Welcome to your weekly go-to film guide – WatchThisSpace – where we recommend what to watch in the cinema and on the television, and remind you of those brilliant films hiding in your DVD collection.
IN THE CINEMA
This week’s sees the release of TWO of our most anticipated films of the year. First up, if you’re a Sci-Fi fan, the annual, mandatory, lost in space film lands on Wednesday. Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ has an out of this world cast (get it), including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Get our verdict here.
And then, on Friday, swap futuristic spaceships for swords and Shakespeare with ‘Macbeth’. The idea of this one has really grown on us lately, and after watching the epic trailer, we are confident this will be a bloody, enthralling retelling of this classic tale. We could well see some Oscar nominations for this film too, if Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard pull out the performances we know they’re capable of. Get our verdict here.
ON THE TV
Monday 21:00 GMT: ITV2 are showing one of the all time greats on Monday night. We may have recommended you watch it before, but ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is certainly worthy of our persistent attempts to push you in its direction.
Thursday 22:15 GMT: The Rugby World Cup is in full swing, and although South Africa may have suffered the ignominy of losing to Japan in what people are saying is the biggest upset of all time, the country has an important history associated with the competition. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star in ‘Invictus’ on ITV4, the biographical drama about Nelson Mandela’s ambition to use the tournament to bring a divided nation together.
Friday 21:00 GMT: The first instalment of the recent reboot of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise is on E4 on Friday night. A star-studded cast under the direction of JJ Abrams in a sci-movie, sound familiar? Why not get a feel for Abrams style when it comes to all things intergalactic, and get excited for his Star Wars offering coming later this year.
Saturday 14:45 GMT: A children’s animated film that you might not have seen is ‘The Iron Giant’, showing on Film4. Filled with political allegory and social commentary for the adults to enjoy, and stunning visuals and excitement aplenty for the children, it’s the perfect way to spend your Saturday afternoon.
Sunday 21:00 GMT: The honour of being this week’s Sunday night recommendation is bestowed upon war classic ‘Apocalypse Now’. With a brilliant cast featuring Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford and Martin Sheen, this wonderful achievement in cinema wowed critics and fans alike at the time of its release in 1979, and still continues to do so now. Don’t miss this on ITV4.
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.
Memento: With the likes of ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Inception’ already to his name, it would appear that Christopher Nolan can do no wrong. One of his earliest films in the directing chair was the mind-bending ‘Memento’, starring Guy Pearce as Leonard, who is trying to solve the murder of his wife, but is hindered by short-term memory loss. He therefore has to come up with an ingenious method to retain the knowledge he gains in order to track down the killer. This is a thriller by definition, without the explosions. It’s more subtle and clever and will have you guessing and thinking all the way through, and for days afterwards as well.
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: Confession time – I haven’t actually seen this one myself yet. But before you rise in protest, I’m advocating this film because I too will be digging it out this week and I want you all to join me so we can have a discussion about it. See, that’s nice, right? After Benicio del Toro’s gripping performance in ‘Sicario’, I have to see more of his work, and ‘Fear And Loathing’ seems like a good place to start. Generally adored by film fans, and lamented by critics, which side will you fall on?
Due Date: One of my favourite comedy actors, Zach Galifianakis, celebrates his birthday this Thursday. Since his big break in ‘The Hangover’, this portly, bearded guy has taken over the world and is arguably the funniest man around. My favourite film of his is ‘Due Date’, where Zach and Robert Downey Jr endure a road trip like no other. Not everyone is a fan of this film, but I literally laugh every minute and love the chemistry between the lead roles. If you enjoy a spot of silly humour, raise your popcorn on Thursday and say happy birthday Zach, thanks for the laughs.
Rain Man: Tom Cruise is not an actor that I like, at all. However, he is one of the stars of the show in Rain Man. Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman play the estranged Babbitt brothers, the latter of whom has severe autism. Hoffman’s performance is one of the best I have ever seen and his portrayal of Raymond is enough to make grown men cry. You have been warned.