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John Payne

John Payne

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:00

Maid Marian & Her Merry Men on DVD

Maid Marian and her Merry Men - Complete Series 1-4 out as a Limited Edition DVD setRe-released as a limited edition DVD box-set (just 3,000 copies), Maid Marian and Her Merry Men is a brilliantly funny, BAFTA-winning re-imagining of the Robin Hood story from Tony Robinson, of Blackadder and Time Team fame. In this version, Maid Marian is the brains behind the band of outlaws who rob from the rich and giving to the poor; Robin by contrast is a dim-witted and rather cowardly tailor with terrible archery skills. AND YOU COULD HAVE WON A COPY OF THE LIMITED EDITION SEASON 1-4 BOX SET IN OUR PRIZE COMPETITION.

Marian is played with gleeful bravado by Kate Lonergan (The Hello Girls, The Bill), with Adam Morris (Genie in the House, Backup) as the bumbling Robin. Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise) is Barrington and he also lends his vocal talents on many of the songs that open the episodes. The final two members of the crew are Rabies (Howard Lew Lewis – Brush Strokes, Chelmsford 123) and Little Ron (Mike Edmonds – “Time Bandits”, Ewok Logray in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”).

Monday, 07 November 2016 00:00

Knight Rider Complete on Blu-ray

Knight Rider - The Complete Collection now available on Blu-rayTV supremo Glen A Larson followed up hits such as the original Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century with one of his most fondly-remembered smashes: Knight Rider. On the surface, this tale of a man and his car defending the innocent and vulnerable against evil tycoons and corrupt officials might sound a little corny, but not when your star is David Hasselhoff and this is certainly no ordinary car!

Hasselhoff (Baywatch, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”) plays Michael Knight, an ex-cop rescued from near-death and given a new identity under the auspices of a private foundation. His somewhat unorthodox partner is KITT (voiced by William Daniels), aka the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a souped-up Pontiac Firebird Trans Am sporting self-aware and very sarcastic AI, a nearly indestructible shell and a large array of gadgets to help get Michael out of almost any scrape.

Monday, 07 November 2016 00:00

Kes - out now on Blu-ray

Kes - out now on Blu-rayDavid Bradley (“Hummingbird”, “All Quiet on the Western Front”) stars as Billy Casper, a scruffy young teenager living in a broken, working-class home, and who struggles at school thanks to apathy for education and widespread bullying. Billy finds his calling, however, when he catches sight of some fledgling kestrels and decides to catch one and train it. Having studied falconry, the lad slowly and patiently builds a rapport with his wonderful bird of prey.

Directed by Ken Loach (“The Wind That Shakes the Barley”, “Sweet Sixteen”), the film is shot in a very realistic, natural style that often feels more like a fly-on-the-wall documentary than a work of fiction. The story is based on a novel by Barry Hines (“Threads”, “Looks and Smiles”), and the production won two acting BAFTAs for Bradley and Colin Welland, who plays a teacher sympathetic to Billy’s plight.

Monday, 31 October 2016 00:00

National Treasure out on DVD

National Treasure - out now on DVDRobbie Coltrane and Julie Walters star in this drama about a famous comedic actor falling from grace. Paul Finchley (Coltrane – Hagrid in the “Harry Potter” movies, Cracker) is one half of a long-standing and very successful double act. Life is good and everyone adores him, but then the police notify him of some historical sexual assault charges that have been made against him, and his apparently perfect world starts to implode.

Recently broadcast on Channel 4, the mini-series was crafted by two BAFTA-winners - writer Jack Thorne (various This is England series, The Fades), and director Marc Munden (“The Mark of Cain”, Utopia). The series also features Tim McInnery (Black Adder, “Notting Hill”) as Karl, the other half of the comedy duo, and Andrea Riseborough (“Made in Dagenham”) as the Finchley’s mentally unstable daughter.

Monday, 24 October 2016 23:00

Stigmata on dual-format DVD/Blu-ray

Stigmata - out now on dual-format Blu-ray and DVDPatricia Arquette (“True Romance”, Medium) stars as Frankie Paige, a young and carefree hairdresser whose life is turned upside down by the spontaneous infliction of a series of horrific wounds. These injuries, the stigmata, echo those suffered by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion. Frankie cannot understand why she is suffering, but religious investigator Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne – “The Usual Suspects”, Vikings) may have the answers.

A swift resolution is critical because Frankie’s mental as well as physical condition worsens with each new attack, and she starts behaving like she is not herself. Part supernatural horror, part conspiracy thriller, the film also stars Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones, “Brazil”) as a powerful Catholic Cardinal and Nia Long (“Big Momma’s House”, The Divide) as Frankie’s devoted best friend. Rupert Wainright (“The Fog” remake) directs.

Monday, 24 October 2016 23:00

The Keeping Room on VOD and DVD

The Keeping Room - out now on DVD and VOD“The Keeping Room” is a challenging, Western-style tale about two sisters and their slave woman fighting for survival near the end of the American Civil War, 1865. Living on basic rations and with no medical supplies, the trio attract the unwelcome attention of a pair of brutish, cold-blooded Union scouts (Sam Worthington – “Avatar”, “Clash of the Titans” and Kyle Soller – Poldark, You, Me and the Apocalypse).

Brit Marling (Babylon, “Another Earth”) stars as Augusta, the older of the sisters, who must hastily adopt the skills of a mother to protect her sibling, Louise (Hailee Steinfeld – “True Grit”, “Ender’s Game”). The slave, Mad, is played by Muna Otaru (Whitechapel); she finds her relationship to the sisters evolves as trust and teamwork become essential. Outgunned and miles from the next settlement, they stand or fall together.

Sunday, 18 September 2016 23:00

Blue Money on Blu-ray and DVD

Blue Money - out now on Blu-ray and DVD“Blue Money” is a TV movie starring the irrepressible Tim Curry (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) as Larry, an aspiring actor making ends meet as a taxi driver. When a passenger leaves behind a case stuffed with cash, Larry nicks it and flees with his girlfriend Pam (Debby Bishop – “Sid and Nancy”). On the road, the duo encounters a crazy Scottish hitchhiker (Billy Connolly – “The Last Samurai”) and some deadly gangsters who really want their money back.

Directed by Colin Bucksey (Masters of Sex, Better Call Saul), this comedy/ musical/ thriller allows Curry ample opportunity to show off his superb talents, including singing, doing impressions and pulling rubbery facial expressions. Dermot Crowley (Luther, Bleak House) co-stars as Larry’s bent mate Brogan, who – once he learns about the money – is rather hard to shake off!

Sunday, 18 September 2016 23:00

Paths of Glory on Blu-ray

Paths of Glory - out no on Blu-ray“Paths of Glory” is a searing critique on the futility of war, directed by Stanley Kubrick (“The Shining”, “A Clockwork Orange”) and starring Kirk Douglas (“Spartacus”, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”). Douglas plays Colonel Dax, a World War I French officer coerced into sending his troops on an impossible assault on a German fortified position, primarily to appease the media and public opinion back home.

The inevitable happens and the attack fails disastrously; countless soldiers are killed and the rest either retreat or refuse to go over the top in the first place. The top brass is incensed and orders the selection of three men to be court martialled as an example to the rest, with death by firing squad a near certainty. Dax, a lawyer by trade, demands to be their defending counsel, clinging on to the slender hope of saving them.

Sunday, 18 September 2016 23:00

Man in the Moon on DVD

Man in the Moon on DVDKenneth More (“A Night to Remember”, “Sink the Bismarck!”) stars in this madcap British comedy about a human lab rat who is shortlisted for the first manned mission to the moon. William Blood is a man seemingly immune to all ailments, worries and fears. He is unaware of the goal of the mission, the large cash prize attached to it, or that he has a competitor who will stop at nothing to stop him succeeding.

The director is Basil Dearden (“Dead of Night”, The Persuaders!), and the cast also includes Shirley Anne Field (“Alfie”) as a jaw-dropping stripper who catches Blood’s eye, Michael Hordern (“Where Eagles Dare”) as the scientist who sees the hero’s potential, Charles Gray (Blofeld in “You Only Live Twice” and “Diamonds are Forever”) as a devious fellow astronaut and Norman Bird (“The Hill”) as Blood’s best mate.

Sunday, 11 September 2016 23:00

The Flight of the Phoenix Blu-ray

Flight of the Phoenix - out now on Blu-rayA plane carrying around a dozen men is forced to crash-land in the Sahara Desert after encountering a violent sandstorm. The survivors, a mixture of British army personnel, oilmen, an engineer and a physician, must pull together or die in this harsh environment. Their food and water supplies are limited and they have no way to communicate with civilisation, so it seems that rescue by a search party is their only hope.

Directed by Robert Aldrich (“The Dirty Dozen”, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”), this disaster movie has a very strong cast that includes James Stewart (“Read Window”) as pilot Frank Towns, Richard Attenborough (“The Great Escape”) as his co-pilot, Peter Finch (“Network”) as Captain Harris, Hardy Krüger (“A Bridge Too Far”) as an aeroplane engineer, Ernest Borgnine (“The Wild Bunch”) and Ronald Fraser (“The Wild Geese”).

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