Stay-at-Home Seven: July 11 to 17

Films to watch on TV and streaming services this week

by Jennie Kermode

Cop Car
Cop Car Photo: Matthew J Lloyd

Cop Car, 9pm, Legend, Monday, July 11

When two boys run away from home intent on having an adventure and decide to steal a police car which they find by the side of the road, they get a lot more than they bargained for. Not only does the car belong to a corrupt cop (Kevin Bacon) who was in the process of hiding evidence, but there’s another dangerous individual (Shea Wigham) locked in the boot, and our young heroes soon become pawns in the struggle between them. In a film which combines elements of comedy with a tight thriller structure, it’s anybody’s guess how the situation might develop. The boys have great chemistry and there’s a surprisingly emotional conclusion.

Das Boot, 1pm, GREAT! movies classic, Tuesday, July 12

Wolfgang Petersen’s epic tale of life aboard a German U-boat during the Second World War is widely considered to be one of the greatest war movies ever made, and one in which even the tedious aspects of life underwater contrive to escalate the tension. Sent into a situation where they are unlikely to survive, most members of the crew just want to stay alive, while other face moral quandaries. The fear on the actors’ faces is real as they are inside a set which was suspended in the air and moved unpredictably, causing real injuries, and Petersen creates further terror when we see metal straining and bolts coming apart during deep dives which place the fictional vessel under pressure. A must-see for anyone serious about film.

Arctic, 7.05, GREAT! movies, Wednesday, July 13

A lone man faces a different kind of struggle to survive on Wednesday, after an accident leaves him stranded in the Arctic tundra. The subsequent crash of a light aircraft trying to come to his aid leaves him trying to look after a young woman who can neither walk nor speak his language, and he realises that his only hope of saving her lies in dragging her across a frozen mountain range in search of help – with a hungry polar bear on their trail. Mads Mikkelsen is terrific in the lead, still managing to connect with the audience despite a hood and a beard obscuring most of his face. It’s a the perfect film to watch during a heatwave.

Thelma And Louise, 9pm, BBC 4, Thursday, July 14

On its release in 1991, Ridley Scott’s vibrant road movie about two women who get sick of their mundane lives and decide to take off quickly attained classic status. Intense performances from Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis make it one of the best ever buddy movies, but it’s also important as a landmark in feminist cinema, inspiring audiences of all kinds to root for its heroines after they kill a man in self defence and their fun getaway turns into a flight from police whom they know won’t believe them. On the wrong side of the law, they discover that they’re all out of patience with society in general. A young Brad Pitt appears as the love interest who brings a different kind of trouble, but the real sexual tension is between the women themselves.

Bridge to Terabithia, 4.30pm, GREAT! movies, Friday, July 15

The children’s story trope of discovering a magical kingdom hidden behind a hole in the garden hedge is a tired one. This film turns it on its head. It’s the story of a lonely, bullied boy who can’t form a meaningful connection with his father (Robert Patrick), is ignored by his older sisters and is tired of being expected to look after a younger one who is the spoiled child of the family. When he meets a new girl who has just moved into the area, the two of them become firm friends and invent their own magical kingdom in nearby woods, using their imagination to reach beyond their limited world. It may be sentimental but is has something important to say, and kids aged between about seven and ten will love it.

Music Box, 9.05pm, Talking Pictures TV, Saturday, July 16

Ann (Jessica Lange) is a hard working lawyer who has a complex but loving relationship with her father (Armin Mueller-Stahl), a Hungarian immigrant in the US. When allegations emerge about his activities during the Second World War, she immediately assumes that there must have been a case of mistaken identity, but as she investigates in order to provide his legal defence, she gradually realises that he may not be the man she thought he was. This thoughtful film, which focuses on the interpersonal drama rather than the thriller elements of its plot, takes its heroine on a difficult emotional journey and explores familial tensions which, at a different level, most viewers will be able to relate to.

The Adventures Of Tintin, 12.30, E4, Sunday, July 17

First created in 1929 by comics artist Hergé, Tintin is supposed to be 17 but now seems much younger, with a sort of innocence which easily triggers nostalgia. He’s an intrepid journalist supported by loyal dog Snowy, and he makes it his mission to foil the plans of bad guys everywhere. This take on his adventures, directed by Steven Spielberg and benefiting from the talents of Daniel Craig and Cary Elwes, among others, sees him all at sea as he attempts to solve a mystery involving lost treasure. It’s made using 3D motion capture techniques and the sometime over-earnestness of the character is balanced by a flurry of jokes which will appeal to viewers of all ages.

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