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  • Finding Nemo [DVD] Finding Nemo | DVD | (24/06/2013) from £4.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £4.99

    From the Academy Award winning creators of Toy Story and Monsters Inc. It's time to dive into Finding Nemo - a hilarious adventure that takes you into the breathtaking underwater world of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. When Nemo a young clownfish is unexpectedly carried far from home his overprotective father Marlin and Dory a friendly but forgetful regal blue tang fish embark on an epic journey that leads to encounters with vegetarian sharks surfer dude turtles hypnotic jellyfish and hungry seagulls! Finding Nemo's breakthrough computer animation is the ultimate viewing experience. This Collector's edition overflows with something for everyone including exclusive animation deleted scenes gaes and more! Swimming with laughs and overflowing with emotion - you'll find yourself watching Finding Nemo over and over again!Special Features: Plunge into the Filmmaker's World: Widescreen Viewing Presentation Turn Your TV into an Aquarium with Amazing Animated Scenes from the Movie Filmmakers Visual Commentary Including Deleted Scenes and Recording Sessions The Incredibles: A Pixar Animation Studios Sneak Peek A Voyage of Family Fun: Making Nemo: A Special Documentary Featuring Footage on the Creation of the Film Exploring the Reef with Jean Michel Cousteau and all Your Favourite Nemo Friends Review the Art of Nemo Narrated by the Artists Themselves Turn Your TV into a Virtual Aquarium Including Never-Before-Seen Animation Discover the Pixar Animation Studios Short Film Knick Knack Robbie Williams Animated Music Trailer Play 'Fisharades' with Your Favourite School of Fish Learning Fun with Mr. Ray's Encyclopedia Pixar Animation Studios Takes Future Animators on a Behind-the-Scenes Tour Storytime Fun for the Young

  • Pretty Woman [1990] Pretty Woman | DVD | (12/09/2005) from £3.99  |  Saving you £11.00 (73.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

  • 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

  • Monsters, Inc.  (Disney Pixar) Fullscreen (4:3) Single-Disc Edition [2002] Monsters, Inc. (Disney Pixar) Fullscreen (4:3) Single-Disc Edition | DVD | (07/09/2002) from £4.49  |  Saving you £1.00 (16.70%)  |  RRP £5.99

    The monsters in Monsters, Inc. are just so incredibly cute--and they know it. Whereas Woody, Buzz and pals in the Toy Story saga were filled with self-doubt about just how much the children in their lives would continue to love them, here our heroic monsters and their impossibly lovable human ward Boo have no such worries, at least when it comes to the cinema audience. And that's why Monsters, Inc., for all its wondrous computer-animated artistry, its smart humour and its family-friendly appeal, doesn't quite capture the naïve charm of its predecessors. Nevertheless, John Goodman and Billy Crystal, as scare-champions Sulley and Mike, are a great double-act whose comedy never goes over kids' heads but still reaches up to make their parents laugh. The film's central conceit--that monsters in the bedroom closet are just doing a night's work in order to generate power from screams for the city of Monstropolis--is funny and cleverly worked out; and kids will of course love the fact that the monsters are mortally afraid of the very children they are trying to frighten. The animation is extraordinarily detailed (Sulley's fur is a marvel in itself) and the set-piece action sequences top anything that has gone before for sheer audaciousness. But overall Pixar play things very safe, from the hissable villain to the end credit "outtakes". A bolder film might have taken inspiration from The Nightmare Before Christmas; instead, a little of that Disney disease of knowing cuteness seems to have crept into the formula. --Mark Walker

  • Up (Disney Pixar) (1 Disc) [DVD] [2009] Up (Disney Pixar) (1 Disc) | DVD | (15/02/2010) from £4.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £4.99

    At a time when too many animated films consist of anthropomorphized animals cracking sitcom one-liners and flatulence jokes, the warmth, originality, humor, and unflagging imagination of Up feel as welcome as rain in a desert. Carl Fredericksen (voice by Ed Asner) ranks among the most unlikely heroes in recent animation history. A 78-year-old curmudgeon, he enjoyed his modest life as a balloon seller because he shared it with his adventurous wife Ellie (Ellie Docter). But she died, leaving him with memories and the awareness that they never made their dream journey to Paradise Falls in South America. When well-meaning officials consign Carl to Shady Oaks Retirement Home, he rigs thousands of helium balloons to his house and floats to South America. The journey's scarcely begun when he discovers a stowaway: Russell (Jordan Nagai), a chubby, maladroit Wilderness Explorer Scout who's out to earn his Elderly Assistance Badge. In the tropical jungle, Carl and Russell find more than they bargained for: Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), a crazed explorer whose newsreels once inspired Carl and Ellie; Kevin, an exotic bird with a weakness for chocolate; and Dug (Bob Peterson), an endearingly dim golden retriever fitted with a voice box. More importantly, the travelers discover they need each other: Russell needs a (grand)father figure; Carl needs someone to enliven his life without Ellie. Together, they learn that sharing ice-cream cones and counting the passing cars can be more meaningful than feats of daring-do and distant horizons. Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and Bob Peterson direct the film with consummate skill and taste, allowing the poignant moments to unfold without dialogue to Michael Giacchnio's vibrant score. Building on their work in The Incredibles and Ratatouille, the Pixar crew offers nuanced animation of the stylized characters. Even by Pixar's elevated standards, Up is an exceptional film that will appeal of audiences of all ages. Rated PG for some peril and action. --Charles Solomon

  • The Incredibles (Disney Pixar) (2 Discs) [2004] The Incredibles (Disney Pixar) (2 Discs) | DVD | (18/03/2005) from £4.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £4.99

    After creating the last great traditionally animated film of the 20th century, The Iron Giant, filmmaker Brad Bird joined top-drawer studio Pixar to create this exciting, completely entertaining computer-animated film. Bird gives us a family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash. When a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit. Bird has his cake and eats it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life ("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!"). The animated Parrs look and act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode. Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing. The Presentation This two-disc set is (shall we say it?), incredible. The digital-to-digital transfer pops off the screen and the 5.1 Dolby sound will knock the socks off most systems. But like any superhero, it has an Achilles heel. This marks the first Pixar release that doesn't include both the widescreen and full-screen versions in the same DVD set, which was a great bargaining chip for those cinephiles who still want a full-frame presentation for other family members. With a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio (that's big black bars, folks, à la Dr. Zhivago), a few more viewers may decide to go with the full-frame presentation. Fortunately, Pixar reformats their full-frame presentation so the action remains in frame. The Extras The most-repeated segments will be the two animated shorts. Newly created for this DVD is the hilarious "Jack-Jack Attack," filling the gap in the film during which the Parr baby is left with the talkative babysitter, Kari. "Boundin'," which played in front of the film theatrically, was created by Pixar character designer Bud Luckey. This easygoing take on a dancing sheep gets better with multiple viewings (be sure to watch the featurette on the short). Brad Bird still sounds like a bit of an outsider in his commentary track, recorded before the movie opened. Pixar captain John Lasseter brought him in to shake things up, to make sure the wildly successful studio would not get complacent. And while Bird is certainly likable, he does not exude Lasseter's teddy-bear persona. As one animator states, "He's like strong coffee; I happen to like strong coffee." Besides a resilient stance to be the best, Bird threw in an amazing number of challenges, most of which go unnoticed unless you delve into the 70 minutes of making-of features plus two commentary tracks (Bird with producer John Walker, the other from a dozen animators). We hear about the numerous sets, why you go to "the Spaniards" if you're dealing with animation physics, costume problems (there's a reason why previous Pixar films dealt with single- or uncostumed characters), and horror stories about all that animated hair. Bird's commentary throws out too many names of the! animators even after he warns himself not to do so, but it's a lively enough time. The animator commentary is of greatest interest to those interested in the occupation. There is a 30-minute segment on deleted scenes with temporary vocals and crude drawings, including a new opening (thankfully dropped). The "secret files" contain a "lost" animated short from the superheroes' glory days. This fake cartoon (Frozone and Mr. Incredible are teamed with a pink bunny) wears thin, but play it with the commentary track by the two superheroes and it's another sharp comedy sketch. There are also NSA "files" on the other superheroes alluded to in the film with dossiers and curiously fun sound bits. "Vowellet" is the only footage about the well-known cast (there aren't even any obligatory shots of the cast recording their lines). Author/cast member Sarah Vowell (NPR's This American Life) talks about her first foray into movie voice-overs--daughter Violet--and the unlikelihood of her being a superhero. The feature is unlike anything we've seen on a Disney or Pixar DVD extra, but who else would consider Abe Lincoln an action figure? --Doug Thomas

  • Toy Story 2 [DVD] Toy Story 2 | DVD | (08/03/2010) from £4.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £4.99

    A Masterpiece of great story telling 'laugh out loud' humour wonderful music and state of the art animation - Toy Story 2 is great fun from both kids and adults! This enormous box office hit won a Golden Globe award for Best Picture! Toy Story 2 features the original voice cast headed by Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear. Joining them is a round-up of unforgettable new characters including Jessie the cow girl Bullseye the horse and Stinky Pete the prospector. While Andy is away at summer camp Woody is toynapped by Al a greedy toy collector. His best friends including Buzz Mr Potato Head Slinky Dog and Rex set out on a heroic rescue mission to save him. Along the way they meet a whole host of new friends including Jessie the cow girl and Bullseye the horse. Together the Toy Story 2 gang set out to make sure Woody is home safely before Andy returns... If you enjoyed Disney Pixar's Toy Story 2 then check out some other classics from the awesome animation studio! Toy Story: One of the best movies of all-time Pixar's debut is a stunningly imaginative incredibly funny take on the secret life of toys. Cars: Paul Newman and Owen Wilson lend their talents to this charming adventure about a regretful race car. Wall-E: If cute robots alien encounters and incredible animation are what you're after then watch this charming and thought-provoking film. Monsters Inc.: The monster world receives a visit from a tiny toddler setting off a hilarious chain of events. Up: The Oscar-winning tale of an old man on the adventure that he and his wife never shared is packed full of imagination.

  • Bridesmaids [DVD] Bridesmaids | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £2.89  |  Saving you £16.99 (85.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Kristen Wiig leads the cast as Annie, a maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colorful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony.Annie's life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian's maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she'll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you'll go for someone you love.

  • The Lego Movie [DVD] [2014] The Lego Movie | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £3.99  |  Saving you £16.00 (80.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    'The LEGO Movie' is the first-ever full-length theatrical LEGO adventure. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ('Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ' '21 Jump Street') the original 3D computer-animated story follows Emmet an ordinary rules-following perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as The Special the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. Special Features: 'Everything Is Awesome' Sing-Along Fan Made Films: Top-Secret Submissions

  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin [2001] Captain Corelli's Mandolin | DVD | (25/03/2002) from £3.19  |  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

  • 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.

  • Minions [DVD] Minions | DVD | (16/11/2015) from £2.69  |  Saving you £17.30 (86.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Starting as single-celled yellow organisms Minions evolve through the ages perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock) the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City ending in mod London where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind...from annihilation.

  • Hannah Montana the Movie [DVD] [2009] Hannah Montana the Movie | DVD | (07/09/2009) from £4.19  |  Saving you £13.80 (76.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    It's easy to forget that superstars are real people, but when Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) shows signs of forgetting her roots as Miley Stewart, her father Robbie Ray (Billy Ray Cyrus) puts his foot down. Miley has always strived to live a relatively normal teenage life, but when late stage entrances, exclusive shopping trips that end in brawling catfights, and ditching friends and family in favour of Hannah appearances become commonplace, Robbie Ray whisks her away from a date at the New York Music Awards for a dose of hometown reality at her grandma's in Crowley Corners, Tennessee. Unfortunately, she's followed by Oswald (Peter Gunn), a relentless reporter from Britain's Bon Chic Magazine. Miley's initial fury at being tricked into staying at Grandma's spurs her to commence operation Save Hannah Montana, but her bad attitude eventually gives way to resignation and then the beginnings of reconnection between Miley and her family. As the days progress, Miley glimpses her growing self-absorption, finds she's attracted to old elementary friend Travis (Lucas Till), realizes that her selfishness has negatively affected her dad's personal relationships, and is drawn into her grandma's fight against the commercialization of Crowley Corners. A boastful impulse leads to Miley being charged with bringing Hannah Montana to Crowley Corners for a benefit concert; when Miley's worlds collide onstage, she reveals her true identity and declares that Hannah Montana is no more. Can Miley's hometown possibly keep Miley's secret, silence the reporter, and convince Miley that she can have the best of both worlds, or is this the end of Hannah Montana? Well-known Hannah Montana songs, including "Best of Both Worlds" and "Let's Get Crazy" are featured in the film as well as the fun new song "Hoedown Throwdown" (complete with line dance instruction), the heartfelt "Butterfly Fly Away," and the inspirational "The Climb." More important than the great music is the film's wholesome message about staying true to oneself and one's family and friends. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

  • Ponyo [DVD] [2008] Ponyo | DVD | (07/06/2010) from £10.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (38.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This is the story of Ponyo a little fish from the sea who stuggles to realise her dream of living with a boy named Sosuke. It also tells of how five-year old Sosuke manages to keep a most solemn promise. Ponyo places Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid in a contemporary Japanese setting. It is a tale of childhood love and adventure - Hayao Miyazaki. The latest film from the internationally acclaimed Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away Howl's Moving Castle) encapsulates everything that makes the studio's output so unique. Breathtaking animation combined with thrilling storytelling makes this another worthy addition to the Ghibli catalogue.

  • Toy Story 3 [DVD] Toy Story 3 | DVD | (22/11/2010) from £4.99  |  Saving you £15.00 (75.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    What made the original Toy Story so great, besides its significant achievement as the first-ever feature-length computer animated film, was its ability to instantly transport viewers into a magical world where it seemed completely plausible that toys were living, thinking beings who sprang to life the minute they were alone and wanted nothing more than to be loved and played with by their children. Toy Story 3 absolutely succeeds in the very same thing--adults and children alike, whether they've seen the original film or not, find themselves immediately immersed in a world in which Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris), Ham (John Ratzenberger), Rex (Wallace Shawn), the aliens, and the rest of Andy's toys remain completely devoted to Andy (John Morris) even as he's getting ready to pack up and leave for college. Woody scoffs at the other toys' worries that they'll end up in the garbage, assuring them that they've earned a spot of honor in the attic, but when the toys are mistakenly donated to Sunnyside Daycare, Woody is the only toy whose devotion to Andy outweighs the promise of getting played with each and every day. Woody sets off toward home alone while the other toys settle in for some daycare fun, but things don't turn out quite as expected at the daycare thanks to the scheming, strawberry-scented old-timer bear Lots-o'-Huggin' (Ned Beatty). Eventually, Woody rejoins his friends and they all attempt a daring escape from the daycare, which could destroy them all. The pacing of the film is impeccable at this point, although the sense of peril may prove almost too intense for a few young viewers. Pixar's 3-D computer animation is top-notch as always and the voice talent in this film is tremendous, but in the end, it's Pixar's uncanny ability to combine drama, action, and humour in a way that irresistibly draws viewers into the world of the film that makes Toy Story 3 such great family entertainment. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

  • Ratatouille (Disney Pixar) Ratatouille (Disney Pixar) | DVD | (11/02/2008) from £4.99  |  Saving you £6.69 (31.90%)  |  RRP £20.99

    In Pixar's new animated-adventure, Ratatouille, a rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession.

  • Monsters University [DVD] Monsters University | DVD | (11/11/2013) from £4.99  |  Saving you £15.00 (75.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer-and he knows better than anyone that the best scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan Sulley (voice of John Goodman) a natural-born Scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse they realize they will have to work together along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters if they ever hope to make things right. Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart Disney Pixar's Monsters University is directed by Dan Scanlon (Cars Mater and the Ghostlight Tracy) produced by Kori Rae (Up The Incredibles Monsters Inc.) and features music from future Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-inductee and award winning composer Randy Newman (Monsters Inc. Toy Story 3).

  • Lost In Translation [2004] Lost In Translation | DVD | (28/06/2004) from £4.69  |  Saving you £15.30 (76.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Like a good dream, Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation envelopes you with an aura of fantastic light, moody sound, head-turning love, and a feeling of déjà vu, even though you've probably never been to this neon-fused version of Tokyo. Certainly Bob Harris has not. The 50-ish actor has signed-on for big money shooting whiskey ads instead of doing something good for his career or his long-distance family. Jetlagged, helplessly lost with his Japanese-speaking director and out of sync with the metropolis, Harris (Bill Murray, never better) befriends the married but lovelorn 25-year-old Charlotte (played with heaps of poise by 18-year-old Scarlett Johansson). Even before her photographer husband all but abandons her, she is adrift like Harris but in a total entrapment of youth. How Charlotte and Bill discover their soul mates will be cherished for years to come. Written and directed by Coppola (The Virgin Suicides), the film is far more atmospheric than plot-driven: we whiz through Tokyo parties, karaoke bars and odd nightlife, always ending up in the impossibly posh hotel where the two are staying. The wisps of bittersweet loneliness of Bill and Charlotte are handled smartly and romantically, but unlike modern studio films, this isn't a May to December fling film. Surely and steadily, the film ends on a much-talked-about grace note, which may burn some, yet awards film lovers who "always had Paris" with another cinematic destination of the heart. --Doug Thomas

  • Notting Hill [1999] Notting Hill | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £2.83  |  Saving you £15.90 (79.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    They don't really make many romantic comedies like Notting Hill anymore--blissfully romantic, sincerely sweet, and not grounded in any reality whatsoever. Pure fairy tale, and with a huge debt to Roman Holiday, Notting Hill ponders what would happen if a beautiful, world-famous person were to suddenly drop into your life unannounced and promptly fall in love with you. That's the crux of the situation for William Thacker (Hugh Grant), who owns a travel bookshop in London's fashionable Notting Hill district. Hopelessly ordinary (well, as ordinary as you can be when you're Hugh Grant), William is going about his life when renowned movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) walks into his bookstore and into his heart. After another contrived meeting involving spilled orange juice, William and Anna share a spontaneous kiss (big suspension of disbelief required here), and soon both are smitten. The question is, of course, can William and Anna reconcile his decidedly commonplace bookseller existence and her lifestyle as a jet-setting, paparazzi-stalked celebrity? (Take a wild guess at the answer.) Smartly scripted by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and directed by Roger Michell (Persuasion), Notting Hill is hardly realistic, but as wish fulfilment and a romantic comedy, it's irresistible. True, Roberts doesn't really have to stretch very far to play a big-time actress who makes $15 million per movie, but she's more winning and relaxed than she's been in years, and Grant is sweetly understated as a man blindsided by love. Together, in moments of quiet, they're a charming couple, and you can feel her craving for real love and his awe and amazement at the wonderful person for whom he has fallen. The only blight on the film is its overbearing pop soundtrack, though Elvis Costello's heart-wrenching version of "She" gets poignant exposure. With Rhys Ifans as Grant's scene-stealing, slovenly housemate and Alec Baldwin in a sly, perfectly cast cameo. --Mark Englehart

  • Kes [1969] Kes | DVD | (20/01/2003) from £4.49  |  Saving you £11.50 (71.90%)  |  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

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