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Movies: DVDs of the week; Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Epic Series (PG).

Byline: MARK ADAMS at the movies

THE STORY: Remember back in the late-1970s when special effects on science fiction TV programmes were still of the wobbly set variety? Then George Lucas had a minor success at the cinema with Star Wars and everything on TV had to change as well. Along came the big budget series Battlestar Galactica, pitting a band of space-trotting humans against the nasty Cylon baddies. The series was a modest hit - it featured the likes of Lorne Greene from Bonanza and Dirk Benedict, who went on to star in The A-Team - but was cancelled after 22 episodes because the budget was just too high.

THE EXTRAS: Loads of bonus material, including a 45-minute Battlestar Galactica remembered documentary, more than three hours of deleted scenes and additional footage, audio commentary by stars and even a five-minute documentary on the Cylons (and an admission by stuntmen that they couldn't see a thing in their silver suits and were regularly tripping over each other).

THE VERDICT: A fascinating look back at 70s kitsch. The series starts well but descends into US TV tripe, but the extras make for fun viewing. Forget paying the extra pounds 20, though, for the limited edition Cylon box!

pounds 49.99THE STORY: A group of strangers are stranded at an isolated motel in the middle of the obligatory storm. The phone goes down, they find they are sleeping on the site of an old tribal burial ground and of course a killer starts slaughtering away. With a strong cast including John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet, this is actually a superior chiller, which was pretty much dismissed on its theatrical release but is well worth catching on DVD.

THE EXTRAS: Director James Mangold gives a fascinating audio commentary, and on disc two Brit writer Michael Cooney explains the background to the story. Also featured are four deleted scenes; behind the scenes footage; storyboard comparisons, and an extended version of the film with an extra scene and alternate ending.

THE VERDICT: Solid DVD entertainment well worth a look.

pounds 19.99


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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 11, 2004
Next Article:Movies: Samurais and rise of Cruise.

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