Every Monday we will be recommending films that are on TV that week, films playing at the cinema, and also remind you of those brilliant films hiding on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and possibly in your own collection.
Blade Runner 2049: Fans of the original have waited 35 years for a sequel to ‘Blade Runner’, and this week their wish is granted. After some glowing early reactions last week, and lots of high marking reviews (which we’re avoiding until we’ve seen the film!). ‘Blade Runner 2049’ hits UK cinemas this Thursday and the hype could not be any higher.
mother!: “One of the several trailers claims “you will never forget where you were the first time you saw Mother!” I definitely won’t. Never, and I mean never, has a film had me so on the edge of my seat, mouth agape, eyes unblinking, in the final act. It is a slow burn, that at it’s crescendo, will tear you apart. ‘Mother!’ may be the best film I won’t ever revisit; a dizzying experience that I will recommend to all at least once. ” – Read Sasha’s full review here and see ‘mother!’ before it leaves cinemas!
Kingsman: The Golden Circle: “‘The Golden Circle’ falls short of matching its predecessor, it’s still a lot of fun for fans of the original. There are ridiculous moments , very funny lines, great, silly action sequences, and it’s clear most of the cast are having a lot of fun, particularly Julianne Moore chewing the scenery as the big bad. If you love Kingsman like I do, you’re going to really enjoy this one. If you didn’t, it’s probably best you stay away.” – Rhys’ full review
The Da Vinci Code (2006): A film you either love or hate, this proved unpopular with critics but a huge hit with the public, amassing over $700m at the box-office, obviously boosted by the global acclaim from Dan Brown’s novel which introduced a gripping, thought-provoking thriller that delved into history, shook it up and spat it back out. Tom Hanks is ever likeable in the role of Robert Langdon, doing this best to think, frown and plot his way through a hefty running time that starts from the 1st minute and doesn’t end until the 143rd. The beautiful Audrey Tautou, the wonderful Ian McKellen, the eerie Paul Bettany and fierce Jean Reno all add to the great supporting cast and replicate their literal characters perfectly with the right amount of menace, intelligence, danger and emotion. There is no denying it’s a very intelligent film, combining a fair amount of cat-and-mouse action that keeps that lingering threat present. With wonderful locations and set-design taking us from inside the Louvre to the historic Temple Church in London and a hauntingly beautiful score by Hans Zimmer, words aren’t always needed to paint a picture of sheer wonder as it unravels before you.
Johnny English (2003): Rowan Atkinson stars as the oddly beloved spy, Johnny English, whose absurd antics get him caught up in some messy situations. English is put on assignment to stop the stealing of the Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London. Along the way, he manages to put his mission in peril, because that's Johnny English for you! Peter Howitt directs this spy parody of a flick, and if Atkinson’s past roles have taught us anything, it's to never put your trust on the dopey guy! See Atkinson channel his inner comedy from his days of being Mr. Bean! Catch Johnny English
on E4 at 8pm!
22 Jump Street (2014): How do you follow up what’s genuinely considered as one of the best comedies of the decade? By sticking to the formula, and owning it. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as the unlikely buddy cop duo and are as funny as each other, with great chemistry and boasting the bromance to end all bromances. On top of that, returning directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are well aware the film is similar to the first, and let us in on that joke too. 22 Jump Street is a hilarious, meta trip through a buddy cop comedy that is arguably even funnier than its predecessor. Make sure you stick around for the credits. You won’t regret it.
Troy (2004): From the surprise sword and sandal epic ‘Gladiator’ in 2000, it paved the way for many more to follow. One such outing is the Wolfgang Petersen helmed ‘Troy’ starring Brad Pitt as Greek warrior Achilles, Eric Bana as Trojan Prince Hector and Orlando Bloom as Paris. With sun-kissed skin a plenty, bulging biceps and plenty of rugged good looks, history never looked so flawless as it does here – but enough of that, this is a brutal, bold and brilliantly told story about the Greek war with Troy and the myths that were born from it. A stellar supporting cast, some lavish costumes and well-staged sword fights and action sequences make this a fair old slog, but one that takes its time to craft and tell a character-based story. For fans of ancient history and big budget movies, this is a must and a far better offering than many others of the genre.
American Heist (2014): Adrien Brody stars as Frankie, a man fresh out of prison and ready to relentlessly drag his little brother back into the kind of mess that got him locked up. They brothers reunite upon Frankie’s release only to partake in the biggest and last heist, for old time’s sake. We see Hayden Christensen gracing the screen as younger brother James. With the action and elements of pensive dramas, American Heist is an indie action flick most will find to be a guilty pleasure of sorts. Get into the madness of American Heist airing on Sony at 11pm.
American Honey (2016): Despite its 2 hr 45 min runtime, let this woozy, hazy, dreamlike film wash over you and take you on a road trip across America. Set amongst a ragtag bunch of very young travelling magazine salespeople, this film from British director Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank) features a mesmerising central performance from Sasha Lane. Shia LaBeouf proves once again that he does have the acting chops, away from his erratic personal life. Riley Keough also impresses amongst the ensemble. This film is definitely worth the significant time investment.
Godzilla (1998): The year is 1998 and coming off the back of major hits such as ‘Stargate’ and ‘Indepenace Day’, the king of disaster movies Roland Emmerich had set his sights on his next project; the remake of the much loved Japanese monster movie ‘Godzilla’. With an estimated budget of 130 million dollars and huge backing from the studio, Godzilla was meant to be the next big thing. What actually happened was a mauling from the critics and fans alike. Starring the likes of Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Hank Azaria, it had an odd cast. Godzilla for me is a massive amount of fun, greatly under-rated and is misunderstood. It has some great set pieces and the special effects just about hold up. It also has a real gem of a soundtrack, with Puff Daddy, Jamiroquai, Green Day and the Foo Fighters who put in some massive tunes. In Short ‘Godzilla’ is a big, bold, fun, easy watching flick. It deserves a second chance if you haven’t seen it since it came out.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991): This is hands down my favourite adaptation of the Robin Hood lore. Yes, maybe the pacing is a little slow in the middle and it’s jarring having Robin Hood speak with an American accent BUT, on the whole, it’s fun, enjoyable and features some great action and acting talent overall including the late Alan “Cancel Christmas!” Rickman, Morgan Freeman and Mary Elizabeth Manstrantonio. Kevin Costner is a fine Robin Hood. He certainly can make shooting an arrow look undeniably cool, and he has a real everyman approach to being the hero who must lead men to victory whilst dealing with affairs of the heart. And I never get tired seeing him fire the arrow on fire in glorious slow-motion in front of a wall of flame. It uses that heroic swashbuckling feel of Errol Flyn, splicing with a modern Hollywood budget to make this telling look and feel real, with memorable performances, lavish sets, a rousing soundtrack and brilliant stunt-work. It’s probably the best adaptation of the Robin Hood myth we’ve got, and that’s certainly not a bad thing for a film that is as enjoyable and fun as this. And if Sean Connery lends himself for a cheeky, un-credited cameo, what’s not to enjoy?
Black Hawk Down (2001): Featuring an insanely starry cast; everyone from Ewan McGregor and Josh Hartnett (swoon), to a very early Tom Hardy performance – this tense ensemble war drama is beautifully shot and well edited. Telling the story of a disastrous helicopter mission into the heart of Mogadishu in 1993, which led to 100 US soldiers being in a gripping stand-off with hundreds of heavily-armed Somalis. This is one of the few great modern war films.
Hiding Online / In Our Collection / Out This Week
Pirates of the Carribean: Salizar’s Revenge (2017): More un-dead villains, more mystical artefacts, more ship battles, a few sword fights, more young love interests, more double crosses, more CGI. More, more, more. They try to get bigger and better in their action set-pieces, and just when they seem to achieve it, the CGI comes out to enhance everything and ruins it to become silly. The guillotine sequence for one has a nice little comical moment, but it’s ruined by the dumb slapstick. Javier Bardem is under-used, Geoffrey Rush is having fun at least still, and Johnny Depp phones in a performance that literally makes Jack Sparrow look inept – he’s more a clown than a pirate, and it’s a shame to see him resort to so much buffoonery. It’s not the worst POTC film, but that doesn’t say much. More akin to the original than the sequels, but just as bloated and far-fetched. The franchise is tired and now can be tied up, but knowing Disney, if this makes serious cash, then they’ll crank out a 6th in no time. Read our full review here..
Wonder Woman (2017): Whilst it may not be out on DVD and Blu-Ray until next week, ‘Wonder Woman’ is available to buy digitally in the UK. ‘Wonder Woman’ took the world by storm this year and is now highest grossing superhero origin film of all time and the second highest grossing film this year, after Disney’s live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’. You can read our full review from earlier this year.
A huge thank you to contributors this week: Dave Curtis, Chris Gelderd, Jessica Peña, Rhys Bowen-Jones, Fiona Underhill,
Categories: Watch This Space