Clone (Matt Smith) on DVD

“Clone” (aka “Womb”) is a brooding, psychological drama-romance starring current Doctor Who Matt Smith and Eva Green of “Casino Royale” fame. As the title suggests, the movie deals with some of the thorny social issues surrounding human cloning. Rebecca and Thomas meet as nine-year-olds and immediately strike up a close relationship, only to be separated when her mum gets a job in Tokyo. Flash forwards twelve years and Rebecca returns, keen to pick up where they left off.

Disaster strikes soon after when Thomas is killed in a tragic accident. In this slightly different reality, human cloning is legal and, unable to cope with the loss of her lover, Rebecca goes against his mother’s wishes and is impregnated with Thomas’ cells. As her son grows into the young man she used to know, the line between motherly love and more romantic affection becomes blurred, and it is only a matter of time before Thomas learns the truth about his lineage.

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L A Law Season 2 on DVD

The second season of L A Law is very much a continuation of the lively, entertaining and frequently thought-provoking drama-soap antics seen in the original box set. The principal changes are the introduction of two new employees at legal firm McKenzie Brackman. Blair Underwood (The Event, Fatherhood) plays hotshot young lawyer Jonathan Rollins, and Larry Drake (“Darkman”, Johnny Bravo) puts in a memorable turn as Benny Stulwicz, a mentally handicapped office assistant.

Jonathan causes quite a stir, firstly by commanding an initial salary greater than his peers and secondly owing to his rather gung-ho, self-assured approach to trials. He also feels he has to prove himself because he is black. Benny inspires some interesting new storylines to do with his condition, and catches quite a few people out when they expect him to be less capable than he is. You could have won one of three copies we had up for grabs in our prize competition.

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Evidence - Released on DVD

Four American friends go on camping trip in the hills. One of them, Brett (Brett Rosenberg), is making a documentary about the experience, little knowing what an horrific experience lies in store for them. Brett, Ryan (Ryan McCoy), Abi (Abigail Richie) and Ashley (Ashley Bracken) arrive at the foothills in a robust recreational vehicle, but then set out on foot to pitch their tents deeper in the country. Strange creature noises disrupt their relaxing break, but the fear really starts to kick in when they spy a bizarre ape-like beast lurking in a valley.

As we witness though Brett’s ‘found’ footage, his movie-making ambitions start to aggravate the other three, and his insistence on tracking the animal down naturally leads them into grave danger, drawing them to its attention. That night, scared out of their wits, they decide they will leave in the morning, but by then one of them has vanished and the search party uncovers horrors none of them expected and most likely will not survive. Some evidence is better left undiscovered...

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Roswell movie on DVD

Originally released as a TV movie in the 1990s for Showtime, “Roswell” depicts what it describes as true-life events from 1947 surrounding a UFO that crashed down in the eponymous town in New Mexico, the subsequent media storm and army cover-up, and one man’s mission to uncover the truth 30 years later. Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Desperate Housewives) and Martin Sheen (“Apocalypse Now”, The West Wing) headline.

Intelligence Officer Jesse Marcel (MacLachlan) was one of the first on the scene on 4 July 1947, when the UFO evidence was reported by a startled livestock rancher. Supported by a knee-jerk army statement mentioning a ‘flying disc’, Marcel dives enthusiastically into an investigation, only to become the fall guy when the military does a complete U-turn a few days later. A major cover-up ensues, the evidence is replaced with a weather balloon and witnesses are paid off.

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The Shrine on DVD & Blu-ray

I was drawn to review this film by the claim of “a wonderfully eerie slice of Lovecraftian horror” (thanks, BeyondHollywood.Com). I can only assume that whoever wrote that particular line has never read any of HP Lovecraft’s tales. There is no sense of cosmic threat, nor eon-spanning depth. “The Shrine” is a simple story that covers familiar, well-trodden ground. The other grandiose quotes festooned about the packaging are equally off-target.

The plot is basic: three one-dimensional characters put themselves in harm’s way while investigating the disappearance of a back-packer in a tiny village in rural Poland. Where this differs from the majority of teen-slasher flicks is that the three choose to visit this dangerous area (one albeit reluctantly) rather than just wandering into it – though there is a sort-of hut-thing in the woods! The lead protagonist is Carmen (Cindy Sampson), a journalist who is attempting to rescue her career and mend her relationship with photographer boyfriend Marcus (Aaron Ashmore).

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