Saturday, 26 August 2017

11 Films to watch on TV this week

Michael Collins   Sat   26/8   RTE1 @ 21.10

The story of the last years of the life of Michael Collins, his part in the war against the crown and the creation of the Irish Free State. An epic movie, the biggest ever filmed in Ireland, it's a cracking watch. It's history mightn't always be accurate but it's still gripping, poignant and brilliantly acted and made. Liam Neeson makes the role of the Big Fella his own and he gets able backing from a super cast of Irish & English actors. 

Captain Phillips   Sat   26/8   ITV @ 22.15

The true story of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates and the American sailors of board who feared for their lives. Tom Hanks gives a great performance as the titular character, the man tasked with keeping his crew alive but the film is owned by Barkhad Abdi as the leader of the pirates. His first ever film role and he is just astounding. Tense, sweaty, nerve wracking stuff that's well worth watching.

The Help   Sat   26/8   BBC2 @ 22.40

A wannabe writer decides to write a book about the lives of African American maids in the south of the 1960's. Unsurprisingly their lives are harsh and unhappy. Emma Stone plays the lead in this but Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain are the actor's you'll remember in this upsetting, rage inducing and yet funny in places look at race relations in an era of America they want to forget . 

In The Electric Mist   Sun   27/8   BBC1 @ 00.25

Dave Robicheaux, a homicide detective in New Orleans finds himself heading into a decades old mystery when a modern day murder in linked to a much older one. A nice atmospheric piece of southern gothic mystery here, a touch old fashioned maybe but great acting and a super cast give it a lovely kick. Tommy Lee Jones is solid as always in the lead and gets good support from Mary Steenburgen, Kelly McDonald & John Goodman.

Byzantium   Mon   28/8   Film4 @ 23.15

Two women on the run turn up a quiet beach town and it isn't long before their centuries old secret is out and they find themselves in danger again. Neil Jordan directs Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Atherton in this fine little film. Intelligent, well written and pretty bloody stuff, this isn't for the squeamish amongst us but if you can stick with it you'll be very satisfied by this unique take on an overcrowded area of the horror genre.

White God   Tues   29/8   Film4 @ 23.35

Due to a new law, a young girl in Budapest loses her beloved dog and sets out to find him. However the dog is sick of being treated badly by other humans..... A real one of a kind film here, surreal, unique, brilliantly made and pretty damn hard to watch in places but it's really really good. Zsófia Psotta as Lili is a fine young actor and the film gives an insight into a culture we really see in film. Definitely my film of the week.

The Adventures Of Tintin   Thur   31/8   BBC2 @ 13.45

Tintin and his dog Snowy find themselves caught up in the adventure of a lifetime after a bargain find at market stall turns his life sideways. Steven Spielberg's adaption of the famous Hergé story is a fantastic achievement. It's a little overlong but its absurd, hilarious and jam packed full of action and memorable characters. Jamie Bell & especially Andy Serkis are excellent as Tintin and Captain Haddock. Proper family fun.

Valerie   Thurs   31/8   TCM @ 16.40

Set during a murder trial in the old west, 3 very different testimonies are heard but which one is the truthful version? A strange film, a mystery western noir with a touch of Rashomon would be one way to describe it and its very watchable stuff. Sterling Hayden and Anita Ekberg as the leads are superb, Hayden his usual briary persona and Ekberg as a woman who isn't what she seems. OR is she? A bleak, compelling and surprising film.

The Sons Of Katie Elder   Fri   1/9   TG4 @ 21.45

Four brothers come together to get some good old fashioned family revenge in this classic western with John Wayne & Dean Martin. Highly enjoyable stuff and a lovely looking technicolor western shot in on location in Colorado and Mexico, it just looks EPIC. Plus it's a film that's still influential and still gets "homaged" to this day.  A perfect film to record and watch on a rainy Sunday beside the fire.

Shaft   Fri   1/9   TV3 @ 22.00

After a rich man uses his wealth & connections to get away with murder, a cop decides to make it personal. But a Dominican drug lord complicates matters. John Singleton's 2000 reboot is a film that was unfairly ignored on release and should be given a second chance because it's highly entertaining stuff. Vicious, funny, and full of great characters. Samuel L.Jackson, Christian Bale and especially Jeffrey Wright are all on great form.

Heat   Fri   1/9   Dave @ 23.00  

A meticulous bank robber meets his match in a detective obsessed with his job. Neither man will back down. A 90's masterpiece here. A perfect thriller. A long movie but every member of the cast gets a moment to shine. And what a cast. De Niro & Pacino are on fire, Val Kilmer, Amy Brennaman, Tom Sizemore etc all excellent. An exciting, gruelling, brutal, complicated movie with one of the all time great cinematic shoot outs. 

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