Scorned by reviewers when it came out, Where Eagles Dare has acquired a cult following over the years for its unashamed and highly concentrated dose of commando death-dealing to legions of Nazi machine-gun fodder. In 1968 Clint Eastwood was just getting used to the notion that he might be a world-class movie star; Richard Burton, whose image had been shaped equally by classical theatre and his headline-making romance with Elizabeth Taylor, was eager to try his hand at the action genre. Author Alistair MacLean's novel The Guns of Navarone had inspired the film that started the 1960s vogue for World War II military capers, so he was prevailed upon to write the screenplay (his first). The central location, an impregnable Alpine stronghold locked in ice and snow, is surpassing cool, but the plot and action are ultra-mechanical, and the switcheroo gamesmanship of just who is the undercover double (triple?) agent on the mission becomes aggressively silly. --Richard T Jameson
The definite three disc Blu-ray set. The Complete Matrix Trilogy features all three films in the trilogy together for the first time ever in stunning high definition with a newly re-mastered picture and sound for The Matrix. Also included is the companion piece The Matrix Revisited two new audio commentaries on each film Enter the Matrix video game footage deep-delving featurettes/ documentaries and much more! The Matrix: Perception: The Everyday World is Real. Reality: That World is a hoax an elaborate deception spun by all-powerful machines of artificial intelligence that control us. Mind blowing stunts. Techno-slamming visuals. Megakick action. Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne lead the fight to free humankind in The Matrix the cyber thriller that you will watch again and again. Written and Directed by the Wachowski brothers (Bound) the story sears the special effects stake out new movie-making territory - the movie leaves you breathless. The Matrix Reloaded: Neo and the leaders of the human resistance discover that Sentinels are burrowing their way towards Zion. Estimating they have perhaps just 72 hours until an all-out assault Neo must return back into the Matrix and find the keymaker to gain access to the mainframe to ensure human survival... The Matrix Revolutions: In this final explosive third installment of the Matrix trilogy the city of Zion last bastion of the human race defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo attempts to fulfill his prophecy as 'The One'. As the Machine Army wages devastation on Zion its citizens mount an aggressive defense - but can they stave off the relentless swarm of Sentinels long enough for Neo adrift in a no man's land between the Matrix and the Machine world to harness the full extent of his powers and end the war?
Since its release in 1998, Steven Spielberg's D-Day drama Saving Private Ryan has become hugely influential: everything, from the opening sequence of Gladiator ("Saving Marcus Aurelius") to the marvellous 10-hour TV series Band of Brothers, has been made in its shadow. There have been many previous attempts to recreate the D-Day landings on screen (notably, the epic The Longest Day), but thanks to Spielberg's freewheeling hand-held camerawork, Ryan was the first time an audience really felt like they were there, storming up Omaha Beach in the face of withering enemy fire. After the indelible opening sequence, however, the film is not without problems. The story, though based on an American Civil War incident, feels like it was concocted simply to fuel Spielberg's sentimental streak. In standard Hollywood fashion the Germans remain a faceless foe (with the exception of one charmless character who turns out to be both a coward and a turncoat); and the Tom Hanks-led platoon consists of far too many stereotypes: the doughty Sergeant; the thick-necked Private; the Southern man religious sniper; the cowardly Corporal. Matt Damon seems improbably clean-cut as the titular Private in need of rescue (though that may well be the point); and why do they all run straight up that hill towards an enemy machine gun post anyway? Some non-US critics have complained that Ryan portrays only the American D-Day experience, but it is an American film made and financed by Americans after all. Accepting both its relatively narrow remit and its lachrymose inclinations, Saving Private Ryan deserves its place in the pantheon of great war pictures. On the DVD: Saving Private Ryan on disc comes in a good-quality anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer with a suitably dynamic Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix in which bullets fly all around your living room. Extra features are pretty minimal, with a standard 30-minute "making of" piece called "Into the Breach" and two trailers. There are text notes on the cast and crew as well as the production, and a brief message from Mr Spielberg himself about why he decided to make the movie. --Mark Walker
Based on the true story of the building of a bridge on the Burma railway by British prisoners-of-war held under a savage Japanese regime in World War II, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is one of the greatest war films ever made. The film received seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Performance (Alex Guinness), for Sir Malcolm Arnold's superb music, and for the screenplay from the novel by Pierre Boulle (who also wrote Monkey Planet, the inspiration for Planet of the Apes). The story does take considerable liberties with history, including the addition of an American saboteur played by William Holden, and an entirely fictitious but superbly constructed and thrilling finale. Made on a vast scale, the film reinvented the war movie as something truly epic, establishing the cinematic beachhead for The Longest Day (1962), Patton (1970) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). It also proved a turning-point in director David Lean's career. Before he made such classic but conventionally scaled films as In Which We Serve (1942) and Hobson's Choice (1953). Afterwards there would only be four more films, but their names are Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984). On the DVD: Too often the best extras come attached to films that don't really warrant them. Not so here, where a truly great film has been given the attention it deserves. The first disc presents the film in the original extra-wide CinemaScope ratio of 2.55:1, in an anamorphically enhanced transfer which does maximum justice to the film's superb cinematography. The sound has been transferred from the original six-track magnetic elements into 5.1 Dolby Digital and far surpasses what many would expect from a 1950s' feature. The main bonus on the first disc is an isolated presentation of Malcolm Arnold's great Oscar-winning music score, in addition to which there is a trivia game, and maps and historical information linked to appropriate clips. The second disc contains a new, specially produced 53-minute "making of" documentary featuring many of those involved in the production of the movie. This gives a rich insight into the physical problems of making such a complex epic on location in Ceylon. Also included are the original trailer and two short promotional films from the time of release, one of which is narrated by star William Holden. Finally there is an "appreciation" by director John Milius, an extensive archive of movie posters and artwork, and a booklet that reproduces the text of the film's original 1957 brochure. --Gary S Dalkin
Kelly's Heroes reunited Clint Eastwood with his Where Eagles Dare director Brian G Hutton, then added The Dirty Dozen star Telly Savalas in MGM's quest to turn WWII movie celluloid into box office gold three times running. The result, a sprawling adventure about a group of soldiers led by Kelly (Eastwood) on a private mission behind enemy lines to recover a cache of Nazi treasure, echoed its predecessors but wasn't as successful. While Where Eagle's Dare was somewhat tongue in cheek, Kelly's Heroes went for a cynical comic amorality with many plot parallels to 1969's The Italian Job, written by screenwriter Troy Kennedy-Martin the year before. Donald Sutherland, who also starred in the big-screen M*A*S*H (1970), plays a hippie tank commander decades before his time, and it's hard not to see both movies as more commentaries on Vietnam than on the wars in which they were ostensibly set. Though it is intermittently very funny, and despite some expertly staged action, Kelly's Heroes never really convinces as satire or adventure. On the DVD: Kelly's Heroes is presented on disc in a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer which is immaculate and taken from a virtually perfect master. The images are so clean and sharp they look brand new, outclassing many current theatrical prints. The three-channel sound concentrates most of the action to the centre speaker but does an excellent job of capturing the often turbulent soundtrack. The only real extra is the original trailer, presented anamorphically at 1.77:1.--Gary S Dalkin
Stomping whomping stealing singing tap-dancing violating Derby-topped teddy-boy hooligan Alex (Malcolm McDowell) has his own way of having a good time. He has it at the tragic expense of others. Alex's journey from amoral punk to brainwashed proper citizen forms the dynamic arc of Stanley Kubrick's future-shook vision of Anthony Burgess's novel. Unforgettable images startling musical counterpoints the fascinating language used by Alex and his pals - Kubrick shapes them into a shattering whole.
This remarkable film follows the struggles of T.E. Lawrence (played by Peter O'Toole - My Favourite Year The Last Emperor) in uniting the hostile Arab factions during the First World War and leading them to victory over the ruling Turkish Empire. The film was released originally in 1962 to huge critical acclaim winning 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean.
His name was Kunta Kinte. Kidnapped from Africa enslaved in America in 1767 he refused to accept his slave name Toby. Heirs kept his heroic defiance alive passing on his tale across generations until it reached a young boy growing up in Tennessee. His name was Alex Haley. Through the lineage of one family Haley and his Pulitzer Prize - winning Roots told a story for all America and the world. Seen by 130 million viewers during its premiere telecast and the winner of dozens of awards the David L. Wolper production remains an engrossing entertainment 30 years later. Embark on an unforgettable DVD journey.
One of the most iconic films ever made and one of the most disturbing dramatisations of the Vietnam War ever seen, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now is cinema at its most epic and unforgettable. Traumatised soldier Captain Benjamin L. Willard has been chosen for a highly classified mission. He must journey along the notorious Nung river and into the savage depths of war torn Cambodia in search of the mysterious Colonel Kurtz. Deemed insane and a danger to the war effort, Kurtz must be terminated with extreme prejudice. But the closer he gets to Kurtz the closer he gets to his own heart of darkness. In 2001 Coppola re-approached his hallucinatory masterpiece to create a definitive version, reinstating 49 minutes of previously unseen material. The result is Apocalypse Now Redux. In a pristine new transfers supervised by Francis Ford Coppola Presented in the original (2.35:1) theatrical aspect ratio Contains both the original theatrical cut of Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now Redux
On June 6 1944 the Allied Invasion of France marked the beginning of the end of Nazi domination over Europe. The attack involved 3 000 000 men 11 000 planes and 4 000 ships comprising the largest armada the world has ever seen. Presented in its original black & white version 'The Longest Day' is a vivid hour-by-hour re-creation of this historic event. Featuring a stellar international cast and told from the perspectives of both sides it is a fascinating look at the massive
The last desperate fight that changed the course of history. Five months after D-Day most American soldiers think the German army is broken. The Germans think otherwise. In an attempt to buy time to fill the skies with their invincible new jets they launch one fast furious offensive: the Battle of the Bulge. For this epic recreation of one of World War II's most crucial confrontations director Ken Annakin (The Longest Day) captures the explosive action of massive f
Full Metal Jacket begins by following the trials and tribulations of a platoon of fresh Marine Corps recruits focusing on the relationship between Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and Privates Pyle and Joker. We see Pyle grow into an instrument of death as Hartman has foreseen of all of his recruits. Through Pyle's torment and Joker's unwillingness to stand up against it the climax of part one is achieved with all three main characters deciding their fates by their action or inaction. The second chapter of Full Metal Jacket delves into Joker's psyche and the repeated referral to the fact that he joined the Corps to become a killer. When his mostly behind the scenes job as a combat correspondent is interfered with by the Tet offensive he is thrust into real combat and ultimately must choose if he really is a killer.
This 282-minute version of Das Boot is the full-length TV series, originally shown in six parts but here edited into a seamless whole. Director Wolfgang Petersen has since graduated to mega-budget Hollywood productions (2004's Troy for example), but has never managed even to come close to this, his German-language masterpiece. Petersen and his sterling cast (including Jürgen Prochnow in his best role as the U-boat captain) went to great lengths to ensure that this claustrophobic depiction of life aboard the German sub U-97 while attacking British convoys in the Atlantic is thoroughly authentic and totally convincing. Even the set itself, which is a replica of a U-boat interior, had no false walls, so all camera angles are necessarily from within its horribly narrow, overcrowded and sweaty confines. The result is certainly the finest submarine drama ever made, and one of the most compelling depictions of the physical, psychological and emotional effects of warfare. This mini-series is rather longer than the movie version, which is also available on DVD in a Director's Cut version. The differences are not in matters of plot, but in the pacing: everything here takes longer to happen, while the crew must sit around, bicker, swear and sweat it out--the agonising searching for action, the tension of the attack, the terrible stress of hiding from enemy destroyers. Everything unfolds as if in real time, which is the great advantage a TV production has over a movie (contrast, for example, Band of Brothers with Saving Private Ryan). This, therefore, is the definitive presentation of a World War II classic. On the DVD: Das Boot is presented on two discs, with no breaks where the original TV episodes started and finished. The default language option is German with optional English subtitles. For those constitutionally allergic to subtitles there is also an alternative English-language dub, voiced by many of the original cast (including Prochnow). Sound is adequate stereo or Dolby 5.1, and the anamorphic widescreen is good for the murky green underwater shots. Unlike the theatrical version, though, there is no commentary. --Mark Walker
Fine casting, rugged characters and authentic military detail make The Bridge at Remagen one of the best World War II action films of the 1960s. Based on actual incidents during the final Allied advance on Germany in March 1945, the story focuses on the US Army's exhausted 27th Armoured Infantry, assigned to seize the bridge at Remagen, on the Rhine river, to prevent 50,000 German troops from retreating to safety. Lt Hartman (George Segal) leads the mission, while a Nazi major (Robert Vaughn) defies orders by attempting to hold the bridge instead of blowing it up. With strong emphasis on war's harsher realities, the film's compelling characters illustrate the camaraderie of survivors and the heroism of mavericks in the thick of battle. Segal and Ben Gazzara effectively convey a hard-won friendship, and the film's dynamic action (filmed in Czechoslovakia and Italy) never overwhelms the story's emotional impact. This is highly recommended. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Life is a terrible thing to sleep through. Meet Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) a young man who lives in Endora Iowa population 1 091. Gilbert lives with his mother whose 36 stone frame is slowly destroying the fragile Grape homestead his brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) who was never expected to survive childhood and his two sisters. Gilbert's only excitement is his affair with Mrs. Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen). Besides that Gilbert's life is weird. And he doesn't seem to enjoy it. But one day a mysterious beautiful girl named Becky (Juliette Lewis) moves into town with her grandmother and Gilbert's world begins to change...
Quentin Tarantino presents a look at WWII the likes of which you have never seen before in the hotly anticipated "Inglorious Basterds".
This classic series deals with Allied prisoners of war imprisoned at the supposedly escape-proof Colditz Castle during World War II and their many attempts to escape captivity as well as the relationships formed between the various nationalities and their German captors. One memorable episode portrays the attempts of a prisoner Wing Commander Marsh (Michael Bryant) to get out of Colditz by feigning insanity. He succeeds but is pushed to the limits of his sanity in the process...
The men of Bravo Company are facing a battle that's all uphill... up Hamburger Hill. Fourteen war-weary soldiers are battling for a mud-covered mound of earth so named because it chews up soldiers like chopped meat. They are fighting for their country their fellow soldiers and their lives. War is hell but this is worse. Hamburger Hill tells it the way it was the way it really was. It's a raw gritty and totally unrelenting dramatic depiction of one of the fiercest battles of America's bloodiest war. Dodge the gunfire. Get caught behind enemy lines. Go into battle beside the brave young men who fought and died. Feel their desperation and futility. This happened. Hamburger Hill - war at its worst men at their best.
Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough and starring Robert Downey Jr and an extraordinary cast 'Chaplin' is a loving grand-scale portrait of the Little Tramp's amazing life and times. His poverty-stricken childhood in England comes to life along with his friendships with Mack Sennett (Dan Aykroyd) and Douglas Fairbanks (Kevin Kline) his many wives and scandalous affairs and his relentless pursuit by J. Edgar Hoover. Chaplin is the larger-than-life story of the actor behind the icon and a stunning depiction of a bygone era when Hollywood was at its most glamorous.
The tragedy of World War I is redefined in bawdy music-hall terms presented as the ""new attraction"" at the Brighton Amusement Pier complete with syrupy cheer-up songs shooting galleries free prizes and a scoreboard toting up the dead The Story focuses mainly on the members of one family (last name Smith) whose five sons enlist and end up as cannon fodder. Much of the action in the movie revolves around the words of the marching songs of the soldiers and many scenes portray some o
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