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John Payne

John Payne

Monday, 22 June 2015 23:00

The Syndicate - out now on DVD

The Syndicate - out now on DVDMurder, sabotage and suspicion are rife in this British thriller about a fractious band of uranium prospectors seeking riches in the east African bush. William Sylvester ("2001: A Space Odyssey") stars as a mining expert in an excellent ensemble cast that also features June Ritchie ("A Kind of Loving"), Robert Urquhart ("The Curse of Frankenstein"), German actor Christian Doermer and John Bennett (a classic Doctor Who guest star, having played Li H'sen Chang in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” and General Finch in “The Invasion of the Dinosaurs”).

A two-vehicle convoy travels through an unforgiving and vast African landscape; several days pass before they locate a site where their Geiger counter twitches into life. Having set up camp, the prospectors instruct their Swahili workers to start digging, but it is not long before a series of setbacks and deadly accidents occurs, creating an atmosphere of distrust and fear. Who is undermining their operation and why?

Monday, 22 June 2015 23:00

Mr Denning Drives North on DVD

Mr Denning Drives North - out now on DVDJohn Mills ("Great Expectations", "Gandhi") stars in this riveting British thriller in the Hitchcock vein. Tom Denning (Mills) is a successful aircraft designer whose life takes a rather dramatic turn when he accidentally kills his daughter Liz's disreputable suitor during an argument. Panicking and not wanting to sully his daughter's name, Denning makes it look like the deceased has left the country, and then dumps the body in a ditch to resemble a hit and run incident.

By placing a distinctive ring on one of the corpse's fingers, Denning assumes nobody will match the jewellery with the missing person. Despite his cunning plan, Denning is soon consumed by guilt, apprehension and plagued by terrible nightmares. After weeks with no news he is unable to sit tight any longer, divulging everything to his caring wife Kay (Phyllis Calvert - "The Man in Grey"). He returns to the ditch to find that the body has gone.

Sunday, 14 June 2015 23:00

The Flying Deuces Blu-ray/DVD

The Flying Deuces - out now on Blu-ray and DVD"The Flying Deuces" is the first Laurel and Hardy feature to have been released on Blu-ray in the UK, representing a high-definition treat for fans of the inimitable comedy duo. The story sees the wayward friends enrolling into the French Foreign Legion as a way to forget their woes, earn some dough and go on an adventure, little bargaining for the back-breaking work and tough disciplinary rules that await them in sun-drenched Morocco.

The film contains all the traits expected of a classic Laurel and Hardy tale, and some rather unusual ones besides. There is plenty of the slapstick antics Stan and Ollie are so famous for, along with adorable naivety, love interest and more peril than even this pair are accustomed to! The director is A Edward Sutherland ("Beyond Tomorrow"), also an actor who played one of the Keystone Kops.

Sunday, 07 June 2015 23:00

Complete Speed with Guy Martin

Complete Speed - out now on DVD and Blu-rayIn the wake of the recent Top Gear fiasco, Guy Martin's name was near the top of many people's lists for replacement presenters. Having seen the eight daring feats documented in this new release, it would be difficult to disagree. Already a legend in the field of motorbike racing, Guy's love of engineering is combined with an unquenchable thirst for fresh, thrill-seeking challenges, and a desire to push his body and mind to their limits.

This box set includes both series as shown on Channel 4. Each of the eight episodes task Guy with breaking a speed or distance record on land, water or in the air. Surrounded by small teams of British pioneers in the fields of science, engineering and human endurance, Guy must construct innovative vehicles and undergo intense physical training to give him the best possible chance of success, whilst minimising the risk to life and limb.

Monday, 25 May 2015 23:00

Falcon Rising on DVD and VOD

Falcon Rising - available now on DVD and Video On DemandEx-marine John 'Falcon' Chapman (Michael Jai White - "Spawn", Arrow) suffers from chronic PTSD and is suicidal. He takes a call from an old friend in Rio de Janeiro, learning of a terrible attack on his sister. Chapman flies to Brazil and immediately starts making waves, despite being told to keep his nose out. Bad things are going down in the favelas including drug dealing, prostitution and murder, but nobody is willing to come forwards with evidence.

Aided by Detectives Santo (Jimmy Navarro - Crossbones) and Bororo (stuntman Lateef Crowder - "The Hunger Games"), plus the more diplomatically-minded Da' Silva (Millie Ruperto - "Reclaim") and US Ambassador (Neal McDonough - "Captain America: The First Avenger", Desperate Housewives), Chapman discovers that the fearsome Japanese Yakuza are involved, and they have some powerful people in their pockets.

Sunday, 17 May 2015 23:00

Paper Moon dual-format DVD/Blu-ray

Paper Moon - out now on dual-format Blu-ray and DVDRyan O'Neal and daughter Tatum star in this Oscar-winning movie set in Depression-era America, from director Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show", "What's Up Doc?"). Moses Pray (Ryan - "Barry Lyndon") turns up late to the funeral of an ex-girlfriend and is persuaded to take her nine-year old daughter Addie (Tatum - "The Bad News Bears"), with the intention of dropping her off at her only surviving relatives in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Although he will not admit it, Moses might well be Addie's father. A drifter and bible-selling con-artist, he exploits the girl to pull at his victims' heart-strings. She in turn quickly gets in on the act, saving his skin and helping rake in the cash. Along the way they pick up carnival broad Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn - "Blazing Saddles") and her hard-working servant girl Imogene (P J  Johnson - "Texasville"), with dramatic repercussions.

Monday, 04 May 2015 23:00

Moondial is back on DVD

Moondial - Back on DVD at last, so you no longer have to pay a princely sum for itTeenage girl Minty goes to stay with her Aunt Mary during the school holidays, and shortly afterwards her mum is seriously injured in a car crash. Feeling miserable and a little cut off, Minty (Siri Neal - Sharpe's Battle) explores her surroundings, becoming fascinated with Belton House, a large stately home with a well-tended garden. In the grounds stands a mystical sundial that allows Minty to travel back in time to the 1800s. On her first time-trip she bumps into Tom (Tony Sands - "The Krays"), a perky, young footman at the house. Minty discovers that Tom is sick with tuberculosis and gravely mistreated by the adult servants. She also learns about Sarah, a facially-disfigured girl who is bullied by the other children and considered a 'devil child' by the adults. Minty must work quickly to save Tom and Sarah, though there are evil forces pitted her.

And now, this serial is back on DVD thanks to Second Sight - having long been out-of-print since its original DVD release by Revelation back in 2000. The original copies have been fetching huge sums on the internet, showing there's definitely a market for it!

Sunday, 03 May 2015 23:00

The Blob on DVD and Blu-ray

The Blob - the original out now on Blu-ray and DVDA teenage couple spy a meteorite come crashing down to Earth. Investigating further, they encounter an old man apparently being eaten alive by an insatiable, gelatinous blob. Rushing him to a doctor, they realise that this is the start of a terrifying attack on their town. Nobody will believe them, so they take matters into their own hands. Can they discover a way to defeat the monster before it grows out of control?

Steve McQueen of "The Great Escape" and "Bullitt" fame stars in this cult horror/sci-fi movie. Steve is a young man with a sensible head on his shoulders and a point to prove. His new squeeze is Jane (Aneta Corsaut - Days of Our Lives); together they must persuade a police Lieutenant (Earl Rowe - Kojak) that the threat is very real. The film has undergone a high-definition, digital restoration to introduce a new generation of fans to "The Blob".

Sunday, 03 May 2015 23:00

The Serpent and the Rainbow Blu-ray

The Serpent and the Rainbow - out now on Blu-ray and DVDDirector Wes Craven ("Scream", "A Nightmare on Elm Street") gives us his take on the zombie genre, putting a refreshingly different spin on it. Bill Pullman plays Dr Dennis Alan, an anthropologist hired to investigate rumours of a mystical drug that can kill and then bring the dead back to life. A biochemical company is interested in exploiting the compound, so Alan flies to a politically unstable Haiti despite being troubled by a sense of creeping dread.

Alan finds allies in Dr Marielle Duchamp (Cathy Tyson - "Mona Lisa") and a voodoo priest called Lucien Celine (Paul Winfield - "The Terminator"), but there are plenty of unsavoury characters seeking to dupe him, obstruct his research or worse. Chief among these is Captain Peytraud of the Tonton Macoute, the Haitian secret police. Petraud (Zakes Mokae - "Outbreak") dabbles in dark magic to capture his enemies' souls.

Sunday, 03 May 2015 23:00

Half Light on DVD

Half Light - back on DVDDemi Moore stars in this romantic, supernatural thriller about a best-selling novelist who escapes to a remote Scottish cottage after the tragic death of her young son. Rachel Carlson (Moore - "Ghost", "A Few Good Men") leaves her troubled relationship with her husband behind to concentrate on her latest book, unexpectedly becoming close friends with a local lighthouse keeper (Hans Matheson - "Sherlock Holmes", "300: Rise of an Empire").

Strange events suggest that Rachel's son (Beans El-Balawi - "28 Weeks Later") is trying to communicate with her from beyond the grave, but to what end? The more Rachel learns about the history of her new locale, the more disturbed she becomes, and a local medium (Therese Bradley - "Young Adam") only adds to her sense of unease. The film is written and directed by Craig Rosenberg (Lost, "After the Sunset").

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