Aussie streaming service, Stan, has a fantastic library of movies to watch. Our On TV Tonight reviewers tell us their favourite movies on Stan right now!
Why you should watch: Family gatherings on any occasion can be a disaster. Home for the Holidays immediately springs to mind. The disintegration of this family seems to be a reflection of that occurring in the apartment in which the film set. Inside a pre-war duplex in downtown Manhattan, the story follows the course of an evening in which the Blake family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving. As darkness falls outside the crumbling building, mysterious things start to go bump in the night and family tensions reach a boiling point. It is a slow-moving, thoughtful telling of the dynamics within a family, and of the surprise confessions that will arise unexpectedly.
Director: STEPHERN KARAM
Cast: RICHARD JENKINS, JAYNE HOUDYSHELL, AMY SCHUMER, BEANIE FELDSTEIN, STEVEN YEUN, JUNE SQUIBB
Why you should watch: This is not the genre of film this viewer would normally watch, but there is an excellent ensemble cast attached, led by everyone’s favourite, Keanu Reeves, and going on family recommendations, decided to take a look. It certainly is fast and furious, with bullets flying in all directions. Keanu certainly is adept at taking out multiple aggressors in a matter of seconds. With the untimely death of his beloved, John Wick, the expert former assassin, receives one final gift from her, to help John find a new meaning in life now that she is gone. But when the arrogant Russian mob prince, Iosef Tarasov, and his men pay Wick a rather unwelcome visit to rob him of his prized 1969 Mustang and his wife’s present, the legendary hitman will be forced to unearth his meticulously concealed identity. Blind with revenge, John will immediately unleash a carefully orchestrated maelstrom of destruction.
Director: CHAD STAHELSKI
Cast: KEANU REEVES, MICHAEL NYQVIST, IAN MCSHANE, LANCE REDDICK, BRIDGET MOYNAHAN, JOHN LEGUIZAMO, WILLEM DAFOE
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2
Why you should watch: Well, once you start watching John Wick, you’re beholden to continue on. Bound by an inescapable blood debt to the Italian crime lord, Santino D’Antonio, and with his precious 1969 Mustang still stolen, John Wick is forced to visit Italy to honour his promise. But, soon, the Bogeyman will find himself dragged into an impossible task in the heart of Rome’s secret criminal society, as every killer in the business dreams of cornering the legendary Wick who now has an enormous price on his head. Drenched in blood and mercilessly hunted down, John Wick can surely forget a peaceful retirement as no one can make it out in one piece. And onward we go….
Director: CHAD STAHELSKI
Cast: KEANU REEVES, RICCARDO SCAMARCIO, IAN MCSHANE, JOHN LEGUIZAMO, RUBY ROSE, LAURENCE FISHBURNE
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM
Why you should watch: And on we go as John Wick returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn. That’s enough of the Keanuthon. But if you can’t get enough of the man you can pop along to your local cinema for Chapter 4!
Director: CHAD STAHELSKI
Cast: KEANU REEVES, HALLE BERRY, LAURENCE FISHBURNE, ASIA KATE DILLON, IAN MCSHANE, MARK DACASCOS, ANJELICA HUSON
TOM OF FINLAND
Why you should watch: In this time of Mardi Gras, following are a few films to honour the occasion. First up is a biography drama of Finnish artist and decorated officer Touko Laaksonen who returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II. He finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual men around him, who are even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions. His work, made famous by his signature ‘Tom of Finland’, became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.
Director: MARC WEBB
Cast: ANDREW GARFIELD, EMMA STONE, JAMIE FOXX, PAUL GIAMATTI, DANE DEHAAN, COLM FEORE, FELICITY JONES, SALLY FIELD
AGAINST THE LAW
Why you should watch: The wonderful Daniel Mays gives a thoughtful performance as journalist Peter Wildeblood who, in 1952, at a time when same-sex was a crime, picks up RAF corporal Eddie McNally, thus beginning a love affair, often conducted through letters. Peter introduces him to Edward, Lord Montagu and the earl’s cousin Michael Pitt-Rivers but Peter’s love letters to Eddie lead to his arrest and, along with Montagu and Michael he is put on trial. McNally and Johnny Reynolds, another young gay from their circle, are granted immunity if they testify for the prosecution and the three defendants are all jailed. In prison Peter hears about the Wolfenden committee which, partly in response to public sympathy for the harsh treatment of gay men, is seeking to change the law and, on release, gives the committee evidence and advice. Nonetheless it will be a decade before homosexuality is decriminalised. But in some countries in this world, there are those who are still fighting for this right, some even facing death.
Director: FERGUS O’BRIEN
Cast: DANIEL MAYS, RICHARD GADD, CHARLIE CREED-MILES, PAUL KEATING, MARK EDEL-HUNT, MARK GATISS, DAVID ROBB
Why you should watch: This is a delightful film from British cinema with a great message about acceptance. Charlie Price grew up with his father in the family shoe business, but he never thought he’d take his father’s place. But his father’s untimely death places him exactly there, where he learns that Price and Sons Shoes is failing. In his failed attempts to save the business, Charlie has a chance encounter with flamboyant drag queen cabaret singer Lola – Chiewetel Ejiofor at his very best. Her complaints about the inadequate footwear for her work, combined with the suggestion of one of Charlie’s ex-employees leads to a bid to save the business by making men’s fetish footwear. Charlie convinces Lola to be their footwear designer and the transition begins. Inspired by the true story of a traditional English men’s footwear factory in Northamptonshire.
Director: JULIAN JARROLD
Cast: CHIWETEL EJIOFOR, JOEL EDGERTON, SARAH-JANE POTTS, JEMIMA ROOPER, NICK FROST, LINDA BASSETT, ROBERT PUGH
ON THE ROAD
Why you should watch: At various stages in one’s life you’ll reach for Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel, On the Road. Different aspects will change as one gets older. This film tries to capture the relationship between Dean and Sal, but does fail to some extent. A lot of the good bits were left out. Shaken by the death of his father and discouraged by his stalled career, writer Sal Paradise goes on a road trip hoping for inspiration. While traveling, he is befriended by charismatic and fearless Dean Moriarty and Moriarty’s free-spirited and seductive young wife, Marylou. Travelling across the American southwest together, they strive to break from conformity and search the unknown, and their decisions change the very course of their lives. The performances are good, but perhaps just stick to the book to capture the nuance of the age in which it was written. Although I do think Kristen Stewart does embody Marylou.
Director: WALTER SALLES
Cast: SAM RILEY, GARRETT HEDLUND, KRISTEN STEWART, AMY ADAMS, KIRSTEN DUNST, ELISABETH MOSS, TOM STURRIDGE
IDES OF MARCH
Why you should watch: George Clooney directs, stars and co-writes this political drama, and he assembled an excellent cast to bring it all to fruition. Stephen Meyers is a young idealist who’s brilliant at communications, is second in command of Governor Mike Morris’s presidential campaign, and is a true believer. In the middle of the Ohio primary, the campaign manager of Morris’s opponent asks Meyers to meet; he offers him a job. At the same time, Morris’s negotiations for the endorsement of the man in third place, a North Carolina Senator, hit a snag. A young campaign intern, Molly Stearns, gets Stephen’s romantic attention. Republicans have a trick up their sleeve; Stephen may be too trusting, and Molly has a secret. It all comes down to whether career and victory and more important than ethics.
Director: GEORGE CLOONEY
Cast: RYAN GOSLING, GEORGE CLOONEY, PAUL GIAMATTI, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, EVAN RACHEL WOOD, MARISA TOMEI
ARSENE WENGER: INVINCIBLE
Why you should watch: French former football manager and player Arsene Wenger may not have the invincibility of John Wick, but he comes pretty close. He certainly had a hand in making Arsenal Football Club legendary in his time as their manager from1996 to 2018. He was the longest-serving and most successful in the club’s history. A genius, visionary and obsessive, what Wenger achieved with Arsenal Football Club changed the landscape of the English game and shaped football worldwide. Featuring remarkable access and previously unseen archive footage, directors Gabriel Clarke and Christian Jean Pierre draw back the veil on a truly enigmatic figure who discusses, for the first time, the football ‘addiction’ that was both his driving force and his ‘fatal flaw’. Shot on location in England, France and Arsène’s home village of Duttlenheim, this is a compelling, intimate insight into a football figure like no other.
Director: GABRIEL CLARKE, CHRISTIAN JEAN PIERRE
Cast: ARSENE WENGER, ALEC FERGUSON, THEIRRY HENRY, LEE DIXON