Monday 5 October 2015

Home Comforts: The best in TV, VOD, DVD and Blu-ray (Monday October 5 - Sunday October 11)

12 great films on TV, DVD, Blu-ray and VOD to see this week...

1. Mad Max: Fury Road 
(various streaming services, plus DVD/Blu-ray)
Tom Hardy (pictured above) takes over from Mel Gibson as Max in a film I described upon its cinema release as "Wacky Races reimagined by the Marquis de Sade". Charlize Theron steals the movie as one-armed warrior woman Imperator Furiosa. See review here

2. White God 
(Netflix UK, from today)
Hungarian film chronicling a violent uprising of mistreated stray dogs in Budapest. Kornél Mundruczó's movie is a powerful, moving and visceral piece of work; part apocalyptic horror, part political allegory, and one of the best things I've seen all year. See review here

3. What We Do in the Shadows 
(Netflix UK, from Saturday)
Very funny vampire mockumentary starring Flight Of The Conchords' Jemaine Clement. Far from the exotic worlds of Twilight or Dracula, these vamps spend their time bickering over household chores and feuding with local werewolves.

4. Blue Jasmine 
(Amazon Prime, from Sunday)
When her pampered life comes crashing down around her ears, Cate Blanchett's New York socialite is forced to move to San Francisco to live with her struggling sister. Blanchett fully deserved her best actress Oscar but Woody Allen's spiky comedy-drama wouldn't be as effective without its bravura supporting cast (Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard).

(08:00, Tuesday, Sky Arts)
Federico Fellini's autobiographical Oscar winner follows the trials and tribulations of Guido (Marcello Mastroianni), a stressed-out film director taking refuge in memories and fantasies as work on his new movie stalls. One of European cinema's finest moments.

6. The Big Lebowski 
(23:55, Thursday, ITV4)
Jeff Bridges is 'The Dude' in the Coen Brothers' razor-sharp and exhaustively quoted ("That rug really tied the room together") mistaken-identity comedy. An impressive cast also includes John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro. Trailer below

7. Wall Street 
(01:30, Wednesday, Channel 4)
Michael Douglas is superb as Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's never-more-relevant dissection of capitalism gone rogue. Charlie Sheen plays the ambitious young stockbroker who does a deal with the devil.

8. Taxi Driver 
(23:15, Thursday, Film4)
Consider the kind of films Robert De Niro stars in these days (Last Vegas, The Intern) and weep. This, director Martin Scorsese's second movie with the actor after Mean Streets, remains a spectacularly dark, uncompromising piece of work. 

9. The Hard Way 
(DVD and Blu-ray)
Likeable action comedy in which James Woods' badass New York cop is removed from a serial killer case to babysit a spoiled Hollywood actor (Michael J Fox) as he researches a role in a movie. Trailer below

10. Dog Day Afternoon 
(Sky Movies Select, 19:50, Thursday)
Al Pacino in one of his best performances as a would-be bank robber with a rather unusual reason for planning a heist. Like De Niro, it would be great to see Pacino take on something this challenging again.

11. School For Scoundrels 
(DVD and Blu-ray)
Tweedy but amusing British comedy from 1960 starring Ian Carmichael, Terry Thomas and Alastair Sim. Carmichael enrolls at the College of Lifemanship hoping to learn how to get one over a romantic rival (Thomas on top caddish form). Clip below

12. John Carpenter's Vampires 
(21:00, SyFy, Friday)
More James Woods - this time he's the leader of a band of vampire hunters on a quest to retrieve an ancient relic that would give bloodsuckers the ability to walk in daylight. Not one of Carpenter's best but definitely worth a look.

And one to avoid...
The Interview 
(20:00, tonight-Thursday, Sky Movies Premiere)
Spectacularly terrible "comedy" in which TV presenter James Franco and his producer Seth Rogen are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. So unfunny it makes Get Hard look like Annie Hall

Please note: Films starting after midnight are always considered part of the previous day's schedule, e.g. Wall Street begins at 01:30 - technically Thursday morning - but is still part of Wednesday's listings. All times in 24-hour clock.

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