I don’t know about you but I’ve found myself catching up with old favourites a lot recently. There’s something comforting about films you know so well, especially when the outside world seems so unpredictable. For me that usually means musicals, teen movies and anything starring Julie Walters but for some it could be the complete Paranormal Activity franchise. It’s just whatever keeps you going - there’s no right or wrong. And with Disney’s latest venture and Matt Damon’s new biopic now available to check out at home, there’s lots out there - old and new - to enjoy.
BEST NEW STREAMING SERVICE
After months of waiting, the shiny new home entertainment platform from the ‘Mouse House’ is finally here - and wow, its timing couldn’t have been any better. You’ll already know that Disney’s best-loved animations are on there, ideal for the odd ninety minute home-schooling break, as well as superheroes a-plenty. But it’s more than just Moana, Buzz and Tony Stark. If you’re a fan of live-action musicals, classics such as SISTER ACT and THE SOUND OF MUSIC make an appearance, as well as newer hits like Stephen Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS, a deliciously sly reworking of several fairytales that stars Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, James Corden, Johnny Depp and Chris Pine.
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If you fancy a little nostalgia there’s the cheekily inspirational COOL RUNNINGS - about Jamaica’s unlikely four man bobsleigh team at the 1988 Winter Olympics; the weirdly wonderful HOLES, featuring an early turn from Shia LaBeouf as a teenager doing time at a mysterious detention camp (and based on the much-loved children’s book by Louis Sachar); plus the Muppets. Lots of Muppets. So that’s THE MUPPET MOVIE, THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, THE MUPPETS and MUPPETS MOST WANTED. There’s even THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL should you be feeling unseasonably festive.
WATCH: Sneak peek at Disney+ streaming service
Look out for the true stories too. Thanks to Disney’s new ownership of National Geographic there are plenty of jaw-dropping documentaries to inspire you, including the Oscar-winning FREE SOLO, about climber Alex Honnold’s attempt to scale California’s imposing El Capitan... without ropes; and JANE, a portrait of iconic conservationist Jane Goodall that’s exactly the warm and wonderful tonic we all need right now.
READ: The best 6 new films and TV shows to watch on Netflix this week
DISNEY+ costs £5.99 a month or £59.99 for a year.
BEST NEW FILM TO BUY - Friday 27 March
LE MANS ‘66
Not a fan of racing cars? Don’t worry. Although LE MANS ‘66 might tell the true story of America’s Ford Motor Company taking on Ferrari at the famous 24 hour competition in France, ultimately this a story of a commitment, friendship and thinking outside the box. And with Matt Damon and Christian Bale leading the cast, there’s plenty of turbo-charged acting to win you over, even if you truly hate the sight of oily overalls and the whiff of exhaust fumes.
Les Mans '66 is out now
Damon plays Carroll Shelby, the owner of a small but successful sports car company who’s hired by Ford to beef up their chances of winning the iconic race. Bale, meanwhile, is Ken Miles - an eccentric mechanic with a hot temper but a brilliant mind, taken on by Shelby to help him with his mammoth task. And whilst others feature - Catriona Balfe as Ken’s wife, Mollie; Tracy Letts as Henry Ford II, boss of the iconic car firm - it’s those two that drive LE MANS ‘66 to greatness. Damon is as reliably solid and sensible as ever, whilst Bale is having the time of his life as Ken Miles - all Brummie accent, no-nonsense one-liners and a cup of tea permanently in his greasy hand.
WATCH: Les Mans '66 trailer
Technically this a real achievement. The roar of the engines and the pace of the editing make you feel as if you just done ten laps with The Stig. But the real joy of LE MANS ‘66 is the way it gets to even the least petrol-headed amongst us, simply by focusing on human emotions as much as burning rubber. Really, it’s a film about working together. So whilst the cars impress, it’s the people that power this past the finish line.
LE MANS ‘66 is out now to buy and rent on Amazon Prime and iTunes, plus on DVD/Blu-ray.
COMING SOON - 27 April
After some time away directing blockbusters such as Aladdin and King Arthur, Guy Ritchie returns to the British gangster genre that made his name with THE GENTLEMEN - a suitably cheeky tale of a criminal kingpin (Matthew McConaughey) under attack from numerous dodgy geezers, all looking to get revenge. Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery and Colin Farrell costar but it’s Hugh Grant as sleazy tabloid hack Fletcher who steals the show - something Hugh seems to be doing on a fairly regular basis these days.
READ: 13 upcoming TV shows to get excited about
Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery stars
THE GENTLEMEN is out to buy on the 27th April.