ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Pitch Perfect ★★★
A big enough hit to earn a sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 (which was a big enough hit last year to earn a threequel, due late next year), this is essentially a feature-length Glee for a cappella, based on a non-fiction account of collegiate competitive singing. Its other driving force is that it’s about an all-female, all-shapes, all-sizes, all-ethnicities group, the Barden Bellas, played by a lively, big-voiced ensemble cast including Anna Kendrick (since anointed as a musical star in Into the Woods), Anna Camp, Brittany Snow and ruthless scene-stealer Rebel Wilson. As with Glee, they’re the underdogs, with performing nemeses – the all-male Treblemakers, led by Adam DeVine (from TV’s Modern Family) – who compete in regionals and nationals. Directed by theatre-schooled Jason Moore, it’s an undemanding, empowering, mid-octane frat-pack-style romp with romance and hip-hop thrown in. Producer Elizabeth Banks (who directs the sequel) is on top freewheeling form as a commentator alongside John Michael Higgins (A Mighty Wind).
Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole ★★★
Premiere 3.00-4.45pm C5
Animated fantasy based on the books by Kathryn Lasky in which owl brothers are kidnapped by an evil owl army and seek help from a mythical group known as The Guardians. Director Zack Snyder takes it all very seriously, but it looks stunning and he’s well served by a voice cast including Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush and Jim Sturgess.
Marley & Me ★★★
Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are upstaged by another shaggy blonde – a cute labrador – in this warm and not entirely fluffy family portrait.
Legends of the Fall ★★★★
6.25-9.00pm Movie Mix
Anthony Hopkins is on fine form here as a stern father raising his sons (Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas) on a remote ranch. But their life is thrown out of kilter by history and the arrival of a beautiful woman (Julia Ormond). Performances are outstanding, but the the real star is the spectacular Montana countryside.
The Fugitive ★★★★
Harrison Ford plays the surgeon accused of killing his wife who’s on the run from Tommy Lee Jones’s dogged lawman in this spectacular spin-off from the popular 1960s TV series.
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