ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Ender’s Game ★★★
PREMIERE 7.00-9.15pm C4
Although its release in 2013 was muddied by a boycott over author Orson Scott Card’s views on homosexuality, there’s nothing in the big-budget adaptation of his award-winning Ender’s Game that reflects those views. Rather, it’s a straightforwardly militaristic war movie with a late pacifistic dimension revolving around Ender, a gifted child played with wide-eyed conviction by Londoner Asa Butterfield (TV’s Merlin, Hugo). He and other cadets are trained to be “a new kind of soldier”, in the gruff words of colonel Harrison Ford. Zero-gravity boot camp ensues in advance of an attack on an aggressive alien race. But is it a simulation, or is it real? Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) join the platoon of maturing child stars, while Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley bring their best po-faces. Directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), it’s CGI-dependent crash-bang stuff – technically an animation in places – but the youngsters in the cast bring plenty of mischief to proceedings.
Lust for Life ★★★★
A dazzling portrait of genius painter Vincent van Gogh, as played by Kirk Douglas. And yes, the visuals are stunning.
Christopher Reeve embodies the Man of Steel with wit and grace in a super fun, less complex vision compared with Henry Cavill’s latest incarnation.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder ★★★★
Washington is beset by terrorists and heavy snow, but Bruce Willis will insist on stripping down to his vest. Prepare for bracing action.
2 Fast 2 Furious ★★★
A discredited cop (Paul Walker) sets out to bring down a Miami drugs lord in a turbo-driven sequel (without growly Vin Diesel) to the 2001 action thriller.
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