""Everything in Salem's Lot is connected to that house. You can see it from every part of the town. It's like a beacon throwing off an energy force."" - Ben Mears (David Soul) At last! Salem's Lot the 1979 horror mini-series from 1979 gets the much-desired DVD treatment. Based on Stephen King's terrifying vampire novel Tobe Hooper's cult movie is a supernatural journey into the strange world of the titular town and its oddball inhabitants. Ben Mears (Soul) returns to
Sinister events bring together a writer (David Soul) fascinated with an old hilltop house; a suave antiques dealer (James Mason) whose expertise goes beyond bric-a-brac; and the dealer's mysterious, pale-skinned partner (Reggie Nalder) in Salem's Lot - a blood-curdling shocker based on Stephen King's novel and directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist).
The satirical sensibilities of writer Peter Shaffer and director Milos Forman (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest) were ideally matched in this Oscar-winning movie adaptation of Shaffer's hit play about the rivalry between two composers in the court of Austrian Emperor Joseph II--official royal composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), and the younger but superior prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). The conceit is absolutely delicious: Salieri secretly loathes Mozart's crude and bratty personality but is astounded by the beauty of his music. That's the heart of Salieri's torment--although he's in a unique position to recognise and cultivate both Mozart's talent and career, he's also consumed with envy and insecurity in the face of such genius. That such magnificent music should come from such a vulgar little creature strikes Salieri as one of God's cruellest jokes, and it drives him insane. Amadeus creates peculiar and delightful contrasts between the impeccably re-created details of its lavish period setting and the jarring (but humorously refreshing and unstuffy) modern tone of its dialogue and performances--all of which serve to remind us that these were people before they became enshrined in historical and artistic legend. Jeffrey Jones, best-known as Ferris Bueller's principal, is particularly wonderful as the bumbling emperor (with the voice of a modern mid-level businessman). The film's eight Oscars include statuettes for Best Director Forman, Best Actor Abraham (Hulce was also nominated), Best Screenplay and Best Picture. --Jim Emerson Note: this region two DVD is a "flipper" with a break between sides A and B.
Titles Comprise: Cat's Eye: What does a stray cat have in common with a radical technique to quit smoking the window ledge of a sky scraper and an evil goblin? Three of Stephen King's most imaginatively terrifying tales brought to life in this chilling trilogy of short stories... Silver Bullet: The small American town of Tarker's Mills is a place where everyone cares as much about everyone else as they do about themselves. When the Tarker's Mills tranquility is disrupted by the horrific discoveries of mutilated bodies of friends and relatives the whole town is out for justice. A young handicapped boy Marty Coslaw is convinced it is the work of a werewolf. Involving his sister Jane he uncovers the truth behind the werewolf... Maximum Overdrive: A comet comes within range of earth and begins circling the planet. But a strange chain reaction comes to force. Suddenly machines everywhere have become their own masters beginning a horrifying deathly and violent revolt against their masters. Can the shell shocked survivors escape to a place where the mad machines cannot reach them?
Reprising his role as Oliver Barrett Ryan O' Neal returns in the sequel to box-office smash-hit 'Love Story' the tale of Oliver trying to re-build his life after the death of his young wife. Co-starring Ray Milland (as Oliver Barrett III) and Candice Bergen as the beautiful and captivating Marcie the film follows Oliver as he meets and falls in love with Marcie. However no matter how hard Oliver tries to accommodate the absence of his dead wife he is unable to develop any so
""Outstanding! Bursts With Heart-Stopping Excitement!"" -Leonard Maltin. An all-star cast including Oscar-winners Walter Matthau and Martin Balsam teams up with Robert Shaw to deliver ""sure-fire entertainment [that's] gripping and exciting from beginning to end"" (The Hollywood Reporter). Based on the sizzling best-seller by John Godey this pulse-pounding picture is guaranteed to give you the ride of your life! Somewhere underground in New York's subway system just outside the
David Lynch's Dune is the brilliant but fatally flawed would-be epic feature film version of Frank Herbert's novel of the same name, the bestselling science fiction novel ever written. It is a complex but too heavily simplified version of a far more elaborate book, a darkly Gothic far future space opera revolving around an imperial, dynastic power struggle on the desert planet of Arrakis. With what was in 1984 an enormous $40 million budget, Lynch retained a surprising amount of the industrial/Victorian feel of his previous features, Eraserhead (1976) and The Elephant Man (1980), and was able to bring to the screen some of the most imaginative and awe-inspiring production designs, costumes and action then seen. Indeed, as a spectacularly atmospheric vision of the future Dune has as much to recommend it as the far more celebrated Blade Runner (1982), with which it even shares the female romantic lead, Sean Young--here just one star in a superb cast. The problem, which an unauthorised extended TV version failed to fix, is that Lynch's original vision of Dune was massively cut for length, and as such the final third is so rapidly paced as to undermine the superb first two thirds. A director's cut is sorely needed, the cinema version playing like a butchered masterpiece. Also available is an entirely unconnected four-and-a-half-hour mini-series, Frank Herbert's Dune (2000), which is less visionary but more coherent. On the DVD: The 2.35:1 image suffers from not being anamorphically enhanced. There are minor flecks of dirt and scratches, but generally the print used is in good condition although there is a considerable amount of grain in some scenes and the image could be more detailed. The packaging claims the sound is Dolby Digital 5.1, but it is actually three-channel sound (stereo plus centre speaker), with the main stereo feed being duplicated in the rear channels. A full 5.1 remastering would improve matters considerably. Special features consist of the original trailer and a pointless gallery of seven badly cropped stills. There is a very basic animated and scored menu using the portentous main theme music from the film. --Gary S Dalkin
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...
A note-perfect cinematic event whose immortality was assured from its opening night, Amadeus is an unlikely candidate for the Director's Cut treatment. Like one of Mozart's operas, the multiple Oscar-winning theatrical version seemed perfectly formed from the outset--ideal casting, costumes, sets, cinematography, lighting, screenplay, music, music, music--so the reinstatement of an extra 20 minutes simply risks adding "too many notes". Yet though this extended cut can hardly be said to improve a picture that needed no improvement, it does at least flesh out a couple of small subplots and shed new light on certain key scenes. Here we learn why Constanze Mozart bears such ill-will towards Salieri when she discovers him at her husband's deathbed: he has insulted and degraded her after she came to him for help. We also see deeper into the reasons why Mozart has no pupils: not only has Salieri poisoned the Emperor's mind against him, but the only promisingly lucrative teaching job he can find ends disastrously when he realises that the master of the house just wants music to quiet his barking dogs. In a humiliating coda to that episode, a drunk and desperate Wolfgang returns later to beg for money only to be coldly rejected. The structure of the picture is otherwise unaltered. On the DVD: Amadeus--The Director's Cut finally accords this masterful work the DVD treatment it deserves. The handsome anamorphic widescreen picture is accompanied by a choice of Dolby 5.1 or Dolby stereo sound options, and it's all contained on one side of the disc (the original single-disc DVD release was that crime against the format, a "flipper"). Director Milos Forman and writer Peter Shaffer provide a chatty though sporadic commentary, but they're obviously still too mesmerised by the movie to do much more than offer the odd anecdote. Disc 2 contains an excellent new hour-long "making of" documentary, with contributions from Forman, Shaffer, Sir Neville Marriner and all the main actors, taking in the scriptwriting, choice of music, casting and problems involved in filming in Communist Czechoslovakia with half the crew and extras working for the Secret Police. --Mark Walker
A portrait of America in the early part of the twentieth century based on a bestselling novel by E.L. Doctorow and directed by Oscar winning film maker Milos Forman.
DESPERATE AND DETERMINED TO SURVIVE Two convicts break out of Stonehaven Prison in the dead of winter, boarding a freight train with the intention of getting as far away as possible before their notoriously sadistic warden finds out. But the brakes fail and the driver has a heart attack, sending hundreds of tons of metal hurtling through the snowy Alaskan wastes at terrifying and unstoppable speed. Based on a script by Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai), with hardboiled prison slang added by real-life ex-con Edward Bunker (Mr Blue in Reservoir Dogs), this riveting thriller also boasts Oscar-nominated performances from Jon Voight and Eric Roberts with Voight playing spectacularly against type as a criminal so vicious that he served much of his sentence welded into his cell. Combining electrifying action with constant psychological tension (the only surviving member of the train crew is a young, inexperienced woman), Runaway Train is one of cinema's great thrill-rides. SPECIAL FEATURES: High Definition Blu-ray presentation of the film Original Uncompressed Stereo Audio Optional English SDH Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing Running on Empty An Interview with director Andrei Konchalovsky From Thespian to Fugitive Star Jon Voight shares his memories of his Academy Award-nominated role Sweet and Savage: Eric Roberts recalls his Academy Award-nominated performance The Calm Before the Chaos Co-star Kyle T. Heffner remembers Runaway Train Trailer with commentary by Rod Lurie Original Trailer Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Wilson
Oscar winners Robert De Niro Robert Duvall play brothers the Reverend Desmond Spellacy and Tommy Spellacy who are drawn together after many years apart in this tale of murder and sibling rivalry...
What does a stray cat have in common with a radical technique to quit smoking the window ledge of a sky scraper and an evil goblin? Three of Stephen King's most imaginatively terrifying tales brought to life in this chilling trilogy of short stories...
Dune: Special TV Edition is an extended US network television version prepared in 1988 from David Lynch's 1984 film of Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel, Dune. The original cinema release of this complex tale of interplanetary intrigue was heavily shortened and this 176-minute TV edition should not to be confused with Lynch's still unreleased three-hour-plus "Director's Cut". In fact Lynch disowned this TV version, replacing his director's credit with the infamous pseudonym Alan Smithee and his screenplay credit with the name Judas Booth (a combination of two notorious traitors). What the network did was add 35 minutes, about 15 minutes in the first two thirds, which in the cinema cut is in any case superbly paced, and around 20 into the final 40. This latter material does help balance the frenetic rush of the cinema cut, restoring important scenes such as Paul Atreides' fight with Jamis, a Fremen funeral and Jessica Atreides' taking the "Water of Life". What primarily alienated Lynch was the imposition of a folksy, sometimes laughable narration, as well as the replacement of the original prologue with a far longer sequence explaining the Dune universe via pre-production paintings. This TV edit is a travesty of what, in the "Director's Cut" at least, is probably a great film, and is really only worth seeing to get a glimpse of the material Lynch was forced to remove. The unconnected mini-series, Frank Herbert's Dune (2000) does a far better job of telling a more complete version of the story. On the DVD: There is a fold-out colour booklet which contains a wealth of stills, a reproduction of the original cinema poster and a worthwhile essay on the original film that avoids any discussion of the TV version it accompanies. On the disc there is only the original theatrical trailer. The superb cinematography is ruined by the panned and scanned 4:3 image, which is grainy and has poor colour fidelity. It is also soft, lacking detail and washed-out, probably a result of being converted from American NTSC TV format video rather than coming directly from an original film print. Certainly the DVD of the cinema version looks far better. The audio is thin mono, completely failing to do justice to how fantastic a post-Star Wars 40-million-dollar science fiction epic should sound. --Gary S Dalkin
This two-disc special edition release of David Lynch's 1984 film Dune presents the same cut as originally shown theatrically, but with an improved transfer compared to the previous DVD edition and with the addition of new and archive documentary material. In case of confusion, it should be noted that this is not any of the following versions: the re-edited TV movie adaptation of Lynch's film, the long-sought-after extended version Lynch screened for cast and crew in January 1984, a new Director's Cut, or the Sci-Fi Channel mini series. The first disc contains a new anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 transfer taken from a High Definition archive copy of the 1984 film, further restored to remove dirt and scratches, and a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix as well as the original stereo soundtrack. The film looks superb and sounds almost as good, though a DTS soundtrack would have been welcome. The main extras are a well illustrated 32-page booklet written by Paul Sammon, author of the excellent Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner and The Making of Starship Troopers and a new 38-minute anamorphic widescreen documentary, Impressions of Dune. This is much superior to the average making-of, featuring significant new contributions from Kyle MacLachlan, producer Raffaella De Laurentiis, cinematographer Freddie Francis and others--though David Lynch is conspicuous by his absence. Destination Dune is a six-minute promotional featurette made by Sammon at the time of the film's release and the 4:3 image is fairly poor quality. An 83-second BBC interview with Frank Herbert is too short to be of more than passing interest, though the original trailer is a fine example of the 1980's way of selling movies. The set is completed with routine cast and crew profiles. Even with no involvement from Lynch and no commentaries, this is still the best Dune on DVD. --Gary S. Dalkin
John Candy and Eugene Levy charge into the world of private security in the outrageous action-comedy Armed And Dangerous. Unfortunately they're usually charging in the wrong direction! When Candy abungling cop and Levy an inept lawyer lose their jobs they wind up together at the Guard Dog Security Company. After thorough training in the use of firearms (for two hours) they're raring to go. But even as security guards they can't cut it and rip-offs take place right under their noses. Eventually they figure out the robberies aren't coincidental and that their company is in cahoots with the security union's mobster president (Robert Loggia Jagged Edge). Eager to snag the crooks Candy and Levy set out as spies and in a wild car chase turn a million-dollar heist into an armored carnival! When the dust finally settles Candy and Levy save the day as the hilarious rent-a-cop duowho are never more funny than when they're Armed and Dangerous.
Set among the Italian-American community of Manhattan and adapted by Vincent Patrick from his own novel, 1984's The Pope of Greenwich Village just about gets by on its charm. It stars Mickey Rourke as Charlie, a small-time grafter who is on the point of making his big move and breakaway. Unfortunately, the pull of family ties means that he's hampered by his cousin Paulie (Eric Roberts), an ambitious and excitable idiot who manages to cock up absolutely everything he turns his hand to, bringing down Charlie with him every time. After he gets the pair of them sacked from a restaurant, Paulie helps set up a safecracking deal with older hand Kenneth MacMillan. Trouble is, theyre robbing the local mafia boss. Rourke and Roberts' relationship is modelled closely on that of Harvey Keitel and Robert DeNiro in Scorcese's Mean Streets, only without quite the same harrowing consequences. This being the 1980s there's much De Niro-esque methodology, which generally consists of repeating lines at least twice ("Fix your tie! Fix your tie!"). The element of improv sees the film veer off course occasionally, while Darryl Hannah is her usual oddly semi-detached self in the role of Rourke's girlfriend. However, it's Roberts' performance as the exasperating and energetic Paulie which carries the film, with solid support from numerous Goodfellas and Sopranos regulars. On the DVD: The Pope of Greenwich Village arrives on disc in a decent enough but hardly pristine print. The sole extra is the original trailer, which means the only real benefit of acquiring this on DVD is storage convenience. --David Stubbs
Manny (Voight) is the toughest convict in a remote Alaskan prison who along with fellow inmate Buck (Roberts) makes a daring breakout. Hopping a freight train they head full-steam for freedom but when the engineer dies of a heart attack they find themselves trapped alone and speeding toward certain disaster. Until that is they discover a third passenger beautiful railway worker (Rebecca De Mornay) who's just as desperate and just as determined to survive as they are!
In this gritty TV series co-written by former England football manager Terry Venables East Ender James Hazell (Nicholas Ball) struggles to make his mark as a detective... The ten episodes of Series 1 comprise: Hazell Plays Solomon Hazell Pays a Debt Hazell and the Walking Blur Hazell Settles the Accounts Hazell Meets the First Eleven Hazell and the Rubber-Heel Brigade Hazell Goes to the Dogs Hazell and the Weekend Man Hazell Works for Nothing Hazell and the Maltese Vultu
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