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!

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Watch This Space: August 28th – September 3rd

This week we’re excited to re-launch our weekly feature – Watch This Space. 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

Rough Night: This female-led comedy finally released in the UK last Friday, with most territories getting it in June and July. You can read Fiona’s review here, in which she calls it “an enjoyable night at the cinema“.

Logan Lucky: Can Jimmy Logan shake his family’s bad luck and pull off a $14 million heist? Corey shares his thought’s in a brand new review coming later today. We’ll update this article with a link when it’s up.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (3D Special): Arnie is back! ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ has been digitally enhanced and for one day only will be screening in 3D in cinemas across the UK. The film originally released in cinemas in 1991 and is back for old fans and new to enjoy on the big screen. We’ll have a special review up later this week!

On TV

Monday

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994): Tune in to this British rom-com classic from the 90s for sharp-scripted silliness from Richard Curtis. Yes – the film is centred around bumbling, floppy-haired Hugh Grant, but it’s the eccentric ensemble that make this film both hilarious and heartfelt. If you’ve not seen it before, where have you been? If you have seen it before – cheer yourself up by surrounding yourself with a familiar group of friends and letting it wash over you like a warm bath. Tune into this classic on Film4 at 9pm. 

Footloose (1984): Kick off those Sunday shoes and go crazy for this 80s classic with a toe-tapping soundtrack and some eye-watering fashion choices. Kevin Bacon makes an appealing central character, backed up by a supporting cast that includes early Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Penn. John Lithgow is the standout as the preacher who has declared a Southern town to be a “no-dance” zone and if you think the rebellious teenagers are going to take that lying down, then you’re mistaken! Brighten up your life with this cheesy feel-good caper. 5Star thinks you’ll love it so much that they’re playing it twice, the first beginning at 7pm, and the second straight after at 8:20pm.

Tuesday 

Shaun of the Dead (2004):  Edgar Wright’s debut feature and first entry to his Cornetto trilogy – ‘Shaun of the Dead’, stars the hilarious duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. ‘Shaun’ simultaneously pays homage to and parodies the ‘of the Dead’ films from the late George A. Romero in a way that is both exciting and easy on the eye. It’s truly a must-see, and you can catch it on ITV2 at 9:00pm.

Snakes on a Plane (2006): Samuel L. Jackson says enough is enough, he’s had it with the “MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKING PLANE”.. Need I say more? Okay, I will.. David R. Ellis’ ‘Snakes on a Plane’ gained considerable hype before the film released in cinemas 11 years ago, and despite how quickly that hype died down once it hit cinemas, I challenge you to find anyone who doesn’t know THAT line from the film. You can swear your heart out with Jackson from 9pm on Sky1.

Wednesday

About Time (2013): Combining a romantic comedy with some light science-fiction may be a somewhat bizarre mix, but Richard Curtis’ ‘About Time’ is, for my money, one of the finest romcoms of the last decade. With winning performances from the whole cast, a great sense of humour, bags full of heart, and a very fun time travel twist, it’s hard not to fall in love with the film from the very first scene. Fair warning though, Domnhall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams will ruin your base expectations of boyfriends and girlfriends for life. You can catch ‘About Time’ on Film4 at 6:40pm

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011): This undervalued and overlooked origin story within the MCU has suffered from being overshadowed by its sequels, particularly ‘The Winter Soldier’. In my opinion, The First Avenger is the superior film. With its World War Two setting, Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter and some great CGI (the wimpyfying of Chris Evans is fantastic) – ‘The First Avenger’ is one of the highlights of the MCU. If the rumours about the upcoming Infinity War are true, perhaps you should take the chance now to remind yourself of Cap’s shining greatness before shizz gets real dark. The action begins 9pm on Film4! 

Thursday

Superman (1978): You’ll believe a man can fly all over again. Richard Donnor directs the original comic-book adaptation- 1978’s ‘Superman: The Movie’. In a time before the superhero genre churned out by the book, CGI dazzling and star-studded movies year after year, travel back to more innocent, more family-friendly era with Christopher Reeve as the greatest Man Of Steel ever. A soaring soundtrack by John Williams and a wonderful cast and story help bring Superman to life in one of the most iconic, original and memorable super-hero films you all need to see. You’ll want to switch to ITV4 at 4pm to see Reeve’s in action! 

Predator (1987): You can see how great Arnold Schwarzenegger is as an action and comedy star when you remember one year after shooting up the jungle in ‘Predator’, he was playing simple-minded Julius opposite Danny DeVito in ‘Twins’. But I digress. No family-friendly comedy here. It’s just balls to the wall action and suspense to the highest level when Arnie and his tobacco chewing, machine gun toting, foul-mouthed squad turn from hunter to hunted, going up against the alien life-form known as The Predator. With direction from John McTiernan, special effects from Stan Winston and support from the likes of Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura and the late Sonny Landham, this is classic Schwarzenegger – when you’ve finished watching, don’t forget to “GET TO THE CHOPPA!”. Get in on the action on Film4 starting at 10:45pm

Friday

Inception (2010): This one is a no brainer… It’s on TV this week, therefore you need to watch it! Christopher Nolan assembles an impressive cast, which includes the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Marion Cotillard, and if that line-up alone doesn’t sell it then you’re still in for a treat. Nolan keeps your full attention for the entirety of the film’s 2 and a half hour runtime, as we venture from dream to dream and watch DiCaprio and his team attempt to plant an idea in the mind of a CEO by using their dream-sharing technology. 

Role Models (2010): Having recently watched this film again, I can whole-heartily say that this film is still as funny as it was 7 years ago. Paul Rudd and Sean William-Scott are sentenced to community service and are sent to ‘Sturdy Wings’, an organisation that pairs children with adults to help build friendships. Rudd and Scott meet their matches when paired with Augie (a LARPing geek) and Ronnie (a foul-mouthed youngster), and hilarity ensues. The fun takes place over on 5Star at 11:15pm.

Hiding Online / In Our Collection

Kill Bill – Vol I and II (2003, 2004): Do yourself a favour and watch Tarantino’s masterpieces, featuring one of cinema’s greatest creations – Uma Thurman’s The Bride. The first is the all-action, kung fu heavy whirlwind featuring mind-blowing set pieces such as the House of Blue Leaves. The second is a different beast, exploring The Bride’s relationship with the titular Bill, a tour de force by David Carradine. Choosing which is better out of the two is a Sophie’s Choice for me. Do yourself a favour and watch both. Both films arrive on Netflix September 1st

Dead Poets Society (1989): O Captain My Captain. A tender central performance by Robin Williams can get a little schmaltzy at times, but this coming-of-age poetic film is worth your time for some classic lines and heart-warming scenes. The ensemble cast of High School students is a “who’s who” of current film and TV, Ethan Hawke, House’s Robert Sean Leonard and The Good Wife’s Josh Charles all got their breakthroughs here. As an English teacher, I have to say I aspire to the level of inspiration William’s Mr Keating brings to his lessons in literature and life. ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ will arrive on Netflix September 1st. 

Bronson (2008): Nicolas Winding Refn’s stylistic masterpiece, ‘Bronson’, is a biopic that explores the anarchic life of notorious British criminal Charles Bronson, played emphatically by the sublime Tom Hardy. Whilst it might not be everybody’s cup of tea, I can’t recommend it enough. Give it a go if you think you’re hard enough.

Deep Blue Sea (1999): Whilst no other shark movie can really hold a candle to the mighty ‘Jaws’, ‘Deep Blue Sea’ is one of the better ones out there. It’s ludicrous of course, but that is exactly what you should expect and want out of a movie about harvesting the brains of DNA-altered sharks to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. It has Samuel L. Jackson, terrible CGI sharks and plenty of gruesome deaths, what more could you want really?! ‘Deep Blue Sea’ is heading to Netlfix on Friday! 

A huge thank you to contributors this week: Fiona Underhill, Chris Gelderd, Sarah Buddery, Rhys Bowen Jones, and Corey Hughes.

Baby Driver

Year: 2017
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez

Written by Rhys Bowen Jones

Odeon’s ‘Screen Unseen’ is a regular event in which the cinema chain hand picks a film for an early screening. In the build up to the eventual screening, Odeon release very cryptic clues for the film they’re showing. This film’s clues were “Political hangover,” “Soon shorter star, surrogate shop,” “Tiny, dark, waiting in the wings, “ and “Fingers ‘n Finest formed.” I’ll let you figure out exactly how they link to the film in question, but as you can tell, Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ was the ‘Screen Unseen’. For a film to join the ranks of previous ‘Screen Unseen’ films like ‘Moonlight’, ‘The Revenant’, and ‘Whiplash’, Odeon certainly had high hopes for ‘Baby Driver’. Those high hopes were not unfounded. ‘Baby Driver’ is one of the films of the year so far.

‘Baby Driver’ is the story of Baby (Elgort) and his adventures as a getaway driver for mysterious criminal and bank robber Doc (Spacey). As far as the plot goes, giving much else away would ruin some of the surprises and magic you have in store. In ‘Baby Driver’, you have a film where the motto seems to be “it’s not about the destination, it’s how you get there.” Both the film and its title character get from Point A to Point B in the only way they know how; driving really fast to the sound of a really loud, really eclectic iPod. It’s a blast.

From the first scene, Wright lets us into idea of the film. Baby is the getaway driver and he is our lead character; he is the focus of our story. While some of his criminal associates are off performing heists, that is purely background noise to Baby’s enjoyment of music. The first song we hear is ‘Bellbottoms’ by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a blues-y, headbanger of a song, and the entire heist is ignored in favour of Baby air-guitaring and air-drumming and miming along to the song. Instantly, Baby comes across as charming and likeable and once the driving begins, almost impossibly talented. The first car chase, in the red Subaru that’s all over the trailers, is spectacular. It’s an intense, white-knuckle thrill ride through the streets of Atlanta. There are close shaves, clever tactics, handbrake turns galore, and accompanied by the song in question it becomes one of the best car chases I’ve seen in years. This becomes a common theme. Every car chase or major set-piece in ‘Baby Driver’ is on its own level of awesome.

As a huge fan of Edgar Wright, his Cornetto trilogy, ‘Spaced’, and ‘Scott Pilgrim’, I found his energetic style of filmmaking to be a perfect fit for ‘Baby Driver’. Even small, conversation filled scenes are punctuated with small sound cues at just the right moment or gesture. I got the impression as the film went on that the visuals on screen were so meticulously planned from the get go, almost as if the scenes themselves were filmed with a song in order to truly nail the timings. Everything you see in Baby Driver can be matched to a musical influence of some description, gunshots were in perfect sync with the music playing overtop, and even Doc explaining an upcoming heist had the rhythm of a drum solo. Wright manages to keep the pace and flow of the film at such a high level that I have no doubt that there are moments and jokes that I didn’t catch on first viewing and will require a second or third viewing. What a shame.

Given the talent on show, it should come as no surprise that the performances are terrific across the board, particularly from Elgort, Foxx, and James. Foxx’s Bats is a loose cannon, a difficult business partner when the business is crime and several characters find themselves on the wrong side of Bats. Lily James’ Debora leaves a long-lasting impression too as she comes across so endearingly from her very first appearance. It’s possible that there’s a manic-pixie-dream-girl element to her as she is Baby’s perfect match instantly, but when James pulls off the character so well you can’t help but be swept up along with Baby and his love for her.

Baby Driver’s driving force is no doubt its music. Judging by my Spotify playlist having increased in number by no less than 15 songs, there’s something for absolutely everyone as the song choices span several decades. ‘Baby Driver’ does for 80s blues what ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ did for 70’s rock. ‘Baby Driver’ covers every base it can in a soundtrack that no doubt took almost as long to get right as it did to actually film. A late chase sequence to the sound of a Queen song had my mouth agape for its duration as it was such a perfectly intense song for the visuals on screen. That scene, as well as several others, were utterly breathless and I can’t wait to see them again.

If I had a gripe about Baby Driver, I would say it’s in its third act as some characters make some choices that are questionable, possibly going against what we’ve been shown in the previous 90 or so minutes. One character has been far-removed from the key action until the third act and when they are, they appear to brush off fairly brutal violence very casually. That said, it’s a small gripe that has no bearing on my overall opinion of the film.

‘Baby Driver’ is a blast. It’s exciting, funny, heart-warming, and very original. The performances are terrific, it’s written and directed superbly, and all being well, ‘Baby Driver’ should be one of the big hits of the summer. Edgar Wright, you’ve done it again.

Rhys’ verdict: 9.2/10

First Trailer For Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver Arrives!

The much anticipated trailer for Edgar Wright (Sean of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World)’s ‘Baby Driver’ finally dropped in the wee small hours of the morning, flanking it’s premiere screening at SXSW.

The outing at SXSW seems fitting for a film that seems to be driven (excuse the pun) by music.

Ansel Elgort plays the Baby of the title who, the trailer quickly explains, is a driver for nefarious characters, but due to a childhood trauma has to play music to drown out a hum in his head. Kevin Spacey is on top Frank Underwood bad guy duty, while Jamie Foxx and Flea add in some comedy relief.

The dialogue seems to be a carefully studied pastiche of every heist movie going, and there is more than a touch of Tarantino about the relationship between Baby and the woman of his dreams (Lily James). Add in Wright’s penchant for lightning fast cuts, kinetic stunts and a fallible human element, Baby Driver looks like it’s going to be pure, high octane fun.

‘Baby Driver’ races into theatres 16th August 2017

Written by Abbie Eales