Angeldust - My Video Collection

My Video Collection

After cataloguing my music collection I thought it was about time I did my films as well.  I have listed all sequels alongside their original counterpart so that series can be viewed as one.

Please select a letter to browse by title:

1-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim
                                                                                                                                                                                       
If the prospect of two-plus hours of 250-foot mechanical men pummeling enormous alien creatures from another dimension is just what you've been waiting for, oh, boy, does Guillermo del Toro have a treat for you. The celebrated director--one might even say visionary--has pulled off the most elaborate B-movie heist ever with this huge-budget special effects extravaganza that revels in catchphrase cliché dialogue, a howlingly obvious script, and the most breathtaking homage to Japanese monster and mecha cinema, manga, and comic tradition. It's all by design, of course, and is a stunning spectacle that also acts as antidote to the bloated, self-important superhero genre and typical bombastic Hollywood tent-pole fare. Pacific Rim has plenty of bloat and bombast, mind you. But it's in the service of a wondrously geeky story that throws all logic and seriousness to the wind, transporting the viewer to a realm of childlike popcorn escapism no matter their age. A dense and breathless prologue dumps us into the near-future global warfare of Kaiju vs. Jaeger. Kaiju are reptilian monstrosities that emerge from deep in the sea through a portal that leads to a world where Kaijus are systematically bred to destroy. They annihilate coastal cities and claim millions of lives before the world's citizens band together to fight back. The humans build fantastic robots called Jaegers (German for fighters) that are able to vanquish the early Kaiju enemies by employing "pilots" who drive the mechanized behemoths in pairs, joining minds in a process known as the Drift. But as the years go by, the war has taken a toll on the humans and the Jaegers, both of whom are nearly defeated. From beginning to end there's really no point in asking questions or trying to calculate details about the outrageous goings-on in the world of Pacific Rim. This is a pure thrill ride ruled by del Toro, the wild visual flair of his artistry and his sheer delight for wallowing in tropes and genre chestnuts leading at full volume. The cast is mainly window dressing for the astounding computer images. The pilots Charlie Hunnam, Max Martini, Rob Kazinsky, and Rinko Kikuchi are merely types. The same goes for Idris Elba, but his glowering presence as the unwavering commander is the best real-life thing about Pacific Rim. A pair of nerdy scientists (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman) add to the plot (simple as it is), though their primary purpose is wacky comic relief. Del Toro favorite and Hellboy himself, Ron Perelman steals his few short scenes as a bootlegger in Kaiju corpses. His character says a lot about the movie's self-effacing attitude. Pacific Rim is deeply in cahoots with itself over the ridiculousness of the story, but also delights in the awesomeness of its invention. The action is both coherent and mind-blowing, which is why most people will find it such a kick. Just like driving a Jaeger, throw your head into the battle and hang on. - Ted Fry, Amazon

Pans Labyrinth - Spanish
                                                                                                                                                                                       
Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Jorge Luis Borges, and Guillermo del Toro's own unlimited imagination, Pan's Labyrinth is a fairytale for adults. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) may only be 12, but the worlds she inhabits, both above and below ground, are dark as anything del Toro has conjured. Set in rural Spain, circa 1944, Ofelia and her widowed mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil, Belle Epoque), have just moved into an abandoned mill with Carmen's new husband, Captain Vidal (Sergi López, With a Friend like Harry). Carmen is pregnant with his son. Other than her sickly mother and kindly housekeeper Mercedes (Maribel Verdú, Y Tu Mamá También), the dreamy Ofelia is on her own. Vidal, an exceedingly cruel man, couldn't be bothered. He has informers to torture. Ofelia soon finds that an entire universe exists below the mill. Her guide is the persuasive Faun (Doug Jones, Mimic). As her mother grows weaker, Ofelia spends more and more time in the satyr's labyrinth. He offers to help her out of her predicament if she'll complete three treacherous tasks. Ofelia is willing to try, but does this alternate reality really exist or is it all in her head? Del Toro leaves that up to the viewer to decide in a beautiful, yet brutal twin to The Devil's Backbone, which was also haunted by the ghost of Franco. Though it lacks the humour of Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth represents Guillermo Del Toro at the top of his considerable game. - Kathleen C. Fennessy

  Pandorum
                                                                                                                                                                                                    
ANTIBODIES and CASE 39 director Christian Alvart takes suspense into space with this tale of two astronauts who realize that they aren't alone as they drift into the darkest corners of our galaxy. Awakening in their hyper-sleep chamber with no memory of who they are or what their mission is, disoriented astronauts Lt. Payton (Dennis Quaid – INNERSPACE) and Corporal Bower (Ben Foster - HOSTAGE) gradually surmise that they are the only ones aboard the darkened spacecraft. But how did they get here, and what are those strange sounds coming from the other side of the ship? The only way out of their hyper-sleep chamber is a cramped air shaft, and the only one small enough to climb through it is Corporal Bower. As he shimmies inside to investigate, Lt. Payton mans the radio transmitter. But the deeper Corporal Bower ventures into the ship, the more apparent it becomes that something horrible has happened. There were 60,000 passengers onboard when the astronauts went to sleep, and now there's not a soul in sight. Before long, the two weakened and weary space travellers are fighting for their lives against a force neither can comprehend. Could it be that the survival of the entire human race rests in the hands of these two astronauts stuck on a lonely ship in deep space? - Amazon Synopsis
VulgarVideosFromHell Pantera: 3 Vulgar Videos From Hell

An awesome compilation of all three Pantera video releases all on one DVD. Stunning value for money when you realise this is over 4 hours of footage comprising of music videos, live sets & insane levels of larking about, with more of the latter the further you progress. A bit tough to watch in one sitting so take advantage of watching each title seperately. Hugely funny in places, dont try this at home. NB
  Paranormal Activity - BluRay

Katie (Katie Featherson) and Micah (Micah Sloat) are a twenty-something couple who've just moved into a new home in San Diego, California. Katie has an interest in the paranormal and believes that malevolent spirits have been following her since childhood, though Micah is not so easily convinced. However, after several nights of loud noises and strange happenings, Micah starts to agree with Katie that some sort of ghost may have followed them to the new home. After a paranormal researcher tells the couple he can't help them, Micah decides to take control of the situation and sets up a battery of video cameras so if a spirit manifests itself, he can capture its behavior on tape. Once the surveillance cameras are in place, Katie and Micah bring in an Ouija board in an effort to talk to the spirits, a move that deeply offends the ghosts. Paranormal Activity was the first feature film from writer and director Oren Peli. - Amazon Synopsis

Paranormal Activity 2

Just as Daniel and Kristi welcome a newborn baby into their home, a demonic presence begins terrorizing them, tearing apart their perfect world and turning it into an inescapable nightmare. Security cameras capture the torment, making every minute horrifyingly real. Critics warn that Paranormal Activity 2 will haunt you long after its shocking final scene. - Amazon Synopsis
Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.
Paranormal Activity 3

A leaner, meaner, and altogether scarier entry in the Paranormal Activity horror franchise, Paranormal Activity 3 is a well-oiled scare machine that delivers the gut-wrenching shocks of the original 2007 film. Fans may initially groan over the plot, which takes the tried-and-true sequel tack of flashing back to the "origin" of the first film's phenomena;  we discover that the diabolical entity that plagued sisters Katie and Kristi (Katie Featherston and Sprague Grayden, both of whom return in "found footage" clips) has been after the girls since their adolescent years in the late '80s. There's an attempt to provide a reason for the haunting, which may or may not rankle franchise fans; its inclusion, however, doesn't interrupt the barrage of shudders and armrest-clutching frights encountered by the girls' father (Chris Smith), a wedding videographer whose skill with cameras uncovers glimpses of the monstrous presence in his house. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish) have a keen understanding of how to use the corners of their image to milk maximum suspense from a static shot or slow-moving pan, as shown in one of the film's most memorable scenes, in which a camera mounted on an oscillating fan first suggests and then reveals a terrifying moment. As before, the human element is the weakest link, though Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown, as young Katie and Kristi, respectively, are convincingly hysterical at the proper moments. But one doesn't attend a Paranormal Activity film to see fine acting. The franchise is a thrill ride/rite of passage/endurance test for its loyal fans, and PA 3 has the horsepower to stand alongside the other pictures. - Amazon, Paul Gaita

Passengers
Passengers

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star in a high-stakes adventure about two passengers, Aurora and Jim, onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As they try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they discover that the ship itself is in grave danger. With the lives of 5,000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all.
Pearl Harbour Pearl Harbour

To call Pearl Harbor a throwback to old-time war movies is something of an understatement. Director Michael Bay's epic take on the bombing that brought the United States into World War II hijacks every war movie situation and cliché (some affectionate, some stale) you've ever seen and gives them a shiny, glossy spin until the whole movie practically gleams. Planes glisten, water sparkles, trees beckon--and Bay's re-creation of the bombing itself, a 30-minute sequence that's tightly choreographed and amazingly photographed, sets the action movie bar up quite a few notches. And in updating the classic war film, Bay and screenwriter Randall Wallace (Braveheart) use that old plot standby, the love triangle. This time, it's between two pilots (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and a nurse (Kate Beckinsale) who find themselves stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, during what they thought would be a nice, sunny tour of duty. Then, of course, history intervened.  For the first 90 minutes of the movie, Affleck and Beckinsale find a nice, appealing chemistry that plays on his strengths as a movie star and hers as a serious actress--he gives her glamour, she gives him smarts. Their truncated romance--the beginning of which is told in flashback so we can get right to the point where he has to leave her to go to England--works, thanks to their charm. They're no Kate and Leo from Titanic (a strategy the film strives hard toward), but they're pretty darned adorable in their own right. Hartnett, as the not entirely unwelcome third wheel, squints bravely but makes only a slight dent in the film. Everyone else in Pearl Harbor--from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s brave navy seaman to Jon Voight's able impersonation of FDR--is pretty much a glorified walk-on, taking a backseat to the pyrotechnics and action sequences that keep the three-hour film in fairly constant motion. But when that action does take hold, Pearl Harbor is quite a thrilling ride. - Mark Englehart / Amazon

Perfect Blue Perfect Blue - Japanese Anime

One of the most ambitious animated films to come out of Japan (or anywhere, for that matter), Perfect Blue is an adult psycho-thriller that uses the freedom of the animated image to create the subjective reality of a young actress haunted by the ghost of her past identity. Mima is a singer who leaves her teeny-bop trio to become an actress in a violent television series, a career move that angers her fans, who prefer to see her as the pert, squeaky-clean pop idol. Plagued by self-doubt and tormented by humiliating compromises, she begins to be stalked, in her waking and sleeping moments, by an accusing alter ego who claims to be "the real Mima", until she collapses into madness as her co-workers are brutally slain around her. Director Satoshi Kon, adapting the novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, shows us the world from her schizophrenic perspective: days blur, dreams cross over into the waking world, the TV show blends into her real life, until her life merges with her part and she can't separate the ghosts from the real-life stalkers. Though the pat ending sweeps the psychosis and anxiety away with nary an emotional scar, it remains a smart, stylish thriller and one of the most intelligent and compelling uses of animation in recent years. Though tame by the extreme standards of "adult anime", there is nudity and a few sexually provocative scenes, and the animation is detailed and stylised (if somewhat stiff and jerky by Disney standards). - Sean Axmaker
Phenomenom Phenomenom

An under-rated film that deals with a character from a small farming town who after a strange sighting transforms into a man who can acheive anything, from learning a language in 20 minutes to telekenesis. The story does however hold a twist that surprises & brings an entireley unexpexted conclusion to the story. Well worth a watch & certainly more highbrow thanmost of John Travolta's more recent films. NB
Pink Floyd: Live at Pompei:

Conceived by the French director Adrian Maben as "an anti-Woodstock film," Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii was shot in October 1971 in the ancient city's vacant, 2,000-year-old amphitheatre--a venue chosen to accentuate the grandeur and spaciousness of the band's Meddle-era music. This disc contains the original 60-minute concert film & offers plenty of close-ups of fingers on frets and keys, with shots that are often luxuriously long in duration. And the picture quality from Pompeii is revelatory: outstandingly sharp and clear, rich in subtle grades of light and colour.  For all the director's talk of the glorious acoustics in Pompeii's amphitheatre, there's little natural ambience to be heard. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is clear, dry and two-dimensional, though notably better than any previous video release. - Michael Mikesell

Pink Floyd: Pulse

While the limitations of the original video source are still evident in the sometimes-hazy image quality (Gilmour would later admit the concert should have been captured on film), Floyd fans will unanimously agree that Pulse has never looked or sounded better, and only the absence of group co-founder Roger Waters prevents this from being the ultimate document of Pink Floyd in performance. (Even without Waters, it's easily one of the group's most impressive stage productions.) Gracefully directed with minimal intrusion by veteran music video and concert director David Mallet, and shot on video during Pink Floyd's two-week stint at London's Earls Court Exhibition Centre in October 1994, this 145-minute performance (from Floyd's Division Bell tour) is a sonic marvel to behold. Under a massive arch festooned with then-state-of-the-art laser, lighting, and projection systems, the 1987 incarnation of Pink Floyd (Gilmour, keyboardist Richard Wright, and drummer Nick Mason) and their stellar supporting band kicks off with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" (a loving tribute to Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett), followed by four tracks from The Division Bell, two from 1987's A Momentary Lapse of Reason, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" from 1979's magnum opus The Wall, and leading into intermission with absolutely stunning performance of "One of These Days," the timeless opening track from 1971's Meddle.

The centerpiece of Disc 2 is a near-perfect performance of 1974's Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety--reason enough to make this a must-have DVD for even the most casual Floyd admirers. And while no one will ever re-create the sheer magnificence of Clare Torry's original tour de force vocals on "The Great Gig in the Sky," it's safe to say that backup singers Sam Brown, Claudia Fontaine, and Durga McBroom deliver the next best thing, in addition to seamless contributions throughout the concert. After the closing heartbeat of "Eclipse," the concert ends with encore performances of "Wish You Were Here," "Comfortably Numb," and a no-holds-barred, pyrotechnically explosive rendition of The Wall's "Run Like Hell," all showcasing Gilmour's guitar mastery with frequent close-ups of his picking and fret-work as seen throughout the concert. (Like Gilmour, Mason and Wright were never dynamic onstage, and that's true here as well, but their technical precision is fully evident, and while guitarist Tim Renwick and saxophonist Dick Parry are each given moments to shine, bassist Guy Pratt is a worthy substitution for Waters, especially when vocally sparring with Gilmour on "Run Like Hell.") - Jeff Shannon

Pink Floyd: The Wall

By any rational measure, Alan Parker's cinematic interpretation of Pink Floyd's The Wall is a glorious failure. Glorious because its imagery is hypnotically striking, frequently resonant and superbly photographed by the gifted cinematographer Peter Biziou. And a failure because the entire exercise is hopelessly dour, loyal to the bleak themes and psychological torment of Roger Waters' great musical opus, and yet utterly devoid of the humour that Waters certainly found in his own material. Any attempt to visualise The Wall would be fraught with artistic danger, and Parker succumbs to his own self-importance, creating a film that's as fascinating as it is flawed. The film is, for better and worse, the fruit of three artists in conflict--Parker indulging himself, and Waters in league with designer Gerald Scarfe, whose brilliant animated sequences suggest that he should have directed and animated this film in its entirety. Fortunately, this clash of talent and ego does not prevent The Wall from being a mesmerising film. Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof (in his screen debut) is a fine choice to play Waters's alter ego--an alienated, "comfortably numb" rock star whose psychosis manifests itself as an emotional (and symbolically physical) wall between himself and the cold, cruel world. Weaving Waters's autobiographical details into his own jumbled vision, Parker ultimately fails to combine a narrative thread with experimental structure. It's a rich, bizarre, and often astonishing film that will continue to draw a following, but the real source of genius remains the music of Roger Waters. - Jeff Shannon

Pitch Black

Pitch Black is a guilty pleasure that surpasses expectations, even though it owes a major debt to Alien and its cinematic spawn. As he did with The Arrival, director David Twohy revitalises a derivative story, allowing you to forgive its flaws and submit to its visceral thrills. Under casual scrutiny, the plot's logic crumbles like a stale cookie, but it's definitely fun while it lasts. A spaceship crashes on a desert planet scorched under three suns. The mostly doomed survivors include a resourceful captain (Radha Mitchell), a drug-addled cop (Cole Hauser) and a deadly prisoner (Vin Diesel) who quickly escapes. These clashing personalities discover that the planet is plunging into the darkness of an extended eclipse, and it's populated by hordes of ravenous, razor-fanged beasties that only come out at night. The body count rises, and Pitch Black settles into familiar sci-fi territory. What sets the movie apart is Twohy's developing visual style, suggesting that this veteran of straight-to-video schlock may advance to the big leagues. Like the makers of The Blair Witch Project, Twohy understands the frightening power of suggestion;; his hungry monsters are better heard than seen (although once seen, they're chillingly effective), and Pitch Black gets full value from moments of genuine panic. Best of all, Twohy's got a well-matched cast, with Mitchell (so memorable with Ally Sheedy in High Art) and Diesel (Pvt. Caparzo from Saving Private Ryan) being the standouts. The latter makes the most of his muscle-man role, and his character's development is one more reason this film works better than it should. - Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Soulmates Never Die Placebo: Soulmates Never Die - Live Music

Recorded at the sold out Bercy gig in Paris 2003 in front of 18,000 people SOULMATES NEVER DIE is an audio-visual record of the electrifying live Placebo experience. Includes performances of over 20 tracks ranging from classics like 'Pure Morning' through to the single 'English Summer Rain' plus documentary footage of the band on the 2003 tour. - Amazon Synopsis
Planetary Traveller - Animation

This computer-animated interstellar adventure from the creator of The Mind's Eye examines the visual flight logs of an advanced alien race, the Phleigs, chronicling their probes' visits to eight unique, visually arresting planets. Music by Paul Haslinger, formerly of Tangerine Dream. This is the first full-length video production created entirely on desktop computers. - Amazon Synopsis
Planet Of The Apes - Special Edition 1968 Original

A genuine genre classic whose impact remains undimmed either by time, increasingly dire sequels, or Tim Burton's lacklustre 2001 "reimagining", the original Planet of the Apes richly deserves this 35th Anniversary special edition. Here you'll find a glorious anamorphic presentation of Franklin J Schaffner's painterly CinemaScope framing, accompanied by a new DTS 5.1 soundtrack that makes the movie seem even more vibrant and immediate than ever before. On disc one the film is accompanied by two audio commentaries: one from composer Jerry Goldsmith, and another with Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Natalie Trundy and make-up artist John Chambers. These are reasonably interesting, though with a few too many gaps. Better is Eric Greene's exhaustive text commentary. Better still are the features on the second disc. Disc two contains the exhaustive two-hour Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary (also to be found in the six-disc box set) as well as a host of other behind-the-scenes nuggets for die-hard fans: dailies and outtakes, make-up tests and Roddy McDowall's home movies. There's some overlap between a 1967 NATO presentation of the movie hosted by Charlton Heston and other featurettes from 1968 and 1972. Sequel directors Don Taylor and J Lee Thompson are seen in action, and there are trailers, film reviews from 1968 and picture galleries. - Mark Walker

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes

The second--and most horrifying--of the five Planet of the Apes movies, this film goes where few end-of-the-world movies ever dare tread. It's the far future. The mass of humanity has descended into speechless savagery, kept as captive animals by the talking apes who have inherited the world. Two astronauts from our time have landed here, retracing the path of their lost comrade, Captain Taylor (Charlton Heston). Unfortunately, they've landed in the middle of a grim situation. Warlike gorillas are preparing to eliminate the last shards of shattered human civilization, a degenerate, subterranean cult worshipping the greatest of all human achievements--the cobalt bomb. As well as rescuing Taylor, the two men have to stop the gorillas from wiping out humanity ... and stop humanity from fulfilling their self-appointed, self-destructive destiny. This is both thrill-a-minute science fiction and a surprisingly deep reflection on the human condition. Plus, it's got lots of guys in really keen ape suits. - Grant Balfour
Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

This film brings Planet Of The Apes to an entireley different arena. With the astronauts returning with 2 apes to a future age of their own timeline (& therefore back in time for the apes, pay attention!), this timeline is visioned where apes have evolved but not yet taken control of the planet, or yet learned to talk. Existing as a sub species they are employed throughout the world as a slave race, doing the work that the human race no longer wishes to. Needless to say this turns to a revolt. NB
Planet Of The Apes - 2001 Remake

Tim Burton's "re-imagining" of Planet of the Apes is about one thing above all else: monkey movement. But for most filmgoers, whether fans of the 1967 original or not, that's simply not enough. Thematically the story of an outsider in a society that doesn't know what to do with him chimes in nicely with Burton's other work. As always with Burton, the focus is more on what's colourfully going on around the central character (Mark Wahlberg) than his own story. It all looks stunning, of course, as make-up, set design and costumes outdo the accomplishments of the original. But otherwise a direct comparison with the classic version simply shows up holes in the Burton approach. The breakneck pace at which the pared-down plot is told makes little sense of the material and misses all the satire and social comment potential. What sold the idea to Burton was the opportunity to goof around with apes as humans: as a result the background is constantly peppered with lame visual gags which fall as flat as the unnecessary homages to Charlton Heston, who pops up repeating lines of his own dialogue from the first movie. Slick, action-packed and ultimately nonsensical, this is the film that made a monkey of Tim Burton. - Paul Tonks

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

A galaxy's worth of nihilism buried under a 70s Velveeta topping, The Planet of the Apes series stands today as a dark marvel of pop cinema, a group of wildly variable films that combine to form a giant inescapable kiss-off to the human race. (That said message was able to withstand such distractions as ever-cheapening makeup and Charlton Heston loudly pounding sand makes its achievements even more impressive, really.) Boasting a keen awareness of its predecessors' particular charms and a gem of a central CGI performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes makes for a rather miraculous summer movie: a big-budget special effects extravaganza that also delivers a killer backhand. Sort of redoing 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the film follows the events set in motion when a bereaved scientist (James Franco) attempts to create a cure for Alzheimer's, resulting in a supernaturally intelligent chimp named Caesar. The old bit about science tampering in God's domain quickly applies. Director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) displays an admirable sense of pacing, deftly levying the escalating action scenes with small character moments from the likes of John Lithgow and Brian Cox. That said, the film belongs to Caesar, whose path from wide-eyed innocent to reluctant revolutionary generates the ironic pulp empathy that gave the original series such a kick. Watching the climactic confrontation on the Golden Gate Bridge, it's distressingly easy to figure out which side to root for. Chuck Heston would no doubt grit his teeth in approval. Note: Those skeptical that this revamp could wholly retain the original's doomy backbeat would do well to stick around during the end credits. - Andrew Wright, Amazon
DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Rupert Wyatt's 2011 reboot of the Planet of the Apes Franchise, 'Rise', is one of my favourite films of the last few years. A thrilling action film with an intelligent narrative and plenty of heart, it was an almost totally unexpected and very pleasant surprise. For 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', director Matt Reeves continues the story where Wyatt left off, and Reeves has satisfyingly made a sequel of such impressive quality that is at least the equal of its predecessor and in many aspects surpasses it.  The story takes place a decade since Caesar led his fellow apes to begin a new life away from captivity in the forests beyond San Francisco. The group has expanded and thrived and constructed a sort of ape city among the trees. Here, Caesar has continued to command the loyalty of his fellow simians and remains chief, while he now also has a young family of his own to protect. Back in San Francisco, many years have now passed since a deadly virus born from the gaseous form of the drug ALZ-113 (referred to as 'Simian flu') has all but wiped out the human race, though a pocket of survivors exhibiting a genetic resistance remains in the city. The apes and humans have thus been segregated until a chance meeting with a small band of human explorers reunites them once more, bringing back some old memories for Caesar while igniting tensions between the two groups that threatens to boil over into all-out war and a battle for evolutionary superiority. The film plays on the natural mistrust that the apes have of the humans, and vice versa. While much of the fun of 'Rise' was in watching Caesar's ascension to power as a Spartacus-style leader of his fellow down-trodden apes, 'Dawn' focuses on Caesar's struggle to maintain a fragile peace between his own kind and the race he was brought up amongst. Chief antagonist is Koba, Caesar's general and one time laboratory bonobo whose innate hatred of the human race threatens to destroy all that Caesar has battled to build. In another motion-capture acting tour de force, the outstanding Andy Serkis is again the subject for Caesar's movements and expressions and gives an astonishingly powerful performance that is full of presence, depth and charisma. Caesar has all the makings of a classic film character.  Human performances again mostly take a back seat to Caesar's ongoing struggles. Gary Oldman is a little underused as the embattled leader of a human fraction living within a guarded tower amongst the ruins of San Francisco, but Jason Clarke has plenty to do as Malcolm, the lead of a small group of engineers that take up a role in diplomacy and begin to form a strong bond with Caesar.  The exhilarating action scenes and set pieces are of a grander scale than in 'Rise' and with the use of some truly spectacular digital effects that are as realistic as any you will see, makes for an absorbing visual feast. But the finest achievements of the film lie in it's thoughtful, emotional core, that cleverly aligns our sympathies with both apes and humans and makes for a moving and thoroughly rewarding experience that is far removed from the one-dimensionality of today's brainless blockbusters. Never mind that 'Dawn' heads for a not entirely unpredictable conclusion, this is a quite beautiful film that has clearly been crafted with great care and intelligence. A fabulous achievement. 9.5/10.  -  Rob Payne
The Planets - BBC Series

A fantastic series commissioned by the BBC that charts the history of discoveries & the knowledge we now have about the universe around us. This is compulsive viewing for any interested in space with awesome video footage both old & new. The only problem? Its 6 & a half hours long. NB
P at the NYC Portishead: At The NYC - Live

This famous filming of Portishead's first-ever live gig in New York--along with the accompanying album--is now considered a modern classic. The concert itself is a wonder to behold, as Portishead (Geoff Barrows, Adrian Utley, Beth Gibbons, Andy Smith) smoke cigarettes, chew gum, scratch records and behave in a generally hip manner while around them the 30-piece New York philharmonic orchestra and a five-piece horn ensemble do their thing. The performance and subsequent recording of this gig has, in some cases, offered a preferred body of work to Portishead's studio based albums, proving that live gigs do not necessarily equal poor production values. From the haunting "All Mine" to the ever-popular "Glory Box" the energy from the band members and the welcome addition of a live orchestra adds a breathtaking edge to the well-known tunes. The camera adds to the magic of the concert, sweeping majestically across the action and the audience, helping to capture the slow, silky essence of this urbanized opulence. On the DVD: As well as re-EQ'ing all of the music, the band have provided extra musical snippets, footage from their world tour (which followed this concert), an exclusive acoustic version of "Wandering Star", all of their music videos and the cultish short film they made in 1994. The "road tour" section is quite dull, shot from a car racing around provincial England (Portishead, mainly). The music videos, by and large, are more interesting and artful, particularly the video for "Only You" which is undeniably beautiful. The parting shot is their short movie "To Kill A Dead Man" (directed, shot, acted and scored by the band), which is entertaining, despite the hefty disclaimer that precedes it. All in all this is a very comprehensive overview of one of the 90s' most revered bands - Paul Sullivan
Predator Boxed Set Predator 1 & 2 Boxed Set

Predator took the 80's action film & spiced it up with a twist.  This group of soldiers are in the middle of the jungle & up against an intelligent & sophisticated alien who has been hunting in the area for sport.  One by one the soldiers are taken out leaving just Arnie to go head to head with the Alien.

Despite its reputation Predator 2 is also a very good film, bringing the hunt into the middle of a city.  Involving local cops, drug runners & a secret government agency this is a very fresh outlook on the story.  Also look out for the HR Giger Alien skull among the collection in the predators trophy cabinet, predating the Alien Vs. Predator films by some years. NB

Predators

Predators, a bold new chapter in the Predator universe, shot under the creative auspices of Robert Rodriguez, stars Adrien Brody as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet… as prey. With the notable exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers--mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members--human “predators” that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien Predators in the ultimate battle of survival of kill, or be killed. - Amazon Synopsis
Premonition - Japanese

Carrying on the tradition of J-horror thrillers that have taken the Western world by storm, 'Premonition' is a creepy descent into the realms of the supernatural, assuming an unnerving, non-linear form, and taking numerous unexpected turns along the way. Hideki Satomi is a professor whose world is turned upside down when he reads an obituary foretelling his daughter's death in a car crash, which in fact comes to pass later that same day. Three years later Hideki is still devastated by this tragedy, which has estranged him from his wife, Ayaka, who is convinced her husband is crazy; she believes he hallucinated the obituary, which later came to obsess him. Eventually, however, the two switch roles, as Ayaka herself comes to be haunted by the future-predicting newspaper, and a series of unexplained killings all over Japan draws the couple ever-deeper into the mystery. Although 'Premonition' satisfies the expectation audiences have come to hold with regards to Japanese horror, it avoids redundancy and the ubiquitous imagery found in such films, making it a unique and engrossing entry in this ever-exciting genre and serves as the basis for the 2007 film of the same name, starring Sandra Bullock. - Amazon Synopsis

Primevil

When a group of friends onboard a yacht rescue a wounded man from the sea, they find more than they bargained for when he shipwrecks them during the night on an uncharted island. Exploring the jungle the next day, the group discover a deserted military camp and an abandoned dig, but no people. Hearing strange noises and sensing movements in the trees, they soon realise that the island is actually inhabited by a tribe of primitive humanoid creatures, and that they have now become the prey... Featuring Lance Henriksen (AVP: Alien Vs Predator), Brianna Brown (Timber Falls) and Emily Foxler, Primevil is a truly terrifying adventure of monstrous proportions!
 - Amazon Synopsis

A low budget affair that borrows heavily from Predator but ultimately tells a very different story.  you can't help cringe while watching but it does rope you into the story towards the end.  If there's one thing I've learn't from this film it's to stop buying films from supermarkets.  - NB
Prince Prince: The Hits Collection

A compilation of Princes greatest hits. There does seem to be a few missing, & a few live substitutes which may suggest a budget release.  But perfectly enjoyable all the same. NB
Princess Mononoke - Japanese Anime

Princess Mononoke has already made history as the top-grossing domestic feature ever released in Japan, where its combination of mythic themes, mystical forces, and ravishing visuals tapped deeply into cultural identity and contemporary, ecological anxieties. For international animation and anime fans, this epic, animated 1997 fantasy, represents an auspicious next step for its revered creator, Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service), an acknowledged anime pioneer, whose painterly style, vivid character design, and stylised approach to storytelling take ambitious, evolutionary steps here. Set in medieval Japan, Miyazaki's original story envisions a struggle between nature and man. The march of technology, embodied in the dark iron forges of the ambitious Tatara clan, threatens the natural forces explicit in the benevolent Great God of the Forest and the wide-eyed, spectral spirits he protects. When Ashitaka, a young warrior from a remote, and endangered, village clan, kills a ravenous, boar-like monster, he discovers the beast is in fact an infectious "demon god", transformed by human anger. Ashitaka's quest to solve the beast's fatal curse brings him into the midst of human political intrigues as well as the more crucial battle between man and nature. Miyazaki's convoluted fable is clearly not the stuff of kiddie matinees, nor is the often graphic violence depicted during the battles that ensue. If some younger viewers (or less attentive older ones) will wish for a diagram to sort out the players, Miyazaki's atmospheric world and its lush visual design are reasons enough to watch. For the English-language version, Miramax assembled an impressive vocal cast including Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup (as Ashitaka), Claire Danes (as San), Minnie Driver (as Lady Eboshi), Billy Bob Thornton, and Jada Pinkett Smith. They bring added nuance to a very different kind of magic kingdom. -- Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com On the DVD: with an impressive widescreen aspect of 2.35:1 and a pleasant 5.1 Dolby digital sound, you cannot fault the transfer of this animation in any way. However, the special features leave a lot to be desired on what is a classic piece of modern anime. The "Behind the Scenes" feature holds no information on the making of Princess Mononoke in its original form--with no input from animator Hayao Miyazaki--and the trailer is taken from the American release of the movie (even though it calls itself an "original" theatrical trailer), complete with the annoyingly hyped-up voiceover that comes with US film trailers. The redeeming feature of this DVD is the ability to watch the anime in its original language with subtitles, a much more passionate and beautiful form--so much of the feeling and lyricism of the movie is lost with the transfer to English language and misplaced casting. After watching the original Japanese version of Princess Mononoke and reading the book you begin to wonder why the West has become such a solitary child of Disney.
- Nikki Disney

Prodigy: Their Law

Another essential music title. This disc includes every music video from the early rave tracks right through to the lesser known modern releases. All videos are the full editions with no prissy censoring & a full live set is also included. This is a comprehensive package that belongs in every 90's music fans collection & is Seriously good value for money. NB
Prometheus
Prometheus

You want an alien world created anew, with wonders and horrors lurking in its furrows? You go to Ridley Scott, of course, spectacle maker and pictorialist par excellence. So Prometheus is bound to be eye filling, with fully wrought planetary vistas and occasionally jaw-dropping visual coups. And did we use the word alien back there? Yes, folks, Prometheus is a prequel, in a sideways sort of fashion, to Scott's 1979 Alien original--or at least it's a long-distant stage setter for that story. This one begins with a space mission that could reveal the extraterrestrial roots of Earth, although what's buried out on the planet turns out to be much more complicated than expected. In the midst of suspenseful episodes (and a few contrived plot turns), Prometheus reaches for Big Answers to Big Questions, in a grand old sci-fi tradition. This lends the movie a hint of metaphysical energy, even if Scott's reach extends well, well beyond his grasp. The hokier moments are carried off with brio by Michael Fassbender (the robot on board), Charlize Theron, and Idris Elba, and then you've got Noomi Rapace entering the badass hall of fame for a long, oh-no-they-didn't sequence involving radical surgery, which might just induce the vapours in a few viewers. Even if Prometheus has its holes, the sheer size of the thing is exciting to be around. Because this movie is gigantic. - Robert Horton

Pulp Fiction

With Pulp Fiction writer-director Quentin Tarantino stunned the filmmaking world, exploding into prominence as a cinematic heavyweight contender after initial success with 1992's Reservoir Dogs. But Pulp Fiction was more than just the follow-up to an impressive first feature, or the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, or a script stuffed with the sort of juicy bubblegum dialogue actors just love to chew, or the vehicle that re-established John Travolta on the A-list, or the relatively low-budget ($8 million) independent showcase for an ultra-hip mixture of established marquee names and rising stars from the indie scene (among them Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Julia Sweeney, Kathy Griffin and Phil Lamar). It was more, even, than an unprecedented $100-million-plus hit for indie distributor Miramax. Pulp Fiction was a sensation. It packs so much energy and invention into telling its non-chronologically interwoven short stories (all about temptation, corruption and redemption among modern criminals, large and small) it leaves viewers both exhilarated and exhausted--hearts racing and knuckles white from the ride. (Oh, and the infectious, surf-guitar-based soundtrack is tastier than a Royale with Cheese.) - Jim Emerson
  Pulse

Techno-thriller in which a mysterious computer program appears to infect whoever comes into contact with it. When Josh (Jonathan Tucker), a student hacker, accidentally taps into the wrong kind of wireless signal, an evil is unleashed into this world that cannot be contained. Now it seems the virus can be transmitted to humans in a number of ways; from innocuous mobile phones to e-mail devices. A suicide starts off a chain of unexplained deaths, and as the body count rises, it becomes clear that no one is immune. Jim Sonzero's feature-film directorial debut--itself a remake of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Japanese horror hit KAIRO--is a claustrophobic examination of where technology is headed, loosely falling into the same genre as films like Takashi Miike's ONE MISSED CALL and Gore Verbinski's THE RING. Elia Cmiral's atmospheric score heightens the tension. - Amazon Synopsis

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