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Grease | DVD | (23/09/2002)
from £5.00 | Saving you £14.99 (75.00%) | RRP
Grease was a phenomenal hit with its target teenage audience when it was released in 1977. The songs dominated the pop charts and brought heady success for its lead actors, John Travolta (Danny) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) despite the fact that--as with their energetic co-stars--their own teenage years were some way behind them. As they seize the chance to relive their schooldays, their verve and enthusiasm explodes from the screen. The real class, though, comes from Stockard Channing as feisty Rizzo and, in a couple of cameos, wisecracking silver screen actresses from yesteryear Eve Arden and Joan Blondel. Based on the 1972 stage show and adding several new numbers, Grease is at heart a rites-of-passage movie with plenty of feel-good moments and a euphoric buzz. "You're the One That I Want", "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "Summer Nights" became the soundtrack for a generation of high-school students on the cusp of adulthood. Today, it looks like a pastiche of those 1950s Connie Francis rock & roll beach films. But the steady stream of double entendres and knowing body language render it more accessible to the less innocent late 1970s. It's overwhelming nostalgia for anyone in the vicinity of 40. On the DVD: The 25th anniversary special edition of Grease rolls back the years: the 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation transports you instantly back to fifth-form heaven in the local fleapit. The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound ensures that the songs--ever the staple of MOR radio--complete the nostalgia trip with real zip. The main extra is a short series of fond reminiscences from the actors and director Randal Kleiser, actually filmed for the 20th anniversary. --Piers Ford
Mamma Mia! | DVD | (17/04/2019)
from £2.22 | Saving you £17.50 (79.60%) | RRP
The delirious sight of Meryl Streep leading a river of multigenerational women singing "Dancing Queen" is one of the high points of Mamma Mia!, the musical built around the songs of the hugely popular pop group ABBA. The plot sets in motion when Sophie (Amanda Seyfried, Mean Girls), daughter of Donna (Streep), sends a letter to three men, inviting them to her wedding--because after reading her mother's diary, she suspects that one of them is her father. When all three arrive at the Greek island where Donna runs a hotel, Donna flips out and finds that passions she thought she'd laid aside are coming back to life. But let's face it, the plot is not the point--it's a ridiculous contrivance that provides an excuse for the characters to sing the massive hits of ABBA. Regrettably, first-time film director Phyllida Lloyd (who directed the original stage production) has drawn over-the-top performances from everyone involved, even Streep; every production number hammers its exuberance into your eyeballs. Which is too bad, because Mamma Mia! is a rarity: A middle-aged love story. The kids start things off, but the story is really about Streep and the three guys (former James Bond Pierce Brosnan, former Mr. Darcy Colin Firth, and Swedish star Stellan Skarsgard), as well as Donna's best friends (Christine Baranski, best known from the TV show Cybill, and Julie Walters, Calendar Girls). It's a romantic comedy aimed at the people who were around when all these songs were new, and that's an age group Hollywood largely ignores. For that alone, Mamma Mia! deserves to find an audience. --Bret Fetzer
Rock of Ages | DVD | (17/04/2019)
from £5.39 | Saving you £14.60 (73.00%) | RRP
<i>Rock of Ages</i> tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock'n'roll romance is told through the heart-pounding rock hits.
Moulin Rouge - Single Disc Edition | DVD | (06/10/2003)
from £4.25 | Saving you £12.50 (69.50%) | RRP
A spectacle beyond anything you've ever witnessed. An experience beyond everything you've ever imagined. Behind the red velvet curtain the ultimate seduction of your senses is about to begin. Welcome to the Moulin Rouge! Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor sing dance and scale the heights of passionate abandon in this most talked-about movie from visionary director Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet Strictly Ballroom). Enter a tantalizing world that celebrates truth be
The Edge Of Love | DVD | (27/10/2008)
from £2.99 | Saving you £14.50 (72.50%) | RRP
The Edge Of Love stars Cillian Murphy Keira Knightley Sienna Miller and Matthew Rhys in a story about the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The film revolves around two feisty free-spirited women Caitlin Thomas and Vera Killick Vera's husband William Killick and the brilliant charismatic poet Dylan Thomas who loves both women. Broken promises passion betrayal the shadow of war and the constant threat of imminent death push the protagonists to The Edge of Love.
Platoon | DVD | (18/09/2000)
from £3.84 | Saving you £11.30 (70.70%) | RRP
Winning a raft of awards, not least of which four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, Oliver Stone's Platoon was a box-office smash heralding Hollywood's second wave of Vietnam war films. Where predecessors The Deer Hunter (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979) were elaborate epics, Platoon simply showed the daily reality of the war from the point of view of ordinary soldiers. Stone's own service in Vietnam gives his work a unique authenticity. Charlie Sheen gives his best performance to date, enduring a series of increasingly large-scale and bloody battles which retrospectively make one wonder why Saving Private Ryan was hailed as so new. Against this gruelling verity the film falters over the symbolic conflict between good and evil sergeants played by Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger. Even though this was also based in real life, it strikes a too conventionally Hollywood-like note in a film which otherwise maintains much of the raw power of Stone's other film from 1986, Salvador. Johnny Depp fans should look out for an early appearance by the star. Stone would return to Vietnam with the more sophisticated Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Heaven and Earth (1993). On the DVD: The 50-minute documentary "Tour of the Inferno" goes beyond the usual "making-of" to present a personal account both of the film and of Stone's own time in Vietnam. Likewise the two audio commentaries--one by Stone, the other by Captain Dale Dye, fellow veteran and military technical advisor--range between the making of the film and the degree to which the actors came to inhabit their parts, to their own wartime experiences. Both commentaries bring a fresh level of appreciation and understanding to the film. Also included is the original trailer and three TV commercials, together with well-presented stills galleries of behind-the-scenes photos and poster art. Following a credit sequence marred by dirt on the print, the anamorphically enhanced 1.77:1 image is sharp and clear. The many night scenes are very dark but remain easily comprehensible. The three-channel Dolby Digital sound is suitably raw and powerful, though an early sequence featuring rain in the jungle suffers from very distracting repeated drop-outs in the left channel. --Gary S Dalkin
The Hurt Locker | DVD | (28/12/2009)
from £2.18 | Saving you £17.10 (85.50%) | RRP
La Vie En Rose | DVD | (13/10/2008)
from £5.59 | Saving you £6.50 (50.00%) | RRP
On stage she was a singing legend. But for Edith Piaf life was the greatest performance of all... The extraordinary life of Edith Piaf; from the mean streets of the Belleville district of Paris to the dazzling limelight of New York's most famous concert halls Piaf's life was a constant battle to sing and survive to live and to love... A swirling impressionistic portrait of an artist who regretted nothing writer/director Olivier Dahan's La Vie En Rose stars Marion Cotillard in a blazing performance as the legendary French icon.
The Red Baron | DVD | (05/10/2009)
from £4.99 | Saving you £7.01 (39.00%) | RRP
The Counterfeiters | DVD | (26/12/2008)
from £2.90 | Saving you £1.90 (31.70%) | RRP
The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history set up by the Nazis in 1936. Salomon Sally Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics) is the king of counterfeiters. He lives a mischievous life of cards booze and women in Berlin during the Nazi-era. Suddenly his luck runs dry when arrested by Superintendent Friedrich Herzog (Devid Striesow). Immediately thrown into the Mauthausen concentration camp Salomon exhibits exceptional skills there and is soon transferred to the upgraded camp of Sachsenhausen. Upon his arrival he once again comes face to face with Herzog who is there on a secret mission. Hand-picked for his unique skill Salomon and a group of professionals are forced to produce fake foreign currency under the program Operation Berhard. The team which also includes detainee Adolf Burger (August Diehl) is given luxury barracks for their assistance. But while Salomon attempts to weaken the economy of Germany's allied opponents Adolf refuses to use his skills for Nazi profit and would like to do something to stop Operation Bernhard's aid to the war effort. Faced with a moral dilemma Salomon must decide whether his actions which could prolong the war and risk the lives of fellow prisoners are ultimately the right ones.
I'm Not There | DVD | (14/07/2008)
from £3.58 | Saving you £15.90 (79.50%) | RRP
Unapologetically audacious, I'm Not There is more post-modern puzzle than by-the-numbers biopic. A title card sets the scene: "Inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan." Yet the film features no figure by that name. Instead, writer/director Todd Haynes presents six characters, each incarnating different stages in the artist's career. Perfume's Ben Whishaw, a black-clad poet, serves as a slippery sort of narrator. The action begins with the wanderings of an 11-year-old black runaway named "Woody Guthrie" (Marcus Carl Franklin)--his raucous duet with Richie Havens on "Tombstone Blues" is a highlight--and ends with a silver-haired Billy the Kid (Richard Gere) watching the Old West die before his eyes. In the interim, there's the folk singer-turned-preacher (Christian Bale), the actor (Heath Ledger), and the rock star (Cate Blanchett, who has Don't Look Back Dylan down to a science). The chronology is purposefully non-linear, and editor Jay ! Rabinowitz cuts rapidly, Jean-Luc Godard-style, between cinéma vérité black-and-white and saturated colour, Richard Lester-like slapstick and Fellini-inspired surrealism (Ed Lachman served as cinematographer). What makes the picture fun for Dylan fans--and potentially frustrating for neophytes--is that every album and movie bears an alternate title. Ledger's Robbie, for instance, stars in "Grain of Sand," actually a reference to the Pete Seeger song. As in Haynes' glam rock reverie Velvet Goldmine, the trickery involves the entire cast. While Julianne Moore plays former lover Alice, a dead ringer for Joan Baez, Michelle Williams embodies elusive scenester Coco, i.e. Edie Sedgwick. If I'm Not There is less affecting than Control, the year's other big music film, it rewards repeat viewings like few biographical features. The soundtrack mixes originals with covers, like Jim James's heartfelt "Goin' to Acapulco." --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Moulin Rouge (Special Edition) | DVD | (08/02/2006)
from £5.60 | Saving you £10.01 (43.50%) | RRP
Christian [Ewan McGregor] a young writer with a magical gift for poetry defies his bourgeois father by moving to the bohemian underworld of Montmartre Paris. He is taken in by the absinthe- soaked artist Toulouse- Lautrec whose party- hard life centres around the Moulin Rouge a world of sex drugs electricity & the shocking Can-Can. Christian falls into a passionate but ultimately doomed love affair with Satine the Sparkling Diamond [Nicole Kidman] the most beautiful courtesan
Maria Full Of Grace | DVD | (11/08/2008)
from £4.48 | Saving you £6.53 (50.30%) | RRP
Maria Alvarez (Catalina Sandino) a bright spirited 17-year old lives with three generations of her family in a cramped house in rural Colombia. Desperate to leave her job stripping thorns from flowers in a rose plantation Maria accepts a lucrative offer to transport packets of heroin-which she must swallow-to the United States. The ruthless world of international drug trafficking proves to be more than Maria bargained for as she becomes ultimately entangled with both drug cartels and immigration officials. The dramatic thriller builds toward a conclusion so powerful and revealing it could only be based on a thousand true stories.
Apocalypse Now Redux | DVD | (22/04/2002)
from £2.79 | Saving you £11.45 (63.60%) | RRP
Following the example set by his old pals Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola has revisited a classic that no-one ever thought needed enhancement and produced Apocalypse Now Redux, a remastered and extended version of his hallucinogenic Vietnam nightmare that adds some 50 minutes of extra material. On the plus side, certain extended sequences--such as Kilgore's bombing-cum-surfing raid and the final battle of nerves between Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando--add greater depth to our appreciation of the film. On the debit side, the lengthy French plantation interlude and the squalid fate of the Playboy bunnies simply underscore what we already know about war and hell and the depressing futility of it all. It's possible that Apocalyspe Now is not really about Vietnam at all, but is in fact a despairing commentary on the dissolution of contemporary American society; it's also possible that Apocalypse Now Redux, for all its epic scale and visceral power, ultimately fails to make the film's real message any clearer than before. Either way, it remains one of the greatest (anti-)war films ever made. On the DVD: Apocalypse Now Redux is self-recommending on DVD, especially with vividly remastered Dolby 5.1 sound (the whirling helicopter blades are dizzying) and an anamorphic widescreen picture. Disappointingly the disc contains no extra features other than a trailer for the Redux version. Coppola has provided excellent commentaries for his Godfather trilogy so it's a shame not to have his comments here; and the justly famous "Heart of Darkness" documentary is conspicuous by its absence, too. --Mark Walker
Pan's Labyrinth | DVD | (12/03/2007)
from £4.64 | Saving you £13.30 (73.90%) | RRP
Innocence Has A Power Evil Cannot Imagine. Pan's Labyrinth is the story of a young girl that travels with her mother and adoptive father to a rural area up North in Spain 1944 - after Franco's victory. The girl lives in an imaginary world of her own creation and faces the real world with much chagrin. Post-war Fascist repression is at its height in rural Spain and the girl must come to terms with that through a fable of her own.
Jarhead | DVD | (30/05/2011)
from £2.39 | Saving you £7.60 (76.10%) | RRP
Swofford's 2003 book on his experiences in the first Gulf War, and enlists William Broyles Jr a former Lieutenant who fought in Vietnam to convert it into a screenplay.
Moulin Rouge -- Two-Disc Set | DVD | (03/05/2004)
from £4.59 | Saving you £13.18 (57.30%) | RRP
Watching Baz Luhrmann's award-winning Moulin Rouge is a lot like falling in love. It is total immersion cinema and while you're experiencing it ("watching" is too passive a word) you can't imagine that cinema could be for anything else. In the harsh, objective post-viewing daylight Lurhmann's gaudy spectacular might seem like a triumph of glossy style over any genuine substance, but as the film unfolds Lurhmann subjects his audience to a such a barrage of overtly stylised music, dance, colour, design and human passion that the senses are overwhelmed and critical faculties put on hold for the duration. The story is paper-thin, but that's hardly the point. Nicole Kidman's courtesan Satine falls for poor poet Ewan McGregor while pledged to a psychotic English Duke. The show goes on, of course, and we know it will end in tragedy--because that's the sort of story this is, and the only thing that makes it bearable is the knowledge that it's all just brilliant artifice. The third of Luhrman's "Red Curtain" trilogy (after Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet), Moulin Rouge reinvents musical cinema, acknowledging its debt to past masters like Vincente Minnelli (Gigi) and Michael Powell (The Red Shoes), but taking in the best of rock video along the way. The incessant MTV-style editing might seem like a distraction, but in the end a film insane enough to include Jim Broadbent's cover of "Like a Virgin" defines its own genre rules. On the DVD: this double-disc package sets new standards of presentation while also having an ideally appropriate light-heartedness. The extra features are as inventive in their use of the format as the film itself. Highlights include not one but two commentaries--one by Luhrmann, his designer and his cinematographer, the other with Lurhmann and his fellow scriptwriter Craig Pearce. We get two videos of "Lady Marmalade" and there are also uncut dance numbers, for example the fabulously dark Tango sequence in all its detail, which come with alternate camera angles so that you can edit your own version. There are whole segments on the glittery costumes, the three-dimensional model of Paris and the transformation of Kylie Minogue into the Green Fairy of absinthe. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen (formatted for 16:9 TVs) with a visual aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and has lush, velvety Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 sound options. --Roz Kaveney
The Sapphires | DVD | (04/03/2013)
from £3.89 | Saving you £12.10 (75.70%) | RRP
For four young Aboriginal sisters from a remote town, 1968 was the year that would change their lives forever. Around the world there was revolutions and drugs. And there was Vietnam. The sisters, Cynthia, Gail, Julie and Kay are discovered by Dave, a talent scout with a kind heart, very little rhythm but a great love of soul music. Billed as Australia's answer to 'The Supremes', Dave secures their first gig, and then takes them to Vietnam to sing for the troops. Based on a true story, The Sapphires is a triumphant celebration of love, family and music.
In Tranzit | DVD | (31/05/2010)
from £5.00 | Saving you £9.99 (66.60%) | RRP
In the chaotic aftermath of WWII a group of German POWs are accidentally sent to a female-run Soviet prison camp. When the guards are given the task of weeding out the SS officers they play a bitter game of cat and mouse with the prisoners. Each group slowly learns that situations are not what they seem; prejudices are sometimes unjustly held; and love can be found in even the harshest places.
StreetDance 2 | DVD | (23/07/2012)
from £5.93 | Saving you £13.45 (67.30%) | RRP
To beat the world's best dance crew, streetdancer Ash (Falk Hentshel), with new friend Eddie (George Sampson), set off to gather the greatest streetdancers from around Europe, falling in love with beautiful salsa dancer Eva (Sofia Boutella) in Paris. With landmark locations, the most spectacular dance fusion of Latin and Street ever seen and featuring streetdance legends Flawless and Akai, the sequel to global smash hit StreetDance is bigger, better, bolder and back!