Friday 20 April 2018

Film Highlights Wednesday

The Lone Ranger (2013)

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Sky Movies Premiere, 8pm

Gore Verbinski's big budget western was savaged by the critics and bombed at the box office last summer, but while messy in parts, it's actually surprisingly enjoyable.

'The Lone Ranger' is based on a half-forgotten 1950s TV series of the same name and stars Armie Hammer as John Reid, an idealistic young lawyer in the old west who believes in justice until bitter experience forces him to change his mind. Johnny Depp is Tonto, an eccentric Comanche brave who joins forces with Reid and persuades him to don a mask and take the law into his own hands.

Verbinski's film is long, and its hysterical climax is difficult to swallow, but for long periods it's great fun, and Depp is very good as the wily Tonto. With Tom Wilkinson and Helena Bonham Carter (above).

Runaway Jury (2003)

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More4, 9pm

Clever ensemble courtroom drama starring Dustin Hoffman as an idealistic lawyer who takes the case of a widow who's suing the makers of the gun that killed her husband. Against him is cynical defence lawyer Gene Hackman, but it turns out there are people on the jury with agendas of their own.

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

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Sky One, 9pm

In this dire sequel to the 1994 thriller Speed, poor old Sandra Bullock is on a cruise with her new boyfriend Jason Patric when a maniac takes over the ship and sets out to crash it into a passing oil tanker. Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Mike Hagerty and Brian McCardie co-star.

Mongol (2007)

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BBC4, 9pm

Russian director Sergei Bodrov uses the Mongolian steppe as a suitably epic setting for his visually stunning account of the life of Genghis Khan, charting his rise from a boy on the run from a rival tribe who murdered his royal father, to his gradual emergence as a charismatic leader.

The Ugly Truth (2009)

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RTE One, 9.35pm

Katherine Heigl is at her most charmless in this crude romantic comedy playing the harried producer of a TV programme who is horrified when a misogynistic sex counsellor becomes a regular contributor on her show. With Gerard Butler and Cheryl Hines.

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

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Film Four, 12.35am

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. With Harvey Keitel.

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