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Anton van Beek  |  Feb 21, 2012  |  0 comments

Despicable Me tells the story of Gru, the world’s greatest super villain. Or, at least that’s what he thinks. Truth is, there are worse people in the world than him and his latest plan - involving the theft of the moon and three orphaned girls – could end up changing his life in ways he never imagined.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 17, 2012  |  0 comments

Clichés are not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a good reason why some ideas are reused over and over again. Ultimately, it’s all about how you can make a cliché work for you.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 15, 2012  |  0 comments

After success in most other genres, HBO has turned its attention on the fantasy epic with this adaptation of the first of George RR Martin’s acclaimed A Song of Ice and Fire novels. And once again the result is a televisual masterpiece that looks set to live up to its literary source material, which takes the standard fantasy tropes and uses them as the framework for a truly adult fantasy saga of depth and complexity.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 25, 2012  |  0 comments

Joseph L Mankiewicz’s 1963 historical epic cost a spectacular $44million to make (the equivalent of around $300million today) and in the process almost brought studio 20th Century Fox to its knees. Unfortunately, the film’s tortuous production is a more entertaining tale than the one Cleopatra itself serves up. Okay, it’s not a bad film, just a rather average one – which isn’t really what you want from such a ridiculously costly endeavour.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 23, 2012  |  0 comments

Given the level of vitriol aimed at this blockbuster genre mash-up, you’d be forgiven for expecting it to be an absolute stinker. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 19, 2012  |  0 comments

Good news everyone. Futurama has been brought back from cancellation for a second time! It’s starting to seem like nothing short of the end of the world will keep Matt Groening’s sci-fi toon off our screens. Which is no bad thing as (no matter how niche its fanbase might be) Futurama remains the most consistently funny and geek-friendly cartoon around.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 12, 2012  |  0 comments

The fifth outing in this popular horror series gets the franchise back on track after the disappointing fourth flick. The setup is still the same as ever, but the ensuing scenes of stereoscopic slaughter are more mischievous and distressing than ever (Eye surgery! Acupuncture!). It also finds time to add a new wrinkle to the series’ mythology. Great fun.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 10, 2012  |  0 comments

Piranha 3D is the ultimate in cinematic guilty pleasures and marks a renaissance of sorts for director Alexandre Aja after the abysmal Mirrors. The plot is so thin that it’s barely worth mentioning. All that really matters is that it’s Spring Break at Lake Victoria, Kelly Brook and adult movie star Riley Steele are 'Wild Wild Girls!', the waters are full of barely-clothed teenagers and an underwater earthquake has unleashed a shoal of prehistoric piranha. What follows is a perfectly playful mix of sex and violence, unleashing both by the barrel-load but always remembering to smile at the same time.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 10, 2012  |  0 comments

Resident Evil: Afterlife finds writer/director Paul WS Anderson getting back behind the camera to continue the adventures of Alice (Milla Jovovich) as she fights against the undead in her mission to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation and find a safe home for the human survivors following at her heels. In other words its business as usual then – fast-action, countless nods to the original video games (whether they make sense in the film world or not) and idiotic plotting – but this time it’s in 3D!

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments

The home of The Sopranos is dipping its toe into the world of organised crime once again. Only this time around it has set its sights on Prohibition-era Atlantic City and its corrupt city treasurer Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson (Steve Buscemi). Add to that the presence of Martin Scorsese as executive producer (and director of the pilot episode) and it’s small wonder that Boardwalk Empire is the smartest and most compelling show around.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 06, 2012  |  0 comments

How do you follow up an existential viking movie? If you’re Valhalla Rising director Nicolas Winding Refn you do it by heading over to Hollywood and making the best Michael Mann movie Michael Mann never made.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 03, 2012  |  0 comments

Equal parts The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, this darkly humous Norwegian flick follows three college students making a documentary about bear attacks. The wannabe-filmmakers’ focus soon shifts to an alleged poacher whose refusal to let them interview him only makes them more determined. What they don’t realise though is that the mystery man actually works for a top-secret branch of the government, hunting and killing dangerous trolls that escape from their terretories.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 03, 2012  |  0 comments

Deep Red is arguably Dario Argento’s most important and accomplished film. Having made a name for himself with his ‘animal trilogy’ of thrillers, 1975’s Deep Red saw Argento pushing the genre into new areas, stretching himself as both a storyteller and a visual stylist. What resulted is every bit as gorgeous as it is gruesome, a film of spellbinding beauty and staggering cruelty that satisfies just as much as a murder mystery as it does as an all-out horror.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 01, 2012  |  0 comments

The final part of the foundations for next summer’s superhero 'battle royale' The Avengers are set with the arrival of Captain America: The First Avenger. Directed by journeyman filmmaker Joe (Jurassic Park III) Johnson, the film is a surprising treat, mixing gung-ho WWII action with plenty of superhero spectacle. Chris Evans does excellent work in the lead, and Hugo Weaving proves an enjoyable foil as the diabolical Red Skull.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 29, 2011  |  0 comments

Maybe it was the horrible aftertaste of what Tim Burton’s remake did to the franchise, but for some reason nobody really expected too much from this contemporary prequel to the beloved 1968 sci-fi classic. But, thanks to its smart storytelling, winning performances and groundbreaking visual effects (a vital issue here, as the main character is a combination of CG effects and Andy Serkis’ motion-captured performance) Rise of the Planet of the Apes is one of the year’s best and most satisfying blockbusters.

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