Thursday 18 December 2014

Film Highlights Thursday

Published 02/03/2014 | 02:30

Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

5 STARS

Film Four, 7.15pm

Famous for his off-kilter, bookish black comedies, writer/director Wes Anderson stepped out of his comfort zone with this ambitious and delightful stop motion animation based on a much-loved Roald Dahl story.

George Clooney provides the voice of Mr Fox, a dashing, witty animal who swears to his wife (Meryl Streep) that he'll give up stealing chickens when she tells him that she is pregnant. But the lure of the coops proves too much for him, and his antics soon embroil him in a war of attrition with three vindictive local farmers.

The film's stop motion animation is beautiful to watch, and each frame seems crammed with telling details. A fine voice cast includes Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Brian Cox, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman.

My Darling Clementine (1946)

5 STARS

TCM, 3.00pm

John Ford's brooding western stars Henry Fonda as legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, who sets out for the lawless frontier town of Tombstone to track down the gang that killed his younger brother, James. Victor Mature is excellent as Doc Holliday, and Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, Tim Holt, Cathy Downs and Linda Darnell co-star.

The Ladykillers (1955)

HHHH

Film Four, 5.25pm

Alexander Mackendrick's classic comedy stars Alec Guinness as the leader of a group of salty London criminals who rent rooms at a boarding house run by a sweet old lady called Mrs Wilberforce and pose as musicians, but are really planning a bank job. With Peter Sellers and Cecil Parker.

Righteous Kill (2008)

HH

TV3, 9.00pm

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are about the only things this messy and incoherent crime thriller has going for it. They play two veteran New York City detectives who investigate a series of executions of prominent criminals who managed to evade justice.

Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

HHH

TCM, 11.35pm

Solid if rather formulaic drama starring a mid-career Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway, the grizzled veteran of several wars who resorts to unconventional tactics in order to whip a group of reluctant Marine Corps rookies into shape. Marsha Mason stars.

Mr Woodcock (2008)

HHH

Sky Movies Comedy, 11.50pm

Lowbrow comedy starring Seann William Scott as John Farley, a young man who's finally overcome the traumas of childhood obesity and bullying by his sadistic gym teacher, Mr Woodcock, when he returns home to visit his mother and discovers to his horror that she's dating his tormentor.

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