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Anton van Beek  |  Oct 13, 2014  |  0 comments

Behind all of the poetic language, William Shakespeare clearly had a bit of a sadistic streak. Almost all of his plays feature brutal murders and other transgressive acts of violence – something this wickedly funny 1973 black comedy celebrates with its tale of a hammy actor taking his revenge on the theatre critics who belittled him, murdering them using methods lifted directly from The Bard's plays.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 12, 2014  |  0 comments

It's been over a decade since the last instalment of the BBC series of the same name, but the success of the live show has saved the Walking with Dinosaurs brand from extinction. As such, it was hardly surprising to learn that a feature-film was going into production. What is a surprise, though, is just how far removed the film is from the concept of the original series…

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 10, 2014  |  0 comments

The latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen takes us back to 1961 to follow the travails of Greenwich Village folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac). Formerly part of a duo, Davis has reinvented himself as a solo artist since his partner's suicide – which wouldn't necessarily be such a bad thing if his album was actually selling. So Davis packs up his guitar (and a friend's cat) and heads across country for a last-ditch effort at impressing the music mogul who could give him the big break his career needs.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 09, 2014  |  0 comments

Ben Stiller's latest directorial outing sees the Hollywood funnyman take a break from the farcical humour of Zoolander and Tropic Thunder for something a little more heart-felt.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 08, 2014  |  0 comments

The third of four films by the late director Donald Cammell is a curious mix of Giallo-style murder mystery and smalltown domestic drama. As you might expect from Cammell's other films (Performance, Demon Seed and Wild Side) what would undoubtedly have been a routine thriller in the hands of anyone else has been transformed into a stylistic tour-de-force, loaded with symbolism and introspection. Flawed but definitely fascinating.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 07, 2014  |  0 comments

Lars von Trier's four-hour, two-movie epic tells the story of self-confessed nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Having been assaulted and left lying beaten in an alley, she is discovered by a lonely bachelor called Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) who takes her into his home. While recuperating, she passes the time by telling her saviour about her sordid life, splitting the saga into eight chapters.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 06, 2014  |  0 comments

The final film by Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki steps away from the supernatural and fantasy elements that has typified his best known work for a bittersweet tale based on the life-story of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 05, 2014  |  0 comments

There's a fine line between creating a narrative that remains intriguingly opaque and one that simply infuriates by stubbornly refusing to allow you to engage with it on any level. Joel and Ethan Coen judged it to perfection with their 2008 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of Ridley Scott and this 'thriller' based on an original script by the same author.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2014  |  0 comments

'Some of this actually happened' reads an onscreen caption at the start of David O. Russell's American Hustle. Exactly which parts are true doesn't actually matter, as Russell has simply used the genuine 1970s FBI Abscam sting as the springboard for a story that is both a wickedly entertaining crime caper and a richly-layered character study.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 03, 2014  |  0 comments

This fourth screen take on Stephen King's first best-seller (don't tell us you forgot about 1999's The Rage: Carrie 2 and 2002's TV movie?) still finds it almost impossible to escape from the shadow of Brian De Palma's original 1976 adaptation. While the storyline has been updated to bring cyber-bullying into the mix, otherwise it's business as usual, with the exact same story beats being played out yet again.

Richard Holliss  |  Oct 02, 2014  |  0 comments

Did Neil Armstrong take ‘one giant leap for mankind’ when he stepped onto the lunar surface or were the Apollo missions, as the conspiracy theorists would like us to believe, nothing but a ‘giant’ hoax? Using dubious scientific evidence, they first of all argued that a trip to the moon would have been impossible due to the effects of deadly cosmic radiation, before attacking the photographs from the lunar surface as clever fakes. But whether the moon missions were real or not, the public began to lose interest anyway, angry about the tremendous amount of money being spent on space exploration. 

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 02, 2014  |  0 comments

Roles are reversed in this spellbinding second season of the crime drama based on Thomas Harris' novels, as FBI profiler Will Graham is the lunatic locked away behind bars and Hannibal Lecter is on the loose and aiding the law. As if that wasn't a compelling enough reason to pick up this set, Hannibal continues to be one of the best-looking shows available on Blu-ray thanks to its stunning AVC 1.78:1 1080p encodes. Best of all, unlike the previous boxset, this time around UK fans get the full complement of extra featuress, including eight episode commentaries.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Based on a true story, 12 Years a Slave tells the tale of black violinist Solomon Northup, who was born free in New York, only to be kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. As the title indicates it would be 12 long, painful years before he finally regained his freedom and was able to return to his family.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 29, 2014  |  0 comments

Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron star in this inspired comedy about a young couple with a newborn baby forced to live next door to a raucous off-campus frat house. Mixing big belly laughs with acute observations about the anxieties that accompany the journey to adulthood, Bad Neighbours is one of the year's funniest films and (refreshingly) doesn't outstay its welcome thanks to a brisk 97-minute running time. In addition to attractive 1.85:1 imagery and powerful DTS-HD MA 5.1 sonics (just check out those party scenes), Universal's Blu-ray serves up some fun bonus bits.

Richard Holliss  |  Sep 26, 2014  |  0 comments

Telekinesis, the power to move objects with the mind, has been explored in classic stories such as H. G. Wells’ The Man Who Could Work Miracles, and in movies like The Brain from Planet Arous, Fiend Without a Face and Firestarter.  In George Pal’s 1968 film The Power, members of a secret society use telekinetic forces to commit murder and it is a similar premise that forms the plot of the 1978 movie The Medusa Touch, based on the novel by Peter Van Greenaway and directed by Jack Gold.