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Anton van Beek  |  Dec 24, 2012  |  0 comments

Not at the heights of the best of Pixar or DreamWorks, but Aardman's latest CG 'toon is still plenty of fun and a great AV experience in hi-def. The disc includes both 2D and 3D 1.85:1 1080p presentations of the film, with the latter proving incredibly convincing in its ability to create the impression of depth and volume. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is just as satisfying, making use of the entire soundstage. Extras include a trio of Making of… featurettes, a Justin Bieber music video (with its own short Making of…) and five animation progression reels.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 23, 2012  |  0 comments

After two very funny outings, the antics of Hollywood's latest answer to Cheech and Chong are looking a little tired in this festive flick. Despite some cute claymation antics and another great cameo from Neil Patrick Harris, fewer gags hit the target this time around. At least the 3D is thrillingly over-the-top with loads of out-of-the-screen moments - although the DTS-HD 5.1 mix isn't as playful. The accompanying 2D platter also looks great, and sports a handful of extras, including a look at the claymation sequence and deleted scenes.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 22, 2012  |  0 comments

Norwegian author Jo Nesbrø is best known for his crime novels featuring detective Harry Hole. But while we wait for that character to make the jump to the bigscreen, fans (and everybody else) would do well to check out this gripping and surprisingly witty action-thriller adapted from one of his stand-alone novels.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 22, 2012  |  0 comments

Noel Clarke stars in this British genre flick about a group of Londoners being stalked around a 24-hour storage facility by an otherworldy monster. The fact that Clarke also co-wrote it means that he should take a large part of the blame for how derivative it is in its attempts to ape Alien – albeit in a more mundane setting, with less believable characters and a crap monster. The clarity of the Blu-ray's AVC 1.85:1 1080p encode only emphasizes how cheap the film looks, although the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix manages to give it a slightly better impression of scale. Extras are generous, if hardly enlightening.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 21, 2012  |  0 comments

Bloated. Epic. Po-faced. Spectacular. Say what you will, but Christopher Nolan certainly knew how to pull out all the stops and subvert expectations when it came to bringing his Batman trilogy to a close.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 21, 2012  |  0 comments

Expanded from a short film (also included on this Blu-ray), The Pact delivers a wonderfully spooky opening act before quickly descending into a more mundane plot that wouldn't have looked out of place in an episode of The X Files. The Blu-ray itself scores highly for its impressively sharp and detailed AVC 1.85:1 1080p visuals, but the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is so low-key that it proves no more expansive than the LPCM 2.0 track also included on the disc. As well as the original short mentioned above, the disc also includes three short featurettes about the cast, director and location.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 20, 2012  |  0 comments

A young boy and girl run off together sparking a desperate search by local police, parents and scouts in this latest piece of over-stylised whimsy from director Wes Anderson. While not the filmmaker's best work (there the same sense of treading water that affected The Life Aquatic…) fans will find plenty to enjoy. And you'd be hard pushed to find any major faults with this disc's AVC 1.85:1 1080p encode and its autumnal palette and cinematic grain. The deceptively immersive DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is equally pleasing. Limited extras include a set tour and jokey cast and director profiles.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 20, 2012  |  0 comments

Originally conceived by producer Arthur Freed as a way of re-using MGM’s existing catalogue of songs, Singin’ in the Rain still stands as the best musical Hollywood ever. That it’s also the funniest and most insightful movie about filmmaking ever made (and tackles the subject of the transition from silent films to talkies with more panache than The Artist) is why it rates as one of my favourite films. So this new Blu-ray has it’s work cut out trying to impress me…

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 19, 2012  |  0 comments

One of the best-loved blockbuster franchises of recent times, the Indiana Jones movies have an appeal that reaches beyond the sci-fi geekery of Star Wars and fantasy nerdiness of The Lord of the Rings.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 18, 2012  |  0 comments

Further mysteries are resolved and even more are uncovered in this penultimate collection of 22 episodes from the smartest sci-fi show on TV. As well as satisfying the brain on so many levels, this cult favourite is also a treat for the eyes and the ears on Blu-ray. The AVC 1.78:1 1080p imagery reveals minor crush and artefacts in some scenes, but looks particularly striking the rest of the time. Better yet are the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes, which prove surprisingly expansive and active for a TV show. A 30-min roundtable chat is the best of a rather modest set of extras.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 14, 2012  |  0 comments

Following the discovery of a series of cave paintings and carvings that seemingly point the way to the home of humanity’s intergalactic ‘Engineers’, the scientific research ship Prometheus is dispatched to explore what’s out there. But what they discover are not the benevolent Gods they hoped for, but an ancient race that holds the key to our destruction.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 13, 2012  |  0 comments

This fun sci-fi actioner stars Guy Pearce as Snow, a smart-mouthed former government agent accused of a crime he didn't commit. When the inmates onboard an orbital prison escape and take the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) hostage, the authorities have no choice but to send Snow in to get her out alive.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 11, 2012  |  0 comments

The second of the BFI's 'The Soviet Influence' releases is notable for marking the UK HD debut of that best-known of all Soviet films – Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. While still riddled with damage, the stability and clarity of the 1.33:1 image (encoded at the authentic 18fps) is pretty special. Joining …it is Drifters (shown below), a UK film about a fishing fleet that draws visual inspiration from Eisenstein's classic, plus three extra short films (all also restored in 1080p). A booklet of essays is also included that helps put the films in context.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 06, 2012  |  0 comments

Eureka has added a new crown jewel to its acclaimed Masters of Cinema range with this superb Blu-ray debut for Carl Theodore Dreyer's silent masterpiece. Arriving in a deluxe slipcase, accompanied by a mammoth 100-page collection of essays, the disc features a choice of stunning 20fps and 24fps presentations of a new 2K restoration of the original 1928 version of the film (with optional, alternate music scores). Also on offer are a restoration comparison and the re-edited Lo Duca version created in the 1950s (also in 1080p).

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 04, 2012  |  0 comments

There's no two ways about it – 2012 is set to be remembered by fans as the year that cult filmmaker Joss Whedon finally conquered Hollywood. Not only was he responsible for the year's best blockbuster, Avengers Assemble, he also co-wrote and produced this clever, witty and gory deconstruction of the horror genre.