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John Payne

John Payne

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.

Sunday, 17 July 2016 23:00

The Harvesting on DVD and VOD

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.

Sunday, 10 July 2016 23:00

Bachelor Games on VOD

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.

Monday, 04 July 2016 23:00

Wizards on Blu-ray

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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