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Dan Wyllie: List of Movies, Films and TV Shows

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  • Sanctum (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) [2011] Sanctum (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (13/06/2011) from £11.27  |  Saving you £-18.59 (-62.00%)  |  RRP £29.99

    If there's an undersea adventure with high-tech equipment, macho posturing, and lots of underwater photography, you know James Cameron must be swimming around the vicinity. Add the fact that Sanctum was released to theaters in 3-D, and it's clinched. Cameron served as executive producer to this crazy tale of a cave-diving expedition forced to improvise when a typhoon inundates their New Guinea location. (The film, shot in Australia, is allegedly based on a true event by co-screenwriter Andrew Wight, but it might be safe to conclude that the original incident was a jumping-off point for the high melodrama on display here.) A globetrotting billionaire (Ioan Gruffudd, of Fantastic Four) is underwriting this exploration of a hidden cave maze, which explains why he gets to bring his girlfriend (Alice Parkinson) along. As a measure of their thrill-seeking habits, we are told they met on an Everest climb. The cave-diving boss is a crusty old pro (Richard Roxburgh), who is rough on his underlings and even rougher on his teenage son (Rhys Wakefield); naturally, the cataclysm that follows will be an occasion for some extreme father-son fence mending. As cornball as these elements are, and as generally toneless as director Alister Grierson's ear is with the dialogue scenes, Sanctum does work up some bona fide thrills: the sheer power of water is unleashed at a few memorable spots, as is the panic of losing an oxygen tank at a crucial moment. It's also pretty brutal, with a steep body count and a few grotesque bits of bodily injury. It ought to be easy to dismiss Sanctum as a silly piece of boy's adventure, but--curse you, Cameron!--one must admit that the thing is awfully effective. --Robert Horton

  • Chopper [2000] Chopper | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £2.99  |  Saving you £2.20 (36.70%)  |  RRP £5.99

    A great Australian movie, Chopper is loosely based on the autobiography of career crim Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read, whose attention-seeking mix of psychotic violence and matey ingratiation made him an outcast even in the underworld and finally--with bizarre logic--turned him into a bestselling celebrity without any need for repentance and regeneration. Andrew Dominik, a music video maven making his directorial debut, wrestles the unpromising material into shape, using a striking palette of blues inside prison and sickly neons outside, wisely building the film around a terrific lead performance from stand-up comedian Eric Bana as the crook who had his own ears hacked away so he could get off a prison wing where he was marked for death and whose forceful personality means that he can always rekindle a relationship even with those to whom he has done dreadful violence in the past and whom he certainly intends to shoot, batter, rob and betray in the future--with the mildly redeeming caveat that he sometimes drives his victims to the hospital after injuring them. The movie has a lot of smart incidental detail, like the paranoid dealer who doses his dogs' water with speed, the ridiculous mix-up of an assassination set up in the wrong car park of a nightclub that has two, and Chopper's repeated mood swings in the middle of lengthy dialogue scenes that begin with conciliation and apology and pay off with doubts and eruptions of violence that leave the perpetrator genuinely regretful of what has happened. The nicely presented DVD features excised scenes, footage that Dominik shot with the real Chopper, commentary tracks from Dominik and Chopper and the trailer. --Kim Newman

  • Sanctum [DVD] [2011] Sanctum | DVD | (13/06/2011) from £3.00  |  Saving you £16.99 (85.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    If there's an undersea adventure with high-tech equipment, macho posturing, and lots of underwater photography, you know James Cameron must be swimming around the vicinity. Add the fact that Sanctum was released to theaters in 3-D, and it's clinched. Cameron served as executive producer to this crazy tale of a cave-diving expedition forced to improvise when a typhoon inundates their New Guinea location. (The film, shot in Australia, is allegedly based on a true event by co-screenwriter Andrew Wight, but it might be safe to conclude that the original incident was a jumping-off point for the high melodrama on display here.) A globetrotting billionaire (Ioan Gruffudd, of Fantastic Four) is underwriting this exploration of a hidden cave maze, which explains why he gets to bring his girlfriend (Alice Parkinson) along. As a measure of their thrill-seeking habits, we are told they met on an Everest climb. The cave-diving boss is a crusty old pro (Richard Roxburgh), who is rough on his underlings and even rougher on his teenage son (Rhys Wakefield); naturally, the cataclysm that follows will be an occasion for some extreme father-son fence mending. As cornball as these elements are, and as generally toneless as director Alister Grierson's ear is with the dialogue scenes, Sanctum does work up some bona fide thrills: the sheer power of water is unleashed at a few memorable spots, as is the panic of losing an oxygen tank at a crucial moment. It's also pretty brutal, with a steep body count and a few grotesque bits of bodily injury. It ought to be easy to dismiss Sanctum as a silly piece of boy's adventure, but--curse you, Cameron!--one must admit that the thing is awfully effective. --Robert Horton

  • Holy Smoke [2000] Holy Smoke | DVD | (29/04/2002) from £5.99  |  Saving you £0.56 (5.60%)  |  RRP £9.99

    New Zealand film director Jane Campion is one of a kind. Forget money and fame; she's inspired by the pleasure of sharing her cinematic dreams with friends and film audiences. Her globetrotting heroines (in such films as Angel at My Table, The Piano, The Portrait of a Lady) may be wilful, crazed, self-absorbed, wrong--but who can resist joining these passionate women on their voyages of self-discovery, whether they lead to safe harbour or a dead end? Holy Smoke opens deliriously in a magical India, saturated with light, colour, sensuality. Celebrated by Neil Diamond's opening anthem, "Holly Holy", Ruth Baron (Kate Winslet, delivering a breathtakingly luminous performance) explores a world that encourages spiritual epiphany--and falls hard for the cartoonish guru who opens her "third eye". Back home in Australia, her hilariously dysfunctional, distinctly down-to-earth family hires hotshot deprogrammer PJ Waters (Harvey Keitel, his dyed hair and cowboy boots telegraphing desperate machismo) to cure Ruth. In an isolated Outback shack, the two of them wrestle each other for control of their souls--and bodies, too. This duel's in deadly earnest: Ruth assaults Waters's petrified masculinity; PJ aims to strip this radiant girl of her unexamined faith. Their wild ride--funny, brutal, erotic--towards brand-new selfhood is punctuated by indelible images: Ruth dancing in a white sari beside an emu corral; naked in the night, Ruth offering her lush body to her tormentor; lost in the desert, cross-dressed in red gown, PJ "saved" by a golden vision of Ruth as a magnificent Indian goddess. For those who love the way movies can sometimes project truth and beauty, Holy Smoke is a feast for the eyes and mind. --Kathleen Murphy, Amazon.com On the DVD: Holy Smoke sees good overall quality of the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, with the graininess coming from the film rather than the transfer. The soundtrack (which is mostly populated with Neil Diamond tracks) is rich, but what really raises this DVD above mediocrity though (and it had to be something seeing as it is woefully short of extras) is the commentary track. Winslet and cowriter Anna Campion (Jane's sister) are given free reign to talk about their experiences of filming Holy Smoke as well as their thoughts on India, cults and nudity. The result is always interesting, often entertaining and fans of Winslet will fall in love with the graceful star all over again. --Kristen Bowditch

  • Sanctum [Blu-ray] Sanctum | Blu Ray | (14/05/2012) from £9.98  |  Saving you £15.01 (60.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    If there's an undersea adventure with high-tech equipment, macho posturing, and lots of underwater photography, you know James Cameron must be swimming around the vicinity. Add the fact that Sanctum was released to theaters in 3-D, and it's clinched. Cameron served as executive producer to this crazy tale of a cave-diving expedition forced to improvise when a typhoon inundates their New Guinea location. (The film, shot in Australia, is allegedly based on a true event by co-screenwriter Andrew Wight, but it might be safe to conclude that the original incident was a jumping-off point for the high melodrama on display here.) A globetrotting billionaire (Ioan Gruffudd, of Fantastic Four) is underwriting this exploration of a hidden cave maze, which explains why he gets to bring his girlfriend (Alice Parkinson) along. As a measure of their thrill-seeking habits, we are told they met on an Everest climb. The cave-diving boss is a crusty old pro (Richard Roxburgh), who is rough on his underlings and even rougher on his teenage son (Rhys Wakefield); naturally, the cataclysm that follows will be an occasion for some extreme father-son fence mending. As cornball as these elements are, and as generally toneless as director Alister Grierson's ear is with the dialogue scenes, Sanctum does work up some bona fide thrills: the sheer power of water is unleashed at a few memorable spots, as is the panic of losing an oxygen tank at a crucial moment. It's also pretty brutal, with a steep body count and a few grotesque bits of bodily injury. It ought to be easy to dismiss Sanctum as a silly piece of boy's adventure, but--curse you, Cameron!--one must admit that the thing is awfully effective. --Robert Horton

  • Sanctum (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) Sanctum (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (26/11/2012) from £21.02  |  Saving you £8.97 (29.90%)  |  RRP £29.99

    From executive producer James Cameron (Avatar) comes a thrilling underwater adventure based on true events. Master cave diver Frank McGuire and his team have been exploring the least accessible, uncharted and dangerous underwater labyrinth on Earth. When a tropical storm cuts off their only escape route, they must find an exit to make it out alive. In Earth's inner sanctum, make just one mistake and no one will know you were ever there. Special Features: Deleted Scenes Feature Commentary Sanctum: The Real Story Nullarbor Dreaming

  • Sanctum [Blu-ray] [2011] Sanctum | Blu Ray | (13/06/2011) from £2.49  |  Saving you £20.00 (80.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    If there's an undersea adventure with high-tech equipment, macho posturing, and lots of underwater photography, you know James Cameron must be swimming around the vicinity. Add the fact that Sanctum was released to theaters in 3-D, and it's clinched. Cameron served as executive producer to this crazy tale of a cave-diving expedition forced to improvise when a typhoon inundates their New Guinea location. (The film, shot in Australia, is allegedly based on a true event by co-screenwriter Andrew Wight, but it might be safe to conclude that the original incident was a jumping-off point for the high melodrama on display here.) A globetrotting billionaire (Ioan Gruffudd, of Fantastic Four) is underwriting this exploration of a hidden cave maze, which explains why he gets to bring his girlfriend (Alice Parkinson) along. As a measure of their thrill-seeking habits, we are told they met on an Everest climb. The cave-diving boss is a crusty old pro (Richard Roxburgh), who is rough on his underlings and even rougher on his teenage son (Rhys Wakefield); naturally, the cataclysm that follows will be an occasion for some extreme father-son fence mending. As cornball as these elements are, and as generally toneless as director Alister Grierson's ear is with the dialogue scenes, Sanctum does work up some bona fide thrills: the sheer power of water is unleashed at a few memorable spots, as is the panic of losing an oxygen tank at a crucial moment. It's also pretty brutal, with a steep body count and a few grotesque bits of bodily injury. It ought to be easy to dismiss Sanctum as a silly piece of boy's adventure, but--curse you, Cameron!--one must admit that the thing is awfully effective. --Robert Horton

  • Chopper [UMD Universal Media Disc] Chopper | UMD | (29/08/2005) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £14.99

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