Sunday 21 January 2018

TV films of the week


In Which We Serve (1942)

7.10pm, BBC4

Inspired by the wartime exploits of Lord Louis Mountbatten, David Lean's directorial debut is a patriotic tale following the life of a British warship from construction to final battle. The ship's captain is played by Noel Coward, who also wrote the script and the music, in a desire to pay tribute to the Royal Navy.

Licence to Kill (1989)

3.50pm, UTV

Timothy Dalton slips into 007's tuxedo for his second and final outing as James Bond. His portrayal of the spy has a darker feel than that of his predecessor, Roger Moore. In this, Bond resigns from MI5 in order to take on drug lord Franz Sanchez. The theme song by Gladys Knight uses the same horn line as that from Goldfinger.

Hannibal (2001)

9pm, TV3

Ridley Scott directs this sequel to Silence of the Lambs and Anthony Hopkins reprises his role as playful serial killer Hannibal Lector, but Julianne Moore takes over from Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling. Stylish, entertaining but silly. Watch out for the dinner scene with Ray Liotta.


The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

9.15pm, TG4

Stylish psychological thriller based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith and directed by Anthony Minghella. Matt Damon is wonderfully creepy as the social climbing American hanging out with golden couple Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow as they holiday in 1950s Italy. A brilliant early cameo from Philip Seymour Hoffman.

True Grit (2010)

9.30pm, RTE1

Oscar-nominated western from the Coen brothers, this is based on a 1968 novel and is the second movie adaptation (the first, in 1969, starred John Wayne). Jeff Bridges stars as a US Marshal helping a young girl, played by Hailee Steinfeld, track down the man who killed her father. Support from Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Domhnall Gleeson.

48 Hours (1982)

11pm, TV3

One of the first of many action-comedy 'Buddy' movies, this teams cop Nick Nolte with criminal Eddie Murphy. The pair are thrown together in a bid to track down a cop-killer in – you guessed it! – just 48 hours.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

7.30pm, UTV

Fourth film in the fantasy series about the boy wizard and his school friends. Based on the most tedious of the books, this has students from other magic schools visiting Hogwarts to take part in the Triwizard tournament. The usual supporting cast tog out, including Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane.

Bridesmaids (2011)

9pm, Film4

A more indie take on the traditional rom-com formula, and far funnier than most. Kristen Wiig is great as the unfortunate maid of honour, ably assisted by Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm and Rose Byrne. Boyle native Chris O'Dowd plays the love interest. Plenty of close-to-the-bone gags and confessional girlie humour.

The Last Detail (1973)

1.20am, Film4

Comedy drama from Robert Towne, writer of the Seventies classic Chinatown. This stars Jack Nicholson and Otis Young as two sailors who have to escort another young sailor, played by Randy Quaid, to naval prison. On the way they decide to try and show him a final good time.


Last Man Standing (1996)

9pm, TCM

Bruce Willis stars in this action movie remake of Kurosawa's Yojimbo, set in Prohibition-era Texas. Willis arrives in a border town where two gangs of bootleggers, Irish and Italian, are feuding over territory. Bruce Dern, Christopher Walken and William Sanderson co-star.

Red (2010)

9.35pm, RTE1

Red is an acronym for 'Retired, Extremely Dangerous' and that is what Bruce Willis's former CIA character is in this action comedy. He has to reunite his old team – including Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich – when he finds out they are to be assassinated.

The Boat that Rocked (2009)

11.05pm, UTV

Story of an anarchic 1960s pirate radio station that broadcast from a boat off the coast of England to escape the attentions of the authorities. Written and directed by Brit rom-com king Richard Curtis, this stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans and Kenneth Branagh.


Paul (2011)

10.05pm, RTE2

The team behind the excellent UK comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz parody the sci-fi genre here. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are two sci-fi fans touring UFO sites, who pick up an extraterrestrial hitchhiker near Area 51. Seth Rogen provides the voice for the crude beer-drinking, pot-smoking alien.

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

11.15pm, Film4

John Cusack stars in this broad comedy with an irresistible premise about a group of losers who accidentally turn a hot tub into a time machine thanks to a Russian energy drink full of dangerous chemicals. They travel back to the Eighties and try to fix the mistakes they made the first time round. Cameos from Crispin Glover and Chevy Chase.

The New World (2005)

1.10am, Film4

There are those who complain that Terrence Malik films are over-long and hard to follow, but there is no doubting the beauty of the camera work. This romantic drama is no exception, telling the story of the foundation of the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia in the early 1600s, and the love story between Pocahontas and Captain John Smith. With Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer.


Chato's Land (1972)

9.35pm, TG4

Michael Winner teams up once more with Charles Bronson in this Technicolor Western. Bronson stars as an Apache who goes on the run after he kills a sheriff in self-defence but is followed by a vengeful posse led by Jack Palance.

Rocknrolla (2008)

11.50pm, TV3

Guy Ritchie's output varies wildly in quality, from the very poor Swept Away to the very good Sherlock Holmes. Rocknrolla, a Brit gangster film, is one of the better ones, about a London gangster defending his turf against Russian encroachers. The fine cast includes Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba.

The Naked Gun 33 and a 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)

12.30am, Channel 4

Leslie Nielsen stars as detective Frank Drebbin for the third and final film in the series. The film has a memorable parody of the 'pram going down the steps' scene from The Untouchables, itself a homage to Battleship Potemkin.


It Could Happen To You (1994)

3.05pm, RTE2

Based on a true story, this feel-good rom com works mainly thanks to the screen chemistry between Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda (where is she now? Seriously?). He is a decent cop who, in lieu of a tip, offers half any potential lotto winnings to the waitress who serves him in a diner. When he wins, he honours the agreement, despite the carping of his wife. Cue comedy, action and romance.

The Parent Trap (2008)

3.35pm, RTE1

Based on Erich Kastner's charming novel Lottie and Lisa, this endearing film stars the young Lindsay Lohan not once but twice – as identical twins who meet for the first time at summer camp, having been separated at birth by their divorcing parents (Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson). They decide to bring the parents back together by switching places once camp ends.

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