A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box
Today’s Number One Film:
A Clockwork Orange, BEST FILM OF THE DAY 12.42 midday HBO Plus. Watch this if you liked Blade Runner, American History X or Children of Men. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s novel has the same ending as the US version of the book – and few cinefiles would argue against that last, strangely loving shot of Malcom McDowell’s face contorted dreadfully as he imagines evil actions. With staggering violence set against the backdrop of hauntingly beautiful classical music – Ludwig Van features heavily, and devastatingly – A Clockwork Orange’s bleak vision of a future in which young men run riot did not impress the critics at home in England. After a woman was attacked by a gang singing, “Singing in the Rain”, Kubrick withdrew it from general release. The vision of the future, as imagined in the early Seventies, may be perhaps criticised as, well, dated, but, still, it remains spellbinding throughout; a film that changes how you look at film, and life. Recommended like a milk-plus. Viddy well, little droogs, the American Film Institute’s 46th best film of all time. Directed by Stanley Kubrick/ 1971/ UK-USA/ Crime-Drama-Thriller-Sci-fi/ 136 mins/ Unrated but at least an R for violence including rape, gang-rape and bludgeoning, all involving teens.
What We Do in the Shadows, 9.25pm ISat. Watch this if you liked This is Spinal Tap, the English version of the TV series The Office or the HBO series Flight of the Conchords. The creators of the deadpan hilarious half-hour sitcom, Flight of the Conchords, take that brand of incisive sendup of the perils of modern life from the music biz to the vampire world, and to feature film length, without missing a beat, a laugh or an opportunity to mock what we think of as set-in-stone perspectives. This story of four vampire flatmates trying to get through the mundanities of modern life – paying the rent, deciding who will wash the dishes, getting some human blood – will have the thinking person wetting themselves with laughter. It is done so well, people who do not pay attention will probably take it seriously, as documentary. A real treat for the real cinefile. Directed by Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi/ 2014/ New Zealand-USA/ Comedy-Horror/ 86 mins/ Rated R for bloody violent content, some sexual material and language.
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part I, 5.58pm Cinemax. Watch this if you liked Alice in Wonderland, any of the Twilight or any of the other Harry Potter films. The least frightening Harry Potter since Prisoner of Azkaban is still far too scary for young children – despite the franchise’s regular screening on channels with the word “family” in their names. The beginning of the end of JK Rowling’s spectacular, extended fable about growing up, is so good, you find yourself wishing the filmmakers had had the idea of splitting the books into two movies earlier; the last frame is so spectacular, you almost don’t mind the obvious “to be continued…” end. Directed by David Yates/ 2010/ UK-USA/ Action-Adventure-Fantasy/ 146 mins/ Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intenste action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.
Just Nosed Out:
**The Big Lebowski (Coen Bros Crime-Dark Comedy), 1.20pm Max; **The Lobster (Drama-Fantasy-Sci-fi), 9pm Max; ***Next (Action-Fantasy-Thriller), Inherent Vice (Comedy-Crime-Drama), 3.20pm Max; 1.35pm FoxAct; Glory (Drama-History), 12.15 midday FoxClas; Case 39 (Horror), 9.15am FoxAct;
Garfield (Animated-Comedy-Family), 10.05am FoxFam; Brother Bear (Animated-Family), 2.06pm Max.
Action/Adventure: Beverly Hills Cop, 6.10pm Film.
Animated/Family: Where the Wild Things Are, 10.05am HBO2.
Arthouse/Independent: 25th Hour (Spike Lee drama), 7pm ISat.
Biography/Documentary: Straight Outta Compton (Music), 9.45am HBOC.
Comedy: Intolerable Cruelty (Coen Bros Dark Comedy), 9.30am FoxCom.
Drama: RocknRolla (English Mob-Crime-Drama), 1.26pm HBOS.
Horror: Ouija: Origin of Evil (Supernatural), 4.15pm HBOC.
Sci-fi/Fantasy: Star Trek (original William Shatner feature), 8am FoxClas.
Thriller: Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick), 3pm HBOP.
War: Empire of the Sun, 8.55am MaxP.
Western: Villa Rides, 9pm FoxClas.
*Starred films have been picked before. **Double-starred films have been picked in the last two months. ***Triple-starred films were picked last week.
Particularly strong Also Ran films are bolded.
Please verify times. Advance Internet scheduled times can be wrong, especially at month-end.