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THN’s Week On TV

Too busy to look at the TV guide? Unable to get to the cinema? Well, we’ve got the antidote, a movie a day for your enjoyment:

Monday 14th January

ROAD TO PERDITION – Film4 9pm 

Sam Mendes’ criminally underrated drama focuses on moustachioed hitman Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), whose son Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin), witnesses what his father does for a living with dangerous consequences.

Co-starring Jude Law, Paul Newman and Daniel Craig, ROAD TO PERDITION didn’t receive the masturbatory reaction of Mendes’ AMERICAN BEAUTY, but it’s as good if not better. Incredible performances, beautiful cinematography and an outstanding script make the 20s-set-drama unmissable.

Tuesday 15th January

CHINATOWN – Film4 11:15pm

Master of noir, Roman Polanski, presented CHINATOWN in 1974 and with it cemented his place as one of the greatest directors of all time. Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston, CHINATOWN begins as a crime drama, before descending into mystery, paranoia and plasters as J.J.Gittes (Nicholson) investigates a murderous scheme.

Wednesday 16th January

JACKIE BROWN – Film4 9pm

Two days before Tarantino’s latest DJANGO UNCHAINED lands in UK cinemas his best film to date, JACKIE BROWN, is shown on the ever-reliable Film4.

Featuring arguably the greatest ensemble performance of all time, and based on Elmore Leonard’s novel ‘Rum Punch’, it allows room for Tarantino’s glorious dialogue, with water-tight storytelling resulting in a thrilling tale of drug smuggling, double-crossing and soul music. A must watch.

Thursday 17th January

BLAZING SADDLES – ITV4 9pm 

Mel Brooks’ hilariously un-PC comedy appears almost weekly on TV, but is always worth a watch. Gene Wilder has never been better than as corrupt politician, Jim, who appoints a black sheriff, Bart (Cleavon Little), to ruin a Western town. Full of quotable lines, tremendous physical comedy, and buckets of baked beans, whether you’re a first time viewer or Mel Brooks aficionado, BLAZING SADDLES is essential.

Friday 18th January

TROPIC THUNDER – BBC1 11:20pm

Keeping with comedy for the late week wind-down is TROPIC THUNDER, Ben Stiller’s patchy but enjoyable effort.

Featuring Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Stiller, all on top form, the John Malkovich-inspired story follows production of a war movie directed by Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) with an over-zealous producer and bickering actors. It also features tremendous turns from Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey.

Saturday 19th January

GLADIATOR – ITV1 11pm

Epic, overlong and poorly paced it might be, but when it hits top gear, Ridley Scott’s GLADIATOR is essential viewing.

Maximus (Russell Crowe) lands in the Gladiatorial arena of the Roman Empire as he seeks vengeance for his murdered wife and son (you all know the speech). Swords, sandals and body armour are the order of the day, as are a pair of jeans and a digital watch for the eagle-eyed amongst you.

Sunday 20th January

SISTER ACT – Film4 1pm

Sunday is a family day, so grab the dog, (your) kids, and some lunch, before settling down to SISTER ACT.

Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg), on the run from the mob, is placed in a convent where she struggles to fit in. Fortunately she’s a singer with a banging voice so helps the choir, much to the chagrin of Mother Superior (Maggie Smith). Yes, it might be formulaic dross but we challenge you not to have a smile on your face for the duration.

One To Avoid!

GARFIELD – ITV1 Saturday 19th January 4:05pm

Cat? Check. Sarcastic, misanthropic celebrity providing voice of said cat? Check. Leading lady with massive boobs? Check. I know what you’re thinking, what more could I ask for? Well, some laugh, the feeling the actors want to be on set making the film, and the boobs, afore mentioned, to be out. Don’t expect any of these in GARFIELD, a cynical, nauseating cash-in on everyones favourite Lasagne eating cat. This being said it will shut the kids up whilst you listen to final score…

So concludes this week’s guide, but be sure to check in next week for the best movies on the box.

Sam is a bloody lovely lad born and raised in Bristol (he’s still there and can’t escape). Favourite films include THE LOST BOYS, DRIVE, FIGHT CLUB and COMMANDO, well pretty much any 1980s Arnie film you can throw his way…even RED SONJA. Sam once cancelled a Total Film subscription after they slagged off Teen Wolf. He resubscribed 2 days later.