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The Blackening to Mean Girls: the seven best films to watch on TV this week
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The Blackening to Mean Girls: the seven best films to watch on TV this week

Pick of the week

The Blackening

Tim Story’s enjoyably knowing comedy upends the horror movie cliche that the Black character is always the first to die by making all the characters Black. A group of African American friends (including Dewayne Jenkins and Grace Byers) congregate at a cabin in the woods on Juneteenth for a reunion. But their hosts have vanished and they find a sinister talking board game, The Blackening, which demands answers to questions about Black culture and history (and Friends) – or else one of their missing pals dies. Not quite a spoof but still full of callbacks to classic slasher flicks, the film smartly skewers Black representation, while also having a dig at closer-to-home racial prejudices.
Saturday 11 May, 10.45am, 6.15pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

Mean Girls

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfriend, Rachel McAdams and Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls.View image in fullscreen

With the musical remake definitely not making “fetch” happen, here’s the 2004 original to show how teen (film) royalty do it. Alongside its wealth of comic zingers, Tina Fey’s script has an acute sense of how ridiculous – but life-alteringly important – high-school status can be. Lindsay Lohan plays Cady, a newbie who is a maths nerd but also a “regulation hottie” – so gains entry into the top-level Plastics clique ruled by Rachel McAdams’s Regina. Cady’s plans to bring them down a peg stutter when she is seduced by the respect/fear her new position affords her.
Friday 17 May, 12.05am, Channel 4

The Final: Attack on Wembley

The Final: Attack on Wembley.View image in fullscreen

Rob Miller and Kwabena Oppong’s film documents one of the most depressing chapters in the recent history of English football. Canvassing a wide range of views – from embattled Wembley staff to rowdy supporters – it tells the tale of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, when many England fans without tickets stormed the stadium. The lead-up to the match was a crowd-safety nightmare, with drunk and coked-up young men massing outside and becoming increasingly threatening. There is some focus on the game itself, but it feels like a footnote to a riot.
Out now, Netflix

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending.View image in fullscreen

The expansive vision of the Wachowskis may have faltered a bit here, but cinema is still a better place for their ambition. In a sci-fi adventure of cyberpunk weirdness, Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a human who discovers she is the genetic reincarnation of the mother of a powerful alien dynasty – whose children (Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Eddie Redmayne) have competing plans for her … The baroque flamboyance of The Fifth Element is spliced with the comic bureaucracy of Brazil (Terry Gilliam even has a cameo) in a sublimely silly, amped-up escapade.
Saturday 11 May, 5.25pm, 5Star

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Office Space

Gary Cole and Ron Livingston in Office Space.View image in fullscreen

The surreal dreariness of working in an office has rarely been captured so succinctly as in Mike Judge’s 1999 comedy. From the boss’s middle-management double speak and a worker saddled with the name Michael Bolton to a man whose desk is being moved incrementally to the basement, it’s enough to make a decent guy such as Peter (Ron Livingston) quit trying. Naturally, his laissez-faire confidence is catnip to the visiting redundancy consultants. A satire that will make you look at your own workplace in a new light.
Saturday 11 May, 11pm, Comedy Central


Sean Connery in Outland.View image in fullscreen

Basically High Noon in space, Peter Hyams’s 1981 sci-fi thriller is one of the better films to come out in the wake of the groundbreaking Alien (that film’s composer, Jerry Goldsmith, contributes a similarly unnerving score here). Sean Connery is the last good man standing as the federal marshal of a mining colony on Jupiter’s moon Io. When he gets in the way of the (company-approved) illicit trade in performance-boosting amphetamines, hitmen are sent after him. Grimy and gripping.
Monday 13 May, 9pm, 5Action

The Fallen Idol

Bobby Henrey in The Fallen Idol.View image in fullscreen

Based by Graham Greene on one of his own short stories, this engrossing, tragic drama from Carol Reed takes a child’s eye view of tangled adult relationships. Neglected ambassador’s son Philip (a very natural Bobby Henrey) dotes upon the embassy’s butler Baines (Ralph Richardson), who is unhappily married to Sonia Dresdel’s housekeeper. But one day, Philip discovers Baines’s secret liaison with secretary Julie (Michèle Morgan) and he is drawn into grownup situations he’s barely capable of understanding. His attempts to balance truth and lies only make things worse.
Tuesday 14 May, 3pm, Film4

Source: theguardian.com