BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Out of Sight ★★★★
In Steven Soderbergh’s sparkling adaptation of a novel by the peerless Elmore Leonard, George Clooney is the world’s most charming — and least successful — bank robber, who is captured when his getaway car won’t start. Later he escapes from prison and finds himself locked in the boot of another car (which does start) with federal marshal Jennifer Lopez. They talk, fall for each other and part, mutually obsessed, though for Lopez there’s a professional agenda — as a law lady she’s out to nail him. What ensues is a thrilling, funny crime caper with a host of sharply drawn minor characters and, as its climax, a robbery at the home of an imprisoned billionaire. Most enthralling of all is the sexual chemistry between Clooney and Lopez, which makes you wish they’d made more films together. This one established Clooney as Hollywood’s number one leading man. Sadly, however, Lopez has never since been given the chance to be as good as she is here.
Cross of Iron ★★★★
Sam Peckinpah’s Second World War classic still packs a punch, both visually and literally. Despite its anti-war message the movie is full of men being men (including James Coburn) in a way that probably went out of style not long after the movie was made in 1977. An explosive war story from an era of great cinema.
A Town like Alice ★★★
Based on the 1950 novel by Nevil Shute, this is a war movie of a very different kind. A group of British women (Virginia McKenna among them) is caught up in the Japanese invasion of Malaya and taken on a gruelling trek.
The Hunger Games ★★★★
9.00-11.45pm Film Four
The bestselling futuristic teen trilogy begins its movie adaptation in thrilling style with this vivid story of a reality TV show that pits youngsters in a fight to the death.
Wayne’s World ★★★★
The slacker dudes who had the world quoting their gormless teen-speak make their sparkling HD debut but thankfully their befuddled responses to reality are still hilariously out of focus.