Monday 16 October 2017

Film Highlights 140114

Chimpanzee (2012)

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Sky Movies Premiere, 6.30pm

This beautifully photographed Disney wildlife feature turns the saga of an abandoned baby chimp into a three-reel melodrama. It's based on an extraordinary true story filmed over four years in the rainforests of the Tai National Park in west Africa.

Oscar, our hero, is a mischievous and affectionate baby chimp whose cosy life with his loving mother, Isha, is interrupted when their tribe is attacked by a rival chimp colony.

Oscar gets separated from Isha, who's later killed by a leopard. Alone and rejected by the rest of the group's females, Oscar seems destined to die until something remarkable happens: he's adopted by the tribe's leader, Freddy, an unheard of occurrence.

'Chimpanzee' is very nice to look at, and if Tim Allen's mawkish voiceover does grate a little at times, children will love the film anyway.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

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Sky Movies Action, 2.25pm

In David Lean's classic war film Alec Guinness gives an unforgettable performance as Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson, the leader of a group of PoWs at a Japanese prison camp whose obsession with keeping up his troops' morale leads him into traitorous waters.

When Eight Bells Toll (1971)

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Film Four, 5.00pm

Anthony Hopkins and Jack Hawkins star in the hokey old Alistair MacLean adventure yarn about the hijacking of cargo ships in the Irish Sea, which turns out to be the work of a rather grandiose gang of international gold smugglers. With Robert Morley.

The Big Year (2011)

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Sky Movies Comedy, 6.15pm

David Frankel's intermittently amusing comedy stars Jack Black as an obsessive ornithologist who sets out to break the record for the most species of birds spotted in a year. Steve Martin plays a rival, and Owen Wilson is the best thing in the film playing the suave bird-spotting champion.

King of the Travellers (2012)

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TV3, 9.00pm

Mark O'Connor's ropey low-budget drama is set in the travelling community and stars John Connors as John Paul, a quiet but talented young bare-knuckle boxer who becomes obsessed with avenging the death of his father, who was murdered years ago by a rival clan. With Peter Coonan.

In the Line of Fire (1993)

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Sky Living, 9.00pm

Clint Eastwood stars in this enjoyable 90s thriller as an ageing Secret Service man haunted by memories of the shooting of JFK who resolves to make amends for that day when a threat is made on the life of the current President. Rene Russo provides the glamour, and John Malkovich enjoys himself as the obsessive villain.

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