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Anton van Beek  |  Apr 23, 2012  |  0 comments

A simple business trip to Hong Kong results in a global pandemic that threatens to wipe out a vast proportion of the human race in Steven Soderbergh’s medical thriller. But despite it’s all-star cast (including Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne), Contagion couldn’t be further removed from the likes of Outbreak.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 20, 2012  |  0 comments

The science-fiction genre has frequently proven fertile ground for allegories about concerns regarding the world we live in. Andrew ‘Gattaca’ Niccol’s latest film is one of the more ham-fisted to come along in recent years.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 20, 2012  |  0 comments

Released into cinemas back in 2009, Coraline is the latest stop-motion animated feature from director Henry Selick, the man behind A Nightmare Before Christmas. This time around he turned to a novel by noted fantasy author Neil Gaiman for his source material, and the result is a dark, disturbing and marvellously grotesque modern fairytale. Bored and neglected by her workaholic parents, Coraline stumbles into an alternate world where the button-eyed 'Other Mother' and 'Other Father' give her the love and attention she always craved. But as you might expect, it all comes at a terrible price...

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 05, 2012  |  0 comments

Tron and Tron Legacy are films that enthuse and infuriate in equal amount. Both the ‘Original Classic’ (which may be pushing it a bit) and its belated sequel are films that don’t bear thinking about too hard lest the plots fall apart like a spectacularly flimsy house of cards. Instead, both favour style over substance… and what incredible style it is. Set inside a virtual world, these films look like nothing else you’ve ever seen: a world where the style convinces you that yes, of course, things would look like this inside a computer. And that’s how it works, until one of the cast opens their mouths and delivers yet more dreadful dialogue that rips you straight out of the world it creates. But then another great action scene occurs to wash it all away.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 02, 2012  |  0 comments

While some may favour Life of Brian and others The Meaning of Life, for me …Holy Grail stands proud as the best Monty Python movie. Hilariously silly and brilliantly irreverent, it’s a tour de force of cinematic comedy gold that somehow feels more authentic in its approach to the Arthurian myths than most ‘straight’ adaptations.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 30, 2012  |  0 comments

When it was first announced that Martin Scorsese was going to make a family film in 3D, it’s safe to say that more than a few eyebrows were raised. But after seeing Hugo, it’s impossible to think of another director who is so ideally suited to the material. This is no simple kids film. Instead, like The Artist, it’s a magical tribute to the history of cinema – and one that had this reviewer having to lift up his 3D glasses to wipe away the tears by the time it came to an end.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 28, 2012  |  0 comments

There have been numerous screen adaptations of Alexander Dumas’ literary classic over the years. But none of them ever featured flying boats or Milady pulling off moves that wouldn’t look out of place in a martial arts film. Until now.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 26, 2012  |  0 comments

There’s just something about the spectacle of watching big robots punching each other that makes most grown men regress back to their 12-year old selves. The unbelievable success of the Transformers films with those of us old enough to know better is a case in point.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 18, 2012  |  0 comments

The year is 1919 and in a country wracked by past-war grief Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) makes a living exposing fraudulent spiritualists. An invitation from a desperate teacher (Dominic West) takes her to an isolated boarding school to debunk stories of a ghostly boy that is said to have caused the death of one of the students. Naturally, things don’t go as planned.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 14, 2012  |  0 comments

The Beyond is more than just ‘yet another’ Italian splatter film. It’s the highpoint of Lucio Fulci’s career in the horror genre, a terrifying mix of mysticism and visceral horror that proves even more pessimistic than the director’s earlier City of the Living Dead. Catriona MacColl stars as the inheritor of a rundown New Orleans hotel, whose efforts at getting it up and running again are undermined by an escalating series of inexplicable and extremely violent occurrences.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 12, 2012  |  0 comments

Like a great piece of music or writing, a great film should leave its mark on the viewer. Few manage that quite as simply and effectively as Robert Mulligan’s screen adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel. A Hollywood great that’ll bring a tear to the eye of even the most hardened cynic.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 07, 2012  |  0 comments

Despite being stuck with less than half the running time of the acclaimed 1979 BBC adaptation, this bigscreen version of John le Carré’s novel does a remarkable job of condensing the tricky plot into a two-hour movie experience. Helped out by an astonishing cast of some of the UK’s brightest acting talent (Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth and many more), it’s a gripping tale of intrigue and deceit. And even if the resolution doesn’t quite deliver the impact you might expect, the journey to get there is utterly flawless.

Mark Craven  |  Mar 06, 2012  |  0 comments

This remake of Tom Holland’s ‘80s horror-comedy doesn’t quite live up to our memories of the original, but is still a fun genre outing coated with liberal splashes of blood (all-too rare a sight in today’s tween-friendly vampire flicks).

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 05, 2012  |  0 comments

Taking a leaf out of Harry’s Potter’s spell book, the final Twilight novel has been split into two movies. This wouldn’t necessarily have been a problem – except this instalment barely has enough plot to justify 45-mins of screen time, let alone the best part of two-hours!

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 01, 2012  |  0 comments

Four English tourists get more than they bargained for when they take a trip to Karlsbad castle – former home to the late Count Dracula. One bloody resurrection later and he’s on the prowl again, draining the blood of innocent women.