On the 5th Day of Christmas The Snooty Ushers bring to you…
CHRISTMAS FILM OF THE WEEK!
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.
We’ve been holding off on the Christmas movies, at first through choice and then simply because the films just haven’t been – well this week we make up for it with not one, not two, but THREE films!
A quick note, the Bourne trilogy are on this weekend on ITV2 at 9pm, if you’re looking for an action alternative.
NB since we are all still ushers at heart, our weeks will start on a Friday.
So, our TV Film of the Week is:
It’s A Wonderful Life (BBFC Rating U, Frank Capra, 1946)
Channel 4, Saturday 24th December, 14:15
There really couldn’t be any other choice. Frank Capra’s classic Christmas tale of suicidal George Bailey, whose guardian angel shows him all the ways he has touched the lives of everyone in his town. It was James Stewart’s favourite role, Capra thought it the favourite film he made, and they would know! Again, a classic, sit down with the family and enjoy.
To give you another option, Our Other TV Film Of The Week is
Rare Exports (BBFC Rating 18, Jalmari Helander, 2010)
Film4, Thursday 24th December, 02:20
One to set your generic recording device of choice for. A horror story based on a Finnish archaeological dig that finds a tomb and a silver haired old man who bares a striking resemblance to a certain Father Christmas. File it alongside Troll Hunter as one of the best Scandinavian horror films of the last…well ever. Also recommended by Dan in his Christmas Horrors article, and he knows his horror!
Oh, since it’s Christmas, here’s a third!
Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003)
ITV1, Sunday 20th December, 22:20 / ITV2, Tuesday 22nd December
And a guily pleasure of mine: Love Actually. Richard Curtis stepped behind the camera for the first time to prove that love, actually, is all around. A host of British finest actors, and you’ve got two chances to be swept up in the warm feeling of the season.
For your consideration
Being Christmas, there’s a lot of good films on, so here’s the best of the rest:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (BBFC Rating 12A, John Madden, 2011) – It’s just brilliant. If you think it’s just for old people, give it a watch, you will be surprised. Dev Patel is brilliant as the hotel manager just trying to get the hotel to work and remember “if it’s not all right, then trust me, it’s not yet the end“. Film4, Friday 18th December, 21:00 / Thursday 24th December
Con Air (BBFC Rating 18, Simon West, 1997) – There’s a bit in How To Lose Friends And Alienate People where Simon Pegg’s character argues that Con Air is the best film ever made “It’s got everything, hasn’t it? You know, you’ve got Malkovich for your acting chops, you got Nicky Cage for your action, Steve Buscemi for your comedy, John Cusack for the gays. Right? It’s like a smorgasbord, isn’t it?”. The character is an idiot – but he has a good point there. And Nicolas Cage films get an automatic recommendation, and this is a cracking action film. Channel 5, Friday 18th December, 21:00
Seven Psychopaths (BBFC Rating 15, Martin McDonagh, 2012) – From the director of In Bruges, Sam Rockwell and Colon Farrell as a struggling actor and scriptwriter. Rockwell’s character kidnaps dogs to earn some money, until he accidentally kidnaps the violent gangster Woody Harrelson’s dog. Stick it on Sky+ and you’ll enjoy it. Film4, Saturday 19th December, 01:40
The Muppets (BBFC Rating U, James Bobin, 2011) – The best live action kid’s film since… well, ever? A beautiful, heart warming film that will have you singing Life’s A Happy Song long after the end credits. . BBC1, Saturday 19th December, 13:55
Arthur Christmas (BBFC Rating U, Sarah Smith, 2011) – Maybe Aardman’s least celebrated film, but even on their worst day, they still produce a heart warming (that word again!) family adventure, this time as the youngest son of Father Christmas has to save the day by delivering the last present to the last child. Channel 4, Saturday 19th December, 17:10
WolfCop (BBFC Rating 18, Lowell Dean, 2014) – The story of an alcoholic police man, who is a wolf. Real B-movie fun! Check out Dan’s Review here. Film4, Saturday 19th December, 23:25
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (BBFC Rating U, Mel Stuart, 1971) – Gene Wilder is brilliant as Willy Wonka in the adaption of Roald Dahl’s classic. The music is fantastic as well, and the ending made me cry when I was little! ITV3, Sunday 20th December, 13:50 / Thursday 24th December 13:40
Toy Story 3 (BBFC Rating U, Lee Unkrich, 2010) – The concluding part of Pixar’s trilogy sees Andy moving to college and the toys facing an uncertain future. Ned Beatty is great as Lotso the bear who runs a cartel in the nursery, and Woody, Buzz and the gang have to escape. Another ending that made me cry, and I wasn’t a kid! BBC1, Sunday 20th December, 15:05
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengenace (BBFC Rating 12A, Neveldine & Taylor, 2012) – Nicolas Cage got a second chance at the Ghost Rider character, and did better this time around with the directors behind the awesome Crank and Crank 2. Channel 4, Monday 21st December, 23:10
The Big Lebowski (BBFC Rating 18, Joel Coen, 1997) – So it’s not exactly Christmassy, but it’s one heck of a film. Jeff Daniels as the Dude is the coolest slacker character in history who gets involved in a kidnapping plot. One of the Coen’s best films as well.. ITV4, Tuesday 22nd December, 00:10
The Others (BBFC Rating 12, Alejandro Amenabar, 2001) – If you want a Christmas horror to watch, you could do much worse than this Nicole Kidman about a young family who experience weird things in their new house. The foggy Jersey setting just adds to the claustrophic nature. Film4, Tuesday 22nd December, 01:30
Hardy Candy (BBFC Rating 18, David Slade, 2005) – Patrick Wilson was the subject of our latest Dependables column, and this was one of the roles that we talked about. He plays an apparant sexual predator who arranges to meet a 14 year old Ellen Page. She turns the tablesand ends up torturing him, but how far will she go? Horror Channel, Tuesday 22nd December, 21:00
First Blood (BBFC Rating 15, Ted Kitcheff, 1982) – The time we meet John Rambo, he is a broken soldier, rejected by his home town. Stallone is excellent, before the sequels turned him into a supersoldier. ITV4, Tuesday 22nd December, 23:05
Millions (BBFC Rating 12, Danny Boyle, 2004) – Danny Boyle skill as a director is shown by the fact that when he makes a picture in a genre, it is one of the best of that genre! Sunshine is a fresh, interesting sci-fi film. 28 Days Later is a really good infection film. And this is a very good family film.As Britain converts to the Euro, a young boy finds a bag full of money on it’s way to be destroyed and tries to do as much good as he can. In less skilled hands this would turn into a syrupy mush, but Boyle gives the story a strong (Christain?) message without ever becoming preachy. Film4, Wednesday 23rd December, 14:30
Uncle Buck (BBFC Rating 15, John Hughest, 1989) – John Hughes made his first move away from the teen romance genre in Planes, Train, and Automobile (check my re-view here), and followed it up with this comedy classic. John Candy is brilliant as the uncle that has to babysit three kids. Hilarity ensues! ITV2, Wednesday 23rd December, 19:00
Casino Royale (BBFC Rating 12, Martin Campbell, 2006) – Bond at Christmas was a tradition even before we bought my Dad all 18 films (at the time) in a DVD box set and spent the whole holiday season watching them. The reboot (directed by Martin Campbell, who had already re-energised the franchise once with 1995’s GoldeEye) gave birth to The Snooty Ushers’ best Bond, as Daniel Craig gave us a gritty take on the iconic role. One of the best pre-title sequence as well. ITV2, Thursday 24th December, 21:00
There we go. We hope there’s something you like! See you next week when The Snooty Ushers choose their TV Film Of The Week!
Happy TV Christmas! We’ll have another Christmas article tomorrow!