FILMS OF THE WEEK

The Herald Magazine - - CONTENTS -

SATUR­DAY Ti­tanic (1997) (Chan­nel 4, 7pm)

Buoyed by the on-screen chem­istry of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, James Cameron’s love story sailed away with 11 Academy Awards. The film be­gins with Brock Lovett (Bill Pax­ton) and his team of hi-tech trea­sure hunters scour­ing the sub­merged wreck. The search comes to nought un­til Brock meets 101-year-old sur­vivor Rose DeWitt Bukater (Glo­ria Stu­art). Star­ing trans­fixed at a sketch of her younger self (Winslet), Rose re­calls her bur­geon­ing romance with spir­ited artist Jack Daw­son (DiCaprio) aboard the epony­mous lux­ury liner.

Jimi: All Is By My Side (2013) (BBC Two, 9.45pm)

Un­able to se­cure the mu­si­cal rights from Jimi Hen­drix’s es­tate for this biopic, writer-di­rec­tor John Ri­d­ley fo­cuses on the 12-month pe­riod from 1966 to 1967, be­fore the show­man ce­mented his place in the mu­si­cal fir­ma­ment. The film be­gins with Keith Richards’ girl­friend, Linda Keith (Imo­gen Poots), dis­cov­er­ing Hen­drix (Outkast’s An­dre Ben­jamin) play­ing backup gui­tar at the Chee­tah Club in New York. She in­tro­duces Hen­drix to Chas Chan­dler (An­drew Buck­ley), who be­comes his man­ager. As a band forms around Hen­drix, in­clud­ing bass player Noel Red­ding (Oliver Ben­nett) and drum­mer Mitch Mitchell (Tom Dun­lea), the front­man be­gins a re­la­tion­ship with Kathy Etch­ing­ham (Hay­ley Atwell) that jeop­ar­dises his as­cent be­fore it has be­gun.

SUN­DAY Glad­i­a­tor (2000) (More4, 9pm)

Ri­d­ley Scott col­lected five Os­cars in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture for this mus­cu­lar sword-and-san­dals epic. The hero of the day is Max­imus (Rus­sell Crowe), a gen­eral in the army of Em­peror Mar­cus Aure­lius (Richard Har­ris), who is adored as much by his men as he is by the Em­peror. Con­niv­ing heir to the throne Com­modus (Joaquin Phoenix) mur­ders the Em­peror in a fit of jeal­ousy and or­ders the ex­e­cu­tion of gal­lant Max­imus, the sole threat to his rule. The hero es­capes with his life and is forced into slav­ery, train­ing as a glad­i­a­tor un­der the debonair Prox­imo (Oliver Reed). Crowe shoul­ders lead­ing man du­ties with rel­ish, lend­ing Max­imus an un­ex­pected depth op­po­site Reed in his fi­nal per­for­mance.

Chef (2014) (Film4, 9pm)

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is the star chef at a Los An­ge­les restau­rant owned by Riva (Dustin Hoff­man). Food critic Ram­sey Michel (Oliver Platt) makes a reser­va­tion and Carl plans a new tast­ing menu. How­ever, Riva forces Carl to re­vert to his sig­na­ture dishes and Ram­sey pens a scathing re­view, which be­rates Carl for rest­ing on his lau­rels. The ar­gu­ment be­tween chef and critic spi­rals out of con­trol and Carl pub­licly quits his job and heads to Mi­ami with ex-wife Inez (Sofia Ver­gara) and their son Percy (Em­jay An­thony). In fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings, Carl trans­forms a worn-out truck into a mo­bile eaterie par ex­cel­lence. Writ­ten and di­rected by Favreau, Chef is life-af­firm­ing drama that wears its heart on its sleeve.

MON­DAY The Bare­foot Contessa (1954) (Film4, 11am)

Humphrey Bog­art stars as down-on-his luck film­maker Harry, who spots the beau­ti­ful Maria (Ava Gard­ner) danc­ing in a Span­ish night­club and de­cides to make her a lead­ing lady. Thanks to her charisma, Harry’s skill and the ef­forts of an in­sin­cere pub­li­cist (Ed­mond O’Brien), Maria be­comes a huge star. But sadly, fame does not bring hap­pi­ness, and Maria’s per­sonal life be­comes in­creas­ingly trou­bled.

TUES­DAY Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) (Film4, 11am)

Very loosely based on a silent film of the same name, this sea­far­ing ad­ven­ture stars Lionel Bar­ry­more as Ber­ing Joy, the age­ing cap­tain of a whal­ing ship who is un­der pres­sure to re­tire. De­ter­mined to prove he is still up to the job, he heads out on one last mis­sion, and brings along his young grand­son, Jed (Dean Stock­well). Ber­ing is less happy about the pres­ence of Dan (Richard Wid­mark), who the ship’s own­ers have hand­picked as his re­place­ment, but all ri­val­ries are put aside when dis­as­ter strikes.

Un Chien An­dalou (1928) (BBC Four, 10.30pm)

With a run­ning time un­der 30 min­utes, Luis Bunuel’s surreal di­rec­to­rial de­but is one of cin­ema’s land­mark mo­ments. Un Chien An­dalou com­prises a se­ries of hyp­notic im­ages spliced to­gether with­out any tan­gi­ble nar­ra­tive struc­ture, in­clud­ing ants crawl­ing in the palm of a hand and a man drag­ging a grand pi­ano along a street. The true-life tragedies that dogged the film fol­low­ing its re­lease – the two lead ac­tors died in shock­ing cir­cum­stances – are al­most as mem­o­rable as the night­mar­ish im­ages that Bunuel com­mits to the screen.

WED­NES­DAY Hor­ri­ble Bosses (2011) (ITV2, 9pm)

Nick Hen­dricks (Ja­son Bate­man) has been de­nied a pro­mo­tion by his boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), while Kurt Buck­man (Ja­son Sudeikis) is forced to stand by as the com­pany he works for is run into ground by the owner’s co­caine-snort­ing son Bobby (Colin Far­rell), and den­tal nurse Dale Ar­bus (Charlie Day) is sex­u­ally ha­rassed on a daily ba­sis by his em­ployer, Dr Ju­lia Har­ris (Jennifer Anis­ton). So, when jail­bird Dean Jones (Jamie Foxx) plants the idea of a chain re­ac­tion of seem­ingly ac­ci­den­tal deaths, the three friends are in­trigued.

THURS­DAY Amer­i­can Hus­tle (2013) (Film4, 11pm)

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence re­unite with Sil­ver Lin­ings Playbook di­rec­tor David O Rus­sell for this dark crime com­edy. Irv­ing Rosen­feld (Chris­tian Bale) is a bril­liant con man, who is trapped in a love­less mar­riage with a har­ri­dan wife, Ros­alyn (Lawrence). So Irv­ing throws him­self into his il­le­gal work, re­cruit­ing an in­ex­pe­ri­enced side­kick Syd­ney Prosser (Amy Adams), who poses as a rich English aris­to­crat in or­der to se­cure funds from gullible busi­ness­men. Irv­ing and Syd­ney are ar­rested by am­bi­tious FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Cooper), who forces them to put their du­bi­ous tal­ents to good use to en­trap Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Ren­ner) and his as­so­ciates in the un­der­world.

FRI­DAY The Trans­porter (2002) (E4, 9pm)

Ja­son Statham’s first out­ing as Frank, the mys­te­ri­ous, sharp-suited de­liv­ery driver was a riproar­ing suc­cess. Sim­ply put, Frank finds him­self in trou­ble when he breaks the rule that he should never ask what he’s trans­port­ing. He dis­cov­ers that his lat­est cargo is alive, and thrusts him­self into a dan­ger­ous game of cat and mouse with his un­known em­ploy­ers. It’s not the most grip­ping or clever of plot­lines, but you’ll for­get all about that mi­nor set­back once the ac­tion gets un­der way – and Statham did most of the stunts him­self.

Top: Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Ren­ner, Chris­tian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence make a for­mi­da­ble cast in dark crime com­edy Amer­i­can Hus­tle. Above: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in James Cameron’s Os­car­win­ning Ti­tanic

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