Mark Kermode joins Jane Hill to talk about the week's cinema and DVD releases, including The Post, Coco and The Commuter.
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Now it is The Film Review.
A warm welcome to The Film Review on
BBC News. To take us through this
week's cinema releases is Mark
Kermode. What have you been watching
Very exciting week. We
have the post-starring Tom Hanks and
Meryl Streep. Koko, the new
animation from Pixar. And the
commuter, the new Liam Neeson action
Is about journalism. Did you like
I really did, it's a newsroom
thriller about the revelations of
the Pentagon papers and a report
which basically said that successive
US administrations had misled the
country about the Vietnam War.
Largely set in 1971, Tom Hanks plays
the editor of the Washington Post.
He's eager for a scoop. Meryl Streep
is Catherine Kate Graham, publisher
of the Washington post. It's going
to the stock exchange so its
finances are slightly precarious.
When the White House that an
injunction on the New York Times
after they publish some of the
Pentagon papers, Ben Bradley wants
to publish, but Meryl Streep says,
hang on, there are reasons we can't
do this, not least of all that it
might endanger the paper. Here is a
Do you have the papers?
Oh gosh, oh gosh, because you
know the position that would put me
in. We have language in the
I know they can change
their mind. I know what is at stake.
You know, the only couple I knew
that both Kennedy and LBJ ordered to
socialise with was you and your
husband, and you own the town paper.
It's just the way things worked.
Politicians and the press, they
trusted each other so they could go
to the same dinner party and drink
cocktails and tell jokes while there
was a war raging in Vietnam.
know what we're talking about, I'm
not predicting linden.
The man who
commissioned the study, he's one of
about a dozen party guests out on
And protecting the paper.
The thing I like about this film is
it has a number of intertwining
stories, one is the story of Kate
Graham finding her own voice. She
surrounded by men in boardrooms at
the beginning, she doesn't really
speak, she slightly like a fish out
of water. During the course of this
she has to step up to the walk and
decide what is the right thing to
do. Second thing is, it runs almost
like a prequel to all the Presidents
men. The end of this film runs right
into the beginning of all the
Presidents a film I was really
affected by in the 1970s when it
came out. I was a kid when I saw it
and loved it. Great period detail,
sequences in the printing presses of
the Washington Post. We're looking
at the hot metal machinery, the old
machines. I love all that stuff.
Most importantly, it's a really
contemporary story. That in 19 221.
Yes, the period detail is great, the
performances are great, Meryl Streep
and Tom Hanks are fantastic, the
whole ensemble cast is great. This
is a contemporary story about in
this particular case, a corrupt
president in the White House
attempting to stop the press from
expressing you know, the right of
free speech. You look at that and
look at what's happening today in
the world in which the press is
under attack, all the stuff about
fake news. We have the so-called
fake News awards recently. It is a
film almost like a call to arms for
the press. The independent press.
From a free press, to truth to
power. It's interesting what
Spielberg has done is to take a
period piece and tell the story
straight. It's not twisted in any
way at all. And tell it in a way
which makes it seem urgently
contemporary in terms of gender
politics, newspaper politics, in
terms of the way it talks about the
necessity for a free speech and good
reporting, good factual reporting,
to keep check on authorities. I've
seen the film twice now and would
happily go back and see it a third
You don't need to be
interested in journalism or the
issues you've just raised to like it
as a film?
I think it helps and I
certainly know some people who
aren't interested in those things
and that bit of history has eight
why would you go and see it? You see
it because it is a personal drama
about those two characters but also
something that leads you very much
by the hand. It does assume from the
beginning you might not know this
stuff, so it gives you a primer. It
starts you in a battlefield and it
leads you and tells you all you need
to know. I would encourage anyone to
go and see it because I think it is
a film that is timely though it is a
period piece. I think you don't have
to be specifically interested in
that war or the Pentagon papers
journalism to find it a gripping
drama. The performances are just
Animated film is your second
It really good one, Coco,
the new film from Pixar, set at the
Mexican day of the dead festivities.
Miguel longs to be a musician but
his family have banned music because
his great-grandfather years ago
chose music over family. There is no
more music in the family any more.
On the magical day of the dead, Fate
takes a hand in the land of the
dead. I thought this was
terrifically entertaining and very,
very touching. On the one hand it
has lovely animation and slapstick
sequences and all the stuff you
would expect from a Pixar vehicle.
More importantly, it has great
songs, great music. But if dealing
with some very difficult subjects.
With dementia, memory, with death
and life. It's dealing with loss.
It's dealing with the way people
live on as long as they live on in
our memory. And also the way songs
and music will linger in our minds
sometimes, if anybody has had any
experience of people with dementia,
music somehow cuts through. There
are moments that will make you weep,
moments that will make you laugh. In
the end it'll make you cheer. If you
liked this film, you see it and you
like it, and I think you will do,
there is another film from a few
years ago from 2014, book of life,
which got overlooked. It does have
thematic depth, they make a nice
companion. Go and get 2-1 on DVD
because it's a different film but
there are great similarities and
they are both terrific. -- blonde
gets Book of Life on DVD.
premise of the story is quite
gripping, The Commuter, does it
Liam Neeson is a ex-cop
working as an insurance salesman. He
loses his job, doing his commute, he
needs money because he has to pay
for his kids tuition. Suddenly the
for meagre turns up and says, I want
to define some for me. I can't tell
you who they are or what they look
like but if you do it there will be
a reward. Here is a clip.
this train does not belong. All you
have to do is find them, that's it.
This person is carrying a bag. You
don't do what it looks like but
inside that bag is something they
have stolen. This person goes by the
name of Tim two, not a real name.
They will be on this train until
Coldspring. -- name of Prin. If you
find that bag, the hundred thousand
dollars is yours. Don't leave the
train before finding the bag, don't
tell anybody about this offer,
I thought this was
It's just a little
thing, shouldn't be too hard for a
How did you know?
You're being serious, right?
have until next stop to decide. What
kind of person are you?
setup. Strangers on a train, she has
this, find the person, can't tell
you why, there will be reward.
Hitchcock thrillers, you set up
those rules. The rules have to make
sense, you have to obey them. What
happens, it has an interesting
premise can set it up and 20 minutes
in it goes, none of this makes sense
and we don't care. It throws the
rules out the window. Why would he
do it? That is thrown out. It gets
back into Liam Neeson walking around
the train punching people. The most
frustrating thing is when you see
that clip you think it's the
intriguing... What's going on? It's
literally 20 minutes in the film
goes... I don't care. I don't think
these rules add up to anything, the
whole scenario doesn't make any...
Shall we just have him punching
somebody? The first punching
sequence and then you go, OK, fine,
it is to two on the train. -- it is
Taken on a train. It reminds you,
what happened to that really
interesting idea you throughout the
window? OK, fine, moving swiftly on.
Not a patch on the film of the week
but three billboards, which I have
not... I thought about it every
single day since I saw it, which is
interesting in itself.
performance by fences McDormand who
has a strong chance of winning the
Best actress Oscar. Martin MacDonald
who wrote and directed has done a
really terrific... Made a
tragicomedy that is comic and
genuinely tragic. I know it is
divisive, some take against it and
don't get on at all, but I laughed
in the bits that are funny, but I
also cried because I think it really
deals with tragedy. It really deals
with loss. It's really well filmed.
There are moments in it that are
almost transcendent, they are about,
like with Coco, life and death. The
Chaucerian ear for obscenity that
Martin McDonagh rings true, did you
With hindsight I loved it,
I wasn't sure as I was watching but
I think the script is terrific and
it's really stayed with me in a
positive way. Don't take somebody
who doesn't like swearing.
That's the only
caveat, isn't it, it's a very
striking film. DVD?
I am not a
witch. It turned out in the
outstanding debut category at the
Baftas. Terry Le'Veon Bell is given
the chance to accept life as a witch
or turn into a goat. The director
has done a brilliant job. It was a
really remarkable feature, something
which, yes, it's funny, satirical,
but also about misogyny and magic.
One of those films, again, sometimes
you're watching it and don't know
whether to laugh or cry and end up
doing both. It's really well worth
Thank you, Mark, an
intriguing week. Many more like that
to come because building to awards
season. Plenty to come. A reminder
before we go you will find all of
the film News and reviews from
across the BBC on the website. You
can find all our previous programmes
on the iPlayer as well. A cracking
week. Enjoy your cinema going.
Thanks for being with us. Goodbye.