Monday 1 February 2016

Your week in film (Monday, February 1 - Sunday, February 7)

TV, DVD, Blu-ray, VOD and cinema picks for the coming seven days, including Dad's Army (Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, above)...

MONDAY: Snowtown director Justin Kurzel's take on Macbeth (Blu-ray, DVD and VOD) blew me away with its stunning visuals at the cinema, so I shall be interested to see how well it holds up on the small screen. It's a broodingly gothic, brutal and nightmarish affair, buoyed by suitably intense performances from Michael Fassbender as the titular character and Marion Cotillard as his Lady. Not all of it works but the last 20 minutes are worth the price of purchase on their own (trailer below). The Look Of Silence (Netflix) is the follow up to Joshua Oppenheimer's powerful The Act Of Killing, his 2013 documentary about the 1965 Indonesian genocide of alleged communists. Both films are astonishing pieces of work. Also look out for Tim Burton's excellent Ed Wood, which is out on Blu-ray today, Luc Besson's bonkers sci-fi The Fifth Element (5*, 21:00), and clever Norwegian monster flick Troll Hunter (Film4, 23:25).

TUESDAY: Stay up late for Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters (Horror Channel, 00:50). It might lack the style and satirical edge of George Romero's ...Of The Dead films but does contain a zombie fighting a shark at the bottom of the ocean. I shit you not. No doubt to cash in on the forthcoming Deadpool movie, Ryan Reynolds' previous superhero incarnation – Green Lantern – pops up on Amazon Prime Video from today. It isn't terribly good, in truth. Far better are Brendan Gleeson crime caper The Guard (Film4, 23:10, trailer below), and the still sublime When Harry Met Sally (Sky Movies Valentine, 01:20).

WEDNESDAY: "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue." I must have seen Airplane! (Film4, 19:15, trailer below) a dozen times since it was first released 36 years ago and it never fails to make me laugh. Keeping the air travel theme going, Samuel L Jackson does battle with snakes on a plane in, um, Snakes On A Plane (Sky1, 21:00), and he crops up again in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (ITV4, 22:00), in which Pam Grier's air stewardess has a big problem when the FBI discover her drug-smuggling side hustle. Elsewhere, the excellent Robbie Collin joins Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh on Film 2016 (BBC1, 23:45) to discuss the week's new cinema releases. 

THURSDAY: It's slim pickings TV-wise today so it's VOD all the way. Subscription-only service Mubi are showing a Michael Caine triple-bill made up of The Ipcress File (spies!), The Eagle Has Landed (war!), and The Quiet American (imperialism!). And Curzon Home Cinema have Kiss Of The Spider Woman (trailer below) for which William Hurt won an Oscar playing a gay political prisoner being held on 'morals charges' in a South American jail.

FRIDAY: Michael Gambon is the guest on Kermode and Mayo's Film Review (BBC Radio Five Live, 14:00) and will no doubt talk about playing Private Godfrey in Dad's Army, which may have been critically mauled but opens in cinemas today nevertheless. Also new in the multiplex are Trumbo (trailer below), starring Oscar-nominated Bryan Cranston as a black-listed communist screenwriter; Jack Black kiddie-chiller Goosebumps, and some warped individual appears to have remade Point Break. Is there no end to Hollywood's depravity? TV-wise check out the underrated sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland (Sky Movies Premiere, 16:00 and 20:00), starring George Clooney.

SATURDAY: Despite not being a big fan of the recent Sicario (also out on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD this week), Denis Villeneuve is a director I like a lot. Prisoners (Channel 4, 21:00) is probably his most mainstream film, a by-the-book Hollywood thriller concerning a double child abduction. It's a highly tense affair with a fine cast (Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano) but wimps out at the end. Worth a look, though, definitely (trailer below). Elsewhere, there's dinosaur hi-jinks in Jurassic Park III (ITV, 22:40), Kevin Smith gets political in Red State (Film4, 00: 35), and radioactive school kids go berserk in Troma trash-fest Class of Nuke 'Em High (Horror Channel, 02:35). 

SUNDAY: The sequel's out on February 12, but by all means brush up on your 'Blue Steel' by checking out Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in the original Zoolander (Channel 5, 19:15). Later on, Seth Rogen stars in Michel Gondry's comic-book misfire The Green Hornet (Channel 5, 23:20), while Martin Scorsese's The Aviator (TCM, 22:00) stars Leonardo DiCaprio as reclusive multi-millionaire Howard Hughes. Alas, he isn't mauled by a bear in it and failed to win the Best Actor Oscar as a result. Joking apart, it's actually very good with Cate Blanchett on top form as Katharine Hepburn. Finally, there's Hammer horror from 1964 in The Gorgon (Horror Channel, 21:00). Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Patrick 'Second Doctor' Troughton star.

UK box-office top 10
1. The Revenant R
2. Ride Along 2
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4. The Big Short R
5. Creed R
6. Daddy's Home
7. Room
8. The Hateful Eight R

9. The 5th Wave
10. The Danish Girl

R = Recommended


  1. Diane Lane was sooo good in TRUMBO

  2. I'm really looking forward to seeing Trumbo, although it's had some middling reviews in the UK.