« Huge Star Trek plot rumours | Filmstalker | Genre defining: Western »


Weekend Films to Stalk: 28th - 30th September

FilmCamera.jpgOnce again I'll try and resurrect this feature, and keep it here. Hopefully churning it out on a Friday before the weekend starts.

For those of you who don't know, this is a quick look at some of the films to catch this weekend on general release and on publicly available television channels in the UK this weekend. However if you are outside the UK this should still be an interesting read as I talk about some films I enjoy and why, and hopefully spark off some discussion.

Saturday 29th September

18:30 – 21:00 / 19:30 – 22:00
Repeated: Sunday 30th September – 14:30 – 19:00 / 15:30 – 20:00
Film4: Battle of Britain
Date: 1969
UK Certificate: PG
This is an epic film with a truly epic cast. My friend Douglas and I were discussing the great war films at work the other day and we ended up buying some incredibly cheap DVD's online which were double disc editions of some great war films. I was looking for Battle of Britain and saw that a new release with even more crammed into it was due.

Apart from being a stunning look at the war which switches from Britain to Germany and also includes German speaking actors subtitled for that taste of authenticity, it also features real World War II planes flying, something that just makes my heart soar for some reason.

It's a wonderful film and an amazing telling of the events of history. Directed by Guy Hamilton it stars such names as Laurence Olivier, Robert Shaw, Christopher Plummer, Michael Caine, Harry Andrews and Trevor Howard. Oh and the music.

17:45 - 20:20
Five: Kelly's Heroes
Date: 1970
UK Certificate: PG
I do remember seeing this big star cast war film some time ago, and it missed out on the above discussion about war films to The Dirty Dozen. Still, this is slightly different. Some American soldiers discover the hidden location of some Nazi gold, and they set out to recover it. Although it isn't the greatest war film made there are some great action sequences, and Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland and Clint Eastwood star.

22:00 – 00:00
BBC4: La Noche de los girasoles (The Night of the Sunflowers)
Date: 2006
UK Certificate: 15
Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo directed this well respected and praised Spanish thriller that take a non-linear view to the storytelling and, I believe, surprises you at quite a few different points. It looks at various different characters and how they are connected and affected by the rape and murder of a girl whose body is discovered in the middle of a field of sunflowers. I've heard this is definitely a film to watch.

22:15 – 00:05
ITV4: Westworld
Date: 1973
UK Certificate: 15
The beginning of a very successful series for Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg, for this is the novel that sparked off a film and subsequent identically plotted books and films. See if this sounds familiar.

Man creates a theme park with engineered creatures to do his bidding, unfortunately they can't be controlled and turn against their human captors.

Does sound familiar doesn't it? Westworld sparked Jurassic Park, just replacing robots with dinasours. Easy wasn't it?

Still, I think this remains the better film. Westworld is a place where people can go to act out their fantasies in a safe environment as computer controlled robots ensure their dreams come true. One man enters a recreated wild west and goes up against the greatest gunfighter there is, unfortunately the robot, played superbly by Yul Brynner, decides not to stop when ordered and continues his mission to kill the man no matter what.

It also stars James Brolin and Richard Benjamin, and was directed by Michael Crichton himself.

23:10 – 00:45
Channel 4: Creep
Date: 2004
UK Certificate: 18
It isn't a great horror film, but it has some moments that are rather good, and what's more is that it stars the superb Franka Potente, and that alone should be reason enough for watching it. The story is that a woman is trapped in the London Underground overnight and while down there discovers that there's a horrible serial killer on the lose.

For me the story really falls down when the explanations begin to arise. Sometimes they should keep the monster secret, and less of a monster. However it is a good fright film.

23:20 – 01:25
Film4: Scream
Date: 1996
UK Certificate: 18
I still love Wes Craven for this film. It's a great take on horror and really does the job well, and it's good fun to boot. Starring the gorgeous Neve Campbell alongside Liev Schreiber, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, Henry Winkler, and Rose McGowan, it sure has some good actors in there. This is great entertainment for some snacks, beers and a some laughs and frights.

Sunday 30th September
00:00 – 01:40
BBC2 (Scotland): Hell in the Pacific
Date: 1968
UK Certificate: PG
Anyone remember Enemy Mine? It was a book by Barry B. Longyear (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) which was made into a film starring Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. in 1985 by Wolfgang Petersen no less. I read the book and saw the film, and the idea has been used throughout film a number of times.

Two enemies who are in the middle of a larger war are stranded together after being shot down, stranded alone, with no one else around, and they have to form an alliance to keep each other alive, knowing that one day they'll return to war. The strange thing is that they actually become friends over time.

So when I read the blurb for the classic John Boorman film starring Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune, I thought of that film. Marvin plays an American pilot who crashes into the sea and makes his way to a small island where he hopes to find some way to survive. It's unpopulated, apart from one other man, a marooned Japanese officer, and they have to work together to survive. Sounds great, and starring a remarkably non-action Marvin.

21:00 – 23:10
Channel 4: The House of the Flying Daggers
Date: 2004
UK Certificate: 15
What a beautiful film with vivid colours and some spectacular cinematography, not forgetting a superb script. I loved this film, and the scenes in the bamboo forest are some of my favourite. I loved the action and the beauty of the film that flowed between the visuals, the characters and the story. Definitely worth watching on digital and a big screen.

Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau star in this film from Yimou Zhang who also brought us Hero.

21:00 – 23:30
Five: The Spy Game
Date: 2001
UK Certificate: 15
I've never seen this film from Tony Scott which stars Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, and so I'm going to rely on what you say on whether I watch it or not. The rating online does look positive, but is it worth watching?

Redford stars as the retiring CIA officer who is working to try and save him after he was captured in China, and all the while the film flashes back to their first meeting and his teaching of the younger spy played by Pitt.

21:00 – 23:10
ITV3: 1941
Date: 1979
UK Certificate: PG
Steven Spielberg brings us this bizarre comic war film about California preparing for a Japanese invasion after the events of Pearl Harbour. There's a great cast in here with Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Christopher Lee, John Candy, Ned Beatty, Mickey Rourke, James Caan and even John Landis to name but a few.

I find it hard to remember much of the film as I saw it so long ago and not since, but I do remember a rogue ferris wheel...

21:00 – 23:40
Film4: The Shawshank Redemption
Repeated: 22:00 – 00:40
Date: 1994
UK Certificate: 15
There's nothing more to say about this film, it's all been said again and again, and you're even bound to know the plot. The Stephen King short story directed by Frank Darabont and starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, yeah, you know it already. Still, I never tire of seeing this film, do you?

22:30 – 00:45
ITV2: Indecent Proposal
Date: 1993
UK Certificate: 15
Remember the film and the hype? Demi Moore's character is sold to Robert Redford's mega-rich character for a single evening, in return she and her husband played by Woody Harrelson gain a million pounds (not ponds as I first wrote! Although that would make an interesting film!). There's also Oliver Platt, Billy Bob Thornton and a Billy Connolly in there with Adrian Lyne's directing.

Now I haven't seen this film since it first came out, and it would be interesting to see if it stands the test of time. It was rather light and fluffy when it came out, and never really poured itself into the darkness that could consume the couple from fear, jealousy, and a taste of the richer side. Still it did a good job. I particularly remember the ending.

You know what, I could see a remake of this working well today. This time though make it go really dark and show what jealousy really could do to a guy. What do you think worth a remake? Worth a rewatch even?

23:40 – 02:05
Film4: The Player
Repeated: Film4: Monday 1st 00:40 – 03:05, Thursday 4th 23:40 – 02:05, Friday 5th 00:40 – 03:05
Date: 1992
UK Certificate: 15
I remember glimpses of this film, and some strong performances from the ensemble cast directed by Robert Altman. Time Robbins stars as a paranoid film executive who starts to receive threats on his life from what would appear to be a disgruntled scriptwriter who's pitch he refused. He sets out to find out who he is up against.

The film also stars Greta Scacchi, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard E Grant, Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, Fred Ward, Peter Gallagher, Dean Stockwell, Sydney Pollack, Jeremy Piven, Gina Gershon, Harry Belafonte, Karen Black, Gary Busey, Robert Carradine, John Cusack, Dennis Franz, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Anjelica Huston, Jack Lemmon, Andie MacDowell, Malcolm McDowell, Nick Nolte, Burt Reynolds, Mimi Rogers, Susan Sarandon, Rod Steiger, Lily Tomlin, Robert Wagner, Patrick Swayze, I'm bored now.

Monday 1st October
01:40 – 03:15
ITV4: Death Race 2000
Date: 1975
UK Certificate: 18
Yes, forget the remake that's coming up, get your hands onto that video or PVR remote and record this little puppy. The original Death Race 2000 is about a race that allows contestants to gain points by killing people. David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone go head to head in the cost to coast race, although this year a revolutionary is planning to sabotage the whole event and reveal the truth behind it.

This is cheesy and looks really dated. However there's a lot of fun to be had from it, and if you're in a car and a pedestrian walks out in front of you or can be seen in the way, you almost always hear the line “that'll be ten points...”

New Releases:

Michael Clayton
I'm really keen to see this latest thriller starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack and Michael O'Keefe. Written and directed by Tony Clayton who is currently rewriting State of Play for the American remake and also wrote the screenplays for The Bourne series, this marks his directorial debut.

A story about a fixer for a large law firm who finds that in his latest clean up he has a crisis of faith and begins to believe more about the truth than the money, and that makes him a liability. Pretty soon he's trying to protect himself from being cleaned up.

Well, Jet Li and Jason Statham fighting on screen? Sounds great to me. Statham plays an FBI Agent who's partner was killed by the assassin known as Rogue, and so he sets out to track him down and destroy him. It's getting some strong reviews too, much more than a straight action film would.

The Brave One
I'm a big Jodie Foster fan these days, and here she's playing a moralistically challenged role that has her either good or bad, it depends on your point of view. Her revenge thriller has some critics cold though, but I'm still keen to see her powerful performance as a woman out for revenge after a gang of thugs kill her fiancée and leave her for dead.

Still Showing:
The horror starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson where a non-believer who lost his daughter years back and is searching for proof of an afterlife, begins to find it when he tries to debunk the stories of the haunted room 1408.

3:10 to Yuma (Filmstalker review)
A return to the great western films, and from all accounts it's a very strong start. This is a remake of an old western and tells the story of a normal man who is deputised to help transport a vicious killer to the 3:10 train out of Yuma, but his gang are hot on their trail and have other ideas. Christian Bale is the good guy and Russell Crowe is the bad.

Death Proof (Filmstalker review)
I liked this much more than the critics did, perhaps they really want to go for Quentin Tarantino, or perhaps it's those overused tricks of his that are starting to grate. For me these tricks stood out and did just that, but they are a small part of this film, and the rest is very enjoyable. It's probably not a film I would come back to much, but it is great for an evening. Oh and Kurt Russell is superb in it.

I haven't seen this modernised version of Rear Window but everything about it is screaming for me to still go. D.J. Caruso directing Shia LaBeouf and David Morse? It's also received soe strong praise. I wonder if this is the way to do remakes, take the essence of the original and not to be afraid of updating it.



Have not been in the cinema for a while but saw Michael Clayton this afternoon.

Well, what did you think?

Review up in my blog in case you're interested, I gave it a 2.5/5.

Simone - get it on Filmstalker Readers!

Wow, I'm glad I started this again, it seems my Weekend TV feature inspired another site to do the same thing.

My latest film reviews have just been STALKED in Filmstalker Readers. ;)

Well done, remember it's free advertising!


Add a comment


Site Navigation

Latest Stories



Vidahost image

Latest Reviews


Filmstalker Poll


Subscribe with...

AddThis Feed Button

Windows Live Alerts

Site Feeds

Subscribe to Filmstalker:

Filmstalker's FeedAll articles

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedReviews only

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedAudiocasts only

Subscribe to the Filmstalker Audiocast on iTunesAudiocasts on iTunes

Feed by email:


My Skype status


Help Out


Site Information

Creative Commons License
© www.filmstalker.co.uk

Give credit to your sources. Quote and credit, don't steal

Movable Type 3.34