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  • Billy Elliot [2000] Billy Elliot | DVD | (18/04/2006) from £4.49  |  Saving you £11.50 (71.90%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Foursquare in the gritty-but-hearwarming tradition of Brassed Off and The Full Monty comes Billy Elliot, the first film of noted British theatrical director Stephen Daldry. The setting is County Durham in 1984, and things 'oop North are even grimmer than usual: the miners' strike is in full rancorous swing and 11-year-old Billy's dad and older brother, miners both, are staunch on the picket lines. Billy's got problems of his own. His dad's scraped together the fees to send him to boxing lessons, but Billy's discovered a different aptitude: a genius for ballet dancing. Since admitting to such an activity is tantamount, in this fiercely macho culture, to holding up a sign reading "I AM A RAVING POOF", Billy keeps it quiet. But his teacher, Mrs Wilkinson (Julie Walters, wearily undaunted) thinks he should audition for ballet school in London. Family ructions are inevitable. Daldry's film sidesteps some of the politics, both sexual and otherwise, but scores with its laconic dialogue (credit to screenwriter Lee Hall) and a cracking performance from newcomer Jamie Bell as Billy. His powerhouse dance routines, more Gene Kelly than Nureyev, carry an irresistible sense of exhilaration and self-discovery. Among a flawless supporting cast Stuart Wells stands out as Billy's sweet gay friend Michael. And if the miners' strike serves largely as background colour, there's one brief episode, as visored and truncheoned cops rampage through neat little terraced houses, that captures one of the most spiteful episodes in recent British history. --Philip Kemp

  • Macbeth [DVD] Macbeth | DVD | (01/02/2016) from £5.69  |  Saving you £14.30 (71.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in this adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. After three witches foretell that Scottish nobleman Macbeth (Fassbender) will be king he becomes obssessed by the idea. Encouraged by his wife Lady Macbeth (Cotillard), his ambition becomes all-consuming and he kills the reigning monarch, King Duncan (David Thewlis). But Macbeth becomes a tyrannical ruler, filled with anxiety over who he can trust... The cast also includes Elizabeth Debicki, Sean Harris, Paddy Considine and David Hayman.Based on: The play by William Shakespeare Technical Specs: Languages(s): EnglishInteractive Menu

  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin [2001] Captain Corelli's Mandolin | DVD | (25/03/2002) from £3.23  |  Saving you £13.90 (77.30%)  |  RRP £17.99

    While Captain Corelli's Mandolin may frustrate admirers of Louis de Bernières' densely detailed novel, it proves Shakespeare in Love director John Madden is a worthy craftsman of literary films. It's a tastefully old-fashioned adaptation, preserving the novel's flavour while focusing on its love story set against the turbulence of World War II. Set on the Greek island of Cephallonia, the drama begins in 1940 with occupation by Italian troops, awkwardly allied with the Nazis and preferring hedonistic friendliness over military intimidation. That attitude is most generously embodied by Captain Corelli (Nicolas Cage), who is instantly drawn to the Greek beauty Pelagia (Penélope Cruz) despite her engagement to Mandras (Christian Bale), a resistance fighter whose absence leaves Pelagia needy for affection. Mandras's eventual return--and the inevitable attack by German bombers and ground troops--threaten to stain this Greek-Italian romance with deeply tragic bloodshed. Accompanied by pensive serenades from the captain's cherished mandolin, the film charts the unlikely attraction of Corelli and Pelagia, whose wizened physician father (splendidly played by John Hurt) fears for the worst. Their love is uneasy (and Cage's miscasting doesn't help), but the island's beguiling atmosphere is as seductive to them as it is to the viewer, thus making the outbreak of violence--and a climactic earthquake--jarringly traumatic. Emphasising nobility in war and the many definitions of love, the story's wartime context intensifies the film's admirable depth of emotion. Faults will be found by anyone who's looking for them, but Captain Corelli's Mandolin remains a sensuous, richly layered film that die-hard romantics will find hard to resist.--Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • Ex Machina [Blu-ray] [2015] Ex Machina | Blu Ray | (01/06/2015) from £7.00  |  Saving you £17.99 (72.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    From acclaimed writer/director Alex Garland (28 Days Later Sunshine) comes Ex_Machina a chilling vision of the not-too-distant future of artificial intelligence. In the mountain retreat of a gifted internet billionaire a young man takes part in a strange experiment: testing an artificial intelligence housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl. But the experiment twists into a dark psychological battle where loyalties are torn between man and machine. Domhnall Gleeson Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander lead the cast of Ex_Machina an intense psychological thriller played out in a love triangle. The film explores big ideas about the nature of consciousness emotion sexuality truth and lies. 'Smart Funny Gripping and Disturbing...Stunning.' - Chris Tilly IGN 'Everyone should see this.' - Total film

  • The Shape of Water [DVD] [2018] The Shape of Water | DVD | (25/06/2018) from £5.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (22.90%)  |  RRP £6.99

    From master storyteller, Guillermo del Toro, comes an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.

  • Jersey Boys [DVD] Jersey Boys | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £5.49  |  Saving you £14.50 (72.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    From director Clint Eastwood comes the big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical 'Jersey Boys.' The film tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation including 'Sherry ' 'Big Girls Don't Cry ' 'Walk Like a Man ' 'Dawn ' 'Rag Doll ' 'Bye Bye Baby ' 'Who Loves You ' and many more.

  • Kes [1969] Kes | DVD | (20/01/2003) from £3.72  |  Saving you £11.90 (74.40%)  |  RRP £15.99

    This was only Ken Loach's second cinema feature but it still ranks as one of his finest and most moving films. Billy, a disaffected young lad living on a soulless Barnsley estate, finds a fledgling kestrel and, for the first time in his life, feels his imagination gripped. With infinite patience--and a book on falconry nicked from a local bookstore--he starts to train the bird. There's no boy-and-his-pet sentimentality here: the relationship between Kes the bird and the puny, taciturn Billy is the kinship, full of wary respect, between two wild creatures, and when Kes for the first time flies free and returns to Billy's wrist, the sense of exhilaration is overwhelming. Although Loach never rams his message home, it's clear that Billy stands for a whole generation of youngsters whose potential, barring some such chance event, will never be even fractionally realised. Chris Menges' photography brings out all the austere beauty of the Yorkshire locations, and Loach draws believable performances from his largely non-professional cast--especially the 14-year-old David Bradley, stunningly convincing as Billy. And anyone who has ever suffered under a bullying, self-satisfied sports teacher will squirm with recognition at the brilliant cameo from the late Brian Glover. --Philip Kemp

  • The Lives Of Others [2007] The Lives Of Others | DVD | (17/09/2007) from £2.49  |  Saving you £14.60 (73.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    East Berlin November 1984. Five years before its downfall the former East-German government ensured its claim to power with a ruthless system of control and surveillance. Party-loyalist Captain Gerd Wiesler hopes to boost his career when given the job of collecting evidence against the playwright Georg Dreyman and his girlfriend the celebrated theatre actress Christa-Maria Sieland. After all the ""operation"" is backed by the highest political circles. What he didn't anticipate however was that submerging oneself into the world of the target also changes the surveillance agent. The immersion in the lives of others - in love literature free thinking and speech - makes Wiesler acutely aware of the meagerness of his own existence and opens to him a completely new way of life which he has ever more trouble resisting. But the system once started cannot be stopped. A dangerous game has begun...

  • The History Boys The History Boys | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £4.09  |  Saving you £15.90 (79.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Starring the original stage cast and based on the play by Alan Bennett The History Boys brings together eight bright funny history students in the north of England in the mid '80s. Their Headmaster is obsessed with breaking into the ranks of those schools that regularly send boys up to Oxford and Cambridge and enlists Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore) a shrewd newcomer to coach the boys into intellectual shape for the trials ahead. Seduced though they are by the exam-busting bag of tricks offered by the temporary supply teacher the boys are torn by their loyalty to the hugely eccentric poetry-spouting English master Hector (Richard Griffiths). As they prepare for the daunting admissions process the journey of the History Boys becomes as much about how education works as it is about where education leads.

  • Eat, Pray, Love [DVD] Eat, Pray, Love | DVD | (07/02/2011) from £1.69  |  Saving you £16.99 (85.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Based on the best selling book. After several personal disappointments and a broken heart 35 year old Elizabeth Gilbert decides to venture out alone on a year long journey of self discovery. In Italy she explores the art of pleasure through food language and friendship. In India she goes to her guru's ashram to study the art of spiritual devotion and finds peace with herself through the help of unlikely strangers. In Bali she learns the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence... and accidentally finds her true love along the way.

  • Rain Man [1989] Rain Man | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £5.79  |  Saving you £14.20 (71.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Heartless Charlie Babbitt expects a vast inheritance after his estranged father dies. But Raymond his institutionalised older brother someone he's been totally unaware of is willed the entire fortune instead. Raymond is an `autistic Savant' with severely limited mental abilities in some areas but with genius gifts in others. When Charlie kidnaps Raymond the crazy cross-country drive back to Los Angeles teaches them both a few lessons in life. For as they overcome their mutual dist

  • Erin Brockovich [2000] Erin Brockovich | DVD | (09/10/2000) from £2.58  |  Saving you £16.20 (81.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A lone woman, armed only with indomitable sass and her native wit, goes up against the corporate big boys and beats the bejesus out of them. As a story line it's hardly new, but Steven Soderbergh's film keeps it exhilaratingly fresh and lively--thanks not least to his lead actress. Seizing the role of the smart, mouthy, aggressively working-class Erin Brockovich with both hands, Julia Roberts gives it everything she's got and then some. She's well matched by Albert Finney as her grouchy but good-hearted boss and Aaron Eckhart as a sympathetic biker. The story's based--by all accounts fairly closely--on actual events, when the real Erin (who appears briefly in the film as a kindly waitress) brought a massive lawsuit against utilities giant Pacific Gas and Electric for spreading toxic pollution. Rather than confine the action to courtroom shenanigans, Soderbergh takes us out under Southern California's pitiless skies and along the dirt-poor roads where most of PG&E's blue-collar victims live, letting us feel the ground-down exhaustion of their lives. But though it's rooted in reality, the film's anything but solemn. The script's sharp and funny, full of unexpected twists; and Roberts, flaunting herself outrageously in an eye-popping array of push-up bras and micro-miniskirts, has never been better. --Philip Kemp

  • 12 Years a Slave [DVD] [2013] 12 Years a Slave | DVD | (12/05/2014) from £2.99  |  Saving you £15.90 (79.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    In the pre-Civil War United States Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) a free black man from upstate New York is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindnesses Solomon struggles not only to stay alive but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life. 12 Years A Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom.

  • The Beach [2000] The Beach | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £4.39  |  Saving you £7.60 (63.40%)  |  RRP £11.99

    Leonardo DiCaprio sought to distance himself from the cloying wholesomeness of his character in Titanic, and his role in The Beach is in many ways a polar opposite. As Richard, a young American seeking to "suck in the experience" of freestyle travel in Thailand, he is a chronic liar, a pot-smoking hedonist, an amoral lover and ultimately an unstable snake in a doomed Garden of Eden. This crazy descent might be expected from the filmmakers of Trainspotting, but The Beach is a movie without a rudder, venturing into fascinating territory, promising a stimulating adventure and then careening out of control.After receiving a not-so-secret map to a secluded island from a stoned-out loony (Robert Carlyle, full of dark portent and spittle), Richard sets out to find the hidden paradise with a young French couple (Virginie Ledoyen, Guillaume Canet). What they find is a tropical commune existing in delicate balance with Thai pot farmers, and before long--as always--there is trouble in paradise. There is trouble in the movie, too, as DiCaprio is reduced to histrionics when the plot turns into a muddled mix of Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now, with shark attacks tossed in for shallow tension. Director Danny Boyle attempts perfunctory romance and a few audacious moves (notably DiCaprio's vision of life as a violent video game), but what's the point? Tilda Swinton registers strongly as the commune's charismatic leader, but her character--and the entire film--remains largely undeveloped, and pretty scenery is no guarantee of a laudable film. --Jeff Shannon

  • Atonement [2007] Atonement | DVD | (04/02/2008) from £2.22  |  Saving you £17.00 (85.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Keira Knightley and James McAvoy star in the adaptation of Atonement based on the novel by Ian McEwan. On the hottest day of the summer of 1935 thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia (Kiera Knightley) strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper's son Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) a childhood friend who along with Briony's sister has recently graduated from Cambridge. By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl's scheming imagination and Briony will have committed a dreadful crime the guilt for which will colour her entire life.

  • The Passion Of The Christ [DVD] [2004] The Passion Of The Christ | DVD | (22/03/2010) from £3.56  |  Saving you £4.50 (40.90%)  |  RRP £10.99

    After all the controversy has subsided, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ will remain a force to be reckoned with. In the final analysis, "Gibson's Folly" is an act of personal bravery and commitment on the part of its director, who self-financed this $25-30 million production to preserve his artistic goal of creating The Passion of Christ ("Passion" in its original context meaning "suffering") as a quite literal, in-your-face interpretation of the final 12 hours in the life of Jesus, scripted almost directly from the Gospels (and spoken in Aramaic and Latin with a relative minimum of subtitles) and presented as a relentless, 126-minute ordeal of torture and crucifixion. For Christians and non-Christians alike, this film does not "entertain" and it's not a film that one can "like" or "dislike" in any conventional sense. (It is also emphatically not a film for children or the weak of heart.) Rather, The Passion is a cinematic experience that serves an almost singular purpose: to show the scourging and death of Jesus Christ in such horrifically graphic detail (with Gibson's own hand pounding the nails in the cross) that even non-believers may feel a twinge of sorrow and culpability in witnessing the final moments of the Son of God, played by Jim Caviezel in a performance that's not so much acting as a wilful act of submission, so intense that some will weep not only for Christ, but for Caviezel's unparalleled test of endurance. If one judges what is on the screen (so gloriously served by John Debney's score and Caleb Deschanel's cinematography), there is fuel for debate about the film's alleged anti-Semitic slant but no obvious malice aforethought; the Jews under Caiphas are just as guilty as the barbaric Romans who carry out the execution, especially after Gibson excised (from the subtitles, if not the soundtrack) the film's most controversial line of dialogue. If one accepts that Gibson's intentions are sincere, The Passion can be accepted for what it is: a gruelling, straightforward (some might say unimaginative) and extremely violent depiction of The Passion, guaranteed to render devout Christians speechless while it intensifies their faith. Non-believers are likely to take a more dispassionate view, and some may resort to ridicule. But one thing remains undebatable: with The Passion of the Christ, Gibson puts his money where his mouth is. You can praise or damn him all you want, but you've got to admire his chutzpah. --Jeff Shannon

  • Pierrepoint Pierrepoint | DVD | (09/09/2007) from £4.99  |  Saving you £15.00 (75.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Pierrepoint is the gripping and dramatic true-life story of Albert Pierrepoint Britain's most notorious hangman. Following in the footsteps of his father and uncle before him Albert joins the 'family business' in 1934. Living a secret life as a master hangman as well as a humble grocery deliveryman and loyal husband Pierrepoint's reputation as the most highly regarded executioner in the land results in him executing some of Britain's most infamous murderers including Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis and also the Nazi war criminals convicted at the Nuremberg Trials. But the media coverage from these shatters Pierrepoint's closely guarded anonymity turning him into a minor celebrity. As his two lives collide and public opinion turns against capital punishment Pierrepoint troubled by his notoriety is ready to give it all up but fate has other plans in store for him...

  • Enemy at the Gates [2001] Enemy at the Gates | DVD | (19/11/2001) from £4.49  |  Saving you £15.50 (77.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Enemy at the Gates opens with a pivotal event of World War II--the German invasion of Stalingrad--recreated in Saving Private Ryan-like epic scale as ill-trained Russian soldiers face German attack or punitive execution if they flee from the enemy's advance. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud captures this madness with urgent authenticity, creating a massive context for a more intimate battle waged amidst the city's ruins. Embellished from its basis in fact, the story shifts to an intense cat-and-mouse game between a Russian shepherd raised to iconic fame, and a German marksman whose skill is unmatched in its lethal precision. Vassily Zaitzev (Jude Law) has been sniping Nazis one bullet at a time, while the German Major Konig (Ed Harris) has been assigned to kill Vassily and spare Hitler from further embarrassment. There's love in this war, too, as Vassily connects with a woman soldier (Rachel Weisz), but she is also loved by Danilov (Joseph Fiennes), the Soviet officer who promotes his friend Vassily as Russia's much-needed hero. This romantic rivalry lends marginal interest to the central plot, but it's not enough to make this a classic war film. Instead it's a taut, well-made suspense thriller isolated within an epic battle, and although Annaud and cowriter Alain Godard (drawing from William Craig's book and David L Robbins' novel The War of the Rats) fail to connect the parallel plots with any lasting impact, the production is never less than impressive. Highly conventional but handled with intelligence and superior craftsmanship, this is warfare as strategic entertainment, without compromising warfare as a man-made hell on Earth. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com On the DVD: with a choice of Dolby 5.1 or DTS the sound is suitably spectacular (James Horner's Prokofiev-inspired score comes up well amid whizzing bullets and explosions), while the 2.35:1 anamorphic picture makes the best of the epic battle sequences. "Through the Crosshairs" is a standard 20-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, which is complemented by "Inside Enemy at the Gates", a 15-minute montage of interviews with the stars and director. There's also a 25-minute French-made documentary (with English subtitles) about the real battle that includes a short interview with the real Vassily Zaitsev. Eight brief deleted scenes can be played separately or neatly inserted into the movie by pressing Enter when the gun sight icon appears on screen. The commentary by director Jean-Jacques Annaud is as informative as might be expected from a director who always seems passionate about his film projects. Storyboards, posters, a trailer and filmographies round out an excellent disc package. --Mark Walker

  • Captain Fantastic [DVD] Captain Fantastic | DVD | (23/01/2017) from £5.49  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, isolated from society, a devoted father (Viggo Mortensen) dedicates his life to transforming his six young children into extraordinary adults. But when a tragedy strikes the family, they are forced to leave this self-created paradise and begin a journey into the outside world that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent and brings into question everything he's taught them.

  • The Reader [DVD] [2008] The Reader | DVD | (25/05/2009) from £2.76  |  Saving you £15.90 (79.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The Reader opens in WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from 'The Odessey' 'Huck Finn' and 'The Lady With The Little Dog.' Despite their intense bond Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life - this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hann's past is revealed Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. The Reader is a haunting story about truth and reconciliation about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another.

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