The Dark Tower Adaptation Adds Star Power

We all know Stephen King writes up one hell of a story. And those stories more often than not, become films, and the films are pretty damn good too. I mean, the best film of all time (according to IMDb’s top 250), ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, is an adaptation of a King story, so hopes are high for the latest of his books to get the green light for a film deal – ‘The Dark Tower’.

If the idea of a Stephen King story alone doesn’t get you excited, then how about we throw in Idris Elba AND Matthew McConaughey in the lead roles too? Now we’ve got your attention! The two actors were announced to be joining the project last week, and even started up a little Twitter bromance to celebrate their impending collaboration.

Rumour has it, Aaron Paul is also being eyed for a role in ‘The Dark Tower’; pretty formidable cast building there. Are you excited for this project? What do you think of the casting choices? Let us know your thoughts.

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes
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Watch This Space: September 28 – October 4

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

This week’s sees the release of TWO of our most anticipated films of the year. First up, if you’re a Sci-Fi fan, the annual, mandatory, lost in space film lands on Wednesday. Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ has an out of this world cast (get it), including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Get our verdict here.

And then, on Friday, swap futuristic spaceships for swords and Shakespeare with ‘Macbeth’. The idea of this one has really grown on us lately, and after watching the epic trailer, we are confident this will be a bloody, enthralling retelling of this classic tale. We could well see some Oscar nominations for this film too, if Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard pull out the performances we know they’re capable of. Get our verdict here.

ON THE TV

Monday 21:00 GMT: ITV2 are showing one of the all time greats on Monday night. We may have recommended you watch it before, but ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is certainly worthy of our persistent attempts to push you in its direction.

Thursday 22:15 GMT: The Rugby World Cup is in full swing, and although South Africa may have suffered the ignominy of losing to Japan in what people are saying is the biggest upset of all time, the country has an important history associated with the competition. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star in ‘Invictus’ on ITV4, the biographical drama about Nelson Mandela’s ambition to use the tournament to bring a divided nation together.

Friday 21:00 GMT: The first instalment of the recent reboot of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise is on E4 on Friday night. A star-studded cast under the direction of JJ Abrams in a sci-movie, sound familiar? Why not get a feel for Abrams style when it comes to all things intergalactic, and get excited for his Star Wars offering coming later this year.

Saturday 14:45 GMT: A children’s animated film that you might not have seen is ‘The Iron Giant’, showing on Film4. Filled with political allegory and social commentary for the adults to enjoy, and stunning visuals and excitement aplenty for the children, it’s the perfect way to spend your Saturday afternoon.

Sunday 21:00  GMT: The honour of being this week’s Sunday night recommendation is bestowed upon war classic ‘Apocalypse Now’. With a brilliant cast featuring Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford and Martin Sheen, this wonderful achievement in cinema wowed critics and fans alike at the time of its release in 1979, and still continues to do so now. Don’t miss this on ITV4.

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.

Memento: With the likes of ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Inception’ already to his name, it would appear that Christopher Nolan can do no wrong. One of his earliest films in the directing chair was the mind-bending ‘Memento’, starring Guy Pearce as Leonard, who is trying to solve the murder of his wife, but is hindered by short-term memory loss. He therefore has to come up with an ingenious method to retain the knowledge he gains in order to track down the killer. This is a thriller by definition, without the explosions. It’s more subtle and clever and will have you guessing and thinking all the way through, and for days afterwards as well.

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: Confession time – I haven’t actually seen this one myself yet. But before you rise in protest, I’m advocating this film because I too will be digging it out this week and I want you all to join me so we can have a discussion about it. See, that’s nice, right? After Benicio del Toro’s gripping performance in ‘Sicario’, I have to see more of his work, and ‘Fear And Loathing’ seems like a good place to start. Generally adored by film fans, and lamented by critics, which side will you fall on?

Due Date: One of my favourite comedy actors, Zach Galifianakis, celebrates his birthday this Thursday. Since his big break in ‘The Hangover’, this portly, bearded guy has taken over the world and is arguably the funniest man around. My favourite film of his is ‘Due Date’, where Zach and Robert Downey Jr endure a road trip like no other. Not everyone is a fan of this film, but I literally laugh every minute and love the chemistry between the lead roles. If you enjoy a spot of silly humour, raise your popcorn on Thursday and say happy birthday Zach, thanks for the laughs.

Rain Man: Tom Cruise is not an actor that I like, at all. However, he is one of the stars of the show in Rain Man. Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman play the estranged Babbitt brothers, the latter of whom has severe autism. Hoffman’s performance is one of the best I have ever seen and his portrayal of Raymond is enough to make grown men cry. You have been warned.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Nick Deal and Jakob Lewis Barnes.

Watch This Space: September 21 – 27

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

It’s not a great week for cinematic releases, with the highlight likely to be Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson starring in the latest biopic to hit our screens, ‘Life’. James Dean is the subject of this movie, as we experience a couple of weeks of the famous actor’s life through the eyes of a photographer. Is DeHaan up to the job of playing one of history’s most iconic actors? We think there is enough potential here to warrant a trip to the cinema to find out.

Alternatively, Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon clash in ’99 Homes’, which quite frankly, looks and sounds pretty dull. We could be wrong, but it’s unlikely that Garfield being evicted from his home, then working for the realtor who forced him out (Shannon), will provide much more than mediocre drama. You’d be better off catching one of last week’s releases, ‘Everest’, which we can guarantee will blow you away.

ON THE TV

Monday 21:00 GMT: Michael Fassbender has certainly made a name for himself as one of the best actors working today. So, before he takes to the throne in ‘MacBeth’, or the phone in ‘Steve Jobs’, why not catch ‘300’ on ITV2, which was actually Fassbender’s first role in a feature-length cinema release. At the same time tonight, you could go for the 90s sci-fi thriller ‘Twelve Monkeys’, starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, on Syfy.

Wednesday 23:05 GMT: We all know that Denzel Washington is a talented actor, and now he’s a talented producer, with his latest project ‘Shame’ having been added to the 2015 UrbanWorld Film Festival. However if you are more interested in simply watching him kick some ass, ‘Man On Fire’ is the film for you. See Washington at his best on Film4, satisfying the needs of all the action junkies out there.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: Winning just one Academy Award is no mean feat, but Clint Eastwood and ‘Million Dollar Baby’ managed to scoop all FOUR major awards in 2005. If that doesn’t stir you to switch to Sky Atlantic and enjoy this boxing drama, I don’t know what will.

Friday 21:00 GMT: Sticking with the ferocious female lead, see Saoirse Ronan make her big screen break in the action-packed ‘Hanna’ on E4. Like a young, female version of Jason Bourne, the titular anti-hero is one with a mysterious and intriguing backstory, and a long line of assassins waiting to hunt her down. If this doesn’t take your fancy, you can always head to ITV2 for the ultimate classic, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, also at 21:00 GMT.

Sunday 17:05 GMT: What kind of people would we be if we didn’t offer something for the kids too? You know what, we don’t even need an answer, because we’ve got the little ones covered too. Hop on board ‘The Polar Express’ with ITV2, a beautifully animated film featuring the vocal talents of Tom Hanks.

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 Jungle Book: Disney really are going all out with their upcoming movie slate, and last week we were enthralled by the first trailer for Jon Favreau’s live-action reimagining of ‘The Jungle Book’. This was my favourite film as a child, so I am beyond excited for next year’s star-studded attempt. But, I cannot imagine anything improving the 1967 classic, so I say “forget about your worries and your strife” and settle down for some nostalgic, animated fun.

Saving Mr. Banks: In the same vein, Disney also announced plans to start work on a ‘Mary Poppins’ reboot/sequel, so what better time than now to dig out this 2013 effort. Emma Thompson wonderfully portrays P.L. Travers, the author and creator of the iconic nanny, whilst Tom Hanks features as Walt Disney himself. ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ is a delightful film that we think you will enjoy, and watching this film might even enlighten you as to what Travers herself would think about this recent news. 

Fruitvale Station: What a week it was for trailers huh? Rocky Balboa returns to our screens for ‘Creed’ in February of next year (Novemeber 2015 if you’re in the USA), where he becomes trainer to the son of his old friend and rival, Apollo Creed. Michael B Jordan will take to the ring for what is sure to be a hard-hitting performance, but did you know, Michael B Jordan and director, Ryan Coogler, have worked together before? Well, check out ‘Fruitvale Station’ for a hint of what the pair can do when they combine – a true story based on the tragic events leading to Oscar Grant III’s death on New Year’s Day, 2009.

Chronicle: So it’s no secret that Josh Trank’s ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot didn’t quite live up to expectations, with critics dedicating much of their summer to trashing the film.  However, I urge you not to discount Trank’s directing skills, as only a few years ago he directed this fantastic, sci-fi sleeper hit. This film takes a look at the results of three friends obtaining super powers after a strange discovery, showcasing just what Trank can do. If you needed more reason to dig it out, ‘Chronicle’ features star of this week’s ‘Life’, Dane DeHaan, in one of his best roles to date, and that man Michael B Jordan too.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and special guest Hamish Calvert, of HCMovieReviews. Get more from HC by checking out his movie blog or his Twitter account.

Watch This Space: August 3 – 9

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

A decade has passed since the debacle of the original ‘Fantastic Four’, and a lot has changed in that time for the superhero genre. With an exciting new director and a cast of young stars, this version of ‘Fantastic Four’ promises to be much, much better.

Not to be confused with this year’s highly popular action flick ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Max’ tells the story of a four-legged hero of the same name; a canine who helped the US Marines in Afghanistan. Dog lovers sit up and enjoy.

For something a bit more intense, there’s psychological thriller, ‘The Gift’. In Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut, a young married couple have their lives turned upside down when a surprise encounter from the past brings much more than just old memories.

ON TELEVISION

Tuesday 21:00 GMT: I watched ‘The Five Year Engagement’ a few months ago on a whim, and was pleasantly surprised. See Jason Segel and Emily Blunt on top form on Film4 – make sure you stay with Film4 after, because you can also catch ‘The Breakfast Club’.

Wednesday 17:10 GMT: Gaining cult status after its release in 2008, ‘Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging’ is a fantastic, romantic-comedy starring ‘Godzilla’ man Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Catch this teen favourite on Film4 – again, stick with Film4 because ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ is on straight after.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: A couple of weeks ago Marvel named their new Spider-Man as youngster Tom Holland. Unknown to many, and if you still aren’t too sure who he is, check out what is probably his biggest role to date in the emotional disaster drama, ‘The Impossible’ also starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts on Film4.

Saturday 21:00 GMT: Viewed by many as the best film of all time – and ranked number 1 on the IMDb top 250 – ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is a must see prison drama on ITV2.

Sunday 13:30 GMT: As unpredictable as the British summer, ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ puts the spotlight on a town where food rains from the sky! Grab the kids and make the most of some family time on Channel 5 before school starts up again.

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.

Warrior: If you saw ‘Southpaw’ last week and it’s wet your appetite for more emotional, sports-drama, look no further than ‘Warrior’. This MMA drama is the leader of the pack in this genre and also stars Joel Edgerton, director of ‘The Gift’, released in cinemas this week.

In Bruges: The recently released ‘Spectre’ trailer sent the internet and Bond fans alike crazy. We got a glimpse of Ralph Fiennes in a few clips, hopefully having a more fleshed out role than last time. To tide you over until ‘Spectre’, check him out in a less serious but wildly entertaining role in dark comedy ‘In Bruges’. It never disappoints.

Space Jam: Basketball star LeBron James made a couple of surprise appearances on JumpCut UK last week, for his performance in new comedy ‘Trainwreck’, and most notably for the rumours that The King would star in a proposed ‘Space Jam’ reboot. The 1996 Looney Tunes classic is a film which everyone should see in their life, starring Bugs Bunny and the gang, and basketball legend Michael Jordan. Whether you’re an 8 year old child or a slightly childish adult, get watching!

The Cider House Rules: Charlize Theron turns 39 on Friday, and amongst the fantastic repertoire of work she has built over the years, it was hard to pick just one to advocate this week. In the end, we plumped for this riveting drama about life and love – based on the John Irving novel – where Theron stars alongside Tobey Maguire, Michael Caine and Paul Rudd. An Oscar-winning film with a great cast, no brainer right?

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and special guest Hamish Calvert. Get more from Hamish by visiting his website.