Saturday, 19 August 2017

11 Films to watch on TV this week



Lady In The Van   Sat   19/8   BBC2 @ 21.00

A homeless elderly woman moves into van outside a man's house. At first they hate each other but a bond slowly but surely develops over the years. A lovely gentle bit of comedy bolstered by a superlative performance from the always excellent Maggie Smith. She's perfect at playing a cranky old wagon with plenty of hidden depths. Alex Jennings is good too as Alan Bennett on who's life this story is based.

The Hunger Games : Catching Fire   Sat   19/8   CH4 @ 21.00

After the events of the first film have caused civil unrest, hero Katniss Everdeen is warned to fan the flames of rebellion. Or else. The second film in the Hunger Games series is the best of them all. An exciting, action packed thriller with plenty of intelligence and a lead character you will genuinely want to see do well. Jennifer Lawrence rocks it in the lead & gets super back up from Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Hemsworth.

The Runway   Sat   19/8   RTE1 @ 22.25

When a South American pilot crash lands his plane near a small Cork town, the residents decide to help him out in any way they can. Based very loosely on a true story, this is a fierce likeable film, funny, exciting and odd in ways only an Irish film can be. Very solid cast too, Demián Bichir is fun as the pilot and Kerry Condon and little Jamie Kierans as a struggling single mother and her son who come to his aid are just great.

Ransom   Mon   21/8   ITV4 @ 21.00

A young boy is kidnapped and his billionaire father realises that even if he pays his son will die so decides to do things his way. A proper grown up thriller here from director Ron Howard, full of tension, twists & turns and some pleasing shades of gray. Excellent cast in this one too including Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise, Liev Schreiber and Delroy Lindo and everyone of them on form.

Mud   Mon   21/8   TG4 @ 21.30

2 young boys living a tough existence in Arkansas go exploring one day and come across a man on the run. Of course they decide to help him out. Jeff Nichol's film is a cracker, a dreamy, beautiful looking coming of age story. Amazing cast in this too, Tye Sheridan in the lead is excellent but the movie belongs to Matthew McConnaughey in a career best role. Slightly overlong but we'll overlook it this time.

Zero Dark Thirty   Tues   22/8   Film4 @ 00.10

Kathryn Bigelow's tremendous tale of the hunt and eventual take down of Osama Bin Laden. Jessica Chastain is perfect in the lead role as the woman who planned and executed the entire operation. We may find some of her methods problematic but the story neither glorifies or condemns and just tells it like it was. A tense & superbly acted film which will grip you even when you know the ending.

A Knights Tale   Tues   22/8   RTE2 @ 21.40

An absolute chancer decides to make an name for himself and reinvents himself as a knight and expert jouster. One of the most entertaining films of the 21st century. This is just pure fun. Heath Ledger in the lead rocks and Shannyn Sossamon is lovely as the woman who catches his eye. Add in a killer soundtrack and your have a super way to pass a couple of hours. The use of David Bowie's Golden Years is just perfect.

Starman   Wed   23/8   Film4 @ 16.35 

An alien makes a very special connection with a grieving woman and asks for her help. But things don't go easy for them. John Carpenter's sci-fi drama is a lovely look at what it means to be human. Funny and touching and brilliantly acted stuff. Karen Allen is good but Jeff Bridges is just amazing as a person discovering the world all around him. Record this one and keep it for a rainy Sunday.


Drag Me To Hell   Thurs   24/8   Syfy @ 23.00

Sam Raimi's hilariously gooey & crunchy tale of a young woman's mistake and her efforts to fix that mistake. Alison Lohman is great fun in the lead role and certainly earns her pay as she gets thrown around the screen like the coyote in the old Roadrunner cartoons. This is the perfect horror film for people who claim not to like horror. It's very funny and you'll snort laughing as much as you roar at the screen

Blitz   Fri   25/8   TV3 @ 21.00

A London detective finds himself on the tail of a particularly vicious serial killer. A different film for Statham, no martial arts, no epic gun battles, just good old fashioned investigating and a touch of punchiness.  Violent stuff but very entertaining and worth watching just for Statham's explanation of hurling in the opening scene alone. Aiden Gillen makes a very hateable villain and Paddy Considine in a supporting role is solid as always.

Up In The Air   Fri   25/8   BBC1 @ 23.50


A man who spends his life travelling from place to place makes a connection with a woman who does the same and for the first time in his life thinks about settling down. George Clooney and Vera Farmiga lead this drama that's equally funny and sad. A film about people who think they have it all and have nothing at all. A film about the silliness of valuing your work life above all else. Well worth a watch.









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