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Friday 18 April 2014

Film Highlights Wednesday

Django Unchained (2012)

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Sky Movies Premiere, 10.00pm

Quentin Tarantino has never hidden his love of Italian westerns, and in 'Django Unchained' he brilliantly marries the conventions of spaghetti westerns with the dark theme of slavery.

Jamie Foxx (above, with Christoph Waltz) is Django, a black slave who's being transported across Texas in the late 1850s when a German bounty hunter called Schultz (Waltz) rescues him. After he and Schultz team up as bounty killers, Django sets out to rescue his wife from the clutches of a particularly vicious plantation owner.

It's a fantastic film for the most part, though sensitive readers should be warned that things get extremely violent late on and Leonardo DiCaprio is great fun as a nattily dressed southern villain. Kerry Washington, Samuel L Jackson, Don Johnson, Michael Parks and Walton Goggins co-star.

Chariots of Fire (1981)

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Channel 4, 12.45pm

Hailed in its day as the saviour of British cinema, this Hugh Hudson/David Puttnam drama laid on the emotion with a trowel and was rewarded with four Oscars, including Best Picture. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson play two runners whose sprinting rivalry is eventually played out at the 1924 Olympics.

Halls of Montezuma (1950)

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Film4, 4.55pm

Richard Widmark stars in this entertaining wartime drama as a smalltown chemistry teacher who's transformed into a battle-hardened veteran as he leads a team of marines through one of the gruelling island invasions during the Second World War Pacific campaign. With Jack Palance.

13 Going on 30 (2004)

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Sky Movies Drama, 6.15pm

Comedy about a 13-year-old girl who, after an encounter with some wishing dust, wakes up in the body of a glamorous 30-year-old woman. She has an apartment, great clothes, a dream job and a handsome boyfriend, but soon begins to wonder if being a grown-up is all it's cracked up to be. With Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo.

Assassins (1995)

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TCM, 9.00pm

Sylvester Stallone stars in this action thriller as a morose hitman (one hopes there aren't too many chirpy ones) who is haunted by his sins and is forced to confront a young rival when he realises they've been hired to eliminate the same target. Antonio Banderas and Julianne Moore co-star.

The Sitter (2011)

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Sky Movies Comedy, 9.45pm

Flat comedy starring Jonah Hill as a college dropout who's so desperate for money that he agrees to babysit. But when he gets a call from his girlfriend, he brings the children into the city with him and ends up getting mixed up with a violent drug dealer.

Irish Independent

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