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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe | DVD | (03/04/2006)
from £21.98 | Saving you £3.01 (12.00%) | RRP
C.S. Lewis' timeless adventure The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows the exploits of the Pevensie siblings -- Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter -- in World War II England, as the four enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of hide-and-seek in the rural country home of an elderly professor. Once there, the children discover a charming, peaceful land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs and giants, but this world has become cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. Under the guidance of a noble and mystical ruler, the lion Aslan, the children fight to overcome the White Witch's powerful hold over Narnia in a spectacular, climactic battle that will free Narnia from Jadis' icy spell forever.
Concert For George | DVD | (24/11/2003)
from £21.11 | Saving you £8.88 (29.60%) | RRP
A celebration of the life and music of George Harrison, the Concert for George is a record of the November 2002 Royal Albert Hall tribute. Organised by close friend Eric Clapton, the show brought together the musical luminaries of George's generation, who not only inspired his music but were in turn inspired by him. Artists ranging from Joe Brown to Ravi Shankar perform touching but not overtly sentimental versions of his best-loved tunes. The many highlights include the Monty Python gang (joined by guest member Tom Hanks) performing "The Lumberjack Song", and a bare-arsed version (literally!) of "Sit On My Face". For the first time since the demise of the Beatles, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney share the same stage. Director David Leland does an excellent job of capturing the intimacy of the concert, as well as the emotions of those in attendance. Apart from the behind-the-scenes interview snippets included in the theatrical version, the cameras rarely move away from the main action on the stage. Shot in suitably restrained colours, the live performance footage makes for stimulating viewing, a particular highlight being Ravi and Anoushka Shankar's opening sitar recital. All in all it's a touching five-star tribute to one of the greatest musical icons of the 20th century. On the DVD: Concert for George two-disc set has two versions of the concert: the complete two-and-a-half-hour show and a shorter theatrical version that received a limited cinema release--this latter includes backstage footage of preparations for the concert, as well as interviews with some of the key performers from the night. Additional material is included on both discs: footage from the rehearsals, the Monty Python team backstage and interviews with many of the performers. Three versions of the concert soundtrack are also featured, ranging from ordinary stereo to an ear-shattering DTS version. --John Galilee
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe | UMD | (03/04/2006)
from £21.61 | Saving you £-2.62 (-13.80%) | RRP
C.S. Lewis's classic novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe makes an ambitious and long-awaited leap to the screen in this modern adaptation. It's a CGI-created world laden with all the special effects and visual wizardry modern filmmaking technology can conjure, which is fine so long as the film stays true to the story that Lewis wrote. And while this film is not a literal translation--it really wants to be so much more than just a kids' movie--for the most part it is faithful enough to the story, and whatever faults it has are happily faults of overreaching, and not of holding back. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tells the story of the four Pevensie children, Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan, and their adventures in the mystical world of Narnia. Sent to the British countryside for their own safety during the blitz of World War II, they discover an entryway into a mystical world through an old wardrobe. Narnia is inhabited by mythical, anthropomorphic creatures suffering under the hundred-year rule of the cruel White Witch (Tilda Swinton, in a standout role). The arrival of the children gives the creatures of Narnia hope for liberation, and all are dragged into the inevitable conflict between evil (the Witch) and good (Aslan the Lion, the Messiah figure, regally voiced by Liam Neeson). Director (and co-screenwriter) Andrew Adamson, a veteran of the Shrek franchise, knows his way around a fantasy-based adventure story, and he wisely keeps the story moving when it could easily become bogged down and tiresome. Narnia is, of course, a Christian allegory and the symbology is definitely there (as it should be, otherwise it wouldn't be the story Lewis wrote), but audiences aren’t knocked over the head with it, and in the hands of another director it could easily have become pedantic. The focus is squarely on the children and their adventures. The four young actors are respectable in their roles, especially considering the size of the project put on their shoulders, but it's the young Georgie Henley as the curious Lucy who stands out. This isn't a film that wildly succeeds, and in the long run it won't have the same impact as the Harry Potter franchise, but it is well done, and kids will get swept up in the adventure. Note: Narnia does contain battle scenes that some parents may consider too violent for younger children. --Dan Vancini
Close Encounters of the Third Kind | DVD | (07/04/2008)
from £18.45 | Saving you £-1.99 (-8.70%) | RRP
A Christmas Carol Super Play (with 3D Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (08/11/2010)
from £28.75 | Saving you £1.24 (4.10%) | RRP
Fans of Robert Zemeckis's brilliant special effects, and of Jim Carrey's transformative acting abilities, will be swept away by their collaboration in the stunning A Christmas Carol. Perhaps more surprising is that Charles Dickens purists will also be impressed and captivated by this version of the oft-told tale--which is dark, complex, and in its way, uncompromising. Which is all to say that this Christmas Carol is an instant holiday classic, easily taking its place alongside the Alistair Sim version, the Patrick Stewart version, and even the Mr. Magoo version of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his ultimate holiday redemption. Carrey is dazzling as not only Scrooge, the most miserable, and miserly, man in 19th-century England, but as the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. As with The Polar Express, Zemeckis animates the film over the actors' physical performances onscreen, but here, the emotion is intact--even heightened by the brilliant effects. Joining Carrey in the cast are terrific players, including Gary Oldman (Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the ghost of Marley), Cary Elwes, Bob Hoskins, and Robin Wright Penn. But the heart of the film is Carrey, whose dramatic acting has shone in films like The Truman Show and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. The emotional connection Carrey makes with his characters is what brings Dickens's classic alive--and what connects the viewer with the true spirit of the holidays. "God bless us, every one". --A.T. Hurley
Pokemon The Movie 2000 | DVD | (14/05/2001)
from £24.24 | Saving you £-10.25 (-73.30%) | RRP
Pokémon 2000, the second film to spin off the powerhouse child-friendly franchise of the turn-of-the-millennium, consists of the colourful if babyish human-presence free, short Pikachu's Rescue Adventure and the more elaborate feature The Power of One. The main attraction is up to snuff animation-wise, with imaginative settings (an island lair, a huge dirigible) that crossbreed cyberpunk futurism and Jules Verne style retro-fantasy. It even has the germ of an interesting, almost subversive idea, in that the story's wealthy villain is a green-haired fanatic who is as obsessive about collecting Pokémon as the film's target audience--he's after three fabled birds, Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno, but is really interested in the cute Loch Ness Monster-type being Lugia--but his philosophy is so skewed that he is more interested in owning and numbering the fabulous creatures than training or befriending them. A clever pun in a prophecy decrees that in a predestined crisis, "the world will turn to ash"--this turns out not to be a gloomy foretelling of holocaust but the revelation that human hero Ash is a messianic "Chosen One" who can restore the balance of nature when the collector's antics have unleashed worldwide climatic change. Adults might find the whole thing an endurance test for its shrill voicings, with Americanised kids and Japanese baby-talking Pokémon, not to mention the meld of incredibly simplistic storyline with amazingly intricate backstory. A trace of self-awareness comes in a brief snippet from a Weird Al Yankovic's song ("Polka mon") under the crowded end credits. --Kim Newman Video description DVD special features: The nice-looking DVD (letterboxed to 1.85:1) comes with a "special edition" Pikachu card; trailers for this film and Pokémon 3; video clips of Pokémon--themed songs performed by Dream Street, Alysha Antonio and Youngstown; a snippet-like "making of the soundtrack" featurette, DVD-ROM features that won't play on a Mac (mostly Web-site links and ads for new poképroducts--"for the first time you will be able to discover if your Pokémon are male or female"!); soundtracks in English, French, Dutch, German and Italian with subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Arabic.
Pokemon 3: The Movie | DVD | (08/10/2001)
from £20.47 | Saving you £-6.48 (-46.30%) | RRP
The most elaborate of the features to date, Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown introduces new Pokémon that debuted in the fall of 2000 in the Gold and Silver-edition Game Boy games. En route to the Johto Tournament, Ash, Brock and Misty visit the mountain village of Greenfield, where they encounter an 8-year-old girl named Molly. Her father, Professor Spencer Hale, disappeared when he set off to study the Unown, a group of 26 Pokémon that resemble letters. The Unown build a baroque crystalline shell around Molly's palatial home, send the leonine Entei to watch over her and grant whatever she wishes--except the return of her father. What Molly really wants is a family: she refers to Entei as her father and has him kidnap Ash's mum to be her mother. Ash charges to the rescue with the help of Pikachu, Charizard and Cyndaquil. In the climactic battle, Ash is joined by Brock and Misty, as well as the usually villainous Team Rocket. ("We figure if we don't help you, we're outta showbiz," Meowth explains.) Molly's father eventually reappears, but the viewer never sees the reunion with his daughter. Ash, Molly and the other two-dimensional characters simply don't fit into three-dimensional, computer-generated crystal settings, and large sections of Pokémon 3 look like two films unsuccessfully spliced together. --Charles Solomon, Amazon.com.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital Copy) | Blu Ray | (28/05/2012)
from £9.06 | Saving you £9.94 (33.10%) | RRP
The new 3D family adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” begins when seventeen-year-old Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. Unable to stop him from tracking the signal to its source, Sean's new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest that will take them first to the South Pacific, and then to a place few people have ever seen. Or lived to tell about. It's a place of stunning beauty, strange and threatening life forms, volcanoes, mountains of gold and more than one astonishing secret. Together with Gabato (Luis Guzmn), the only helicopter pilot willing to risk the trip, and Gabato’s beautiful, strong-willed daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone human inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island underwater and bury its treasures forever, in this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
A Prairie Home Companion | DVD | (25/06/2007)
from £19.99 | Saving you £-4.01 (-25.10%) | RRP
On a rainy Saturday night in St. Paul Minnesota fans file into the Fitzgerald Theater to see 'A Prairie Home Companion ' a staple of radio station WLT not knowing that WLT has been sold to a Texas conglomerate and that tonight's show will be the last...
The Abyss (Special Edition) | DVD | (08/02/2006)
from £21.98 | Saving you £-11.99 (-120.00%) | RRP
A Place On Earth More Awesome Than Anywhere In Space. In this thrilling underwater action-adventure from writer-director James Cameron. a civilian oil-rig crew is recruited to conduct a search-and-rescue effort when a nuclear submarine mysteriously sinks. One diver (Ed Harris) soon finds himself on a spectacular odyssey over 25 000 feet below the ocean's surface where he confronts a mysterious force that has the power to change the world or destroy it.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Giftpack | DVD | (05/09/2005)
from £9.99 | Saving you £3.50 (11.70%) | RRP
Don't panic... Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew English everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def) who is actually not human but an alien researcher penning a new edition of the essential travel tome known as The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Landing aboard a spaceship from the Vogon Constructor Fleet which has just obliterated the Earth Arthur is flung into an outer space adventure where he'll meet oddball characters like Slartibartfast Zaphod Beeblebrox & Marvin the paranoid android visit amazing places such as Magrathea endure the 3rd worst poetry in the galaxy discover mice want his brain and learn that the answer to life the universe and everything is well 42... Following incarnations as a radio series a set of books which became known as a 'Trilogy In Five Parts' and a TV adaptation Douglas Adams' seminal science fiction comedy blasts onto DVD as a fantastically funny film co-written by the author himself prior to his death. The film features a galaxy of British and American stars also including the voices of Alan Rickman as Marvin and Stephen Fry as the Guide.
National Treasure | UMD | (03/10/2005)
from £21.61 | Saving you £-2.62 (-13.80%) | RRP
Brief Encounter | DVD | (02/04/2001)
from £23.20 | Saving you £-7.21 (-45.10%) | RRP
Expanded from a one-act stage play by Noel Coward, Brief Encounter is without doubt one of the true masterpieces of British film history. The story seems slight--a respectable suburban housewife has a chance meeting with a handsome married doctor, their friendship becomes romance, but they feel the pressures of convention pulling their relationship apart--but the writing, acting and direction are sublime, turning what might have been just another melodrama into a memorable and heartbreaking story of impossible love. David Lean went on to make much bigger films than this, but few of those epics packed the emotional punch of this picture, set in a mundane world of railway stations, semi-detached houses and inexpensive cafes. Trevor Howard is perfectly cast as Alec, the doctor, but the film belongs above all to Celia Johnson, as the heroine Laura. It's easy to mock her clipped ultra-English accent, but she gives one of the greatest screen performances imaginable, brilliantly evoking how an ordinary life can be turned upside down by unexpected passion. Throw in the superb use of Rachmaninov's swooning Second Piano Concerto, shrewd supporting acting from Cyril Raymond, Joyce Carey and Everley Gregg, and some of the best black-and-white photography of its era, and the result is irresistible. Anyone who isn't besotted with Brief Encounter has either never been in love, or doesn't deserve to be. --Andy Medhurst
Sky High | UMD | (06/02/2006)
from £20.97 | Saving you £-1.98 (-10.40%) | RRP
Race To Witch Mountain (2-Disc DVD + Digital Copy) | DVD | (24/08/2009)
from £20.75 | Saving you £-0.76 (-3.80%) | RRP
Loosely based on Alexander Key's novel Escape to Witch Mountain, Race to Witch Mountain is not so much a remake of the 1975 film Escape to Witch Mountain as an entirely new film based on some key plot points from the former film. When two innocent-looking teens appear in Jack Bruno's (Dwayne Johnson) cab and tell him "we must travel in that direction", Jack thinks it's a bit strange but shrugs it off and starts driving. Soon they're being followed and chased off the road, but is it Jack's past catching up with him or something much larger? Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) reluctantly confess that they are aliens from another planet, but Jack refuses to accept their statement until Sara starts moving things with her mind and Seth slips through the body of the car and deflects the SUV that's pursuing them. Sara and Seth tell Jack that they must recover their crashed spaceship in order to save earth from being taken over by aliens, so Jack takes them to see Dr. Alex Friedman (Carla Gugino); a scientist who he met by chance and who believes in the possible existence of extra-terrestrials. While the four are initially wary of one another, Dr. Friedman provides some valuable contacts and they begin trusting one another out of sheer necessity. Soon they're battling secret government agencies, heavily armed personnel, and even a cybernetic Siphon (which looks a lot like a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica) in a desperate attempt to gain access to the heavily fortified Witch Mountain and the crashed spacecraft. Action-packed car chases dominate the film (a bit excessively, in this reviewer's opinion), but the acting and chemistry between actors is good as is the suspense and intrigue. Rated PG due to sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements. (Ages 9 and older) --Tami Horiuchi