Arts

New to stream, rent on-demand or buy on DVD/Blu-ray

Weathering With You features the voices of Kotaro Daigo, Shun Oguri and Nana Mori
Damon Smith

FILM OF THE WEEK

WEATHERING WITH YOU (Cert 12, 112 mins, Anime Ltd, Animation/Fantasy/Drama/Romance, available from September 28 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from September 28 on DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £19.99)

Featuring the voices of: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Shun Oguri, Tsubasa Honda, Sakura Kiryu.

HIGH school student Hodaka Morishima (voiced by Kotaro Daigo) runs away from home to seek his fortune in Tokyo. Unable to afford a roof over his head or food in his belly, Hodaka relies on the kindness of strangers including writer Keisuke Suga (Shun Oguri).

The older man offers Hodaka a job on his occult magazine, which includes room and board, and the grateful teenager learns to chase down a story by shadowing spunky, scooter-riding college student Natsumi (Tsubasa Honda).

She is fascinated by rumours of Sunshine Girls, who can manipulate the weather and banish storm clouds that hang perpetually over the city. A tip-off leads Hodaka to a bright-eyed girl called Hina Amano (Nana Mori), who demonstrates the ability to usher bright sunshine for a few hours through concentrated prayer.

Weathering With You is a visually arresting meteorological fantasy, which marks writer-director Makoto Shinkai's eagerly awaited follow-up to the 2016 blockbuster anime Your Name. Lightning almost strikes twice as Shinkai raises a conductor rod into the swirling storm of climate change and plucks our heartstrings with nascent love on the streets of Tokyo during a freak rainstorm.

The filmmaker replays some stylistic flourishes from his previous film. He unleashes a tsunami of dazzling water effects to move back and forth between real and otherworldly realms as he pens another valentine to the ebb and flow of daily life in the Japanese capital.

Hand-drawn and computer animation bleed together to dizzying effect, warranting us being soaked to the skin by a fantastical storyline for almost two hours.

Rating: 8/10

ALSO RELEASED

IRRESISTIBLE (Cert 15, 102 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, Comedy/Drama/Romance, available now via Premium Video On Demand rental for 48 hours, available from September 28 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services)

Starring: Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, Natasha Lyonne, Brent Sexton, Alan Aisenberg.

DEMOCRAT campaign strategist Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) is outmanoeuvred by potty-mouthed rival Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) and a Republican surge sweeps Donald Trump into the White House. Gary searches for a glimmer of hope in the political gloom.

He is intrigued when a team member (Alan Aisenberg) unearths video footage of retired military man and farmer, Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), speaking on behalf of immigrant neighbours at a town hall meeting in the Wisconsin community of Deerlaken.

The veteran's heartfelt words impress Gary and he scents an opportunity for Colonel Hastings to overturn years of Republican tradition in the state against incumbent mayor Braun (Brent Sexton).

Gary descends on the sleepy community with hotshot analysts Kurt (Topher Grace) and Janet (Natasha Lyonne) to make the mayoral fight in Deerlaken a national talking point.

However, farmer's daughter Diana (Mackenzie Davis) distracts Gary from delivering a killer blow before the voting polls open.

Irresistible is a culture clash comedy, which hoses down the mucky business of politics and transplants power-fixated members of the Washington elite to America's economically ravaged heartland.

Writer-director Jon Stewart's film withholds one tattered ace up its sleeve but for the most part, the script boxes with well-padded kid gloves.

Carell and Byrne are amusingly odious sparring partners, more concerned with personal reputations than the lasting social impact to people of Deerlaken. Character arcs are predictable and a gut punch promised in the film's opening minutes fails to materialise.

Rating: 6/10

Lulu Wilson and Kevin James in Becky

BECKY (Cert 18, 93 mins, Vertigo Releasing, available from September 28 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, Thriller)

A GROUP of escaped convicts get far more than they bargained for in a blood-spattered home invasion thriller co-directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion.

Sullen teenager Becky Hooper (Lulu Wilson) struggles to connect to her father Jeff (Joel McHale) following the death of her mother.

The girl retreats from the world and is bullied mercilessly by classmates.

As a bonding exercise, Becky accompanies her father to their remote lakeside home for quality time together.

They are joined unexpectedly by Jeff’s girlfriend Kayla (Amanda Brugel) and her young son Ty (Isaiah Rockliffe).

Once Becky learns that Jeff and Kayla’s relationship is serious, she flees the house in distress.

Soon after, escaped convict Dominick (Kevin James) and his accomplices Apex (Robert Maillet), Cole (Ryan McDonald) and Hammond (James McDougall) storm the house.

The murderous criminals take the family hostage and 13-year-old Becky bravely turns the table on the aggressors.

Jim Parsons as Michael and Matt Bomer as Donald in The Boys In The Band

THE BOYS IN THE BAND (Cert 15, 122 mins, streaming and available to download from September 30 exclusively on Netflix, Drama/Romance)

IN 2018, Joe Mantello directed a Tony Award-winning revival of Mart Crowley's groundbreaking drama The Boys In The Band to coincide with the play's 50th anniversary.

The full cast from the acclaimed staging reprise their roles for this Netflix film adaptation set in 1968 Manhattan, a time of intolerance when many gay men kept their sexuality hidden.

Acid-tongued screenwriter Michael (Jim Parsons) hosts a birthday party for Harold (Zachary Quinto) and some of his closest friends including Michael's old flame Donald (Matt Bomer), artist Larry (Andrew Rannells) and his schoolteacher boyfriend Hank (Tuc Watkins), librarian Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington) and decorator Emory (Robin de Jesus).

A blond hustler (Charlie Carver) is hired as a birthday present for Harold. However, the fireworks begin when Michael's straight-laced college roommate Alan (Brian Hutchison) arrives unannounced and openly challenges power dynamics within the group.

BOX SETS

John Cusack as Dr Kevin Christie and Cory Michael Smith as Thomas Christie in Utopia

UTOPIA (8 episodes, streaming from September 25 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, Thriller)

INSPIRED by the quirky Channel 4 black comedy Utopia, which ran for two series in 2013 and 2014, this eight-part conspiracy thriller penned by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects) casts John Cusack in his first regular TV role.

A seemingly fictional comic called Utopia inspires a rabid fan base including Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), Grant (Javon 'Wanna' Walton), Ian (Dan Byrd), Samantha (Jessica Rothe) and Wilson (Desmin Borges).

These passionate misfits meet online to unearth hidden meaning within the pages of the comic.

Group members becomes convinced they have stumbled upon a terrifying conspiracy and embark on a madcap mission to save the world.

The comic's enigmatic central character, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), accompanies the unlikely saviours on their daredevil escapade.

THE COMEY RULE (Two episodes, streaming from September 30 exclusively on NOW TV, Drama)

A HIGHER Loyalty: Truth, Lies, And Leadership written by James Comey, former director of the FBI, provides the inspiration for a two-part mini-series about the early months of the Trump presidency, which screens on Sky Atlantic and streams exclusively on NOW TV.

In the first part, President Trump (Brendan Gleeson) and Director Comey (Jeff Daniels) are both in the spotlight during a high-profile investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the impact on the 2016 US presidential election.

In the second chapter, the relationship between Trump and Comey becomes strained as lines separating enemies and allies become blurred and a demoralising war of words is played out in the media.

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Arts