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Anton van Beek  |  Oct 03, 2011  |  0 comments

Claiming to be 'inspired by true events [that] occurred on June 5th 1992', War Games tells the story of a group of friends who head out into the wilds one weekend in order to mess around with Airsoft guns (an alternative to paintball that still allows adults to act like little kids playing war, but without the messy stains on their clothes). During the lengthy game, one of the girls from the group goes missing and a search of the local area uncovers a creepy slaughterhouse. Faster than you can yell 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' the youngsters discover that they're being hunted by a psychopathic trio of local ex-soldiers who are playing their own war game - one where the ammo is live and the outsiders are likely to end up dead.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 01, 2011  |  0 comments

The Alien Anthology boxset is quite simply a must-have for any self-respecting home cinema buff. Not only do you get two bona fide Five Star classics – Ridley Scott’s original Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens – but it also includes David Fincher’s horribly underrated Alien3 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s half-baked Alien Resurrection. Okay, so the latter can’t compare to the first three films in this legendary sci-fi/horror series, but taken as a whole the Alien saga remains one of the most exciting, fascinating and enduring genre franchises around and it simply has to form a part of every self-respecting home cinema fan’s collection.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 30, 2011  |  0 comments

While Terminator 2 might have introduced audiences around the world to the possibilities of computer-generated effects, it was Steven Spielberg’s 1993 smash Jurassic Park that truly revolutionised cinema. Seamlessly mixing CG visuals and life-size models, this bigscreen adaptation of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi bestseller convinced audiences around the world that dinosaurs walked still walked the Earth, and in the process transformed the visual effects industry almost overnight. And while the film itself suffers by comparison to Crichton’s darker novel (and some of the dinosaur info is extremely suspect – not least the oversized Velociraptors), taken on its own right, it’s an entertaining thrill ride full of wonder and terrific dinosaur effects.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 19, 2011  |  0 comments

As far as movie taglines go ‘Inner city vs outer space’ is pretty damn snappy. Incredibly comedian-turned-filmmaker Joe Cornish has delivered a debut movie that more than lives up to it. 

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 16, 2011  |  0 comments

The undisputed king of the Biblical epics, William Wyler’s Ben-Hur may have turned 50 a couple of years ago, but it remains as fresh, exciting and spectacular as ever. Charlton Heston’s son Francis sums the film’s success up best in one of the accompanying extras, saying, ‘Ben-Hur, in a sense, I think was the first modern epic. It was realistic. It was, at times, gruesome. It had characters with flaws in them. It was complex. It was character driven-not event-driven’. And the film’s lasting impact can be felt across the past half-century of cinema, from the films of David Lean to The Phantom Menace’s pod race.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 12, 2011  |  0 comments

George Lucas' space opera is arguably the defining event in modern cinema - one that reshaped Hollywood the films it produces. As such, it's pretty much unthinkable that anybody visiting this website isn't already incredibly familiar with the films (albeit, maybe not the fan-baiting, re-tweaked versions Lucas has prepared for this release). As such, it seems like there's very little point in going over them in any great depth. So let's quickly breeze through this bit, before getting stuck into the really juicy stuff about this Blu-ray boxset...

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 12, 2011  |  0 comments

While it’s a long way from the abject disaster that was At World’s End, this fourth Pirates of the Caribbean flick proves that the franchise still has a long way to go before it can re-capture the spirit of the original film.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 05, 2011  |  0 comments

Is Japanese cinema’s enfant terrible finally growing up? To be honest, probably not. But 13 Assassins is undoubtedly Takashi (Audition, Ichi the Killer) Miike’s most assured and most mainstream film to date.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 05, 2011  |  0 comments

If the 1980s were truly the decade of excess, then no film better encapsulates that than Scarface. With a script by Oliver Stone, direction by Brian De Palma and a barnstorming central performance by Al Pacino, this loose remake of Howard Hawks’ acclaimed 1930s gangster film is anything but subtle as it plays out the almost Shakespearean tragedy of Tony Montana, a small-time hood from Cuba who arrives in Florida with dreams of making it big, only to end up self-destructing under the weight of his ego, a mountain of cocaine and some rather odd feelings for his sister. Great stuff.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 01, 2011  |  0 comments

It’s now ten years since Rob Cohen’s unassuming street racing flick turned Vin Diesel into a true action star and kick-started a new franchise for petrolheads all over the world.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 29, 2011  |  0 comments

Marketed as a straightforward action-thriller, Hanna is anything but your typical Hollywood flick. True, the storyline about a sixteen year-old girl (Saoirse Ronan) who, having spent her entire life being trained to survive and kill, goes on the run from a vindictive CIA chief (Cate Blanchett) sounds like standard blockbuster material. But director Joe (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) Wright takes its in a completely unexpected direction, using it as the springboard for a modern fairytale that seems as much in debt to the grotesquery of David Lynch or The Brothers Grimm as it does to the traditions and conventions of action genre it continually toys with. It’s the kind of brave, inventive filmmaking that is sure to divide audiences right down the middle.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 18, 2011  |  0 comments

Having found success directing a horror remake (Dawn of the Dead), a couple of high-profile comic book adaptations (300 and Watchmen) and a CG ‘toon based on a popular kids book (Legend of the Guardians), Zack Snyder has finally let his own imagination have free reign on the big screen and the results are… rather confusing.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Joel and Ethan Coen’s ‘handsome film about men in hats’ (as cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld once described it) has never been one of the most widely acclaimed of the filmmaking siblings’ movies. And yet, following a quick office poll, this beautifully shot and often wickedly funny mix of gangster and film noir tropes ranks up with the Coens’ very best work among the HCC team.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 15, 2011  |  0 comments

Duncan Jones made quite a splash with his feature debut Moon, so it’s hardly a surprise that his next directorial outing arrived on a tide of expectations that would prove almost impossible to meet. While its reach outweighs its success, Source Code is still a very successful sci-fi thriller with a cracking Groundhog Day-like plot about a repetitive time travelling effort to discover the identity of a mysterious bomber before he strikes again. And while the pseudo-science driving the story sometimes becomes a little overbearing, excellent performances from the film’s two time-crossed leads, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan, give it all an emotional resonance that keeps pulling you back in.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments

There are not many filmmakers who can say that they beat Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez at their own game. But debut director Jason Eisener is one of them.