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.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Limitless stars Bradley Cooper as failed writer Eddie Mora, whose life is completely turned around when he gets his hands on an experimental drug that boosts his brainpower. Within days he’s not only finished his novel, but also made millions on the stock market and come to the attention of high-powered businessman Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro). Trouble is, the pills are leaving him with gaps in his memory, one of which might connect him to a murder, and if that’s not enough, there’s also a Russian gangster who wants to get his hands on the wonder drug.

Ed Selley  |  Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments
Sweet tweet treat This 3D Blu-ray all-in-one system from Samsung works wonders with high frequencies, says Steve May – but it should drop the ‘7.1’ tag

Samsung’s top-of-the-line home cinema system is frothy, feature-rich and just a bit mad.

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 25, 2011  |  0 comments

There’s a world of difference between an ‘adult cartoon’ and a ‘cartoon for adults’. Director/co-writer Gore Verbinski’s Rango is a superb example of the latter – a cartoon aimed at an adult audience who will understand its in-jokes and satirical approach to the Western genre, but one that can still be enjoyed by folk of all ages. Playing out for large parts like a reworking of Once Upon a Time in the West enacted by anthropomorphised animals, the film stars Johnny Depp as the titular would-be gunslinger, a pampered pet chameleon lost in the wild, whose lies lead to him becoming sheriff of a town called Dirt. 

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 18, 2011  |  0 comments

Unknown may look like another Taken-style action-fest for Liam Neeson (and it was definitely advertised at such), but apart from a quick car chase and a final punch up, it’s actually the kind of conspiracy thriller that both Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski have dabbled with over the years. That’s not to say that Unknown is in any way on a par with The Lady Vanishes or Frantic, but while it lasts it’s an entertaining ride that offers up some solid performances from its leads, stylish direction from Jaume Collet-Serra and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right up to the final revelations.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Lofty high-risers Danny Phillips has his cockles warmed by this affordable set of floorstanding speakers and unusually capable subwoofer

Compact bookshelf speakers are all well and good if you don’t have much space, but for bigger, bolder home cinema thrills you’ve no choice but to make room for a decent set of floorstanders.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
What's the Stor.e? Cliff Joseph goes on a file frenzy with Toshiba’s 1TB media player

There’s no shortage of ‘multimedia hard disks’ available these days, and they’re handy for people who want to store photos, music and video files and play them on a TV or music system. However, most of these devices are produced by specialist hard disk manufacturers and they aren’t always as user-friendly as they could be – so I was curious to see what additional expertise mass market brand Toshiba would bring to its Stor.E TV+.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Future-proof hero Danny Phillips auditions the musically-endowed, super-featured AVR from the brand with a big reputation for value

very year, Onkyo’s home cinema hubs top the bestseller lists, appealing to punters looking for an amp that delivers maximum bang for their buck.