Arguably the greatest black comedy ever made, Stanley Kubrick's cold war classic is the ultimate satire of the nuclear age. Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, to give it its full title, is a perfect spoof of political and military insanity, beginning when General Jack D Ripper (Sterling Hayden), a maniacal warrior obsessed with "the purity of precious bodily fluids", mounts his singular campaign against Communism by ordering a squadron of B-52 bombers to attack the Soviet Union. The Soviets counter the threat with a so-called "Doomsday Device," and the world hangs in the balance while the US president (Peter Sellers) engages in hilarious hot-line negotiations with his Soviet counterpart. Sellers also plays a British military attaché and the mad scientist Dr Strangelove; George C Scott is outrageously frantic as General Buck Turgidson, whose presidential advice consists mainly of panic and statistics about "acceptable losses". With dialogue ("You can't fight here! This is the war room!") and images (Slim Pickens's character riding the bomb to oblivion) that have become a part of our cultural vocabulary, Kubrick's film regularly appears on critics' lists of the all-time best. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
More ambitious in scope than any of its other animated films (before or to come), Disney's 1940 Fantasia was a dizzying, magical, and highly enjoyable marriage of classical music and animated images. Fantasia 2000 features some breathtaking animation and storytelling, and in a few spots soars to wonderful high points, but it still more often than not has the feel of walking in its predecessor's footsteps as opposed to creating its own path. A family of whales swimming and soaring to Respighi's The Pines of Rome is magical to watch, but ends all too soon; a forest sprite's dance of life, death, and rebirth to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring too clearly echoes the original Fantasia's Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria sequence. But when it's on target, Fantasia 2000 is glorious enough to make you giddy. Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a perfect narrative set to Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, and Donald Duck's guest appearance as the assistant to Noah (of ark fame) set to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance marches is a welcome companion piece (though not an equal) to The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the one original Fantasia piece included here. The high point of Fantasia 2000, though, is a fantastic day-in-the-life sequence of 1930s New York City set to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and animated in the style of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld; it's a perfect melding of music, story, and animation. Let's hope future Fantasias (reportedly in the works) take a cue from the best of this compilation. The music is provided by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Levine, interspersed with negligible intros by Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Itzhak Perlman, James Earl Jones, and others. --Mark Englehart
The Lion King (1994): Embark on an extraordinary coming-of-age adventure as Simba, a lion cub who cannot wait to be king, searches for his destiny in the great Circle of Life . From the stunningly beautiful opening sequence over African vistas, to the hilarious escapades of Hakuna Matata with Timon and Pumba, to the awe-inspiring moment when Simba takes his rightful place atop Pride Rock, you will be thrilled by the breathtaking animation, unforgettable Academy Award-winning music (1994: Best Original Score; Best Original Song, Can You Feel The Love Tonight ) and timeless story. The Lion King (Live Action): Disney's The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub's arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brotherand former heir to the thronehas plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, BeyoncÃ© Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon. Bonus Features: The Lion King: A Memoir Discover Blu-ray with Timon and Pumbaa Click Images to Enlarge
Franco Zeffirelli's epic TV retelling of Jesus' life was filmed in Morocco and Tunisia with an all-star cast, including Robert Powell in the lead role. The script, co-written by renowned author Anthony Burgess, attempts to remain faithful to its source by using material from all four Gospels.
Eddie Murphy's 1988 vehicle Coming to America was probably the point at which his status as a mainstream big-screen comedian finally gelled, following the highly successful 48 Hours pairing with Nick Nolte. Never mind the hackneyed storyline: under John Landis's tight direction, he turns in a star performance (and several brilliant cameos) that is disciplined and extremely funny. Murphy plays an African prince who comes to New York officially to sow his wild oats. Privately, he is seeking a bride he can marry for love rather than one chosen by his parents. With his companion (Arsenio Hall, who pushes Murphy all the way in the comedy stakes), he settles in the borough of Queens and takes a job in a hamburger joint. A succession of hilarious satire-barbed adventures ensue, plus the required romantic conclusion. The script is crammed with ripe one-liners , but "Freeze, you diseased rhinoceros pizzle" has to be the most devastating hold-up line of all time. Film buffs will appreciate a brief appearance by Don Ameche as a down-and-out, but this is Murphy's film and he generates warmth enough to convert the most ambivalent viewer. On the DVD: The only--rather pointless--extra on offer is the original theatrical trailer which adds nothing apart from a rapid recap of the story. But the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation (the picture quality is diamond sharp) and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack recreate the original authentic cinematic experience. The choreography of 1980s pop diva Paula Abdul in the lavish wedding scenes and Nile Rodgers' pounding musical score are the main beneficiaries. --Piers Ford
Terror strikes in paradise as Academy Award-winning actors James Earl Jones, JosÃ© Ferrer and Lila Kedrova star in this thrilling tale of sea monsters and sacrificial virgins, from the people that brought you the notoriously gruesome Island of Death! When treasure hunter Frye (James Earl Jones) accidentally awakens an ancient sea monster that has been lying dormant on a Greek island, the inhabitants are forced to resume the practice of sacrificing virgins in order to placate the demonic creature. Meanwhile a couple, Neil and Sherry, arrive on the island in search of Neil's missing sister, Madeline. Written and produced by Nico Mastorakis - the man behind such genre favourites as the aforementioned Island of Death, The Zero Boys, The Wind and many others - and directed by Richard Jefferies (Scarecrows, Tron: Legacy), Blood Tide is a suspense-filled creature feature surging with blood, nudity and beachside aerobics! Special Edition Contents Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation Original uncompressed mono audio Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing Brand new audio commentary with director/co-writer Richard Jefferies Newly-filmed interview with producer/co-writer Nico Mastorakis Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mike Gingold
Disney's 1994 animated feature, The Lion King, was a huge smash in cinemas and continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed stage production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is deposed by a jealous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the "circle of life" with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking and the songs from Tim Rice and Elton John, accompanied by a colourful score, are more palatable than in many recent Disney features. --Tom Keogh
Before Harrison Ford assumed the mantle of playing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan hero in Patriot Games, Alec Baldwin took a swing at the character in this John McTiernan film and hit one to the fence. If less instantly sympathetic than Ford, Baldwin is in some respects more interesting and nuanced as Ryan, and drawing comparisons between both actors' performances can make for some interesting post-movie discussion. That aside, The Hunt for Red October stands alone as a uniquely exciting adventure with a fantastic co-star: Sean Connery as a Russian nuclear submarine captain attempting to defect to the West on his ship. Ryan must figure out his true motives for approaching the US. McTiernan (Predator, Die Hard) made an exceptionally handsome movie here with action sequences that really do take one's breath away. --Tom Keogh
The 4 film true cult classic series released for the first time on Blu-ray. Best of the Best Alex Grady (Eric Roberts), an Oregon welder and widowed father of a five-year-old son is chosen for the US National Karate Team. He finds himself in the company of Travis Brickley (Chris Penn), an urban cowboy with an attitude and a host of other off beat characters and their coach Frank Kouzo (James Earl Jones), a hardened veteran of high-powered Karate competition. It's a team with rough edges and problems that must be resolved if they're to win the international competition and become the Best of the Best Best of the Best 2 A classic sequel to the brilliant original. Alex Grady (Eric Roberts) is a martial arts champion who, along with Tommy Lee (Phillip Rhee), is seeking revenge for the death of his friend Travis (Chris Penn). He finds out that Travis has gotten involved in a secret, high-priced, gambling event in which fighters go to the bloody extremes, attempting to become the champ. This is another breath taking action film that is punctuated with the fight scenes. Best of the Best 3 No Turning Back Tommy and another former members of the US National Karate Team join forces to avenge the death of their friend, who was brutally slain in competition at an underground Las Vegas fighting club. An initial confrontation between the revenge-minded pair and the murderer leaves the evildoer with a horrible facial scar, and he vows to bury the two former internationals. After he makes a few attempts to gun the duo down, they finally settle the score in a bloody grudge match at the club. Best of the Best 4 Without Warning Russian mobsters have stolen a computer disk which will allow them to print money, and have hijacked a truck containing blank currency paper. Unfortunately for the mobsters the disk is accidentally slipped into the possession of Tommy Lee. Desperate to get the disk back, the mobsters kidnap Tommy's daughter, and in order to rescue his child Tommy must face deadly temptresses, high- tech gadgets and an array of explosive weaponry.
K-19 The Widowmaker (Dir. Kathryn Bigelow 2002): Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson star in a thrilling action-drama inspired by the true story of a Soviet submarine crew trying to save its vessel from a nuclear meltdown - and avert global war. Witness (Dir. Peter Weir 1985): When a young Amish woman (McGillis) and her son (Haas) are caught up in the murder of an undercover narcotics agent their unlikely savior proves to be the worldly and cynical Philadelphia detective J
The film that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger's international career, Conan the Barbarian is still regarded by many as his finest hour. Limited to a mere handful of lines and expertly directed to play up the Nietzschean strength of the character by John Milius, the Austrian Oak has never looked more suited to a role, his muscle flexing and sword twirling apparently effortless. The extraordinarily finely detailed production design ensures that the barren Spanish countryside perfectly suits the Hyborean-era backdrop envisioned by author Robert E Howard. Whether dressed in rags or riches, Schwarzenegger and companions Subotai (Gerry Lopez) and Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) look believably born to their surroundings. Backing their own very fine performances are brilliant supporting roles from James Earl Jones as serpentine baddie Thulsa Doom and Max Von Sydow as doomed King Osric. Plot-wise the film is simply the transformation of a wild barbarian into a worldly-wise king who, via a quest for revenge, finally learns the riddle of steel. The script is highly regarded for its dazzling set-pieces (the opening village raid, the orgy of body parts) and quotable dialogue ("They shall all drown in lakes of blood"), and it comes complete with an anti-peace movement reactionary subtext for anyone who cares to look close enough. One other element deserving mention is the extraordinary score by Basil Poledouris, which inspires the film with a sense of operatic grandeur. On the DVD: Conan the Barbarian appears as a suitably mythic special edition DVD. Sadly the magnificent score can only be heard in a mono mix, but the very fine picture is presented in 2.35:1. The extras package is phenomenal, too. Several deleted scenes have been re-edited into the film, but are available to view independently as well. There's a quick split-screen special effects feature showing how the ghostly spirits were added to Conan's resurrection. "The Conan Archives" is an 11-minute slide show of drawings, costumes and advertising. Best of all is the fantastic 53-minute "Conan Unchained" documentary interviewing every conceivable contributor who all reminisce with great fondness. It's slightly better seeing Schwarzenegger and Milius than hearing them talk in their commentary, which inevitably re-tells many of the same anecdotes in between puffs of Arnie's stogies. --Paul Tonks
'Field of Dreams' begins in an Iowa cornfield when Ray Kinsella hears a mysterious voice - ''If you build it he will come'' and sees a brief vision. With the support of his wife Annie Ray Kinsella pursues his dream and encounters several memorable characters along the way Terence Mann a legendary yet reclusive author ''Doc'' Graham and the infamous Shoeless Joe Jackson. 'Field of Dreams' is the story of a simple Iowa farmer who against all odds finds the courage to believe in his dreams.
Roaring onto dazzling 4K Ultra HDâ¢ for the first time celebrate the full glory of Disney's magnificent coming-of-age masterpiece, The Lion King! With humour and heart, breathtaking animation, and award-winning music, this much-beloved story transports you to the Pride Lands and inspires generations of fans. Extras: 5 Song Selections Nathan and Matthew: The Extended Lion King Conversation The Recording Sessions Inside The Story Room With Introduction by Co-Directors Roger Allers And Rob Minkoff Visualising A Villain Classic Bonus
Disney's 1994 animated feature, The Lion King, was a huge smash in cinemas and continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed stage production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is deposed by a jealous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the "circle of life" with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking and the songs from Tim Rice and Elton John, accompanied by a colourful score, are more palatable than in many recent Disney features. --Tom Keogh On the DVD: The Lion King Special Edition is a superb restoration: take a look at the serviceable but dull film clips incorporated in the plethora of extras and compare them to the vivid gorgeousness of the film presentation. This special edition also adds a 90-second song ("Morning Report") that originated in the lavish stage musical. To Disney's credit, the original theatrical version is also included, both restored and featuring two 5.1 soundtracks: Dolby Digital and a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, which does sound brighter. As with the Disney Platinum line, everything is thrown into the discs, except an outsider's voice (the rah-rahs of Disney grow tiresome at times). The excellent commentary from the directors and producer, originally on the laser disc, is hidden under the audio set-up menu. The second disc is organised by 20-minute-ish "journeys" tackling the elements of story, music and so on, including good background on the awkward Shakespearean origins at Disney where it was referred as "Bamlet". The most interesting journey follows the landmark stage production, and the kids should be transfixed by shots of the real African wildlife in the animal journey. Three deleted segments are real curios, including an opening lyric for "Hakuna Matata". Most set-top DVD games are usually pretty thin (DVD-ROM is where it's at), but the Safari game is an exception--the kids should love the roaring animals (in 5.1 Surround, no less). One serious demerit is the needless and complicated second navigation system that is listed by continent but just shows the same features reordered. --Doug Thomas
Thief. Warrior. Gladiator. King. Through the history of mankind the times that are most recorded in mythology and song are those of the great deeds and fantastic adventures. Such a time was the Hyborean Age. Such a tale is the story of 'Conan The Barbarian'. Cimmeran Conan witnesses his parents' savage murder at the hands of the raiding Vanir and their master Thulsa Doom also leader of the snake-cult of Set. Fifteen years of agony first chained to the Wheel Of Pain grinding grain and then enslaved as a pit fighter forge a magnificent body and indominitable spirit. Freed miraculously one day by his owner Conan with his companions Subotai the Mongol and Valeria the Queen of Thieves sets forth upon his quest to learn the riddle of steel which his father has prophesied will confer ultimate power; and to kill the arch-villian Thulsa Doom...
Let's see--he has been Han Solo in three films and Indiana Jones in three more. So why shouldn't Harrison Ford take on a new continuing character in Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan? In this film, directed by Phillip Noyce, Ford picked up the baton when Alec Baldwin, who played Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, opted for a Broadway role instead. In this film, Ryan and his family are on vacation when Ryan saves a member of the British royal family from attack by Irish terrorists. The next thing he knows, the Ryan clan has been targeted by the same terrorists, who invade his Maryland home. The film can't shed all of Clancy's lumbering prose, or his techno-dweeb fascination with spy satellites and the like. But no one is better than Ford at righteous heroism--and Sean Bean makes a suitably snakey villain. --Marshall Fine
Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Scar, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever as one of Disney's best loved animations, The Lion King, roars into theatres nationwide in breathtaking Disney Digital 3D.
Lucas a bank robber newly released from prison is given a lift to the bank by two local cops who are taking bets on how long they think he'll remain straight. Once inside the bank Lucas is taken hostage by an amateur thief and is forced into going on the run with the man and his six-year-old daughter...
Based on the French film, The Return of Martin Guerre (which itself was based on a famous court case), this 1993 film by director Jon Amiel recasts the same essential story in post-Civil War Tennessee, in a dirt-poor town suffering the effects of the South's loss. Jodie Foster plays Laurel Sommersby, a widow whose husband died in the Civil War--or so everyone thinks. Then one day, Jack Sommersby (Richard Gere) strolls back into town and back into Laurel's bed--seemingly a very changed man. Gone is the selfish, nasty guy no one much liked. In his place is a friendly, sensitive and resourceful new Jack who not only rekindles the long-dead fire of his marriage, but revives the entire town. Except for one small catch: he may not actually be Jack Sommersby at all. Beautifully shot by Amiel (with a great assist from cameraman Philippe Rousselot) from a script by Nicholas Meyer and Sarah Kernochan, the film features a sturdy, even flinty performance by Foster and a beguiling one by Gere. Though the ending will squeeze the tear ducts, the film earns those tears. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com
The Lion KingEmbark on an extraordinary coming-of-age adventure as Simba a lion cub who cannot wait to be king searches for his destiny in the great 'Circle of Life.' You will be thrilled by the breathtaking animation unforgettable music and timeless story. Special Features: Bloopers and Outtakes Audio Commentary By Co-Directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff And Producer Don Hahn Backstage Disney Including Deleted and Alternate Scenes Play Movie With Sing-A-Long Mode The Morning Report: Extended Scene Interactive Blu-rayTM Gallery The Lion King 2Experience the power of 'Upendi' - which means 'love' - as Kiara Simba's strong-willed daughter seeks adventure away from her father's watchful gaze. Along with Kovu a cub who is being groomed to lead Scar's pride Kiara searches for her proper place in the great 'Circle Of Life.' They discover that it may be their destiny to bring peace to the Pride Lands. Special Features: Timon and Pumbaa's Insectapedia Classic DVD Bonus Features: 'One By One' Timon and Pumbaa Find Out Why Proud of Simba's Pride 'Love Will Find A Way' - Music Video The Lion King 3Hilarity reigns in the motion picture comedy-adventure that takes you waaay back to the beginning before Simba's tale began... and beyond! From their uniquely hysterical perspective Timon and his windy pal Pumbaa - the greatest unsung heroes of the Savannah - reveal what really happened behind the scenes of The Lion King's biggest events. Special Features: Timon and Pumbas vaction safari classic DVD bonus features: Deleted scenes Timon: behind the legend Before the beginning - the making of Lion King 3 'Grazin' in the grass' music video
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