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Friday Reviews & Weekend Watch - 29th Jan 2010

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James King | 12:12 UK time, Friday, 29 January 2010

This low-budget tale of a teen mum living on the breadline in Harlem has taken awards ceremonies by storm. Rightly so. Gabourey Sidibe, as title character Precious, gives a masterclass in muted desperation whilst Mo'nique, as her looney tunes mom, virtually jumps out of the screen and slaps you around the face. She's awesome. The film's corny dreamy sequences take the edge of its 5 star impact a little but it's still a must-see
4 stars.

The Edge Of Darkness
Mel Gibson's big return to acting and he's just as annoyed as he's ever been. The tough talk and action is the best thing about this Taken-style revenge thriller. Mel's attempts at emotion on the other hand look more like the forehead frowns of a man struggling with chronic constipation.
3 stars.

The Princess & The Frog

Disney's take on the Frog Prince fairytale, transported to the murky swamps and paddle steamers of America's Deep South. It's complete with all the cliches - jazz bands, alligators, toothless rednecks - but the blues-y tunes and beautiful hand drawn animation reek of class.
4 stars.

Now here's what you might want to watch on TV this weekend.


Top Gun
Friday 29 January
11:05pm, ITV1

Iconic 80s US military love-in with a plot that's as interested in tough guys taking their tops off as Tom Cruise's romance with Kelly McGillis. You do the math. It's a classic.

bringiton.jpg Bring It On
Saturday 30 January
7:10pm, Film4

For proof that cheerleading is, in fact, the dance of the Gods, check out 'Kiki' Dunst in this Noughties teen classic. 3 straight-to-DVD sequels followed, the second starring Solange 'Sister Of Beyonce' Knowles. Beyonce: 'Hi little sis. I'm just starring alongside Mike Myers and Sir Michael Caine in the multi-million dollar blockbuster Austin Powers in Goldmember.
How about you?' Solange: 'Er... well... you know that film about cheerleading that starred Kirsten Dunst. Well, she's not in this one but...'

martinfreeman_small.jpgThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Saturday 30 January
11:00pm, BBC2

Martin Freeman's brief flirtation with big-budget leading man status resulted in this enjoyably spikey version of the cult sci-fi. Brit directors Hammer & Tongs were inspired behind the camera, giving us a classic moment of knitted toy fun just when you least expect it. Now there's a sentence that I've never written before.

vacancy.jpgSunday 31st January
9:00pm, Five

Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson star as an estranged couple forced to stay together after their car breaks down one night. Where do they stay? THE KIND OF PLACE THAT NO-ONE WOULD EVER STAY IN!!! Seriously, I'd rather kip in a muddy pool in a lay-by than shack up in this motel. But hey, it's Kate Beckinsale and the least entertaining Wilson brother. What do you expect?


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