Saturday 18 November 2017

TV films of the week

SUNDAY

The Longest Day (1962)

RTE2, 2.10pm

Second World War epic about the invasion of France by the Allies in 1944, starring Robert Mitchum and John Wayne. The film had five different directors, and consulted a host of D-Day veterans as well as Field Marshal Rommel's widow.

Twister (1996)

RTE2, 9.00pm

Bluff action-adventure about a group of scientists who follow twisters around the American Midwest. It suffers from having a natural phenomenon as the major villain rather than a psychologically compelling human. Written by Michael Crichton and stars Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.

Knight and Day (2010)

RTE1, 9.30pm

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in a cheery action comedy about a regular gal forced to flee the secret service in the company of a manic, overactive former spy played by guess who? Second on-screen collaboration for Diaz and Cruise, after Vanilla Sky.

MONDAY

Bugsy Malone (1976)

Film4, 7pm

Alan Parker's appealing musical, set during the Prohibition era, features a cast of kiddie gangsters and cops, with a very young Jodie Foster as Tallulah and Scott Baio as Bugsy Malone, an Irish-American boxing scout. Instead of standard-gangster-issue Tommy Guns, the film uses splurge guns, which splatter the targets with cream.

Brubaker (1980)

TG4, 9.30pm

Based on a true story, this has Robert Redford as Henry Brubaker, a prison governor who determines to reform the penal system, first getting himself locked up in order to experience life as a convict.

300 (2006)

UTV, 11.40pm

Lavish action movie about the battle between 300 Spartan warriors and a huge Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae. Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, and visually faithful to the original artwork.

TUESDAY

King of the Travellers (2012)

TV3 9pm

Fran from Love/Hate, otherwise known as actor Peter Coonan, co-stars as Mickey Da Bags in this revenge drama about a Traveller trying to track down the men who killed his father. John Connors takes the lead role.

True Lies (1994)

Film4, 9pm

Action comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis as a married couple whose seemingly humdrum life continues uneventfully until a chance encounter sparks Arnie into using his skills as a secret agent on his wife. Features a hilariously odd scene in which Jamie Lee dances seductively for her husband while thinking he's someone else.

Disturbia (2007)

BBC1, 11.35pm

Hitchcock-style thriller directed by DJ Caruso and starring Shia LeBeouf as a young man spying on his glamorous neighbour, played by David Morse.

WEDNESDAY

The Odessa File (1974)

TCM, 3pm

Thriller based on Frederick Forsyth's best-selling novel. Jon Voight stars as a German ambulance-chasing reporter who gets caught up in a plot by former Nazis. Co-starring Maximilian Schell.

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

RTE1, 9.35pm

Action movie about a group of Marines who try to rescue civilians from Los Angeles after the city is invaded by hostile (and possibly illegal) aliens. They need to get out before the Air Force can give the city a good old-fashioned carpet-bombing.

Tropic Thunder (2008)

BBC1, 12.05am

Excellent comedy about a group of actors whose Vietnam war movie turns into a real war. Directed, co-written by and starring Ben Stiller, this features a blacked-up Robert Downey Jr and a fat-suited Tom Cruise. Bliss.

THURSDAY

Young Man with a Horn (1950)

TCM, 6.50pm

The title might suggest something on the adult channel but actually this a film from a more innocent time. Kirk Douglas plays a jazz trumpeter who puts his career ahead of everything else in his life. Co-starring Lauren Bacall and Doris Day.

Fair Game (2010)

Film4, 9pm

Naomi Watts plays a CIA agent and Sean Penn her diplomat husband in a spy thriller based on the memoirs of Valerie Plame. This was a major hit with the critics but not so much at the box office.

Away We Go (2009)

RTE1, 12.20am

A young couple looking for a suitable place to bring up their baby find a gallery of unsuitable friends and family everywhere they look. Directed by Sam Mendes and written by real-life couple Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida.

FRIDAY

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

RTE2 9pm

If mopey teenagers are your thing, then lead character Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, is the one to watch in this, the second of the blockbuster series. Bella is acutely missing vampire BF Robert Pattinson, so turns to her lycanthropic childhood friend for support.

The Firm (1993)

More 4, 9pm

Thriller based on the John Grisham blockbuster novel. Newly qualified lawyer Tom Cruise moves to Memphis to work for The Firm. Initial golden times turn sour as he starts to figure out what happens to those who attempt to leave the company.

Chinatown (1974)

Channel4, 1.15am

Brilliant neo-noir thriller from writer Robert Towne and director Roman Polanski. Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and a very creepy John Huston star. The Oscar-winning script is rightly regarded by many critics as being one of the best ever written.

SATURDAY

Marmaduke (2010)

RTE2, 4.25pm

Less good than Beethoven in the loveable-big-dog series of films, but watchable family comedy. Great Dane Marmaduke relocates from Kansas to California with his owner, ad man Phil, where he finds a community of canine friends and foes. Voiced by Owen Wilson, William H Macy and Steve Coogan.

Stardust (2007)

RTE1, 4.40pm

All-star cast here, including Robert De Niro, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer and the late, great Peter O'Toole; produced by Neil Gaiman. A star falls to earth and is spotted by a young man living a dull and prosaic life. He sets off to find the star, in the form of a beautiful woman, but so too do the forces of darkness.

Prizzi's Honor (1985)

RTE1, 12.15am

Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston sizzle irresistibly together in this Mafia drama that also manages to be a kind of baroque comedy. Directed by John Huston. Anjelica won an Oscar and Nicholson cemented his reputation as an actor of vast range.

Irish Independent

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