SEVEN FILMS TO SEE THIS WEEK
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.