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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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Monday, 25 May 2015

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.

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Monday, 18 May 2015

The Andromeda Strain mini-series on DVDBased on the 1969 best-selling novel by Michael Crichton (he of “Jurassic Park” fame), a mysterious virus is brought to Earth by a returning US military satellite. This problem with Project Scoop is the cue for Wildfire, an elite team of scientists, to convene in a secure complex to attempt to stop the ever-mutating life form, before it ends life on Earth. And YOU had the chance to win one of three copies we had up for grabs in our prize competition.

This version of “The Andromeda Strain” was nominated for six Primetime Emmys – Best Miniseries, and within that description’s categories, cinematography, picture editing, sound editing, makeup, and sound mixing. Where the 1971 movie didn’t define what exactly the ‘Andromeda’ virus was, in this adaption we have a suitably 21st Century investigation, with wormholes and alien races being considered before a solution a lot closer to home is discovered.

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

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.

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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Fierce Creatures - out now on Blu-ray and DVDBig business and small furry creatures rub shoulders in this comedy written by John Cleese and Iain Johnstone. Gorillas, Tarantulas and Lemurs vie for attention whilst the human performers contort their way through a storyline that would not look out of place in the present day corporate takeover, tax dodging, financially unstable world.

Cleese plays Rollo Lee a former Hong Kong police officer who has been given the job of director at a failing zoo. His boss, media mogal Rod McCain (Kevin Kline) wants to attain a 20% profit by introducing a 'Fierce Creatures Policy' whereby only the dangerous animals are shown at the zoo. Any cute, cuddly, non aggressive beasts are to be disposed of. This, obviously proves unpopular with the zoo keepers including  Bugsy (Michael Palin) who goes to great lengths to show Rollo that his spiders and insects are just as fierce as a lion or a tiger. Concerned that Rollo is not up for the job McCain sends Willa Weston (Jamie Lee Curtis) to replace him. She arrives with McCains son Vince (also played by Kline) in tow.

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Monday, 04 May 2015

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!

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Sunday, 03 May 2015

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".

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Sunday, 03 May 2015

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.

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Sunday, 03 May 2015

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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Monday, 27 April 2015

The Professionals - the third production block of episodes out on Blu-rayCI5. The Professionals. Here we have the latest instalment in the overhaul of episodes, bringing a sheen and quality which cannot be ignored. Lewis Collins (abrasive Bodie), Martin Shaw (cultured Doyle), and Gordon Jackson (boss Cowley) are the stars, and this set contains 13 more of the 57 episodes. Once again, the stories are all forensically restored from the original negatives. It has been said many times before about these releases from Network, but you could put these prints on in primetime right now, and the audience would never know they were watching something from the cusp between the 1970s and 1980s.

Many armchair pundits suggest that there is some sort of subsiding variation in the quality of these episodes from earlier stories. Most viewers will probably be dumbstruck at this conclusion, as there are plenty of attempts here to play with the conventions of the format established for the show. Characterisations are put into place to make our trio of stars more human, and there are plenty of moral dilemmas for the actors to pull at in their performances.

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Monday, 27 April 2015

Evil Aliens - out on DVDDirector Jake West describes "Evil Aliens" as a 'splatstick' movie, reminiscent of the early, low budget works of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, where humour and horror intersected with buckets of gore. West ("The ABCs of Death", "Doghouse") opts for aliens rather than zombies or dark spirits, and sets them on the cast and crew of a cable TV show about extraterrestrial encounters, who finally and fatally witness the real deal.

Emily Booth (also of "Doghouse" but more well known as an actual TV presenter) stars as the struggling TV series' cleavage-revealing host Michelle Fox, aka Foxy. She is offered an ultimatum by her boss (Red Dwarf's Norman Lovett, in a cameo): make your next episode a smash hit or lose your job. She tracks down an alien abduction survivor with a suspect pregnancy, on an island with a mystical stone circle, and drags along some actors and Gavin Gorman, a nerdy E T expert from BURC, the British Ufo Research Committee (Jamie Honeybourne - "GamerZ") to help make the show.

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