The Bourne Supremacy
Published 25/10/2008 | 00:00
When the new Bond film Quantum of Solace is released next weekend, the standard by which it is judged will not be earlier episodes in the franchise so much as the recent Bourne films. In last year's magnificent Bourne Ultimatum, director Paul Greengrass raised the action thriller to a whole new level with astonishing handheld chase sequences and a fight scene so visceral you could hardly bare to watch.
Greengrass saved the Bourne trilogy from disaster when he took the reins. The Englishman did not direct the first film, The Bourne Identity (2002), and it showed. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) was a huge improvement, as he poured in energy and visual invention.
Matt Damon's Bourne is on the run as usual, and desperate to discover his true identity. He's in hiding with his girlfriend when their location is discovered by an assassin called Krill. Their jeep plunges off a bridge into a river, Bourne survives but cannot save his girlfriend. With revenge in mind he heads west, but meanwhile a CIA agent is hot on his trail.
The Pianist (2002): Roman Polanski's Oscar-winning drama based on the experiences of Pol
ish-Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, who survived the Holocaust by hiding in the Warsaw ghetto. With Adrien Brody (Tonight, RTE2, 9pm).
Cop Land (1997): Sly Stallone shocked the world by revealing that he could act in this absorbing drama about police corruption in a quiet New Jersey town. With Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel (Tonight, C4, midnight).
Casanova (2005): Heath Ledger stars as the legendary lover in this dark period drama about love, loss and deception in Renaissance Venice. With Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt (Sunday, RTE2, 9pm).
The Omen (2006): Pointless, dreary and criminally unimaginative remake of the 70s horror classic, with Liev Schreiber assuming the Gregory Peck role of US ambassador Robert Thorn, who is not pleased to discover that his little boy is the spawn of Satan (Sunday, TV3, 9pm).
Intermission (2003): Famous for its rather shocking opening, John Crowley and Mark O'Rowe's comic thriller is not without its moments but not half as clever as it thinks. With Colin Farrell (Thursday, RTE2, 9.35pm).
The Fog (1980): John Carpenter's wonderfully silly horror about a pea-souper packed with killer zombies is just the thing for Halloween. (Friday, Channel 6, 10pm).
Katherine Lynch's Wonderwomen Monday, RTE2, 10.35pm
In this new series the talented Katherine Lynch examines modern Irish womanhood by playing four different female caricatures, which may remind viewers uncomfortably of actual acquaintances.
All four characters appear every week and in this episode would-be country singer Bernie Walsh heads to Knock to record a video for her excruciating new song.
Sheila Sheikh is a demented Tallaght divorcee with a taste for foreign men. Liz Hurley is a Leitrim lass who manages the local Camogie team, and Dalkey Dunphy Davenport is a south Dublin twit with one of those accents that aren't even funny any more.
Killinaskully: Know-it-all barfly Dan embarks on a life of crime, and Goretti reckons she's psychic. (Sunday, RTE1, 8.30pm).
Curb Your Enthusiasm: As ever a magnet for disaster, Larry gets into trouble when his attempts to have peanuts removed from the menu at his new restaurant are ignored and one of his guests has a potentially fatal allergic reaction (Sunday, Channel 6, 9.25pm).
Zig and Zag: The Best Bitz from Back Den: The sock-like aliens celebrate their 21st anniversary with a trip down memory lane (Monday, RTE1, 6.30pm).
Father Ted: In a classic episode of the clerical sitcom, Ted and Dougal dread the annual visit of the excruciatingly boring Father Stone (Monday, RTE2, 9pm).
The Podge & Rodge Show: Pamela Flood joins the brothers as guest presenter tonight (Monday, RTE2, 10.30pm).
The Graham Norton Show: Jessica Biel and Mickey Rourke join Graham on his irreverent chat show (Thursday, BBC2, 11.50pm).
Monday, BBC1, 10.35pm
The grim-faced folk from MI5 apparently never tire of saving western civilisation from the terrorist plots of various lunatics, and in this new series the Russians are once again on the list of potential enemies. When an agent called Lucas North joins the happy crew after eight years in a Russian prison, they begin to wonder whose side he's on.
More urgent, though, is the case of a British soldier who's been kidnapped by Al Qaeda, who insist they will kill him if the Brits don't call a halt to their annual Remembrance services (what have they got against World War One?). And so Adam and the team embark on a race to find the soldier, in a story that concludes on Tuesday night.
Fringe: New series from Lost creator JJ Abrams. A mad scientist and his son use aspects of 'fringe science', such as telepathy and reanimation, in order to solve crimes (Tonight, Channel 6, 9pm).
A Touch of Frost: Jack suspects a satanic ritual when the naked bodies of three men are found neatly arranged in the shape of a triangle. David Jason stars (Sunday, UTV, 9pm).
The Clinic: When Daisy returns home to find Conor entertaining a beautiful cellist, she concludes that he's stopped taking his tablets (Sunday, RTE1, 9.30pm).
Desperate Housewives: After its clever shift forward in time, the show is back to its hilarious best. Gaby and Susan get into a fight after an altercation between their children (Tuesday, RTE2, 10pm).
Dirt: Willa and Farber investigate a controversial new TV series, and Lucy decides to follow up a tip from an old flame. Courtney Cox stars (Wednesday, Channel 6, 10pm).
The Wire: As the tension heats up on the docks, McNulty's former partners investigate the bodies found in the container (Thursday, Channel 6, 10pm).
The Lives of Mike Tuesday, RTE, 10.15pm
I never quite got Mike Murphy myself, and he always seemed to me a rather bland TV presence.
However, I'm clearly in the minority. He's certainly lived an interesting life, reinventing himself as actor, broadcaster and, more recently, a very successful businessman. And in this two part documentary he talks frankly about the ups and downs of his life.
This first programme delves into Murphy's difficult childhood, which was dominated by his parents' unhappy marriage.
Their troubled relationship resulted in a strained atmosphere in the Murphy home, with ominous silences punctuated by bitter rows, in which Mike often intervened. The result was a terrible relationship with his father, which he later regretted, but perhaps also his home life gave him his fierce drive to succeed. The documentary charts Mike's progress from struggling stage actor to rising radio presenter on RTE.
Arena: A look at the trials and tribulations of gun-toting record producer Phil Spector (Tonight, BBC2, 9.40pm).
Stephen Fry in America: The actor and writer surveys the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina before following the Mississippi to its Minnesota source (Sunday, BBC1, 9pm).
Would You Believe: Anna Nolan meets Ken Kelly and Gillian Murray, a couple who cope with cerebral palsy and spina bifida respectively (Sunday, RTE1, 10.35pm).
1968: Former student 'revolutionaries' recall the heady days of '68 (Monday, RTE1, 7.30pm).
DIspatches: A speculator examines the global financial crisis (Monday, C4, 8pm).
The American Future: A History: Simon Schama concludes his series with a look at the struggle for identity (Friday, BBC2, 9pm).
Chelsea v Liverpool Sunday, Sky Sports 1, 1pm
With Manchester United and Arsenal struggling to right some early season slip-ups, it's Chelsea and Liverpool who've looked most impressive, both earning 20 points from a possible 24 in their opening eight games, and looking good at one and two on the Premier League table respectively. But while Liverpool have been consistent but rather dull, Chelsea have been to some extent transformed by the arrival of Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Big Phil has brought new width and more of a passing game to the blues while retaining their all-important defensive grit, and last week's 5-0 demolition of Middlesbrough was all the more impressive when you realise that (a) they were away and (b) were dealing with a horrendous list of injuries.
A draw would be a good result for Rafa Benitez, but Chelsea will be favourites to win and move clear at the top of the table.
Racing: The Channel 4 team present races from Doncaster and Newbury (Today, C4, 2pm).
Rugby: Daire O'Brien present coverage of Ulster's Magners League clash with European champions Munster (Tonight, Setanta Ireland, 7.25pm).
Soccer: Darragh Maloney presents a round-up of Premier League games (Tonight, RTE2, 7.30pm).
Racing: Clare Balding presents a busy afternoon of races from Aintree (Sunday, BBC2, 2pm).
Soccer: Live coverage of the FAI Ford Cup semi-final clash between Galway United and Derry City at Terryland Park (Sunday, RTE2, 3pm).
International Rules: Michael Lyster introduces the second leg of this year's combined rules series, which will hopefully involve more football than fighting (Friday, RTE1, 8.30am).