ANDREW COLLINS:FILM OF THE DAY
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ★★★★
PREMIERE 10.00pm-12.05am C4
A pounding fantasy whose preposterousness is the very reason for viewing, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter could never be hauled up by the Trade Descriptions Act. The little-known and slightly under-powered Benjamin Walker plays Abe Lincoln, whose 19th-century background and political career play out in fairly faithful History Channel style — from his family’s Indiana plantation to the White House — with one important action-hero tweak: as a young man he’s attacked by one vampire (Marton Csokas) and trained by another (Dominic Cooper), hence the titular double life. During his presidency, his talents are called upon again, and writer Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) ostentatiously threads the supernatural slash-’em-up into a plot involving slavery, Gettysburg and the Confederacy. A cut above the usual hokum, it nonetheless rests upon the visceral bombast of its fight scenes, a CGI call to arms involving slo-mo, multitudes, blade-work and gravity-defying combat. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted) rarely takes his foot off the pedal. Fun, but quite exhausting.
The Man in the White Suit ★★★★★
Ealing comedy craziness from 1951 with Alec Guinness in the snazzy, un-stainable threads that have the textile industry on his tail. It isn’t just him but capitalism, too, that gets a kick in the pants.
Fright Night ★★★
PREMIERE 10.00-11.40pm BBC3
This remake of the 1985 comedy horror sees Colin Farrell on good form as the charming new next door neighbour of young Anton Yelchin. But Farrell’s charm hides a sinister secret (OK, not that much of a secret – he’s a vampire), so Yelchin ropes in a magician (an against-type David Tennant) to help him take on his undead foe.
Burn after Reading ★★★★
An immensely stupid blackmail scheme leads to violence in this devilish black comedy from the Coen brothers, starring Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand and George Clooney.
Girl with a Pearl Earring ★★★★
Scarlett Johansson plays muse to 17th-century Dutch master Vermeer (Colin Firth) in a seductive, fictionalised account of how the titular portrait came to be.
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