Welcome to your weekly go-to-guide – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.
IN THE CINEMA
It was only a matter of time before the stars of the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise got their own spin-off, with kids across the UK finally getting to see their beloved ‘Minions’ take centre stage this week. Any of you with children won’t have much say in the matter, you’re going to the cinema this weekend.
Michael Fassbender is absolutely everywhere right now, and looks set to stay firmly in the spotlight for a long time to come. His latest release, ‘Slow West’, is out in cinemas this week and will see Fassbender star as an outlaw in 19th Century America. Expect plenty of grit!
Monday 21:00 GMT: The box-office record held by ‘Avatar’ could be under threat from a certain dino flick, but it will take a massive effort to best the $2.8 billion haul from James Cameron’s epic fantasy film. Catch the blue guys on Film4 this Monday night.
Wednesday 18:55 GMT: Rewind twenty seven years, to 1988 and enjoy ‘Big’ on Film4 this evening. A fresh faced Tom Hanks stars in this fantastically funny, family movie, in a role which earned him an Oscar nomination. Must be good!
Friday 21:00 GMT: Full on action for Friday night, as Film4 brings you ‘Hanna’. Playing the titular character, this was the breakout role for young Saoirse Ronan. Kinda like the female version of Jason Bourne, or a teenage Uma Thurman in ‘Kill Bill’; dangerous, but we’re rooting for ya!
Saturday 21:00 GMT: To avoid a Film4 whitewash, we are going to push you to watch ‘Friends With Benefits’, on…well, it’s on E4. The fantastic ‘Kick-Ass’ is on at the same time, but if you’re after something a little more light hearted, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis offer the perfect relief this weekend.
Sunday 15:50 GMT: With ‘Minions’ released this week, see where it all started for the franchise, as ITV2 provide family fun in the form of ‘Despicable Me’. Also this Sunday, you can catch ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and ‘The Princess Bride’ (on Channel 4 and Channel 5 respectively) which are just as capable of entertaining the family.
DIG IT OUT
This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.
Hidden: French filmmakers are never afraid to present us with controversy, as the divisive ‘Un Francais’ has proven this week. Going by the French title of ‘Caché’, this Michael Haneke flick from 2005 is a must see if you like a shocking, mystery-thriller. I watched this at university a couple of years ago, and personally, I’m delighted it was part of the module. A beautifully awkward, intriguing piece of cinematic artistry; something we all need to enjoy from time to time.
Control: Glastonbury is upon us, and I am lucky enough to be attending the festival this year for the first time. It saddens me that I will never get to see Joy Division – one of my favourite bands – live in action, ever. This biopic from 2007 is about as close as it gets; a black and white insight into the life and death of frontman Ian Curtis. As dark and tragic as the topic may be, this is a stunning and fascinating film which you just have to see!
1984: George Orwell would have turned 111 years old this Thursday. Unfortunately, he got nowhere near that ridiculous age, instead leaving us at the age of 46. Whilst this film will never match up to the book (my favourite book of all time, actually), you are obliged to appreciate the clever and brutal story from the genius himself, adapted for the big screen. It may just provide you with a vital lesson should our world go the way Orwell envisioned; dictators and dystopia are more than just a dark fantasy now, let’s be honest.
Drive: I had the pleasure of rewatching Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Bronson’ last week, and was relentlessly reminded of what is arguably the director’s standout project – ‘Drive’. With both films sharing an almost identical, powerful soundtrack, it was difficult to get the enigmatic, muted performance of Ryan Gosling out of my head. And what with the unintentional pattern of picking films with one-word-titles this week, I would be a fool to leave my 8th favourite film of all time off the list of recommendations.