Queen Victoria strikes up an an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim. Click Images to Enlarge
Viceroy's House in Delhi was the home of the British rulers of India. After 300 years, that rule was coming to an end. For 6 months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people. The film's story unfolds within that great House. Upstairs lived Mountbatten together with his wife and daughter; downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants. As the political elite - Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi - converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. It was a decision whose consequences reverberate to this day.
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.
Charles (Grant) is witty and charming but at the age of 32 is looking like a serial monogamist. His life has been full of girlfriends but he just can't commit to any of them. The more weddings he and his close circle of friends attend the less they want to get married themselves. Until one particular Saturday at one particular wedding Charles meets Carrie (MacDowell)... Instantly smitten Charles begins to pursue her only to learn that she is ready to take the plunge with som
Joel Schumacher brings Andrew Lloyd-Webber's long-running stage musical to the big screen.
Roald Dahl's modern classic for children becomes a delightful combination of live action and stop-motion animation by the team that made The Nightmare Before Christmas: director Henry Selick and producers Tim Burton (Batman) and Denise Di Novi. The story concerns young James (played for real and through voice-overs by Paul Terry), who is orphaned and left in the charge of two cruel aunts (Miriam Margolyes, Joanna Lumley). Rescued by a mysterious fellow (Pete Postlethwaite), James ends up inside a giant peach, drifting over the Atlantic Ocean in the company of a gentleman grasshopper (voiced by Simon Callow), a fast-talking centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), an anxious earthworm (David Thewlis), a matronly ladybug (Jane Leeves), and a sexy spider (Susan Sarandon). The collection of actors and their creepy-crawly alter egos are a delight, especially when some of the song-and-dance numbers (tunes are written by Randy Newman) get everyone going. --Tom Keogh
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
The human race finds itself contemplating the dawn of a new ice age in this epic disaster starring Richard Roxburgh, Frances O'Connor, Claire Forlani, Ben Cross, Simon Callow, Patrick Bergin with Stephen Moyer and Sam Neill. The destructive effects of global warming cause unimaginable devastation and panic worldwide. It is 2020. Global warming has turned the regions of Southern Europe to desert and the Arctic polar ice cap is disappearing rapidly. There is a refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale as populations migrate north. Energy companies are turning to increasingly dangerous methods to extract what little oil is left on Earth. Environmental scientist and activist Professor Thom Archer, warns of the imminent possibility of a new ice age. His findings suggest that Halo, the corporate energy company drilling on the Greenland Glacier are causing it to melt, with alarming consequences. Archer heads to the Polar Alliance subcommittee and presents his findings to a sceptical audience, failing to convince anyone of the danger ahead. Intent on exposing Halo, Archer receives a frantic call from friend and colleague Ben Jameson and heads to the glacier. Jameson, an expert Glaciologist, claims to have found damning evidence that proves Archer's findings are correct. Arriving on the ice cap, the effects of Halo's actions are clear to see. With the realisation that the human race is under immediate threat, Archer races home to his family hoping he's not too late. The collapse of the glacier is every bit as devastating as Archer imagined. Astonishing weather patterns emerge and plunge the world's temperatures into steep decline.
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.
The fantastic series now available in one complete set for the very first time! This absorbing children's television drama the biggest ever made in the UK and shot entirely on location follows four friends - Flavia Nubia Jonathan and Lupus - as they struggle to live through one of history's most turbulent times. With many comparisons to the lives of youngsters today they deal with issues of prejudice violence and the environment wrapped up in riveting stories of mystery and suspense. Based on the million-selling books by Caroline Lawrence this lavish production stars Simon Callow (Four Weddings And A Funeral Shakespeare In Love A Room With A View) as Pliny.
Shadaloo South-East Asia 1995. As civil war enters its seventh month warlord General M Bison virtually brings about global warfare when he takes 63 Allied Nations' relief workers hostage and threatens to execute them unless a ransom of $20 billion dollars is paid. It is the mission of Colonel William F. Guile to rescue the hostages but he has to locate them first! As part of an audacious plan to track down the General and his futuristic fortress Guile and British Intelligence Officer Cammy recruit to their forces two renegade heroes. However their entire plan is nearly quashed when GNT news correspondent Chun-Li-Zang intervenes - and she wants much more than just a story. Action reaches fever pitch as Guile Bison and their forces clash in a fierce battle and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance...
This inevitable sequel finds Jim Carrey reprising his role as the world's greatest pet detective. His latest case, the disappearance of a rare African white bat, draws him out of his spiritual retreat at a Tibetan monastery following the tragic outcome of his previous case. That traumatic experience, which makes for a hilarious opening-scene send-up of the Stallone thriller Cliffhanger, prompts Ace to venture to Africa, where he goes native with the tribe that hired him to find their symbolic bat. From that point anything goes, with Carrey pushing the boundaries of good taste (what, you were expecting good taste?) up to and including his now-infamous "birth" scene from the backside of a mechanical rhinoceros. Lighten up, and don't be ashamed if you find yourself laughing. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
An American widow finds unexpected love with a man living wild on Hampstead Heath when they take on the developers who want to destroy his home.
When it was released in 1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral quickly became a huge international success, pulling in the kind of audiences most British films only dream of. It's proof that sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. In terms of plot, the title pretty much says it all. Revolving around well, four weddings and a funeral (though not in that order), the film follows Hugh Grant's confirmed bachelor Charles as he falls for visiting American Carrie (Andy McDowell), whom he keeps bumping into at various functions. But with this most basic of premises, screenwriter Richard Curtis has crafted a moving and thoughtful comedy about the perils of singledom and that ever-elusive search for true love. In the wrong hands, it could have been a horribly schmaltzy affair, but Curtis' script--crammed with great one-liners and beautifully judged characterisations--keeps things sharp and snappy, harking back to the sparkling Hollywood romantic comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. The supporting cast, including Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow and Rowan Atkinson (who starred in the Curtis-scripted television show Blackadder) is first rate, at times almost too good--John Hannah's rendition of WH Auden's poem "Funeral Blues" over the coffin of his lover is so moving you think the film will struggle to re-establish its ineffably buoyant mood. But it does, thanks in no small part to Hugh Grant as the bumbling Charles (whose star-making performance compensates for a less-than-dazzling Andie MacDowell). Though it's hardly the fault of Curtis and his team, the success of the Four Weddings did have its downside, triggering a rash of inferior British romantic comedies. In fact, we had to wait until 1999's Notting Hill for another UK film to match its winning charm (scripted, again, by Curtis and also starring Grant). --Edward Lawrenson
A double bill of comedy genius Jim Carrey's most iconic roles: Ace Ventura. in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective he must track down a kidnapped dolphin mascot with the help of the team's board member Melissa (Courteney Cox). In Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls Ace is summoned by the British Consul General (Simon Callow) to recover a missing sacred bat in order to stop a war between two tribes.
Starring Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Beauty and the Beast) as Charles Dickens, The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the true story of how the iconic author came to write the seminal yuletide novel A Christmas Carol in only six weeks. Set in 1840s London, Dickens had been struggling to come up with fresh ideas after the failure of his last three works. However, when he's inspired by the vision of a story that would fire the hearts of humanity, he set out to write and self-publish a book that would reignite his career. As the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Academy Award-winner Christopher Plummer) and The Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future start coming to life in his head, Dickens began creating a masterpiece that gave birth to the Christmas we know and love today.
One of the most endearing and intelligent romantic comedies of the 1990s, the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love is filled with such good will, sunny romance, snappy one-liners and devilish cleverness that it's absolutely irresistible. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, at its outset the film tracks young Will Shakespeare's overwrought battle with writer's block and the efforts of theatre owner Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush, in rare form) to stage Will's latest comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Jokey comedy, though, soon takes a backseat to ravishing romance when the beautiful Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) disguises herself as a young man to wangle herself an audition in the all-male cast and wins both the part of Romeo and, after much misunderstanding, the playwright's heart. Soon enough, Will's pirate comedy becomes the beautiful, tragic Romeo and Juliet, reflecting the agony and ecstasy of Will and Viola's romance--he's married and she's set to marry the slimy Lord Wessex (Colin Firth). The way that Oscar-winning screenwriters Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard enfold their story within the parameters of Romeo and Juliet (and even Twelfth Night) is nothing short of brilliant--it would take a Shakespearean scholar to dissect the innumerable parallels, oft-quoted lines, plot developments, and thematic borrowings. And most amazingly, Norman and Stoppard haven't forgotten to entertain their audience in addition to riding a Shakespearean roller coaster, with director John Madden (Mrs. Brown) reigning in his huge ensemble with rollicking energy. Along the way there are small gems to be found, including Judi Dench's eight-minute, Oscar-winning turn as a truly regal Queen Elizabeth, but the key element of Shakespeare in Love's success rests on the milky-white shoulders of its two stars. Fiennes, inexplicably overlooked at Oscar time, is a dashing, heartfelt Will and as for Best Actress winner Paltrow, well, nothing she'd done before could have prepared viewers for how amazing she is here. Breathtakingly beautiful, fiercely intelligent, strong-willed and lovestruck--it's a performance worthy of Shakespeare in more ways than one. By the film's end, you'll be thoroughly won over--and brushing up your Shakespeare with newfound ardour. --Mark Englehart
Joel Schumacher brings Andrew Lloyd-Webber's long-running stage musical to the big screen.
Directed and written by legendary rock promoter Simon Napier-Bell, manager of The Yardbirds, T Rex and George Michael, and created to coincide with the 50 anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, this is an engaging journey through the subsequent years of how those changes affected LGBT lives. It features interview with leading activists and cultural commentators including Ian McKellen, Elton John, Matt Lucas, Derek Jacobi and Simon Callow.
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