Sunday 26 June 2016

For what it's worth...

Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of June 17-19, 2016:
1 (new) The Conjuring 2 (15) **
2 (1) Me Before You (12A) **
3 (new) Gods of Egypt (12A)
4 (2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (12A) *
5 (3) Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG) 
6 (6) The Nice Guys (15) ****
7 (5) X-Men: Apocalypse (12A)
8 (4) Warcraft: the Beginning (12A)
9 (7) The Boss (15)
10 (8) The Angry Birds Movie (U)


My top five:   
1. Poor Cow [above]
2. Remainder
3. Adult Life Skills
4. Elvis & Nixon
5. Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) 

Top Ten DVD rentals:  
1 (4) Bridge of Spies (12) *****
2 (1) The Hateful Eight (18) **
3 (2) Spotlight (15) ***
4 (3) Dirty Grandpa (15)
5 (5) Room (15) ****
6 (8) In the Heart of the Sea (12) **
7 (new) Joy (12) **** 
8 (9) Suffragette (12) ***
9 (new) Sisters (15) **
10 (7) Bobby (PG)

My top five:  
1. Our Little Sister
2. Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach
3. Bone Tomahawk
4. The Seventh Fire
5. By the Sea

Top Ten Streaming:

1 (1) Tale of Tales (15) ***
2 (new) Remainder (15) ***
3 (new) Trumbo (15) **
4 (new) Adult Life Skills (15) ***
5 (2) Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (18) ***
6 (3) Embrace of the Serpent (12)
7 (9) Spotlight (15) ***
8 (10) Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach (12) ****
9 (new) The Seventh Fire (15) *** 
10 (5) Holding the Man (15) ***

(source: BFI)

Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. L.A. Confidential (Saturday, BBC1, 11.20pm)
2. High Fidelity (Sunday, BBC1, 11.15pm)
3. Fallen (Friday, BBC1, 11.55pm)
4. Life of Pi (Saturday, C4, 8pm)
5. The Incredible Hulk (Saturday, ITV1, 2.20pm)

Saturday 25 June 2016

"Tale of Tales" (MovieMail 17/06/16)

It’s become apparent, over the best part of the past decade, that the Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone has an eye, a nose and a taste for excess. His breakthrough work, 2008’s Gomorrah, exposed – in quasi-documentary fashion – the hold exerted by organised crime over one Sicilian housing estate, while establishing Garrone’s fondness for sprawling, multi-character frescoes. Frame by frame, you felt him succumbing to that excess in 2012’s Reality, a blaring state-of-the-Berlusconi-and-Big Brother-nation address that made Paolo Sorrentino’s recent output look quietist by comparison.

With his first English-language feature Tale of Tales, Garrone’s stretching his canvas further still, attempting to film at least some of the Pentamerone, the sprawling compendium of myths and legends assembled by the 17th century poet Giambattista Basile. Basile’s book set out the state of the Italian nation as it was circa the Middle Ages: it has a literary analogue in the work of the Brothers Grimm, and a cinematic one in Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life, although Garrone displays a predilection for luscious, gory effects that mark his take as very much a product of the Marvel age.

So it is that we’re introduced to the Queen of Longtrellis (Salma Hayek, more imperious here than Hollywood has ever allowed her to be), who sees her husband succumb to a sea monster before raising an albinoid son who proves an even bigger nightmare; to the King of neighbouring Highhills (Toby Jones), who forsakes his daughter upon falling hard for his pet flea; and to the lusty King of Strongcliff (Vincent Cassel), introduced performing cunnilingus on two damsels simultaneously (who says men can’t multitask?), before finding himself unknowingly bewitched by a pair of crones.

The themes in these carefully selected strands – birth, death, courtship, parenthood, ageing – are as big as one might find in any better-known fairytale, yet Garrone maintains a playfully ironic tone throughout. Though he knows he has it within his playbox and his preferred post-production house to create wonders, our storyteller keeps his tongue firmly in cheek, alert to the fact that, in this day and age, it might be considered a little silly, even unseemly, for a grown man to be dealing with jugglers, ogres and other monsters.

This puckish quality certainly provides an alternative to the monolithic self-seriousness of the superhero movies we’re meant to take as gospel nowadays; the result is never less than diverting and occasionally transporting. But is Tale of Tales properly enchanting, as the best fairytales are? I’m not so sure. Garrone ensures his Tale barrels along; he’s dextrous indeed in weaving together competing narrative strands.

Yet the diverse postmodern texts the film recalls – The Princess Bride, P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia, the Harry Potter series, Game of Thrones – realised that the spells they cast would amount to nothing if they didn’t stop their yarn-spinning long enough to allow sincere feeling to bleed into the material. Two hours of pastiche is both a lot and not enough to give an audience: the artificial colours and preservatives tend to wear off very quickly, leaving us to chew over something with a decidedly plasticky aftertaste.

Garrone can still dot his canvasses with choice moments, great faces, dazzling images: a Rossetti redhead awaking in a forest, a man walking a burning tightrope. Yet set Tale of Tales against the immersive, full-strength, hell-for-leather vision of medieval life unfurled in the recent Russian epic Hard to Be a God, a decades-in-the-making experience that permitted no sniggering irony whatsoever, and it begins to look a touch insubstantial, perhaps even childish: a novelty one might hand to a toddler, a comic strip on the back of a bubblegum wrapper.

Tale of Tales is now playing in selected cinemas, and streaming on the BFI Player.

Friday 24 June 2016

"Remainder" (Guardian 24/06/16)

Remainder ***
Dir: Omer Fast. With: Tom Sturridge, Cush Jumbo, Ed Speleers, Arsher Ali. 103 mins. Cert: 15

Video artist Omer Fast’s adaptation of Tom McCarthy’s 2001 novel is a coolly ambiguous offering from the swelling cinema-does-memory file. Tom Sturridge’s shifty blank emerges from a freak accident with amnesia and a seven-figure payout that permits him to reconstruct some small corner of his identity; he does this not with tattoos or Post-It notes, rather by restaging events using actual people and places. (Painstakingly rehearsing a bank robbery, he resembles Philip Seymour Hoffman’s writer-cum-worldbuilder in Synecdoche, New York.) Fast lends this process distinctive textures and atmosphere, achieving a heightened reality by working on recognisable London streets: we’re surely watching a form of gentrification, as plummy white male Sturridge snaffles property so as to regain control over his surroundings. It’s clever but chilly, leaving the protagonist’s motivation (intentionally?) fuzzy: if what he’s doing fascinates, his reasons for doing it can seem a touch opaque. An assured headscratcher, nevertheless, full of ideas and images guaranteed to lodge somewhere in your cranium.

Remainder is now playing in selected cinemas.

"Crazy About Tiffany's" (Guardian 24/06/16)

Crazy about Tiffany’s **
Dir: Matthew Miele. With: Jessica Biel, Katie Couric, Fran Lebowitz, Baz Luhrmann. 86 mins. Cert: 15

This is effectively a ninety-minute ad for a superstore: it could have been Wild about Wilko were that estimable outlet shipping shiny stones to the 1% instead of marked-down scourers to the rest of us. Inevitably, it’s a blue-chip, high-end promo, recruiting Jessica Biel and Baz Luhrmann to gush about the Manhattan jewellers’ elaborate brooches. Still, amid its slick melding of sparkly bits from 2009’s Bride Wars, relentless “Moon River” and input from solitary hitmakers Deep Blue Something, little is allowed to puncture the prevailing air of self-congratulation for enabling two centuries of conspicuous consumption. No 2016 release will be further out of step with the times. 

Crazy About Tiffany's is now playing in selected cinemas.

Saturday 18 June 2016

For what it's worth...

Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of June 10-12, 2016:
1 (3) Me Before You (12A) **
2 (2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (12A) *
3 (4) Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG) 
4 (1) Warcraft: the Beginning (12A)
5 (5X-Men: Apocalypse (12A)
6 (6) The Nice Guys (15) ****
7 (new) The Boss (15)
8 (7) The Angry Birds Movie (U)
9 (new) Mother's Day (12A)
10 (8) The Jungle Book (PG) **


My top five:   
1 (3) The Hateful Eight (18) **
2 (2) Spotlight (15) ***
3 (4) Dirty Grandpa (15)
4 (5) Bridge of Spies (12) *****
5 (6) Room (15) ****
6 (7) SPECTRE (12) ***
7 (9) Bobby (PG)
8 (new) In the Heart of the Sea (12) **    
9 (10) Suffragette (12) ***
10 (new) Steve Jobs (15) ***   

My top five:  
1. Our Little Sister
2. Bone Tomahawk
3. By the Sea
4. Truman
5. Evolution 

Top Ten Streaming:

1 (new) Tale of Tales (15) ***
2 (1) Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (18) ***
3 (4) Embrace of the Serpent (12)
4 (new) Cemetery of Splendour (12)
5 (2) Holding the Man (15) ***
6 (new) The Violators (15)
7 (new) Evolution (15) ***
8 (6) The Assassin (15) ***
9 (5) Spotlight (15) *** 
10 (3) Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach (12) ****

(source: BFI)

Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. Independence Day [above] (Saturday, C4, 8pm)
2. Silent Souls (Saturday, BBC2, 1.45am)
3. The Hunted (Saturday, BBC1, 12.05am)
4. Blue Valentine (Wednesday, C4, 1.30am)
5. Blind (Thursday, C4, 1.05am)

"Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)" (Guardian 17/06/16)

Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) ***
Dir: Eva Husson. With: Marilyn Lima, Daisy Broom, Finnegan Oldfield, Lorenzo Lefebvre. 98 mins. Cert: 18

That self-correcting title, balancing aggressive come-on with wistful parenthesis, is about right. French writer-director Eva Husson here issues a dreamy-tender cautionary tale, unfolding over one long, sticky summer, in which merry high-schoolers pair off to poke one another, online and IRL; it’s all fun and games until the onset of syphilis. As her teens retreat into one lad’s unparented pad – oblivious to external events, like the In the Realm of the Senses lovers – Husson carefully situates their experiments within a wider, natural context: this filmmaker’s light, sweet touch is such she can even venture a funny subplot involving the school hamster without straying into urban legend territory. Satisfaction may depend on your desire to spend 90 minutes around blankly suggestible hormoneheads, but Husson – more forgiving Hansen-Løve than forbidding Breillat – nudges them and us both towards a healthier understanding of what our bits do: for her, blossoming sexuality isn’t necessarily a crisis, just a season we pass through. 

Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) is now playing in selected cinemas.

Hollywood knights: "The Nice Guys"

At this perilously late stage in the multiplex game, with screens one through twelve turned over to snot-nosed fanboys, The Nice Guys feels like the kind of bone we might well be grateful for having been thrown our way. This is one of writer-director Shane Black's salty-snarky non-franchise offerings, a film that, from its first pitch meetings, was simply never intended to carry the PG-13 or 12A rating by which latter-day studio executives hope to conquer the world. By way of a show of intent - and a flagrant come-on to those self-same male execs - the film opens, in the Los Angeles of 1977, with a naked porn star ploughing her sports car into a kid's bedroom in the middle of the night. The mangled vehicle, the unclothed chick: here is the sex and death elided from 95% of modern American movies, shamelessly placed upfront and unapologetically pushed into the viewer's (horrified? delighted? amused?) face. Something has changed for the better in Black, however: the kid's first response, upon seeing the woman of his dreams exposed before him, is to remove his jacket and lay it over the dead girl's form. This corrective note of chivalry won't be the film's last.

The task of working out how this damsel in distress got here falls to two private investigators who - in a typically clever-clever Black conceit - don't at first realise they're following one another's tails. Jackson Healy, the older and heavier of the two, is a divorced loner whose signature move is to punch anybody he's questioning in the face before they've had time to dissemble; his resemblance to a gone-to-seed version of L.A. Confidential's lean, mean fighting machine Bud White is only boosted by the fact he's played by the very same Russell Crowe. The widowed Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is more boyish and successful with it - Healy expresses barely concealed envy when he arrives on his colleague's spacious front porch - but he's a bit of a lush, something of a pushover, and timid about dirtying his hands in ways Healy isn't. Though they make a strong team in the hunt for a missing girl who knew the deceased, Black senses how the pair's game of cherchez la femme might well be understood as compensation for having apparently been abandoned by all the other women in the world. Save one: March's pre-teen daughter Holly (Angourie Rice), who sometimes seems to have more smarts and common sense than her two male guardians combined.

As in the recent Aussie genre piece These Final Hours, Rice is here to represent that form of right-thinking innocence that demands protecting from earthly predators, and there are plenty of those in The Nice Guys: Healy and March's investigations will bring them into often bruising contact with porn producers, Mob hitmen and knowingly negligent representatives of Big Auto. That they're willing to take on these forces - all the while standing up whenever a lady enters the room - marks the two main characters as knights errant in the long tradition of Tinseltown flatfoots, from Bogart's Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe through Nicholson's JJ Gittes to Joaquin Phoenix's Doc Sportello in Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice. Set against that last, conspicuously fuzzy endeavour, The Nice Guys can't help but appear relatively clean- and clear-cut. Where Doc really did seem alone in his inquiries, and too heartbroken (and too zonked) to do anything much to rectify that sorry situation, Black offers another of his buddy-buddy scenarios, albeit one that offers the pleasure of watching two very different icons of modern movie masculinity bounce off one another.

Literally so, in the case of a pratfalling Gosling: Black has realised that, however ripped and buff this actor may be, he's far more convincing - and actually far more charming - when he's getting smacked around than he ever could be dishing out the beatings. (I'd take The Nice Guys over the mirthless posturing of Drive and Only God Forgives every time.) Crowe, every bit the old pro, breezes along in second gear next to him, although he makes unexpectedly touching an anecdote Healy tells about confronting an armed man in a diner, working towards a wistful punchline ("Just for a moment, I felt useful again") which his dozing partner never gets to hear. Certainly, The Nice Guys operates in a markedly more reflective key than Black's earlier slambangs (Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Last Kiss Goodnight): it's centred entirely on men out of time who find themselves still trying to do the right thing, or something like the right thing, in a city and a time of increasingly dubious entertainments. I wonder how much this script spoke to these actors, beyond its showy toplayer of knowing chatter.

Both, clearly, are stars seeking to do something beyond the realms of franchise cinema: keener to work within characters rather than bodysuits, to speak dialogue rather than exposition by the yard, in films that feel unforced rather than machine-tooled, and which have the curiosity to explore their cityscapes, rather than simply smashing the shit out of them for a final act. The Anderson film The Nice Guys most resembles isn't, finally, Inherent Vice but Boogie Nights, with its overarching vision of porn being transformed from a mom-and-pop business into something more cutthroat. Black and cinematographer Philippe Rousselot summon a smoggy look that both connects with the plot and suggests a moment burning itself out in plain sight; the end-of-an-era atmos is enough to make one wonder whether The Nice Guys isn't itself something of a last gasp - a temporary holdout against the inevitability that every multiplex release will soon be a dispatch from either the Marvel or DC Cinematic Universes. Catching up with it at a late show, with not a texting teen to be seen, wasn't just a thoroughly enjoyable experience; it felt, in some small way, like an act of cultural resistance.

The Nice Guys is now playing in cinemas nationwide.    

Tuesday 14 June 2016

From the archive: "The Conjuring"

James Wan’s The Conjuring – which has, by default, become the summer’s runaway horror phenomenon in the States – turns out to be a laboured 70s throwback possessed of the spirits of a thousand other films, most of them more interesting and terrifying. Allegedly based on a (yawn) true story, it finds Wan attempting to do The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist in one go for the benefit of those who’ve previously ventured no further than the Paranormal Activity series, and therefore have little idea where the next round of bangs, crashes and general gimcrackery is going to come from.

Yes, it’s yet another haunted-house movie, organised around a roomy, deceptively sturdy two-and-a-half storey property situated on the banks of a misty lake in woodland Rhode Island. The new owners, as of autumn 1970, were Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor, possibly trying to atone for the Haunting remake), who installed themselves and their many interchangeably rosy-cheeked daughters, all blissfully unaware that Something Bad had happened there some years before.

Signs of possible malevolence racked up early, however: a dog who refused to cross the threshold, a clock that stopped each morning at precisely 3.07am, a boarded-up cellar full of junk (horror musicologists will appreciate the piano that plays but three atonal notes: dum-dun-durrr…), plus a variety of nocturnal bumps, bruises and nasty niffs. Enter demonologist Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) and his psychic wife Lorraine (Vera Farmiga), who collectively form a brow-furrowing variant on the ghostbusters Wan’s 2010 hit Insidious (which starred Wilson) played for laughs. Like the sinister children’s toys dotted around these sets (themselves a holdover from Wan’s Dead Silence), they’re another element that suggests we’re watching the same story being rejigged.

Welles, famously, saw the cinema as the best train set a boy could have; for Wan, it’s become a doll’s house. Ever since setting the endlessly reconfiguring Saw franchise in motion with 2004’s ingenious original, Wan has been content to use the mid-range multiplex budgets available to him to rattle or rearrange the furniture, and find different angles from which to observe those perennial shadows under the bed and behind the bedroom door.

There’s a degree of craft involved in this. Saw hinted at the importance of narrative to Wan’s thinking; he’s still commendably sparing when it comes to CG spectacle, and smart enough to retain the services of proven actors like Wilson and Farmiga, rather than the cheaper neophytes running round inside the Paranormal Activities. Yet they’re still passengers on a rollercoaster, expected to shriek whenever the film wants to go faster, and frantically gabble exposition in those lulls where everybody pops out to empty their bladders or visit the popcorn counter.

At nearly two hours, there are plenty of these in The Conjuring, and you’ll have to forgive me if I prefer Ti West’s generic revisitations (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers), which sought to apply fresh licks of paint to tired horror formats, rather than merely rebranding the same old ingredients. The Conjuring’s US triumph again indicates that an awful lot of teenagers are prepared to blow their disposable income on whatever’s being pushed in their direction loudest – but, really, these bumps in the night are getting so regular and rhythmical as to be no more perturbing than the average Stomp concert.

(August 2013)

The Conjuring is available on DVD through Warner Home Video; a sequel, The Conjuring 2, opens in cinemas nationwide from Friday.

Sunday 12 June 2016

1,001 Films: "Two-Lane Blacktop" (1971)

Its reputation inflated like a tyre with every year it spent out of circulation, Monte Hellman's road movie Two-Lane Blacktop reemerges as something between Easy Rider on four wheels and The Cannonball Run with pretensions. Musicians James Taylor ("The Driver") and Dennis Wilson ("The Mechanic"), along with hitchhiker Laurie Bird ("The Girl") pile into a Chevy for a drive across a drab, depopulated America, en route encountering - and enraging - the yellow GTO of Warren Oates, a burnt-out executive in the grip of a midlife crisis. A gauntlet is soon thrown down: first party to Washington wins, a motorised march on the nation's capital that will demonstrate that the madness that struck America in the late 1960/early 70s wasn't just limited to its foreign policy (Taylor insists that a radio reporting the news be switched off on the grounds it "gets in the way") or its inner cities (Bird refers to the Zodiac killer) but to the highways and backroads connecting the latter. And that's about all it has to say before the film stock burns up, a supposedly radical ending that speaks less of the feature's intensity than it does of its maker's inability to come up with a more constructive conclusion.

For a movie centering on a road race, the one element Two-Lane Blacktop is conspicuously lacking in is speed: it seeks to dramatise a country heading nowhere and a directionless populace, through long, uneventful, frankly trying sequences in gas stations where the service - on the part of the attendants and Hellman alike - is either slow or non-existent. When the rival cars do go head-to-head, it's in the dead of night, so there's no sense of the scenery flying past; there's also far too much time spent fiddling around in lay-bys or other locations off the beaten track, where Bird repeatedly hops rides and the boys indulge in extended carburetor talk. (If you were to remake it today, at least 85% of it would have to be shot in a Welcome Break car park.) Petrolheads will doubtless adore any film with a soundtrack composed entirely of revving engines and gear changes. The rest of us can only spend this downtime pondering what an empty exercise this is, especially in comparison with the funny, angry points Godard had to make about a society fuelled by an obsession with cars in Week-End; how even 1950s hotrod B-pics had more oomph about them; and that it's no real surprise that Taylor (sullen) and Wilson (vapid), only ever convincing as stock counterculture longhairs, went on to pursue alternative careers. A bit of a non-starter.

Two-Lane Blacktop is available on DVD through Universal, and on Blu-Ray through Masters of Cinema.

Saturday 11 June 2016

From the archive: "Zombieland"

Zombieland's success at the U.S. box office this past weekend suggests our transatlantic cousins have finally formulated some sort of credible riposte to Shaun of the Dead. The hit Pegg-Wright zomcom was premised on the very English notion that it would be frightfully inconvenient if zombies were to take over the country; Zombieland adopts the very American line that an infestation of the undead would only exacerbate - and perhaps justify - everybody's pre-existing issues of trust. Our narrator-hero (Jesse Eisenberg) has survived the initial wave of attacks through a combination of smartly defined rules and a marked reluctance to leave the confines of his apartment; he remains, at heart, the type of wuss who feels compelled to apologise to any revenant whose tibia he slams in a door frame. Setting out for Columbus, Ohio to see whether his parents are still extant, he picks up fellow survivors en route: Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a bad-ass zombie slayer whose rage proves to be a form of displaced grief; and a pair of con-artist sisters (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin), whose first trick is to fleece the boys of their guns and car.

From its inspired tagline ("This place is so dead") to a soundtrack that unites Doves with The Velvet Underground, Zombieland promises zesty, canny pop-cultural entertainment, and this Ruben Fleischer's film delivers. Much of the pleasure here resides in the casting. Eisenberg's nervy schtick may, in time, come to seem as one-note and carefully cultivated as Michael Cera's naivete - both, at some point, are going to have to play characters with a measure of carnal knowledge - but for the moment, at least, it remains fresh and winning. Stone and Breslin are a tart, sassy double-act, and Harrelson, reinvigorated by these kids' timing, is funnier than he has been on screen for several years. Everybody's issues will eventually be resolved by kicking them out into the world to have a blast of one kind or another with like-minded folk; as Eisenberg's closing words frame it, "without other people, you might as well be a zombie". This, you sense, is a major studio release seeking to persuade its target demographic to step away from the console, the modem and the Blu-Ray player, and put themselves (and their disposable income) back in wider circulation. It's no surprise our heroes should eventually hole up in an amusement park, a multiplex surrogate that permits a handful of inventive killings, and runs rather too close to Eisenberg's participation in the recent Adventureland.

If Zombieland is finally no more than a good night out with popcorn, it nonetheless realises that smart fun can, like a zombie's bite, be highly infectious, and its very savvy second act - the highpoint, after which all the funfairing proves something of an anti-climax - makes this one of the first films to address the disconcerting changing of the guard currently under way in our multiplexes, the scenario that has seen a whole swathe of 1980s movies being remade for a generation who - even with the advent and advantage of DVD - appear never to have heard of, let alone seen, these titles. Stone's character expresses nostalgia for her first R-rated movie, 1997's Anaconda (!), which she knows is dumb; taking refuge within the mansion of no less a figure than Bill Murray, in a sequence which teases the prospect of an appearance from the great man himself, Eisenberg introduces Breslin to the delights of the yet more ancient Ghost Busters, burbling "This is so exciting... you're gonna find out who you're gonna call". Or as Harrelson puts it when Murray finally shows up, with a fanboy's enthusiasm that is not untypical of Zombieland in its entirety: "Goddamn... Bill fucking Murray!"

(October 2009)

Zombieland premieres on C4 tonight at 11.35pm.  

Friday 10 June 2016

For what it's worth...

Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of June 3-5, 2016:
1 (new) Warcraft: the Beginning (12A)
2 (new) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (12A) *
3 (new) Me Before You (12A) **
4 (2) Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG)
5 (1) X-Men: Apocalypse (12A)
6 (new) The Nice Guys (15) ****
7 (3) The Angry Birds Movie (U)
8 (5) The Jungle Book (PG) **
9 (4) Money Monster (15)
10 (new) Housefull 3 (12A)


My top five:   
1 (2) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12) **
2 (1) Spotlight (15) ***
3 (3The Hateful Eight (18) **
4 (4) Dirty Grandpa (15)
5 (5) Bridge of Spies (12) *****
6 (6) Room (15) ****
7 (8) SPECTRE (12) ***
8 (10) The Intern (12)
9 (new) Bobby (PG)
10 (re) Suffragette (12) ***

My top five:  
1. Our Little Sister
2. Bone Tomahawk
3. The Club
5Lawrence of Belgravia

Top Ten Streaming:

1 (new) Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (18) ***
2 (4) Holding the Man (15) ***
3 (2) Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach (12) ****
4 (new) Embrace of the Serpent (12)
5 (1) Spotlight (15) *** 
6 (3) The Assassin (15) ***
7 (5The Propaganda Game (15) ***
8 (new) President (15) ***
9 (re) Carol (15) ****
10 (re) Rams (15) ***

(source: BFI)

Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. Aladdin (Sunday, C4, 5pm)
2. The Lavender Hill Mob (Saturday, BBC2, 8.55am)
3. Zombieland (Saturday, C4, 11.35pm)
4. Titanic (Saturday, C4, 6.20pm)
5. I Know What You Did Last Summer (Saturday, BBC1, 11.35pm)