Sixteen films on TV this week picked for your viewing pleasure

Ronan O'Meara

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Ronan O'Meara

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Film screening of the The Tarantula and the Frog in Fethard

Black Death   Saturday   30/1   The Horror Channel @ 9pm

England is in the grip of the first outbreak of the black death plague and in the midst of all this horror a young monk is sent out into the world to investigate reports of supernatural occurrences. A cold and bleak film but an intelligent watch filled with interesting themes, nasty violence and decent performances from an excellent cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Carice Van Houten and Sean Bean. 

22 Jump Street   Saturday   30/1   RTE2 @ 9.30pm

Detectives Schmidt and Jenko are back. This time they're undercover in a college trying to bust another drugs ring. What they learned from their previous adventure in high school doesn't apply in the big leagues. Crass, brash, profane, action packed fun bolstered by some wicked chemistry between it's leads Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill but once again it's Ice Cube as the angriest police captain in the world who steals the show. 

The Conversation   Saturday   30/1   BBC2 @ 11.55pm

Harry's a surveillance expert and he's got a new job. But the work is getting to him and his paranoia is at an all time high due to past events. Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 thriller is a stunner. A post Watergate classic seeped in the pervading atmosphere of a broken country. Gene Hackman's spectacular as a man coming apart at the seams and the late John Cazale as his partner is as always brilliant. A nerve shredding watch.

The Goob   Sunday   31/1   BBC1 @ 00.40am

A teenage boy is struggling with life in the countryside of Norfolk. His mam's new fella wrecks his head and his hormones are starting to run riot when he catches sight of a new girl around town. A grim but compelling look at country life in a part of the world that we rarely see onscreen. A beautiful looking film too and one packed with atmosphere. Sienna Guillory, Liam Walpole & the always scary Sean Harris all do solid work.

Evolution   Sunday   31/1   CH4 @ 2.30pm

An asteroid lands in Arizona and scientists and the army descend on it to investigate. This is no common or garden asteroid though. Of course it isn't. From Ivan Reitman, the man behind Ghostbusters, this is a sci-fi comedy that manages to be both clever and exceedingly silly, but it's one that's a fun way to pass away a couple of hours on a rainy Sunday. Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones and David Duchnovy all add to the zany mix.

Bridge To Terabithia   Sunday   31/1   Sony Movies @ 3.15pm

Jesse and Leslie become fast friends when she moves in next door to him. Soon their childhood imaginations are running riot and the kingdom of Terabithia is created. Real life is sadly never far away though. This is a beautiful little movie, one full of important lessons about life, both the good and tragic sides of it. Anna Sophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson are great as the leads. Be warned, this will make you cry. 

The Homesman   Monday   1/2   BBC2 @ 00.30am

Two people, a man and a woman, escort three women in need of help across the wild American countryside. A harsh and starkly realistic depiction of how life was for women during the pioneering days of the American west. This is a grim stuff, but thankfully shot through with a vein of darker comedy and carried by some powerful acting from Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones ( who also directed it ). It's really worth a watch but make sure you are in the right mood for it.

Sicilian Ghost Story   Monday   1/2   Film4 @ 01.20am

Guiseppe has gone missing and Luna, a young teenage girl with feelings for him, decides to look for him herself. The world she enters on her journey is a dark and unsettling place. Despite the troubling subject matter this is a beautiful looking and satisfying watch that will remind you of Guillermo Del Toro's adult fairytales. Julia Jedlikowska who plays Luna is a powerful lead.

Men & Chicken   Monday   1/2   CH4 @ 02.25am

Ok, this one is rather odd but it's a genuinely entertaining bit of quirkiness about two brothers who find out some biological truths about themselves and suddenly everything they know is suspect. Mads Mikkelsen as one of the brothers plays his role completely straight which makes the madness going on around him even funnier. If you know little of the wacky world of Danish cinema then this is a super introduction to it.

Tully   Monday   1/2   TG4 @ 9.30pm

Marlo's struggling. Three kids are taking their toll on her and her marriage. A nanny is hired. An unusual nanny named Tully. A strange bond forms between the two women. This one comes from the pen of Diablo Cody so it's no surprise that it delves into aspects of womanhood rarely seen on screen and that paired with fine turns from Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis makes this really worth a watch. 

This Happy Breed   Tuesday   2/2   Film4 @ 12.50pm

From the pen of Noel Coward comes a story of an ordinary English family and how the events of history between World War One & Two had an effect on them. An agreeable little film which when you get used to it's episodic structure becomes an informative history lesson seen through the eyes of a screen family that feels like a genuine one. Robert Newton, Celia Johnson and John Mills do lovely work.

Under Siege   Wednesday   3/2   TCM @ 9pm

The USS Missouri battleship has been hijacked by terrorists and it's up to Navy Seal turned head chef Casey Ryback to put aside the Bouillabaisse and take care of business. This one is way better than you remember, a well paced and carnage packed slice of 90's action cinema. Steven Seagal does surprisingly good work as the lead but Tommy Lee Jones, a manic Gary Busey and Colm Meaney's amazing turtle neck are what will stay with you.

This Sporting Life   Wednesday   3/2   Talking Pictures TV @ 11.25pm

Frank is a god on the pitch. He's the rugby league star everyone is watching but off the field his life is empty and expressing the emotions caused by that in a time of restrain is always going to be frowned on. This kitchen sink drama from 1963 will still strike a chord with viewers 58 years later. That's always the sign of a classic and an immense showing from Richard Harris will nail you to your chair. 

Stalag 17   Friday   5/2   Film4 @ 1.40pm

American P.O.W.'s in a German war camp keep having their escape plans scuppered and one man finds himself being blamed for the leaks. Yes yes I know it sounds like an odd proposition for a comedy but director Billy Wilder somehow makes it work, turning in a very enjoyable film laced with dark humour and an Oscar winning performance from William Holden as the accused man brings it all together nicely.

Loving   Friday   5/2   RTE2 @ 9.35pm

A man and a woman living in Virginia in the 1960's aren't allowed to marry due to the different colours of their skin. They go ahead and do it anyway. As you can imagine, it causes trouble. An affecting look at the strength of love from director Jeff Nichols. It's upsetting as you can imagine but it needs to be watched. Mighty work from Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton will keep you watching through the harder moments.

Nightcrawler   Friday   5/2   BBC2 @ 11.20pm

Jake Gyllenhall gives a career best performance in this moody and intense tale of a desperate crime journalist willing to go outside the law to further his career prospects. This is gripping and compulsive viewing but Gyllenhall's character is so seedy and creepy that you'll need a shower afterwards. There's strong back up from Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed too. This film will put you off ever going to the sleaze pit that is Los Angeles.

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