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John Payne

John Payne

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”).

Sunday, 14 August 2016 23:00

Identicals on VOD and DVD

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.

Sunday, 07 August 2016 23:00

Kidnapped on DVD

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”.

Sunday, 24 July 2016 23:00

Police Story Lockdown on Blu-ray

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.

Sunday, 17 July 2016 23:00

Cocoon on Blu-ray

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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