Watch This Space #5

Another weekend arrives and you’re looking for a new pick to stream at home. We’ve got you covered. The JUMPCUT team have selected a new batch of recommendations for you. Below you’ll find some classic films you never knew were hiding just under your streaming radars, some hit comedy finds, and more!

Falling Down (Joel Schumacher, 1993)

Amazon Prime

Before Joel Schumacher lost his way and camped up the Batman franchise to high heavens, his portfolio forms a fanfare collection of big hits; one in particular, 80s supermovie The Lost Boys.

Two years before his caped crusader debut, he made Falling Down, a scorchingly violent satire with a wit intelligently woven with chaos. The film follows Michael Douglas’ everyman who, on a tiringly hot day, lashes out against those in society who he believes to be America’s downfall. Commercially, the movie succeeds as a no-holds-barred revenge actioner, but the observations on the world’s relentlessly capitalist nature bury the events deeper than superficial enjoyment.

Schumacher enjoys both broad strokes in attacking consumerism, such as a famed scene in a fast food joint, but also takes sly digs through glances at posters and billboards – in a landscape so focused on money it may as well be covered in green, Douglas spills his red justice onto the grass. His character is portrayed as both a hero and villain, which although leaves a sour taste as we’re expected to root for him through his warped journey, adds to the twisted plight of the tale.

Cameron Frew

 

Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)

Netflix

If you’re still reeling back from Annihilation earlier this year, maybe you’d like to sink your eyes into more cerebral ideas of human nature. Garland’s 2005 thriller/drama Ex Machina stars Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb, a programmer who wins a week-long trip at his CEO’s (Oscar Isaac) estate to interact with Nathan’s new, peculiar AI named Ava (Alicia Vikander). Ava is a magnificent achievement of tech that Caleb can’t help but be overwhelmed by. He wants to study her but soon realizes that maybe Nathan is using both of them for unethical, greedy schemes. The futuristic setting of the film tames the claustrophobic themes of human examination, existentialism, and razor-sharp disillusionment. Vikander and Gleeson are phenomenal, as always, and pull you into Caleb and Ava’s wonderful, interesting, but strange relationship under the scope. Garland’s directorial debut (if we are ignoring his pointed direction in Dredd) is patient and eerie as we await its next move, and it’s a constant, clever spectacle.

Jessica Peña

Loving Vincent (Hugh Welchman, Dorota Kobiela, 2017)

Netflix

After a criminally limited release last year, Loving Vincent is available on Netflix and I can’t recommend it enough. Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted feature film and is comprised of over 65,000 frames on over 1,000 canvases and was a labour of love for over 100 painters for four years – and my god was their hard work and determination worth it. The film is one of the most beautiful films I’ve had the pleasure of watching, and the accompanying score is just as delightful. Do yourself a favour and put some time aside this weekend to watch it! You can also read my full review from last year right here.

Tom Sheffield

 

In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008)

Netflix

Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy follows hitmen Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) as they lay low in Bruges, Belgium after a botched job has their boss (Ralph Fiennes) keeping close tabs on them. Ray is quite reluctant to engage in sightseeing and tourist-y ventures Ken wishes to schedule during their mini career hiatus, Bruges being the last place on Earth he can even stomach to reside in. It’s a hasty film that wastes no moment to downplay its class in exchange for remote absurdities and crude unravelments. It’s Farrell at his most ridiculous, and Gleeson as the perfect sweetener to balance it. It’s weeping thriller bits mixed with sharp, cunning dialogue. The architectural landscape bodes well to the film’s nuanced, but sinfully quick narrative. A much better McDonagh film than Three Billboards. I said what I said.

Jessica Peña

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Watch this Space #4

We’re coming in hot this weekend with some new staff picks to make your streaming time interesting! This week’s selections come from all points of the spectrum as we recommend stories of thrill, ones with heartfelt gut-punches, and one’s that delightfully pass the time. Let us know what you’re eyeing on this list or if you’ve had the pleasure of seeing one or two of these spectacular finds!

Paddington (Paul King, 2014)

Amazon Prime UK, Netflix US/ UK

Paddington. Oh, what a lovely film indeed. For someone who, to the best of his knowledge, wasn’t all that big on the duffle coat wearing bear as a youngster, the cute little bugger won me over in the first 10 minutes of his live action outing.

There’s an insatiable British charm that runs through the entirety of Paddington, injected into the witticisms of the heartwarming bear and his surrounding ensemble. This includes, but isn’t limited to, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi. But the success of the film lies most of all within Ben Whishaw’s sublime vocals as the titular hero. Polite, self-assured and hilariously innocent, he brings the bear to life in a way I didn’t think possible.

It bears much similarity plot wise to underrated dog-flick, Beethoven, but there’s a level of admirable ambition in elevating this to a larger than life, sweeter than marmalade adventure that will have adults and kids wiping away tears of laughter in equal measure. And don’t get me started on Paddington 2, that’s an even bigger treat.

— Cameron Frew

 

Thunder Road (short) (Jim Cummings, 2016)

Vimeo

My recommendation this week will only take 12 minutes of your time, but I genuinely can’t recommend it enough. Thunder Road is written and directed by Jim Cummings, a chap we were lucky enough to interview recently following the premiere of the feature-film adaptation of this short at BFI’s London Film Festival. The short focuses on Officer Jim Arnaud, who is about to make a speech at his mother’s funeral. Cummings’ depiction of his character’s grief is truly heartbreaking to watch, and yet, he manages to add some heartwarming comedy into his performance that almost made me feel bad for smiling at. I don’t really want to say any more about the short as it’s best to watch it all first hand and witness the grief-stricken officer deliver his eulogy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the feature-film adaptation secures some form of UK distribution because my jealousy for those who’ve watched it at this year’s LFF is reaching dangerous levels!

— Tom Sheffield

 

Apostle (Gareth Evans, 2018)

Netflix UK/ US

If you’re thinking of assessing your squeamish meter this Halloween, then Gareth Evans’ Apostle might just be the challenge to put your stomach to the test, or bestow a psychological break on whichever poor soul you convince to watch it with you. Determined and never without his furrowed brow, Dan Stevens must save his sister from captivity on an isolated island inhabited by a religious cult lead by Michael Sheen’s prophet.

Brutal and dripping with grunge, Apostle contests with the big torture porn players but is laced with myth and fantasy that distances itself from the likes of Hostel while displaying stellar performances from Stevens and Sheen. Evans’ slow burning tension around a contest of beliefs is reminiscent with The Wicker Man and The Witch with one eye-widening finale that takes an early twentieth century folktale through the meat grinder.

— Jo Craig

 

Private Life (Tamara Jenkins, 2018)

Netflix UK/ US

This superbly sharp dramedy is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone with its wholesome humour and endearing awkwardness. But beware, there are plenty of gut-punching moments waiting to hit you, whether you like it or not – which I guess you could say is testament to the way the film portrays the authenticities of adult life. Both Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn give career-best performances, and clearly thrive in this more grounded, raw setting. Alongside them, breakout star Kayli Carter shines, offering up much of the great comedic moments in this little indie treat.

— Jakob Lewis Barnes

 

Minding the Gap (Bing Liu, 2018)

Hulu

In a year of stellar documentary viewings to pick from, Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap uncovers some of the hardest truths in domestic violence and young teen culture. With a caring eye and ear to listen, Liu chronicles 12 years in the lives of his and two friends’ upbringing in turmultous homes. From the emotional scars of trauma to the side effects of growing out of it, the documentary digs deep and looks for answers.

One obvious haven for these young men is how the escapism of skateboarding all these years has helped them retain a foundation of trust, fun, and safety from the bad. It’s one thing to leave home for the day and forget about the worries, it’s another thing to grow up and examine the person you’re becoming in part due to your childhood. Minding the Gap just picked up a Gotham Awards nom for documentary and it surely deserves it. Go find it!

— Jessica Peña


Be sure to give us a shout over on Twitter if we’ve twisted your arm into watching any of the above this weekend. Feel free to share your streaming recommendations with us too!

Watch This Space #3

Another weekend arrives and you’re looking for a new pick to stream at home. We’ve got you covered. The JUMPCUT team have selected a new batch of recommendations for you. Below you’ll find some classic films you never knew were hiding just under your streaming radars, some hit comedy finds, and more!

Select Classic Cinema on Streaming

Amazon Prime, Netflix US/UK

Classic film fans often bemoan the lack of older films on the most popular streaming sites, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. To a large extent, this is true – there certainly isn’t as wide a selection as there should be. Classic Hollywood fans usually turn to TCM, Mubi and Filmstruck to get their fix. Kanopy is another source for those with a US library card. However, for a small rental fee ($2 or $3), there is much to be found on Amazon. In the last week, I have watched Sabotage (Hitchcock, 1936), Jamaica Inn (Hitchcock, 1939), Gaslight (Dickinson, 1940), Suspicion (Hitchcock, 1941), Gaslight (Cukor, 1944), The Lady From Shanghai (Welles, 1947) and The Wrong Man (Hitchcock, 1956)

I have watched these seven films for about $20, which isn’t far off the price of one cinema ticket in LA. Filmstruck isn’t compatible with my laptop, which is why I have to turn to Amazon for my fix. These films contain performances by Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Rita Hayworth and Henry Fonda. It is certainly something to have these stunningly beautiful faces beamed into your bedroom or living room. My favourites of the films I watched in the last week were Sabotage, which contains many classic Hitch hallmarks, even in the mid-1930s and Suspicion, which went in an unexpected direction. Of the two incarnations of Gaslight, I think I preferred the perhaps lesser-known 1940 version. I also watched a 2014 version of Jamaica Inn, starring Jessica Brown-Findlay, which is very different to the 1939 version, showing you how variable adaptations of novels can be.

Anyway, if you have an interest in older films and want to fill in some gaps in your classic cinema knowledge, doing some searching on Amazon could yield more results than you might expect. It is certainly worth seeking out films you may have heard of but never got around to. I’ve now taken the number of Hitchcock films I’ve seen up to 20 and the completist in me appreciates this! If you end up watching one black and white film (if you don’t normally) as the result of this, it will have been worth it. Get in touch with us at JUMPCUT if you do!

— Fiona Underhill

 

Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011)

Amazon Prime UK

Before John Boyega made it the big time in a galaxy far, far away, he was just a kid from the south end of London fighting aliens. Written and directed by Joe Cornish (the guy who originally wrote Ant-Man with Edgar Wright before that all went wrong), Attack the Block is an absolute gem of British sci-fi. Take an alien invasion, put it on a council estate, and mix in a teenage gang stuck with fighting them, you have a damn great time.

Attack the Block has the role that catapulted Boyega to stardom, classic British humour, great performances from the likes of Nick Frost and the 13th Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker, and beautiful creature design. It’s the kind of film that really should’ve also put Joe Cornish on the map as the next superstar British director because it’s such a creative, funny, thrilling ride. In a phrase, Attack the Block is an irreverent, British version of The Raid, but with aliens. Go watch it now, bruv. Believe it.

–Rhys Bowen Jones

Crazy, Stupid, Love (Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, 2011)

Netflix UK/ Amazon Prime US

As the October bells ring across the world, so begins the tradition that dictates the month is solely dedicated to horror movies. Although, when you think about it, that can be a lot of harrowingly dark, grim filmmaking to watch over the course of 31 days, so I think it’s wise to, mayhaps, break up the watching schedule with some light-hearted viewings – I opted, in this regard, for Crazy Stupid Love.

The 2011 release has become a much-loved, regular watch for many filmgoers, casual and serious, around the globe. Directed by Glen Ficarra and John Requa, the film revolves around Cal (Steve Carrell) and the aftermath of his wife (Julianne Moore) requesting a divorce. In the midst of this downward spiral of drunken nights, he meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who takes him under his wing as some sort of twisted protege, and teaches him how to become a ladies man.

The script is delightfully lively and thrives off the natural strength of Carrell as a subtle but very effective performer, but most of all, Gosling in a hilariously deadpan role which shot him into comedic stardom. The pair’s clashing personalities are rife with chuckle-worthy moments, but at the film’s core, the message is wholesome – never give up on love, no matter what. Okay, back to demons, slashers and what not.

— Cameron Frew

 

Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)

Amazon Prime UK

As the only available film of Edgar Wright’s ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ on Amazon Prime UK, and the fact Halloween is just around the corner, now is the perfect time to revisit the horror-comedy cult classic. Featuring a host of British talent, including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis, and Kate Ashfield to name just some, this comedy not only offers up laughs, but also throws in some emotional gut-punches that still hurt no matter how many times you’ve seen the film. Filled with lots of little horror references for fans of the genre, this zom-rom-com has something for everyone and, most important of all, features the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’s signature fence jumping scene – something that never fails to get a laugh from me.

Head to the sofa, have a cup of tea, put your feet up, and watch Wright and co. do what they do best.

— Tom Sheffield

 

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Peter Sollett, 2008)

Netflix US/ Amazon Prime US/ iTunes US

When Norah (Kat Dennings) asks Nick (Michael Cera) to be her boyfriend for five minutes to mislead Trish (Alexis Dziena), she doesn’t realize this is the guy who’s been sending Trish post-breakup mixtapes. What ensues is a night of scavenger hunts, drunk friends, turkey sandwiches, and fluffy, young indie romance. Teenage me is swooning right now. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist found me just as I was discovering my real musical tastes. This film, completely harmless and carefree, carries one of the most infectious indie pop/rock soundtracks. Vampire Weekend, Bishop Allen, and Band of Horses follow you through the midnight hours as the group rush to find drunk friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) and make it to the secret rock band show on this New York night where the titular characters eventually fall in love.

Cera is fresh off the knockout success of Superbad and although you could argue he plays the same person in most roles, his Nick is the kind of emotional clutz that doesn’t seem overbearingly obnoxious and instead, makes a sweet pair with Dennings’ Norah. Before she became one half of the sitcom 2 Broke Girls, Dennings is the wallflower realist as Norah, who will gloriously throat punch someone if provoked. Flawed, sure. Need a charming indie rom com that isn’t 500 Days of Summer, then put this on.

— Jessica Peña


We hope you find what suits you this week. Don’t forget to let us know what you watch and tweet at us! Happy streaming!

Watch This Space #2

Another Friday, another weekend ahead to fill with films! Over the past couple weeks the team have been watching a whole range of different films on various streaming platforms so they can recommend you some hidden gems, as well as films that totally deserve another watch.


Chronic (Michel Franco, 2015)

Netflix US

If you are in for a depressing watch, Chronic will be for you. Directed by Mexican director, Michel Franco, Chronic tells the story of David (Tim Roth) who is a top tier home care nurse for terminally ill patients. He develops close relationships with his patients, which on some occasions is a good thing, and on some not so much. Not to mention outside of his work, he deals with separate familial issues and personal ones, just as we all do. It premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and Franco ended up winning best screenplay for it at the festival as well. A truly heartbreaking and real view into the life of a man working with people at the end of their own.

Fernando Andrade

 

Crooked House (Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2017)

Amazon Prime US

Featuring an all-star cast, this Agatha Christie adaptation is worth your time if you’re into beautiful houses and beautiful costumes. It stars Max Irons (Riot Club) as a private detective who is employed by an ex-girlfriend to investigate her wealthy grandfather’s death in the late 1940s English countryside. The cast includes Terence Stamp, Glenn Close, Christina Hendricks, Amanda Abbington and Gillian Anderson in a fabulous black bobbed wig and glamorous outfits. The plot gets increasingly ridiculous as it goes on and of course, everyone’s a suspect, but the titular Crooked House is a stunning turreted affair and the whole thing is a sumptuous feast for the eyes. Everyone involved is hamming it up to the nines, but it’s still more enjoyable than that horrendous Murder on the Orient Express film that we got last year. I would cheerfully be murdered by Hendricks or Anderson, especially in period costume, so allow them to seduce you too and check out this gorgeous film.

Fiona Underhill

 

Miss Sloane (John Madden, 2016)

Amazon Prime UK/ US

Have you accepted your lord and saviour Elizabeth Sloane? If you haven’t, that probably means you haven’t seen Miss Sloane yet. Jessica Chastain is Elizabeth Sloane, the most sought-after and formidable lobbyist in DC. When she decides to work for a group that are lobbying for stricter gun laws, the opposition will use any means to bring her down. Miss Sloane is stylish, tense and exciting. It’s got all the best bits of a political thriller and Jessica Chastain’s wardrobe is amazing. Elizabeth Sloane is that wonderful kind of character that is pretty unlikable due to the fact she uses people, but she’s also incredibly compelling due to being so smart; it’s like if lobbying was a chess game, she can see all the pieces and possible move and countermoves before her opponent makes them. I love the character, Jessica Chastain and the whole film, and can’t recommend Miss Sloane enough.

Elena Morgan

 

Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)

Netflix UK/ US

Jake Gyllenhaal delivers yet another superb performance in Dan Gilroy’s dark crime thriller, Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, a freelance journalist struggling to sell his photos to a major news channel. In order to beat the competition, Louis begins crossing moral borders to snap the best pictures, including tampering with crime scenes and sabotaging his competitors. Nightcrawler also stars Rene Russon, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton and if you haven’t watched it yet, I really can’t recommend it enough.

Tom Sheffield

 

Let Me In (Matt Reeves, 2010)

Netflix US/ Amazon Prime US

Take the best notes of sharp horror, thrillers and curious storytelling and you’ll land on something peculiar. Such is the feel in Matt Reeves’ Let Me In, a remake of the Swedish Let The Right One In, where a bullied young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) finds a friend and ally in a mysterious young girl (ChloĂ« Grace Moretz) who lives in his building. Set in very dreary, cold, and ominous tones, the film gives us somewhat of a glee: the precious friendship that forms between the two main characters, set along the growing suspense of her vampiric identity. Moretz has a unique, devilishly pure presence and the film, although a bit slow-burn, is a fascinating flick for your thriller/vampire needs.

Jessica Peña

 

Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, 1995)

Amazon Prime UK/ US

Today’s idea of a blossoming love affair is so boring. Not that the relationships aren’t fulfilling, or that the couple’s don’t utterly adore each other, but there’s not much of a story in, say, the swift right flick of your thumb, as is the case for some. Linklater’s first film in the widely (and rightly) acclaimed Before series is a wistful, heartfelt letter to the kind of fantastical brief encounter that not only you’d probably only dream of, but has also been lost in the revolution of technology and communication.

As the film opens and moves down an everyday train carriage, gently honing in on Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), there’s already a keen intrigue in the air. But from Jesse’s first act of courage, actually speaking to her, you know a fuse has been lit. It’s only as the pair begin unravelling each other’s personalities, talking about nothing and everything as they freely wander the gorgeous streets of Vienna, the sparks grow bigger and brighter. This is a story of true, pure love, and as they fall deeper, so will you.

Cameron Frew


 

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

Watch This Space #1

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!

Tom Sheffield

 

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.

Elena Morgan

 

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Akiva Shaffer/ Jorma Taccone, 2016)

Netflix UK

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.

Sasha Hornby

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.

Cameron Frew

 

The Mummy Trilogy (Steven Sommers, 1999, 2001. Rob Cohen, 2008)

Netflix UK

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.

Sasha Hornby

 

The Invitation (Karyn Kusama, 2016)

Netflix US

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.

Jessica Peña


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

Watch This Space: 4th – 10th December

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.

In Cinemas / Take Home

The Disaster Artist: James Franco directs and stars in arguably the best comedy of 2017 as we get a look in to how the best worst film ever made came to be. Go behind the scenes of Tommy Wiseau’s cult hit ‘The Room’ in this comedy based on the book that was written by Greg Sestero about how he met Tommy and how ‘The Room’ came to be. Thankfully, we have Tommy’s biggest fan on our team and Sarah’s review for ‘The Disaster Artist’ will be available on our blog tomorrow!

On TV This Week

Monday

Live and Let Die (ITV4, 9pm): The late, great Sir Roger Moore takes up the Walther PPK from Sean Connery to establish a new James Bond – more humour, more family-friendly and Moore himself. He’s confident, charming and dangerous and starts his 7 film run in a way that makes it difficult to imagine anyone else as a suave and sophisticated British secret agent. After a blasting theme tune from Paul McCartney & Wings, Bond and love interest Solitaire (Jane Seymour) take on Yaphet Kotto’s drug baron Dr Kananga as he attempts to flood America with drugs. The story is more grounded and character driven to ease us into our new 007, but it doesn’t hold back on the girls, gadgets and outrageous action! It’s very much a Bond of the 70s (1973) with the heavy ‘Blaxploitation’ theme running through it from the off with African-American co-stars such as Julius Harris, Geoffrey Holder, Gloria Hendry and Earl Jolly Brown and action set in Harlem, New Orleans and the Caribbean alongside terms such as ‘honkey’ and ‘spades’ amidst that funky jazz scene and pimpmobiles driving the streets. Overall, it’s a cracking debut.

The Grinch (Sky Christmas, 8pm): This live action Dr. Seuss treasure energizes our favourite green bah humbug in the form of the highly animated Jim Carrey — plotting his sabotage on the festive town of Whoville as the mythical Grinch. Ron Howard provides the snug night in joining the holiday cheer that no December should be without — with majestic imagery and plenty of giggles narrated by the comforting voice of Anthony Hopkins. The Grinch’s hyperbole and chronic cynicism against the cheerful Bobble-nosed Whos and their infectious Christmas spirit is relentless in delighting with the added bonus of a moralistic and ambivalent dog. Make this your background entertainment whilst Christmas wrapping Monday at 10pm on Sky Xmas.

Tuesday

The Man with the Golden Gun (ITV4, 9pm): Roger Moore never fails to delight as 007 with a successful balance of humour and charm that sees him make the role his own with the right amount of cold brutality Bond needs as he slaps around women and shows little mercy to the enemy. He’s a joy to watch and helps carry the film with a story that is not the most exciting, but one that is saved with a great villain in the guise of Sir Christopher Lee as Scaramange – a clever and cunning hitman. With some good action scenes and locations but irritating characters, half of the Bond team wanted to take the series bigger and more escapist, while the other half wanted more humour and espionage. The balance doesn’t work and it proved to be the final collaboration between original producers Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. Memorable for many good reasons, but also for a few bad, this is one of mediocre Bond offerings, but still impossible not to enjoy for what it is.

Love Actually (Sky Christmas, 8pm):  An abundance of British talent graces the screen in this idyllic rom-com from Richard Curtis to get you in the festive spirit — featuring the talents of Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson and more — bestowing a warming Christmas cracker stuffed with humour and plenty of “awwww’s”. Each character story is compelling and touching — giving you the gift of belief in love at unexpected times from a cast that has remained one of the better ensembles in film for fourteen years. A treat to be added to the Christmas film list or buried away for the heart-wrenching break-up, Love Actually attests that in a darkening world, all you need is love, actually. Grab some Kleenex and a bottle of wine for 8pm Tuesday on Sky Xmas

Captain America: The First Avenger (Film4, 9pm): Although most people seem to hold ‘The Winter Soldier’ in the highest regard of the ‘Captain America’ films (and even of the whole MCU), ‘The First Avenger’ is my favourite. I love an origin story and also the period setting of this film appeals to me. If you’re unfamiliar, it follows the story of weedy weakling Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), too ill to be allowed to sign up with his best buddy Bucky to fight in World War Two. Mysterious scientist Dr Erskine (Stanley Tucci) offers Steve a chance to be injected with a serum that transforms him into a tall, strapping solider. Once decked out in a stars and stripes suit, Captain America becomes a mascot and is used to elicit war bonds and new recruits. Frustrated by this role and eager to join the front lines, Cap becomes involved in a daring rescue of his best friend’s squadron and seeks to defeat Hydra, led by Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). This film is also the introduction of Peggy AKA Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell), who went on to have an unfortunately short-lived TV series. Evans is all charm here and this is real reminder of why he’s the leader of the ‘Avengers. With Infinity War’ coming up next year, take this chance to look back at a nostalgic origin story.

Wednesday

The Spy Who Loved Me (ITV4, 9pm): A 3 year break and a new production team with a single vision for the franchise meant audiences were going to get something bigger and better than ever. It’s Bond and beyond! The team give you a submarine car, a Union Jack parachute escape and set design that rivals anything ever seen – you get this and Moore. Roger Moore as 007 and Barbara Bach as Russian agent Anya Amasova team up against Curd JĂŒrgens who wants to destroy the world, all with the aid of nuclear submarines and a steel-toothed giant called Jaws played by the inimitable Richard Kiel. The adventure crosses the globe and the production is bigger than ever to give us a fun, exciting and very iconic entry to the series where everyone looks like they’re having a blast, and it certainly shows. Nobody does it better than 007.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (ITV4, 11:35pm): For me, this is the last good Burton film (although last year’s Miss Peregrine wasn’t terrible). Many people think he jumped the shark before this (even before Big Fish, which I will not hold sway with at all), but ‘Sweeney Todd’ still has a lot to offer, if you can still stomach watching Johnny Depp. It is not so much the songs which are the appeal for me, but the production design. Burton creates an almost black and white world with pops of colour (particularly blood red) to tell this murderously dark tale of revenge. The cast is rounded out by HBC (obvs), Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

Thursday

Moonraker (ITV4, 9pm): Where does 007 have left to conquer? Why, outer-space of course! Roger Moore returns as James Bond to jump on the sci-fi band wagon established by ‘Star Wars’ to take the battle to save the world OUT of this world. Evil billionaire Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) wants to destroy Earth and shape it again in his own vision – cue 007 and CIA agent Holly Goodhead (no sniggering) played by Lois Chiles to stop him! Richard Kiel returns as Jaws when the action spans the globe and then into the stars. Some may see this as a little blip in the Moore era – some forced humour and silly jokes over-shadow things, but it’s not all bad. We have more stand-out set design, more daring stunt work and of-the-era special effects to show there is no limit to where 007 can go.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (Comedy Central, 9pm): ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’ is the second film of Mike Myers’  ‘Austin Powers’ trilogy. In this Academy Award nominated sequel, Austin has his mojo stolen by Doctor Evil, who travelled back in time to steal it from him whilst he was frozen.  Much like the first, this film delivers the laughs and still holds up pretty well! It’s takes every clichĂ© from the Bond films before it, adds some 60s flare, and Mike Myers playing multiple characters. A good laugh for a Wednesday night!

Wayne’s World (Comedy Central, 11pm): ‘Wayne’s World’ is in my Top 5 films of all time. Admittedly, this is a lot to do with the age I was when it came out and the nostalgic associations it holds for me. It was only relatively recently that I discovered that it was directed by a woman. The whole film rests on the central performances of Mike Myers as Wayne and Dana Carvey as Garth, playing “teenagers” who host a cable TV show from their basement. The film is infused with the rock of Led Zeppelin and Queen and the stylings of Wayne’s girlfriend Cassandra’s band. Some delightful supporting work comes from Rob Lowe and Lara Flynn Boyle (as Wayne’s crazy ex-girlfriend). This hilarious movie is packed full of catchphrases and memorable set-pieces (Bohemian Rhapsody in the car) that will stick with you long after you’ve seen it. If you’ve not seen it before, where have you been? If it’s been too long since you last saw it (it certainly has for me), then revisit this early 90s gem.

Friday

For Your Eyes Only (ITV4, 9pm): Roger Moore takes 007 into the 80s going up against villainous KGB agent Julian Glover to stop a deadly military encoder falling into the hands of the Russians, and he does so with the help of charming smuggler Topol and Greek archaeologist Carole Bouque. The good thing with EON Productions and their James Bond series is that they know when certain aspects have to change to convince fans and critics the series is still relevant. After the outlandish ‘Moonraker’, Bond was brought back down to basics for a film that was more gritty, darker and practical, all the while retaining the fun and charm that Roger Moore brought to the role of James Bond. It was the most Fleming-esque of the Moore era, and won over many fans and critics as it relies on character development and espionage over silly gadgets and over-the-top action.

Ted (E4, 9pm): John Bennett (Mark Walhberg) wishes the teddy bear Ted (Seth McFarlane) to come to life during his childhood. Ted is suddenly alive and John must determine to keep a relationship with the bear or girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis). ‘Ted’ is unconventional to some extent and outright hilarious from start to finish. The unnecessary sequel ‘Ted 2’ is more of the same and proves stand alone films must be kept alone. If anything, ‘Ted’ provides satisfying chuckles and highly recommend skipping the sequel.

Watch This Space: 27th November – 1st December

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.

In Cinemas / Take Home

Wonder: An adaptation of R. J. Palacio’s New York Times Best Seller, ‘Wonder’ tells the story of August Pullman, who was born with an “extremely rare medical facial difference”, and his story of starting middle school after only ever being home-schooled. ‘Wonder’ is a heartwarming and genuinely lovely film, and we will have our full verdict up on site soon! You can catch ‘Wonder’ in UK cinemas from Friday!

War for the Planet of the Apes: The epic finale to arguably one of the best trilogies ever made is yours to take home this week! ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ concludes the story of Caesar and his family of apes in an all-out, high stakes finale. Caesar comes face to face with ‘The Colonel’ (Woody Harrelson), who threatens to wipe out the apes once and for all, and Caesar will do anything to protect those he loves. You can read our full review here

Valerian: Luc Beeson’s latest offering received a very mixed reception when it hit cinemas earlier this year. Fiona thought it took more of a beating than it deserved, but not all of it was incorrect – “It is, mostly, entertaining and the visual feast is almost worth your time and money”. You can read Fiona’s full review here and see whether it’s worth your money to take home this week. 

ON TV THIS WEEK

Monday

Die Another Day (ITV4, 9pm):  The 20th film in the James Bond sees Pierce Brosnan in his fourth and final 007 outing that put the final nail in the golden-era of the franchise in 2002. Lee Tamahori directs this outing which sees Bond take on a power-mad North Korean dictator intent on taking out the DMZ and starting a new world war…sounds familiar 15 years later? Not even CGI glacier-surfing, a CGI invisible Aston Martin or Halle Berry could save the film from it’s over-inflated ego. Loud, noisy, sloppy visual effects and a run of the mill action film with a worn-out looking Brosnan who is simply ticking the boxes. It may start a little promising but soon nose-dives, which is a shame, but then we wouldn’t have got a groundbreaking reboot in 2006. A wonderful case study in what happens when a then 40 year old franchise finally runs out of steam.

Starship Troopers (Syfy, 10pm): Like much of Paul Verhoeven’s work, Starship Troopers was misunderstood by many to be a mindless action film upon release. The dialogue is cheesy and schlocky, it follows a fairly run-of-the-mill alien invasion plot and it doesn’t help that it features the acting “talents” of Denise Richards. However, this film is actually a biting satire of fascism, the military and propaganda which is perhaps even more relevant now than when it was released. It can still be enjoyed on the level of an action/Sci-Fi flick, of course and it is brainless fun if that’s what you’re in the mood for. But for me, Starship Troopers is an underrated gem which shows what Verhoeven can do (and yes, I am including Showgirls in great films that have come from this director). If you’ve not seen this fantastic movie – make sure you check it out.

Step Brothers (5*, 10:05pm): Arguably one of Will Ferrell’s best films to date, ‘Step Brothers’ centres around two middle aged men who both still live at home, The pair are forced to become friends when their parents marry and move in together. Will Ferrel and John C. Reilly are absolutely hilarious together, both when the pair are fighting one another, and then later on in the film when they actually start liking each other a little (which turns out to be worse than them fighting). With some truly memorable yet toe-curling cringey scenes (I’m looking at you, Boats and Hoes), end your Monday with a laugh and a few songs along the way… “It’s the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer..” 

Tuesday

Mars Attacks! (ITV4, 10:50pm): Now a much loved cult classic, Tim Burton’s brief encounter with B movie styled science fiction certainly divided audiences back in the nineties — still it has never been short in entertaining many from the generation. The iconic, cackling Martians unleash panic across America alongside a see-it-to-believe-it line-up of famous faces — including Glenn Close, Jack Nicholson and a rather memorable head-swap between Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker — being terrorized by tiny beings carrying oversized brains. Comical and quirky, this is a feature designed to be accepted for what it is and should simply be allowed to entertain. Set phasers to stun — they’re landing Tuesday at 10:50pm on ITV4.

Liar Liar (Sky Comedy, 9:40pm): Jim Carrey stars in a highly underrated role as a hotshot lawyer whose career is put in jeopardy when he inherits a mysterious condition that prevents him from lying for 24 hours. Hilarious until the court adjourns that instantly becomes your go-to feature for one-liners. Supported by Maura Tierney and Cary Elwes, Carrey enthusiast and director Tom Shadyac of ‘Ace Ventura’ fame excels at highlighting the talents of one of Hollywood’s finest comics. This straightforward and heart-warming comedy will have you hooked after the first watch featuring a quick-witted and perfectly paced script by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur (‘The Little Rascals’) Court is in session Tuesday at 9:40pm on Sky Comedy.

Wednesday

Hail, Caesar! (Sky Cinema, 6pm): Hail Caesar ticks so many boxes for me – the  Coens, the 1950s, Hollywood and Channing Tatum dancing. This movie stars Josh Brolin as a “fixer” at one of the top Hollywood studios, meaning that he can arrange for awkward things like mistresses or gay lovers to be ‘handled’ and kept from the beady eye of gossip columnist Thora Thacker (Tilda Swinton). It features some fantastic set-pieces; including Ralph Fiennes trying to teach future Han Solo Alden Ehrenrich how to deliver a particularly tricky line, to Scarlett Johannsson in a spectacular water-based dance number, to George Clooney attempting to get his Julius Caesar movie off the ground. An insane communist sub-plot just makes Hail, Caesar all the more ridiculous but it’s hilarious and fun with some stunning costumes and set design. Highly recommended.

Crank (ITV4, 10pm): After being injected with poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops, professional assassin, Chev, spends almost the entirety of ‘Crank’ finding numerous ridiculous ways (including picking fights, taking drugs, and public sex) to stay alive, whilst also hunting down the man who poisoned him. This is a typical performance from Jason Statham, his character is quite similar to those we’ve seen him as before, but the fun with this film lies in his methods of staying alive and just how ridiculous the whole thing is. It’s fast paced, action packed, and ridiculous. A perfect mid-week film.

Thursday

The Raid 2 (C4, 11:35am): How do you follow up one of the finest action films of the decade so far? By going bigger, bolder, more violent, and more insane. When The Raid took streaming services by storm in 2011, people craved more from their action films. They wanted better choreography, better action set-pieces, better characters to root for. In Welsh-director Gareth Evans, they have a man who is happy to let moments play out for as long as they need and that little bit extra. He wants to showcase the unbelievable talent he has on offer with his incredible Indonesian cast, and he just wants to blow your fucking minds. The Raid 2 builds on the previous film by ramping the action up to 11 in every aspect: we have fight scenes in a muddy courtyard, inside and outside cars simultaneously, in hallways, in kitchens; you name a setting, there’s a fight scene in it. The Raid 2 is long at 2 and a half hours, but it’s worth it; settle in for The Godfather Part 2 of action sequels. If you love films like John Wick or Dredd in any way, watch this film. You won’t regret it.

Friday

Total Recall (ITV1, 11:15pm): This 1990 dystopian science fiction action film is directed by Paul Verhoeven and sees Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rachel Ticotin get their asses to Mars to take on the ruthless Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox as they try to rule the planet. Coming out in 1990, this was a refreshing slice of sci-fi which relied on miniature effects, model work, stunts and complex set-design to really make everything look and feel as real as possible. This is a big popcorn based pleasure trip for all Arnie and action fans alike, full of classic moments like the ever memorable 3 breasted woman, the freaky looking Johnny Cab, Quaid’s faulty Mars disguise, the gratuitous use of violence and gore, and of course the puns. If you’ve not seen this, which I doubt, then please check it out and forget all you know about the turgid Colin Farrel 2012 remake. Nobody did it better than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Sky Cinema, 11pm): Gareth Edwards directs the first ever spin-off film from the “Skywalker saga” and brings along Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen and Mads Mikkelsen as Rebel fighters to take on evil Ben Mendelsohn and the Galactic Empire as a super-weapon called the “Death Star” is about to make it’s debut mission. X-Wing and TIE dogfights across blue skies with a war-zone on the beaches below is something ripped from the computer games we’ve played over the years. These new heroes and villains leap from the pages of books we’ve read set outside the canon. ‘Rogue One’ puts the WARS back in Star Wars in the bravest and most faithful way possible that delivers thrills, emotion, tension, excitement and some gorgeous moments you never saw coming outside of the usual films we are used to.

Watch This Space: 20th – 26th November

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.

In Cinemas / Take Home

Justice League: The highly anticipated DCEU team-up has arrived in cinemas, but with lots of issues during production, including director Zack Snyder having to leave the project due to a heartbreaking family loss, does the end result reach fan expectations? You can read our full spoiler free review here.

Spider-Man: Homecoming: With 3 different “universes” and 7 films, the ‘Spider-Man’ movie franchise is in its second reboot in just 15 years making it one of the most controversial and it seems difficult superheroes to make work. From Tobey Maguire to Andrew Garfield – and lots of legal ties in the meanwhile – the web slinger finally gets a new home where he should have been all along; settled in the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland is our new Spider-Man/Peter Parker going up against Michael Keaton’s Vulture in a story that dispenses with the origin tale and throws us into Spidey’s world after seeing him in ‘Captain America: Civil War’. A big, bold and bright return to the silver screen here for old web-head, shaking up how we see Spider-Man and some familiar faces with lots of exciting action sequences and tight CGI to boost. It’s a tired character when you think about how much he’s been on screen, but somehow now Spidey has a boost of enthusiasm and vibrancy about him for the Marvel future he’s part of. You can read our full review from earlier this year here.here.

 

On TV

Monday

Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy (SyFy, 9pm): Ostensibly the story of a human plucked from earth to explore space and save the universe, Hitchhikers is difficult to sum up succinctly. As a huge fan of the books, I was skeptical of a film adaptation and this wariness was at least partly founded. Martin Freeman does make an affable Arthur Dent and I love Mos Def as Ford Prefect. Add in Sam Rockwell and Zooey Deschanel and the casting all round is generally spot-on. There are some design and world-building issues, however. But beggars cannot be choosers. It looks like this is the only adaptation we’re getting for some time (despite having two Dirk Gentlys since then), so enjoy the whimsical narration of Stephen Fry as he guides you through his good friend Douglas Adams’ world. And then go and read the books. All of them.

 

Tuesday

Kingsman: The Secret Service (Film4, 9pm): Matthew Vaughn’s spy comedy with a hyperbolic twist turns spy agent Colin Firth into a teacher of gentlemanly things for an adolescent tearaway — the breakout role for the charismatic Taron Egerton. Easy to become your favourite gadget-fest, The Secret Service satisfies the relentless urge to become an undercover agent if only to have the sturdy Mark Strong as your right-hand man. Be entertained by the charming good fun and memorable characters this growing, lucrative franchise has to offer — topped with the finest suits for window-shopping. Get suited and booted Tuesday at 9pm on film4.

 

The Bourne Identity (Sky Cinema, 4:40pm): Waking on a fishing boat with no memory of who he is, Matt Damon conquers Europe in attempts to recall his identity and explain why assassins are following his trail. Doug Liman’s first of the Bourne trilogy sets the barrier high for the assassin genre peaking with Damon’s establishing role as an action star contender — thus paving the way for the Jason Bourne fandom. This fast-paced pursuit boasts impeccable fight-scene choreography and confidence in calling itself a “thriller” complete with one of the best car chases in cinema. Grab your will to survive Tuesday at 4:40pm on Sky Cinema.

 

Wednesday

The World is Not Enough (ITV4, 10pm): His name is Pierce Brosnan and his number is 007. The James Bond of the 21st Century takes us into the new millennium with the 19th entry to the Bond serie, each one getting louder, bigger and more action packed than ever. Boasting the most exciting pre-title sequence for decades across the River Thames and the Millennium Dome, 007 is pushed to the limit when protecting wealthy oil heiress Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) from assassination from terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle). But M (Judi Dench) is also a target when the danger hits too close to home… With sexy support from the likes of nuclear physicist Denise Richards (don’t ask) and the welcome return of Robbie Coltrane as Valentin Zukovsky, this Bond movie drags it’s heels a little in getting through the story after a blistering opener, but does it’s best however much it shows signs of what was to come of the franchise with ‘Die Another Day’ 3 years later.

Cowboys and Aliens (Film4, 9pm): With such strong foundations to build on, many expected this to be box-office gold. We had the classic Western mashed with sci-fi. ‘Iron Man’ director Jon Favreau takes the helm. James Bond and Indiana Jones unite on-screen. What could go wrong? Well, sadly, on reflection, quite a bit when it tries too hard to be something it isn’t. Instead of making the story fun and exciting, it soon becomes a very lack-lustre clichĂ© of expectations from each genre that work against each other in vying for control. Lots of talk and debating does nothing to maintain the excitement and fun we could have had with real Wild West cowboys taking on an army of aliens. Instead of this, we get a bunch of miserable and argumentative cowboys on horseback tracking one downed spacecraft, which doesn’t even appear until a good 40 minutes in, all leading to a pay-off that combines everything we should have had before but it’s too little, too late. It’s always great to see Harrison Ford on screen. However, it’s way too dark and dreary to be something entertaining for those who love a good cowboy film or alien invasion; this just doesn’t know what it wants to be and suffers for it greatly.

Inglourious Basterds (Sky Cinema, 12am): The iconic Quentin Tarantino’s critically-acclaimed affair with this World War II satire — receiving aid from compadre Eli Roth — serves a sophisticated telling of Jewish U.S soldiers impending conquest over a Nazi-occupied France. A stellar show from Christoph Waltz in Colonel uniform leads a thorough search for Jewish occupants opposing the rebellious American guerrilla soldiers “The Basterds” assembled by Brad Pitt’s merciless Lt. Aldo Raine. A platoon of intense conversational scenes and explosions of controlled action in true Tarantino style — Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger and an army of familiar faces keep it engaging and thrilling to watch more than once. It’s a bingo Wednesday at 12am on Sky Cinema.

Lost in Translation (Sky Cinema, 8pm): An astonishing achievement from director Sofia Coppola – drawing out probably Scarlett Johansson’s best performance (and one of her earliest starring roles) and also reinventing Bill Murray’s career with this dramatic, nuanced and layered role, which of course is punctured by humour. Perhaps it will feel different, viewing it through the eyes of 2017, but their relationship somehow manages to not seem creepy. It comes across as refreshingly sweet to see these two fish out of water bonding in the overwhelming anonymity of Tokyo at night. Murray is the washed up movie star hocking whiskey in Japanese adverts “It’s Suntory time” and Johansson is the lonely young wife of a photographer, both jet-lagged and woozy in a totally alien culture. If you haven’t seen this film, you really must spend some time with these characters in Coppola’s world.

Thursday

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Sky Comedy, 8pm): Popstar is the best comedy of 2016 that you probably never got to see. It stars Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer who in real life make up The Grammy award winners ‘The Lonely Island’. This Judd Apatow produced mockumentry follows Samberg’s Conner4Real as he attempts to have a solo career away from the group that made him famous, The Style Boyz . The film Is packed full of cameos from a host of famous faces across the entertainment industry which really helps add a sense of realism to the movie. The other thing which is outstanding is the film’s soundtrack. All original songs from the creative minds of ‘Dick in a Box’ and ‘Jizzed in my Pants’ comes songs like ‘I’m So Humble’ and ‘Incredible Thoughts’, which are as good as anything in the charts today. Really funny comedy films are so rare recently it’s a shame when they don’t find an audience. ‘Popstar’ should be applauded. This is a funny hidden gem which should be sought out as soon as possible.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 (TCM, 10:50pm): One of Tarantino’s best films, featuring a bravura performance by Uma Thurman as The Bride seeking revenge on her old colleagues. This first half of the story mainly focuses on tracking down O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu); by firstly obtaining a legendary Hattori Hanzo sword and culminating in the astonishing House of the Blue Leaves sequence. However, through the use of flashback, we get much of the backstory motivating The Bride on her brutal and bloody rampage across the planet and which will ultimately lead her to Bill himself. Features supporting work from Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen and Vivica A Fox as The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad. If you haven’t seen this film, what have you been doing with your life? After catching up with Vol I, make sure you track down the equally good Vol II.

Friday

TBA…

 

A huge thank you to contributors this week:  Chris Gelderd, Jo Craig, Fiona Underhill, Dave Curtis,

Watch This Space: 6th – 12th November

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.

In Cinemas

The Killing of a Sacred Deer: Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest directorial effort has a limited release here in the UK, but we highly recommend you seeking out a screening near you if possible. Those of you who enjoyed Lanthimos’ ‘The Lobster’, which also starred Colin Farrell, are in for a treat with his latest film. You can read our full review later this week! 

Murder on the Orient Express: Kenneth Branagh both directs and stars in the latest adaption of Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, but just how well does Branagh cope as both director and main star of the film? Our full verdict arrives on our site later this week (and on time, might we add!)

On TV

Monday

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (9pm, SYFY): Angelina Jolie grabs a pair of pistols and raids some tombs in this first attempt to bring beloved video game character, Lara Croft, to the big screen. In her first silver screen outing, Lara is goes up against super secret societ, the Illuminati, in a race to find an ancient artifact that possesses the ability to control time. All in all, it’s not a bad effort  from all involved and it’s a good excuse to watch Jolie kick some ass, and she’s joined by Daniel Craig and Iain Glen. It might be worth revisiting this in preparation for the upcoming reboot, which will star Alicia Vikander in the titular role.

The Conjuring 2 (6:40pm, Sky Cinema): James Wan’s sequel to his transformative paranormal horror ‘The Conjuring’ returns charming couple Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the cunning Ed and Lorraine Warren to their fearless pursuit of malevolent spirits terrorizing helpless families. Based around the true story of the Enfield haunting, round two continues Wan’s masterful building of tension and careful use of jump scares that free your attention to engage with the characters and nightmarish imagery that will have you hooked to this chilling case on Monday night.

Tuesday

Bridesmaids (9pm, ITV2): “It’s coming out of me like lava” depicts an unforgettable Melissa McCarthy scene that provides relentless laughter in Paul Feig’s comedy of 2011. Comedic starlet’s Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Bryne and a trifle more deliver stomach-aching hilarity with hyperbolic entertainment by simply following a group of women planning their friend’s wedding. Timeless fun hemmed with realistic dilemmas we can all connect to carries this giggle-fest into the hall of fame that’s bound to brighten anybody’s Tuesday evening.

Akira (11:30pm, SYFY): Hard to believe that ‘Akira’ first came out way back in 1988, and whilst hailed amongst anime fans as one of the best anime films ever made, the masses might not quite realise just how influential this film was and continues to be. Set in the dystopian “Neo-Tokyo”, the story focuses on a biker gang member who is turned into a rampaging psychopath by a shady military project. Massively ahead of its time and with visuals that are utterly iconic, ‘Akira’ is not just an anime masterpiece, but a masterpiece of modern cinema. For fans of futuristic sci-fi and dsytopian stories, this is an absolute must-watch, and a great entry point for anime as well.

Superbad (10:15pm, Sky Cinema Comedy): Arguably one of the best comedies of in recent years, ‘Superbad’ still entertains with every viewing, whether it’s your first or your 100th time. 10 years since it’s release, ‘Superbad’ and some of it’s iconic lines are still referenced today, which just demonstrates how loved it is. Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are 3 awkward high school friends who plan to end their high school senior year on a high by actually getting themselves invited to a party. With appearances from Emma Ston, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Joe Lo Truglio

Wednesday

The Inbetweeners Movie (9pm, E4): The brilliantly hilarious ‘The Inbetweeners’ ran on Channel 4 from 2008 – 2011 and followed Will, Simon, Jay, and Neil and their hapless journey through their teenage years. There’s not a person I didn’t know at school that didn’t watch this show, so when a film was released in 2011 everyone clambered to see the four awkward teenagers head on their lads holiday to Malia. Hilarity ensues from the the second it starts and the laughs keep coming right up until the credits begin to roll. Prepare to cringe like you’ve never cringed before, learn some iconic dance moves, and witness the ‘Pussy Patrol’ in action. Wednesday night sorted!

Moana (6:10pm, Sky Cinema Disney): When I was a young boy, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’ were the big movies that were released by Disney. I loved them, I bought the soundtracks on cassette and played them over and over. Years went past and I never really felt same way about the other Disney releases, especially during their lull in the 00’s. So when I heard that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was involved in a new Disney animation by Ron Clements and John Musker, the writers of ‘Aladdin’, I became very excited. The result is the magnificent ‘Moana’. The film is packed with memorable songs and funny characters. ‘Moana’ is about a girl who travels across the ocean to save her island and people. This isn’t just an animation for kids, this is an animation for adults as well. It’s all truly beautiful. This is an instant classic. Enjoy.

Thursday

X-Men (7pm, Film4): This Bryan Singer film, along with ‘Blade’, could easily be the ones responsible for the current regeneration of the superhero / comic-book movie. Singer and Marvel brought a fresh look to a genre long since stale with exciting characters, cutting edge special effects and a cast of top name stars to deliver fun, fast and dazzling action for a franchise backed up with an extensive source material. Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen lead the younger heroes and villains like Hugh Jackman (before he became the franchise poster boy), Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Ray Park and Rebecca Romijn to name but a few. And what is also refreshing is how simple and minimal it is before comic book movies aimed to be bigger, better and louder each year. One of the original and best CBMs.

X-Men 2 (9pm, Film4): Bryan Singer brings back everything from the original ‘X-Men’ for this story of struggling to be accepted by society, feeling judged by others and adjusting to  brave new world; something many people can relate to which adds a big chunk of humanity, depth and emotion to our fictional heroes and villains on their journey. For that reason, it’s a great sequel that expands as a sequel should do on the original, with the original cast returning as well as new faces like Alan Cumming, Kelly Hu and Brian Cox. While it does seem to drag it’s heels a little in telling an extensive story, it never-the-less delivers all you want from an ‘X-Men’ movie and sets up far more to come.

The Invention Of Lying (10pm SyFy): British comedy powerhouse Ricky Gervais writes and directs his debut film in an attempt to conquer America with co-stars such as Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey and Louis C.K in a world where lying does not exist until Gervais invents the first one and his life changes forever.  After the thin veil of morality is played out. the film runs thin with many silly gags and jokes that are meant to be funny because no-one can lie, so all the sexual insults and put downs delivered dead-pan are meant to be witty, but they’re not. It’s just an excuse to throw as many jokes in as possible to offend and shock the audience with black comedy. It’s all too obvious and lazy for someone like Ricky Gervais to pen, and it’s not his best material at all. Stick to the stand-up and docu-soaps as they are where his true talent lies.

Friday

Dredd (11pm, Film4): This film deserves all the praise it gets, primarily for the fact it took risks. It aimed for an R / 18 rating to deliver brutal action, wonderfully authentic violence and adult themes where each bullet, punch and slice can be felt by us without catering to kids. With a tight plot that doesn’t require much thought (basically a Western take on ‘The Raid: Redemption’), Karl Urban erases Sylvester Stallone from memory as Judge Dredd in this stylish and visually grim looking film that harkens back to the unrestrained might of the 90s where directors weren’t afraid to lay down the R / 18 rating for 98mins of pure gold. Dredd dispenses justice as only Dredd can, taking on drug baron MaMa (Lena Headey) in a dangerous tower-block with his fellow Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). One way in, no way out. It’s a simple as that. And we STILL don’t have a sequel, and ‘Pitch Perfect’ has two. Sort it out Hollywood.

Silver Linings Playbook (12:05am, C4): In David O. Russell’s comedy-drama, Bradley Cooper is Pat Solatano, a man who vows effortlessly to regain his relationship with his estranged wife, who’s put a restraining order on him for nearly beating a man to death after getting caught cheating. Through his move back home with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), Pat meets a widowed Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the sister of one of his buddy’s girlfriend. Tiffany approaches Pat casually with intercourse, but Pat insists he’s got his eyes set on rekindling his marriage. Tiffany then compromises to help him get her back if he will be her partner in an upcoming dance competition. Cooper and Lawrence share undeniable chemistry in their performances. Emotions begin to run high and feelings unfold as ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ tempts our charming side and the ability to take a gamble on romantic comedy love.

Iron Man 2 (8pm, E4): The most unfairly maligned of all the MCU films, in my opinion – Iron Man 2 is bags of fun with a great cast. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff features prominently (definitely a bonus for me) and the film also stars Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke and Sam Bloomin’ Rockwell. The Iron Man films have never been my favourite of the MCU but it’s mystifying to me that people prefer IM3 to this. I like that Romanoff is given her own backstory with Tony Stark (as she is with Steve Rogers in Winter Soldier), which makes her choice of who to side with in Civil War all the more interesting. Like many others, I am crying out for Black Widow to have her own film. Anyway, I like Iron Man 2 (one of my many wrong MCU opinions) and Sam Rockwell is always worth your time. Give it another chance.

A huge thank you to contributors this week:  Chris Gelderd, Jessica Peña, Jo Craig, Fiona Underhill, Dave Curtis, Sarah Buddery