Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark It's said that the original is the greatest, and there can be no more vivid proof than Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first and indisputably best of the initial three Indiana Jones adventures cooked up by the dream team of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Expectations were high for this 1981 collaboration between the two men, who essentially invented the box office blockbuster with `70s efforts like Jaws and Star Wars, and Spielberg (who directed) and Lucas (who co-wrote the story and executive produced) didn't disappoint. This wildly entertaining film has it all: non-stop action, exotic locations, grand spectacle, a hero for the ages, despicable villains, a beautiful love interest, humour, horror not to mention lots of snakes. And along with all the bits that are so familiar by now--Indy (Harrison Ford) running from the giant boulder in a cave, using his pistol instead of his trusty whip to take out a scimitar-wielding bad guy, facing off with a hissing cobra, and on and on--there's real resonance in a potent storyline that brings together a profound religious-archaeological icon (the Ark of the Covenant, nothing less than "a radio for speaking to God") and the 20th century's most infamous criminals (the Nazis). Now that's entertainment. --Sam Graham Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom It's hard to imagine that a film with worldwide box office receipts topping US$300 million worldwide could be labeled a disappointment, but some moviegoers considered Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the second installment in Steven Spielberg and George Lucas' 1980s adventure trilogy, to be just that. That doesn't mean it's a bad effort; any collaboration between these two cinema giants (Spielberg directed, while Lucas provided the story and was executive producer) is bound to have more than its share of terrific moments, and Temple of Doom is no exception. But in exchanging the very real threat of Nazi Germany for the cartoonish Thuggee cult, it loses some of the heft of its predecessor (Raiders of the Lost Ark); on the other hand, it's also the darkest and most disturbing of the three films, what with multiple scenes of children enslaved, a heart pulled out of a man's chest, and the immolation of a sacrificial victim, which makes it less fun than either Raiders or The Last Crusade, notwithstanding a couple of riotous chase scenes and impressively grand sets. Many fans were also less than thrilled with the new love interest, a spoiled, querulous nightclub singer portrayed by Kate Capshaw, but a cute kid sidekick ("Short Round," played by Ke Huy Quan) and, of course, the ever-reliable Harrison Ford as the cynical-but-swashbuckling hero more than make up for that character's shortcomings. --Sam Graham Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade The third episode in Steven Spielberg's rousing Indiana Jones saga, this film recaptures the best elements of Raiders of the Lost Ark while exploring new territory with wonderfully satisfying results. Indy is back battling the Nazis, who have launched an expedition to uncover the whereabouts of the Holy Grail. And it's not just Indy this time--his father (played with great acerbic wit by Sean Connery, the perfect choice) is also involved in the hunt. Spielberg excels at the kind of extended action sequences that top themselves with virtually every frame; the best one here involves Indy trying to stop a Nazi tank from the outside while his father is being held within. For good measure, Spielberg reveals (among other things) how Indy got his hat, the scar on his chin, and his nickname (in a prologue that features River Phoenix as the young Indiana). --Marshall Fine Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Nearly 20 years after riding his last Crusade, Harrison Ford makes a welcome return as archaeologist/relic hunter Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, an action-packed fourth installment that's, in a nutshell, less memorable than the first three but great nostalgia for fans of the series. Producer George Lucas and screenwriter David Koepp (War of the Worlds) set the film during the cold war, as the Soviets--replacing Nazis as Indy's villains of choice and led by a sword-wielding Cate Blanchett with black bob and sunglasses--are in pursuit of a crystal skull, which has mystical powers related to a city of gold. After escaping from them in a spectacular opening action sequence, Indy is coerced to head to Peru at the behest of a young greaser (Shia LaBeouf) whose friend--and Indy's colleague--Professor Oxley (John Hurt) has been captured for his knowledge of the skull's whereabouts. Whatever secrets the skull holds are tertiary; its reveal is the weakest part of the movie, as the CGI effects that inevitably accompany it feel jarring next to the boulder-rolling world of Indy audiences knew and loved. There's plenty of comedy, delightful stunts--ants play a deadly role here--and the return of Raiders love interest Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, once shrill but now softened, giving her ex-love bemused glances and eye-rolls as he huffs his way to save the day. Which brings us to Ford: bullwhip still in hand, he's a little creakier, a lot grayer, but still twice the action hero of anyone in film today. With all the anticipation and hype leading up to the film's release, perhaps no reunion is sweeter than that of Ford with the role that fits him as snugly as that fedora hat. --Ellen A. Kim
Set in Florence and the English countryside, the film tells the story of a young English couple, Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) and George Emerson (Julian Sands), who encounter passion whilst on holiday in Italy. Defying the Victorian conventions of their elders they dare to be true to their feelings, each other and true love. Superbly adapted from E.M. Forster's classic novel, and boasting a wonderful supporting cast including Daniel Day-Lewis, Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Denholm Elliot and Simon Callow, A Room With A View was a world-wide smash hit and cemented the reputation of Merchant Ivory as masters of the period film.
In this crowd-pleasing 1983 comedy of high finance about a homeless con artist who becomes a Wall Street robber baron, Eddie Murphy consolidated the success of his startling debut in the previous year's 48 Hours and polished his slick-winner persona. The turnabout begins with an argument between super-rich siblings, played by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche: are captains of industry, they wonder, born or made? To settle the issue, the meanies construct a cruel experiment in social Darwinism. Preppie commodities trader Dan Aykroyd (perfectly cast) is stripped of all his worldly goods and expelled from the firm, and Murphy's smelly derelict is appointed to take his place, graduating to tailored suits and a world-class harem in record time. Eventually the two men team up to teach the nasty old manipulators a lesson, cornering the market in frozen orange juice futures in the process. Director John Landis (The Blues Brothers) doesn't have the world's lightest touch, but he hits most of the jokes hard and quite a few of them pay off. Trading Places is also a landmark film for fans of Jamie Lee Curtis. --David Chute, Amazon.com
Includes every episode from the TV series plus the movie! A genuine British comedy classic the popularity of Rising Damp remains unparalleled some 25 years after the first transmission. Detailing the day-to-day events at Rigsby's dingy boarding-house in which the landlord from hell Rupert Rigsby prowled around his dilapidated eyrie poking his nose into his lodgers' affairs. In the feature length movie Rigsby (Leonard Rossiter) is still intending to make Miss Jones (Frances De La Tour) his wife but she's far more interested in the intellectual and athletic Philip (Don Warrington)...
The prestigious film-making trio of producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala had made other critically acclaimed films before A Room with a View was released in 1985, but it was this popular film that made them art-house superstars. Splendidly adapted from the novel by E.M. Forster, it's a comedy of the heart, a passionate romance and a study of repression within the class system of manners and mores. It's that system of rigid behaviour that prevents young Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) from accepting the loving advances of a free-spirited suitor (Julian Sands), who fears that she will follow through with her engagement to a priggish intellectual (Daniel Day-Lewis) whose capacity for passion is virtually non-existent. During and after a trip to Italy with her protective companion (Maggie Smith), Lucy gradually gets in touch with her true emotions. The fun of watching A Room with a View comes from seeing how Lucy's thoughts and feelings finally arrive at the same romantic conclusion. Through an abundance of humour both subtle and overt, the film rose to an unexpected level of popular appeal. The Merchant-Ivory team received eight Academy Award nominations for their efforts, and won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction and Costume Design. --Jeff Shannon
This classic mini-series in six episodes tells the story of Katrina a young woman whose life is threatened by the deception of the man she loves. This is also the story of her estranged father Hal Stanton - a drunk a fraud and a has-been lawyer hiding from a past which is to haunt him forever. When Katrina is falsely imprisoned for drug smuggling Hal becomes the only man who can save her. Katrina believed that her father was dead. Only after the death of her mother does she disco
The Man is Oldenshaw: an immodest, ex-Oxford type with a mind trained to devour information like a computer. He rose to prominence during the planning of D-Day. His partner is Defraits: Oldenshaw's red-brick equal. Room 17 is the secret centre of operations for the Department of Special Research, a unit set up to study the criminal mind and handle cases that have baffled the police and security services. Answerable only to the Prime Minister, the men in Room 17 pull the strings that make the...
Adapted from Graham Greene's novel Trevor Howard stars as Harry Scobie an assistant police commisioner working in Sierra Leone during WWII. Harry finds himself drawn to Helen a survivor of a U-boat attack and whilst the cat is away he decides that he can no longer stay married. However as his Catholic union threatens the outcome of both relationships Harry soon convinces himself that desperate measures need to be taken....
Robustly entertaining and bracingly sinister, The Boys from Brazil stars Gregory Peck as the infamous Dr Josef Mengele, the former Nazi chief who intends to resurrect the Führer and create a Fourth Reich through genetic experiments that commence with the assassination of some 94 fathers. Elderly Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier, in an Oscar-nominated performance) is tipped to the plot, but his efforts to expose Peck (fiendishly cast against type) are thwarted by a set of menacing triplets played by Jeremy Black. Back in 1978, The Boys from Brazil (adapted from Ira Levin's novel) was an incalculably tense, straight-faced entertainment whose lack of irony allowed the viewer to indulge the film's outrageous premise without moral offence. But in view of the scientific advancements made since the release of the film, it's now a cautionary tale, and all the more compelling for being so. Jerry Goldsmith's richly conceived, Oscar-nominated score--replete with echoes of Mahler and Strauss--reinforces this impression.--Kevin Mulhall
Mystery And Imagination: The Complete Series (3 Disc)
Hammer's To the Devil a Daughter was the last film made by the once great studio. Clearly ailing, Hammer again adapted a novel by Dennis Wheatley, the author behind one of their greatest successes, The Devil Rides Out (1967). Unfortunately for the studio, films such as Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) had, in the intervening decade, radically changed horror cinema. With American star Richard Widmark echoing Gregory Peck's role in the far more polished The Omen (1976), the film seemed, rather than setting the pace as Hammer once had, to be very much jumping on the 1970's occult band-wagon. Christopher Lee is the satanic ex-communicated priest whose coven plan to incarnate the ancient demon Ashteroth, while a supernaturally beautiful Nastassja Kinski demonstrates the same willingness to disrobe as in Cat People (1982). Even so, this lacklustre, misogynistic film couldn't compete with Carrie and Suspiria (both also 1976) and Hammer thereafter concentrated on TV productions. Surprisingly, director Peter Sykes' next film, Jesus (1979), as well as being the most seen and internationally distributed film ever (with an audience of over two billion by 2000), is also the most faithful portrayal of Christ yet committed to celluloid. --Gary S. Dalkin
A heartwarming tale of an English minister and his family reunited at Christmas time. Their story includes a remembrance of their World War II trials.
Though Hammer Films ceased theatrical production in the mid-1970s, the TV series Hammer House of Horror afforded the studio a last hurrah in 1980. Though it uses original scripts rather than adaptations of published stories, the series feels like an update of Hammer's earlier Journey to the Unknown, with a mix of contemporary settings, predictable twist endings, mock-gruesome horror, mild sex, familiar TV faces and sly camp that puts it on the shelf somewhere between Nigel Kneale's Beasts and Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. The shows are variously directed by Hammer regulars Don Sharp (Kiss of the Vampire), Peter Sasdy (Countess Dracula), Robert Young (Vampire Circus) and Alan Gibson (Dracula AD 1972). --Kim Newman Volume One Episodes: "The House That Bled to Death; "The Silent Scream"; "Two Faces of Evil". A box set is also available.
First broadcast in 1982 this Emmy award winning epic adventure cost a staggering ten million dollars and featured an all-star Oscar winning cast. Filmed on location in Italy Morocco Nepal and China this lavish mini-series was the first Western production to film in China after WWII and took over thirteen months to complete. An epic in every sense of the word. Born in Venice in 1254 Marco Polo was just 17 when he set off with his father and uncle to travel the Silk Road to China. Their adventurous journey through Asia which lasted three and half years took them through uncharted territory and went down in history as one of the greatest exploratory journeys of all time. Marco then spent 17 years in Peking as the guest of the Great Khan winning the trust and respect of the Emperor for whom he carried out various diplomatic missions. Marco took great care to understand and record the culture language traditions and customs of the people he met during his long travels and as a result became one of history's legendary explorers.
A reporter Mullen (Gabriel Byrne) stumbles on a story linking a prominent Member of Parliament to a KGB agent. Has there been a Government cover-up? Mullen teams up with Vernon Bayliss (Denholm Elliott) an old hack and Nina Beckam (Greta Scacchi) the MP's assistant to find out the truth.
The novel The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat was an unflinching portrayal of life at sea during WWII on a boat tasked with protecting convoys and seeking and destroying U-boats. Nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Film, The Cruel Sea stars Jack Hawkins, Sir Donald Sinden and Stanley Baker, and is a gripping insight into the lives of unsung heroes at sea during the war, and the agonizing decisions and incredible peril they faced on a daily basis.
Fallen women? Does it mean they've hurt their knees? After a decade of soul-saving in Africa Charles Fortescue is asked to minister to the ladies of the night in 1906 London. So Fortescue feeds them shelters them and not infrequently provides them a bed: his! A naive man of the cloth becomes a man of the sheets in this playfully naughty yet always tasteful comedy that stars Monty Python's Michael Palin (who also wrote the script) as Fortescue and features a colourful array of cockeyed characters: a blissful airhead (Phoebe Nicholls) a lusty mission sponsor (Maggie Smith) a bewildered butler (Michael Hordern) an earthy bishop (Denholm Elliott) a cantankerous John Bull (Trevor Howard) and more. Jolly good fun!
In 1879 the British Colonies in response to the perceived threat of the Zulu Nation deliver a deliberately unacceptable ultimatum to the King who responds by putting his people on a war footing. Confident in their weapons technology and organization's ability to crush the seemingly outclassed primitive enemy the British invade Zululand. General Lord Chelmsford sends in hundreds of British troops in order to squash the spear-carrying Africans with superior fire power. The sheer number of Zulus however overwhelms the British infantry.
John Thaw and Dennis Waterman star once again as the Flying Squad's finest in this brutal and uncompromising feature-film spin-off from one of television's most memorable series! Co-starring Denholm Elliott and Ken Hutchison, Sweeney 2 has been newly transferred from original film elements. A callous gang of bank robbers is creating havoc on the London streets. Efficient and ruthless and with Regan and Carter in hot pursuit they leave a trail of dead bodies and smashed cars in their wake. SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical Trailer Image gallery PDF material
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