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Anton van Beek  |  Jun 29, 2014  |  0 comments

These days Ealing Studios is synonymous with comedies such as Whisky Galore! and The Man in the White Suit. However, the studio also found success in the 1940s with more serious fare, including a run of war films and this influential chiller.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 22, 2014  |  0 comments

When the White House is overrun by terrorists, it falls on the shoulders of one man to keep the president safe from harm… Hold on a minute. Doesn't this all sound rather familiar?

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 21, 2014  |  0 comments

Brazilian director José Padilha had a thankless task ahead of him when it came to remaking RoboCop. Mixing together shocking violence and worryingly prescient satire, Paul Verhoeven's peerless 1987 original is regarded as a classic by the majority of film fans, making the very notion of a remake even more redundant than usual. But despite having all of the odds stacked against it, this film more than justifies its existence with some big ideas of its own.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 20, 2014  |  0 comments

Based on the true story of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama container ship by Somali pirates, director Paul Greengrass' movie stars Tom Hanks as the commanding officer who was taken hostage.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 19, 2014  |  0 comments

When truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) agrees to help rescue a kidnapped girl from a street gang in San Francisco's Chinatown, he thinks he's simply helping out a friend. But wherever Burton goes trouble is never far behind, and before long he's caught up in a plot involving a trio of supernaturally-powered killers and an ancient Chinese sorcerer with a thing for green-eyed girls.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 14, 2014  |  0 comments

When Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is infected by an ancient weapon known as the Aether and awakens the Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), the fate of all Nine Realms hangs in  the balance. The only person who can help Thor (Chris Hemsworth) save the universe is his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) – but could he be an even bigger threat to Asgard than Malekith's army?

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 05, 2014  |  0 comments

The 1980s were a particularly exciting time for horror fans. Filmmakers constantly tried to outdo each other by pushing harder and harder at the boundaries of good taste. Yet outside of the gallons of gore being unleashed on screen many of the movies contained little else of note. Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator was another matter altogether…

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 03, 2014  |  0 comments

Back in 1995 Louisiana detectives Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) solved the ritualistic murder of a former prostitute that was connected to a series of other missing person reports. Flash-forward to 2012 and it looks like the murders have started up again. So what exactly happened all those years ago and why did the now-retired cops' friendship come to such a bitter end?

Anton van Beek  |  May 17, 2014  |  0 comments

Disney's 53rd animated movie sees the studio going 'full Broadway' with an all-singing, all-dancing take on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. Following in the footsteps of Tangled (a little too closely at times), Frozen delivers plenty of thrills and laughs, while eschewing the traditional 'love-conquers-all' message in favour of an empowering tale of the joys of sisterhood.

Anton van Beek  |  May 02, 2014  |  0 comments

While this TV drama about the formative years of a young Norman Bates naturally owes a great debt to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, it's really far more of a spiritual sibling to David Lynch's legendary Twin Peaks. As for this two-disc Blu-ray set – the show's stylish cinematography holds up very well, with each hi-def platter hosting five richly-detailed 1.78:1 1080p encodes. Aiding these are classy DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes that add plenty of atmosphere. Extras take the form of deleted scenes and a 50-minute Q&A with the main cast and crew.

Anton van Beek  |  May 01, 2014  |  0 comments

The first Percy Jackson film was one of the better Harry Potter knockoffs, but we doubt many people spent the past three years hoping for a sequel. Still, that's what we've got – and what a feeble affair it turns out to be, lacking the sparky dialogue that kept viewers interested between the CG-heavy action scenes. It also struggles to convince as a 3D proposition thanks to how dull much of the movie looks; in 2D it seems rather more attractive. Fittingly, the disc's meagre extras are just as forgettable as the main feature itself.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 30, 2014  |  0 comments

Those of you who weren't exactly thrilled with the original 2009 Blu-ray release of Luc Besson's acclaimed action film are unlikely to find much to celebrate about this new 20th anniversary release. Like its predecessor it boasts two cuts of the film and seems to be based on exactly the same masters, judging from the AVC 2.35:1 1080p imagery's pushed yellow hues and boosted contrast. Amazingly there are even less extras this time around – just short interviews with Jean Reno and composer Eric Serra. But it does come in a very snazzy steelbook…

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 29, 2014  |  0 comments

Based on the hit Scandinavian crime series The Bridge, this Franco-British co-production relocates the action to the Channel Tunnel. Don't let its status as a remake put you off – this is brilliant TV that even fans of the original should enjoy thanks to the high quality of the writing, acting and production. Unfortunately, this set is compromised by only offering 'lossy' 5.1 mixes alongside its LPCM stereo tracks. At least we have no complaints about the 1080i imagery.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 28, 2014  |  0 comments

Excellent performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman are the twin driving forces behind the success of this morally murky thriller about two kidnapped children and a father willing to go to any length to find them. The dour nature of the story extends to the film's aesthetics, something that this Blu-ray handles very well with its nuanced AVC 1.78:1 1080p encode and brooding DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. It's just a pity that there are so few extras – all you get are a pair of short promo featurettes. But with the film clocking in at 153 minutes, maybe there just wasn't room for anything else.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 27, 2014  |  0 comments

Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin star in this high concept thriller about a guilt-ridden 911 phone operator whose shot at redemption comes when a kidnapped teen phones for help from the boot of her attacker's car. Sadly, while the setup is certainly gripping, the longer the film goes on the less convincing it becomes, and by the end the whole thing falls apart. Thankfully, the hi-def platter itself is a more consistent affair with crisp AVC 1.85:1 1080p imagery and moody DTS-HD MA 5.1 sonics. It also includes four brief Making of… featurettes and five deleted scenes (including an extended ending).