Monday 2 November 2015

Home Comforts: The best in TV, VOD, DVD and Blu-ray (Monday November 2 - Sunday November 8)

17 films – old and new, in no particular order – worth your time this week…

1. Amy 
(DVD, Blu-ray and VOD)
Heartbreaking documentary chronicling the life and death of singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. Director Asif Kapadia’s refusal to let anyone off the hook for the 27-year-old’s untimely demise – including dad Mitch and all areas of the media – makes it a tough but ultimately illuminating watch.

2. Slow West 
(DVD, Blu-ray and VOD)
Director John Maclean’s debut feature is a bleak but occasionally very funny western starring Michael Fassbender (pictured, top of page) as an outlaw-turned-guide for a young Scot (Kodi Smit-McPhee) searching the American badlands for his long-lost love.

3. Pan’s Labyrinth 
(22:40, Thursday, Horror Channel)
Guillermo Del Toro’s emotional, imaginative and disturbing Spanish Civil War fantasy drama remains the director’s finest work. Certainly better than the pretty but vacuous Crimson Peak, that’s for sure.  
4. Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine 
(DVD and Blu-ray)
Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief) puts the boot into the late Apple co-founder, with good cause as it turns out.

5. Dear White People 
(DVD and VOD)
Smart satire following four African American students at an Ivy League college. Writer/director Justin Simien makes considerable hay with the nonsensical idea that Barack Obama's two election victories have somehow made the US a "post-racial" society.

6. Metropolis 
(00:55, Wednesday, Film4)
Restored and expanded version of Fritz Lang’s hugely influential silent sci-fi classic.
7. American Psycho 
(21:00, Wednesday, Horror Channel)
 “Do you like Huey Lewis and The News?”

8. Videodrome 
(22:55, Friday, Horror Channel)
David Cronenberg gives a masterclass in both body horror and blade-sharp satire in this sleazy sci-fi starring James Woods as the owner of an extreme cable TV channel. Debbie Harry co-stars.

9. Pitch Perfect 
(21:00, Wednesday, Film4)
Charming comedy chronicling the misadventures of all-girl college a cappella group, The Barden Bellas. Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson star.
10. The Bling Ring 
(01:05, Friday, Channel 4)
Emma Watson stars in Sofia Coppola’s real-life tale of a gang of opportunist young thieves ripping off celebrities in the Hollywood Hills. 
11. Wild 
(09:45 and 22:15, from Friday, Sky Movies Premiere)
Reese Witherspoon is terrific as an emotionally shattered young woman hiking a thousand miles up America's west coast in a bid to come to terms with her mother’s death and the downward spiral it has plunged her into.

12. Out Of Sight 
(23:00, Sunday, ITV3)
Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney have great chemistry in Steven Soderbergh’s crime drama. Clooney’s an escaped convict, Lopez the US Marshal on his trail as they fight a growing mutual attraction.
13. Misery Loves Comedy 
Do you have to be miserable to be funny? Over 50 comics – including Amy Schumer, Larry David and Jemaine Clement – try to provide an answer.

14. Blackthorn 
(23:45, Tuesday, BBC1)
What if Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid had survived that seemingly fatal shootout at the end of the 1969 film? Director Mateo Gil and Sam Shepard (as Butch) provide the answers.
15. Lockout 
(23:40, Saturday, Channel 4)
A French court recently ruled this Luc Besson-directed sci-fi thriller lifted “key elements” from John Carpenter’s 1981 film Escape From New York, and even awarded damages for infringement of copyright. Here’s a chance to judge for yourself…

16. John Carter 
(Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, from today)
Unfairly despised adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic Mars-set sci-fi novel. Andrew Stanton's movie took a pounding at the box office but deserves a second chance. 
17. See No Evil, Hear No Evil 
(23:50, Saturday, Channel5)
Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder comedy in which the former is blind and the latter deaf. They go on the run after witnessing a murder… politically incorrect hilarity ensues.

And one to avoid…
American Sniper 
(16:00 and 20:00, from Friday, Sky Movies Premiere)

Worthless right-wing drivel from director Clint Eastwood, starring Bradley Cooper as a patriotic mass murderer (so that’s all right then). The notorious plastic baby is the best thing about it.

Please note: Films starting after midnight are always considered part of the previous day's schedule, e.g. The Bling Ring begins at 01:05 - technically Saturday morning - but is still part of Friday's listings. All times in 24-hour clock.


  1. There seems to be a lot of good stuff on the Horror Channel these days. They've upped their game.

  2. Yes, every now and again, between episodes of Hercules and ultra-low-budget zombie movies starring Danny Dyer, they show some great stuff. Imagine putting on the Horror Channel and seeing Videodrome for the first time - it'd blow your mind.