Monday 19 October 2015

Home Comforts: The best in TV, VOD, DVD and Blu-ray (Monday October 19 - Sunday October 25)

14 films to check out on TV, VOD, DVD and Blu-ray in the coming week...

1. Back To The Future (16:30, ITV2, Wednesday)
2. Back To The Future Part II (18:50, ITV2, Wednesday)
3. Back To The Future Part III (22:30, ITV2, Wednesday)
All three films showing (almost) back to back on October 21, 2015, the exact date 30 years in the 'future' to which Marty McFly and Doc Brown famously travelled in the trilogy's second installment. Celebrating 'Back To The Future Day' marks a clever bit of programming from ITV2 but it's spoiled somewhat by the unwanted arrival, at 21:00, of Keith Lemon's Back T'Future Tribute. Ninety fucking minutes of joke-free idiocy from a man so unfunny he makes Dapper Laughs look like Louis CK. Maybe just splash out on those gorgeous new Blu-rays instead...

(various streaming services, from today)
Steve Oram (who you might remember from Ben Wheatley's mighty Sightseers a few years ago) makes his debut as writer/director with probably the most peculiar and challenging film you'll see all year. Imagining a world in which people behave and communicate like apes (there's no spoken dialogue), Oram - who also stars - has enormously scabrous and satirical fun revealing how beastly behaviour forever lurks just below the surface of modern, supposedly civilised, society. Julian Rhind-Tutt and Toyah Wilcox co-star.

5. Boyhood 
(21:30, Sky Movies Select, Wednesday)
Not only a great film but also a genuine feat of dedication, organisation and sheer bloody-mindedness. Filmed at various stages over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s movie follows Ellar Coltrane’s Mason as he grows from a tousle-haired six-year-old into a talented and likeable young man just starting college. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette – as Mason’s mum and dad – are both superb. Low on melodrama, this is just life as it’s lived and it’s never less than fascinating. Please don’t let the film’s 165-minute running time deter you.

6. The Selfish Giant 
(01:45, Film4, Tuesday)
Based very loosely on Oscar Wilde's 19th Century children's fable of the same name, Clio Barnard's film is a bleak but brilliant drama chronicling the lives of two teenage boys - Arbor and Swifty - whose friendship is tested to the limits after they go to work for Kitten (the excellent Sean Gilder), an unpleasant local scrapdealer.  

7. Theeb 
(various streaming services, from Saturday)
Powerful coming-of-age tale, set in the years before WWI, about a young Bedouin boy marooned in the desert with an injured bandit after the death of his brother. It's a beautiful-looking film (shades of Lawrence Of Arabia at times) and effortlessly carried by youngster Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat as Theeb. Naji Abu Nowar's film is refreshingly unpredictable, too, managing to totally wrong-foot me twice. 

8. Pasolini 
(various streaming services, from today)
Willem Dafoe is terrific as Italian filmmaker, writer and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini in Abel Ferrara's sort-of biopic chronicling the final day of the Salo director's life. 

9. The Wild Bunch 
(23:25, ITV4, Tuesday)
William Holden's band of ageing outlaws are out of time and out of luck in a masterful – but brutal – western from director Sam Peckinpah. 

10. The Jerk 
(01:10, ITV4, Friday)
“Poor black child” and hopeless idiot Navin R Johnson (Steve Martin) searches for his "special purpose" in one of the finest film comedies ever made. "I'm gonna buy you a diamond so big, it's gonna make you puke!"

11. A Clockwork Orange 
(Midnight, Sky Movies Select, tonight)
Stanley Kubrick's controversial adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel is still vicious, disturbing and utterly mesmerising. Malcolm McDowell stars as ultra-violent Beethoven fan Alex DeLarge, a performance he's never bettered.

12. Tucker & Dale vs Evil 
(21:00, Syfy, Friday)
If you're a fan of Scream, The Cabin In The Woods or this year's The Final Girls, this horror-comedy is for you. Cleverly playing with the slasher movie stereotype of 'chainsaw-wielding, murderous hillbillies', it turns the usual script on its head. Tucker and Dale are just a couple of good old boys looking to drink beer, go fishing and repair their cabin. But their peace is shattered by the arrival of a bunch of paranoid college kids convinced the pair wants to kill them. A hoot. 

13. The Falcon and the Snowman 
From 1985, John Schlesinger (Marathon Man, Midnight Cowboy) directs a gripping espionage thriller based on a true-story. Timothy Hutton is the all-American boy who becomes disillusioned with the US government and starts selling secrets to the Russians, Sean Penn the friend who aids and abets him.

14. Love is All 
A history of romance and courtship as seen on the silver screen over the last 100 years, directed by Kim Longinotto and soundtracked by Richard Hawley. The DVD boasts a host of special features, including a Q&A with the director and a fully-illustrated booklet listing all the clips used in the film.

And one to avoid...
Total Recall 
(22:00, Channel 5, Thursday)
Not Paul Verhoeven's hugely entertaining take on Philip K Dick's original story, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the other version. The one from 2012 we don't talk about.

Please note: Films starting after midnight are always considered part of the previous day's schedule, e.g. The Selfish Giant begins at 01:45 - technically Wednesday morning - but is still part of Tuesday's listings. All times in 24-hour clock.

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