Entertainment Movies

Friday 24 November 2017

TV films of the week


Hocus Pocus (1993)

3.35pm, Channel4

Comedy horror starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker that has gone from commercial flop to cult classic. A family of 17th-Century witches is inadvertently resurrected by a couple of cynical teenagers, including Thora Birch, and have one night – Halloween – in which to steal the life force of a child and regain their youth. Directed by Kenny Ortega, of High School Musical fame.

X-Men 2 (2003)

4.25pm, TV3

The second film in the very watchable (and expanding) series about a group of well-meaning super-powered mutants has them teaming up with arch-enemy and fellow mutant Magneto to take on a crazed US general who wants all mutants exterminated. The all-star cast includes Patrick Stewart, Brian Cox, Ian McKellen and Famke Janssen.

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

12.25am, Channel 4

Psychological thriller set in the 1970s, about a British film technician who goes to work in the sound department of an Italian film studio where life chillingly begins to imitate art. Studied homage to the Italian genre of Giallo thrillers, it stars Toby Jones and Antonio Mancino.


Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)

2.45pm, BBC2

Sultry melodrama adapted from the Tennessee Williams play about tempestuous family relationships and simmering resentments in the Southern states of the US. The film was a huge hit on release, and stars Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor at their most stunning.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

8pm, BBC1

The fourth instalment in the pirate franchise has Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow joined by Penelope Cruz in a search for the fountain of youth. Cruz's sister Monica was hired to double for Penelope in the most dangerous scenes, and Keith Richards – the original inspiration for Depp's Captain Jack – has a cameo.

Burlesque (2010)

9.30pm, TG4

Musical drama starring Christina Aguilera and Cher; a sequined rags-to-riches tale about a waitress who becomes a star burlesque performer after overcoming her rivals. Cher plays the club owner with a heart of gold.


The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

9pm, Sky 1

Disaster movie about a new ice age brought on by global warming. A super-storm hits New York, bringing temperatures of minus 100 degrees Celsius – cold enough to instantly freeze anything in its path. Dennis Quaid stars as a scientist determined to find and save his son.

Alien (1979)

10.50pm, Film4

'In Space No One Can Hear You Scream' was the poster line for this Ridley Scott-directed sci-fi classic. Sigourney Weaver leads an excellent cast, including Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm and John Hurt but the alien, designed by Swiss surrealist HR Giger, is the real star. Genuinely scary.

White Oleander (2002)

12.15am, BBC1

Drama adaptation of the Janet Fitch book of the same name. Alison Lohman plays a girl who has to move from foster home to foster home after her mother, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, gets sent to prison for killing her husband with the poison White Oleander.


Working Girl (1988)

9pm, More4

Melanie Griffith plays an ambitious secretary who teams up with co-worker Harrison Ford to try and get revenge on her boss, Sigourney Weaver, who is stealing her ideas. Griffith was nominated for an Oscar for her performance. Directed by Mike Nichols, theme song by Carly Simon.

Dear John (2010)

10.10pm, RTE1

Drama about the relationship between a young soldier and the girlfriend he writes to after being sent off to war, until she meets someone else and sends him a 'Dear John' break-up letter. Stars Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried.

Total Recall (1990)

11.40pm, UTV

This, the original version of Total Recall, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and is far superior to the recent remake with Colin Farrell. Based on a Philip K Dick story – with Arnie dimly trying to find out who he really is while on a trip to Mars, where he memorably bellows, "If I'm not me, den who de hell am I?"


The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

12.50pm, Film4

Fifties sci-fi classic about an alien called Klaatu who comes to earth accompanied by a giant robot called Gort, to warn humankind they are on a path to destruction unless they change their warlike ways. A less impressive 2008 remake starred Keanu Reeves as Klaatu.

Limitless (2011)

9pm, Film 4

Entertaining thriller starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel and Robert De Niro. A struggling writer, played by Cooper, discovers an experimental drug that allows him to access his brain's full potential. He finishes his book, then makes millions on Wall Street, before the side effects kick in.

The Crossing Guard (1995)

12.10am, BBC1

Serious actor turned serious director, Sean Penn directs Jack Nicholson in this weighty drama about an alcoholic father who wants revenge on the man who killed his daughter in a drink-driving incident. Angelica Houston and Robin Wright-Penn co-star.


Casino Royale (2006)

10.45pm, UTV

Daniel Craig dons tux and powder-blue swimming togs for his first outing as 007. Based on the first novel by Ian Fleming, this shows Bond ordering his first dry Martini and settling into his Aston Martin. Mads Mikkelsen is great as arch villain Le Chiffre, while Eva Green shines as Vesper Lynd.

Rewind (2010)

12midnight, TV3

Worth a look to see golden girl Amy Huberman playing against type as a recovering drug addict struggling to stay clean. The plot is predictable stuff but you can watch out for cameos from other Irish actors such as Simon Delaney.

Valhalla Rising (2009)

12.10am, BBC2

Atmospheric and visually excellent historical drama set in the year 1000AD, with Mads Mikkelsen as a Viking warrior called One-Eye who travels with a boy and a group of Christian warriors to the Holy Land.


An Affair To Remember (1957)

7.30am, RTE1

One of the all-time romantic classics. Cary Grant is a carefree playboy who meets Deborah Kerr on a transatlantic crossing. Both are involved with other people, but agree to meet six months later on the top of the Empire State Building if they have succeeded in disentangling themselves. The day arrives, but Kerr is knocked down by a car on her way.

The Princess And The Frog (2009)

6.35pm, RTE1

Animated Disney musical about a waitress who dreams of opening her own cafe. She kisses a frog, who is actually an enchanted prince, and becomes a frog herself, in a reversal of the usual fairytale outcome. Starring the voices of Oprah Winfrey and John Goodman.

Braveheart (1995)

9pm, RTE2

Swashbuckling adventure drama about the attempts of reluctant hero William Wallace to throw off the oppressive yoke of the English in 13th Century Scotland. Early victories summon the highlands to him until victory is in his grasp, only for betrayal to deliver him to his enemies. Produced, directed and starring Mel Gibson, along with Sophie Marceau and Brendan Gleeson.

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