FILM OF THE WEEK
LET HIM GO (Cert 15, 114 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, Thriller/Romance, available from April 12 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from April 26 on DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £26.99)
Starring: Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Lesley Manville, Kayli Carter, Will Brittain, Booboo Stewart, Ryan Bruce, Bram Hornung, Otto Hornung.
RETIRED sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his horse trainer wife Margaret (Diane Lane) live on a ranch in 1960s Montana with their 25-year-old son James (Ryan Bruce), his wife Lorna (Kayli Carter) and their grandson Jimmy (Bram and Otto Hornung).
A freak horse-riding accident forces the Blackledges to bury their boy and they watch helplessly as Lorna eventually marries another man, Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), who communicates with his fists.
Without warning, Donnie spirits Lorna and three-year-old Jimmy away to his family home in North Dakota. Margaret is bereft. She leads her husband on a cross-country odyssey to prise their grandson out of Donnie’s clutches.
The hastily conceived mission puts the couple on a collision course with hot-headed Weboy matriarch Blanche (Lesley Manville).
Let Him Go is a slow-burning thriller of strained familial ties, torn from the pages of a novel by Larry Watson. Lane adds layers of corrosive grief and indignation to her proud homemaker, who cannot bear to lose her grandson three years after burying her only child.
Manville’s cigarette-puffing harpy is a chip off the same block as Jacki Weaver’s protective mother bear in Animal Kingdom. She keeps her kin close and manipulates them to do her bidding, which includes the introduction of a sharpened blade to fleshy digits.
A saggy middle section introduces a Native American outcast (Booboo Stewart) to even the numbers a little for a climactic showdown with only one logical and emotionally satisfying outcome.
Graphic violence is used sparingly for shocking dramatic effect and fully warrants the film’s 15 certificate. Blood is thicker than water and both spill easily.
SPACE DOGS: RETURN TO EARTH (Cert U, 80 mins, Signature Entertainment, Animation/Sci-Fi/Adventure/Comedy/Romance, available from April 12 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services)
Featuring the voices of: Maria Antonieta Monge, Mauriett Chayeb, Alexander Machado, Romulo A Bernal, Oscar Cheda, Jason Michael Kesser.
VALIANT dogstronauts Belka (voiced by Maria Antonieta Monge) and Strelka (Mauriett Chayeb) are ordered to terminate their current sample-gathering mission on an ice moon of Saturn and return to Earth.
The plucky duo are requested to investigate an anomaly in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cuba, which poses a threat to furry and feathered residents of the tropics.
Belka and Strelka pilot their spacecraft close to a column of swirling aqua and are struck by lightning.
The plucky pooches plummet into the ocean, where they discover the source of the disturbance: a submerged alien spacecraft manned by an elephantine creature named by Pumbary (Oscar Cheda) and armed guard Croakagy (Jason Michael Kesser).
Meanwhile, Belka and Strelka’s old friend Lenny the rat (Alexander Machado) and his cricket sidekick (Romulo A Bernal) arrive in Cuba just as disaster strikes.
Bolted together in Russia and then dubbed into English, Space Dogs: Return To Earth is the third computer-animated chapter of the Space Dogs saga, which blasts off for an out-of-this-world adventure but cannot escape the gravitational pull of a pedestrian plot and solid, unremarkable visuals.
Director Inna Evlannikova’s picture idles into first gear with an opening set-piece involving intergalactic ice monsters and maintains the same pace as events unfold above and below the waves.
A script credited to five screenwriters trades in gentle, inoffensive humour that should appeal to very young viewers. Any snorts from adults are most likely whinnying snores.
PALM SPRINGS (Cert 15, 90 mins, streaming from April 9 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, Sci-Fi/Comedy/Romance)
Palm Springs: Cristin Milioti as Sarah and Andy Samberg as Nyles
TWO hapless singletons are stuck in a Groundhog Day-style time loop in director Max Barbakow’s award-winning comedy, which arrives on Amazon Prime Video this week.
Nyles (Andy Samberg) and his girlfriend Misty (Meredith Hagner) attend the Palm Springs wedding of Abe (Tyler Hoechlin) and Tala (Camila Mendes), where he delivers a rousing speech to spare the blushes of reluctant and inebriated maid of honour Sarah (Cristin Milioti).
Nyles’s small act of heroism forges a bond with Sarah that sparks potential romance.
Before the couple can act upon their impulses, they stumble into a mysterious light and are condemned to relive the day of the wedding.
With each temporal reset, Nyles and Sarah subtly alter their behaviour to try to rewrite the future.
BOX SETS / SERIES
FILTHY RICH (10 episodes, starts streaming from April 9 exclusively on Disney+, Drama/Romance)
Filthy Rich: Kim Cattrall and Aubrey Dollar
SEX And The City siren Kim Cattrall headlines a Gothic drama adapted from the New Zealand TV series of the same title, resetting the emotional upheaval to Louisiana.
Eugene Monreaux (Gerald McRaney), president of the world’s most influential televangelist TV channel, perishes in a plane crash, sending shockwaves through the ranks of the Sunshine Network.
His glamorous widow Margaret (Cattrall) uncovers a secret will that divides shares in the company equally between their two children, Eric (Corey Cott) and Rose (Aubrey Dollar), and three illegitimate offspring: boxer Antonio (Benjamin Levy Aguilar), erotic content producer Ginger (Melia Kreiling) and marijuana cultivator Jason (Mark L Young).
Margaret declares herself the new president of the network and attempts to buy off the three pretenders to the crown.
However, the secret heirs are determined to cling on to their share of a multimillion-dollar empire.
WE CHILDREN FROM BAHNHOF ZOO (8 episodes, streaming from April 9 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, Drama/Romance)
We Children From Bahnhof Zoo: Jana McKinnon as Christiane, Jeremias Meyer as Axel, Bruno Alexander as Michi, Lea Drinda as Babsi, Michelangelo Fortuzzi as Benno and Lena Urzendowsky as Stella
ADAPTED from Christiane F’s best-selling 1978 autobiographical novel and updated for modern viewers, the gritty eight-part German drama We Children From Bahnhof Zoo captures the youthful exuberance and naivete of six friends in search of happiness.
Fun-loving teenagers Axel (Jeremias Meyer), Babsi (Lea Drinda), Benno (Michelangelo Fortuzzi), Christiane (Jana McKinnon), Michi (Bruno Alexander) and Stella (Lena Urzendowsky) are determined to embrace life on their own hedonistic terms.
Turning their backs on anyone who doesn’t support them, including family and teachers, the pals savour every delight of Berlin’s colourful night-time culture.
However, freedom comes at a price and the thrill-seekers risk a harrowing descent into drug addiction and prostitution.
A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES – SEASON TWO (Cert 15, 360 mins, Spirit Entertainment, available now on NOW TV, available from April 12 on DVD £24.99/Blu-ray £29.99, Fantasy/Drama/Romance)
THE lavish fantasy drama based on Diana Harkness’s acclaimed All Souls trilogy materialises on home formats this week following its spine-chilling broadcast on Sky One.
Forbidden lovers Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) and Matthew de Clairmont (Matthew Goode) travel back in time to the late 16th century when the latter was at the height of his bloodsucking escapades in Elizabethan London.
Diana hones her magical powers while Matthew tries to recall details from his inglorious past that might help the couple evade the clutches of The Congregation, which forbids a relationship between a witch and a vampire.
Crucially, Diana and Matthew seeks clues to unravel the great mystery revealed in the first series.
The two-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets include all eight episodes.