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  • The Phantom Of The Opera The Phantom Of The Opera | DVD | (02/05/2005) from £6.73  |  Saving you £13.26 (66.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song). Director Joel Schumacher, no stranger to visual spectacle, seems to have found a good match in Lloyd Webber's larger-than-life vision of Gaston LeRoux's Gothic horror-romance. His weakness is cuing too many audience-reaction shots and showing too much of the lurking Phantom, but when he calms down and lets Rossum sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" alone in a silent graveyard, it's exquisite. Those who consider the stage musical shallow and overblown probably won't have their minds changed by the movie, and devotees will forever rue that the movie took the better part of two decades to develop, which prevented the casting of original principals Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Still, The Phantom of the Opera is a welcome exception to the long line of ill-conceived Broadway-to-movie travesties. DVD Features The two-disc edition of The Phantom of the Opera has two major extras. "Behind the Mask: The Story of The Phantom of the Opera" is an hourlong documentary tracing the genesis of the stage show, with interviews by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Harold Prince, producer Cameron Macintosh, lyricists Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, choreographer Gillian Lynne, and others. Conspicuously absent are stars Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. Both do appear in video clips, including Brightman performing with Colm Wilkinson at an early workshop, and Crawford is the subject of a casting segment. Other brief scenes from the show are represented by a 2001 production. The other major feature is the 45-minute making-of focusing on the movie, including casting and the selection of director Joel Schumacher Both are well-done productions by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group. The deleted scene is a new song written by Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, "No One Would Listen," sung by the Phantom toward the end of the movie. It's a beautiful song that, along with Madame Giry's story, makes him a more sympathetic character. But because that bit of backstory already slowed down the ending, it was probably a good move to cut the song. --David Horiuchi Important note: Initial playback of this DVD defaults to the DTS (Digital Theatre System) soundtrack, therefore customers without such equipment will not hear any sound. Please note that this is NOT a fault with the DVD. If you are not in possession of a DTS compatible sound amplifier, you need to change the film's soundtrack type from the main menu. In order to do this, please follow the instructions below: 1. Click the "set-up" option. 2. Select either Dolby Digital Surround Sound or Dolby Digital Stereo as appropriate. 3. Select "Play Movie". The film will now play with a universal audible soundtrack.

  • Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire [2005] Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire | DVD | (20/03/2006) from £4.19  |  Saving you £21.80 (83.90%)  |  RRP £25.99

    Director Mike Newell takes plenty of time to explore character development, but the story still moves along at a breathless pace, with memorably intense moments involving fire-spewing dragons, dark magical rites, and near-drownings at the hands of slimy mer-people, all of which may prove too much for the youngest of viewers.

  • Les Miserables -- Two Disc Collector's Edition Les Miserables -- Two Disc Collector's Edition | DVD | (14/11/2005) from £4.05  |  Saving you £14.30 (71.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Boublil and Schonberg's legendary musical! 'Les Miserables' is widely recognised as the world's most popular musical; now enjoy the full magnificence of the score played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on DVD at the spectacular 10th Anniversary Gala Concert performed live at the Royal Albert Hall. This Collectors Edition DVD also includes a bonus disc of the making of 'Les Miserables' a fascinating insight into how the masterpiece was born and became a global phenomenon!

  • Casino Royale [2006] Casino Royale | DVD | (19/03/2007) from £3.79  |  Saving you £19.20 (83.50%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Bond is back! Back to the beginning of James Bond's career MI6's newest recruit (Daniel Craig the first blonde 007) is tasked with taking down a man known as ""Le Chiffre"" (Mads Mikkelsen) a money launderer for terrorists who is raising operational funds at a high-stakes poker game in the exclusive Montenegro establishment of Casino Royale... Exhilarating breathless and at times brutal this is the first Bond adventure since 1987 to be based on one of Ian Fleming's original novels. Paul Haggis (Oscar winning writer/director of Crash) adapts Casino Royale for a new generation as Daniel Craig new Aston Martin DBS in tow fills out the tuxedo of the ultra-smooth and ultra-deadly superspy.

  • Batman Begins (2 discs) [2005] Batman Begins (2 discs) | DVD | (21/10/2005) from £1.99  |  Saving you £11.00 (64.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    In the wake of his parents' murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful.

  • Once Upon a Time in the West -- Special Collector's Edition (2 discs) [1969] Once Upon a Time in the West -- Special Collector's Edition (2 discs) | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £5.00  |  Saving you £14.99 (75.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Sergio Leone had to be persuaded to return to the Western for Once Upon a Time in the West after the success of his "Dollars" trilogy. The result is a masterpiece that expands the vision of the earlier movies in every way. It could as easily have been called The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Blonde as Charles Bronson steps into the No-Name role as the harmonica-playing vengeance seeker, Henry Fonda trashes his Wyatt Earp image as a dead-faced, blue-eyed killer who has sold out to the rapacious railroad; Jason Robards provides humanitarian footnotes as a life-loving but doomed bandit and the astonishingly beautiful Claudia Cardinale shows that all these grown-up little boys are less fit to make a country than one determined widow-mother-whore-angel-everywoman. The opening sequence--Woody Strode, Al Mulock and Jack Elam waiting for a train and bothered by a fly and dripping water--is masterful bravura, homing in on tiny details for a fascinating but eventless length of time before Bronson arrives for the lightning-fast shoot-out. With striking widescreen compositions and epic running time, this picture truly wins points for length and width. On the DVD: Once Upon a Time in the West on disc is the transfer fans have been waiting for: the longest available version of the film in shimmering widescreen (enhanced for 16:9 TVs) which lends full impact to Leone's long shots of Monument Valley scenery or bustling crowds of activity, but also highlights his ultra-close images as Bronson's beady eyes or Cardinale's luscious pout fill the entire screen. A commentary track is mostly by expert Sir Christopher Frayling, with input from other academics, participants and enthusiasts--it's good on the detail, and Alex Cox winningly points out that one scene bizarrely can't be reconciled with what happens before or after it. Disc 2 has four featurettes which, taken together, add up to a feature-length documentary on the film, and though overlapping the commentary slightly offer a wealth of further good stuff, plus the elegant Cardinale's undiminished smile. Also included is the trailer, notes on the cast, menu screens with generous selections from Ennio Morricone's score, stills gallery, comparison shots from the film and contemporary snapshots of the locations. --Kim Newman

  • The Hulk [2003] The Hulk | DVD | (17/11/2003) from £2.59  |  Saving you £16.40 (82.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Amazingly, Ang Lee's Hulk makes a fair fist of pleasing everybody. The latest in a run of Marvel Comic-to-film transfers, it acknowledges the history of a character who dates back to 1962 while recreating him in contemporary terms. Though this, Hulk's origin still draws on the 1960s iconography of bomb tests and desert bases, this new take mixes gene-tampering with gamma radiation and never forgets that poor Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) has been psychologically primed by a mad father (Nick Nolte) and a disappointed girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) to transform from repressed wimp to big green powerhouse even before the mad science kicks in. The long first act is enlivened by comic book-style split-screen effects and multiple foreshadowings--Lee keeps finding excuses to light Bana's face green--but is also absorbing personal drama from the man who gave you The Ice Storm before flexing his action muscles on Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. When Banner begins his Jekyll-and-Hyde seizures, the ILM CGI boys step in and use Bana as a template for the most fully-realised digital characterisation yet seen in the movies. Comics fans will thrill as a credibly bulky, superswift, super-green behemoth tangles with mutated killer dogs (including a very vicious poodle) in a night time forest, bursts out of confinement in an underground secret base, takes on America's military might while bouncing around a Road Runner and Coyote-like South Western desert and then invades San Francisco for some major "Hulk... smash" action. Artful and entertaining, engaging and explosive, this is among the most satisfying superhero movies. On the DVD: Hulk two-disc set doesn't quite hulk-out as well comparative Marvel movie releases for the X-Men films, Spider-Man and Daredevil. Disc 2 assembles a pile of those infotainment documentaries prepared to drum up pre-publicity but which feel a bit redundant once the movie is out, especially since there's so much repetition between the featurettes. It's all very well, and some of the technical stuff is fascinating, but this particular film could do with a more in-depth thematic approach: there's a lot about how the CGI Hulk was realised but little on the development of the story, the performances or the general tone, though Ang Lee's slightly sparse commentary makes interesting stabs in that direction. The biggest revelation in the background material is that Lee, known for his delicacy of touch, himself wore the motion capture suit and smashed up plywood tanks as a guide for the CGI animators. --Kim Newman

  • Pearl Harbor DVD (2 Disc Set) [2001] Pearl Harbor DVD (2 Disc Set) | DVD | (03/12/2001) from £5.99  |  Saving you £13.45 (67.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A big summer blockbuster, Pearl Harbor is pitched as a romantic epic, but the story is essentially a frame for an impressive depiction of the Japanese attack on that "day of infamy", deploying all the modelwork, CGI, stunts and special effects necessary to trump previous screen re-enactments in Tora! Tora! Tora! and From Here to Eternity. At heart, it's another Top Gun-style exercise in heroically sublimated homosexuality as Rafe (Ben Affleck) and Dan (Josh Hartnett), lifelong buddies, fall out over a ridiculous contrivance that allows both decently to fallin love with a nurse (Kate Beckinsale) but forget all their differences when the fighting starts--as expected, their big climax comes in each other's arms, with Kate left behind as one wounded buddy extracts a promise from the other to look after his unborn child. Historical snippets are interleaved, with Mako and Jon Voigt stiff under the prosthetics asAdmiral Yamamoto and Franklin Roosevelt, and a lot of detail is given about things like the wooden rudders on the new Japanese torpedoes, the chaos in the understaffed hospital as the heroine is forced to make lipstick triage marks on wounded men's foreheads and the terrible effects of strafing. A surprisingly bright little performance from Dan Aykroyd (a sole reminder of 1941) as an intelligence analyst is balanced by an insufferably smug one from Cuba Gooding Jr as a token black supporting hero. It's the first film of the George W Bush era: aggressive and dumb as a rock, utterly uninterested in period--no one in this WWII-era army smokes, swears or uses racial abuse (Gooding's boxing opponent sneers at him because he's a cook)--and awkwardly straddles a dignified treatment of the Japanese and America's actual spasm of hatred after the attack (one soldier refuses to be treated by a Japanese doctor, but that's it). When Pearl Harbour is bombed, we see endangered dogs, drowning men and dead women, but when Tokyo gets blasted in payback only buildings are destroyed and in long-shot. Michael Bay (Armageddon) remains a jittery director, a great second-unit man who can't deal with people or stories. It borrows from Titanic and Saving Private Ryan, but tidies the war of the latter up so it can still haul in a broad audience and therefore misses the real tragic sense of the former.--Kim NewmanOn the DVD: Considering there are two discs in the special edition of this special effects homage, the second DVD is woefully short of extras. There is a 45-minute featurette on the highs and lows of bringing Michael Bay's magnum opus to the screen which, along with the usual interviews with cast and crew, features the more compelling eyewitness testimony bringing the events of December 7, 1941 to life. The irony of the second disc focussing on the research and quest for historical accuracy is a little difficult to swallow, considering that the film is little more than a paper thin, overly romanticised muddle of history and fantasy, but for those wanting to experience the real events on that fateful day rather than the Hollywood version, this is an excellent antidote. The movie has been THX digitally mastered for superior sound and picture quality improving those big-bang special effects and is presented in anamorphic widescreen with 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Unlike the Region 1 release, there's no DTS track but the 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is more than up to the challenge of the effects laden assault, with different elements of the Japanese attack rumbling between the speakers and making you feel you're in the thick of things. -- Kristen Bowditch

  • Hellboy [2004] Hellboy | DVD | (10/01/2005) from £3.99  |  Saving you £18.00 (78.30%)  |  RRP £22.99

    In the ongoing deluge of comic-book adaptations, Hellboy ranks well above average. Having turned down an offer to helm Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in favor of bringing Hellboy's origin story to the big screen, the gifted Mexican director Guillermo del Toro compensates for the excesses of Blade II with a moodily effective, consistently entertaining action-packed fantasy, beginning in 1944 when the mad monk Rasputin--in cahoots with occult-buff Hitler and his Nazi thugs--opens a transdimensional portal through which a baby demon emerges, capable of destroying the world with his powers. Instead, the aptly named Hellboy is raised by the benevolent Prof. Bloom, founder of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, whose allied forces enlist the adult Hellboy (Ron Perlman, perfectly cast) to battle evil at every turn. While nursing a melancholy love for the comely firestarter Liz (Selma Blair), Hellboy files his demonic horns ("to fit in," says Bloom) and wreaks havoc on the bad guys. The action is occasionally routine (the movie suffers when compared to the similar X-Men blockbusters), but del Toro and Perlman have honored Mike Mignola's original Dark Horse comics with a lavish and loyal interpretation, retaining the amusing and sympathetic quirks of character that made the comic-book Hellboy a pop-culture original. He's red as a lobster, puffs stogies like Groucho Marx, and fights the good fight with a kind but troubled heart. What's not to like? --Jeff Shannon

  • War Of The Worlds [2005] War Of The Worlds | DVD | (14/11/2005) from £4.99  |  Saving you £20.00 (80.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, staring international superstar Tom Cruise. A contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells’ seminal classic, the sci-fi adventure thriller reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it.

  • Stephen Poliakoff Stephen Poliakoff | DVD | (27/02/2006) from £21.99  |  Saving you £38.00 (63.30%)  |  RRP £59.99

    This fantastic box set contains all six of Stephen Poliakoff's screenplays. The Lost Prince: 'The Lost Prince' is the story of Prince Johnnie the younger son of Queen Mary and King George V who was hidden away to spare an uncomprehending family and public from his severe epileptic fits and autism. From writer/director Stephen Poliakoff this is a moving drama set against the looming First World War featuring stunning costumes idyllic sets and the beguilling atmosphere of i

  • Minority Report --Two Disc Set (DTS) [2002] Minority Report --Two Disc Set (DTS) | DVD | (03/05/2004) from £4.25  |  Saving you £16.45 (71.60%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Full of flawed characters and shot in grainy de-saturated colours, Steven Spielberg's Minority Report is futuristic film noir with a far-fetched B-movie plot that's so feverishly presented the audience never gets a chance to ponder its many improbabilities. Based on a short story by Philip K Dick, Minority Report is set in the Orwellian near-future of 2054, where a trio of genetically modified "pre-cogs" warn of murders before they happen. In a sci-fi twist on the classic Hitchcockian wrong man scenario, Detective John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is the zealous precrime cop who is himself revealed as a future-killer. Plot twists and red herrings drive the action forward and complications abound, not least Anderton's crippling emotional state, his drug habit, his avuncular-yet-sinister boss (Max Von Sydow), and the ambitious FBI agent Witwer (Colin Farrell) snapping at his heels. Though the film toys with the notion of free will in a deterministic universe, this is not so much a movie of grand ideas as forward-looking ones. Its depiction of a near-future filled with personalised advertising and intrusive security devices that relentlessly violate the right of anonymity is disturbingly believable. Ultimately, though, it's a chase movie and the innovative set-piece sequences reveal Spielberg's flair for staging action. As with A.I. before it, there's a nagging feeling that the all-too-neat resolution is a Spielbergian touch too far: the movie could satisfactorily have ended several minutes earlier. Though this is superior SF from one of Hollywood's greatest craftsmen, it would have been more in the spirit of Philip K Dick to leave a few tantalisingly untidy plot threads dangling. On the DVD: Minority Report on disc brings up Janusz Kaminski's wonderfully subdued cinematography in an ideal anamorphic widescreen print. John Williams's Bernard Herrmann-esque score is the major beneficiary of Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS sound options. There is no commentary, and the movie plus everything on the second disc, which contains five short featurettes and an archive of text and visual material, could probably have been squeezed onto just one disc. The featurettes are: "From Story to Screen", "Deconstructing Minority Report", "The Stunts of Minority Report", "ILM and Minority Report" and "Final Report: Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise". There are subtitles in English and Scandinavian languages. --Mark Walker

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) [2004] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) | DVD | (10/12/2004) from £9.99  |  Saving you £23.86 (66.30%)  |  RRP £35.99

    The greatest trilogy in film history, presented in the most ambitious sets in DVD history, comes to a grand conclusion with the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Not only is the third and final installment of Peter Jackson's adaptation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien the longest of the three, but a full 50 minutes of new material pushes the running time to a whopping 4 hours and 10 minutes. The new scenes are welcome, and the bonus features maintain the high bar set by the first two films, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. What's New? One of the scenes cut from the theatrical release but included here, the resolution of the Saruman storyline, generated a lot of publicity when the movie opened, as actor Christopher Lee complained in the press about losing his only appearance. It's an excellent scene, one Jackson calls "pure Tolkien," and provides better context for Pippin to find the wizard's palantir in the water, but it's not critical to the film. In fact, "valuable but not critical" might sum up the ROTK extended edition. It's evident that Jackson made the right cuts for the theatrical run, but the extra material provides depth and ties up a number of loose ends, and for those sorry to see the trilogy end (and who isn't?) it's a welcome chance to spend another hour in Middle-earth. Some choice moments are Gandalf's (Ian McKellen) confrontation with the Witch King (we find out what happened to the wizard's staff), the chilling Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor, and Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) being mistaken for Orc soldiers. We get to see more of Éowyn (Miranda Otto), both with Aragorn and on the battlefield, even fighting the hideously deformed Orc lieutenant, Gothmog. We also see her in one of the most anticipated new scenes, the Houses of Healing after the battle of the Pelennor Fields. It doesn't present Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) as a savior as the book did, but it shows the initial meeting between Éowyn and Faramir (David Wenham), a relationship that received only a meaningful glance in the theatrical cut. If you want to completely immerse yourself in Peter Jackson's marvelous and massive achievement, only the extended edition will do. And for those who complained, no, there are no new endings, not even the scouring of the Shire, which many fans were hoping to see. Nor is there a scene of Denethor (John Noble) with the palantir, which would have better explained both his foresight and his madness. As Jackson notes, when cuts are made, the secondary characters are the first to go, so there is a new scene of Aragorn finding the palantir in Denethor's robes. Another big difference is Aragorn's confrontation with the King of the Dead. In the theatrical version, we didn't know whether the King had accepted Aragorn's offer when the pirate ships pulled into the harbor; here Jackson assumes that viewers have already experienced that tension, and instead has the army of the dead join the battle in an earlier scene (an extended cameo for Jackson). One can debate which is more effective, but that's why the film is available in both versions. If you feel like watching the relatively shorter version you saw in the theaters, you can. If you want to completely immerse yourself in Peter Jackson's marvelous and massive achievement, only the extended edition will do. How Are the Bonus Features? To complete the experience, The Return of the King provides the same sprawling set of features as the previous extended editions: four commentary tracks, sharp picture and thrilling sound, and two discs of excellent documentary material far superior to the recycled material in the theatrical edition. Those who have listened to the seven hours of commentary for the first two extended editions may wonder if they need to hear more, but there was no commentary for the earlier ROTK DVD, so it's still entertaining to hear him break down the film (he says the beacon scene is one of his favorites), discuss differences from the book, point out cameos, and poke fun at himself and the extended-edition concept ("So this is the complete full strangulation, never seen before, here exclusively on DVD!"). The documentaries (some lasting 30 minutes or longer) are of their usual outstanding quality, and there's a riveting storyboard/animatic sequence of the climactic scene, which includes a one-on-one battle between Aragorn and Sauron. One DVD Set to Rule Them All Peter Jackson's trilogy has set the standard for fantasy films by adapting the Holy Grail of fantasy stories with a combination of fidelity to the original source and his own vision, supplemented by outstanding writing, near-perfect casting, glorious special effects, and evocative New Zealand locales. The extended editions without exception have set the standard for the DVD medium by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien's world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features. --David Horiuchi

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) [2003] The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Two Disc Theatrical Edition) | DVD | (25/05/2004) from £2.50  |  Saving you £8.45 (56.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, triumphantly completed by the 11-Oscar-winning The Return of the King, sets out to show that Tolkien's epic work, once derided as mere adolescent escapism, is not just fodder for the best mass entertainment spectacle ever seen on the big screen, but is also replete with emotionally satisfying meditations on the human condition. What is the nature of true friendship? What constitutes real courage? Why is it important for us to care about people living beyond our borders? What does it mean to live in harmony with the environment and what are the consequences when we do not? When is war justifiable and when is it not? What things are really worth fighting for? These are the questions that resonate with a contemporary audience: to see our current social and political concerns mirrored--and here finally resolved--in Middle-earth is to recognise that Jackson's Lord of the Rings is both a parable for our times and magical cinematic escapism. As before, in this concluding part of the trilogy the spectacle never dwarfs (sic) the characters, even during Shelob the spider's pitiless assault, for example, or the unparalleled Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where the white towers of Minas Tirith come under ferocious attack from Troll-powered siege weapons and--in a sequence reminiscent of the Imperial Walkers in The Empire Strikes Back--Mammoth-like Mumakil. The people and their feelings always remain in focus, as emphasised by Jackson's sensitive small touches: Gandalf reassuring a terrified Pippin in the midst of battle that death is not to be feared; Frodo's blazing anger at Sam's apparent betrayal; Faramir's desire to win the approval of his megalomaniac father; Gollum's tragic cupidity and his final, heartbreaking glee. And at the very epicentre of the film is the pure heart of Samwise Gamgee--the real hero of the story. At over three hours, there are almost inevitably some lulls, and the film still feels as if some key scenes are missing: a problem doubtless to be rectified in the extended DVD edition. But the end, when it does finally arrive--set to Howard Shore's Wagnerian music score--brings us full circle, leaving the departing audience to wonder if they will ever find within themselves even a fraction of the courage of a hobbit. --Mark Walker

  • M.A.S.H. [1969] M.A.S.H. | DVD | (29/04/2002) from £6.99  |  Saving you £11.01 (55.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    MASH--a 1970 comedy-drama set among surgeons drafted into the Korean war--was a breakthrough not just for director Robert Altman but for movie-making in general. Although set in the 50s, there are few who did not realise that the film's anti-war messages were directed at the US involvement in Vietnam. Indeed, the Pentagon banned US servicemen from seeing the film. Starring Donald Sutherland as Hawkeye Pierce and Elliot Gould as Trapper John McIntyre, two hip young surgeons drafted against their will. Their general attitude--while never corroding either their humanity or their professionalism as surgeons--is one of insolence towards military authority and the arbitrary structures and regulations continually droning from the tannoy system. The film, too, thrives on a lack of attention to conventional order, with its cross-dialogue and random, episodic style reflecting the vivacious and unbuttoned feel of the content. However, MASH has dated and much of what seemed like "liberating" high jinks, today smacks of sexist, frathouse boorishness and harassment, especially at the expense of Major "Hotlips" Hoolihan (Sally Kellerman), while the episode in which "Painless" plans a suicide out of a fear of being gay reflects the persistence of homophobia even in 60s counterculture. Despite this MASH feels ahead of its time and certainly sharper and blacker than the too-cute sitcom it spawned. On the DVD: this is an excellent restoration, overseen by Altman himself, in which any obfuscation from the original have been cleaned up, especially the sound quality. As well as a commentary from Altman, there are three separate documentaries, featuring interviews with Altman, the cast and screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr, who had been blacklisted during the anti-Communist witch-hunt which swept through Hollywood in the 1950s. We learn he was initially appalled at how little of his script Altman actually used but was mollified by the Academy Award he received. Altman is candid about the making of the movie ("It wasn't released by Fox, it escaped from Fox"). There's an abundance of similarly rich, anecdotal material here. --David Stubbs

  • The Mummy Returns (Two Disc Special Edition) [2001] The Mummy Returns (Two Disc Special Edition) | DVD | (01/12/2001) from £2.40  |  Saving you £13.45 (67.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    We don't have time for subtle," says Brendan Fraser, the star of The Mummy Returns, neatly encapsulating the relentless pace and hammerheaded tone of the film. As is the way of sequels here we have more, more, more of the same formula: more explosions, more action and more mind-numbingly endless CGI effects. Once again borrowing shamelessly from the Indiana Jones series, The Mummy Returns, like its predecessor, has boundless energy but lacks the stylish verve and charm of Spielberg's trilogy. All the original cast are reunited, this time joined by WWF star the Rock in a cameo role designed to plug his spin-off vehicle, The Scorpion King, and young actor Freddie Boath who plays an English eight-year-old in the 1930s whose dialogue borrows from Bart Simpson ("Get a room" and "My dad's gonna kick your arse" are two of his choice phrases). Other cinematic thefts include a Jurassic Park-style creatures-in-the-long-grass sequence and a lengthy triple-threat finale along the lines of Return of the Jedi. Still, despite the wearying relentlessness of its computer-generated effects, endless chases and fights, this is undeniably fun popcorn fodder and provides some memorable scenes along the way, notably Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez battling it out for the affections of nasty old Imhotep.On the DVD: This two-disc "Special Edition" is a treat for fans of the franchise. The first disc has an anamorphic widescreen print of the movie in its 2.35:1 CinemaScope ratio, and a choice of Dolby 5.1 or DTS for the headache-inducing soundtrack. There's a decent commentary from the director and producer, plus a couple of DVD-ROM features. Disc 2 has all the usual stuff, including a 20-minute "making-of" documentary, a five-minute interview with the Rock about The Scorpion King, plus an exclusive trailer for it that is unsurprisingly reminiscent of Conan the Barbarian. There are also some detailed special effects breakdowns of key sequences, a blooper reel of outtakes and a virtual tour of the Universal theme park attraction "The Mummy Returns Chamber of Doom". Sundry trailers, production notes, a music video and an "Egyptology 201" text feature round out a well-loaded second disc. --Mark Walker

  • Terminal, The Sce [2004] Terminal, The Sce | DVD | (31/01/2005) from £4.64  |  Saving you £12.04 (60.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Like an airport running at peak efficiency, The Terminal glides on the consummate skills of its director and star. Having refined their collaborative chemistry on Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me if You Can, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks mesh like the precision gears of a Rolex, turning a delicate, not-very-plausible scenario into a lovely modern-age fable (partly based on fact) that's both technically impressive and subtly moving. It's Spielberg in Capra mode, spinning the featherweight tale of Victor Navorski (Hanks, giving a finely tuned performance), an Eastern European who arrives at New York's Kennedy Airport just as his (fictional) homeland has fallen to a coup, forcing him, with no valid citizenship, to take indefinite residence in the airport's expansive International Arrivals Terminal (an astonishing full-scale set that inspires Spielberg's most elegant visual strategies). Spielberg said he made this film in part to alleviate the anguish of wartime America, and his master's touch works wonders on the occasionally mushy material; even Stanley Tucci's officious terminal director and Catherine Zeta-Jones's mixed-up flight attendant come off (respectively) as forgivable and effortlessly charming. With this much talent involved, The Terminal transcends its minor shortcomings to achieve a rare degree of cinematic grace. --Jeff Shannon

  • Hellboy [2004] Hellboy | DVD | (09/01/2006) from £7.69  |  Saving you £10.56 (52.80%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Give evil hell! In the final days of World War II the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where an occult ceremony is taking place but not before a demon Hellboy has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood under the supervision of his adopted 'father' Trevor Bruttenholm serving the cause of good rather than evil. When the powerful and evil Nazi figure who unleashed Hellboy sud

  • Baywatch - The Complete Third Series [DVD] Baywatch - The Complete Third Series | DVD | (18/10/2010) from £11.56  |  Saving you £13.43 (53.70%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Baywatch: Series 3 (6 Discs)

  • Superman Returns - 2 Disc [2006] Superman Returns - 2 Disc | DVD | (04/12/2006) from £2.50  |  Saving you £19.50 (75.00%)  |  RRP £25.99

    It'd be remiss to call Superman Returns a flawless film. After all, the running time could use fifteen minutes taking off, there's not enough Kevin Spacey and there are occasional moments when the pacing feels a little off. But it is a superb return to form for the classic superhero, with the modern day blockbuster ingredients of some meat to go with the action firmly in place. Further instalments, Mr Singer, will be more than welcome.

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