Welcome, one and all, to the only reboot that matters this year! We’re excited to be bringing back Watch This Space – with some big changes! WTS was a weekly feature in which the team would scour UK TV guides and recommend films airing the following week. We figured we should catch up with the times and now our team will be recommending their favourite films and hidden gems on various different streaming platforms every other Friday so we can help you pick some films for your weekend!
Role Models (David Wein, 2008)
Amazon Prime UK
Tucked away in Amazon Prime’s catalogue is the 2008 comedy gem that is Role Models. The film stars the never-ageing Paul Rudd (Wheeler) and Sean William Scott (Danny) who, after Wheeler’s day continues to go from bad to worse after his girlfriend leaves him because he always focuses on the negatives in life, are both given 150 hours community service with a mentorship programme in which they both become ‘Big Brothers’ to two kids who struggle to make friends.
Role Models is still hilarious 10 years later and it’s the perfect Friday night comedy to end the week on. Bobb’e J. Thompson steals every scene he’s in as Ronnie and delivers some of the films most memorable lines, my favourite being his Ben Affleck insult to Wheeler – “Suck it, Reindeer Games”. If you don’t have Prime UK I would still wholeheartedly recommend seeking this film out in your DVD/Blu-ray pile or other streaming sites if you haven’t seen it in a while -trust me, you won’t regret it!
Cellular (David R. Ellis, 2004)
Amazon Prime UK
A new addition to Amazon Prime, Cellular is one of my favourite films. It has everything you could want; a young Chris Evans pre-superhero roles, Jason Statham as a proper baddie, and William H. Macy in a facemask. Cellular is about a high school science teacher (Kim Basinger) who is kidnapped, and after using a broken phone to call for help, she manages to connect to the mobile phone of Ryan (Evans). He’s her only hope of rescue and stopping the kidnappers going after her husband and son, and as Ryan gets into increasingly dangerous situations, Sergeant Mooney (Macy) gets involved. Admittedly the humour is very early-2000s (though “It’s a day spa you f*ck” is a fantastic line) but Cellular is still a fast-paced, action-packed film and it’s such a fun time.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Akiva Shaffer/ Jorma Taccone, 2016)
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping charts the rise, fall, and rise again of Andy Samberg’s superstar rap/pop royalty, Connor4real – real name Connor Friel. Connor’s musical career begins as a member of The Style Boyz, with childhood friends Owen (Jorma Taccone) and Lawrence (Akiva Schaffer), whose hit single, “Donkey Roll,” kicks off a global dance phenomenon. Their success is short-lived, as Connor’s immense ego – don’t let his song “I’m So Humble” fool you – causes rifts in the band. The hilarious mockumentary begins as Connor’s second solo album is due for release, following an unprecedentedly successful debut solo album. What follows is 86 minutes of absurdity, stellar cameos, and banging tracks – the climactic “Incredible Thoughts” being a real stand-out song. The Lonely Island (Samberg, Taccone & Schaffer’s real-life musical comedy troupe) at their riotous best.
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
Netflix UK/ Amazon Prime UK
Quentin Tarantino is a notorious filmmaker. His movies feature an often polarizing level of violence, racist language and profanity. They’re often crafted within a stylistic inch of their life and regularly push terrible people as their main protagonists (Reservoir Dogs, for example). That’s what certifies Inglourious Basterds as his magnum opus – he focuses on the incredible story of Nazi-hunting covert soldiers deep behind enemy forces, rather than indulging in too many Tarantino-isms.
That being said, the dialogue comes thick and fast, as typically expected from one of his scripts, but it’s so densely packed with historically witty observations mixed with such naturalistic dialogue that the long running time flies by. The ‘Bear Jew’ is one of the most ruthlessly cool characters put to screen, and the opening sequence is the very definition of perfection. The way Christoph Waltz establishes an uneasy friendliness and instantly switches to a chillingly frightening stare is Oscar-worthy – funnily enough, he was awarded justly for his legendary performance. An unequivocal masterpiece.
The Mummy Trilogy (Steven Sommers, 1999, 2001. Rob Cohen, 2008)
Brendan Fraser was king of the late-90s/early-00s, with his particular brand of dashing charm best epitomised in The Mummy Trilogy. Tales of mummified beings coming back to life have been told many a time, but few on as grand a scale, or with such a sense of adventure as The Mummy (1999). The charismatic cast of Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo, as antagonist Imhotep, reprise their roles for another rambunctious race-against-time in The Mummy Returns (2001). Sure, the third and final instalment, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) leaves a lot to be desired, but its valiant attempt at a different take on ‘ancient-all-round-bad-guy-comes-back-to-end-the-world’ has to be admired. Perfect for Sunday afternoon streaming.
The Invitation (Karyn Kusama, 2016)
As we await the release of her latest drama Destroyer this fall, it only makes sense that we go back and revisit Karyn Kusama’s 2016 gripping thriller, The Invitation. The film unveils a quietly reserved, but explosive performance from Logan Marshall Green as Will, visiting the home he once knew to attend a personal gathering invited by his ex-wife Eden and her mysterious new husband. As invitees, Will and his girlfriend begin to mingle over drinks, talk to other guests, but it’s when Eden and her husband show them a devastating piece of footage when Will’s lurking suspicions start to ring true.
A definite nail biting flick, The Invitation relies on the enclosing dread of not exactly knowing the people around you as well as you thought you did. Imagine this looming fear amplified by the uncertainty if you’ll even get out alive. With stellar performances all over from talents like Tammy Blanchard and John Carroll Lynch, this film is a pick worth your time.
We hope you enjoyed our first bunch of recommendations! If you do watch anything we’ve recommended this week, be sure to let us know on Twitter – @JUMPCUT_ONLINE