The Mouse That Roared, originally released in 1959, is mostly remembered as a tour-de-force from peerless comic actor Peter Sellers, playing all three of the principal roles. It's worth seeing for that alone, but the film is also one of the most memorable satires of nuclear geopolitics produced during the Cold War and, along with another Sellers vehicle, Dr Strangelove, provides an unbeatable illustration of the paranoia and helplessness engendered by that period. The Mouse That Roared tells the story of the fictional European principality of Grand Fenwick. Finding itself on the wrong end of a trade dispute with the United States, and noting America's generosity in rebuilding the countries it had fought in World War II, Grand Fenwick's rulers hit upon the idea of declaring war on the US, losing, and then reaping a Marshall Plan-style hand-out. The plan, proposed by Grand Fenwick's prime minister (played by Peter Sellers), is approved by the monarch (also played by Peter Sellers), who dispatches an invasion force of chain mail-clad archers under the command of Grand Fenwick's hapless Field Marshal (also played by Peter Sellers). Due to a series of happenstances and misunderstandings, Grand Fenwick's plan goes terribly wrong, and they inflict a surprising defeat on America, with curious consequences. On the DVD: The Mouse That Roared is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen; sound is mono. Soundtracks are available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, and subtitles in all those as well as most other major European languages, Hebrew and Arabic. Special features include a scene selector, and three theatrical trailers: one for this film (English audiences will get a kick out of the 1950s American announcer raving about "an hilarious new personality, Peter Sellers"), one for Sellers' much bleaker (and much funnier) Cold War satire Dr Strangelove, and one for his slight horror spoof Murder By Death. --Andrew Mueller
Dave Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson (David Soul) are plainclothes cops patrolling the streets of an unnamed American city (portrayed by Los Angeles) in a 1973 red Grand Torino. Dark-haired Starsky, who has an unflagging appetite and a quick quip for any situation, and tall, blond, Hutch, who is more soulful and serious, are not just partners on the job, they are also close friends. But their unorthodox methods are endlessly frustrating for their boss, Captain Dobey (Bernie Hamilton). The duo has a powerful ally on the street, however, in Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas), a shady character who proves Starsky and Hutch with plenty of inside information.
After a personal tragedy the Reeds take in their ten year old nephew and re-awaken their marriage.... A heartwarming drama based on the French novel and film Le Grand Chemin.
Rewarded for his heroism in the Civil War Lt. John Dunbar (Costner) wants to see the American Frontier before it is gone. He is assigned to an abandoned fort where a Sioux tribe is his only neighbour. Overcoming the language barrier and their mutual fear and distrust Dunbar and the proud Indians gradually become friends. Eventually he falls in love with the beautiful Stands With A Fist (McDonnell) a white woman raised by the tribe. He learns the culture of the Sioux lives with them and even experiences the breathtaking excitement of a buffalo hunt but his knowledge of the fate that will ultimately befall the tribe torments him. Finally he is faced with a crucial decision that will cause him to examine his heart and soul before making a heroic choice that determines his destiny.
Hell hath no fury like a telekinetic teen! Welcome to Bates High School. The lesson for today: Stay on Rachel Lang's good side because this outcast teen has a fiery temper that can't be controlled. Joining her in the halls are Jason London (Dazed And Confused) Dylan Bruno (Saving Private Ryan) J. Smith-Cameron (In & Out) Zachery Ty Bryan (Home Improvement) and Amy Irving (Carrie) for ""an explosion of supernatural violence"" (Variety) that will keep you on the edge of your seat t
A harrowing tale of drug addiction and lost dreams, set in 1978 New York.
A little-known chapter of American labour history is brought vividly to life in this period drama from writer-director John Sayles. It's a fictional story about labour wars among West Virginia coal miners during the 1920s, but every detail is so right that the film has the unmistakable ring of truth. The tension begins when the Stone Mountain Coal Company of Matewan, West Virginia, announces a lower pay rate for miners, who respond by calling a strike under the leadership of a United Mine Workers representative (Chris Cooper). Proving strength in numbers, the miners are joined by black and Italian miners who initially resist the strike, and a fateful battle ensues when detectives hired by the coal company attempt to evict miners from company housing. Violence erupts in a sequence of astonishing, cathartic intensity, and Matewan achieves a rare degree of moral complexity combined with gut-wrenching tragedy. The film salutes a pacifist ideal while recognising that personal and political convictions often must be defended with violence. To illustrate this point, Sayles enlisted master cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who creates the film's authentic visual texture--a triumph of artistry over limited resources. The result is a milestone of independent filmmaking, and Matewan remains one of Sayles's finest achievements. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
The story of Fortress takes place in drastically overpopulated America of the year 2017, where each woman is allowed only one pregnancy. John Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) flee to Mexico when she becomes pregnant after the death of their first child. They are captured by border police and sent to the Fortress, a subterranean high-security prison owned by the Men-Tel corporation and operated by "Zed-10", an omnipotent computer system, and a sadistic, genetically "enhanced" warden (Kurtwood Smith) who has nefarious plans involving Brennick's wife and unborn child. Along with his cellmates (including Jeffrey Combs, a favourite of director Stuart Gordon), Brennick plots a breakout and Fortress shifts into auto-pilot action mode. After making his reputation with such audacious horror films as From Beyond and Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon graduated to a bigger budget with Fortress but his penchant for exploitation remains deliriously intact. While borrowing elements from a variety of better sci-fi movies, Fortress indulges every prison-flick cliché, but does it with such enjoyable B-movie vigour that it qualifies as a bona-fide guilty pleasure (indeed, it deserves to be ranked with James Cameron's original Terminator in terms of its budgetary ingenuity). Featuring such giddy (and gory) devices as "intestinators" (deadly obedience devices implanted in prisoners' bodies) and a torturous "Mind Wipe Chamber", this is really just a drive-in action movie with lofty ambitions and the schlocky script hasn't a prayer of rising above the level of juvenile popcorn fodder. But there's no denying the energy and enthusiasm that Gordon brings to the film, which understandably became a global box-office hit and spawned a 1999 sequel starring Lambert and Pam Grier. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Jim Gordon commands a unit of the famed Flying Tigers the American Volunteer Group which fought the Japanese in China before America's entry into World War II. Gordon must send his outnumbered band of fighter pilots out against overwhelming odds while juggling the disparate personalities and problems of his fellow flyers. In particular he must handle the difficulties created by a reckless hot-shot pilot named Woody Jason who not only wants to fight a one-man war but to waltz off with Gordon's girlfriend too.
Franklin J Schaffner's Papillon is quite possibly the definitive prison escape drama. Not as thrilling as The Great Escape, nor as emotionally cathartic as The Shawshank Redemption, its unflinching emphasis on the barbarism of "civilised" societies is nevertheless unparalleled. Significantly, the only characters to display any real kindness in this film are the social outcasts: the lepers and native Indians; everyone else has been corrupted and debased by the true villain, the penal system itself. Based on Henri Charrière' s heavily fictionalised "autobiography", the film's timeless themes of man's insatiable desire for freedom and the indomitability of the human spirit are thankfully not dependent for their impact on the source material's veracity. Dalton Trumbo's liberal-minded screenplay echoes the themes of his earlier script for Spartacus, and Schaffner's innate gift for epic cinema (this was made just two years after his great war biography Patton) is fully equal to the task of realising it on screen. The director's painterly eye for widescreen composition and his careful pacing impart a gravitas to proceedings even during the film's most squalid depictions of brutality, of which there are many emphasising the cheapness of human life among the convicts and their equally criminal prison guards in the penal colony of French Guiana. Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman form a remarkable screen pairing, with Hoffman outstanding as the pusillanimous Dega. McQueen magnificently overcomes his tough-guy persona in the extraordinary solitary confinement sequences as he is gradually reduced to a shambling, cockroach-eating wreck. Longtime collaborator Jerry Goldsmith, who had previously scored Schaffner's Planet of the Apes and Patton, attained yet another career high with his music. On the DVD: The anamorphic widescreen print of the original Panavision 2. 35:1 ratio looks fine without being as stunning as some more modern prints; the Dolby 5.1 audio does however do great service to Jerry Goldsmith's score, which can also be selected separately from the Audio Setup menu as an isolated track (note that there's no music at all in the first 20 minutes of the film). The 12-minute "Magnificent Rebel" featurette was made at the time of the film's release , and includes some fascinating footage of Henri Charrière touring the prison se t, reminiscing about his experiences and pontificating ("Society does not want free men, society wants conditioned men"). --Mark Walker
The final series of this tough and gripping drama series about life in the British Army. Set at the end of a 2 year posting in Hong Kong 6 Platoon battle against refugees from China desperate to escape the communist regime . Whilst the officers see 'catching illegals' as a sport the squaddies question the morality of their actions.
Hudson and Reed are newlyweds traveling to the West. Carey in a wonderful performance as a psychotic outlaw kidnaps Reed. Hudson is then forced to pursue the gang and tries to maintain his composure but ends up becoming just as crazed as Carey.
The power of evil no longer rests in the hands of a child... Damien Thorn (Sam Neill) has helped rescue the world from a recession appearing to be a benign corporate benefactor. When he then becomes U.S Ambassador to England Damien fulfills a terrifying biblical prophecy. He also faces his own potential demise as an astronomical event brings about the second coming of Christ. Determined to thwart his holy arch-nemesis as well as a group of priests intent on killing him Damien begins his most destructive rampage yet...
While working in a lab doing genetic research an ambitious research assistance deliberately carries out a forbidden experiment and accidentally creates a deadly bacteria which kills her and then spreads rapidly through the city inflicting an agonising death upon its victims. The authorities try to impose a curtain of secrecy around the mounting death toll. They quarantine all known contacts while a research team launches a 24-hour desperate search for the cure or vaccine. One of the people Margo escapes and not knowing that she is a carrier of the deadly disease becomes a fugitive on the run eluding police escaping through the subways and the streets spreading the plague wherever she goes. News of the epidemic breaks and the city is thrown into panic. The research team struggles feverishly to find something to stop the onslaught before all human life on Earth is destroyed...
The mysterious and savage death of Sir Charles Baskerville on Dartmoor attracts the attention of the legendary private detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Local folklore has it that there is a 200 hundred year old curse on the Baskervilles: that a monstrous hellhound roams the moors waiting to attack the heirs to the estate. Holmes and Watson meet Sir Henry the new heir who has recently arrived in London from abroad and after enigmatically quizzing him about a lost boot Holmes instructs Dr. Watson to accompany the man to Baskerville Hall. So begins the classic Conan Doyle mystery as Watson first encounters a number of intriguing characters living at the Hall each with a secret each with a hidden fear...
This riveting fact-based drama concentrates on the transformation of Vernon Howell into the self-made cult leader David Koresh. Failing as a musician Howell turns back to his strictly religious upbringing and uses his predatory charm to organise churches under his own leadership. But his ministry is tainted with both his obsession with rock-and-roll and his driven sexual appetites. This corrupt prophet eventually accumulates 19 wives in a frenzy of misguided devotion and a calculatingly cruel madness that eventually results in tragedy.
Blood On The Sun: While much of the world watched the early success of 'Mein Kampf' and the bombing of Pearl Harbour was ten years in the future few were aware of the existence of an oriental 'Hitler' ... Baron Giichi Tanaka. But the war had already started in Japan for James Condon American journalist and editor of the Japanese Chronicle whose intuition has led him to believe that major trouble was brewing. The role of Condon man of hard words and harder fists is just t
A celebration of the life and career of Steve McQueen with five of his classic movies. Bullitt SE (Dir. Peter Yates 1968): Special Edition (English - Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo / 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1 hour and 49 minutes) In one of his most memorable roles Steve McQueen stars as Detective Frank Bullitt a hard-driving tough-as-nails San Francisco cop. Bullitt has just received what sounds like a routine assignment: keep a star witness out of sight and out of danger for 48
Fantasy mixes with the harsh reality of addiction and the desire for hope in Requiem for a Dream. Beginning at the dawn of a new summer in Coney Island, the film charts the relationship of Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) and her son Harry (Jared Leto)--two characters who are lost with in a world of the self-absorbed desire to feed their addictions at the cost of hope and love. With a sublime score (performed by the Kronos Quartet) accompanying some intense visual imagery, the film sets up an almost fairy-tale wash over the characters' lives, with every hit of their chosen drug turning them into beautiful people surrounded by a haze which enhances all their features. However, unlike films such as Trainspotting which turn the dream into a nightmare then end with a huge dose of hope, Requiem for a Dream forces the viewer through all loss of hope and the descending madness of reality, as winter begins. Darren Aronofsky's follow-up to the critically acclaimed Pi is a movie which exposes not only the terror caused by addiction of any kind--be it TV or Heroin--but also offers a powerful insight into the destruction caused by the desire to achieve "the American Dream". Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr, the film sacrifices dialogue in favour of imagery and movement: the editing and cinematography are reminiscent of MTV, however the movie takes this very aggressive style and moulds it to its own needs, adding a beautifully haunting narrative and powerful performances by its four main characters (Burstyn just missing out on an Oscar for Best female lead to Julia Roberts). Ultimately the viewer is left with a sense of desperation and despair: Requiem for a Dream exposes drugs and addiction in the most powerful and truthful way a film has ever managed, leaving no stone unturned. On the DVD: This disc is bursting with excellent special features. The anamorphic widescreen picture makes the most of the film's stylish visuals, and the soundtrack offers choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0. As well as offering the obligatory theatrical trailer, scene selection and a fantastic director's commentary, there's also a "making-of" featurette, TV trailers charting the reviews and success of the film, an "Anatomy of a scene", and a wide range of deleted scenes. By far the best feature is Hubert Selby Jr's interview with Ellen Burstyn, which offers the writer a chance to put across not just his opinions on his work but also on life as a whole. All these features are placed within an impressively formatted menu. --Nikki Disney
With or Without You works as an above-average television drama; but that's about the height of its ambition. It's strange that Michael Winterbottom, director of the hard-edged, bitter Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) and the grandiose snowy western The Claim (2000) should have bothered with anything as routine and undemanding. Perhaps its greatest distinction is that it's set in present-day Belfast without so much as a mention of the Troubles. The plot is a bog-standard romantic triangle. Rosie and Vincent, who have been married five years or so, want a baby, but nothing's happening. It doesn't help that Rosie's older sister has sprogs burgeoning like mushrooms wherever you look. Then up pops a figure from Rosie's past--Benoît, her pen-pal from before she met Vincent. And being French, he's naturally charming, witty, romantic and everything poor old Vincent isn't. Think you can guess what's coming? Well, most likely you can--right down to the all-too-pat happy ending. Still, the actors (Christopher Ecclestone, Dervla Kirwan and Yvan Attal are the leads) are accomplished and watchable, the dialogue stays the right side of banal and it's refreshing to see Belfast shown as a civilised, cultured place to live. With or Without You passes an hour and a half pleasantly enough and may even raise the odd chuckle, but it covers well-trodden territory without much new to say. On the DVD: aptly routine stuff--the theatrical trailer, a bland "making of" featurette and some interviews with the three principal players. Widescreen (16:9 anamorphic) and Dolby Surround Sound give the material the best possible showcase. --Philip Kemp
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