Decadents

Originally made for a college project, inspired by three different phones we have around the house. I wanted to make a film that would combine them, which lead me onto thinking about how three people from each phone’s different time period could talk to each other; what would they say? An idea like that, I thought, would create the opportunity to create a film combining different formats that would share the screen together. Therefore, it’s not just the phones that are different in each time zone, but the mise-en-scene and micro-filmic elements are specific to them too.

Why I don’t read comic books

Normally, I tend to focus on motion pictures with These Things, but a large trend in cinema currently is comic book adaptations. Upcoming this year are Avengers: Age of UltronAnt-ManFantastic FourKingsman: the Secret Service and The Peanuts Movie, all of which are adaptations of comic books. And they’re also the most successful, as well as generally being of the most interest to audiences and news sites. And the reason, from what I’ve observed, seems to be because Marvel Studios have decided to launch a series of comic book adaptations using the same structure as comic books themselves, with characters having their own series, which interconnect with each-other. So any comic book being released this month is likely to be part of a larger, ongoing story and that we’re only seeing that character’s perspective of it.

And yet, I don’t read comic books. The main reason is because I don’t want to bring that external element into it. I figure that if I followed comic book storylines, then it would alter my perception of the adaptations, in the same way as a novel would. For example, there’s a Marvel fanatic I unfortunately know. And he’s quite obsessed with accuracy. He once said that the reason Marvel need to follow the Winter Soldier storyline of making him the next Captain America after Steve Rogers dies is, in a nutshell, because that was the events that happened in the comic books. Do you know something? I don’t care. I just don’t care. When I saw Captain America: the Winter Soldier, I knew nothing about that villain. When I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, I knew nothing about them either. But both were still entertaining. And as someone whose biggest interest is motion pictures, I find that having that knowledge there – of the lore, and the continuity – would create an undesired conflict of interest. So I just don’t read them. Because I want to be surprised. I don’t want to know what’s coming. All I want is a good story. And, as someone who’s never read a single comic book, I can tell you: their adaptations still manage to entertain me.

Batman — review

Adapted by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

 

Tim Burton must dream of being the Joker. And probably Batman. Because it’s clear in Batman that he understands those characters more than anyone else, and that’s why he conducted it as an opera. Which makes complete sense, because Gotham City is very operatic.  Batman Begins includes opera analogies, and here it’s the Batman and the Joker dancing at the top of a clock tower amid romantic accusations of creating each other, with references to other works like Beauty and the Beast. The way Burton sees Batman is that it’s the sum of a culture, which come together in such a way to create a tale of two men wanting revenge against the people that wronged them, and begin driven crazy as a result. Indeed, the scene involving the Joker improving the paintings while dancing to Prince is by far the best, and most interesting part. The Joker says he’s “the world’s first, fully-functioning, homicidal artist”, who “makes art until someone dies”. He even says that, as an artist, he shouldn’t be compared to normal people. Anyone familiar with the works of Burton, including Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland, need not be told that this is Burton himself speaking through these characters. Everything, from the production design, to the performances, to the artistic decisions made, are an extension of him, and it’s surprising that his name doesn’t precede the main title, possessively: Tim Burton’s Batman is what this really should have been called.

Is it like the comic books? Well… no. But that’s good. Because one of the most annoying things about comic book adaptations is that studios expect people to want the same thing every time. And we don’t. Just… make something unique, and it will probably stand the test of time that way. Burton is an auteur, and you can tell with this. It’s obvious that everything on screen has gone through him, and all of it’s threaded together, with the assistance of Michael Keaton. Keaton is by far the best Batman, because he was working with the director that understands him the most. Instead of being an intelligent forensics analyst, he’s truly insane. Many have attempted to make a man dressing as a bat to fight crime look understandable, but Burton understood that it can’t be, and decided to theme everything around that. Wayne is insane, the Joker is insane. And so they’ll dance together. The two freaks, who are the most liberated people for being out of touch with reality.

What Batman did for the character is to unmask him. To show us that, as much as we like to pretend to, we don’t really know him, and shouldn’t try to. Because he’s dangerous. It shows us all we should see of him, and then takes us out of it knowing that he shouldn’t be touched, because ultimately he’s warped and, as a result of trauma, reacts by making people like the Joker. There are many stories, like The Killing Joke, that makes Batman and the Joker look the same, but none of them accomplished it quite like Batman, because that retcons the Joker into also creating him. The theme of the story is that these people were made for each other, because only they are as insane as each other. And that’s quite beautiful, in a gothic kind of way.

 

Batman: operatic analogies justify character mythologies. 8/10

Screenplay by Sam Hamm and Waren Skaaren

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies — review

Adapted by Stan Berkowitz, based on The World’s Finest.

In every superhero team, there comes a point where that team becomes hunted by the government and/or other superheroes. So it’s important for that team to use their version of it to show why they’re the best superhero team. And with superheroes, suspension of disbelief is the most important thing. If we can’t believe that what’s happening is really happening, we don’t care for the characters or their attempt to escape from official imprisonment.

In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Lex Luthor somehow becomes President, and uses the opportunity to register all metahumans as either working for him or… public enemies. And throughout the story, Superman and Batman are the only heroes not to start working for him. Which means, in their fugitive state, they encounter just about every secondary DC character there is, to the point that you begin to wonder what the odds are of only Superman and Batman not trusting Luthor. That is to say, do these people even know the significance of Superman? He was the first superhero to begin operating publically, he allowed the public to have the confidence of trusting the others. So his nemesis becomes President, and they accept that? Are these heroes really so dense as to not see the problem with that? And apart from anything, it’s the battles that are the most confusing. With these kind of characters, their powers are what create the odds of victory in battle. It’s like manga, where each character has their own, respectable level of abilities that influence the outcome of a match. For example, Superman’s weakness is Kryptonite. Okay. So… what’s the limit with that? Because it seems that Superman can survive any amount of Kryptonite. Is it really fatal to him, or just an inconvenience? He fights varying levels of it through the narrative and reacts in the same way every time. There’s no consistency, and that’s essential in a story that’s basically a series of set piece fighting matches.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies may have an interesting idea behind it, but it doesn’t really go anywhere with that idea, instead using it as an opportunity for, like all DC Animated Original Movies, tonnes of fights. The previews and special features constantly show us writers talking about the emotional side of characters, and they function psychologically, but none of that comes across in this series. Which I’ve now finished, so I’ll be moving on to other things in no particular way. Which is the best method, really, because it’s good to have variety.

 

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies – wasted potential as meaningless fights. 5/10

Superman & Batman: Apocalypse — review

Adapted by Tab Murphy from Supergirl From Krypton.

 

Superman & Batman: Apocalypse is a strange case in terms of what it wants to achieve. The title would tell you it’s a team-up between the World’s Finest, as they journey to Apocalypse to fight Darkseid. Which is what happens, but that isn’t the main event. Instead, the story is really about the arrival of Kara Zor-El, and how she adapts to Earth life with the guidance of cousin Kal-El and Wonder Woman, Diana. Bruce Wayne, a headline character sharing the billing with Kal-El, only plays a supporting role, and the story can’t seem to decide what it wants to be.

What it is though, is actually better than you might expect it to be. There are some real moments of believability, as Zor-El adjusts to her new home by going on a shopping spree and experiencing hot-dogs, all while dragging Kal-El around with her, who already feels Human enough to react how you might expect him to. Another highlight is her reaction to the death of Harbinger, which was underplayed to effect. Or is that just because I sensed a romantic subtext between them?

The best part is after the battle between Zor-El and Darkseid, destroying Kent Farm. When the Kents return, they see the destruction around them, and Kal-El stands amidst it with a girl in clothes ripped to shreds. His reaction takes the character from Superman to Clark Kent without the distinction. It’s a subtle, but important factor. Unfortunately, the battle itself is the problem. Having reasoned to Darkseid, Kal-El is able to take Zor-El away from Apocalypse, and prepares her for the meeting between his parents. Darkside then emerges from within to destroy Kal-El. It was a surprising twist, but follows completely brought down the tone of the story. Somehow, Darkside tossed Kal-El so far that he was thrown toward the sun. Meanwhile, Zor-El was left to fight Darkseid herself. It reminded me of Man of Steel‘s latter half, with the violence becoming so overblown that it lost its effect to the point of the audience no longer really feeling the force of the violence. The conflict between them wasn’t between the characters, it was just between two super-powered characters. And naturally, Zor-El’s clothes became torn-off, showing much flesh. Kal-El had a few rips here and there, but none to the point matching Zor-El’s. It was very reminiscent of Michael Bay: tedious levels of destruction, leading to an opportunity for eye candy. It felt like a weight on the end of an okay story, that makes you feel as if its too long (which it was), and had already reached a satisfying conclusion.

While the ending lacks confidence, what comes before is several stories in one, and the whole thing feels as if its an extended recap of a television series rather than a single story. Subplots and multiple plot-lines aren’t a bad thing, but Superman & Batman: Apocalypse doesn’t seem to be very good at them.

 

Superman & Batman: Apocalypse: multiple plotlines and overblown finale 5/10.

It’s time to cancel Top Gear

The media’s been talking about it for months. We’ve all heard it. The Top Gear Patagonia Special, and its infamous ending. Jeremy Clarkson’s registration plate H982 FKL was alleged to have caused offence during their trip through Argentina to the point that an angry mob ambushed the production crew, forcing them to flee the country. The Argentinian Ambassador demanded an apology from the BBC, the mainstream newspapers took their chosen sides in the debate, and the presenters denied any attempt at causing offence.

Tonight, the episode aired – Patagonia Special, Part Two. For the first time, the crew became involved with the show’s narrative – while Clarkson, Hammond and May fled back to the UK, the team on the ground were left to fend for themselves, through a barrage of rocks and missiles in a police escort. Three cars were abandoned. The show ended with a constructed scene, inspired by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; having spent the night in the San Vicente Canton house where Robert Parker fought and was allegedly killed, the Top Gear Team returned, before emerging from the barn to the sounds of gunfire over a sepia freezeframe of their escape attempt. And that’s what gets my goat.

Top Gear began as a motoring show. It was factual, and reviewed cars, with practical challenges to test the different factors a driver may judge. But this episode was the last straw for me, because it’s really the last, desperate attempt at entertainment. And it’s what made me realise: that’s what’s been lacking from the show for a long time.

Episode one involved a review of the Citroen Berlingo Multispace, a race between the Pagani Zonda and Lamborghini Murcielago, a review of the Mazda6, a speed camera efficiency test, and a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car – a pretty good format still running, last time they had Aaron Paul.

The latest episode, one-hundred-and-sixty-seven was the fourth consecutive episode in-which the presenters travelled through an ambitious location, with excuses to be slapstick and not at all relevant to the show’s premise. This time, they were travelling through the Patagonia region of South America. Certain “jokes” involved Clarkson and Hammond giving May a pet toy horse after May fell off a horse and cracked three ribs. Horses aren’t cars. May named the horse “Brokeback”, referring to a previous incident in-which Clarkson named Hammond Brokeback after a cowboy hat he was wearing. Most of the other jokes also involved references to previous episodes. Hammond arrived back at camp with a dead cow tied to his roof, as Clarkson did in episode seventy-seven, US Special. In  the same episode, each decorated the other cars’ with provocative language, eg: “Hillary for President”. This time, Hammond and May collaborated on some less-than-amusing decorations for Clarkson’s offending Porsche 928, the anti-funny only amplified by Hammond’s cartoonish hooter. They were big in the seventies, now they’re just annoying. But it’s not that. Hammond also attached the 928’s rear brake light to the dashboard and Clarkson declared he’d break “every bone in their groins”. Just how he warned May that decorating Hammond’s bike would make him “apocalyptically cross”. But it’s not just that. They also built a bridge across a river, in the same manner as their infamous Burma Special, in-which they built a bridge that gathered controversy over Clarkson describing the “slope on it” as a Burmese man crossed. In this episode, Clarkson asked if the bridge was “straight”, prompting an immediate “Yes!” from Hammond to avoid any more (condemned) accusations of homophobia… Incidentally, Clarkson began his question with “It’s a proud moment, but…”, the same way he began describing the former bridge.

What Top Gear is doing is now doing is self-cannibalism. Humour is a finite resource, and Top Gear‘s finally run-out. And rather than actually being infocational, it’s deciding to reuse parts and just hope nobody notices. Well I have. You can’t just decide to continue a show for the sake of it, powered by its own momentum now the fuel tank’s empty. There needs to be a real reason for making the show, for sending three buffoons out to a controversial location for the sake of being controversial. You can’t expect your audience to be happy just by reminding them how the show used to be. In fact, this episode, if anything, has made me realise that maybe it just wasn’t very interesting in the first place…

The final scene, shot in cinemascope, with high contrast and dark tones, was the final shot of the episode. It was knowingly fake, and did so as an homage to the movie. But the final assault showed the thirty-one strong camera crew involved in production of the show. The show maintains the pretence that there are few of them in the wilderness, with scare staff, who mustn’t interfere. But the revelation of how big the operation is just goes to show that Top Gear isn’t genuine. It’s a literal vehicle for the presenters. The show’s no longer about the cars, it’s about the three idiots trying to be even stupider than last time. It’s getting to the point where it’s just insulting to my intelligence.

Any show that insults my intelligence shouldn’t be on television. Unfortunately, the Series 9 finale had BBC Two’s highest ratings in a decade, and Autoblog reveals the waiting list for studio recording tickets were enough to record twenty-one years’ worth of further episodes. And the show’s topped DVD charts, as well as generating enviable YouTube views from BBC Worldwide. So I guess it’s going to be with us for a while.

But if I’m the only person who actually cares about the quality of BBC programming, then FINE.

2014’s highest-grossing cinema releases

Today begins the final Opening Weekend of 2014. So it makes sense for today to be the day for looking back at this year’s most financially successful releases cinematically. From ten…

 

10: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Dean DeBlois)

Total worldwide gross: $618,909,935

 

09: Interstellar (Jonathan Nolan/Christopher Nolan)

Total worldwide gross: $635,433,000

 

08: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (Danny Strong/Peter Craig)

Total worldwide gross: $639,727,000

 

07: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Mark Bomback/Rick Jaffa/Amanda Silver)

Total worldwide gross: $708,279,489

 

06: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Roberto Orci/Alex Kurtzman/Jeff Pinkner)

Total worldwide gross: $708,982,323

 

05: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Christopher Markus/Stephen McFeely)

Total worldwide gross: $714,083,572

 

04: X-Men: Days of Future Past (Simon Kinberg)

Total worldwide gross: $746,045,700

 

03: Maleficent (Linda Woolverton)

Total worldwide gross: $757,752,378

 

02: Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn/Nicole Perlman)

Total worldwide gross: $772,152,345

 

01: Transformers: Age of Extinction (Ehren Kruger)

Total worldwide gross: $1,087,404,499

BBC features – Friday 26th to Sunday 28th December 2014

Friday 26th December 2014

18:55 The Boy in the Dress (David Walliams/Kevin Cecil/Andy Riley)

Dennis feels different – he’s an ordinary boy who lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary street, he plays football with his mates and lives with his dad and brother, but he is frustrated by the boring grey world he inhabits – life has never really been the same since his mum left.

However, transformation can happen in the most unexpected places. In Raj’s newsagent a fashion magazine seems to be calling Dennis – can it be that Kate Moss is really telling him that it’s okay for boys to like Vogue? Aided by Lisa, the coolest girl in the school, Dennis creates a whole new persona and puts it to the ultimate test – but can a boy wear a dress, and what will the headmaster, his dad and his friends on the football team think if they find out?

Based on David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book, with an all-star cast including Jennifer Saunders, James Buckley, David Walliams and Kate Moss, The Boy in the Dress is a celebration of creativity, difference, football and fashion. A Christmas treat for the whole family.

 

20:00 Victoria Wood’s Midlife Christmas (Victoria Wood)

BAFTA award-winning actress and comedian Victoria Wood is back with a Christmas special.

Victoria Wood’s Midlife Christmas features highlights from the Midlife Olympics 2009, the popular costume drama Lark Pies to Cranchesterford and the further adventures of soap star Bo Beaumont played by long-term collaborator Julie Walters.

 

20:30 Marvel’s The Avengers (Joss Whedon)

Comic book action adventure. The director of peacekeeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D. gathers an elite team of superheroes including The Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man and Thor when the Norse god’s evil brother steals a cosmic cube from an underground base. The group must work together to protect the Earth from the leader of an extraterrestrial race and it’s army intent on harnessing the cube’s power.

 

21:00 That Day We Sang (Victoria Wood)

That Day We Sang, by Victoria Wood, is a musical rooted in the Manchester of 1929 and 1969. It is the story of two lonely middle-aged people, Tubby and Enid, who are able to grab a second chance at life when they are reconnected to their emotions by the power of music.

 

21:00 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell/Adam McKay)

Knockabout comedy set in the sexist world of 1970s newscasting.

Ron Burgundy, San Diego’s top-rated anchorman, reigns supreme in the all-male world of television news, until the arrival of an ambitious female reporter upsets the status quo. When she steps in to present the programme in Ron’s absence, an uncivil war breaks out in the newsroom.

 

22:30 Hunky Dory (Laurence Coriat)

In the heat of the summer of 1976, a drama teacher tries to put on an end-of-year music version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

 

 

Saturday 27th December 2014

00:15 The Winslow Boy (Terence Rattigan/David Mamet)

Period drama based on the true story of a young naval cadet accused of stealing a five shilling postal order, and his father – who risks fortune, health, domestic peace and his daughter’s prospects to seek justice. After defeat in the military court of appeals, father and daughter go to Sir Robert Morton, a charismatic barrister and MP, who takes the case before Parliament to seek permission to sue the crown.

 

07:10 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (Arthur Alsberg)

Third in the children’s comedy Love Bug series, in which the irrepressible Beetle with a mind of its own takes part in a race from Paris to Monte Carlo, via the French Alps. Love complicates the plot whenHerbie falls for a powder-blue Lancia called Giselle. Plus jewel thieves have hidden a diamond in Herbie’s petrol tank and are soon in hot pursuit.

 

08:50 Ensign Pulver (Josh Walker Jr./Peter S Feibleman)

Lighthearted sequel to Mister Roberts. There are unforseen consequences when a lowly ensign aboard USS Reluctant, an unimportant US Navy supply ship at the end of the Second World War, strikes a blow for his long-suffering downtrodden crewmates by playing a prank on their belligerent captain.

 

13:00 The Cheyenne Social Club (James Lee Barrett)

Lighthearted western about a Texas cowboy whose life changes dramatically when he inherits a social club from his ne’er-do-well brother. The club turns out to be a house of ill-repute, and the strait-laced cowhand decides to close it down or transform it into an ordinary saloon. But his plans meet with strident opposition from the local townsfolk.

 

15:45 The Eagle Has Landed (Tom Mankiewicz)

All-action World War II adventure. On the morning of 6 November 1943 the military authorities in Berlin receive a simple message – “The Eagle Has Landed”. In a daring kidnap attempt, a small force of crack German paratroopers are poised to snatch Winston Churchill and return with him to Germany. If they succeed in their mission it could alter the course of the war – who can stop them?

 

17:55 Dad’s Army (Jimmy Perry/David Croft)

Feature-length version of the classic sitcom about the Home Guard unit of a small seaside town. In 1940, with a German invasion looming, the defence of Walmington-on-Sea is in the hands of local bank manager Captain Mainwaring and a motley collection of volunteers. After a series of blunders, the Home Guard finally get the glory they deserve.

 

15:10 How to Train Your Dragon (Chris Sanders/Dean Deblois)

Animated children’s adventure based on the best-selling books. Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a young Viking, living in the village of Berk. Reluctantly trained to hunt the dragons that plague the village, Hiccup forms an unlikely friendship with Toothless, an injured dragon.

 

16:40 Kung Fu Panda 2 (Glen Berger/Jonathan Aibel)

Animated adventure featuring the return of Po, the panda with a penchant for martial arts. Since becoming the Dragon Warrior and defeating Tai Lung, Po has been keeping peace in the valley with his kung fu friends, the Furious Five. But, shocked by the realisation that Mr Ping the goose is not his real father, Po cannot find inner peace. When word reaches the Furious Five that Master Thundering Rhino has been killed by a terrifying new weapon, Po sets out with them to destroy it, learn more about his parents and fulfil his destiny in battling Shen, the evil peacock.

 

19:00 Shrek (Ted Elliott/Terry Rossio/Joe Stillman/Roger Schulman)

Animated comedy. In a land of living fairy tales and nursery rhymes grumpy ogre Shrek, along with the loudmouthed Donkey, joins beautiful but wilful Princess Fiona in tackling Lord Farquaad’s evil schemes to exile the exotic from his lands and wed the unwilling princess.

 

19:30 Whisky Galore! (Compton MacKenzie)

Classic Ealing comedy about a Scotch-laden ship that runs aground off the coast of the Outer Hebrides during the Second World War.

The local islanders have depleted their supply of the amber nectar and are overjoyed at the thought of stocking up again. But it is Sunday, and the teetotallers object to making free with the unexpected cargo.

 

22:25 Donkey’s Carolling Christmas-tacular (Walt Dohrn/Ryan Crego)

In this festive animation featuring the characters from Shrek, the irrepressible Donkey leads a Christmas carol sing-along, with musical numbers including It’s the Most Wonderful Time and unique versions of Jingle Bells and Feliz Navidad.

 

Sunday 28th December 2014

00:15 I Confess (George Tabori/William Archibald)

Classic psychological thriller about a Quebec priest on trial for a murder he did not commit. The priest has heard the confession of the real murderer, but is unable to disclose what he knows and, despite the increasing likelihood of being found guilty, he refuses to breach his vows.

 

00:20 The Hot Chick (Tom Brady/Rob Schneider)

Teen comedy in which a mean cheerleader learns a humiliating lesson when a pair of mystical earrings lead her to swap bodies with a small-time male crook. While she struggles with body hair and trying to switchback to her normal being, the con enjoys the privileges of being a 16-year-old as he sets in motion a crime spree.

 

07:50 Herbie Goes Bananas (Don Tait)

Comedy adventure featuring the freewheeling Volkswagen. DJ and Pete take Herbie to South America to compete in a Brazilian road race. But it’s a bumpy ride for all in the love bug as Herbie discovers a scheme to steal gold from an Incan city.

 

09:00 G-Force (Cormac Wibberley/Marianne Wibberley/Hoyt Yeatman/David James)

Animated action adventure. An elite team of highly trained guinea pigs, armed with the latest high-tech spy equipment, fight to save the world from a diabolical billionaire reprogramming the world’s kitchen appliances.

 

10:20 Three Men and a Little Lady (Coline Serreau/Sara Parriott/Josann McGibbon/Charlie Peters)

The sequel to the popular Three Men and a Baby sees the three dads living in domestic harmony with the now five-year-old Mary and her mother Sylvia. But when Sylvia announces she is moving to London to marry her English boyfriend, everything is thrown into turmoil and the surrogate fathers decide to cross the Atlantic – determined to stop the wedding.

 

14:25 The Heroes of Telemark (Ivan Moffat/Ben Barsman)

Tense action-adventure tale based on the true story of the Norwegian resistance and their efforts to destroy a heavy water plant established during World War II by the occupying Nazis. As the Germans move ever closer to the secret of nuclear fission, the saboteurs plot to prevent the strategic materials from going into production.

 

15:45 Raiders of the Lost Ark (Lawrence Kasdan)

Action-packed adventure epic in which an intrepid archaeologist tries to beat a band of Nazis to a unique religious relic which is central to their plans for world domination. Battling against a snake phobia and a vengeful ex-girlfriend, Indiana Jones is in constant peril, making hair’s-breadth escapes at every turn in this celebration of the innocent adventure movies of an earlier era.

 

18:00 John Carter (Andrew Stanton/Mark Andrews)

Action adventure film. Arizona, 1868. A US Civil War veteran is transplanted to Mars and discovers a planet inhabited by giant barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of the creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in need of a saviour.

 

19:00 The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler)

Animation based on the classic children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, telling the magical tale of a mouse who takes a walk through the woods in search of a nut.Encountering three predators who all wish to eat him – a fox, an owl and a snake – the plucky mouse has to use his wits to survive. He announces that he is meeting a monster with terrible features, a “gruffalo”.

Featuring a voice cast including Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden and John Hurt

 

19:30 The Gruffalo’s Child (Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler)

Animated film based on the best-selling children’s picture book by author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.

One wild and windy night, the Gruffalo’s child ignores her father’s warnings and bravely tiptoes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse. She meets Snake, Owl and Fox but no sign of the fabled Mouse. He does not really exist – or does he?

 

20:00 Shrek 2 (Andrew Adamson/Joe Stillman/J David Stem/David N Weiss/Terry Rossio/Ted Elliott)

Animated sequel following the grumpy ogre and his bride as they head for the land of Far Far Away to meet her parents. As Shrek contends with his new in-laws, the wicked Fairy Godmother sets in motion adastardly scheme to scupper his marriage to Fiona. And will any of them survive at the hands of dandy assassin Puss in Boots?

 

21:00 The Good Shepherd (Eric Roth)

Spy thriller charting the life of the man charged with heading the CIA’s covert operations and uncovering a mole during the Bay of Pigs scandal, revealing how he changed from a once-idealistic student into the untrusting overlord of American espionage.