Winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Out of Africa seems to have slipped more readily from public memory than other comparably lauded films. Yet Sidney Pollack's panoramic treatment of Karen Blixen's novel has retained its atmosphere and slow-burning emotion, and deserves reassessment. Meryl Streep is in her possibly most involving starring role as Baroness Karen Blixen, Danish free spirit whose ill-fated venture at the beginning of World War One to run a coffee plantation in Kenya is overlaid by her intimate yet distant relationship with adventurer and idealist Denys Finch Hatton, unselfconsciously portrayed by Robert Redford. Klaus Maria Brandauer puts in a rare and convincing English-language appearance as the amoral but charming womaniser Baron Bror Blixen. The film is tellingly held together by Kurt Luedke's finely honed screenplay, and John Barry's sumptuously expressive score. On the DVD: The anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen format reproduces superbly, as does the 4.1 discrete audio. 18 access points are provided, with printed and aural subtitles in English only. Pollack's feature commentary is amusing enough on a single run-through, but an on-location documentary would have been preferable. Production notes and biographies are very adequate, though the theatrical trailer reproduction is notably inferior. No matter, this is a major film, well worth the transfer to DVD.--Richard Whitehouse
This heart warming comedy stars Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice, Secrets & Lies) as Grace Trevethan whose idyllic life on the Cornish coast is turning upside down.
From the producer of Little Miss Sunshine and the Harry Potter movies and the director of Channel 4's acclaimed Boy A, Is Anybody There? is the surprising and touching story about two unexpected friends who inspire each other to live life to the fullest.
Such a simple idea--yet so fiendishly complex in the execution. 24, as surely everyone knows by now, is a thriller that takes place over 24 hours, midnight to midnight, in 24 one-hour episodes (well, 45-minute episodes if you extract the ad breaks). Everything to take place in real time--on-screen and off-screen time the same--which means no flash-backs, no flash-forwards, no nice handy time-dissolves. Every strand of the plot has to be dovetailed and interlocked to make sure that things happen just when they should, in the right amount of time. Not that easy. Creator Robert Cochran and his team of writers and directors have done a pretty impressive job in putting the jigsaw together and keeping the tension ratcheted up high, as Federal Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) hares around LA trying to stall an assassination attempt on a black Presidential candidate and rescue his wife and daughter from the clutches of the Balkan baddies. Twists, turns, revelations and cliffhangers are tossed at us with satisfying regularity. Its not perfect: we get some hokey plot devices (instant amnesia, anybody?) and the final twist, once you start thinking back, makes no sense whatsoever. There are altogether too many huggy family moments ("I love you, Dad." "I love you, son"); and as for überbaddie Dennis Hoppers "Serbian" accent Even so, this is undeniably mould-breaking TV. Sutherland, rescuing his career from the doldrums in one heroic leap, fully deserves his Golden Globe. Sets and locations are artfully deployed--we gain a real sense of LAs splayed-out geography--and Sean Callerys score is a powerful, brooding presence. Like Murder One and The Sopranos, 24 is one of those series future TV thrillers will have to measure themselves against. On the DVDs: 24 is released in a six-disc box set. On discs 1- 5 there are no extras, but disc 6 includes the "alternative" ending and a preview of Series 2, presented by an urbane Kiefer Sutherland, that tells us precisely nothing. The transfer, in 16x9 widescreen and 2.0 Dolby Digital sound, does the high production values of the original every justice.--Philip Kemp
Roundly dismissed as one of Steven Spielberg's least successful efforts, this very underrated film poignantly follows the World War II adventures of young Jim (a brilliant Christian Bale), caught in the throes of the fall of China. What if you once had everything and lost it all in an afternoon? What if you were only 12 years old at the time? Bale's transformation, from pampered British ruling-class child to an imprisoned, desperate, nearly feral boy, is nothing short of stunning. Also stunning are exceptional sets, cinematography and music (the last courtesy of John Williams) that enhance author J.G. Ballard's and screenwriter Tom Stoppard's depiction of another, less familiar casualty of war. In a time when competitors were releasing "comedic", derivative coming-of-age films, Empire of the Sun stands out as an epic in the classic David Lean sense--despite confusion or perceived competition with the equally excellent The Last Emperor (also released in 1987, and also a coming-of-age in a similar setting). It is also a remarkable testament to, yes, the human spirit. And despite its disappointing box-office returns, Empire of the Sun helped to further establish Spielberg as more than a commercial director and set the standard, tone and look for future efforts Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. --N.F. Mendoza
Two veteran English actors have their lives disrupted when one's grand-niece enters their lives.
When three parents discover their daughters' pact to lose their virginity at prom, they launch a covert one-night operation to stop the teens from sealing the deal. Leslie Mann (The Other Woman, This Is 40), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Suicide Squad) and John Cena (Trainwreck, Sisters) star in Blockers, the directorial debut of Kay Cannon (writer of the Pitch Perfect series).
KEEP IT UP DOWNSTAIRS A bawdy British period romp in the classic Seventies sex comedy mould! The year is 1904; Cockshute Towers, one of England's stateliest homes, is threatened with bankruptcy and both the masters and servants are prepared to co-operate in any way necessary to find some cash! NOT NOW COMRADE Packed with mistaken identities, assumed names, confusion, double-takes and triple entendres, this uproarious British farce tells the story of Rudi, a Russian ballet star who defects to the West, and the chaos that befalls those who try to help him! ALL THE WAY UP Fred Midway will do anything to climb to the top of the corporate tree, and he's equally keen to bump up his family's social status. When his aspirations suffer various setbacks, Fred tries to turn a desperate situation to his advantage! EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE ONE Teddy the advertising executive has a big problem to deal with his ineptitude has been mistaken for talent by his boss and he's been tasked with finding an erotic angle to sell frozen porridge!
A precocious teenage daughter writes a steamy bestseller featuring fictionalised versions of her family and friends, turning their quiet suburban life upside down in the process when their neighbours believe that the book's contents are true! Ted Ray, Jean Kent, Leslie Phillips and Joan Sims star in this hilarious comedy from the quintessential Carry On team of writer Norman Hudis, producer Peter Rogers and Director Gerald Thomas. Based on the hit West End comedy Book of the Month, Please Turn Over is featured here as a High Definition remaster from original film elements in its theatrically exhibited aspect ratio.
School boy Patrick Smash has an amazing ability to fart! As he learns to harness his strange power he begins a weird and wonderful journey that takes him from fame to deathrow and finally onto his life-long goal: to become an astronaut.
Based on Richard Gordon's best selling novels, this hilarious collection of seven classic British comedies stars a wealth of talent and screen legends. Set in St. Swithins hospital, it follows the antics and mishaps of a group of medical students and their quest to become doctors.
A group of music students decide to share a flat together which results in a series of amusing adventures.
Premier ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev makes his acting debut in this lavish story of the life of the famous silent screen actor Rudolph Valentino who caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets upon his death. Controversial director Ken Russell lavishly recreates the glitzy and decadent atmosphere of the roaring 20's and the presence of Nureyev as Valentino imbues the film with passion rarely found in Hollywood.
After becoming enchanted by a young exotic dancer, Christine Keeler (Joanne Whalley), an English doctor (John Hurt) invites her to live with him. Through his contacts and parties she and her friend (Bridget Fonda) meet and begin to date various members of the ruling Conservative Party. When Christine's affair with the Secretary of State for War John Profumo (Ian McKellan) goes public, scandal tears through the government and threatens the lifestyles and freedom of those involved. From producer Stephen Woolley and director Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy) this 30th Anniversary Edition is newly restored from original film materials. Special Features: Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition Worldwide Blu-ray debut Original theatrical trailer **FIRST PRESSING ONLY** Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film and full film credits Other extras TBC
Comedy set in World War Two, starring James Robertson-Justice and Leslie Phillips. Sir Ernest Pease (Robertson-Justice) is a self-important scientist who is sent undercover on a bombing mission to monitor the effectiveness of his latest invention, a new-fangled radar. When the plane is attacked, he parachutes to safety - only to be sent to a POW camp, where he takes on the alias of Lieutenant Farrow. There, the somewhat happy-go-lucky bunch of Brits suspect their acerbic new fellow prisoner of being a spy, and all sorts of culture clashes and misunderstandings ensue.
A titillating British farce partly inspired by Peyton Place Please Turn Over was based on the long-running West End play Book of the Month by Basil Thomas. The orderly suburban life of a 1950s English town is turned on its head when the teenage daughter (Julia Lockwood Heidi) of one of the residents writes a steamy bestseller featuring characters obviously based on the local population. They begin to see themselves and their neighbours in a surprising new light. As the girl's fame escalates her friends and family enter the realm of notoriety which turns out not to be so bad after all. From the Carry-On writer-director team of Norman Hudis and Gerald Thomas Leslie Phillips stands out amongst an estimable British cast including Joan Sims Charles Hawtrey and Lionel Jeffries as the wonderfully named Dr. Henry Manners.
Includes: Watch Your Stern: When the details of a secret torpedo are destroyed by an incompetent seaman the crew of the ship rally round when the Admiral needs the plans to show to a visiting scientist. No Kidding: A young married couple inherit an estate and decide to turn it into a summer camp for children. Crooks Anonymous: An habitual criminal enrolls in a recovery program based on the AA system. He gets a job as Father Christmas in a department store and finds temptation everywhere.
Adapted from the play Something About a Sailor by Earle Couttie Watch Your Stern is again from the responsible for the Carry On series and retains the same winning comic formula. Accident-prone ship's steward Officer Blissworth (Kenneth Connor) manages to destroy the blueprints to a top-secret homing torpedo project. Along with his equally inadequate commanding officer Captain Foster (Eric Barker) their only hope is to get another set bound for London. But when Admiral Sir Humphrey Pettigrew (Noel Purcell) turns up they try to cover up their mistake by presenting him with a set of plans that detail the ship's refrigeration system. When they discover a female naval scientist Miss Potter (Hattie Jacques) is due to arrive for torpedo testing Blissworth is forced to dress in drag and impersonate her. Blissworth's dilemma is exacerbated when the Admiral himself needs keeping at bay because of his amorous intentions. Excelling alongside a cast also including Sid James Eric Sykes and Spike Milligan as Lt. Cmdr. Fanshawe Phillips his inimitable smooth and amorous self.
Bruce Willis is The Jackal - the greatest assassin in history - out to eliminate a top U.S. government official. Declan Mulqueen an imprisoned underground operative is the only man who can stop him. Now the Deputy Director of the FBI is taking the biggest risk of all . . . he's releasing one criminal to stop another in this terrifically explosive totally intrigueing suspense thriller.
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