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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 1 April 2018

Because these are films you really should see on the big screen, like all the best – and even all the worst – movies, BC on TV sends you to MovieTowne and the Digicel Gemstone, just like last week. Either of the first two films that were Just Nosed Out would have clipped today’s third choice if they hadn’t been picked in February – and, though BC on TV only names one, all three could lay legitimate claim to being the BEST FILM OF THE DAY.

Today’s Number One Film:

Black Panther, various times, MovieTowne. Watch this if you liked Skyfall, Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Doctor Strange. Many very intelligent people dismiss comic book and/or superhero movies out of hand and it’s difficult to persuade them they’re wrong; Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther may be the strongest argument so far made to convince them. You would expect great things of the young director whose first feature film was the gut-wrenching realist Fruitvale Station, particularly when he followed it up by making the best – and only genuinely good – Rocky movie in Creed; but, even with those first two geometrically progressing leaps, no one could have predicted he would have sprang forward so far on the last leg of his triple jump that he’d be out of the sandbox entirely when he landed, on his feet, running. A near perfectly made film – so far as purists allow that “superhero” films can be perfectly made -does everything an action film ought and many things the best art films fail to. Two-and-a-half hours flash by and you leave the cinema pumping your fist and proud to be human. A real treat for the whole family, despite the PG-13 rating – and a film good enough for you to go and see first and take your (older) kids to the second time.The cinematography, by Rachel Morrison, is outstanding. The soundtrack, with original songs from Kendrik Lamar, is also smoking. The only real mistake you could make is to watch it at home. If ever there were a big screen movie, this is it. Directed by Ryan Coogler/ 2018/ USA / Action-Drama-Superhero-Thriller/ 150 mins/ Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence and a brief rude gesture.

Also watch:

Red Sparrow, 4pm & 9.15pm, Gemstone VIP Cinema, One Wooodbrook Place. Watch this if you liked Bridge of Spies, Eastern Promises or Zero Dark Thirty. Red Sparrow received mixed reviews from critics for good reasons: an intelligent spy thriller, it nevertheless opts to present itself as being set in Russia by having its cast of entirely English-speaking actors fake “Russian” accents. The disturbing violence, which, from the first spark, on the ballet stage, is done unflinchingly well, starts out as not being at all gratuitous – but then goes on for long enough to ground the criticism that they start to stray in that direction. Nor is any Russian likely to be thrilled by the film’s view of their country. The script, too, may take one too many a turn, resulting, ultimately, in a kind of Syriana – “Uh?” – rather than a Usual Suspects’ “Wow!” That all being said, there is still far too much that is very, very good in Red Sparrow to drag the whole thing down and it remains a film – like all of the best ones – that demands to be seen on a big screen. Jennifer Lawrence is amazingly good – despite the accent – and her nude scenes are so very well done that the viewer sees, and stays on, riveted, her face. The performances are uniformly strong, even if Jeremy Irons fares better than Charlotte Rampling, who deserved a little more in her role than the director elicited. A very rewarding film, overall, if you can get past the accents. Directed by Francis Lawrence/ 2018/ USA / Drama-Mystery-Thriller/ 140 mins/ Rated R for strong, bloody violence, torture, sexual content and some graphic nudity.

The Imitation Game, 7pm HBO Signature BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked The Theory of Everything, The King’s Speech or Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. A front-running contender for the Best Screenplay Ever Written – it deservedly won the 2015 Oscar – this masterful biography of Alan Turing, the man who in World War II invented the computers we all rely on today, runs backwards and forwards in time to explain, not just the sheer firetrucking size of his achievement in breaking the German code that effectively ended WWII, but the huge personal cost to the man himself – and it does all this while remaining a true thriller. A fine film requiring and rewarding careful watching; anyone texting during its runtime should be taken outside and shot. Directed by Morten Tyldum/ 2014/ UK-USA/ Biography-Drama-Thriller-War/ 114 mins/ PG-13 for some sexual references, mature thematic material and historical smoking.

Just Nosed Out:

**Hombre (Western), 9pm FoxClas; **Arrival, 7pm HBOP; The Wrestler (drama-sport), 3.05pm Sund; 3.10 to Yuma (original Glenn Ford Western), 7.25pm FoxClas; Pineapple Express Unrated (comedy-action), 3pm HBOP; Toy Story (animated-family), 1.15pm HBOF; The Lost Boys (horror), 9.05am Max; Easy A (young adult), 1.40pm ISat.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: The Perfect Storm, 1.02pm HBOP.

Animated/Family: Stuart Little, 1.46pm Max.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: The End of the Tour (music), 7.46am HBO.

Classic: Shall We Dance? (romance), 2.05pm FoxClas.

Comedy: Knocked Up (stoner), 12.45 midday HBOP.

Documentary/Biography: Loving, 5.50pm HBO.

Drama: The Help, 4.15pm HBOC.

Horror: 30 Days of Night, 7.10pm Max.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Split, 9pm HBOP.

Thriller: Body of Lies, 3.13pm HBOP.

Western: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, 8.11pm TCM.

*Starred films have been picked in the last year.**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.