Ultra HD Blu-ray

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John Archer  |  Jan 31, 2018  |  0 comments

Ridley Scott's 2012 return to the Alien universe is perhaps the ultimate Marmite movie. And as it happens, Team HCC count themselves among the group who love this big-budget blockbuster for its uncompromising combination of visual splendour, philosophical musings and Lovecraftian horror.

John Archer  |  Jan 17, 2018  |  0 comments

For his second Guardians of the Galaxy outing, writer/director James Gunn dials down the plot and ratchets up the banter and visual pyrotechnics. While the results are hardly the sci-fi/superhero equivalent of Raging Bull, they do add up to a mountain of stupid fun, with the returning cast (Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel) – plus newcomers Kurt Russell, Pom Klementieff and Elizabeth Debicki – wise-cracking their way through a plotline encompassing family strife, living planets, deadly drones and vindictive space pirates.

Mark Craven  |  Jan 12, 2018  |  0 comments

Released last year to tie-in with the arrival in cinemas of its long-awaited sequel, Ridley Scott's Philip K. Dick adaptation starring Harrison Ford gets a 4K HDR outing. Now 35 years old, Blade Runner has lost none of its charm, even if its attempts at mixing film noir tropes with dystopian sci-fi don't always come off smoothly. Icy cool, extravagantly designed and with a spine-tingling Vangelis soundtrack, it's a film no collection should be without.

Mark Craven  |  Nov 02, 2017  |  0 comments

It's safe to say 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day caused a stir when it landed in cinemas, flaunting a massive budget and groundbreaking CGI. The resulting audience stampede saw it challenge box office records, cement James Cameron's status as Hollywood royalty and have it crowned by some as that rarest of things – a sequel superior to its forebear.

John Archer & Anton van Beek  |  Sep 18, 2017  |  0 comments

When the crew of the colony ship Covenant pick up a signal of apparently human origin in the remote depths of space, they launch an expedition to track it to its source. What they discover is a curiously Earth-like world that plays host to a familiar face and a nightmarish new breed of extraterrestrial horror.

John Archer  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  0 comments

Universal has cashed in on the recent cinematic release of its big-budget Mummy reboot by rolling out its previous Brendan Fraser Mummy trilogy (1999's The Mummy, 2001's The Mummy Returns and 2008's The Mummy: Curse of the Dragon Emperor) on 4K Blu-ray. Which reminds us that while the first film was a genuine hoot, the second was rather a mess, while the third was as much fun as snogging a desiccated corpse.

Steve May  |  Aug 08, 2017  |  0 comments

Picking up shortly after the conclusion of the first film, with a mood-setting Buster Keaton Easter egg, this high-octane sequel wastes no time putting the beat down. What unspools is an ambitious expansion of the series, in which we visit another Continental Hotel, this time in Rome, where our eponymous hero is obliged to take on another gig he really doesn't want. The themes are mythical and characters operatic, but the gun-fu is clearly inspired by the John Woo/Hong Kong action playbook (via a nod to Enter the Dragon). Insane bouts of action, juxtaposed with moments of comical civility, give the movie a sublime pace that actually makes perfect sense.

John Archer  |  Aug 03, 2017  |  0 comments

Wolverine's star turns in the X-Men movie franchise haven't exactly set the world alight so far. Mercifully, though, Logan gives the character the send off his fans have been crying out for.

Mark Craven  |  Jun 22, 2017  |  0 comments

We're not privy to the reasoning behind Universal's decision to release two Fast & Furious movies on 4K Blu-ray, and not the other five – collectors will be hoping the rest screech around the corner in due course.

John Archer  |  Jun 20, 2017  |  0 comments

While Hollywood doesn’t have a great record of making films based on videogames, we approached Assassin’s Creed with optimism, as the games have a clever core concept, evocative storylines and consistently cinematic graphics. Sadly, though, the script here hurtles along too fast and too blandly to develop characters, story, concept or frankly anything to any meaningful degree. Style is mistaken for substance, and there’s none of the balance between mystery, exploration, combat and tension that makes the games work. Nice production design, though.

John Archer  |  Jun 18, 2017  |  0 comments

Just when you thought the world's natural wonders had already been thoroughly plundered by heaps of previous nature documentaries, Planet Earth II comes along with a new box of technological tricks to make your jaw hang open all over again.

Steve May  |  Jun 16, 2017  |  0 comments

This sixth and final instalment to a surprisingly resilient fantasy franchise picks up sometime after Resident Evil: Retribution, and seems determined to end the show with as much chaotic splatter as possible. The plot sees zombie butt-kicker Alice (Milla Jovovich), series returnee Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and assorted cohorts (but not Jill Valentine) square off for a climactic confrontation with the Umbrella Corporation, in an effort to release an airborne antivirus that could stop the T-Virus dead in its tracks (sic), before the last enclaves of humanity fall to the undead hordes.

Mark Craven  |  Jun 15, 2017  |  0 comments

Director David Yates earned praise for his handling of the final four films in the Harry Potter franchise, so was surely a shoo-in to helm this spin-off flick, adapted for the screen by original author J.K. Rowling.

John Archer  |  Jun 05, 2017  |  0 comments

With the likes of Sense and Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain and Life Of Pi on his CV, director Ang Lee must have looked like the safest pair of hands for this adaptation of Ben Fountain's acclaimed novel about an Iraq war hero struggling to adjust to life in the US media spotlight. Somehow, though, things have gone horribly wrong. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk isn't just a bad Ang Lee film; it's a bad film full stop. And some of the blame has to be laid at the door of Lee's insistence on filming it in a high frame rate.

John Archer  |  Apr 12, 2017  |  0 comments

With its imaginative story, genuinely creepy bad guys, dark humour and fun turns by a watchable cast, it's a shame this Tim Burton fantasy flick went mostly under the radar. Okay, so it feels a touch languid in its first half and too rushed in its second, and there's an over-reliance on CGI during the finale, but it's hard to imagine anyone coming away from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children feeling in any way short-changed. If you've ignored Burton since the dismal Dark Shadows (and we certainly wouldn't blame you), maybe it's time to re-embrace him.

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