ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Since low-budget sleeper hit Moon was released in 2008, blockbusters from Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and Ridley Scott (The Martian) have featured similarly stranded astronauts on other planets. However, Duncan Jones’s feature debut remains a thoughtful sci-fi gem – lighter on special effects and, in many ways, heavier on existential doom. Its antecedents stretch back to 2001: a Space Odyssey, Silent Running, Solaris, Alien and even 70s TV series Space: 1999, with Sam Rockwell perfectly cast as the lone contract operative at a lunar mining base who’s coming to the end of his three-year stint. I will hold back from giving away too much as the suspense element is key, but he has an accident, and what has been a compelling depiction of workaday routine and the vagaries of isolation shifts into thriller mode. The voice of Kevin Spacey as a HAL-like computer adds to the sense of unease, as the veneer of what’s going on fractures. I can watch this again and again.
Raw Deal ★★★
It’s back to basics for Arnold Schwarzenegger in an entertainingly mindless action thriller in which the big man’s expressionless cop goes after a Chicago mobster.
Warrior Jet Li’s tale of victory may have an ulterior motive in Zhang Yimou’s ravishing martial arts movie. The sets and costumes are works of art, while the fight scenes are as much ballet as battle.
The Woman in Black ★★★
A brilliant re-creation of the mood of old Hammer horror films, with Daniel Radcliffe as the trusty young Victorian lawyer being spooked in a very peculiar remote town.
11.00pm-12.50am Horror Channel
Six people wake to find themselves trapped in a cube full of lethal booby traps in this ingenious horror thriller. And, no, it has nothing to do with Phillip Schofield.
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