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.
Just a quick note, if you’re a fan of Columbo, both ITV3 and Five USA are showing films this Saturday afternoon. Peter Falk on two channels at once!
NB since we are all still ushers at heart, our weeks will start on a Friday.
So, our TV Film of the Week is:
(BBFC Rating 12, Bryan Singer, 2000)
Saturday 15th May, 18:50
X-Men: Apocalyspe is released this week in the UK, and what better time to look back at where this universe all began. X-Men begins in a Nazi concentration camp, where we see Magneto reveal his power for the first time, and then Jean Grey talking to the Senate about Mutant Registration, a theme which ran through the original trilogy. The film focuses on Magneto’s attempt to create a weapon to turn everyone on Earth into mutants, and Wolverine and Rogue being accepted in Charles Xavier’s academy. A cracking film that opened the way for superhero films to rule the box office. The way the film expands its universe from a handful of mutants is to be applauded, especially when we look at the crowded films we got later on.
I’d also recommend X-Men: First Class (Film4, Saturday 14th May, 21:00), which was a great reboot of the series, and repeated the trick of showing restraint and not overloading the audience with too many characters. X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine are also on Film4 this week, so keep a look out if you want the full backstory on Wolverine going into Apocalypse, but I really wouldn’t bother with Origins.
An alternative choice, our other TV Film of the Week is….
(BBFC Rating 18, Brian Taylor & Mark Nevedine, 2006)
Friday 13th May, 22:50 / Sunday 15th May 23:10
Any other week, this would have be TV Film Of The Week by a million miles. The Snooty Ushers’ Top Actor Jason Statham (why not check out who came top of our actress pole?) plays Chev Chelios, a hitman who is poisoned by a synthetic drug, and has to keep raising his adrenaline to stop the poison killing him. What follows is the most over the top, extremely violent and crude film you will see – until the sequel! You know that “you’ve never seen Bad Boys II?” moment in Hot Fuzz? This is the film that makes me react the same way. You’ve never seen Crank? Well then watch it!
For your consideration
And since I’m here, these are my thoughts on the best of the rest:
Jesse Stone: Sea Change (BBFC Rating 12, Robert Harmon, 2007) – Our Senior Wrestling Correspondent Jonny Hogarth insists these Jesse Stone film make it in here. Channel 5, Friday 13th May, 15:15
Scanners (BBFC Rating 18, David Croenberg, 1980) – Early Croenberg horror, as a private company tries to weaponise Scanners around the world, a group of telepaths. Even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve seen this bit:
But the rest of the film is great as well. Horror Channel, Friday 13th May, 22:50
Metallica: Through The Never (BBFC Rating 18, Nimrod Antal, 2013) – One of the great things about this column is the ability to recommend a variety of films. This and the next film are on at the same time, and could not be more different. Basically a concert film, shot in IMAX 3D, Dane DaHaan plays a roadie sent on a mission during a Metallica gig. Its loses some of its impact unless you’re TV screen is 30 feet high, but if you’re a fan of heavy metal, you’ll enjoy this. Film4, Saturday 14th May, 00:30
Chinatown (BBFC Rating 15, Roman Polanski, 1974) – And at the same time… this is on. One of the all time classics, as Jack Nicholson is a PI hired by a women to investigate her husband, an engineer at the Department of Water and Power. He finds enough to discredit him, but when his real wife turns up and threatens to sue him, he is drawn into a world of secrets and lies at the heart of one of LA’s most important families. Channel 4, Saturday 14th May, 00:35
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (BBFC Rating 18, Tobe Hopper, 1974) – Another of the great horror films. A group of friends fall into the clutches of a cannibal family, with Leatherface one of the great horror creations. Imitated and ripped off many times since, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre still packs a brutal punch. Film4, Saturday 14th May, 02:20
City Of Angels (BBFC Rating 12, Brad Silberling, 1998) – A strange time for this Nic Cage rom-com. Dave’s number 1 actor (and probably human being) Cage plays an angel who falls for heart surgeon Meg Ryan. ITV3, Saturday 14th May, 08:50
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (BBFC Rating U, Cody Cameron, 2013) – Fun, colourful follow-up to one of the most original animations for the last decade. This time, Flint and his friends have to return to their island after his invention FLDSMDFR starts producing sentient food-animals. Pun-tastic, with a rather cuttingly satirical beginning. Five, Sunday 15th May, 17:15
The Master (BBFC Rating 15, Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012) – Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams star in one of the best acted films of all time. Phoenix is a World War II veteran who has a talent for making alcoholic drinks from any materials in any place. After poisoning someone he is on the run, until he meets the charismatic Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), leader of “The Cause”, a movement that bears more than a passing resemblance to Scientology. An absolute tour de force from all three. Film4, Monday 16th May, 23:10
Casino Royale (BBFC Rating PG, John Huston, Ken Hughes, Val Guest, Robert Parrish, Joe McGrath, Richard Talmadge, 1967) – ITV4’s Bond on Wednesday night takes a strange detour to the unofficial comedy version of Ian Fleming’s first novel. James Bond is played by David Nevin, and is happily retired. He rounds up all of his replacements (all given the code name James Bond) to go on a mission to stop Le Chiffre (Orson Welles). Surprisingly, Quatum Of Solace is on ITV2, finishing at 10pm, just in time for this. ITV4, Wednesday 18th May, 22:00
The Mist (BBFC Rating 15, Frank Darabont, 2007) – One of the great creeping horror films of our time, as Thomas Jane and his son try to survive when unexplained giant monsters attack the town. They end up in a supermarket with (amongst others) Toby Jones and Laurie Holden, and have to decide how to survive. There’s also a fantastic black and white version that’s on the official Blu Ray, which is even more chilling. Interestingly, after this Frank Darabont set about making a little TV show call The Walking Dead. You can see some of the ideas already in place here. Horror Channel, Thursday 19th May, 21:00
There we go. Another quiet one this week, but again, there’s surely something you like! See you next week when The Snooty Ushers choose their TV Film Of The Week!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
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