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Anton van Beek  |  Jan 31, 2013  |  0 comments

Fans of swordplay and wire-fu will find plenty to love in this cracking Asian blockbuster. Directed by the legendary Tsui (Zu Warriors…) Hark and starring Jet Li, this period action flick delivers some of the most breathtaking use of stereoscopic filmmaking we've seen, making it a must-buy for those with 3D setups. The MVC 2.40:1 1080p 3D encode is joined by a deliciously aggressive Mandarin-language DTS-HD MA 5.1 track (an English Dolby 2.0 mix is also included for those who struggle to read subtitles). The set's 2D platter also houses a selection of interviews and featurettes.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 28, 2015  |  0 comments

After a series of duds stretching back several years, Will Smith rediscovers his mojo playing third-generation con artist Nicky Spurgeon in this likeable cinematic caper. Nicky's perfectly ordered life starts to get a little more tricky when he agrees to mentor inexperienced grifter Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie), only to start falling in love with her. But is their relationship real or just part of yet another con?

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 14, 2013  |  0 comments

Now in his third decade as a filmmaker, Takashi (Audition) Miike shows no signs of slowing down or curbing his genre-hopping ways. This time around he's transformed a popular mid-'70s manga series about two star-crossed lovers into a live-action musical. In the process, Miike appears to have rediscovered his more playful edge, mixing edgy violence and tongue-in-cheek musical numbers with an eclectic and striking visual style. Given how exquisitely the Blu-ray's 2.40:1 1080p encode handles the film's imagery, the only real issue with this disc is the surprisingly front-heavy nature of its DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. The only extra feature of any note on the disc is a 35-minute Making of... documentary.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 04, 2012  |  0 comments

It’s now 50 years since screen icon and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe passed away, but during that time her star power has not diminished one iota. Strange, then that until now none of her films have been released on Blu-ray in the UK. This four-disc set brings together four of her best (and best-loved) titles – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot. So let’s get stuck in…

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 24, 2018  |  0 comments

Thriller fans are in for a treat with this boxset that brings together four very enjoyable – but also very different – examples of the film noir genre.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 16, 2013  |  0 comments

From its 007-inspired opening credits to Foxy's final squirm-inducing revenge, Jack Hill's 1974 blaxploitation hit remains an absolute blast. Key to this is Pam Grier's electrifying performance as Foxy Brown, which helps paper over the myriad plot deficiencies and cements the film's place as a bona fide genre classic. Arrow Video's BD boasts an authentically grainy and colourful AVC 1.85:1 1080p encode and a pleasingly clear LPCM 2.0 soundtrack. And while the lack of input from Grier in the disc-based extras is a real shame, the commentary and interviews included on the disc are still well worth checking out.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 04, 2013  |  0 comments

Back in 1984, young Disney animator and aspiring filmmaker Tim Burton made a live-action short about a young boy who brings his dog back from the dead. Naturally, it didn't fit the Disney ethos and was locked away in a vault – only to finally see the light of day in the mid-'90s. Skip forward the best part of two decades and Burton has revisited his homage to Frankenstein as a feature film – only this time as a Disney-sanctioned stop-motion animation.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

Before Jason Voorhees donned a hockey mask (or even the burlap sack he wore for one film) and started his epic killing spree there was another murderer killing promiscuous teens at Camp Crystal Lake. While the villain is different, the modus operandi is exactly the same - watch horny teenagers get it on with each other and then butcher them with an inventive array of weapons. As you can probably guess, it's not the most elaborate plot ever devised, but director Sean S. Cunningham's 1980 classic is still a tremendous model of economy, ditching anything like characterisation in favour of cutting straight to the good stuff (Tom Savini's wonderful makeup effects and the odd bit of partial nudity).

Mark Craven  |  Mar 06, 2012  |  0 comments

This remake of Tom Holland’s ‘80s horror-comedy doesn’t quite live up to our memories of the original, but is still a fun genre outing coated with liberal splashes of blood (all-too rare a sight in today’s tween-friendly vampire flicks).

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 13, 2013  |  0 comments

All good things must come to an end – and so it is that fans must now bid farewell to this superior sci-fi series. At least we can all take comfort in the fact that the show was allowed to run to a natural conclusion – even if this fifth season's dystopian future time-line isn't one that we necessarily saw coming.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 18, 2012  |  0 comments

Further mysteries are resolved and even more are uncovered in this penultimate collection of 22 episodes from the smartest sci-fi show on TV. As well as satisfying the brain on so many levels, this cult favourite is also a treat for the eyes and the ears on Blu-ray. The AVC 1.78:1 1080p imagery reveals minor crush and artefacts in some scenes, but looks particularly striking the rest of the time. Better yet are the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes, which prove surprisingly expansive and active for a TV show. A 30-min roundtable chat is the best of a rather modest set of extras.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 30, 2013  |  0 comments

Following the success of Re-Animator, director Stuart Gordon once again joined forces with actors Jeffrey Combes and Barbara Crampton to tackle another H.P. Lovecraft tale.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 01, 2012  |  0 comments

This triple-pack serves up Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s fun-packed, gore-splashed vampire flick (blighted only by the latter’s appalling acting) and its two made-for-DVD spawn. The dreadful Texas Blood Money sees a gang of bank robbers become vampires, while the Western-themed The Hangman’s Daughter acts as a slightly less awful prequel to the series.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 18, 2013  |  0 comments

After the disappointing fantasy epic Tales from Earthsea, director Goro (son of Hayao) Miyazaki finds himself on much more secure ground with this intimate teenage romance. As you'd expect from a Studio Ghibli release, the hand-drawn animation is exquisite – and looks absolutely pristine on your HD display thanks to this Blu-ray's AVC 1.85:1 1080p presentation. Acoustic support is provided by a lyrical DTS-HD MA 5.0 track that focuses on the dialogue and score rather than dynamic effects. Extras include picture-in-picture storyboards, interviews and featurettes.

Anton van Beek  |  May 17, 2014  |  0 comments

Disney's 53rd animated movie sees the studio going 'full Broadway' with an all-singing, all-dancing take on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. Following in the footsteps of Tangled (a little too closely at times), Frozen delivers plenty of thrills and laughs, while eschewing the traditional 'love-conquers-all' message in favour of an empowering tale of the joys of sisterhood.