BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
6.20-9.00pm Movie Mix
Lawrence Kasdan’s 1985 movie was an attempt to revive the western, a good one, too, because it’s smart, sophisticated and very well made. The plot is admittedly corny, involving a bunch of men – Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline and Danny Glover – seeking revenge and trying to clean up the town of Silverado, which has been taken over by a greedy rancher, Ray Baker. One original note is the presence of John Cleese as the local, very English sheriff. Kasdan, showing a fine understanding of the intricacies of the western, packed his story with plenty of action – gunfights, stampeding cattle and the like. The film, sadly, didn’t do well at the box office and the western never really did get revived.
Iron Man ★★★★
This is the game-changing adventure that ushered in a whole new world of superhero movies. Stan Lee’s “quintessential capitalist” hero immediately established himself as a key player in the growth of Marvel’s plans for its movie universe. And Robert Downey Jr was the perfect choice for flawed genius Tony Stark, with his natural wit and unpredictiblilty transferring easily into the character. He immediately became a vital part of the Marvel success story – enough so that his bargaining power exploded from $500,000 for this movie to $50 million for Avengers Assemble only four years later.
The Angels’ Share ★★★
With I, Daniel Blake recently winning the Palm D’Or at Cannes, Ken Loach’s star is bright again, ten years after The Wind in the Barley won the same prize. This typical, though slightly less garlanded outing (it was only nominated for the Palm D’Or, but won the Jury Prize) came in-between the two wins, but none of Loach’s movies should be ignored on that basis. The movie sees charismatic first-timer Paul Brannigan as the jobless loser with a baby son, who swears he’ll go straight – until he discovers his nose for whisky could make him rich more quickly.
So I Married an Axe Murderer ★★★
11.05pm-1.00am Movie Mix
Poet Mike Myers falls for a black widow in this entertaining black comedy. It was released just a few months before the highly anticipated Wayne’s World 2, which probably swelled audiences in anticipation. But the film is entertaining in its own right, with laugh-out-loud characters that show Myers as no flash in the pan (as well as an affinity with Scottish accents that would emerge again in Shrek). It’s just that the story drags on a little, leaving the feeling that Myers still needed time to evolve his skilful sketches into full-length features.
Little Nicky ★★★
Adam Sandler is the runt of Satan’s litter, who sets out to save his dad (Harvey Keitel) from a fate worse than eternal damnation, in a comedy that’s stuffed with famous-name cameos. Sandler plays it straighter than you might think, giving space to a cast that includes Reese Witherspoon as his angelic mum, love interest Patricia Arquette and blind preacher Quentin Tarantino. But the best lines are reserved for Mr Beefy, the talking dog who tells Nicky how to survive away from Hell – and if foul-mouthed bulldogs are your thing, this is the movie for you.
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