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Anton van Beek  |  Dec 19, 2013  |  0 comments

Originally described by its maker as 'Beverly Hills 90210 on acid' this 1997 closer to Greg Araki's 'Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy' doesn't quite measure up to its predecessors, but remains an oddly enjoyable trash cinema curio packed with a cast list of future stars. While this DVD's anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer and Dolby 2.0 soundtrack are both perfectly serviceable, the real highlight is the new commentary by Araki and three of the cast. Packed with anecdotes about the risks of acting while stoned and salacious tales about their co-stars, it's fresh and funny from start to finish.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Now here's a fitting way of celebrating Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. Not only is The Mind of Evil the last John Pertwee story to be released on DVD –excluding any future ‘Revisitations’ of previous Third Doctor DVDs - but this release is also the first time that the six episodes have been seen in colour in decades (click here for how and why). The recolourisation is generally impressive – especially Stuart Humphryes' work on episode one – although the quality varies from episode to episode. As we’ve come to expect from the Doctor Who DVD range, the non-anamorphic 1.33:1 transfer is technically excellent, as is the Dolby Digital dual-mono soundtrack.

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 17, 2013  |  0 comments

‘This is the side of history we didn’t learn in school’ says filmmaker Oliver Stone in his introduction to this fascinating 10-part documentary series that he describes as ‘a legacy to my children and a way to understand the times I’ve lived through’. Four years in the making and written in conjunction with historian Professor Peter Kuznick, the series takes an alternate look at the key events – both domestic and foreign - that have shaped the United States over the past 100 years, from World War II up to the modern-day ‘War on Terror’.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 04, 2013  |  0 comments

This documentary finds Keanu Reeves chatting to a variety of famous filmmakers about the pros and cons of the move from using celluloid to shooting digitally. If that sounds rather dull and geeky, it's not. Instead, it's an absorbing and balanced look at a milestone in the development of cinema and a must-see for anybody with even a passing interest in the art of making movies. While the film hasn't been given an HD release in the UK, this two-disc DVD outing fares rather well with an agreeable anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer and DD 5.1 mix. Extras take the form of 14 extended interviews.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 02, 2013  |  0 comments

'It gets dark. It gets really, really dark,' is how HCC favourite Walton Goggins sums up this third season of the hit cop show. And while it doesn't quite measure up to the previous season, Justified remains one of the most unpredictable and distinctive TV series currently on the air. While Sony keeps UK fans hanging on for a Blu-ray release, this three-disc DVD is a reasonable alternative due to its cleanly rendered anamorphic 1.78:1 transfers and balanced Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Extras include nine episode commentaries and two behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Anton van Beek  |  May 24, 2013  |  0 comments

This penultimate run of the award-winning sitcom about the making of a live TV sketch show continues to deliver more laugh-out-loud gags per episode than the vast majority of its peers.  Technically, the triple-disc DVD release is pretty comparable to its predecessors. In other words, the anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer is generally sharp and colourful (although some excess softness creeps into a handful of shots) and the DD 5.1 mix is fair, despite not making that much use of the surrounds. Extras include a few commentaries and several videos relating to the season's live episode.

Anton van Beek  |  May 15, 2013  |  0 comments

This second series of Charlie Brooker's techno-Twilight Zone isn't quite as strong as the first, but still makes for thought-provoking TV.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 26, 2013  |  0 comments

Director David DeCoteau throws together elements from Porky’s, Meatballs 2 and Weird Science with this uneven sex comedy about a nerdy freshman (Billy Jacoby) who is transformed into a babe magnet after being injected with ‘alien vitamins’ by mysterious new biology teacher Ms Zenobia (Judy Landers). The film’s first act - all pratfalls and comedy sound effects – feels more like a sit-com than a film - but things do get a little bit more interesting when the sci-fi elements start to kick in and it all ends up with a very silly shoot-out in a hideous New Wave nightclub.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 25, 2013  |  0 comments

One of a glut of Aliens rip-offs that turned up in the second half of the '80s, Creepozoids is a heap of fun, even if it doesn't actually make a lick of sense.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 23, 2013  |  0 comments

With a title like that, Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity carries with it a weight of expectation that - to be fair - it never really had a chance of truly living up to. This sci-fi version take on Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game stars Elizabeth Kaitan and Cindy Beal as Daria and Tisa, a pair of bikini-clad prisoners who break out of their cell, steal a spaceship and ending up crashing on a nearby planet. There our nubile heroines meet the seemingly friendly Zed (Don Scribner), who invites them to come and stay with him in his fortress home. But it soon becomes clear that Zed has a secret hobby – hunting his guests in the surrounding jungle and mounting their heads as trophies on his walls.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 27, 2013  |  0 comments

This enjoyable documentary gives a bunch of nutters the chance to explain the hidden meanings they claim to have found in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. The result is a mix of the intriguing (possibly deliberate continuity mistakes) and the insane (it's really a hidden message from Kubrick explaining how he was responsible for faking the moon-landing footage) – and if nothing else it leaves you wanting to watch The Shining again. The anamorphic 1.78:1 picture and DD 5.1 audio are both fine, if limited by the quality of the varied source material.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 24, 2013  |  0 comments

Yet another previously released Doctor Who benefits from a second DVD outing – including improved picture quality and even more bonus features. However, the major selling point for this two-disc set is the inclusion of a 64-minute reconstruction of the missing 1965 serial Galaxy 4, the centrepiece of which is a pristine restoration of the recently rediscovered third episode (pictured). It's still a dreadful story, but the chance to finally see how bad it was for yourself makes this set a must-own for fans.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 20, 2013  |  0 comments

We sometimes wonder how Father Ted managed to get commissioned. First up, the series was the brainchild of Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, whose only previous sitcom experience was creating the appalling (and now largely forgotten) Alexi Sayle vehicle Paris. Then there's the subject matter itself – the somewhat unappealing prospect of spending time with a trio of Catholic priests on a tiny island off the west coast of Ireland. Even the cast was mainly unknown, with some having next to no acting experience.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 05, 2013  |  0 comments

Gallows humours abounds in this six-part 1964 serial set during the French Revolution that marked the end of the show's first series. Sadly, only four of the episodes still exist, but for this DVD release, the two missing episodes have been recreated using the surviving soundtracks and some stylish (if rather rapidly edited) animation. Unsurprisingly, the archival 1.33:1 video looks pretty rough, but the audio for all six episodes is excellently rendered. The usual plethora of extras is supplemented by a gallery of animation character models and a closer look at the animated sets.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 25, 2013  |  0 comments

Is there really such a thing as the 'Untold Story of 007'? Possibly, but you're unlikely to find it in Stevan Riley's officially-sanctioned documentary looking back at the history of the Bond movie franchise and its stewardship under Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. However, this doesn't mean that you should simply write off Everything or Nothing as little more than a hagiography produced to cash-in on the franchise's 50th anniversary.