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Anton van Beek  |  Jun 13, 2012  |  0 comments

This fourth outing in this enduring franchise finds director Brad ‘The Incredibles’ Bird making a successful jump from animation to live action with an enjoyable tale of international espionage.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 06, 2012  |  0 comments

Sinister events are afoot in a small Cornish village. Not only is a mysterious plague killing off the locals – but those it affects don’t seem keen on staying put in their coffins. But what could all of this possibly have something to do with the sadistic Squire Hamilton, recently returned from a stay in Haiti?

Anton van Beek  |  May 31, 2012  |  0 comments

This mythological epic is a truly bizarre piece of Hollywood filmmaking. Best described as a collision between Clash of the Titans, Flash Gordon and the films of Derek Jarman, Immortals may be frequently beautiful to look at, but it offers little in the way of narrative cohesion or simple logic. Disappointingly, this Blu-ray release contains the same cut of the film that played at UK cinemas, shorn of some 18-seconds of violence.

Anton van Beek  |  May 28, 2012  |  0 comments

Let’s get this out of the way up front – John Carpenter’s The Thing ranks alongside Singin’ in the Rain and Casablanca as one of my all-time favourite movies. That said, while I wasn’t exactly delighted at the prospect of this prequel/remake (premake?), the fact that Carpenter’s film was itself an update of the 1951 sci-fi The Thing from Another World meant that I would have been a hypocrite to be opposed to the concept on principle alone. I was happy to approach the film with an open mind. Not that it helped in any way…

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2012  |  0 comments

Despite all of the awards heaped on it, this homage to silent cinema really isn’t the best film of the last year – it’s not even the best film I’ve seen this month. But, to give The Artist its dues, it is a funny, inventive and charming romantic-comedy-drama about the arrival of the ‘Talkies’ to Hollywood. Just don’t go expecting the most incredible movie experience of your life and you’ll be fine.

Anton van Beek  |  May 09, 2012  |  0 comments

The brilliantly filthy, bitingly funny animated spy spoof returns looking bigger and better than ever. While the debut season took a few episodes to really find its groove, this second year hits the ground running and races through 13 hilarious episodes that see secret agent Sterling Archer dealing with an over-sexed 16-year old German heiress, a prostitute who claims he’s the father of her baby, breast cancer and continuing problems with his mother/boss.

Anton van Beek  |  May 07, 2012  |  0 comments

Tangled is typical of Disney’s approach to a classic fairy tale. Gone are the darker elements of the Brothers Grimm’s Rapunzel, and in its place we have a sprightly CG-animated romp full of musical numbers, romance, life lessons and cute animal sidekicks. But, as past Disney classics have shown, that’s no bad thing. Nobody does this sort of film better than the ‘House of Mouse’, and Tangled is yet another modern classic, delivered plenty of laughs, action and heart for all the family.

Anton van Beek  |  May 07, 2012  |  0 comments

The Green Hornet is undoubtedly a disappointment for fans of both the masked vigilante himself and of inventive filmmaker Michel ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ Gondry. With Gondry at the helm and a slimmed down Seth Rogen playing the Hornet, you might at least have hoped for something truly unusual. But instead what we have is a pretty standard mix of comic book action and tired comedy antics, with virtually none of the visual flair or creativity we’d been hoping for.

Anton van Beek  |  May 04, 2012  |  0 comments

A war movie unlike any other you’ve ever seen, Steven Spielberg’s latest casts a horse called Joey as its central character and uses this idea to explore the impact the animal has on the various people it encounters on both sides of the conflict. It’s an intriguing notion and one that has worked both as a children’s book and, particularly, on stage where it has picked up numerous awards.

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.