BEGIN THE BINGE
Watch 2016’s best home ents releases With #movieweekender
There can be few lovelier things than making it through another working week and finding yourself with two whole days — not to mention three nights — to kick back on the sofa in your pants, with friends (also in their pants), pizza and some fine home entertainment. from Crimson Peak to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Ñ Part 2, there is a plethora of reasons not to leave the house all weekend. To get you started, check out findanyfilm.com, and don’t forget to share your choices using the hashtag #Movieweekender. here are some of our recommendations. You’re welcome.
aka the return of the real Johnny depp. the actor is unrecognisable and completely mesmerising as Whitey Bulger, the real-life Boston-irish gangster recruited by his childhood pal, FBI agent John connolly (Joel edgerton), to supply intel for the Feds in return for immunity from prosecution for his own shady dealings. director scott cooper (Out Of The Furnace, Crazy Heart) paints an engrossing picture of the two men’s lives, upping the ante further as connolly is seduced by the gangster lifestyle. a terrific supporting cast (standouts include Benedict cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Julianne nicholson and dakota Johnson) and a ’70s muted look make this is a richly rewarding watch. Out on Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray on March 21.
The Lady In The Van
the best of British over a funny, moving and thought-provoking 104 minutes. adapted from alan Bennett’s play, itself ripped from his own life, it charts the relationship between the writer (a pitchperfect alex Jennings) and the eccentric pensioner (maggie smith) he lets stay in his drive after the ‘liberal’ neighbours and council want her moved on. Bennett himself is a quietly fascinating character, but the film is at its best when it delivers smith in full flow, Downton’s dowager downsized to a mobile home (a crème brûlée has never been accepted with such glorious disdain). chief Bennett interpreter nicholas hytner keeps it cosy, but never descends into sentiment. Out on DVD and Blu-ray on March 7.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2
This time, it’s war... After the relative watertreading of Mockingjay — Part 1, Part 2 sees the Districts launch a major assault on the ruined Capitol, as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence, still the franchise’s trump card) dodges booby traps amid the impressive architecture on her mission to bump off President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Interestingly for a blockbuster it doesn’t shy from trauma or political engagement, but also delivers fantastic action. A sad goodbye to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who excels in his final moments on film, and a fitting goodbye to our favourite tribute. Out on DVD and Blu-ray on March 21.
A huge house. Windswept moors. A doomed love story. This is Gothic romance Guillermo del Toro-style, a sumptuous, scary, intoxicating treat that blows the cobwebs off literary staples. Mia Wasikowska plays an American novelist (named Cushing — very Hammer horror) swept back to Britain by a dashing baronet (Tom Hiddleston) to start a new life in his imposing country pile, where his unhinged sister (a terrific Jessica Chastain) is also resident. Despite the excellent A-list cast, the star is Allerdale Hall, a beautifully designed mansion of menace — the walls bleed blood, for starters — and the sense of dread is tangible. You’ll be checking under the floorboards for days. Out on DVD and Blu-ray now.
After Skyfall, Sam Mendes returns for a second exhilarating adventure with Mr. Bond. Triggered by a message from Judi Dench’s M (via video, not a ouija board), 007 (Daniel Craig) travels across the globe (Mexico, Austria, Tangiers, Millbank) on the trail of an organisation so wicked it holds its board meetings in the dark. Sumptuous to look at, it weaves together dark, knotty threads from previous Craig-era Bond films but is also a glorious celebration of what we love about the series: great action (planes, trains and automobiles), arch humour, style in spades plus the return of a certain white cat. Roll on numero 25. Out on Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray now.
On paper, it sounds like a worthy period drama, but Sarah Gavron’s eviscerating feature is anything but. Rather than present a top-down view of the Suffragette movement, Abi Morgan’s sharp, intelligent screenplay finds a way in through Carey Mulligan’s put-upon factory worker who is slowly drawn into a fight she can’t ignore. Mulligan is moving as the woman trying to remain true to new political convictions in the face of her old life, while Gavron’s work is equally impressive, the struggle shot with an energy and urgency that outstrips most action films. What’s more, its much-discussed ending highlights how this is a battle that is very much ongoing. Out on Digital HD now. Out on DVD and Blu-ray on February 29.