Before Ben Stiller’s hilarious war epic ‘Tropic Thunder’ hits screens, Movies.ie recommends you check out the following films to get you in the mood… Ben Stiller returns to the director’s chair this weekend in the laugh out loud war spoof ‘Tropic Thunder’. In it a group of self-absorbed actors sets out to make the most expensive war film (think ‘Apocalypse Now’ but BIGGER). But when ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director (played by the hilarious half-wit Steve Coogan) refuses to stop shooting, instead he leads his all-star cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where they encounter real bad guys. With thunderous laughter from star to finish, Ben Stiller’s ‘Tropic Thunder’ is undoubtedly one of this year’s most outrageous comedies spoofing all the greats with some hilarious in-references. Before it hits Irish theatres, Movies.ie recommends you pick up the following DVDs A COCK AND BULL STORY The ultimate meta-movie. Sterne’s novel was considered more or less impossible to successfully adapt to film but director Michael Winterbottom has done it in ‘Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story’, by making movie about the making of the movie. Stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon add madcap, knowing performances to the mix, and the result is a fun, postmodern romp, before there was any modern romp to post. INGLORIOUS BASTARDS In ‘Tropic Thunder’ Robert Downey Jr. continues his great year with a hilarious turn as the ultimate method actor. He’s hilarious as he refuses to speak in anything but his ghetto accent, even when the cameras aren’t rolling–exclaiming at one point, “Man, I don’t drop character until I’ve done the DVD commentary”. Downey’s black GI seems to be modeled on the one played by blaxploitation icon Fred Williamson in “The Inglorious Bastards,” the 1978 Italian movie that’s currently on the verge of being remade by Quentin Tarantino.) APOCALYPSE NOW Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam epic, loosely based on by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness is a must for any ‘Tropic Thunder’ viewer – if only to see what they are so clearly spoofing. The grueling production and Coppola’s insistence on authenticity led to vast budget overruns and physical and emotional breakdowns. Considered to be one of the best war movies of all time, ‘Apocalypses Now’ features incredible performances and beautifully chaotic visuals. ZOOLANDER An empty-headed yet kind-hearted male model, the self-absorbed Derek Zoolander becomes an unwitting pawn in a international assassination plot masterminded by oddball fashion dictator Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell). Stiller’s charming and silly comedy liberally skewers the fashion industry while showcasing the actor-director-screenwriter’s quirky humor. He casts his real-life family in the film: wife Christine Taylor, sister Amy Stiller, father Jerry Stiller, and mother Anne Meara. As a director, Stiller invokes entertaining performances from Wilson and Ferrell. He also adds cameos by a multitude of celebrities including David Bowie, Natalie Portman, and Lenny Kravitz. Tropic Thunder is in Irish cinemas from Friday September 19th.