Daily Mail - Daily Mail Weekend Magazine


- Film reviews by Robin Jarossi and Vicky Thompson

Oliver Burton previews the pick of the premieres on your movies-on-demand service.

The Iceman

(2012) 15

On Virgin Movies, BT Vision and Sky Box Office from Monday The true tale of prolific gangland killer Richard Kuklinski, whose wife and daughters apparently never knew how he was earning his living, has a grisly fascinatio­n, and Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Shannon brings a cold intensity to the title role. The presence of Ray Liotta as a mob boss underlines director Ariel Vromen’s debt to Scorsese’s GoodFellas, but his thriller is ultimately little more than a succession of gruesome murders.

Borrowed Time

(2012) 15 On Sky Box Office from Monday Low-budget London comedy that puts a light-hearted spin on its gritty urban setting. Theo Barklem-Biggs is the hapless delinquent turning to burglary to pay off a debt, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with the bitter old man (Phil Davis) who catches him out.

The Last Exorcism – Part II (2013) 15 On Virgin Movies, BT Vision and Sky Box Office from Monday The 2010 mockumenta­ry-style horror The Last Exorcism had a sense of humour and some genuinely creepy moments; it also has a title that doesn’t lend itself to the possibilit­y of a sequel. And, indeed, they needn’t have bothered with this lacklustre follow-up, which has nothing new to add. It picks up with Nell (Ashley Bell) slowly recovering from the events of the original, before the demon returns…

Struck By Lightning

(2012) 12 On BT Vision from Monday Glee’s Chris Colfer wrote and stars in this small-town highschool comedy, which ticks off all the genre clichés, but boasts an impressive cast that includes Allison Janney, Rebel Wilson and Christina Hendricks. Colfer plays the ambitious teen coming up with a nefarious ploy to get into his dream university. Sky Box Office Movies are available only to Sky subscriber­s, and can also be accessed online via Sky Go. Virgin Movies is available only to Virgin Media subscriber­s. BT Vision On Demand is available via a BT Vision set-top box.


Gone With The Wind

(1939) PG 10.30AM, TCM Legendary producer David O. Selznick’s epic take on Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer-winning novel. Surely one of the most quoted films of all time, with Clark Gable as the suitor who doesn’t give a damn about spoilt Vivien Leigh.

The Taking Of Pelham 123

(2009) 15 9PM, CH4 It’s always tough taking on a classic, but Tony Scott’s reboot of the 1974 crime caper is much better than anyone ever expected. Denzel Washington (below) is the disgraced subway worker keeping a cool head when a train full of passengers is held to ransom on his watch.

Schindler’s List

(1993) 15

10.20PM, ITV4 With seven nomination­s in 16 years, Steven Spielberg finally got his mitts on a double whammy of Oscars for his devastatin­g Holocaust drama. A true story of hope overcoming all odds – including the worst crimes of humanity – it’s gut-wrenching stuff.

Wonder Boys

(2000) 15 11.10PM, BBC2 A real change of milieu for director Curtis Hanson after his previous hit, LA Confidenti­al. Michael Douglas takes the lead as the aimless professor in this sharp comedy about academia. A box-office dud that’s grown in reputation.

Hitman (2007) 15 11.10PM, CH4 Another video-game transfer that’s nowhere near as much fun as the shoot-’em-up it was based on. Timothy Olyphant (left) is the elite agent trained to be a steely assassin, but double-crossed by his shadowy puppet-masters after a job doesn’t go to plan.

Distant Voices, Still Lives

(1988) 15

12.55AM, BBC1 Terence Davies certainly puts the auteur into directing with this powerfully vivid portrayal of the working-class family life he knew in Liverpool as a child. Pubs, popular songs, a scary father and supportive females (including those played by Lorraine Ashbourne and Freda Dowie, right) make it heartfelt and unforgetta­ble.


The Straight Story (1999) U

2.55PM, FILM4 An unusually twee-sounding story from David Lynch (of Twin Peaks fame), actually based on a true story. Life-affirming stuff, with Richard Farnsworth (above left) as the oldie setting out on his ride-on mower to right a wrong.


(1978) PG 6.20PM, CH5 Director Richard Donner is most at home with crowd-pleasing action fare – be it for adults or kids – and this take on the DC Comics story is one of his finest. Burly Christophe­r Reeve made his name as the Man of Steel, while Margot Kidder makes a feisty Lois Lane.

The Jungle Book

(1967) U 6PM, SKY DISNEY Who could fail to be charmed by Disney’s musical take on Rudyard Kipling’s jungle tales (below) – apparently the studio’s final film to be personally overseen by Uncle Walt himself.

The Life Of David Gale (2003) 15 9PM, ITV3 It’s a tough pitch, but Alan Parker’s drama has valid points to make about the death penalty. Kevin Spacey is the abolitioni­st who finds himself on death row, and grants his final interview to Kate Winslet’s eager reporter.

Larry Crowne (2011) 12 10.20PM, ITV Tom Hanks had a hit as writer and director back in 1996 with That Thing You Do!, but fails to repeat his success with this bland romcom – in which he also stars with Julia Roberts.

New Town Killers

(2008) 15 11.25PM, BBC1 Dougray Scott is a boss with a disturbing method of staff recruitmen­t, challengin­g candidate Alastair Mackenzie to join him in a game of Hunt the Poor Folk. The chase scenes and visual flair stand out, but are derailed by some silly plot twists.


Green For Danger

(1946) PG 1.25PM, CH4 Green in the title refers to the colour-coding on anaestheti­sts’ gas bottles, and the plot of this thriller focuses on a killing during a hospital operation. The wonderful Alastair Sim is the inspector called in to unmask the killer.


(2005) 15

8.10PM, SKY SELECT Former Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman puts in a brave performanc­e as a pre-op transsexua­l in this poignant comedy. Kevin Zegers (below with Huffman) is the son she never knew she had, a mixed-up kid who could really do with some stability in his life.


(2006) 15 10PM, E4 A meteorite crashes into a small town and before long, the locals are turning into sluginfest­ed mutants and zombies. Well, this is a sci-fi horror comedy flick aimed at a young audience with B-movie tastes. So don’t expect profound character developmen­t, but in terms of thrills and shocks, it’s pretty effective.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

(2009) 18 10.55PM, FILM4 This is the Swedish version of Stieg Larsson’s opening novel in his phenomenal­ly successful ‘Millennium’ series (the Daniel Craig version came along in 2011). It’s violent but gripping, with Noomi Rapace (below with Peter Andersson) playing the story’s iconic Goth of vengeance, Lisbeth Salander.


(2005) 18 11PM, CH5 Another grisly horror from Cabin Fever writerdire­ctor Eli Roth – who’s making a habit of this kind of thing. Slash-and-burn buffs will certainly get a kick out of it, but it’s only for those with a very strong stomach...

The Name Of The Rose

(1986) 18 11.35PM, BBC1 An impressive adaptation of Umberto Eco’s intellectu­al mystery novel set in a medieval Italian monastery. Sean Connery stars as the Franciscan monk who investigat­es a series of slayings that lead to a literary conspiracy.



(2012) PG 12.45PM, SKY FAMILY A fun take on the Sixth Sense formula from stop-motion specialist­s Laika – the studio behind Coraline. Norman (above, voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) is the kid who sees dead people – though no one believes his stories.

Siege Of The Saxons

(1963) U 1.30PM, CH4 There’s treachery in the court of King Arthur in this routine British costume romp starring Janette Scott and Ronald Lewis. When Arthur is killed and the Saxons invade to help to usurp his throne, only one man can save Camelot – Merlin, aka Dad’s Army’s John Laurie.

Jane Doe: Eye Of The Beholder


PG 3.20PM, CH5 This was the last in the series of Jane Doe movies, the daytime TV slot-fillers starring Lea Thompson as soccer mom Cathy Davis, who is secretly Jane Doe, federal agent. Stolen artworks are the focus of this mystery.

To Catch A Thief (1955) PG

4.50PM, FILM4 A sparkling cocktail from Alfred Hitchcock, with Cary Grant as the retired cat burglar fingered for a spate of copycat crimes along the Riviera. Grace Kelly (above with Grant) is the holidaying heiress who isn’t all she seems.

Sleepless In Seattle (1993) PG 9PM, 5 Relentless­ly schmaltzy schtick from the grand dame of the romcom, Nora Ephron. A ‘love will find a way’ chick flick, inspired by the classic weepy An Affair To Remember, and starring romcom stalwarts Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Run Fatboy Run

(2007) 12 10PM, E4 Former Friends star David Schwimmer directs Brit Simon Pegg in this seen-it-all-before underdog comedy. Pegg (far right) is the sofa surfer who ditched his love at the altar – and now must prove himself in order to win her back.


Bugles In The Afternoon

(1952) U 1.30PM, CH4 Ray Milland witnesses the Battle of the Little Bighorn in this standard-issue 1950s western. As you’d expect, history is just a backdrop to the love rivalry and feud of two cavalry men.

Back To The Future

(1985) PG 4.20PM, SKY FAMILY The first film in Robert Zemeckis’s generally excellent time-travelling trilogy. Michael J. Fox (then known only for his TV work) is the teenager sent back in time by scientist pal Doc (Christophe­r Lloyd, below with Fox), and realising just how easy it is to change the future – his very existence, in fact.

The Artist

(2011) PG 5.45PM, SKY SELECT A delightful revival of the silent movie from clever French director Michel Hazanavici­us. A Star Is Born-style story, with Jean Dujardin at the top of the cast as the black-and-white star who finds his career on the slide, just as protégée Bérénice Bejo’s takes flight.


(2006) 15 6.25PM, FILM4 A big-budget adaptation of the Broadway hit, about a Motown-era girl group – essentiall­y, The Supremes. Real-life chart-topper Beyoncé (below) was supposed to be the star, but it was newcomer Jennifer Hudson who walked off with the Oscar as her on-screen rival.

Judgment Night

(1993) 15

11.45PM, BBC1 A group of friends take a wrong turn, witness a murder, and find themselves running for their lives. Chasing Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jeremy Piven and Stephen Dorff is a gang of drug dealers led by Denis Leary in this taut and slickly effective action thriller.

Mere Mehboob

(1963) U 1.45AM, CH4 The title of this captivatin­g Indian romance translates as My Lover. A young man sees a college girl and falls desperatel­y in love, despite her face being hidden under a burqa. Mistaken identities and misfiring romances ensue.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011)

ACTION 12 1.45PM, SKY Robert Downey Jr returns as Holmes in another un-Conan Doyle-like jape, directed once again by Guy (Lock, Stock) Ritchie. Noomi Rapace (above) – a million miles from her Dragon Tattoo hacker character (see Monday) – is the fortune-teller leading Holmes a merry dance.

The Perfect Teacher (2010) 12 3.15PM, CH5 Obsession drama in which a 17-year-old student falls psychopath­ically in love with her attractive maths teacher. A TV movie that flunks too many dramatic tests to really work.


(2012) 15

4.15PM, SKY DRAMA Hippies are always great comedy value – or so David Wain (of man-child gagfest Role Models) asserts in this recession-themed hit. Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd (below) are the upwardly mobile pair forced to downsize, and shack up in a commune for a while.

M*A*S*H (1970) 15 8PM, SKY SELECT He’d been around for years doing TV work, but this is the feature that made Robert Altman’s name as a film director of note. A sick satire, it’s set during the Korean War – though you’d swear from the tone it was Vietnam...


(2007) 15 10.35PM, ITV Much was expected of this Britcom starring Peep Show duo Robert Webb and David Mitchell, but, sadly, it’s shockingly bad. This kind of signposted humour always falls flat.

Shirley Valentine

(1989) 15

11.05PM, TCM Pauline Collins (below with Julia McKenzie) is the ordinary Liverpool housewife fed up with her drab grey life and setting out on a big fat Greek adventure. Lewis Gilbert, who had a resounding hit with another Willy Russell play, Educating Rita, in 1983, directs this stagey, but thoroughly enjoyable, drama with the required light comic touch.


The Black Knight

(1954) U 1.25PM, CH4 Alan Ladd is the Yank in King Arthur’s court, while Peter Cushing and Patrick Troughton are the baddies, in the week’s second bid to topple Camelot after Tuesday’s Siege Of The Saxons.


(2012) 15 8PM, SKY PREMIERE He did sterling work with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, but Ben Affleck well and truly confirms himself as a director of note with this Oscar-winning drama. Affleck also stars, as the CIA man conjuring up a ruse to free American hostages from the embassy in Iran.

Under Siege

(1992) 15 10PM, CH5 It’s not often you’ll hear a Steven Seagal film described as a classic, so prepare to do a double take, because Andrew (The Fugitive) Davis’s booming actioner is just that. Tommy Lee Jones (above) is Seagal’s nemesis.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

(1992) 15 11.35PM, BBC1 Rebecca De Mornay (below) is the nanny from hell in Curtis Hanson’s creepy psychothri­ller. She’s out for revenge (served unpalatabl­y cold) on the woman she blames for her husband’s death – and what better way than worming her way into said woman’s life?

The Sheltering Sky (1990) 18

12.10AM, BBC2 Bernardo Bertolucci’s drama about a couple roaming Africa hoping to spark their marriage. It certainly looks stunning, but struggles to get us to care about the characters’ ennui.

The Future

(2011) 12 12.40AM, CH4 Another oddball whimsy from performanc­e artist turned writer and director Miranda July – who also stars with Hamish Linklater, as the couple who have their lives transforme­d when they adopt a stray cat. Challengin­g stuff.

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