Tuesday 17 October 2017

Film Highlights Friday

Burn After Reading (2008)

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RTE Two, 9.00pm

In this darkly comic conspiracy thriller from the Coen brothers, Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt (both above) play a couple of hapless gym employees who attempt to blackmail a disgraced CIA analyst (John Malkovich) after they come across a disc containing his memoirs. What they think are state secrets are actually the ramblings of a drunken incompetent, and things become truly farcical when they try to sell them to a bemused official at the Russian embassy.

George Clooney plays an ageing lothario who's also the lover of Malkovich's wife, and Richard Jenkins gives a wonderfully despairing performance as McDormand's secret admirer at the gym.

But it's Brad Pitt who steals the show with a hilarious turn as a tracksuited halfwit.

Carry on Nurse (1959)

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Channel 4, 12.25pm

Never has the word Matron been attached to such reprehensible innuendoes as in this instalment of the 'Carry On' franchise, with Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtry and Kenneth Connor running amok in a starchy British hospital where the dissatisfied patients stage a revolt.

A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)

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TG4, 9.05pm

Also known as Duck, You Sucker!, this last of Sergio Leone's epic spaghetti westerns stars Charles Coburn as an IRA explosives expert on the run in central Mexico who teams up with a flamboyant bandit and gets involved in the Mexican revolution. With Rod Steiger, Rik Battaglia and David Warbeck.

The Grudge 2 (2006)

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UTV, 11.10pm

After travelling to Tokyo to bring home her sister who has suffered a mysterious mental breakdown, a young woman finds herself haunted by the same malevolent spirit that had tormented her sibling. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in this sequel based on an acclaimed Japanese horror film.

Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)

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BBC1, 11.50pm

Strange but watchable 90s comedy starring Nicholas Cage as a young man called Jack Singer who swore to his mother on her deathbed that he'd never marry. When he meets Betsy he decides to go back on his word, but faces stiff competition for her love from a suave professional gambler.

Darkness (2002)

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BBC2, 11.55pm

Anna Paquin and Lena Olin star in this moderately creepy horror about a young family who think they've found the dream country home. But before long they begin to realise that something unholy and primordial is lurking in the shadows. Jaume Belaguero directs, and Iain Glen co-stars.

Irish Independent

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