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Anton van Beek  |  Jun 13, 2011  |  0 comments

True Grit represents another notch on the belt for filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, marking a return to the pinnacle of contemporary American filmmakers after the rather sleight Burn After Reading and A Serious Man.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 10, 2011  |  0 comments

Once Upon a Time in the West isn’t just one of the greatest westerns – it’s one of the greatest films ever made. Working with the backing of a major American studio and scripted by two young Italian film critics who would eventually become respected filmmakers in their own right (Dario Argento and Bernardo Bertolucci), Leone’s film felt like the summation of the many themes he had begun exploring in his Dollars Trilogy. What initially appears to be a simple tale of revenge soon transforms into an operatic contemplation of the myth and legend of the Wild West with a cast to die for, spectacular images you could frame and hang in a gallery and Ennio Morricone’s greatest score. Cinema doesn’t get much better than this.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 07, 2011  |  0 comments

The Fighter is the latest in a long line of films that shows just how well cinema and boxing go together. Thanks to the ease with which they bring together three of it’s the industry’s favourite themes - human drama, triumph of the underdog and people being hit in the head repeatedly - Hollywood’s history is lined with hymns to professional pugilists (either fictitious or real) in the form of classics like The Champ, Gentleman Jim, Rocky and Raging Bull.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 06, 2011  |  0 comments

Taxi Driver remains the highpoint of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro many cinematic collaborations. Which is quite something when you consider that this 1976 masterpiece had to beat out Raging Bull and Goodfellas for that particular honour.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 06, 2011  |  0 comments

The Bridge on the River Kwai finds David Lean at his absolute best. Every bit the equal to his latter Lawrence of Arabia, this astonishing World War II epic stars Alec Guinness as Colonel Nicholson, a no-nonsense army man who obsession with rules clouds his loyalties when he and his fellow POWs are put to work building a bridge for the Japanese in the jungles of Burma. On a collision course with him is William Holden’s Shears, an American who escaped from the camp and has been forced to return with a small team to destroy the bridge.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 06, 2011  |  0 comments

The Mechanic isn’t a film about the trials and tribulations of a wannabe Kwik-Fit fitter. It’s actually a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie of the same name, with HCC favourite Jason Statham taking over as the burly bloke who makes his living ‘fixing things’ (by killing people). With its undemanding student-teacher story and its predictable twists, the film doesn’t add anything to the genre that you won’t find in numerous straight-to-DVD flicks. But The Mechanic does offer up some great action and the chance to see Statham kicking ass again – which should keep fans happy for a couple of hours.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 01, 2011  |  0 comments

It's been six years since developer Traveller's Tales unleashed Lego Star Wars: The Video Game on unsuspecting gamers - and in doing so demonstrated that it was possible to successfully transform the popular building brick toy line into pixel-based entertainment. Much of that success hinged on the personality that Traveller's Tales were able to inject into the Lego characters through the application of the Star Wars licence, giving the title both a sense of focus and humour that had been sorely missing from earlier 'edutainment'-centric Lego titles.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Well served for little outlay Martin Pipe builds a media server and has change from £100

Networked-attached storage (NAS) is damn useful. In addition to providing a convenient means of backing up important data stored on your computers, today’s consumer-orientated models typically incorporate a DLNA media server.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
3D home thin-ema Steve May looks for substance behind the style of Sharp’s first 3D spinner  

Sharp’s first 3D player elicits gasps when you unpack it. The wafer-thin design, with black top-plate and gunmetal trim, is certainly dramatic. You can even choose how you want to use it: flat or vertical (a plastic stand is included).

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Yeehaw! Big sound is over here Danny Phillips gets to grips with some giant US-made cabinets

US brand EMP Tek was founded as recently as 2007, but was set up by audio boffins with over 30 years’ experience, designing speakers for esteemed names such as ParaSound, McIntosh and JBL. They’ve been brought to the UK by distributor Aldous Systems, which has set the ball rolling with the Impression series. Although this range includes four off-the-peg packages, this 7.1-channel system has been pieced together from the individual components. The tower speakers used for the front and rear channels are the E55Ti, a slightly taller version of the E5Ti towers, but offering greater power handling than their shorter siblings.

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