Instant-Watching-Viewer's-GuideEach week we take a look at what’s new and what’s essential viewing on the various VOD and movie streaming services.

Brutal rural violence, a film of echoes which spans centuries, a lovable scruff bunking off school and the most beautiful women in the world – they are all here this week. Whatever you watch, wherever you watch it – enjoy.



Sightseers (2012)

Ben Wheatley’s film feels very much like the early work of Mike Leigh with some splattery violence interspersed amongst the very British scenarios. If you were ever subjected to the kind of caravan holiday seen here as a kid, then there is much to identify with and the thought that a couple of murderous, damaged people could be running amok in this scene is endlessly amusing.

It’s a very funny film if you have that sort of sense of humour but in a way similar to Kill List, it feels like Wheatley doesn’t quite nail the ending of the film leaving some things hanging. It’s still great that this kind of thing is being produced here at the moment.

Available on Lovefilm.

Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen in Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina (2012)

Joe Wright’s take on the classic Russian High Society tale from last year went by fairly unnoticed despite gaining some good notices and an Oscar win for costume design. There are many who found the visuals to overwhelm the rest of the film and called it pretentious whilst there are others who thought this was a bold new take on an old story.

It seems to divide people as much as Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby did recently. The film is now available for streaming so you can decide for yourself.

Available on Now TV.

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas (2012)

The Wachowski and Tom Twkyer’s epic adaptation of David Mitchell’s meditation of cause, effect and the echoes of challenge and epiphany which resonate throughout the ages divided critics and audiences on its release last year. The multiple roles asked of its actors added much to the film’s themes of destiny and choice and each time period is rendered impressively. There’s a marvellous turn (or turns) by Hugo Weaving and Tom Hanks and Halle Berry impress also, eeking out the multi faceted dimensions of their various characters yet bridging each time periods.

It’s visually splendid, narratively fragmented (which works, indeed is the point) and Ben Wishaw once again proves he’s one of our finest actors. Recommended.

Available on blinkbox.


The Three Stooges

The Three Stooges (2012)

Apparently the Farrelly’s take on the classic TV show about three clumsy misfits isn’t as bad as the trailers led you all to believe it would be. Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso all do good versions of the characters and anyone under  nine seems to be in love with the film. Probably a safe bet to keep the kids quiet for just another hour or so during the final days of the school holidays.

Available on Now TV

Hit and Run

Hit and Run (2012)

This action comedy which was a passion project for writer and co-director Dax Shepherd, does everything that screenwriting guru’s will teach you not to do. It takes its time, it builds relationships and characters and isn’t all about fast editing and crass humour.

There is action and laughs and there is also Bradley Cooper playing a villain quite well and menacing Shepherd’s former getaway driver. At the centre there is also a fairly sweet love story featuring Kristen Bell which is always a plus. Hit and Run is something familiar but just different enough to stand out.

Available on Netflix


Star Trek Into Darkness

While not as satisfying as JJ Abrams’ first outing with the new crew of the Enterprise there’s still a lot to enjoy in their voyage into the titular. Most notably the turn from Benedict Cumberbatch adds a neat sense of gravitas and it almost overshadows the film’s faults which are that it refuses to stray from the source material and there’s virtually no character development beyond the first film. That said Abrams knows how to throw his audience into a frenzy with some expertly delivered set pieces and the cast once again buoy along on their precious chemistry.

Available on blinkbox.


Shia LaBeouf -  Transformers Dark of the Moon

Transformers – Dark of the Moon (2011)

If you didn’t like Michael Bay’s previous Transformers films then this will be a world of pain for you, but if you liked the first but hated the second then the third is a return to form of sorts. It still has all the usual problems with random cameos and Bay’s tin ear for comedy but when the Decepticon invasion happens and they ransack Chicago this is epic blockbuster filmmaking on a scale rarely seen.

The final 40 minutes or so have some absolutely breath-taking sequences even if you are secretly hoping that Shia LeBeouf gets stamped into paste by a robot.

Available on Netflix

Deep Rising

Deep Rising (1998)

Stephen Sommers’ largely ignored monster film came just before he joined the big leagues with The Mummy films. It’s about ten times better than those films so it’s nice to see it resurrected by the internet.

This sees Treat Williams and crew board a luxury liner that has been cleared out by a large tentacled beastie. It’s gory, funny and has a true sense of its own ridiculousness which is something that was missing from Sommers’ follow up work except for maybe GI Joe. A forgotten gem.

Available on Now TV

a league of their own

A League of Their Own (1992)

Sometimes all you want on a Sunday afternoon is some nostalgic schmaltz and A League of Their Own is the perfect film for those times. Starring Geena Davis and Lori Petty as baseball loving sisters who take up the sport during World War 2 when all the men are off fighting and unable to play.

Tom Hanks’ boozy coach ends up taking them to the top, but the film is more about the relationship between the sisters and is effecting in the right frame of mind. Hanks turn is the stand out in a role shortly before he became huge but there is also great support from Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell (yes,really).

Available on Lovefilm

Ferris Bueller

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

You know it, you love it, and you can now stream it. This 80’s John Hughes classic remains as fun and fresh as it has always been. Viewed with cynical eyes, Ferris Bueller is a smug, self-assured git but Matthew Broderick is so likeable in this role and so full of charm that it’s just irresistible.

Jennifer Grey’s sister character gets in the way a bit but then this also leads to a Charlie Sheen cameo which is a strange portent of what was to come. Also worth watching now with this new online theory that Cameron (Alan Ruck) is actually a ghost or something.

Available on Netflix

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Shane Black’s prelude to working with Robert Downey Jr for Iron Man 3 is something of a lost classic. If there was any justice this should have been a Big Lebowski sized cult. The plot is essentially a spoof of an overly complicated action film noir plot and actually fairly compelling in its own right.

The dialogue is endlessly quotable with Val Kilmer giving his best performance in years and Robert Downey Jr beginning his comeback perfectly 3 years before Iron Man came calling. Sadly Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was never really supported by the major studio who didn’t quite know what to do with it so it’s still fairly unknown but remains as fresh and inventive as it was the first time.

Available on Lovefilm

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket feels unlike any other war movie ever made. It has the detached coldness of much of Kubrick’s work which makes the opening set in boot camp feel really traumatic and when Vincent D’Onofrio’s troubled recruit starts to unravel, the results are that much more disturbing.

The second part when we actually get to Saigon, warms up considerably and Matthew Modine becomes more of a character in a bad situation with the world-weariness he feels juxtaposing with the relative optimism of the first part where the character feels he has something to prove. I don’t know if this is Kubrick’s best work but it was better than most of the eras sudden interest in Vietnam.

Available on Lovefilm

Punch - Drunk Love

Punch Drunk Love (2002)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s fourth feature was quite a left turn for him, teaming up with Adam Sandler to put him in what he considers a romantic comedy but which is more of a character study featuring two misfits and how that yearning for love and what it means can overcome anything.

It’s quite a uncynical film really despite still having some of Anderson’s typical L.A low lives involved in the plot and Sandler has never been this good before or since (except maybe in Funny People). It makes you wish he would venture out of his comfort zone a lot more.

Available on Lovefilm

THe Wedding Singer - Billy Idol

The Wedding Singer (1998)

Speaking of Sandler, here is another one of his good ones. Not any great art house aspirations here but one of the films he made in the early days where his comedy hadn’t gotten tired and overly familiar. The Wedding Singer is a charming and nostalgic comedy which features a great central performance by Sandler and also broke Drew Barrymore back into the bigger leagues. The work she does with Sandler is just brilliant and their on-screen chemistry is very rare and the two of them would get together again for 50 First Dates.

Also features a rapping grandma which no film should be without!

Available on Lovefilm