Whether you like your films tense with a pinch of scary, side-splittingly funny or action-packed and adventurous – this week has you covered…
With there being at least a bajillion films in existence, sometimes it can seem as though there’s almost too much choice. Time and time again we comb through listings, shake our fists at the skies and long for a time when our picks consisted of whatever videos were sat in the cupboard next to all the old remotes.
But, if you find yourself faced with such a conundrum over the coming days, fear not! Merely put your feet up, flick your way through this handy round-up and get watching in no time at all...
Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)
Available on BBC iPlayer until Sunday 14 April
Michael Keaton delivers a career-best performance as a former star who, now in his late fifties, decides to make his Broadway debut as actor, writer and director. This truly unique comedy drama from writer/director Alejandro G Iñárritu grabs you from the get-go with its continuous, “single-shot” cinematography, meaning you literally follow the action as it plays out on screen. Stand-out performances from the rest of the star-studded supporting cast (including Emma Stone, Edward Norton and Naomi Watts) ensure this quadruple Academy Award-winning film is one you’ll likely want to start all over again once the credits begin to roll.
Tuesday 16 April, 10pm, VICE (CH 219)
While he’s now considered a modern-day great and carries a hype-generating prestige from project to project, prior to the release of this classic crime caper, writer/director Quentin Tarantino was a relative unknown. Reservoir Dogs is packed with his trendsetting scripting, pacing, and pitch-perfect non-linear plotting, as we watch a band of criminals first prepare for, then deal with the fallout of, a disastrous diamond heist. Throw unbelievable performances from Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Michael Madsen into the mix and, yep, you’ve got a must-watch right there.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Thursday 18 April, 11.05pm, Film4/HD (CH 428/429)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andy Samberg co-writes and stars in this side-splitting satire about a former member of a globe-trotting boy band now enjoying solo success. Perfectly ripping on the type of pop star propaganda films featuring Justin Bieber and One Direction, the gags come thick and fast – ranging from witty takes on the modern day music industry to surreal set pieces involving Seal and a pack of wolves. If you’re a fan of Samberg’s group The Lonely Island, then you’ll absolutely love this.
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead
Available on BBC iPlayer
Writer/director Ben Wheatley (High-Rise and Free Fire) utilises his trademark acerbic wit and ability to unnerve in this brilliant comedy drama. Utopia’s Neil Maskell shines at the titular Colin Burstead, a man who invites his somewhat dysfunctional family to a mansion to ring in the New Year in style, only for the entire event to slowly fall apart, with equally hilarious and touching consequences. Easily one of the best written films we’ve seen for some time, the pressure builds with every awkward encounter and peaks with an ending as beautiful as it is unexpected.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Available on BBC iPlayer
No, no, don’t let the title fool you. This isn’t in fact the dark, gritty 2018 reboot starring Alicia Vikander in the title role. This absolute belter is a classic of early noughties action cinema, with slightly over-the-top, dual gun-wielding set pieces, a cheeky bit of pre-Bond Daniel Craig, a gloriously forgettable plot and did we mention the dual gun-wielding set pieces? If you want more action, the sequel Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life is also available on BBC iPlayer.
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On Demand: Content available to view depends on TV package. Time limits apply for viewing chargeable On Demand content – see virginmedia.com. Once purchased, all chargeable On Demand content must be viewed within 48 hours. Premium channels and upgrades must be kept for at least 30 days.
Image credits: Happy New Year, Colin Burstead © Rook Films Ltd