Watch This Space: October 19 – 25

Welcome to your weekly go-to film guide – WatchThisSpace – where we recommend what to watch in the cinema and on the television, and remind you of those brilliant films hiding in your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

To be completely honest with you, this week isn’t the greatest for cinematic releases, so here we are with yet another instalment in the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise. This latest effort sees first time director Gregory Plotkin helming the project, a film which focuses on a family attempting to protect their young daughter from an evil spirit. Catch ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ in cinemas from Wednesday October 21st, if you are willing to sit through 90 minutes of loud noises, lazy acting and predictable events. 

One which could go either way, though we would put our money on it being a stinker, is ‘The Last Witch Hunter’. On the back of the huge success of ‘Furious 7’ earlier this year, Vin Diesel is apparently hoping to get this fantasy flick all the way to a trilogy to keep himself busy. We may be wrong, but we can’t see this one filling too much of his time in the future, but with Michael Caine and Elijah Wood in support, who knows what will happen.

The week could be rescued by the release of ‘Mississippi Grind’ though, which looks a whole lot better than the previously mentioned films. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, the film sees down on his luck Gerry (Mendelsohn) teaming up with the dynamic poker player Curtis (Reynolds). This certainly seems like the best bet of the cinematic releases this week, and may be worth the gamble of a trip to the cinema.

ON THE TV

Tuesday 21:00 GMT: Where exactly did the McConaissance start? Well, it’s very possible that if you tune in to Film4 for ‘Mud’, you will witness the moment when Matthew McConaughey started to give a shit.

Wednesday 21:00 GMT: You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘Magic Mike’ was a return to the realms of cheap chick-flicks for Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum, but that is not the case. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised and entertained if you switch to Film4 this Wednesday night.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: If it’s thrills you’re looking for, look no further than seven-time Academy Award nominated ‘The Fugitive’ on ITV4, starring the ever enjoyable Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, in an action packed thrill ride that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Friday 21:00 GMT: Daniel Craig stars in his most recent outing as 007, in the high-octane, thrilling ‘Skyfall’. Refresh your memory with Bond’s latest adventure on ITV, before what is potentially his last performance as the iconic character in next weeks release of ‘Spectre’.

Sunday 17:30 GMT: The recent release of ‘Pan’ has been underwhelming, to put it kindly. What were they thinking? Nothing would ever come close to the original ‘Peter Pan’, and you can see this animated classic on Channel 5 this Sunday evening.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

Grave Encounters: The found footage sub-genre of horror is often much-maligned, even by a fair few lovers of horror. But this time around, The Vicious Brothers excelled in bringing another level to a very over saturated genre. Working with a tiny budget and a relatively unknown cast, they managed to produce a hauntingly brilliant film, especially with the asylum they used, which will give you goosebumps! The film centres around a ghost hunting reality show, whose cast lock themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that is rumoured to be haunted in an attempt to prove the existence of the spirit world; perfect with Hallowe’en coming up!

A Most Violent Year: I can’t technically recommend this film to anyone, but not because it’s below par. Actually, I’m still yet to see it myself, but it sits at the top of my watchlist and I shall be watching Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in action this week, so please join me. What better time to judge the credentials of Jessica Chastain in a criminal environment, as she looks to land a role as a Bond villain, and Oscar Isaac is always a joy to watch. Two of the best in the business today come together in what should be a thrilling insight into 1980s corruption and violence.

District 13 (Banlieue 13): Starring David Belle, the son of the man credited with developing the modern craze of parkour, David himself is also very well versed in the art of parkour so you know the action is of the highest standard. The film is a wonderful mixture of European and Asian style martial arts, with a nice dashing of character development and a fun plot. The film admittedly has a ridiculous sounding plot, where a cop and a ex-criminal team up to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a bomb, but I can assure you it is a very fun 90 minutes. The film itself is French, so there is a bit of reading of the subtitles, but a little reading never hurt anybody, right?

Godzilla (1998): You look on IMDb or Metacritic, and you’ll see this film getting absolutely slaughtered. It was cheesy, sure; they took the plot of a classic and made it fun, theatrical and romantic. A monstrous lizard the size of a skyscraper, terrorising New York City isn’t supposed to be fun, but I have nothing but positive memories of this film from my viewing as a child. I loved this Roland Emmerich effort, so much so that I would say I favour this version to the 2014 imagining, which was a huge disappointment for me. With the news that Godzilla will be squaring up to King Kong in 2020, now is as good a time as any to divulge in this guilty pleasure.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and special guest Chris Wilson of Chris’ Movie Corner.
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Watch This Space: June 1 – June 7

Welcome to your weekly go-to-guide – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

This week sees the release of ‘Insidious 3’. The franchise has been received with somewhat muted applause from critics and the films have become incredibly popular with audiences. An early June release does not seem a traditional date for a horror film, where Halloween would seem more appropriate, but we have no doubt screens will be sold out everywhere for this latest instalment.

On the other end of the spectrum we have a new Melissa McCarthy film in ‘Spy’. Whether you’re a fan of her work or not, there is enough star power here to make the film worth a watch. Early reviews are good, and with actors such as Jude Law, Jason Statham and even Miranda Hart popping up this promises to add some humour to the spy genre.

ON TELEVISION

Tuesday 23:05 GMT: Is Daniel Craig the best Bond ever? Evidence for that argument doesn’t come much stronger than his performance in ‘Skyfall’. Catch 007’s last outing, just in time for the release of ‘Spectre’, on ITV2.

Wednesday 21:00 GMT: Another rom-com? Or worse, a chick-flick? Absolutely not! Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (there she is again) star in the side-splittingly hilarious Bridesmaids’ on Film4. Comedy at it’s best!

Saturday 15:05 GMT: This one comes as a strongly endorsed recommendation from my 5 year old daughter; weird and wonderful animated fun with ‘A Monster In Paris’ on Film4. The harshest little critic I know ranks this one very highly.

Saturday 18:30 GMT: From stylish monsters to something a little more realistic; fighting aliens in space! Catch the first of the latest ‘Star Trek’ franchise, again on trusty old Film4.

Sunday 21:00 GMT: I remember watching this back when it came out. A fantastic film and a great book too, Billy Elliot’ is a proper Northern drama set against the backrdrop of Thatcher’s Britain. A must-see on BBC4.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

The Damned United: With the news of FIFA officials being indicted on corruption charges, the game of football has never been brought into disrepute in such a way. Now might be a good time to watch a movie which reminds you of what the beautiful game is really about. Featuring a blistering and committed performance from Michael Sheen, this is a fine feature debut for director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables).

The Class Of ’92: Another film that reminds us just how beautiful the beautiful game really is, ‘The Class of ’92’ chronicles the success of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and the rest of Manchester United’s modern heroes. The documentary is both moving and revealing, with plenty of honest interviews. Any football fan will relish reliving those spectacular closing moments of the 1999 Champions League Final.

Rush: The big news out of Disney this week was not particularly positive. Not least for Olivia Wilde, who is out of a job after the studio scrapped plans for a sequel in the ‘Tron’ series. However, what a good excuse to dig out this fascinating biopic, documenting the rivalry of F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, in which Wilde plays Chris Hemsworth’s love interest.

Bigfoot And The Hendersons: A film I absolutely loved as a child, and one which I myself will be digging out this week to relive some of the finest work of Rick Baker. The Oscar-winning make-up artist retired from film this week and nothing shows off his work better than the 8ft tall sasquatch. This is a fantastically odd family film littered with old school humour.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Chris Winterbottom