualify for positions at prestigious corporations, such as Gattaca, which grooms its most qualified employees for space exploration. "In-Valids" (naturally born), such as the film's protagonist, Vincent (Ethan Hawke), are deemed genetically flawed and subsequently fated to low-level occupations in a genetically caste society. With the help of a disabled "Valid" (Jude Law), Vincent subverts his society's social and biological barriers to pursue his dream of space travel; any random mistake--and an ongoing murder investigation at Gattaca--could reveal his plot. Part thriller, part futuristic drama and cautionary tale, Gattaca establishes its social structure so convincingly that the entire scenario is chillingly believable. With Uma Thurman as the woman who loves Vincent and identifies with his struggle, Gattaca is both stylish and smart, while Jude Law's performance lends the film a note of tragic and heartfelt humanity.--Jeff Shannon

  • Doomwatch (Blu-ray) Doomwatch (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (20/06/2016) from £11.48  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £17.99

  • Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI)  [Blu-ray] Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) | Blu Ray | (12/09/2011) from £49.99  |  Saving you £40.00 (44.40%)  |  RRP £89.99

    This is what you've all been waiting for: the complete Star Wars saga is finally coming to Blu-ray! See the ice planet Hoth and Mos Eisley Spaceport in beautiful high definition for the first time. Featuring all 6 films and over 30 hours of extras and an, this box set is a force to be reckoned with. Titles Comprise:Episode I - The Phantom Menace: The opening chapter in the fabled Star Wars saga: two Jedi knights, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), must rescue the young Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) and help her save her home planet, Naboo, which is under blockade by the ruthless trade federation. When the federation attacks, the Jedi spirit the queen away to relative safety on the desert planet of Tattooine. It is there that Qui-Gon discovers a boy, enslaved by evil gambler Watto, who has the potential to become the most powerful of the Jedi. His name: Anakin Skywalker.Episode II - Attack Of The Clones: Anakin Skywalker disobeys the strictures of his Jedi training, embarking of a forbidden affair with Padme Amidala while his teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi's investigation of assassination attempts against the Senator leads him to the distant planet of Kamino and into the middle of a separatist plot which brings the Galactic Republic to the very brink of civil war...Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith: As the Clone Wars rages on, the rift between Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and the Jedi Council widens. Young Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), is caught in the middle, his allegiances torn. Seduced by promises of power and the temptations of the dark side, he pledges himself to the evil Darth Sidious and the Sith Order, becoming Darth Vader. Together, the Sith Lords set in motion a plot of revenge against the Jedi, in an attempt to destroy them all. Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), refusing to believe that Anakin is lost to the Sith, tries to turn his old Padawan learner back to the light side, leading to a climactic lightsaber battle that will shape the fate of the galaxy forever.Episode IV - A New Hope: Luke Skywalker, a young farm boy from Tatooine, is thrust into the struggle of the rebel alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire. Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back: Three years later, Imperial forces continue to pursue the rebels. After the rebellion's defeat on the ice planet Hoth, Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. In an attempt to convert Luke to the Dark Side, Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap in the Cloud City of Bespin... Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi: In the epic conclusion of the saga, the Empire prepares to crush the rebellion with a more powerful Death Star while the rebel fleet mounts a massive attack on the space station.

  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones | DVD | (11/11/2002) from £4.05  |  Saving you £15.94 (79.70%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The most densely plotted instalment of the saga so far, Attack of the Clones is a tale of both Machiavellian political drama and doomed romance; it's epic war film and silly comic-book fantasy combined, as teenage Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) chafes at the restrictions imposed by his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and falls in love with Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). Renegade Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) is leading a breakaway federation of disgruntled systems; while the insidious influence of Darth Sidious is felt rather than seen as his invisible hand guides apparently unrelated events, from Jar Jar's unwitting instigation of a disastrous Senate decision to bounty hunter Jango Fett's revelatory role at the centre of the conspiracy. Along the way the story has fun with the conventions of Chandleresque detective fiction as Obi-Wan explores the seedier side of Coruscant, and incorporates the noble warrior ethos of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in its portrayal of the Jedi order. The portentous tone is lightened by tongue-in-cheek self-referential dialogue and the antics of robotic clowns R2D2 and C3PO. (One niggle for music fans, though, is the cavalier cut-and-paste approach to John Williams's music score.) Like the Empire Strikes Back, Clones is the bridging film of the trilogy and thus ends on an equivocally bittersweet note. On the DVD: Attack of the Clones is an all-digital film, and so looks suitably superb in this anamorphic widescreen transfer, accompanied by a THX encoded Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. Anyone who owns The Phantom Menace two-disc set will know what to expect from the special features: here's another group commentary led by George Lucas, two lengthy documentaries on the digital effects ("From Puppets to Pixels" and "The Previsualisation of Episode II") plus several other featurettes and Web documentaries, notably "Films Are Not Released, They Escape", a look at the sound design. There's also a fun trailer for the R2-D2 mockumentary "Beneath the Dome", trailers, photo galleries and more to satisfy any Star Wars fan. --Mark Walker

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] 2001: A Space Odyssey | DVD | (01/06/2006) from £4.76  |  Saving you £8.55 (61.10%)  |  RRP £13.99

    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

  • Galaxy Quest [2000] Galaxy Quest | DVD | (02/07/2006) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    You don't have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy Galaxy Quest, but it certainly helps. A knowingly affectionate tribute to Trek and any other science fiction TV series of the 1960s and beyond, this crowd-pleasing comedy offers in-jokes at warp speed, hitting the bull's-eye for anyone who knows that: (1) the starship captain always removes his shirt to display his manly physique; (2) any crew member not in the regular cast is dead meat; and (3) the heroes always stop the doomsday clock with one second to spare. So it is with Commander Taggart (Tim Allen) and the stalwart crew of the NSEA Protector, whose intergalactic exploits on TV have now been reduced to a dreary cycle of fan conventions and promotional appearances. That's when the Thermians arrive, begging to be saved from Sarris, the reptilian villain who threatens to destroy their home planet.Can actors rise to the challenge and play their roles for real? The Thermians are counting on it, having studied the "historical documents" of the Galaxy Quest TV show, and their hero worship (not to mention their taste for Monte Cristo sandwiches) is ultimately proven worthy, with the help of some Galaxy geeks on planet Earth. And while Galaxy Quest serves up great special effects and impressive Stan Winston creatures, director Dean Parisot (Home Fries) is never condescending, lending warm acceptance to this gentle send-up of sci-fi TV and the phenomenon of fandom. Best of all is the splendid cast, including Sigourney Weaver as buxom blonde Gwen DeMarco; Alan Rickman as frustrated thespian Alexander Dane; Tony Shalhoub as dimwit Fred Kwan; Daryl Mitchell as former child-star Tommy Webber; and Enrico Colantoni as Thermian leader Mathesar, whose sing-song voice is a comedic coup de grâce. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind--Collector's Edition (two discs) [1978] Close Encounters of the Third Kind--Collector's Edition (two discs) | DVD | (25/06/2001) from £3.26  |  Saving you £16.00 (69.60%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Released in 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was that year's cerebral alternative to Star Wars. It's arguably the archetypal Spielberg film, featuring a fantasy-meets-reality storyline (to be developed further in E.T.), a misunderstood Everyman character (Richard Dreyfuss), apparently hostile government agents (long before The X-Files), a sense of childlike awe in the face of the otherworldly, and a sweeping feel for epic film-making learned from the classic school of David Lean. Contributing to the film's overall success are the Oscar-winning cinematography from Vilmos Zsigmond, Douglas Trumbull's lavish effects and an extraordinary score from John Williams that develops from eerie atonality à la Ligeti to the gorgeous sentiment of "When You Wish Upon a Star" over the end credits. Not content with the final result, Spielberg tinkered with the editing and inserted some new scenes to make a "Special Edition" in 1980 which ran three minutes shorter than the original, then made further revisions to create a slightly longer "Collector's Edition" in 1998. This later version deletes the mothership interior scenes that were inserted in the "Special Edition" and restores the original ending. On the DVD: CE3K is packaged here with confusing documentation that fails to make clear any differences between earlier versions of the film and this "Collector's Edition"--worse, the back cover blurb misleadingly implies that this disc is the 1980 "Special Edition" edit. It is not. A gorgeous anamorphic widescreen print of Spielberg's 1998 "Collector's Edition" edit occupies the first disc: this is the version with the original theatrical ending restored but new scenes from the "Special Edition" retained. The second disc rounds up sundry deleted scenes that were either dropped from the original version or never made it into the film at all--fans of the "Special Edition" can find the mothership interior sequence here. The excellent "making-of" documentary dates from 1997 and has interviews with almost everyone involved, including the director speaking from the set of Saving Private Ryan. Thankfully the superb picture and sound of the feature make this set entirely compelling and more than compensate for the inadequate packaging. --Mark Walker

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