Cumberbatch’s Magic Fringe and Four More Things to Watch this Weekend

Doctor Strange 

By now, it’s almost pointless to detail how good Marvel is at making films. Almost every release is top-drawer, and the studio keeps finding ways to reinvent itself while still pleasing the fans. 

With Doctor Strange, it seems it has taken this mission to heart and really gone full-throttle in a new direction – from the look of the trailers, this could easily have been called “Inception-Man”. But with a mysterious, magical character like Doctor Strange, you can’t tackle things straight down the line – things need to get a little… weird?

The film follows a talented neurosurgeon played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is involved in a car accident and subsequently goes on a journey of spiritual discovery, which ends up with him in a fancy red cape and a floppy fringe. Up against him is Mads Mikkelsen (bad guy, Casino Royale), as a dodgy “Master of the Mystic Arts”, who wears lots of dark eye shadow, because he’s eeeevil. It’s safe to say that you can put your trust in Marvel with this one, even if you’re getting a bit bored with film after film of spandex action. This promises something entirely different. In cinemas October 25

Keeping Up With The Joneses 

If you’ve ever watched that classic staple of daytime TV, Neighbours From Hell, then you’ll know that sometimes, living next door to someone can become the bane of your life, particularly if they’ve trimmed their hedge on your side of the fence. But hey, at least you’ve never lived next door to a pair of government secret agents. That’s the premise of this comedy, starring a high-calibre cast including Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot, in which a couple get all mixed up in their neighbours’ international dealings. Cue lots of falling over, getting hit by darts and other various “fumbles”. In cinemas October 21

I, Daniel Blake 

If you’re a fan of Ken Loach’s kitchen sink approach to distinctly British woes, then you’ll know what to expect with his latest Palme d’Or winning drama. It follows a joiner (a fantastic performance by stand-up comedian Dave Johns, weirdly) who, along with a single mother (Hayley Squires) presses his belly against the red tape in an effort to burst through and receive the help he deserves (even though everyone else labels them scroungers). It fully inhabits the “grim-up-north” home-grown drama set, and brings with it all the depressing realities of real life, but there is redemption to be found – as long as you can endure all the hardship surrounding it. In cinemas October 21

Elvis & Nixon

This film isn’t exactly factual, but it is based on fact. Elvis Presley did actually meet with President Nixon in 1970 to have a chat about how best to tackle the problem of drugs in the country – or perhaps more hilariously, the proposed appointment of Elvis himself as a “federal agent at large”. Obviously, not many people were privy to the actual conversation, so this funny film embellishes things a tad, and leans heavily on the absurd nature of the whole thing – even though it’s clearly very plausible that Harry Styles could easily walk up to Number 10 and get a meeting with the Prime Minister because he was concerned about the clowns or something. On DVD and Blu-ray October 31

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Despite initial aversion to a 6ft 5 hard-man being played by a definitely-not-6ft-5 actor, the first Jack Reacher ended up being actually quite good. This sequel sees the returning Tom Cruise accused of murder, which means he has to wander about, warning people about how he’s going to beat them up, before then beating them up. Not one to engage your brain, but a good workout for your adrenal glands. In cinemas October 21

Former staff writer

Gary Ogden wrote for the print edition of Coach between 2015 and 2016, writing features, interviewing celebrities and covering entertainment. He has also written for ShortList.