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 (Chloë 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

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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

Netflix Highlights: January

As we say goodbye to January, we welcome in February with a look back at all the best films added to Netflix at the start of this year. Our Netflix expert, Mark Blakeway, has put together this handy list so you can binge and chill.


TWOWS

The Wolf Of Wall Street

“HOW DID HE NOT WIN AN OSCAR!?”

In what will surely go down as one of the biggest injustices of the Academy Awards, Leo DiCaprio gives arguably a career-best performance, starring as Jordan Belfort.

“HOW DID THIS FILM NOT WIN ANY OSCARS?”

That’s a tougher question, but the fact it was up for five Oscars is a clear indication as to just how good this movie is. DiCaprio plays a stockbroker on Wall Street, swimming in money but with a career based on fraud, his life is completely unpredictable. With Martin Scorcese at the reins, this story of a man we should probably hate, becomes one of the most entertaining and dare I say it, hilarious, films to ever grace our screens.

All Is Lost

If too much happened in ‘Captain Phillips’ for you, and you thought, “I wish there was a film where it was just a man on a boat”, then look no further. ‘All Is Lost’ showcases a powerful performance by Robert Redford, by quite literally being the only person in the entire film, as a man who utters only a few sentences throughout. He is faced with adversity and daunting isolation and the film is incredibly bleak. I think the only words he says once the film gets going is “fuck” and “help”… that says it all. For all the bleakness, this is one not to be missed.

CITY OF GOD

City Of God

Most people have seen this film, but if you haven’t, now presents a great time to watch it. Set within the slums of Rio De Janeiro, this is a shocking look at what life is like for those growing up with nothing but crime around them. As far as world cinema goes, this is a very accessible film and one that has gone down as a crime classic. Filled with unflinching violence and raw emotion, but always captivating, ‘City of God’ is an incredible example of expert storytelling.

Haywire

It’s quite rare that you find a film capable of building up a female action-hero to be such a bad-ass, without succumbing to all the typical, sexist traits. ‘Haywire’ allows MMA fighter Gina Carano – in her first ever acting role – to exploit her physical dominance in a role that sees her take on those who she used to work for. Previously a special government contract killer, now she is the one who needs to be killed? We’ve seen it before, but few have done it this well as of late.

The Hunter

A slow, but brooding drama, where Willem Dafoe treks about in beautiful scenery with a gun waiting to kill a tiger. He’s a bit of a loner, until he befriends a local family who are also on the hunt for one of their family members who has gone missing, and his simple mission to retrieve the animal becomes a little more complicated. For some, this may be a bit boring, but if you’re a fan of minimalist drama and nice landscape views, then you can’t go far wrong.

WNTTAK

We Need To Talk About Kevin

A mortifying thriller, which leans more towards a horror than your typical drama-with-an-edge. Based on the novel of the same name, and presumably based on any number of high-school massacres in the US, this is an important and intriguing look at what the mindset is of someone compelled to commit such atrocities. It’s a little sensationalised, but it needs to be in order to carry the more important message. A truly chilling film with fantastic performances all around, including a star turn from Ezra Miller (the guy set to play The Flash in the DCEU).

Battle Royale

Netflix keep removing and then adding this title for some reason (maybe it’s to keep putting it at the top of the new additions list). While the concept may sound a bit stale, what with all the “sole-survivor” styled films out there in recent years, but ‘Battle Royale’ was arguably the first one to hit our screens with such originality and ferocity. Based on the novel of the same name, this controversial and bloody thriller is not easy to stomach. Those looking for an intense viewing experience need look no further.

Timbuktu

A slow-paced film, made up of many individual stories that come together with one overriding and timely theme, and that is the theme of oppression in the name of religion. Sickening, infuriating and above all else, haunting, this depiction of Muslims under the rule of other Muslims is a message that cannot be taken lightly. Perhaps too quiet and slow for some, but one that is worth sticking with until the end.

Uncle Buck

Drugs? Fraud? Death? Religion? Those topics are a bit bleak! Lets lighten the mood. ‘Uncle Buck’ anyone? An easy-going comedy from the late 80’s starring John Candy, as a haphazard, unemployed babysitter for his brothers kids. Seemingly incapable of being the responsible adult, with your typical irresponsible kids, it’s a recipe for disaster. But still, it’s a happy, heartwarming comedy too. One to watch if you are completely bummed out by the other suggestions.