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Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

Find out about the amazing facts in fiction, and discover the truth about what's really going on in the World around us...

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Identicals - out now on DVD and VODAre you happy with your life? If not, would you pass up the opportunity to start anew, leaping into somebody else’s richer or more exciting existence? Dark, sci-fi thriller “Identicals” presents a window into such a possibility. Slater (Lachlan Nieboer – Torchwood, Downton Abbey) experiences a shocking home invasion where his girlfriend Nadia (Nora-Jane Noone – “The Descent”, the Jack Taylor TV movies) is abducted at gunpoint.

Still reeling from the violent attack, Slater receives an invitation to visit Brand New U, a company that specialises in identity transference. In return for essentially becoming a new person, albeit with a similar face, customers must promise to leave their past lives behind and fully embrace their new reality. The punishment for breaking this rule is potentially fatal, but Slater’s love for Nadia proves difficult to shake.

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Sunday, 07 August 2016

Kidnapped with Michael Caine out now on DVDBased on the novels of Robert Louis Stevenson, “Kidnapped” is an adventure story set in the aftermath of the 1746 Battle of Culloden. David Balfour (Lawrence Douglas – The Onedin Line) is an 18-year-old Scotsman who, seeking his inheritance, is kidnapped by his dastardly uncle Ebenezer (Donald Pleasance – “The Great Escape”) and enslaved on a ship bound for the Carolinas. After a fierce fight and resulting shipwreck, Balfour finds himself back on Scottish soil.

He is accompanied by Alan Breck (Michael Caine – “The Italian Job”), a notorious Jacobite rebel being hunted by the British Red Coats. The pair become enmeshed in the assassination of a key British ally and flee for their lives. The film also stars Jack Hawkins (“Zulu”), Trevor Howard (“Ghandi”), Gordon Jackson (Cowley in The Professionals) and Freddie Jones (“The Elephant Man”). Director Delbert Mann won an Oscar for “Marty”.

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Police Story - Lockdown - out now on Blu-ray and DVD“Police Story: Lockdown” is the sixth film in the action-packed franchise that started way back in 1985. The inimitable Jackie Chan stars, this time as Captain Zhong Wen, an elite cop who is kidnapped when he meets up with his estranged daughter at a nightclub. The club’s owner, Wu Jiang (Ye Liu – “City of Life and Death”) has a serious grudge to settle, and the lives of a dozen or so hostages lie in the balance. Can Wen save the day?

A cross between “Die Hard”, “The Dark Knight” and “Saw”, “Lockdown” features little of the Chan trademark humour, but a surfeit of impressive stunts and fights. He may be 62 but Jackie (“Rush Hour”, “The Karate Kid”) is still going strong. This is a movie oozing in brooding, claustrophobic atmosphere and a sense of constant danger. Director Ding Sheng got the best out of his star before in “Little Big Soldier”, and does so again here.

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Cocoon - out now on Blu-rayDirector Ron Howard (“The Da Vinci Code”) enjoyed further success after “Splash” with this gentle sci-fi tale about the peculiar side effects of some old folks’ encounter with aliens. Most of the occupants of the Sunny Shores Villas retirement home seem resigned to their sedentary existence and declining health, but not all. Several gentlemen defiantly try to see off the Reaper by breaking into a neighbouring property’s magnificent swimming pool.

One day the OAPs discover a number of large, pod-like objects in the pool, and post-swim the men feel unusually alive and bursting with vigour. The cocoons have been placed there by a group doing some marine archaeology, but who are they and what is their intention? Regardless of the answers, the men have some hard decisions to make regarding their new-found lust for life and their futures.

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Harvesting - out now on DVD and VODA family on the edge of collapse leave the city behind for a cleansing vacation in the countryside. Desperate to renew their familial and marital bonds, they settle into their rustic holiday home with a quiet Amish community nearby. Initially the only source of tension is the kids moaning about being bored without their phones, TV and Internet, but the area has a dark past that is about to be reawakened on the advent of the summer solstice.

This creepy horror film stars Elena Caruso (“Cloverfield”) and Chris Conner (The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story) as the married couple, Noah Headley and Accalia Quintana (“Dead Man Down”) as their kids, Greg Wood (“The Sixth Sense”, “Signs”) as the leader of the Amish settlement and Jennifer Gareis (“Miss Congeniality”) as one of the Amish women. Director Ivan Kraljevic cut his teeth as a second unit or assistant director on the likes of Colony, Agent Carter and Sons of Anarchy.

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Bachelor Games - Out now on Video on DemandFive mates arrive in a rustic part of Argentina for a stag do, expecting little more than to get drunk and have some fun. Sure enough, their first night results in booze-fuelled carnage; the next morning they go on a hike into the Andes mountains with sore heads and high spirits. Unfortunately for them, events take a sinister, supernatural turn. Is everything what it seems, and are their friendships still as strong as they make out?

Hot on the heels of the BBC’s Stag mini-series, “Bachelor Games” treads familiar horror-comedy ground, albeit in relatively fresh and visually impressive surroundings. The movie stars Jack Gordon (“Panic Button”) as stag Henry, Charlie Bewley (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon”) as hunky best man Leon, along with Jack Doolan (“Cemetery Junction”), Mike Noble (“Gambit”) and Obi Abili (Injustice) as the rest of the party members.

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Monday, 04 July 2016

Wizards - out now on Blu-ray“Wizards” is an animated fantasy film about an epic war between two wizard brothers. The battle takes place on an Earth that is still recovering from a global nuclear attack by terrorists two million years ago. On the good side is Avatar who marshals an army of fairies, elves and dwarves, whilst the evil opposition is led by a mutated, skeletal wizard called Blackwolf, whose forces include demons, mutants and robots.

Blackwolf (voiced by Steve Gravers – “The Car”) sends three assassins to kill all good believers in magic, but one of them – a gun-toting robot called Necron 99 (David Proval – “The Shawshank Redemption”) - is turned and decides to help Avatar (Bob Holt – “Gremlins”). The forces of good set out for Blackwolf’s castle in the land of Scortch, desperate to put an end to the evil wizard’s campaign before his reign of terror wipes out magic forever.

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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Timeslip - Limited Edition DVD Set out nowSome shows stay with you a lifetime, and I recall Timeslip with huge relish from its first broadcast. It was a benchmark of 1970s ‘telefantasy’, and despite previous VHS and DVD releases of the series, while this set contains all episodes in their original, as-transmitted, full screen aspect ratios, what makes this new release from Network is the plentiful supply of  special features which will encourage previous owners to dig deep once more.

Devised by Ruth Boswell – who would go on to produce both The Tomorrow People and Shadows, with most of three of the four stories written by Bruce Stewart – Timeslip blends rational science with fantasy, in a format of two teenagers who discover the existence of a ‘time barrier’ - enabling them to travel to different periods and locations, and in terms of the broadcast episodes that ranges from World War Two to alternative chilling visions of the future.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Enemy Mine - out now on Blu-rayIn the late 21st Century, mankind is at war with an alien race called the Drac. Willis Davidge (Dennis Quaid – “The Day After Tomorrow”) is a hotshot pilot who is forced to crash land on a barren planet after a thrilling dogfight. Also stranded on the surface is a Drac (Louis Gossett Jr. – “An Officer and a Gentleman”), so Davidge is driven to kill his enemy before even thinking about finding food, water and shelter in this inhospitable place.

Despite their extreme animosity towards one another, the human and Drac are soon forced to put their differences aside as two brains working together stand a better chance of survival. Their future is uncertain, what with devastating meteor storms lashing down on them, extreme seasonal variances in weather, deadly native creatures out for their blood and the possibility that they may never be rescued by either race.

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Smokey and the Bandit - out now on Blu-rayA daredevil truck driver called The Bandit accepts an $80,000 challenge to illicitly haul 400 crates of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta in 28 hours. The Bandit (Burt Reynolds – “Deliverance”) opts to run interference against the police (aka smokies) whilst his buddie Snowman (country and western singer Jerry Reed – “The Waterboy”) drives the 18-wheeler. Against them stands Sheriff Buford T Justice (Jackie Gleason – The Honeymooners).

Sally Field (“Forrest Gump”, “Mrs. Doubtfire”) co-stars as a hitch-hiking bride-to-be who jilts her partner, none other than the Sheriff’s son (Mike Henry – “Soylent Green”). Naturally this adds further fuel to the lawman’s fire. As the trio tear through the U.S. they leave a trail of devastation in their wake, and a growing tail of cop cars intent on bringing their crazy endeavour to a premature end.

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