Monday 18 January 2016

Your week in film (Monday, January 18 - Sunday, January 24)

Movies and movie-related stuff to check out in the coming week on TV, radio, DVD, Blu-ray and VOD...

TODAY: The Man Who Fell To Earth (Horror Channel, 00:35) is easily the late David Bowie's finest film. Directed by Nic Roeg (Don't Look Now), it's an unsettling sci-fi yarn featuring the Thin White Duke as 'Thomas Jerome Newton', a humanoid alien in desperate need of our planet's water to save his dying home world. God knows why it's on so late. Meanwhile, film subscription service MUBI is celebrating Leonardo DiCaprio's Best Actor victory at the Golden Globes with a couple of recent additions, including Catch Me If You Can in which The Revenant star plays real-life con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. Steven Spielberg's charming cat-and-mouse caper also stars Tom Hanks. Out on DVD and Blu-ray is Aaaaaaaah!, Steve Oram's bizarre but brilliant black comedy about a society in which humans behave as if they were apes. Julian Barratt and Toyah Wilcox star (trailer below, although it doesn't really do the film justice).

TUESDAY: Betty Blue: The Director's Cut (Film 4, 23:45) stars BĂ©atrice Dalle as the seductive but self-destructive titular character in a much-extended version of Jean-Jacques Beineix's '80s classic. The fact this film is 30 years old makes me feel positively ancient (trailer below). If that doesn't appeal then Curzon Home Cinema have recently added a whole bunch of new films to their catalogue, including a lot of stuff from the great Woody Allen. They're showing Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You, Celebrity, Small Time Crooks, Deconstructing Harry, Sweet And Lowdown, Bullets Over Broadway and the documentary Wild Man Blues.

WEDNESDAY: Anthony Hopkins plays the revered British director in Hitchcock (Film 4, 21:00), battling studio bosses as he strives to make Psycho. Helen Mirren is Hitch's long-suffering wife. The new series of Film 2016 (BBC1, 23:15) kicks off with reviews of martial arts thriller The Assassin (pictured, top of page) and Sandra Bullock flop Our Brand Is Crisis (trailer below). Claudia Winkleman presents, Danny Leigh and guest Mark Cousins provide critical insight. 

THURSDAY: Presenter Francine Stock talks to Adam McKay, director of financial meltdown drama The Big Short (trailer below), on The Film Programme (Radio 4, 16:00). Not a week goes by without a Clint Eastwood western somewhere on the schedule. This time it's Two Mules For Sister Sara (ITV4, 21:00) in which the actor plays a "grizzled drifter" (what else?) who saves a nun (Shirley MacLaine) from a fate worse than death.

FRIDAY: The Assassin (trailer below) and The Big Short both arrive in cinemas today. The former was voted Sight & Sound magazine's film of the year for 2015, the latter was last week nominated for five Oscars. The Assassin is only getting a limited release so, unless it crops up somewhere on VOD, might take some tracking down. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Sky Movies Premiere, 15:45 and 20:00) makes its TV debut and features Richard Gere along with scenery-chewing old Brit thesps such as Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. 

SATURDAY: More Nic Roeg - this time it's his Outback-set, nature versus civilisation thriller Walkabout (BBC2, 00:35) from 1971. Jenny Agutter and her younger brother become stranded in the middle of nowhere when their father has a violent breakdown. The pair look doomed until they meet an Aboriginal boy with whom they struggle to communicate. Alternatively, you have a choice of underwhelming sci-fi: Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion (Channel 4, 21:00), Vin Diesel in The Chronicles Of Riddick (ITV, 22:30).  

SUNDAY: George Lazenby is James Bond 007 for the first and only time in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (ITV, 15:15), while Robert Redford and Paul Newman star in 1973 Oscar winning con-man caper The Sting (ITV4, 16:15). Best of the bunch today, though, is Brad Bird's wonderful animation The Iron Giant (Sky Movies Family, 15:20). Trailer below.

This week's UK box-office top 10
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2. The Hateful Eight R
3. Daddy's Home
4. The Danish Girl
5. Joy R
6. Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie
7. The Good Dinosaur
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
9. In The Heart Of The Sea
10. Bridge Of Spies R

R = Recommended

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