SEVEN FILMS TO SEE THIS WEEK

The National - News - - ARTS&LIFESTYLE - Chris New­bould

Solo: A Star Wars Story Sun­day, stream­ing on OSN Box Of­fice 3

It’s the least suc­cess­ful Star Wars movie to date, but Solo still de­serves a watch for the sake of com­pletism, as well as to learn about the ori­gins of favourite char­ac­ters Han Solo, Chew­bacca and Lando Cal­ris­sian – played in stand­out form by Don­ald Glover here. The film is ad­mit­tedly poor in com­par­i­son to its sta­ble­mates, and may have caused a re­think of Dis­ney’s spin-off story strat­egy, but it’s still got the Mil­len­nium Fal­con, so it was never go­ing to be all bad.

Clover­field Mon­day, 3.15am, Para­mount Chan­nel

This J J Abrams-con­ceived, Matt Reeves-di­rected found-footage mon­ster movie was the sub­ject of an in­tense vi­ral mar­ket­ing cam­paign ahead of re­lease, much like the daddy of the genre, The Blair

Witch Project. Also, like that film, the hype gen­er­ated en­sured it mul­ti­plied hugely on a small bud­get at the box of­fice, with a $171m world­wide haul (its US$25m bud­get ad­mit­tedly dwarfed the US$60,000 spent to make Blair Witch, but still). The film fol­lows six young New York­ers whose farewell party is rudely in­ter­rupted by the ap­pear­ance of a gi­ant mon­ster – the Clover of the ti­tle – and a host of smaller, par­a­site mon­sters. It has spawned two se­quels, in­clud­ing this year’s

Clover­field Para­dox, which saw Net­flix up­dat­ing the hype by screen­ing the movie’s first trailer dur­ing Fe­bru­ary’s Su­per­bowl, then stream­ing the film im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards.

They Look Like Peo­ple Tues­day, 11.15pm, Sun­dance Chan­nel

New York City is be­ing in­vaded again, but this time by evil demons who are slowly tak­ing over the hu­man race, in Perry Black­s­hear’s Slam­dance Award-win­ning indie hor­ror. MacLeod An­drews is Wy­att, who at first as­sumes he is suf­fer­ing from some kind of psy­chosis when he starts re­ceiv­ing gar­bled phone calls about the in­com­ing de­monic hordes but soon re­alises that, al­though he may well be crazy, the demons might not be a part of it. A de­cent shocker that will keep you guess­ing to the end.

Oz the Great and the Pow­er­ful Wed­nes­day, Dis­ney Chan­nel, 1am

Sam Raimi’s vis­ually stun­ning pre­quel to The Wiz­ard of Oz, which boasts a cast in­clud­ing James Franco, Michelle Wil­liams and Mila Ku­nis, and a score from Tim Bur­ton’s usual go-to com­poser, Danny Elf­man, was ex­pected to re­peat the suc­cess of Bur­ton’s own fan­tasy up­date, 2010’s Alice in Won­der­land, but it di­vided au­di­ences and crit­ics alike and took only around half of Alice’s near-bil­lion dol­lar take. It’s still an en­gag­ing, fan­tas­ti­cal tale, how­ever, as we fol­low Franco’s ma­gi­cian and con man as he un­will­ingly sets about sav­ing a king­dom.

A United King­dom Thurs­day, OSN Movies First, 3.05pm

Bri­tish bi­o­graph­i­cal drama di­rected by Amma Asante, based on the true-life ro­mance be­tween African royal Sir Seretse Khama and his wife, white Bri­tish woman Ruth Wil­liams Khama, whose for­bid­den love caused an in­ter­na­tional in­ci­dent in post-war Lon­don, South Africa and Bechua­na­land (now Botswana). David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike por­tray Seretse and Ruth. The film was first screened at the 2016 Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, and was also the open­ing film at the 60th Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val.

Me­lan­cho­lia Fri­day, Star Movies, 12.10pm

Lars Von Trier is on typ­i­cally ar­rest­ing form in this 2011 Cannes award-win­ner. This time around, he pairs his fre­quent muse Char­lotte Gains­bourg with an all-star cast in­clud­ing Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Suther­land and John Hurt for a vis­ceral por­trait of de­pres­sion – the sec­ond part of the di­rec­tor’s “De­pres­sion Tril­ogy.” Pop­u­lated by dys­func­tional char­ac­ters, and with a rogue planet hurtling to­wards the Earth, Von Trier’s film is as harsh and hard-hit­ting as we’d ex­pect – the di­rec­tor ac­tu­ally came up with the idea for the film dur­ing one of his own ther­apy ses­sions when he was him­self be­ing treated for de­pres­sion.

Blade Run­ner 2049 Satur­day, OSN Movies First, 11.30pm

“Vi­sion­ary” is a word too of­ten bandied around in Hol­ly­wood, but French-Cana­dian di­rec­tor De­nis Vil­leneuve (Ar­rival, En­emy) is ex­actly that. His long-awaited se­quel to Ri­d­ley Scott’s land­mark 1982 sci-fi film is a work of shim­mer­ing beauty, with peer­less vis­ual ef­fects and sub­lime cin­e­matog­ra­phy from Roger Deakins. With Har­ri­son Ford repris­ing his role as Rick Deckard and Ryan Gosling as the “blade run­ner” who seeks him out, it’s that rare thing: an adult sci­ence fic­tion film that’s about ideas not ac­tion.

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