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tv   The Film Review  BBC News  November 21, 2020 6:45pm-7:01pm GMT

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f’tultuf the old guard. it is a fascinating storyline and i think the tennis will match that. it has been one full way to end the year with the top four in the finals. it is a shame no one is here with us, but they can enjoy on television and radio. sue will be back with the final on bbc two at six o'clock tomorrow evening. coverage of tonight's semifinal is on five live sports extra and the bbc sport website. and finally, olympic champion caeleb dressel has broken not one but two world records on the opening day of the international swimming league grand final. the american became the first man to swim the hundred metre butterfly in under 48 seconds. and then a0 minutes later knocked just under a tenth of a second off his 50m freestyle world record. you can see the best of the action from the swimming on the bbc sport website. that's all from sportsday. now on bbc news, the film review.
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hello, and welcome to the film review with me, mark kermode — rounding up the best movies available for viewing in cinemas and in the home. the disaster movie is one of cinema's most enduring genres. from the fire and brimstone of early biblical epics like the ten commandments, through ‘30s classics like in old chicago and san francisco, to the ‘70s heyday of towering inferno and earthquake, and onto such 21st—century offerings
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as the day after tomorrow. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the most extraordinary, exciting, and unforgettable experience available on this planet. now into this long tradition comes skyfire, a chinese film shot in malaysia with a british director, turkish—american composer, and an anglo—asian cast — quite the cultural melting pot. jason isaacs plays the sinister entrepreneur who builds a hotel on the side of a volcano, which he is certain won't erupt for at least another 150 years. hannah quinlivan is the volcanologist who lost her mother to molten lava many years ago, and has dedicated her life to mapping volcanic activity — of which inevitably there is a lot. with everything that's going on in the world at the moment, we can all be forgiven for craving some big, silly entertainment. and entertainment doesn't come much bigger or sillier than skyfire. from the moment a sinisterly
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purple—suited jason isaacs declares in a comedy south african accent that... we're all going to be fine. know that no one is going to be fine. on the contrary — this is all going to end badly, which is entirely appropriate since it also starts badly and middles badly. lifting rifts from krakatoa: east ofjava and dante's peak, and ripping its plot so thoroughly off a steven spielberg dinosaur movie, they might as well have called it "jurassic spark". running the gamut of every disaster movie cliche imaginable, skyfire delivers a series of cheesy, emotional peaks and troughs — explained by dialogue that appears to have been written by a speak & spell machine, and interspersed every few minutes with another massive explosion and rain of fire. to be clear — skyfire is not a good movie. in fact, in many ways, it's a very bad movie. but watching this preposterous tosh — which briefly topped the chinese box office last year
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and is available on dvd and digital here from monday — i found myself grinning from ear to ear at the sheer cavalcade of utter nonsense. whatever the flaws of skyfire, i enjoyed it a lot more than hillbilly elegy, which is now on netflix and provides a timely reminder that awards season is officially upon us. more's the pity. i told you that i would do better. you always say that, you're lying! and i am always trying! you gotta think about these kids. what do you think i've been thinking about since i was 18 years old? never had a life where it wasn't "thinking about the kids"! adapted by screenwriter vanessa taylor and director ron howard from the 2016 memoir byjd vance, the story is divided between vance's memories of his hill—country roots and childhood in ohio, and his fish—out—of—water awkwardness at a posh scale dinner where he doesn't know which fork to use. what brings these story lines together is news thatjd‘s violently unpredictable mum,
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bev, is in the hospital after taking an overdose. although, as played by amy adams, she seems to have od—ed on the same "give me an award" acting pills that renee zellweger swallowed for cold mountain. who, huh, who?! you?! meanwhile, glenn close sports historically accurate yet somehow still caricatured mrs brady old—lady glasses and frizzy hair asjd‘s grandma — a fearsome figure who teaches him life lessons whilst sporting a range of t—shirts that seem to have been pre—owned by mike tyson. there's been much debate about the politics of vance's source memoir, which have been widely discussed in terms of understanding the rise of donald trump. but when it comes to the movie, the real question is, how can something so packed with fights, overdoses, punch—ups and triumph—over—adversity struggles be quite so boring? why is it that, despite the presence of talents like adams and close, i never thought i was watching anything other than actors acting —
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a pantomime imitation of life? the fault, i think, lies in howard's direction, which is simultaneously overcooked and underdone — a series of inert set pieces that scream for our attention while leaving us utterly unmoved. worth noting too that, despite its oscar—bait credentials, hillbilly elegy has already drawn the kind of savage reviews that could well scupper its awards chances. it may be based on real life, but nothing about this very contemporary drama rings true. indeed, if it's the truth you're after, you're much better off turning to a documentary. in 2015, a fire at the collectiv nightclub in bucharest resulted in the deaths of more than 60 people — many of whom died in hospital of bacterial infections.
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thanks to an investigation, it emerged that disinfectants at those hospitals were being diluted for profit, while vast sums intended for health care were lining the pockets of the rich and powerful. this entire terrifying story and its fallout is brilliantly captured in collective — a powerful and disturbing documentary by toto & his sisters director, alexander nanau. from the appalling outbreak of the fire to the government resignations, threats, and deaths that followed, collective offers a uniquely intimate insight into an unfolding tragedy. a hotly—tipped contender for the best documentary oscar, it's also been selected as romania's entry for best international feature. it's harrowing stuff, taking an unflinching look at the human cost of systemic political corruption and shining a spotlight on those who are determined to uncover that corruption whatever the cost.
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at a time when certain prominent world leaders are blithely calling the press "the enemy of the people," collective reminds us of the crucial role of investigative journalism — even when thatjournalism upsets those in power. this story may come from romania, but it has urgent international appeal. you can find collective on a range of platforms like amazon, apple, and curzon, and in a few cinemas in scotland. this gay guy wanted me to find out whether another guy was gay. was he? yeah, a little bit. 0h. that's nice. in the off—puttingly entitled the kid detective, adam brody plays abe appelbaum — a small—town sleuth who was once a local hero, a preteen precociously cracking cases from his tree house. we're counting on you. i was so far ahead in the game. but one day, ijust woke up behind.
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now he's a washed—up has—been, derailed by an unsolved missing girl mystery that hung heavy on his young shoulders. so when highschooler caroline asks abe to find out who killed her boyfriend, he spies a shot at redemption. can he crack the case and prove others — and himself — that he's more than just a little boy lost in a big man's shirt? the directorial feature debut from evan morgan, this clearly owes a debt to such high school neo—noirs as rian johnson's brick, or more recently tayarisha poe's selah and the spades — although for my money, it's not as good as either of those films. instead, it's an entertainingly stylish, if ultimately a empty caper which starts out as a whimsical comedy, then mutates into something much darker without ever quite deciding just how funny or serious it actually wants to be. he's lying. beneath the tricksy surface, there are melancholy questions about what happens if school days really do turn out to be the best days of your life?
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a terrifying thought. but, like its antihero, the film seems uncertain how to handle that shift to adulthood, leaving it stranded uneasily between cynical, wisecracking comedy and something more elusively substantial. the kid detective is now playing in cinemas in scotland, wales, and northern ireland, and then in england after lockdown. sometimes to get what you want, you have to not want what you want. think about it. i'll leave you with news of something altogether more unexpected — a belgian nudist tragicomedy. no, really. set in a remote naturist campsite in the ardennes, patrick follows the titular son of the camps owners as he worries over the loss of first his hammer, and then his father.
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meanwhile, others are involved in a covert attempt to seize control of the camp, taking advantage of a situation that's left patrick bothered and bewildered. the fact that all this plays out in the nude is the least remarkable thing about this beautifully deadpan drama from writer—director tim mielants — a veteran of such tv shows as peaky blinders and legion. as mielants says of his own experiences in a naturist campsite in the ‘80s, "it wasn't the nudity, but the odd encounters with the strange individuals i came across that remained indelibly etched on my mind." the same is true of the film, which focuses on the internal struggles within this cloistered community, slipping dextrously between humour, pathos, and intrigue. just as the cast ranges from acclaimed stage and screen actor pierre bokma — the derekjacobi of dutch drama — to new zealand comedian—musician jemaine clement, so the tone shifts
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from sadness to absurdity in an instant. at the centre of it all is kevinjanssens — an innocent with a touch of forrest gump who finds it impossible to meet the gaze of others, but who proves remarkably resilient in his grail—like quest to find his hammer. it all adds up to a thoroughly unexpected and oddly moving comedy—drama — by turns funny, foolish, and strangely heartfelt. you can find patrick at the chapter cardiff and on digital, with virtual cinema partnerships in which half the fee goes to your local art—house cinema. that's it for this week. thanks for watching the film review. stay safe, and i'll see you next week. you asked which of my friends had the most cake? it's an old trick. when you answer a question like that, your memory becomes extremely selective. you're really telling me who you trust the least — without even knowing it. cool it only fails if you have a really fat friend.
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hello. turning colder across much of the country through this weekend. the mild, cloudy weather we have had across england and wales is sinking its way southwards, coming to a halt in southern england tonight and this is where we will see some light rain and drizzle. clear skies elsewhere, some showers continuing in the north—west where it is windy in northern scotland. a cold night across eastern scotland, north—east england and northern ireland with temperatures down to one or 2 degrees and for much of the country, a lot colder than last night. in southern angers, it will be cloudy tomorrow, much rain and drizzle heading into the channel but wales and the west midlands could cloud over during the afternoon after a sunny morning. sunshine elsewhere, showers as well most in the north and west of scotland, not as windy on sunday but probably a little cooler with temperatures typically between eight and 10 degrees. a chilly start to monday morning, but we look to the atlantic to see the
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weather changing again. milder air coming our way weather changing again. milder air coming oui’ way on weather changing again. milder air coming our way on monday, more cloud, some rain in particularfor scotla nd cloud, some rain in particularfor scotland and northern ireland.
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this is bbc news — the headlines at seven: a call for coronavirus vaccines to be available for all, as leaders from the world's biggest economies meet for an online summit hosted by saudi arabia. in the uk, an alternative to a covid vaccine for people with weakened immune systems enters its final stage of trials. boris johnson faces questions about whether he tried to tone down an independent report which said home secretary priti patel broke the ministerial code by bullying staff. none of us want to see bullying or poor practices within the workplace, and the home secretary has been clear that she would never want to do that intentionally. the government is to change how it invests in big spending projects, to ensure the north of england gets a fair share of the cash.


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