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Anton van Beek  |  Jul 06, 2017  |  0 comments

2016 was a banner year for Disney. Bookended by brand-new Star Wars films, it also saw the Marvel brand go from strength to strength at the box office. It was also the first time since 2002 that its animation arm released two films in the same year. And while it might not hit quite the same highs as its sibling Zootropolis, there's no denying that Moana is another triumph.

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 05, 2017  |  0 comments

Following the sudden arrival of a dozen alien spacecraft around the globe, linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is approached by the US military to aid them in translating the alien visitors. Together with a team of mathematicians and scientists (including physicist Ian Donnelly, played by Jeremy Renner), Louise discovers that the squid-like aliens, dubbed 'heptapods', communicate with complex symbols and starts working on a method of decoding their language. Meanwhile, tensions and paranoia about the aliens' true intentions see world governments isolating themselves from each other, leading to the possibility of a new global conflict.

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 04, 2017  |  0 comments

Having established the rules of its shared cinematic universe, Marvel Studios now sets about shaking it up by introducing magic to the mix with the tale of a crippled neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) who finds salvation in the mystic arts. While the actual story is nothing particularly new, the excellent cast and novel dressing (sparkling magical sigils and kaleidoscoping cityscapes) makes it feel fresh. It's also nice to see a comic book movie where the hero outsmarts the villain rather than simply beating them into a pulp.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 28, 2017  |  0 comments

Brian De Palma has always been something of a Marmite filmmaker, but even his most ardent fans had little kind to say about this 1992 thriller upon its original release. John Lithgow takes centre stage as Carter Nix, a respected child psychologist who secretly suffers from a multiple personality disorder and spends his spare time kidnapping kids and offing their mothers. Meanwhile, his wife Jenny (Lolita Davidovich) is rekindling a romance with a former lover (Steven Bauer). Clearly things are not going to end well for someone.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 26, 2017  |  0 comments

When a team of Vatican-sponsored vampire hunters are slaughtered by master bloodsucker Jan Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), the only survivors are squad leader Jack Crow (James Woods) and his right-hand man Tony Montoya (Daniel Baldwin). Taking advantage of the psychic link developing between Valek and a prostitute (Sheryl Lee) that he bit during the attack, the duo set out to get revenge.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 24, 2017  |  0 comments

Smarting from the critical and box office failure of the previous year's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, 1974 found director Sam Peckinpah taking a break from the Western genre and interfering Hollywood producers. Heading to Mexico he set about shooting the story of a down-on-his-luck bar room pianist (Warren Oates) who believes he's found a way of turning his life around when he gets involved in the hunt for a man with a $1,000,000 price on his head.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 22, 2017  |  0 comments

'So bland and uninspiring that it's less terrifying than a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.' That was the parting shot in our review of boardgame-based fright flick Ouija. Still, as bad as it was, the film clearly did well enough for Universal Pictures to greenlight a sequel. Which is why, two years later, we now find ourselves reviewing Ouija: Origin of Evil…

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 18, 2017  |  0 comments

Ever since Kang Je-gyu's action blockbuster Shiri exploded onto the bigscreen in 1999, discerning film fans have kept an eye on South Korean cinema. Over the best part of two decades, this awareness has been rewarded by such diverse treats as Joint Security Area, My Wife is a Gangster, The Host and Park Chan-wook's astonishing Vengeance Trilogy.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 16, 2017  |  0 comments

This cinematic follow-up to 2012's Jack Reacher finds the military policeman-turned-drifter on the run with an Army Major (Cobie Smulders) falsely accused of being involved in the murder of two soldiers in Afghanistan. As if having a team of assassins on your trail wasn't enough to deal with, things get even more complicated for Reacher when he encounters a 15-year-old girl (Danika Yarosh) who may be his daughter.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 14, 2017  |  0 comments

The food items filling the shelves of Shopwell's supermarket spend their days singing the praises of their 'gods' and eagerly awaiting the moment when they too will be swept up by one of them, put in a basket and taken off to the 'Great Beyond'.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 13, 2017  |  0 comments

The Blair Witch Project (1999) is one of the major cinematic milestones of the past two decades. But any attempt at turning it into a franchise was killed stone dead by the diabolical Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows (2000). Or so we thought…

Mark Craven  |  Mar 11, 2017  |  0 comments

The three members of US comedy troupe/comic songwriters The Lonely Island star, write and direct this generally sharp and witty satire of the modern music industry. Think This Is Spinal Tap for the YouTube generation.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 10, 2017  |  0 comments

Three resourceful young crooks – Alex (Dylan Minnette), Rocky (Jane Levy) and Money (Daniel Zovatto) – get more than they bargained for when they target the home of a blind war veteran (Stephen Lang), who is rumoured to have hundreds of thousands of dollars stashed away. When the trio break in, they soon discover that money isn't all he has hidden in the house, and that blindness isn't such a disability for this former soldier.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 26, 2017  |  0 comments

Since time immemorial (well, 1975) Hollywood has been obsessed with making movies about people being eaten by sharks. The past decade, in particular, has seen the predatory piscine sub-genre go into overdrive, thanks largely to the availability of low-cost digital effects. But in a world of gimmicky fish flicks like Shark in Venice and Ghost Shark, slick survival movie The Shallows is a breath of salty air.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 24, 2017  |  0 comments

Based on the April 20, 2010, oil rig explosion that cost the lives of 11 men and caused the biggest ecological disaster in US history, Deepwater Horizon is a bruising piece of disaster cinema that brings the incident to life in adrenaline-pumping fashion.

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