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Despicable Me Blu-ray 3D | Blu Ray | (21/02/2011)
from £6.65 | Saving you £21.90 (73.00%) | RRP
Despicable Me is a compelling animated comedy about an aging supervillain's falling popularity at the hands of a younger supervillain and three young orphan girls. Gru is a true, bad-to-the-core evildoer who's earned the title of the world's No. 1 supervillain. But when young upstart Vector steals the Pyramid of Giza, Gru's status suddenly sinks to No. 2. Gru counters his fall by speeding up his plan to shrink and steal the moon, enlisting the help of his army of minions and the elderly Dr. Nefario, but a lack of funding and the difficulties involved in stealing the needed shrink-ray gun threaten to derail everything. Adopting three young orphan girls is an unlikely, but seemingly effective means to further Gru's evil mission, but Gru quickly discovers that caring for three young girls is more work, and distraction, than he could ever have anticipated. What unfolds is an unexpected shift in attitude that will forever change the lives of Gru, Vector, and all three young girls. A visually appealing film produced by Chris Meledandri (Ice Age, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, and Horton Hears a Who), Despicable Me is full of weirdly shaped characters and settings that are somehow a perfect fit for Sergio Pablos's story. What's especially refreshing is that in this film, 3-D effects are used skillfully and effectively: even when the effects are exploited for comic reasons, they don't become a distraction, as is all too common in many recent movies. The film is full of corny banter and silly antics that inspire plenty of spontaneous laughter, and the minions, while not the best-developed characters, sure are comical. Ultimately, there's also a wholesome message about following one's heart. Steve Carell is the perfect villain-gone-soft in his role as Gru, Jason Segal is quite funny as Vector, and Julie Andrews makes a surprising appearance as Gru's very un-motherly mom. The story isn't new, the humour is relatively juvenile and somewhat forgettable, and it's no Toy Story 3, but Despicable Me celebrates silliness in a way that's satisfying and highly entertaining. (Ages 6 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (Blu-ray 3D) | Blu Ray | (10/09/2012)
from £4.71 | Saving you £24.28 (81.00%) | RRP
Set sail for a fun-filled voyage of hilarious pirate antics with the biggest Band of Misfits on the seven seas! When the infamous Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is shunned once again by his rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Liz Cutlass (Salma Hayek), he sets his sights to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award! With his trusted “parrot” Polly and rag-tag crew at his side, Pirate Captain will need to battle Queen Victoria, save a young Charles Darwin and never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: Adventure!
Arthur Christmas (Blu-ray 3D) | Blu Ray | (19/11/2012)
from £5.99 | Saving you £20.50 (68.40%) | RRP
Aardman Animation manages to strike the perfect balance between comedy, creativity, and holiday spirit in this Christmas film that isn't about an aardvark, but Santa, his dysfunctional family, and a Christmas in jeopardy. Arthur Christmas takes on the age-old question of how Santa can possibly deliver gifts to every child in the world in one evening. The answer: with a lot of high-tech logistics and gadgetry and absolute military precision coordinated by Santa's son Steve. While Santa's other bumbling son Arthur deals with the stacks of letters from children, Steve and his tech-savvy crew coordinate virtually everything else to ensure the successful mission of delivering presents around the globe on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, soon-to-be-retiring Santa simply does as he's told, and centenarian Grand-Santa watches the whole procedure on TV from the comfort of his easy chair. But when one little girl's present doesn't get delivered on Christmas Eve, it raises the question of just what is an acceptable margin of error when you're talking about children and Santa Claus--something that Steve, Arthur, Santa, and Grand-Santa don't quite agree on. Thus begins a very unusual, highly comical last-ditch effort by Arthur, Grand-Santa, and a wrapping elf named Bryony to deliver the forgotten present. The film is rife with funny scenes and characters, features some amazing CGI imagery that looks great on the big screen, and utilises a host of talented voice artists, including James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Joan Cusack, and Eva Longoria. But most impressive is that along with all the humour and technological wizardry we get the perfect dose of holiday sentiment and the message that every child matters, especially on Christmas. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
Epic (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UV Copy) | Blu Ray | (07/10/2013)
from £7.99 | Saving you £22.00 (73.40%) | RRP
Epic is a computer-animated adventure fantasy filled with gorgeous scenery, nice animated effects, plenty of action, and a somewhat familiar plot about the existence of a society of tiny people. Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), or M.K. as she likes to be called, has recently come to live with her dad Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) in a ramshackle house in the middle of nowhere. Obsessed with proving the existence of a society of tiny guardians of the forest called Leafmen, who are responsible for maintaining balance by keeping the Boggans from spreading blight throughout the forest, M.K.'s dad has little time for a daughter or the realities of everyday life. A chance event lands M.K. right in the middle of the Leafmen's society, where she quickly develops a whole new appreciation for her father's eccentricities. She finds herself charged by the Leafmen's queen (Beyoncé Knowles) with a difficult task that will mean the difference between preservation and destruction for the forest. M.K. joins forces with an assortment of unlikely heroes, including slug and snail duo Mub and Grub (Aziz Ansari and Chris O'Dowd), overzealous Leafmen commander General Ronin (Colin Farrell), and Nod (Josh Hutcherson), a soldier with a bad habit of questioning authority. Their perilous journey introduces M.K. to a strange new breed of enemy and a whole new way of thinking. Loosely based on William Joyce's book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, the film shares its premise--a society of tiny people tries to thrive without drawing the attention of the larger humans--with films like the Tinker Bell movies and Arrietty. What's unique about Epic is that it's just as much action film as fantasy. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
A Monster in Paris (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD) | Blu Ray | (04/06/2012)
from £5.89 | Saving you £12.10 (67.30%) | RRP
A 3D-animated movie set in Paris in the year 1910 and centered on a monster who lives in a garden and his love for a beautiful, young singer. Paris.
Animals United 3d | Blu Ray | (25/04/2011)
from £5.39 | Saving you £19.60 (78.40%) | RRP
A group of animals waiting for the annual flood they rely on for food and water discover that the humans who have been destroying their habitats have built a dam for a leisure resort. The animals endeavour to save the delta and send a message to the humans not to interfere with nature.
Dr Seuss' The Lorax (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD) | Blu Ray | (19/11/2012)
from £8.29 | Saving you £21.70 (72.40%) | RRP
An animated rendition of Dr. Seuss's classic book about the threat of industrialization to nature, The Lorax opens in Thneedville--a town never depicted in the original book. Thneedville is an artificial place, made primarily from plastic. It sports inflatable trees, fast cars, and air quality so poor that the residents are forced to purchase bottled fresh air. In another new twist to the story, 12-year-old Ted (Zac Efron) discovers that his crush Audrey (Taylor Swift) wants nothing more than to see a long-extinct Truffula Tree, so he sets out to impress her by finding one. Since there are no real trees in Thneedville, Ted acts on the crazy stories of his grandmother (Betty White), venturing beyond the city's walls into the desolate wasteland to locate a mysterious creature called the Once-ler (Ed Helms). Here the story and animation begin to more closely follow the book. Ted discovers the grumpy recluse, who reluctantly begins to tell him a tale about a once-perfect landscape filled with beautiful Truffula Trees and cute frolicking animals--a landscape now decimated by one greedy young man's insatiable appetite for profit. The beauty and wonder of the Truffula forest and its creatures are right out of Dr. Seuss's illustrations. While the forest creatures may not be directly referred to as Brown Bar-ba-loots, Swomee-Swans, and Humming-Fish, the cute little bears, funny-looking ducks, and especially charming trio of singing fish are instantly recognizable. They serve, as they do in Dr. Seuss's book, to add just the right amount of humor and levity to what would otherwise be a pretty heavy-handed message from the Lorax (Danny DeVito) about environmental preservation. Ted's hormonal instincts to impress Audrey slowly begin to take a back seat to the plight of the lost trees and animals, and the Once-ler's assertion that "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better" rings true by the end of the film. The abundance of original music is a nice and unexpected addition to the story, though why neither Efron nor Swift actually gets to sing is perplexing. (Ages 5 and older) Tami Horiuchi