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Anton van Beek  |  Aug 08, 2012  |  0 comments

Taking its cues from The Phantom of the Opera and The Murders in the Rue Morgue, it’s safe to say that this isn’t your typical animated kids’ film. And yet A Monster in Paris ultimately has little to offer older viewers outside of some attractive production design.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 29, 2011  |  0 comments

While the recent remake might have done its best to kill him off for good, Freddy Krueger remains the definitive '80s horror icon and has carved out a place as one of the legendary monsters of cinema. Admittedly, as proven by this collection of the original seven films in the series (only the subsequent crossover hit Freddy vs Jason is missing from Robert Englund's run in the franchise), Freddy's film career has been as hit and miss as they come.

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  |  Jan 02, 2015  |  0 comments

Liam Neeson takes a break from running around Europe beating up people for a slightly more thoughtful role in this glum thriller based on the best-selling 1992 crime novel by Lawrence Block.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 26, 2012  |  0 comments

This high-concept action-horror posits a world in which 'Honest Abe' spends his spare time battling the undead. Sounds a bit daft? Of course it is. But thanks to the gusto and creativity director Timur (Wanted) Bekmambetov brings to the film (particularly in its 3D guide) it's also more enjoyable than it has any right to be. The two 2.40:1 1080p Blu-ray presentations are immaculate and aided by thrillingly expansive DTS-HD MA 7.1 sonics. Extras consist of a 75-min Making of…, commentary by the writer, music video and an 8-min animated short.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 04, 2015  |  0 comments

Having achieved domination of the world's cinemas, it was inevitable that Marvel Studios would also take aim at our televisions. Spinning off from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. follows the exploits of a special team of secret agents tasked with travelling the world and investigating reports of super-powered individuals.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 26, 2014  |  0 comments

When a siege crisis involving a former host-turned-crazed-gunman (Colm Meaney) hits North Norfolk Digital's radio HQ, the hostages' only hope lies in the hands of the peevish and self-obsessed DJ Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan).

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 06, 2013  |  0 comments

James Patterson's Alex Cross novels regularly top the bestseller lists around the world – and now Hollywood wants a piece of the action. Ignoring the two earlier Morgan Freeman adaptations (Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider), Alex Cross reboots the franchise with a story every bit as generic as the film's title and a with a woefully miscast Tyler Perry in the lead role.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 03, 2013  |  0 comments

Following on from Universal's bumper box of Hitchcock Blu-rays (reviewed here) Warner Home Video's new triple-pack brings together the studio's two previous stand-alone hi-def Hitchcock releases – North by Northwest (released back in 2009) and Dial M for Murder (reviewed here) – with hi-def debutant Strangers on a Train. The AVC 1.33:1 1080p black-and-white encode of the latter impresses from the start with its combination of sharpness, clarity and excellent contrast, and is ably supported by an equally well restored DTS-HD MA mono mix. Extras take the form of a commentary, five featurettes, the theatrical trailer and a standard-def version of the Preview Version of the film.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 30, 2013  |  0 comments

The best and worst of Hitchcock's extraordinary body of work comes together in this new boxset. Spanning the years 1942 to 1976, it includes Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 01, 2011  |  0 comments

The Alien Anthology boxset is quite simply a must-have for any self-respecting home cinema buff. Not only do you get two bona fide Five Star classics – Ridley Scott’s original Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens – but it also includes David Fincher’s horribly underrated Alien3 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s half-baked Alien Resurrection. Okay, so the latter can’t compare to the first three films in this legendary sci-fi/horror series, but taken as a whole the Alien saga remains one of the most exciting, fascinating and enduring genre franchises around and it simply has to form a part of every self-respecting home cinema fan’s collection.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 25, 2013  |  0 comments

Violent. Scary. Sexy. Blimey, this latest series from producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk couldn't be more different from their previous smash hit, Glee.

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  |  Mar 30, 2018  |  0 comments

Inspired by real events, American Made stars Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a TWA pilot with a sideline in smuggling Cuban cigars, who was recruited by the CIA in the late 1970s to fly reconnaissance missions over Central America. During one mission, Seal is greeted by the Medellín Cartel who ask him to fly cocaine into the US for them, something the CIA is quite willing to turn a blind eye to as long as Barry also runs guns to the Nicaraguan Contras.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 05, 2013  |  0 comments

Filmmaking duo The Soska Sisters made a bit of a splash with their debut outing Dead Hooker in a Trunk. So much, it would appear, that Universal picked up the UK distribution rights for their second film – a twisted tale starring Katherine Isabelle as a medical student with a talent for 'body modification'. Behind the ugly Blu-ray menu lurks a very attractive AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode full of rich colours and inky shadows, although the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is disappointingly front-heavy. Extras are limited to on-set footage and a video of the filmmakers attending FrightFest 2012 in London.