Welcome to the TV Film of the Week. The name says it all! The Snooty Ushers have put their heads together to recommend a couple of films that you can watch this week on TV.
NB since we are all still ushers at heart, our weeks will start on a Friday.
So, our TV Film of the Week is:
Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012)
BBC2, Sunday 8th November, 21:00
Rian Johnson is the director of the some of the best episodes of Breaking Bad (“The Fly”, “Fifty-One”, “Ozymandias”) and the upcoming Star Wars Episode IX (as well as writing Star Wars Episode VIII), and Looper is a great showcase of his talent, which he both wrote and directed. In a future where time-travel has been invented but outlawed, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a “looper”, an assassin killing people who are sent back in time. When his future self (Bruce Willis) is sent back as a target, the young Joe finds himself on the run, and ends up at a farm protecting Sara (Emily Blunt) and her son from his future self.
This is an incredibly rare thing: an intelligent sci-fi film with real warmth. Well acted across the board, it just feels like a real world. A great film, which will hopefully be available on iPlayer after.
To give you another option, our Other TV Film Of The Week is
The Addams Family (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1991)
Film4, Friday 6th November, 19:00
Long time comic and iconic 1960s TV show gets remade by the director of Men in Black and itself becomes iconic! 99% of you know the story, but incase you don’t: the family lawyer realises a missing elder brother would be the rightful heir to the Addams’ riches, so he finds a lookalike to infiltrate the world’s most macabre family.
Raul Julia and Angelica Houston are phenomenal as Gomez and Mortica Addams, and of course Christina Ricci just is Wednesday. Christopher Lloyd adds another legendary role (he made this, the Back To The Future trilogy AND Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in a little over 5 years!) to his resume as the pretend Uncle Fester. After a long career in theatre, Julia died in 1995 without being able to capitalise on this Hollywood breakout role. His performance as Gomez is my highlight in an absolute gem of a film that stands up to rewatching time and time again.
For your consideration
It’s a good week, so here’s the best of the rest:
Next (BBFC Rating 12, Lee Tamahori, 2007) – Any Nic Cage film will get a recommendation for The Snooty Ushers. Here, he plays a psychic who is asked by the FBI to try and stop a terrorist nuclear attack. 5*, Friday 6th November, 21:00
Videodrome (BBFC Rating 18, David Cronenberg, 1982) – Classic sci-fi/body horror from the Canadian master. A TV exec (James Woods) goes searching for the creators of an apparent snuff film, and seems to be loosing his mind. Not one for the feint-hearted. Horror Channel, Friday 6th November, 22:55
The Collector (BBFC Rating 18, Marcus Dunston, 2009) – The Collector made it onto Dan’s Top 10 Under-Apprecaited Horror Villains list, so why not check it out yourself? Home invasion chiller, definitely not one to watch alone. Horror Channel, Saturday 7th November, 00:40
The Hunt For Red October (BBFC Rating PG, John McTiernan, 1990) – Looking for something to watch on Saturday afternoon? You can do worse! Simmering submarine espionage thriller with Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, James Earl Jones, and Sam Neill. Dave, Saturday 7th November, 15:30
Death Becomes Her (BBFC Rating PG, Robert Zemeckis, 1992) – Don’t fancy Hunt for Red October? Black comedy about squabbling rivals who discover a youth potion, and the mortician who they fight over, with the brilliant Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. ITV1, Saturday 7th November, 15:45
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (BBFC Rating 12, Nicholas Meyer, 1982) – The best of the original Star Trek films? Dave, Saturday 7th November, 18:00
Welcome To The Jungle (BBFC Rating 12A, Peter Berg, 2003) – Great Saturday night entertainment, with The Rock as a bounty hunter who goes to Brazil to collect his boss’ son (Sean William Scott). Action comedy that will fill the gap before MOTD. 5*, Saturday 7th November, 20:00
Raw Deal (BBFC Rating 18, John Irvin, 1986) – Early Arnie shoot em up, made just after Red Sonja. It’s a simple, fun, violent action film. ITV4, Saturday 7th November, 23:00
Lockout (BBFC Rating 15, James Mather, 2012) – One reason to watch this: Guy Pearce as Marion Snow, a kick ass action hero, who has to save the President’s daughter when a space station prison she is visiting is taken over. A brilliant action film. Channel4, Saturday 7th November, 23:40
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (BBFC Rating 15, Arthur Hiller, 1989) – Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor star in their third film together after Silver Streak and Stir Crazy. Comedy classic or offensive and silly? You decide! Channel 5, Saturday 7th November, 23:50
The Simpsons Movie (BBFC Rating PG, David Silverman, 2007) – It took a long time, but The Simpsons on the big screen delivered. Despite coming during a slump for the TV show, the film harks back to the glory days. If only we could have got Hank Scorpio as the bad guy. Like The Simpsons? Check out James’ Top 10 Treehouse of Horror segments. Channel 4, Sunday 8th November, 16:50
Blades of Glory (BBFC Rating 12, Josh Gordon & Will Speck, 2007) – Best Will Ferrel film – this or Anchorman? John Heder plays his rival in the best ice-skating comedy I’ve ever seen. BBC3, Sunday 8th November, 21:00
Pitch Perfect (BBFC Rating 12A, Jason Moore, 2012) – Or if you prefer your Sunday night comedy a but more realistic, there’s Pitch Perfect. Surprisingly smart, you will find your toe tapping throughout. Film4, Sunday 8th November, 21:00
The Wicker Man (BBFC Rating 15, Robin Hardy, 1973) British classic horror, starring Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee. Check out the article on Christopher Lee for more of James’ thoughts on his towering performance. ITV4, Sunday 8th November, 23:20
Slumdog Millionaire (BBFC Rating 15, Danny Boyle, 2008) – A feelgood movie, but to coin a phrase about The Shawshank Redemption – there’s a lot of Slumdog before you get to the millionare. Dev Patel plays a call centre worker who gets the chance to achieve his dreams. But what does he have to sacrifice for them?. Film4, Monday 9th November, 21:00
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, And Her Lover (BBFC Rating 12A, Peter Greenaway, 1989) – Michael Gambon plays a sadistic criminal who has taken over a upmarket French restaurant, with Helen Mirren as his unhappy wife. Worth a place on anyone’s Sky+ library, just for the brilliant cinematography and set design, as well as an acting masterclass from it’s leads. Film4, Tuesday 10th November, 01:30
The Mission (BBFC Rating 12A, Roland Joffe, 1986) – Robert DeNiro plays a reformed slave trader who defends a Spanish Jesuit mission in South America. Featuring an epic soundtrack from Ennio Morricone. BBC1, Tuesday 10th November, 23:55
I hope there’s something you like! See you next week when The Snooty Ushers choose their TV Film Of The Week!