Packed with Tinseltown’s brightest stars, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is available to stream over the weekend, Picture: Sony
Packed with Tinseltown’s brightest stars, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is available to stream over the weekend, Picture: Sony

What to watch this weekend

THE ONE YOU SHOULDN'T MISS (OR YOU SHOULD SEE AGAIN)

ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD (MA15+)

****1/2

FOXTEL, AMAZON

Attention all fans of the incomparable Quentin Tarantino: the maverick master's latest is one of his greatest. This captivating movie unfolds across the closing years of the 1960s, an era where Hollywood's bright, sunshiny golden age is coming to an end, and dark clouds of change are looming in the distance. In show business terms, where it used to be all about the show in Hollywood, soon it will be all about the business. Emblematic of this seismic shift - and unsure of what to do about it - are fading star actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his loyal stunt double and best friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Together, they just might figure it out. Or they just might pour themselves a small drink and leave the big decisions to another day. A big movie packed with small delights to savour, from the unmistakeable snap, crackle and pop of Tarantino's writing, to the ethereal presence of Margot Robbie as Rick's ill-fated neighbour, Sharon Tate.

 

It’s not all Brad news in Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood
It’s not all Brad news in Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood

 

THE ONE WHERE CRIME REALLY DOES PAY

THE GENTLEMEN (MA15+)

***1/2

Rent via GOOGLE, ITUNES, YOUTUBE MOVIES

Enjoyably eccentric British crime thriller from a bloke who knows a thing or two about the genre, director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels). Matthew McConaughey stars as American drugs kingpin Mickey Pearson, a debonair dope dealer who dominates the UK marijuana trade. However, now he wants out, which means offloading his ingenious farming operation to a buyer who will not blow his cover. However, Mickey's dutiful second-in-command, Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) is not so sure his boss can pull it off. Especially now that muckraking journalist Fletcher (Hugh Grant) knows something big is going down. This only scratches the surface of what The Gentlemen will be getting up to in terms of continually colliding characters, conversations and crazily convoluted crimes before your very eyes. It might all amount to nothing more than a juiced-up joy ride into the London underworld, but what a fast, furious and fun ride it is.

 

Matthew McConaughey (centre) leads a merry band of gentlemen on a rollicking ride through the streets of London. Picture: Supplied.
Matthew McConaughey (centre) leads a merry band of gentlemen on a rollicking ride through the streets of London. Picture: Supplied.

 

THE ONE WHERE EVERYONE IS CROWNING AROUND

THE KING (MA15+)

***

NETFLIX

This well-mounted historical drama is not quite the radical re-reading of Shakespeare's Henry V some may have you believe. It is more a cautious remixing of the play, avoiding the classic text so a little factual detail can be applied and a lot of performance pyrotechnics detonated. With the bloody reign of Henry IV (Ben Mendelsohn) almost done, the time has come for sullen son Prince Hal (Timothee Chalamet) to lay off the booze and the ladies, and do his bit to stop the British throne from falling into French hands. Hal's change from louche layabout to leader of men is akin to that of a fourth-year arts student suddenly becoming boxing's World Heavyweight Champ. Chalamet has his work cut out convincing us, but eventually does so, confirming his rep as one of cinema's best young talents. Some fine, if strange support work comes from Joel Edgerton (as Hal's old drinking buddy Falstaff) and Robert Pattinson (the preening Dauphin). Directed by Australian filmmaker David Michod (Animal Kingdom), who co-scripted with Edgerton.

 

Timothee Chalamet (centre) cements his status as one of Hollywood’s finest young talents. Picture: Supplied.
Timothee Chalamet (centre) cements his status as one of Hollywood’s finest young talents. Picture: Supplied.

 

THE ONE THAT GETS THE STAGGERS

LITTLE MONSTERS (MA15+)

***

FOXTEL, AMAZON

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) is clearly the best thing about this Australian-made zombie flick, throwing herself into both her role and the bloody mayhem oozing around her with a conviction that dazzles as it frazzles. Nyong'o plays Miss Caroline, a sweet-natured kindergarten teacher whose plans for a happy field trip to a local petting zoo are soured by a zombie outbreak. Once the splatter factor really kicks in, the movie hits a gruesome groove which will be best appreciated by those who thought the recent Zombieland didn't quite go hard enough with the goofy gore when required.

 

Lupita Nyong’o shines in Little Monsters. Picture: Supplied
Lupita Nyong’o shines in Little Monsters. Picture: Supplied

 

THE ONE WHERE A CARTOON CHANGES A LIFE

LIFE, ANIMATED (PG)

****

AMAZON; or rent via GOOGLE, YOUTUBE MOVIES

A beautiful little documentary with a big, life-affirming story to tell. At the age of 3, Owen Suskind suddenly plunged to the deep end of the autism spectrum. Then came the kind of miracle you might only find in a Disney movie. In fact, it was a miracle brought about by Disney movies. By endlessly viewing and memorising every Disney animated classic, Owen defied his original diagnosis and developed the ability to learn to speak. Then came reading and writing. Amazing stuff.

 

Life, Animated is a heart-warming tale.
Life, Animated is a heart-warming tale.

 

THE ONE WHERE MOORE DOES MORE

GLORIA BELL (M)

***1/2

NETFLIX; or rent via GOOGLE, ITUNES, YOUTUBE MOVIES

A gently inquisitive drama framed around yet another intensely vivid performance from the great Julianne Moore. She plays Gloria, a fiftysomething divorcee looking to make sense of the rest of her life now that her children no longer need her. A man enters the picture, an ex-Marine named Arnold (John Turturro), and he is at once both needy and not-so-available. Gloria likes what she can see. But will she love what he is yet to reveal? What will enrapture and enlighten is Moore's deft creation: a woman taken for granted for seeing life through a glass half- full, and taking steps towards living life as a glass unbreakable.

 

Julianne Moore stars in Gloria Bell.
Julianne Moore stars in Gloria Bell.

 

THE ONE WITH REAL STINGS IN ITS TALE

HONEYLAND (M)

****1/2

AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

True lovers of the documentary form must track down this incredible experience during its limited run in cinemas. This is the story of Hatidze Muratova, a beekeeper whose mystical command of the hives makes her one of the last practitioners of a vanishing art of honey extraction. The filmmakers found Hatidze and her astonishing story by accident in a hilly corner of rural Macedonia, and then spent three years gathering the extraordinary footage shown here. The end result (which earned two nominations at the recent Academy Awards) is a miracle in so many ways.

 

Filmed over three years, Honeyland is well and truly deserving of all the buzz.
Filmed over three years, Honeyland is well and truly deserving of all the buzz.

 

 

Originally published as What to watch this weekend



Get more from your News-Mail digital subscription

Get more from your News-Mail digital subscription

Check out the digital edition, your rewards, and access other sites

LINE UP: Speakers at upcoming class action community meeting

Premium Content LINE UP: Speakers at upcoming class action community meeting

Proponents believe the State Government “has a case to answer”.