Film Highlights Wednesday
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Sky Movies Premiere, 8.00pm
As Iron Man 3 opens, Tony (Robert Downey Jr, above) is neglecting his fiancé Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and working day and night on perfecting a new suit when he's interrupted by the arrival of a new enemy, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a terrorist who assassinates people live online and seems intent on "teaching America a lesson". When he blows up Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Tony's friend Happy (Jon Favreau) is injured, and the inventor unwisely gives out his address on air and challenges The Mandarin.
As a result, helicopter gunships appear from the open Pacific and lay waste to Stark's cliff-top Malibu home, almost killing Tony and Pepper in the process. Alone and without a working suit, Tony must use all his resources to combat this deadly new enemy, who as it turns out is not alone in wishing Stark dead.
Winning and witty though they were, the earlier 'Iron Man' films tended to run out of steam late on and get bogged down in overlong action scenes. This one, though, is for me the best of the lot, a cleverly plotted film that gets the balance between effects and jokes pretty much exactly right. In other words, it's perfect post-Christmas dinner fare. Bridesmaids (2011)
RTE One, 10.05pm
Kristen Wiig (below) co-wrote and stars in this salty but sparkling ensemble comedy as Annie, a likeable but downtrodden woman whose luck seems to have deserted her. She put all her savings into opening the cake shop she'd always dreamed of running, only to see it fall victim to the recession. She now works as a saleswoman at a jewellry store, and her only romantic relationship is a sex-with-no-strings arrangement with a handsome cad called Ted (John Hamm).
When her childhood friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces that she's engaged to be married, Annie fears she's about to lose the only meaningful relationship in her life. She's consoled when Lillian asks her to be her maid of honour and organise her hen party, but faces a major obstacle in the shape of Lillian's new friend, Helen (Rose Byrne).
Helen is a wealthy and fastidious princess, and she and Annie dislike each other on sight. And as Annie starts to plan the hen party, a dangerous and destructive rivalry develops. Bridesmaids is pretty broad at times, but has enough heart to make it very enjoyable.