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 PeñaJo CraigFiona Underhill, Dave Curtis, Sarah Buddery

 

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Watch This Space: October 2nd – 8th

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

Blade Runner 2049: Fans of the original have waited 35 years for a sequel to ‘Blade Runner’, and this week their wish is granted. After some glowing early reactions last week, and lots of high marking reviews (which we’re avoiding until we’ve seen the film!). ‘Blade Runner 2049’ hits UK cinemas this Thursday and the hype could not be any higher.

mother!: “One of the several trailers claims “you will never forget where you were the first time you saw Mother!”  I definitely won’t.  Never, and I mean never, has a film had me so on the edge of my seat, mouth agape, eyes unblinking, in the final act.  It is a slow burn, that at it’s crescendo, will tear you apart.  ‘Mother!’ may be the best film I won’t ever revisit; a dizzying experience that I will recommend to all at least once. ” – Read Sasha’s full review here and see ‘mother!’ before it leaves cinemas!

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: “‘The Golden Circle’ falls short of matching its predecessor, it’s still a lot of fun for fans of the original. There are ridiculous moments , very funny lines, great, silly action sequences, and it’s clear most of the cast are having a lot of fun, particularly Julianne Moore chewing the scenery as the big bad. If you love Kingsman like I do, you’re going to really enjoy this one. If you didn’t, it’s probably best you stay away.” – Rhys’ full review 

On TV

Monday

The Da Vinci Code (2006): A film you either love or hate, this proved unpopular with critics but a huge hit with the public, amassing over $700m at the box-office, obviously boosted by the global acclaim from Dan Brown’s novel which introduced a gripping, thought-provoking thriller that delved into history, shook it up and spat it back out. Tom Hanks is ever likeable in the role of Robert Langdon, doing this best to think, frown and plot his way through a hefty running time that starts from the 1st minute and doesn’t end until the 143rd. The beautiful Audrey Tautou, the wonderful Ian McKellen, the eerie Paul Bettany and fierce Jean Reno all add to the great supporting cast and replicate their literal characters perfectly with the right amount of menace, intelligence, danger and emotion. There is no denying it’s a very intelligent film, combining a fair amount of cat-and-mouse action that keeps that lingering threat present. With wonderful locations and set-design taking us from inside the Louvre to the historic Temple Church in London and a hauntingly beautiful score by Hans Zimmer, words aren’t always needed to paint a picture of sheer wonder as it unravels before you.

Johnny English (2003): Rowan Atkinson stars as the oddly beloved spy, Johnny English, whose absurd antics get him caught up in some messy situations. English is put on assignment to stop the stealing of the Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London. Along the way, he manages to put his mission in peril, because that's Johnny English for you! Peter Howitt directs this spy parody of a flick, and if Atkinson’s past roles have taught us anything, it's to never put your trust on the dopey guy! See Atkinson channel his inner comedy from his days of being Mr. Bean! Catch Johnny English
on E4 at 8pm!

Tuesday

22 Jump Street (2014): How do you follow up what’s genuinely considered as one of the best comedies of the decade? By sticking to the formula, and owning it. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as the unlikely buddy cop duo and are as funny as each other, with great chemistry and boasting the bromance to end all bromances. On top of that, returning directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are well aware the film is similar to the first, and let us in on that joke too. 22 Jump Street is a hilarious, meta trip through a buddy cop comedy that is arguably even funnier than its predecessor. Make sure you stick around for the credits. You won’t regret it.

Wednesday

Troy (2004):  From the surprise sword and sandal epic ‘Gladiator’ in 2000, it paved the way for many more to follow. One such outing is the Wolfgang Petersen helmed ‘Troy’ starring Brad Pitt as Greek warrior Achilles, Eric Bana as Trojan Prince Hector and Orlando Bloom as Paris. With sun-kissed skin a plenty, bulging biceps and plenty of rugged good looks, history never looked so flawless as it does here – but enough of that, this is a brutal, bold and brilliantly told story about the Greek war with Troy and the myths that were born from it. A stellar supporting cast, some lavish costumes and well-staged sword fights and action sequences make this a fair old slog, but one that takes its time to craft and tell a character-based story. For fans of ancient history and big budget movies, this is a must and a far better offering than many others of the genre.

American Heist (2014): Adrien Brody stars as Frankie, a man fresh out of prison and ready to relentlessly drag his little brother back into the kind of mess that got him locked up. They brothers reunite upon Frankie’s release only to partake in the biggest and last heist, for old time’s sake. We see Hayden Christensen gracing the screen as younger brother James. With the action and elements of pensive dramas, American Heist is an indie action flick most will find to be a guilty pleasure of sorts. Get into the madness of American Heist airing on Sony at 11pm.

American Honey (2016): Despite its 2 hr 45 min runtime, let this woozy, hazy, dreamlike film wash over you and take you on a road trip across America. Set amongst a ragtag bunch of very young travelling magazine salespeople, this film from British director Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank) features a mesmerising central performance from Sasha Lane. Shia LaBeouf proves once again that he does have the acting chops, away from his erratic personal life. Riley Keough also impresses amongst the ensemble. This film is definitely worth the significant time investment.

Thursday

Godzilla (1998): The year is 1998 and coming off the back of major hits such as ‘Stargate’ and ‘Indepenace Day’, the king of disaster movies Roland Emmerich had set his sights on his next project; the remake of the much loved Japanese monster movie ‘Godzilla’. With an estimated budget of 130 million dollars and huge backing from the studio,  Godzilla was meant to be the next big thing. What actually happened was a mauling from the critics and fans alike. Starring the likes of Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Hank Azaria, it had an odd cast. Godzilla for me is a massive amount of fun, greatly under-rated and is misunderstood. It has some great set pieces and the special effects just about hold up. It also has a real gem of a soundtrack, with Puff Daddy, Jamiroquai, Green Day and the Foo Fighters who put in some massive tunes. In Short ‘Godzilla’ is a big, bold, fun, easy watching flick. It deserves a second chance if you haven’t seen it since it came out.

Friday

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991): This is hands down my favourite adaptation of the Robin Hood lore. Yes, maybe the pacing is a little slow in the middle and it’s jarring having Robin Hood speak with an American accent BUT, on the whole, it’s fun, enjoyable and features some great action and acting talent overall including the late Alan “Cancel Christmas!” Rickman, Morgan Freeman and Mary Elizabeth Manstrantonio. Kevin Costner is a fine Robin Hood. He certainly can make shooting an arrow look undeniably cool, and he has a real everyman approach to being the hero who must lead men to victory whilst dealing with affairs of the heart. And I never get tired seeing him fire the arrow on fire in glorious slow-motion in front of a wall of flame. It uses that heroic swashbuckling feel of Errol Flyn, splicing with a modern Hollywood budget to make this telling look and feel real, with memorable performances, lavish sets, a rousing soundtrack and brilliant stunt-work. It’s probably the best adaptation of the Robin Hood myth we’ve got, and that’s certainly not a bad thing for a film that is as enjoyable and fun as this. And if Sean Connery lends himself for a cheeky, un-credited cameo, what’s not to enjoy?

Black Hawk Down (2001): Featuring an insanely starry cast; everyone from Ewan McGregor and Josh Hartnett (swoon), to a very early Tom Hardy performance – this tense ensemble war drama is beautifully shot and well edited. Telling the story of a disastrous helicopter mission into the heart of Mogadishu in 1993, which led to 100 US soldiers being in a gripping stand-off with hundreds of heavily-armed Somalis. This is one of the few great modern war films.

Hiding Online / In Our Collection / Out This Week

Pirates of the Carribean: Salizar’s Revenge (2017): More un-dead villains, more mystical artefacts, more ship battles, a few sword fights, more young love interests, more double crosses, more CGI. More, more, more. They try to get bigger and better in their action set-pieces, and just when they seem to achieve it, the CGI comes out to enhance everything and ruins it to become silly. The guillotine sequence for one has a nice little comical moment, but it’s ruined by the dumb slapstick. Javier Bardem is under-used, Geoffrey Rush is having fun at least still, and Johnny Depp phones in a performance that literally makes Jack Sparrow look inept – he’s more a clown than a pirate, and it’s a shame to see him resort to so much buffoonery. It’s not the worst POTC film, but that doesn’t say much. More akin to the original than the sequels, but just as bloated and far-fetched. The franchise is tired and now can be tied up, but knowing Disney,  if this makes serious cash, then they’ll crank out a 6th in no time. Read our full review here.. 

Wonder Woman (2017): Whilst it may not be out on DVD and Blu-Ray until next week, ‘Wonder Woman’ is available to buy digitally in the UK.  ‘Wonder Woman’ took the world by storm this year and is now highest grossing superhero origin film of all time and the second highest grossing film this year, after Disney’s live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’. You can read our full review from earlier this year.

A huge thank you to contributors this week: Dave Curtis, Chris Gelderd, Jessica Peña, Rhys Bowen-Jones, Fiona Underhill,

TV Killed The Movie Star [Feature]

From the beginning of the 20th century, the film industry has fascinated, surprised and thrilled audiences with revolutionary technology which allowed talented storytellers to tell their tales, through the miracle of sight. Early classics, such as ‘Metropolis’ helped ignite the worlds imagination, allowing both filmmakers and audiences alike to wonder at what was possible in the way we tell stories. The film industry has had few competitors over its existence, and despite some rough periods in its history, no other medium of storytelling has evolved, re-evolved and revolutionised itself as much as the Hollywood film industry has. Stories told through moving images, sound and colour was a reality few could ponder in the early 1900’s. Yet here we are, about a century later taking for granted the very thing that inspired so many before.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE