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Strictly Ballroom | Blu Ray | (23/06/2008)
from £6.51 | Saving you £13.48 (67.40%) | RRP
Scott Hastings (Paul Mercurio) is a talented ballroom dancing champion who longs to dance his own steps. this results in being dumped by his partner and chastened by all those around him except two people. One is Fran the ugly duckling of the school who persuades him to let her dance with him and eventually steals his heart. The other is his father a quiet man dominated by his bejewelled wife. Scott knows in his heart he must follow his dreams but some are determined to see him fail. The film climaxes at the Australian Championship in a superbly choreographed and heart-warming finale.
Saving Private Ryan | DVD | (06/11/2000)
from £3.89 | Saving you £12.10 (75.70%) | RRP
Since its release in 1998, Steven Spielberg's D-Day drama Saving Private Ryan has become hugely influential: everything, from the opening sequence of Gladiator ("Saving Marcus Aurelius") to the marvellous 10-hour TV series Band of Brothers, has been made in its shadow. There have been many previous attempts to recreate the D-Day landings on screen (notably, the epic The Longest Day), but thanks to Spielberg's freewheeling hand-held camerawork, Ryan was the first time an audience really felt like they were there, storming up Omaha Beach in the face of withering enemy fire. After the indelible opening sequence, however, the film is not without problems. The story, though based on an American Civil War incident, feels like it was concocted simply to fuel Spielberg's sentimental streak. In standard Hollywood fashion the Germans remain a faceless foe (with the exception of one charmless character who turns out to be both a coward and a turncoat); and the Tom Hanks-led platoon consists of far too many stereotypes: the doughty Sergeant; the thick-necked Private; the Southern man religious sniper; the cowardly Corporal. Matt Damon seems improbably clean-cut as the titular Private in need of rescue (though that may well be the point); and why do they all run straight up that hill towards an enemy machine gun post anyway? Some non-US critics have complained that Ryan portrays only the American D-Day experience, but it is an American film made and financed by Americans after all. Accepting both its relatively narrow remit and its lachrymose inclinations, Saving Private Ryan deserves its place in the pantheon of great war pictures. On the DVD: Saving Private Ryan on disc comes in a good-quality anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer with a suitably dynamic Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix in which bullets fly all around your living room. Extra features are pretty minimal, with a standard 30-minute "making of" piece called "Into the Breach" and two trailers. There are text notes on the cast and crew as well as the production, and a brief message from Mr Spielberg himself about why he decided to make the movie. --Mark Walker
Lawrance of Arabia | DVD | (11/05/2011)
from £5.25 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
This remarkable film follows the struggles of T.E. Lawrence (played by Peter O'Toole - My Favourite Year The Last Emperor) in uniting the hostile Arab factions during the First World War and leading them to victory over the ruling Turkish Empire. The film was released originally in 1962 to huge critical acclaim winning 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean.
Where Eagles Dare | DVD | (01/06/2006)
from £4.75 | Saving you £9.24 (66.00%) | RRP
Scorned by reviewers when it came out, Where Eagles Dare has acquired a cult following over the years for its unashamed and highly concentrated dose of commando death-dealing to legions of Nazi machine-gun fodder. In 1968 Clint Eastwood was just getting used to the notion that he might be a world-class movie star; Richard Burton, whose image had been shaped equally by classical theatre and his headline-making romance with Elizabeth Taylor, was eager to try his hand at the action genre. Author Alistair MacLean's novel The Guns of Navarone had inspired the film that started the 1960s vogue for World War II military capers, so he was prevailed upon to write the screenplay (his first). The central location, an impregnable Alpine stronghold locked in ice and snow, is surpassing cool, but the plot and action are ultra-mechanical, and the switcheroo gamesmanship of just who is the undercover double (triple?) agent on the mission becomes aggressively silly. --Richard T Jameson
The Train | DVD | (05/05/2003)
from £5.39 | Saving you £7.60 (58.50%) | RRP
Inspired by a true incident during World War II in 'The Train' Burt Lancaster plays a French Resistance fighter doggedly attempting to stop a train used by the Nazis (led by Paul Scofield as Colonel Von Waldheim) to steal precious French art treasures in the summer of 1944. Featuring spectacular action sequences expertly directed by John Frankenheimer 'The Train' is a truly thrilling war film. The Oscar-nominated screenplay by Franklin Coen and Frank Davis superbly recreates the te
Trainspotting | Blu Ray | (01/06/2009)
from £7.17 | Saving you £14.70 (66.80%) | RRP
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family... This is the story of Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his so-called friends - a bunch of losers liars psychos thieves and junkies. Hilarious but harrowing the film charts the disintegration of their friendship as they proceed seemingly towards self-destruction. Mark alone has the insight and opportunity to escape his fate - but then again does he really want to choose life?
Kelly's Heroes | DVD | (01/06/2006)
from £3.99 | Saving you £8.50 (60.80%) | RRP
Kelly's Heroes reunited Clint Eastwood with his Where Eagles Dare director Brian G Hutton, then added The Dirty Dozen star Telly Savalas in MGM's quest to turn WWII movie celluloid into box office gold three times running. The result, a sprawling adventure about a group of soldiers led by Kelly (Eastwood) on a private mission behind enemy lines to recover a cache of Nazi treasure, echoed its predecessors but wasn't as successful. While Where Eagle's Dare was somewhat tongue in cheek, Kelly's Heroes went for a cynical comic amorality with many plot parallels to 1969's The Italian Job, written by screenwriter Troy Kennedy-Martin the year before. Donald Sutherland, who also starred in the big-screen M*A*S*H (1970), plays a hippie tank commander decades before his time, and it's hard not to see both movies as more commentaries on Vietnam than on the wars in which they were ostensibly set. Though it is intermittently very funny, and despite some expertly staged action, Kelly's Heroes never really convinces as satire or adventure. On the DVD: Kelly's Heroes is presented on disc in a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer which is immaculate and taken from a virtually perfect master. The images are so clean and sharp they look brand new, outclassing many current theatrical prints. The three-channel sound concentrates most of the action to the centre speaker but does an excellent job of capturing the often turbulent soundtrack. The only real extra is the original trailer, presented anamorphically at 1.77:1.--Gary S Dalkin
Apocalypse Now Redux | DVD | (22/04/2002)
from £2.83 | Saving you £13.84 (76.90%) | RRP
Following the example set by his old pals Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola has revisited a classic that no-one ever thought needed enhancement and produced Apocalypse Now Redux, a remastered and extended version of his hallucinogenic Vietnam nightmare that adds some 50 minutes of extra material. On the plus side, certain extended sequences--such as Kilgore's bombing-cum-surfing raid and the final battle of nerves between Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando--add greater depth to our appreciation of the film. On the debit side, the lengthy French plantation interlude and the squalid fate of the Playboy bunnies simply underscore what we already know about war and hell and the depressing futility of it all. It's possible that Apocalyspe Now is not really about Vietnam at all, but is in fact a despairing commentary on the dissolution of contemporary American society; it's also possible that Apocalypse Now Redux, for all its epic scale and visceral power, ultimately fails to make the film's real message any clearer than before. Either way, it remains one of the greatest (anti-)war films ever made. On the DVD: Apocalypse Now Redux is self-recommending on DVD, especially with vividly remastered Dolby 5.1 sound (the whirling helicopter blades are dizzying) and an anamorphic widescreen picture. Disappointingly the disc contains no extra features other than a trailer for the Redux version. Coppola has provided excellent commentaries for his Godfather trilogy so it's a shame not to have his comments here; and the justly famous "Heart of Darkness" documentary is conspicuous by its absence, too. --Mark Walker
The Dirty Dozen | DVD | (31/05/2004)
from £5.49 | Saving you £8.50 (60.80%) | RRP
A model for dozens of action films to follow, this box-office hit from 1967 refined a die-hard formula that has become overly familiar, but it's rarely been handled better than it was in this action-packed World War II thriller. Lee Marvin is perfectly cast as a down-but-not-out army major who is offered a shot at personal and professional redemption. If he can successfully train and discipline a squad of army rejects, misfits, killers, prisoners, and psychopaths into a first-rate unit of specialised soldiers, they'll earn a second chance to make up for their woeful misdeeds. Of course, there's a catch: to obtain their pardons, Marvin's band of badmen must agree to a suicide mission that will parachute them into the danger zone of Nazi-occupied France. It's a hazardous path to glory, but the men have no other choice than to accept and regain their lost honor. What makes The Dirty Dozen special is its phenomenal cast including Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, Jim Brown, Clint Walker, Trini Lopez, Robert Ryan, and others. Cassavetes is the Oscar-nominated standout as one of Marvin's most rebellious yet heroic men, but it's the whole ensemble--combined with the hard-as-nails direction of Robert Aldrich--that makes this such a high-velocity crowd pleaser. The script by Nunnally Johnson and Lukas Heller (from the novel by E.M. Nathanson) is strong enough to support the all-star lineup with ample humour and military grit, so if you're in need of a mainline jolt of testosterone, The Dirty Dozen is the movie for you. --Jeff Shannon
Platoon | DVD | (18/09/2000)
from £4.95 | Saving you £11.04 (69.00%) | RRP
Winning a raft of awards, not least of which four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, Oliver Stone's Platoon was a box-office smash heralding Hollywood's second wave of Vietnam war films. Where predecessors The Deer Hunter (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979) were elaborate epics, Platoon simply showed the daily reality of the war from the point of view of ordinary soldiers. Stone's own service in Vietnam gives his work a unique authenticity. Charlie Sheen gives his best performance to date, enduring a series of increasingly large-scale and bloody battles which retrospectively make one wonder why Saving Private Ryan was hailed as so new. Against this gruelling verity the film falters over the symbolic conflict between good and evil sergeants played by Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger. Even though this was also based in real life, it strikes a too conventionally Hollywood-like note in a film which otherwise maintains much of the raw power of Stone's other film from 1986, Salvador. Johnny Depp fans should look out for an early appearance by the star. Stone would return to Vietnam with the more sophisticated Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Heaven and Earth (1993). On the DVD: The 50-minute documentary "Tour of the Inferno" goes beyond the usual "making-of" to present a personal account both of the film and of Stone's own time in Vietnam. Likewise the two audio commentaries--one by Stone, the other by Captain Dale Dye, fellow veteran and military technical advisor--range between the making of the film and the degree to which the actors came to inhabit their parts, to their own wartime experiences. Both commentaries bring a fresh level of appreciation and understanding to the film. Also included is the original trailer and three TV commercials, together with well-presented stills galleries of behind-the-scenes photos and poster art. Following a credit sequence marred by dirt on the print, the anamorphically enhanced 1.77:1 image is sharp and clear. The many night scenes are very dark but remain easily comprehensible. The three-channel Dolby Digital sound is suitably raw and powerful, though an early sequence featuring rain in the jungle suffers from very distracting repeated drop-outs in the left channel. --Gary S Dalkin
Full Metal Jacket (Delux Edition) | DVD | (03/03/2008)
from £5.99 | Saving you £11.00 (64.70%) | RRP
Full Metal Jacket begins by following the trials and tribulations of a platoon of fresh Marine Corps recruits focusing on the relationship between Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and Privates Pyle and Joker. We see Pyle grow into an instrument of death as Hartman has foreseen of all of his recruits. Through Pyle's torment and Joker's unwillingness to stand up against it the climax of part one is achieved with all three main characters deciding their fates by their action or inaction. The second chapter of Full Metal Jacket delves into Joker's psyche and the repeated referral to the fact that he joined the Corps to become a killer. When his mostly behind the scenes job as a combat correspondent is interfered with by the Tet offensive he is thrust into real combat and ultimately must choose if he really is a killer.
Land Girls | DVD | (10/09/2001)
from £17.29 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
During the Second World War, Britain's women were asked to help out the farming industry by joining The Women's Land Army (The Land Girls). Three city gals make their way to the Lawrence farm in Dorset, and find themselves taking to the work easily enough. The only problem between them is each want young Joe (Steven Mackintosh) for their own reasons. Ag (Anna Friel) is the fiery sort who'll take pleasure where she finds it; Prue (Rachel Wiesz) just wants a lesson in the ways of the world; while Stella (Catherine McCormack) is looking for a way out of the private trap she's set in motion back home, but her feelings are the most sincere of the bunch. The film is Stella's story really (as adapted from the novel by Angela Huth), and has her affecting the on-off decision by Joe to join the RAF, the fight with the government to keep the East Meadow as it is and the paths the two other girls end up taking. Everything is very sweet-natured, especially when played out against a backdrop of rolling green hills, chuffing steam engines and knee-high socks tucked into Wellington boots. There's no comment on the effects of war as such, instead this film is more about the reasons why we make choices in life. --Paul Tonks
Zodiac - Director's Cut | Blu Ray | (29/09/2008)
from £7.99 | Saving you £12.00 (60.00%) | RRP
Based on the actual case files of one of the most intriguing unsolved crimes in the nation's history Zodiac is a thriller from David Fincher director of Se7en and Panic Room. As a serial killer terrifies the San Francisco Bay Area and taunts police with his ciphers and letters investigators in four jurisdictions search for the murderer. The case will become an obsession for four men as their lives and careers are built and destroyed by the endless trail of clues.
Inglourious Basterds | Blu Ray | (07/12/2009)
from £6.39 | Saving you £18.60 (74.40%) | RRP
Das Boot | DVD | (12/12/1998)
from £4.19 | Saving you £15.80 (79.00%) | RRP
Wolfgang Petersen's harrowing and claustrophobic U-boat thriller Das Boot was released as both a theatrical film and a six-hour mini-series, and remains the most expensive production ever made by a German studio. The expanded "Director's Cut" of the movie was re-released 1997 and it is this version that is available for home viewing. This epic story became an instant classic on its first release, provoking critical and audience acclaim worldwide for its sympathetic and entirely truthful portrayal of a German U-boat crew. Faithfully adapted from the bestselling novel by Lothar-Günther Buchheim, Petersen and his committed cast (led by the amazing Jürgen Prochnow) were concerned to ensure that every detail was rendered with painstaking accuracy--both physical and psychological--and the result is not only the best submarine drama ever made but also arguably the finest cinematic portrait of men at war and the terrible madness they must endure. On the DVD: The 200-minute "Director's Cut" version of the movie not only has several major scenes restored that were not in the theatrical release but also has been digitally remastered with significantly improved sound (new sound effects have been added) and anamorphic picture. (The six-hour TV version has yet to be released.) Here, the viewer can watch the movie in the original German, with or without subtitles, or in an English dubbed version that uses the voices of many of the original cast. On the utterly engrossing commentary track, director Wolfgang Petersen and star Jürgen Prochnow talk animatedly and in great detail about every aspect of making this epic story--from model shots using Barbie dolls to meeting the Captain of the original U-boat. This is one of the most consistently rewarding commentaries on disc. Also included is a five-minute featurette that promotes this new version. --Mark Walker
Inglourious Basterds | DVD | (07/12/2009)
from £3.10 | Saving you £16.89 (84.50%) | RRP
The Bridge At Remagen | DVD | (05/05/2003)
from £5.39 | Saving you £6.60 (55.00%) | RRP
Fine casting, rugged characters and authentic military detail make The Bridge at Remagen one of the best World War II action films of the 1960s. Based on actual incidents during the final Allied advance on Germany in March 1945, the story focuses on the US Army's exhausted 27th Armoured Infantry, assigned to seize the bridge at Remagen, on the Rhine river, to prevent 50,000 German troops from retreating to safety. Lt Hartman (George Segal) leads the mission, while a Nazi major (Robert Vaughn) defies orders by attempting to hold the bridge instead of blowing it up. With strong emphasis on war's harsher realities, the film's compelling characters illustrate the camaraderie of survivors and the heroism of mavericks in the thick of battle. Segal and Ben Gazzara effectively convey a hard-won friendship, and the film's dynamic action (filmed in Czechoslovakia and Italy) never overwhelms the story's emotional impact. This is highly recommended. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Almost Famous | Blu Ray | (11/02/2008)
from £4.99 | Saving you £14.08 (70.40%) | RRP
Set in 1973 it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming-of-age of 15-year-old music fanatic William (Patrick Fugit). Having managed to land an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater fronted by lead guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and with the help of gorgeous 'band aid' Penny Lane (Oscar nominee Kate Hudson) William finds himself drawn into the band's inner circle despite the objections of his over-protective mother (Frances McDormand). As he becomes less an observer and more a participant in the band's dynamics William learns a life-changing lesson about the importance of family: the ones we inherit and the ones we create...
Glorious 39 | DVD | (29/03/2010)
from £3.89 | Saving you £14.10 (78.40%) | RRP
This tense psychological thriller is set betweet present day London and the idyllic British countryside around the outbreak of the Second World War. Anne a budding young actress stumbles across secret recordings of a sinister Nazi appeasement plot that will stop at nothing to achieve its aims. As close friends die in suspicious circumstances she finds herself in extreme danger and finds out how badly she has been betrayed.
The Longest Day - Single Disc Edition | DVD | (06/10/2003)
from £4.75 | Saving you £13.00 (72.30%) | RRP
On June 6 1944 the Allied Invasion of France marked the beginning of the end of Nazi domination over Europe. The attack involved 3 000 000 men 11 000 planes and 4 000 ships comprising the largest armada the world has ever seen. Presented in its original black & white version 'The Longest Day' is a vivid hour-by-hour re-creation of this historic event. Featuring a stellar international cast and told from the perspectives of both sides it is a fascinating look at the massive