A collection of timeless classics.
Mary Poppins is one of Disney's most enchanting fantasies and the motion-picture hit that made 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' a household word! Julie Andrews stars as the loveable nanny who soars out of the skies and into the hearts of everyone she encounters. Toting a carpetbag full of magical adventures, Mary and her fun-loving sidekick Bert (Dick Van Dyke) deliver endless joy and surprises to a troubled family.
NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk has English audio and subtitles.
By transplanting the classic haunted house scenario into space, Ridley Scott, together with screenwriters Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, produced a work of genuinely original cinematic sci-fi with Alien that, despite the passage of years and countless inferior imitations, remains shockingly fresh even after repeated viewing. Scott's legendary obsession with detail ensures that the setting is thoroughly conceived, while the Gothic production design and Jerry Goldsmith's wonderfully unsettling score produce a sense of disquiet from the outset: everything about the spaceship Nostromo--from Tupperware to toolboxes-seems oddly familiar yet disconcertingly ... well, alien.Nothing much to speak of happens for at least the first 30 minutes, and that in a way is the secret of the film's success: the audience has been nervously peering round every corner for so long that by the time the eponymous beast claims its first victim, the release of pent-up anxiety is all the more effective. Although Sigourney Weaver ultimately takes centre-stage, the ensemble cast is uniformly excellent. The remarkably low-tech effects still look good (better in many places than the CGI of the sequels), while the nightmarish quality of H.R. Giger's bio-mechanical creature and set design is enhanced by camerawork that tantalises by what it doesn't reveal.On the DVD: The director, audibly pausing to puff on his cigar at regular intervals, provides an insightful commentary which, in tandem with superior sound and picture, sheds light into some previously unexplored dark recesses of this much-analysed, much-discussed movie (why the crew eat muesli, for example, or where the "rain" in the engine room is coming from). Deleted scenes include the famous "cocoon" sequence, the completion of the creature's insect-like life-cycle for which cinema audiences had to wait until 1986 and James Cameron's Aliens. Isolated audio tracks, a picture gallery of production artwork and a "making of" documentary complete a highly attractive DVD package. --Mark Walker
David Lean's wintry adaptation of Boris Pasternak's melodramatic Russian Revolution romance, Doctor Zhivago, is a masterpiece of epic filmmaking, but one that risks leaving the viewer cold. Though none of the film was shot in the then USSR, Lean's assured technique nevertheless illuminates the breathtaking backgrounds magnificently: from the snowy wastes of the Urals to the strife-torn streets of Moscow, Lean stages a series of wonderful set-pieces showing war, revolution and its terrible aftermath. The problem lies in the foreground. Omar Sharif's entirely passive Zhivago is, we are told, a romantic poet of great sensitivity who internalises all his emotions and expresses them in verse. The trouble is the audience never gets to see a line of his poems, not even the centrally important "Lara" cycle. Thus Zhivago at the end of the picture is as much an emotional blank to us as he was at the beginning. His affair with the idealised beauty that is Julie Christie's Lara is also taken for granted by the filmmakers rather than set up in any convincing way, their mutual attraction remaining a mystery that creates a vacuum at the core of the picture. Given that none of the central characters with the exception of Rod Steiger's fire-breathing lecher Komarovsky ever give way to strong emotions, the romantic heart of the film remains oddly frigid. Matters are not helped by composer Maurice Jarre's incessant "Lara's Theme", which many will find teeth-grindingly irritating. Still, any David Lean epic, even a flawed one, is always going to be a first-class cinematic experience, and Zhivago is assuredly that. On the DVD: A stunning anamorphic widescreen print is the ideal way to appreciate David Lean's craftsmanship and this movie's glorious, wintry cinematography. Maurice Jarre's "Lara's Theme" and the rest of his patchwork score can be heard in a music-only track, while Omar Sharif is joined by Lean's widow Sandra and Rod Steiger for an intermittent commentary. The second bonus disc contains a good hour-long making-of documentary plus 10 shorter contemporary documentaries giving various insights into the location shooting and the cast and crew. But it's the sheer beauty of the picture that will astonish and make this disc forever treasurable. --Mark Walker
Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) expects a vast inheritance after his father dies. But the entire fortune is left to Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) his older brother, an 'autistic Savant' Charlie never even knew existed.
Since its release in 1998, Steven Spielberg's D-Day drama Saving Private Ryan has become hugely influential: everything, from the opening sequence of Gladiator ("Saving Marcus Aurelius") to the marvellous 10-hour TV series Band of Brothers, has been made in its shadow. There have been many previous attempts to recreate the D-Day landings on screen (notably, the epic The Longest Day), but thanks to Spielberg's freewheeling hand-held camerawork, Ryan was the first time an audience really felt like they were there, storming up Omaha Beach in the face of withering enemy fire. After the indelible opening sequence, however, the film is not without problems. The story, though based on an American Civil War incident, feels like it was concocted simply to fuel Spielberg's sentimental streak. In standard Hollywood fashion the Germans remain a faceless foe (with the exception of one charmless character who turns out to be both a coward and a turncoat); and the Tom Hanks-led platoon consists of far too many stereotypes: the doughty Sergeant; the thick-necked Private; the Southern man religious sniper; the cowardly Corporal. Matt Damon seems improbably clean-cut as the titular Private in need of rescue (though that may well be the point); and why do they all run straight up that hill towards an enemy machine gun post anyway? Some non-US critics have complained that Ryan portrays only the American D-Day experience, but it is an American film made and financed by Americans after all. Accepting both its relatively narrow remit and its lachrymose inclinations, Saving Private Ryan deserves its place in the pantheon of great war pictures. On the DVD: Saving Private Ryan on disc comes in a good-quality anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer with a suitably dynamic Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix in which bullets fly all around your living room. Extra features are pretty minimal, with a standard 30-minute "making of" piece called "Into the Breach" and two trailers. There are text notes on the cast and crew as well as the production, and a brief message from Mr Spielberg himself about why he decided to make the movie. --Mark Walker
Absorbing film version of Margaret Mitchell's Pullitzer Prize-winning novel about life in America's Deep South during the Civil War. Winner of ten Academy Awards...
Stomping whomping stealing singing tap-dancing violating Derby-topped teddy-boy hooligan Alex (Malcolm McDowell) has his own way of having a good time. He has it at the tragic expense of others. Alex's journey from amoral punk to brainwashed proper citizen forms the dynamic arc of Stanley Kubrick's future-shook vision of Anthony Burgess's novel. Unforgettable images startling musical counterpoints the fascinating language used by Alex and his pals - Kubrick shapes them into a shattering whole.
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
World War II Morocco springs to life in Michael Curtiz's classic love story. Colourful characters abound in "Casablanca", a waiting room for Europeans trying to escape Hitler's war-torn Europe.
Robin Williams stars as an English teacher who doesn't fit into the conservative prep school where he teaches but his charisma and love of poetry inspires several boys to revive a secret society with a bohemian bent. The script is well-meaning but a little trite, though director Peter Weir (The Truman Show) adds layers of emotional depth in scenes of conflict between the kids and adults. (A subplot involving one father's terrible pressure on his son--played by Robert Sean Leonard--to drop his interest in the theatre reaches heartbreaking proportions). Williams is given plenty of latitude to work in his brand of improvisational humour, though it is all well-woven into his character's style of instruction. --Tom Keogh
Forrest Gump is the movie triumph that became a phenomenon. Tom Hanks gives an astonishing performance as Forrest an everyman whose simple innocence comes to embody a generation. Winner of six Academy Awards including Best Picture Best Director (Robert Zemeckis) and Best Actor (Tom Hanks).
Before the Salvation comes revisit James Cameron's classic Judgement Day!
JAWS, the original, terrifying, summer blockbuster is digitally restored and back in cinemas for a limited time only from June 15
Based on the true story of the building of a bridge on the Burma railway by British prisoners-of-war held under a savage Japanese regime in World War II, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is one of the greatest war films ever made. The film received seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Performance (Alex Guinness), for Sir Malcolm Arnold's superb music, and for the screenplay from the novel by Pierre Boulle (who also wrote Monkey Planet, the inspiration for Planet of the Apes). The story does take considerable liberties with history, including the addition of an American saboteur played by William Holden, and an entirely fictitious but superbly constructed and thrilling finale. Made on a vast scale, the film reinvented the war movie as something truly epic, establishing the cinematic beachhead for The Longest Day (1962), Patton (1970) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). It also proved a turning-point in director David Lean's career. Before he made such classic but conventionally scaled films as In Which We Serve (1942) and Hobson's Choice (1953). Afterwards there would only be four more films, but their names are Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984). On the DVD: Too often the best extras come attached to films that don't really warrant them. Not so here, where a truly great film has been given the attention it deserves. The first disc presents the film in the original extra-wide CinemaScope ratio of 2.55:1, in an anamorphically enhanced transfer which does maximum justice to the film's superb cinematography. The sound has been transferred from the original six-track magnetic elements into 5.1 Dolby Digital and far surpasses what many would expect from a 1950s' feature. The main bonus on the first disc is an isolated presentation of Malcolm Arnold's great Oscar-winning music score, in addition to which there is a trivia game, and maps and historical information linked to appropriate clips. The second disc contains a new, specially produced 53-minute "making of" documentary featuring many of those involved in the production of the movie. This gives a rich insight into the physical problems of making such a complex epic on location in Ceylon. Also included are the original trailer and two short promotional films from the time of release, one of which is narrated by star William Holden. Finally there is an "appreciation" by director John Milius, an extensive archive of movie posters and artwork, and a booklet that reproduces the text of the film's original 1957 brochure. --Gary S Dalkin
Clint Eastwood ("the Man with No Name") is good, Lee Van Cleef (named Angel Eyes Sentenza here) is bad, and Eli Wallach (Tuco Benedito Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez) is ugly in the final chapter of Sergio Leone's trilogy of spaghetti Westerns (the first two were A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More). In this sweeping film, the characters form treacherous alliances in a ruthless quest for Confederate gold. Leone is sometimes underrated as a director, but the excellent resolution on this DVD should enhance appreciation of his considerable photographic talent and gorgeous widescreen compositions. Ennio Morricone's jokey score is justifiably famous. The DVD includes about a quarter-hour of footage not seen in the original release. -- Amazon.com
Dances with Wolves is the film that sent director-producer-actor Kevin Costner on his hubristic way; yet it is such a resonant and powerful film that we can almost forgive him for inflicting upon us his later "epic" The Postman. Here Costner plays a Union solder stationed at the far edges of the West, and left there to rot at his post. He finally sees the wisdom of the Lakota Sioux and finds peace within their community. But his decision to "go native" is greatly frowned upon by his military commanders, and the subsequent culture clash forms the backbone of the narrative. The story is told simply, and wastes not one word of dialogue, while the South Dakota locations provide a magnificent backdrop. Costner is sympathetic and accessible as an American Everyman who awakens to himself and the world around him... --Rochelle O'Gorman, Amazon.com
A stupendous historical saga, Braveheart won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for star Mel Gibson. He plays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish commoner who unites the various clans against a cruel English King, Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan). The scenes of hand-to-hand combat are brutally violent, but they never glorify the bloodshed. There is such enormous scope to this story that it works on a smaller, more personal scale as well, essaying love and loss, patriotism and passion. Extremely moving, it reveals Gibson as a multitalented performer and remarkable director with an eye for detail and an understanding of human emotion. (His first directorial effort was 1993's Man Without a Face.) The film is nearly three hours long and includes several plot tangents, yet is never dull. This movie resonates long after you have seen it, both for its visual beauty and for its powerful story. --Rochelle O'Gorman
Winner of four Academy Awards, including best picture, director, supporting actor and best editing, Clint Eastwood's 1992 masterpiece stands as one of the greatest and most thematically compelling Westerns ever made. "The movie summarised everything I feel about the Western," said Eastwood at the time of the film's release. "The moral is the concern with gunplay." To illustrate that theme, Eastwood stars as a retired, once-ruthless killer-turned-gentle-widower and hog farmer. He accepts one last bounty-hunter mission--to find the men who brutalised a prostitute--to help support his two motherless children. Joined by his former partner (Morgan Freeman) and a cocky greenhorn (Jaimz Woolvett), he takes on a corrupt sheriff (Oscar winner Gene Hackman) in a showdown that makes the viewer feel the full impact of violence and its corruption of the soul. Dedicated to Eastwood's mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel and featuring a colourful role for Richard Harris, Unforgiven is arguably Eastwood's crowning directorial achievement. --Jeff Shannon