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John Payne

John Payne

Tuesday, 09 April 2019 11:56

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Screening two years after “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, Mel Brooks takes that movie’s tongue-in-cheek approach as a base line and spoofs it to within an inch of its life. Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride”, “Saw”) plays Robin, with Amy Yasbeck (“Mask”, “Pretty Woman”) as Maid Marian, Roger Rees (“The Prestige”, Warehouse 13) as the Sheriff of Rottingham (yes, you read that right) and Richard Lewis (Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Leaving Las Vegas”) as Prince John.

Brooks (“Blazing Saddles”, “Young Frankenstein”) takes a fast and loose approach, much in the style of “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” series, propelling the film forwards with an avalanche of gags and slapstick humour rather than complex plot. Thankfully Elwes is utterly winning as Robin, dashing, charming and effortlessly athletic - not a million miles from his role as Westley in the aforementioned “The Princess Bride”, just not as intellectually sharp.

Monday, 08 April 2019 11:53

D.A.R.Y.L. on Blu-ray and DVD

A smartly-dressed boy called Daryl is discovered lost and alone in the middle of nowhere. Handed in to the authorities and apparently suffering from amnesia, the boy (Barret Oliver – “The Never Ending Story”, “Cocoon”) is fostered by Andy and Joyce Richardson, who soon realise that Daryl has particular gifts. How does he learn the piano and smash a baseball on his first attempt, never mind showing up his teachers at school.

Andy (Michael McKean – “This Is Spinal Tap”, Better Call Saul) and Joyce (Mary Beth Hurt – “Lady in the Water”, “The Age of Innocence”) become very attached to sweet-natured Daryl and fear that his biological parents may come knocking. When this eventually happens, their world gets turned upside down and Daryl’s very existence is put in jeopardy. Who is he and where did he come from?

Monday, 01 April 2019 11:47

The White Reindeer Blu-ray/DVD

“The White Reindeer” is a Finnish folk-horror about a frustrated woman who is bewitched by a shaman into a vampiric, shape-shifting reindeer. Pirita (Mirjami Kuosmanen) is the woman in question, left alone in snowy, bleak Lapland when her husband Aslak (Kalervo Nissilä) goes on a long herding trip. At night Pirita becomes the white reindeer, luring man after man into a valley before transforming back into her human form to drink their blood.

Fans of Hammer Horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s will be very familiar with the type of tale on offer here, but the movie feels quite fresh thanks to the shift to Finnish culture and a more documentary-style approach. This is almost a silent film thanks to there being very little dialogue, and atmospheric orchestral backing to keep things moving.

Thursday, 14 March 2019 10:56

Sink the Bismarck! on Blu-ray

It is Spring 1941 and the battle for control of the North Atlantic is raging. Hulking, ‘unsinkable’ German battleship Bismarck is tasked with taking out Allied convoys, spurring the Royal Navy into a frantic fleet redeployment. The Admiralty’s new Chief of Operations, Captain Jonathan Shepard (Kenneth More – “A Night to Remember”, “Genevieve”) is the man responsible for making some hard decisions for the greater good.

Based in the London war room, 200 feet underground, Shepard puts personal tragedy and concern for his son’s life aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal to one side. Aided by Wren Officer Anne Davis (Dana Wynter – “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Airport”), Shepard is forced to leave convoys desperately exposed in order to support the hunt for the Bismarck, but terrible weather conditions mean the giant vessel is alluding detection.

Sunday, 03 March 2019 14:30

Occupation Blu-ray/DVD/VOD

“Occupation” is an Australian sci-fi film about a town’s efforts to resist a devastating alien invasion. The townsfolk are up in arms about a new road bypass potentially wiping them off the map, but that is the least of their worries when an alien fleet arrives during an Aussie football game, flanked by a gigantic mothership. Outgunned by a technologically superior foe, the survivors have no option but to retreat and then devise a plan to fight back.

The cast includes Dan Ewing (Home and Away), Temuera Morrison (“Aquaman”, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”), Stephany  Jacobsen (“Alex Cross”, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Charles Mesure (Once Upon a Time, The Magicians). Writer/director Luke Sparke (“Red Billabong”) will return with a sequel called “Occupation Rainfall”, commencing shooting later this year.

Friday, 01 March 2019 14:27

Boar on DVD and Digital Download

“Boar” is a gory creature feature from 'Down Under'. As the name suggests, a giant (and I mean GIANT) boar is terrorising a rural farming community, knocking down fences and massacring sheep. Before long the tusky beastie starts slaughtering the locals and nobody seems able to stem the bloody tide, possibly not even Bernie the local man-mountain (Nathan Jones – “Mad Max: Fury Road”).

Into this deadly scenario comes Bernie’s sister-in-law Debbie (Simone Buchanan – Neighbours) and her family, including hubby Bob (Bill Moseley – “The Devil’s Rejects”), son Bart (Griffin Walsh), daughter Ella (Christie-Lee Britten – Mako Mermaids) and her cocky boyfriend Robert (Hugh Sheridan – Packed to the Rafters). The family’s plans for an idyllic holiday in the country turn into a porcine nightmare.

Monday, 25 February 2019 14:21

Human Desire on Blu-ray

Fritz Lang’s seedy film-noir stars Glenn Ford (“Superman”) as Jeff Warren, an army vet returning home from the Korean War to his job as a train engineer. Highly susceptible to feminine wiles, Jeff falls for the young wife of Deputy Yard Master Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford – “All the King’s Men”). That would be trouble enough but Carl is highly suspicious of his young wife, and unbeknownst to Jeff he has already committed murder in a fit of jealous rage.

The film focuses on this twisted love triangle, with femme fatale Vicki (Gloria Grahame – “It’s a Wonder Life”) both manipulating the two men but also trapped by Carl in a hellish relationship through blackmail. Director Lang (“Metropolis”, “M”) sucks us into his dark romantic web as we wonder whether Jeff can extricate himself before he too succumbs to Carl’s furious, drunken temper.

Monday, 21 January 2019 13:41

Laura comes to Blu-ray

Eureka Entertainment kick off their 2019 releases with a film noir Oscar winner by director Otto Preminger (“Stalag 17”). A murder mystery where the titular character has already been offed as the film opens, “Laura” is primarily told in a series of flashbacks as we learn about Laura (Gene Tierney – “Leave Her to Heaven”), a captivating marketing designer, and the huddle of men and women in her social circle.

Det Lt Mark McPherson picks up the case after Laura has been shot in the head. Amongst the small number of likely suspects is Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb – “The Razor’s Edge”), a sharp-tongued columnist who took Laura under his wing, unscrupulous playboy Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price – “House on Haunted Hill”) and Anne Treadwell (Judith Anderson – “Rebecca”), Laura’s aunt who has more than a passing interesting in Shelby.

Friday, 04 January 2019 13:23

The Festival Blu-ray/DVD/Download

“The Festival” is a comedy movie from the creators of The Inbetweeners about a couple of mates who attend a massive music festival after their graduation. Mopey Nick (Joe Thomas – “The Inbetweeners Movie”, White Gold) has just suffered a painful breakup and is dragged along by his enthusiastic best buddy Shane (Hammed Animashaun – Black Mirror, Flowers), whose dream is to get backstage with superstar DJ Hammerhead.

On the way the duo meets Amy (Claudia O’Doherty – “Trainwreck”, “The Inbetweeners 2”), an Aussie with verbal diarrhoea who is desperate to meet new friends. After an eventful journey they arrive at the festival site, only to awkwardly bump into Nick’s ex, Caitlin (Hannah Tointon – Hollyoaks, “The Children”). Expect mud, mayhem, music and MDMA as festival life results in some wild and outlandish encounters.

Monday, 29 October 2018 15:16

Jackie Chan’s Project A Parts I & II

Jackie Chan's Project A Parts I and II out now on Blu-rayIn a brilliant one-two punch combo, Eureka Entertainment have produced a second Jackie Chan Blu-ray movie box set to complement their recent “Police Story” release. This limited edition collection features “Project A” and “Project A Part II” in which Chan plays Sergeant Dragon Ma, a diligent and courageous coastguard-turned-police man who becomes the bane of Hong Kong criminal gangs, corrupt cops and pirates.

“Project A” sees Ma taking on dastardly pirates who have made a mockery of all those who have previously attempted to locate and apprehend them. Ma realises the only way to succeed is to go under cover and destroy them from the inside. In “Project A Part II” Ma is tasked with cleaning up the roughest district in Hong Kong, no mean feat when some of his colleagues are in league with the local kingpin, never mind more pirates out for blood!

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