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07 Dec 2021

Sixteen great movies to watch on TV before the mid-term break

17 films on TV this week that you need to watch

Ronan O'Meara gives his picks of movies on TV over the next week

It's the weekend and Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the TV schedules to find movies to watch over the next seven days...starting tonight.

Here are 16 to choose from....enjoy!

Mona Lisa: Saturday, Talking Pictures TV @ 9pm

An ex criminal gets work driving a call girl from job to job and finds himself swiftly disgusted by the sordid things he sees playing out in London's black underbelly. Bob Hoskins and Cathy Tyson are fantastic in a dark blend of love story and crime drama and surprisingly enough there's even a few laughs in here too to leaven the harshness. It's well directed by Neil Jordan as always and a chance to see the vile side of Michael Caine.

Bobby: Saturday, TG4 @ 9.40pm

June the 5th, 1968. Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy is about to give a speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after being selected to run for president. His night doesn't end well. This ensemble piece from director Emilio Estevez is all about the people working in the hotel that night and it's a well put together history lesson packed with famous faces like Helen Hunt, Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Hopkins, Freddy Rodriguez, Sharon Stone and many more.

Crawl: Saturday, Film4 @ 11.20pm

Florida's about to get hit with a massive hurricane and Haley's father still hasn't left his house. She goes to find him but find him but instead finds their town flooded and the floodwaters full of alligators. Hungry alligators. Alexandre Aja's 2019 creature feature is massively over the top but it's also hugely entertaining as woman takes on nature in a battle to the death. Kaya Scodelario does well as our heroine.

Stanley & Iris: Sunday, RTÉ One @ 1.45am

Tragedy has made Iris decide to never love again. Stanley is a bloke who's never taken a chance with love. Can you see where it's all is headed? A cliched plotline aside it's a nice, warm, gentle, intimate watch that doesn't condescend to it's audience or rely on mawkish drama. Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro are perfect as a mismatched pair tiptoeing around each other. Record and keep for the long, dark nights ahead.

Bronson: Sunday, Great! Movies Action @ 22.55pm

Charles Bronson. No not that Charles Bronson. This Charles Bronson was once Britain's most dangerous prisoner and he liked nothing better than taking prison guards hostage in his cell. Here is his story. Before Tom Hardy became Hollywood's king of mumbles he used to make interesting films and this gripping crime drama from 2008 was one of them. It's a unique look at a very unique individual.

Young Ahmed: Sunday, BBC4 @ 11.30pm

A young Belgian teen finds himself under the influence of a man preaching religious extremism. Soon he's keeping family and friends at arms length and eventually comes up with a plan that may ruin his life. In 85 minutes the Dardenne brothers weave a captivating and quite terrifying story about the horrors of modern day life. Idir Ben Addi is a magnificent lead.

Enemy Mine: Monday, Talking Pictures TV @ 2.40am

After a battle in the dodgy end of the galaxy two soldiers find themselves stranded on a hostile planet. One of them is a man. The other is an alien. Both are mortal enemies. A diverting slice of 80's sci-fi here and one that eschews cheesiness and bombast (mostly). It tells a touching story and carries a hopeful message about trust and friendship. Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr are both excellent in their parts.

Inside Man: Monday, TG4 @ 9.30pm

When a so called perfect bank robbery goes sideways, a cop, the robber and a power broker have to negotiate a way out of the problem to save lives. Spike Lee's twisty, turny thriller is an immensely enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. Nothing is what it seems and if you haven't seen it before you won't have a clue how it will all end. Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen all hit the spot.

The Guilty: Tuesday, Channel 4 @ 1.55am

Asger's job is to dispatch help to those who need it, be it an ambulance or a cop car or a fire brigade but the latest call he's answered will see him fighting against time to help the voice on the other end of the line all by himself. Remade recently and effectively for Netflix, this claustophobic thriller might have way more talk than action but you'll still be absolutely glued to it. Jakob Cedergren is a hell of an effective lead.

The Last King Of Scotland: Tuesday, Film4 @ 11.20pm

A young Scottish doctor played by James McEvoy finds himself wildly out of his depth when he begins working in Uganda and enters into a friendship with the infamous Idi Amin and suddenly his loyalties and principles are pushed to their breaking points. Forest Whitaker is masterful as Amin with his deservedly Oscar winning performance driving a film that's exciting, disgusting, funny and tense as hell. 

Ghost Stories: Wednesday, BBC Two @ 11.15pm

Professor Philip Goodman is skeptical about the supernatural and now he has three cases involving ghouls and ghosts to solve. Record this and keep it for Halloween night. A very potent trilogy of terror, especially for anyone who grew up in the 80's. A film that makes the mundane seem terrifying and the terrifying seem truly outlandish and one that's all cleverly tied together. Andy Nyman and Paul Whitehouse do strong work.

Men Of War: Thursday, Great! Movies Action @ 12.40am (midnight)

A group of mercenaries are hired to clear an island full of precious resources of its natives so it can be strip mined. That's the plan anyway. From 1994 comes an action thriller written by the great John Sayles that was all but ignored on release but it's a film that deserves re-evaluation being full of nicely crafted bloody action and intriguing asides on human nature. Dolph Lundgren, Charlotte Lewis, BD Wong and Tiny Lister lead a decent cast.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Thursday, Film4 @ 2.55pm

Lorelei and Dorothy are a pair of showgirls looking for love but only on their terms. They're on their way to Paris to be lusted over but someone's on Lorelei's tail, someone suspicious of her motives. A fun bit of screwball escapism that would have been considered surprisingly racy on release back in 1953. Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell and director Howard Hawks weave some memorable magic together.

Halloween: Thursday, BBC4 @ 11pm

Michael Myers has escaped the psychiatric hospital he's spent his life in and he's heading home to finish what he started as a child. Laurie Strode is a babysitter who's night is about to get scary. John Carpenter's best known film is still a brilliantly effective watch 43 years after it's release. There's some serious suspense and some very effective scares here without the need to rub your face in blood and guts. Jamie Lee Curtis nails the part of Laurie, modern horror cinema's first scream queen.

Ulzana's Raid: Friday, TG4 @ 9.30pm

Ulzana, sick of mistreatment by the US government, has escaped from his reservation and him & his gang are murdering their way across the state of Arizona. Army Scout McIntosh is tasked with stopping him. Part of the raft of brutally dark Westerns made in the early 70's and influenced heavily by the Vietnam war this isn't easy going stuff but fine performances from Joaquín Martínez & Burt Lancaster will keep you watching until the credits roll.

Mom and Dad: Friday, The Horror Channel @ 10.50pm

Life in America is hard for kids and gets even harder when parents across the country start turning on them in a murderous rage and the Ryan family are about to have one of those days they might never forget. Nicholas Cage's manic performance rules the roost in a deliciously dark comedy horror that definitely will not be to the taste of most people but catch it in the right mood and you'll have a fun time. Selma Blair as Mrs Ryan adds to the chaos wonderfully.

As always visit hamsandwichcinema.blogspot.com/ for more film and tv chat.

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