Stay-at-Home Seven: July 25 to 31

Films to watch on telly and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson

Get Carter is among the films chosen by Ian Rankin
Get Carter is among the films chosen by Ian Rankin
Get Carter, 9pm, ITV4, Monday,  July 25

The grimy world of gangsters is to the fore in Mike Hodges' feature debut, the tale of a man on a mission of vengeance in Newcastle. Michael Caine feels as sharp and raw as a jagged knife edge in the role of enforcer Jack Carter, who is determined to get to the bottom of his brother's death. Unashamedly brutal in its approach to violence - including the memorable dispatching of Corrie regular Bryan Mosley - matched with snappy dialogue and Caine's dry delivery, this is gangland with all the grit that offers a time capsule of a Seventies underworld long paved over.

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: the Peanuts Movie, 11am, Film4, Tuesday, July 26

Charlie Brown gets dusted off for a new generation of kids, although thankfully retains a lot of his comic strip charm in Steve Martino's sweet animation. The plot, as you might expect, is less important than the characters we've grown to know and love, not just eternal trier Charlie and his imaginative pooch - here dreaming of adventures as a First World War flying ace - but also the irascible Lucy, little Linus and the rest of the gang. This looks great, boasts a score that is sympathetic to Vince Guaraldi's earlier jazzy work and has one eye on adventure courtesy of Snoopy's aerial imaginings.

Misery, 11.25pm, Film4, Tuesday, July 26

Cinematic adaptations have often not been kind to the work of Stephen King, not least, I suspect, because his books are frequently lengthy, packed with character and plot and slip between time periods with ease. William Goldman, who later had less success adapting Hearts In Atlantis and Dreamcatcher, capitalises on the claustrophobia of King's taut psychological horror in Rob Reiner's take on the tale of a writer (James Caan) who has a car crash and his "number one fan" (Kathy Bates), who takes him in at the same time as taking less than kindly to his decision to kill off her favourite character. Applying physical violence with restraint - although it hits home when it counts - this is all about the psychological sparring between the two, with Bates getting all the best lines, and winning an Oscar for her trouble. The subtext, regarding celebrity and fan service, has surely only become more relevant with the passage of time.

Assault On Precinct 13, 9pm, Legend (Freeview channel 41), Wednesday, July 27

John Carpenter has often proved a simple premise can pay dividends and does so here as a near-defunct police station comes under siege from a street gang in a film where events are triggered by the killing of a child before spinning into a spiral of violence. The director - who also supplies the impressive synthesiser-driven score - lets the down-at-heel corridors of the cop shop become a claustrophobic trap for its denizens, including both officers and a trio of convicts, in a film that is also shot through with racial tensions and never lets up for a minute.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, 9pm, BBC4, Thursday, July 28

Jennie Kermode writes: Robert Aldrich’s celebrated tale of two ageing sisters at war explores the damage done over many years as Jane (Bette Davis) has struggled to care for partially paralysed Blanche (played by her arch rival Joan Crawford), with their relationship deteriorating to the point where Blanche is essentially a prisoner in an upstairs room. In one terrifying sequence where she determines to try and escape down the stairs, Aldrich demonstrates that he knows exactly what this means, capturing the sense of danger posed by an ordinary domestic feature in a way that few directors have matched before or since. What tends to be overlooked by reviewers, however, is Jane’s mental disability. As her grip on reality disintegrates, Blanche tries to care for her, and is forced to face up to the responsibility she bears for contributing to this decline by way of an incident in their past. Though much of the film is played for laughs, with Davis exaggerating Jane’s madness, at its heart is an appreciation of the complexity of many real life care-focused relationships. The ending, in particular, also emphasises the way that most people turn a blind eye to such tragedies happening in their midst.

The Florida Project, 1.15am, Channel 4, Saturday, July 30

Sean Baker's Oscar-nominated film about a precocious six-year-old and her mum is a candy-coloured exploration of life on the fringes in America. The Magic Castle hotel might not hold many tricks up its sleeve for single mum Hallee (Bria Vinaite) but it's an enchanted playground so far as little Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her friends are concerned. They run - and skip and frolic - through the film with an infectious energy, while illustrating the unique pressures that exist for those families who live in these sorts of circumstances. Young Prince is a natural and it's a treat to see Willem Dafoe in a warmer role for once, as the benevolent Magic Castle manager Bobby trying to nudge the older members of the community into line.

All The President's Men, BBC iPlayer until next month

If you're looking for a film to catch at a time that suits you, Alan J Pakula's classic is on BBC iPlayer for the next few weeks. His gripping  take on how Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) broke the story of the Watergate scandal was made in collaboration with Woodward and Bernstein and really gets down to the nitty-gritty of piecing together the puzzle behind the story. While Redford and Hoffman need no introduction, the strength of the cast runs wide and deep, also including great turns from the likes of Ned Beatty, Jane Alexander and Hal Halbrook. An adult treatment of an adult subject that celebrates the less glamorous side of investigative reporting.

This week's short selection is Aneil Karia's Work, which sees the world from the shifting perspective of a teenager.

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