Saturday 20 January 2018

Film Highlights Wednesday

Tropic Thunder (2008)


BBC1, 12.05am

Ben Stiller's (above, left) 'Tropic Thunder' was boycotted in the US by pressure groups incensed by the repeated use of the word 'retard', and Robert Downey Jr's (above, right) blacking up to play an African-American soldier didn't exactly help matters either.

In the end, however, Downey Jr's beautifully judged performance turned out to be the star of the show. He plays Kirk Lazarus, a painfully methodical Australian method actor who has dyed his skin to play a black sergeant in a war film called 'Tropic Thunder'.

But he and all-action co-star Tugg Speedman (Stiller) aren't getting on, and the shoot is threatening to descend into chaos when the director (Steve Coogan) decides to liven things up by stranding his pampered stars deep in the Vietnamese jungle and filming their attempts to find their way out.

Kidnapped (1971)


Film Four, 2.45pm

In this 1970s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure novel, a naive young Scottish noble is cheated of his inheritance and sold into slavery, but his luck changes when he meets a charismatic Jacobite rebel. Michael Caine stars.

The Odessa File (1974)


TCM, 3.00pm

Daft thriller starring Jon Voight as Peter Miller, a young West German newspaper reporter who's investigating the whereabouts of missing war criminals when a Holocaust survivor's suicide leads him to a sinister association that protects former Nazis. With Maria Schell and Maximilian Schell.

Battle Los Angeles (2011)


RTE One, 9.35pm

Trashy but enjoyable thriller starring Aaron Eckhart as the leader of a group of soldiers who become the last line of defence when Los Angeles is invaded by angry and heavily armed aliens who want to wipe the lot of us out and steal our water. With Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Pena and Ne-Yo.

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)


Film Four, 10.55pm

Martin Scorsese's powerful Passion drama based on a Nikos Kazantzakis novel caused uproar when it was first released, but modern viewers may wonder what all the fuss was about. Willem Dafoe plays a charismatic Jesus, who has second thoughts while hanging on the cross.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)


3e, 11.00pm

In this tolerably amusing broad comedy, Kevin James stars as Paul Blart, an overweight security guard at a shopping mall who had to give up his dreams of becoming a cop after failing the physical. But when a gang of thieves attacks the mall, he gets a chance to show what he's made of.

Irish Independent

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