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Gregory's Girl | DVD | (07/06/2004)
from £5.81 | Saving you £0.18 (3.00%) | RRP
There is something so utterly captivating about this Bill Forsyth film--whether it's the quaintly authentic Scottish accents (they had to be softened for its US release) or the wholly universal story of young love. But what really gives Gregory's Girl its evergreen appeal is the enchanting performance of young Gordon John Sinclair as the eponymous gangly lead. With his shock of red hair, he's all arms and legs--and inexperience. Gregory becomes infatuated with Dorothy (a lovely Dee Hepburn), who proves a heartier and better athlete than he is. Gregory's so clueless, he relies on advice from his wee sister. The story may be familiar, but Forsyth's astute and affectionate rendering gives the film its momentum (the film won best screenplay at the British Academy Awards). If American viewers at first struggle to understand the well-written banter, it is worth the effort because there's charm in nearly every line. It's curious that both Sinclair and Hepburn, seemingly poised on the brink of stardom here, either chose not to take advantage of the possible opportunity or weren't ever offered roles as wonderful as these. (Sinclair had a small role in Forsyth's Local Hero and starred in 1986's The Girl in the Picture and other small films. Hepburn appears to have worked only once post-Gregory, a brief stint in the British series Crossroads.) Forsyth completed a 1998 sequel, with Sinclair and Ever After's Dougray Scott. --N.F. Mendoza
Captain Corelli's Mandolin | DVD | (25/03/2002)
from £4.19 | Saving you £13.80 (76.70%) | RRP
While Captain Corelli's Mandolin may frustrate admirers of Louis de Bernières' densely detailed novel, it proves Shakespeare in Love director John Madden is a worthy craftsman of literary films. It's a tastefully old-fashioned adaptation, preserving the novel's flavour while focusing on its love story set against the turbulence of World War II. Set on the Greek island of Cephallonia, the drama begins in 1940 with occupation by Italian troops, awkwardly allied with the Nazis and preferring hedonistic friendliness over military intimidation. That attitude is most generously embodied by Captain Corelli (Nicolas Cage), who is instantly drawn to the Greek beauty Pelagia (Penélope Cruz) despite her engagement to Mandras (Christian Bale), a resistance fighter whose absence leaves Pelagia needy for affection. Mandras's eventual return--and the inevitable attack by German bombers and ground troops--threaten to stain this Greek-Italian romance with deeply tragic bloodshed. Accompanied by pensive serenades from the captain's cherished mandolin, the film charts the unlikely attraction of Corelli and Pelagia, whose wizened physician father (splendidly played by John Hurt) fears for the worst. Their love is uneasy (and Cage's miscasting doesn't help), but the island's beguiling atmosphere is as seductive to them as it is to the viewer, thus making the outbreak of violence--and a climactic earthquake--jarringly traumatic. Emphasising nobility in war and the many definitions of love, the story's wartime context intensifies the film's admirable depth of emotion. Faults will be found by anyone who's looking for them, but Captain Corelli's Mandolin remains a sensuous, richly layered film that die-hard romantics will find hard to resist.--Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
The Book Of Eli | DVD | (31/05/2010)
from £3.89 | Saving you £16.10 (80.50%) | RRP
Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it. A lone hero must fight his way across the wasteland of a post-apocalyptic America to protect a sacred book that holds the key to saving the future of humanity.
Magic Mike XXL | DVD | (30/11/2015)
from £5.49 | Saving you £14.50 (72.50%) | RRP
Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, “Magic Mike XXL” finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them. On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.
Tale of Tales | DVD | (08/08/2016)
from £5.47 | Saving you £10.00 (62.50%) | RRP
A selection of dark fairy tales that are testament to the power of imagination. Gory, sexual and visually astounding, Tale of Tales is a Grimm inspired Palme d'Or nominated fantasy film starring Salma Hayek, Toby Jones, Vincent Cassel and John C Reilly. The sheer, obstinate oddness of Tales of Tales sends crowd-pleasers like Game of Thrones and The Hobbit scuttling into the shadows Dave Calhoun, Timeout. Click Images to Enlarge
World War Z | DVD | (21/10/2013)
from £4.09 | Saving you £15.80 (79.00%) | RRP
Few monsters lend themselves better to allegory than the zombie. In the years since George Romero first set the shambling mold with Night of the Living Dead, filmmakers have been using the undead as handy substitutes for concepts as varied as mall-walking consumers, punk rockers, soccer hooligans, and every political movement imaginable. (All this, plus brain chomping.) World War Z, the mega-scale adaptation of Max Brooks's richly detailed faux-historical novel, presents a zombie apocalypse on a ginormous level never seen before on film. Somehow, however, the sheer size of the scenario, coupled with a distinct lack of visceral explicitness, ends up blunting much of the metaphoric impact. While the globe-hopping action certainly doesn't want for spectacle, viewers may find themselves wishing there was something more to, you know, chew on. Director Marc Forster and his team of screenwriters (including J. Michael Straczynski and Lost's Damon Lindelof) have kept the basic gist of the source material, in which an unexplained outbreak results in a rapidly growing army of the undead. Unlike the novel's sprawling collection of unrelated narrators, however, the film streamlines the plot, following a retired United Nations investigator (Brad Pitt) who must leave his family behind in order to seek out the origins of the outbreak. While the introduction of a central character does help connect some of Brooks's cooler ideas, it also has the curious effect of narrowing the global scale of the crisis. By the time of the third act, in which Pitt finds himself under siege in a confined space, the once epic scope has decelerated into something virtually indistinguishable from any other zombie movie. Even if it's not a genre changer, though, World War Z still has plenty to distinguish itself, including a number of well-orchestrated set pieces--this is a movie that will never be shown on airplanes--and the performances, with Pitt's gradually eroding calm strengthened by a crew of supporting actors (including Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, and a fantastically loony David Morse) who manage to make a large impression in limited time. Most importantly, it's got those tremendous early scenes of zombie apocalypse, which display a level of frenetic chaos that's somehow both over-the-top and eerily plausible. When the fleet-footed ghouls start dogpiling en masse, even the most level-headed viewer may find themselves checking the locks and heading for the basement. --Andrew Wright
A Most Wanted Man | DVD | (19/01/2015)
from £2.79 | Saving you £17.20 (86.00%) | RRP
Based on the novel by the master of the spy genre John le Carr&eacute; A Most Wanted Man is a gripping espionage thriller that prickles with tension right through to its last heart-stopping scene. Hamburg the city where the 9/11 bombers lived and plotted - remains on high alert. When a Chechnyan refugee and possible terror suspect arrives he attracts the interest of a secret anti-terror unit who must uncover the truth about his identity and possible connections to high level terrorists. As the clock ticks down the race is on to establish this most wanted man&rsquo;s true motives &ndash; is he an oppressed victim or a militant terrorist bent on destruction?
The Take | DVD | (17/10/2016)
from £6.49 | Saving you £13.50 (67.50%) | RRP
Michael Mason (Richard Madden, ?GAME OF THRONES') is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba, ?LUTHER', PROMETHEUS), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr thrill ride ensues, the unlikely duo discover they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy.
Krampus | Blu Ray | (25/04/2016)
from £7.16 | Saving you £17.83 (71.30%) | RRP
A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.
Spooks - Series 10 | DVD | (28/11/2011)
from £8.06 | Saving you £31.93 (79.80%) | RRP
Join Harry and the rest of the Spooks team on their last action-packed, thrilling ride to protect the country's national security in the final gripping series.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall | DVD | (15/09/2008)
from £3.14 | Saving you £5.80 (58.10%) | RRP
From the producers of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up comes a comic look at one guy's arduous quest to grow up and get over the heartbreak of being dumped - if he can only make himself start Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Struggling musician Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) has spent six years idolizing his girlfriend television star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). He's the guy left holding her purse in paparazzi photos and accidentally omitted from acceptance award speeches. But his world is rocked when she dumps him and Peter finds himself alone. After an unsuccessful bout of womanizing and an on-the-job nervous breakdown he sees that not having Sarah may just ruin his life. To clear his head Peter takes an impulsive trip to Hawaii where he is confronted by his worst nightmare: his ex and her tragically hip new British-rocker boyfriend Aldous (Russell Brand) are sharing his hotel. But as he torments himself with the reality of Sarah's new life he finds relief in a flirtation with Rachel (Mila Kunis) a beautiful resort employee whose laid-back approach tempts him to rejoin the world. He also finds relief in several hundred embarrassing fruity cocktails.
Enemy at the Gates | DVD | (19/11/2001)
from £4.64 | Saving you £15.35 (76.80%) | RRP
Enemy at the Gates opens with a pivotal event of World War II--the German invasion of Stalingrad--recreated in Saving Private Ryan-like epic scale as ill-trained Russian soldiers face German attack or punitive execution if they flee from the enemy's advance. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud captures this madness with urgent authenticity, creating a massive context for a more intimate battle waged amidst the city's ruins. Embellished from its basis in fact, the story shifts to an intense cat-and-mouse game between a Russian shepherd raised to iconic fame, and a German marksman whose skill is unmatched in its lethal precision. Vassily Zaitzev (Jude Law) has been sniping Nazis one bullet at a time, while the German Major Konig (Ed Harris) has been assigned to kill Vassily and spare Hitler from further embarrassment. There's love in this war, too, as Vassily connects with a woman soldier (Rachel Weisz), but she is also loved by Danilov (Joseph Fiennes), the Soviet officer who promotes his friend Vassily as Russia's much-needed hero. This romantic rivalry lends marginal interest to the central plot, but it's not enough to make this a classic war film. Instead it's a taut, well-made suspense thriller isolated within an epic battle, and although Annaud and cowriter Alain Godard (drawing from William Craig's book and David L Robbins' novel The War of the Rats) fail to connect the parallel plots with any lasting impact, the production is never less than impressive. Highly conventional but handled with intelligence and superior craftsmanship, this is warfare as strategic entertainment, without compromising warfare as a man-made hell on Earth. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com On the DVD: with a choice of Dolby 5.1 or DTS the sound is suitably spectacular (James Horner's Prokofiev-inspired score comes up well amid whizzing bullets and explosions), while the 2.35:1 anamorphic picture makes the best of the epic battle sequences. "Through the Crosshairs" is a standard 20-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, which is complemented by "Inside Enemy at the Gates", a 15-minute montage of interviews with the stars and director. There's also a 25-minute French-made documentary (with English subtitles) about the real battle that includes a short interview with the real Vassily Zaitsev. Eight brief deleted scenes can be played separately or neatly inserted into the movie by pressing Enter when the gun sight icon appears on screen. The commentary by director Jean-Jacques Annaud is as informative as might be expected from a director who always seems passionate about his film projects. Storyboards, posters, a trailer and filmographies round out an excellent disc package. --Mark Walker
Sinister 2 | DVD | (28/12/2015)
from £3.09 | Saving you £14.90 (82.80%) | RRP
In the aftermath of the shocking events in Sinister, a young mother (Shannyn Sossamon) and her twin sons move into a rural house that has been marked for death by the murderous evil entity Bughuul. As she tries desperately to protect the children from Bughuul's corrupting influence she is blindsided by his past victims who converge on the house to try and convince one of her sons to murder the family and join their ranks.
Erin Brockovich | DVD | (09/10/2000)
from £2.00 | Saving you £16.28 (81.40%) | RRP
A lone woman, armed only with indomitable sass and her native wit, goes up against the corporate big boys and beats the bejesus out of them. As a story line it's hardly new, but Steven Soderbergh's film keeps it exhilaratingly fresh and lively--thanks not least to his lead actress. Seizing the role of the smart, mouthy, aggressively working-class Erin Brockovich with both hands, Julia Roberts gives it everything she's got and then some. She's well matched by Albert Finney as her grouchy but good-hearted boss and Aaron Eckhart as a sympathetic biker. The story's based--by all accounts fairly closely--on actual events, when the real Erin (who appears briefly in the film as a kindly waitress) brought a massive lawsuit against utilities giant Pacific Gas and Electric for spreading toxic pollution. Rather than confine the action to courtroom shenanigans, Soderbergh takes us out under Southern California's pitiless skies and along the dirt-poor roads where most of PG&E's blue-collar victims live, letting us feel the ground-down exhaustion of their lives. But though it's rooted in reality, the film's anything but solemn. The script's sharp and funny, full of unexpected twists; and Roberts, flaunting herself outrageously in an eye-popping array of push-up bras and micro-miniskirts, has never been better. --Philip Kemp
Frantic | DVD | (25/10/1999)
from £6.43 | Saving you £7.56 (54.00%) | RRP
Living in exile in Paris after eluding a controversial charge of statutory rape in America, director Roman Polanski seemed professionally adrift during the 1980s, making only one film (the ill-fated Pirates) between 1979 and 1988. Then Polanski found inspiration--and a major star in Harrison Ford--to make Frantic, a thriller that played directly into Polanski's gift for creating an atmosphere of mystery, dread, escalating suspense and uncertain fate. Set in Paris (Polanski couldn't go to Hollywood, so Hollywood came to him), the story begins when an American heart surgeon (Ford) arrives in the City of Lights with his wife (Betty Buckly) for a medical convention. They check into a posh hotel, and in a brilliantly directed scene, Ford takes a shower and emerges to find that his wife has vanished. This mysterious disappearance--and a confusion between two identical pieces of luggage--leads Ford into the Paris underground and a plot that grows increasingly dangerous as he approaches the truth of his wife's disappearance. The plot of Frantic gets too complicated, and the pace drops off in the cluttered second half, but in Polanski's capable hands the film is blessed with moments of heightened suspense in the tradition of classic thrillers. --Jeff Shannon
The 13th Warrior | DVD | (28/02/2000)
from £3.92 | Saving you £11.70 (73.20%) | RRP
What happened to The 13th Warrior? Directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard), it's the tale of young Arab ambassador Ahmahd ibn Fahdalan (Antonio Banderas), who's banished from his homeland for loving the wrong woman. On his journeys he associates with a ragtag group of Vikings who are travelling back to their homeland to confront a nefarious threat that's cloaked in such superstition they're forbidden to speak its name. It is prophesied by a witch doctor that 13 warriors must confront the evil; however, the 13th chosen man must not come from the north. Suddenly Banderas is forced into the breach, somewhat against his will. More poet than battle-worn warrior, he must not only fight the aggressors but come to terms with the unfamiliar Norse culture. What follows is a vigorous and brutal adventure reminiscent of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Sumptuous and invigorating battle sequences fill the screen from beginning to end as the brave Norsemen battle insurmountable odds. Sounds good. So why did this film, once known as the Eaters of the Dead, sit on studio shelves for two years? Presumably because of the thoughtless editing that trimmed down the film to its bare bones, crafting an actionfest out of an epic. It's not often that you crave for a movie to be longer, but The 13th Warrior would have benefited from fleshing out of its subplots and characters. On the surface it's good eye candy with some fine pulse-quickening moments, and Banderas and the accompanying cast turn in sympathetic performances, epitomising camaraderie in the face of impending doom. However, if you're looking for a good thematic tale from the Dark Ages (akin to Braveheart), you may be disappointed. --Jeremy Storey
Dogma | DVD | (21/10/2002)
from £4.99 | Saving you £3.43 (34.30%) | RRP
Bored of being eternally banished to earth, two errant angels hatch a plan to sneak back into heaven. Unfortunately, if they use the required loophole in religious Dogma, they'll prove God fallible and undo the very fabric of the universe, ending all existence. Bummer. Enter the distant grand niece of Jesus Christ and an army of angels, beautiful mythical figures, saintly apostles and all entities good and holy. And Jay and Silent Bob. The phrase "it's a religious comedy" must have caused Hollywood to have a sacred cow. And, as Smith's first attempt to move away from the early lo-fi, character-centred, relationship-based comedies (Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy) toward the narrative-led big-budget spectacular, Dogma is not without problems. Proving controversial on release, stones were cast by churchgoers and Smith devotees alike. Frothing-mouthed extremists levelled charges of blasphemy at the more colourful elements (a Malcolm X-style 13th apostle, the crucifix being binned as uncool and God not being a white-bearded patriarch), leaving the devoutly Catholic Smith, who's intentions were to celebrate the mystery and beauty of religion, completely bemused. Equally, the Luddite Clerks obsessives who wrote it off as "Smith-gone-Hollywood" should have recognised that the script was written way before he gave us his black-and-white debut. More ambitious than his previous mates-roped-in cheapies, the apocryphal and apocalyptic Dogma is still blessed with water-into-wine performances, pop culture gags, postmodern self-referencing and stoopid shagging jokes. Though it may not be wholly miraculous, this is still a righteous movie; and, in comparison with the average big-buck formulaic Hollywood evil, it's practically saintly.On the DVD: Dogma's budget outstripped the early Smith films by miles, and the 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer does it justice, with divine colour and heavenly sound. The picture quality of the extras--including trailers, TV spots and cast and crew interviews--is not so good and pixilation occurs throughout. The interviews are provocative enough, though, giving huge insight into the film. And it's quite something to see Smith looking all "Clark Kent" in his civvies. --Paul Eisinger
No Escape | DVD | (11/01/2016)
from £5.34 | Saving you £14.65 (73.30%) | RRP
As he relocates his family to Asia, with wife Annie (Lake Bell) and their two young girls, Jack (Owen Wilson) has no idea of the terror that lies in store. Within days of their arrival, a violent political uprising has swept through the city and the family are on the run frantically searching for safety as rebels mercilessly attack. With seasoned expat Hammond (Pierce Brosnan) as their only ally, time is against Jack and his family as they are viciously hunted down.
Lake Placid | DVD | (02/08/2004)
from £3.89 | Saving you £9.10 (70.10%) | RRP
Lake Placid is total trash--and, as a result, pretty entertaining. Yet another entry in the horror sub-genre of giant animals running amok, the movie features a giant crocodile that has somehow found its way to an isolated lake in Maine. The absurdity of crocodiles in Maine sets the tone for the entire movie, which has no ambitions beyond mixing a little fright with a little humour (Curiously, this concoction was put together by David E Kelley, better known as the creator of TV's Ally McBeal and The Practice). Bridget Fonda plays a palaeontologist sent to investigate a large tooth; Bill Pullman is a fish and game warden just trying to keep the peace; Oliver Platt plays a loose-cannon mythology professor who swims with crocodiles for sport; and Brendan Gleeson is a local sheriff with a short temper and a big gun. Add a few gruesome dismemberments, Betty White as a cantankerous old broad who may have murdered her husband, and a cow hanging from a helicopter, and there you have it: Lake Placid. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com
Limitless | DVD | (01/08/2011)
from £3.93 | Saving you £14.00 (77.80%) | RRP
Depending on your take-away of the visual inventiveness and jam-packed plot that drives Limitless to peaks and valleys of preposterous fun, drugs are either a terrible scourge or the fundamental solution to all of life's problems. Limitless isn't exactly a morality tale, but the made-up drug that turns Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) from a scuzzy loser into a master of the universe does become a metaphor for ambition, menace, devastation, and ultimate success. Eddie is a writer who can't write, his girlfriend (Abbie Cornish) just dumped him, and his squalid lifestyle has driven him to the breaking point. After a chance meeting with his mysterious ex-brother-in-law, he's offered change in the form of a little transparent button, a pill code-named NZT that allows the user to access 100 percent of their brain. After he pops it, Eddie is transformed. Everything he's ever heard, seen, glanced at, or passed by becomes neatly ordered in his mind. He has total recall, total access to knowledge both known and unknown, and he understands exactly what to do. Without the ingenious visual effects that frequently push the bounds of innovation, our view of the alteration of Eddie's drug-induced reality would fail utterly. When his synapses snap from every new hit, the sparkling blue of Bradley Cooper's eyes pops off of the screen, the colours and textures of his reality ripple and zoom with his every move. Of course he needs more of the drug to maintain his progression, not to mention his very life--remember, kids, drugs are addictive! The movie throws tangled clumps of plot threads against each other in a whizzing mass that incorporates Russian gangsters, shadowy surveillance figures, cops, lawyers, and a couple of murder mysteries. It's a hurtling progression of narrative tangents that often echo the physical and mental extremes Eddie experiences when he's either on or off the drug. Sex, society, and money are big parts of Eddie's newfound brainpower, and he exploits them all. The money element leads Eddie to a big-shot investor, played with twinkling irony by Robert De Niro. The sparring matches between Cooper and De Niro are some of the best parts of the convoluted and manic pace that drives Limitless inexorably onward. Abbie Cornish is relegated to the sidelines far too much, and the suspension of disbelief required to simply maintain stride with the movie's frenzied velocity is often exhausting. But there are some bigger themes that director Neil Burger and writer Leslie Dixon try to sustain in spite of repeated absurdities meant to be accepted at face value. Eddie's actions are both vile and redemptive, and Cooper gives a rousing performance as he bounces from being contemptible to irresistible, sometimes all at once. Fortunately, Limitless is itself redeemed by the nifty visuals that often do evoke the effects of a drug that promises perfect clarity. It's best to just forget the ludicrous lack of coherence and enjoy it as a wildly entertaining trip on a perfect drug that offers the potential for payback and infinite salvation. --Ted Fry