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04 Dec 2021

Seventeen movies on the small screen over the next week

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 17 to choose from....

The Last Days On Mars: Saturday, The Horror Channel @ 9pm

In the near future a group of astronauts on Mars are coming to the end of their research trip when one of them stumbles across something interesting. And in movie land interesting is never good. Liev Schreiber headlines an atmospheric sci fi/horror from Irish director Ruairí Robinson that may wear it's influences on it's sleeve but it's still a film that grips throughout and is genuinely unnerving in places. 

Christine: Saturday, TG4 @ 9.15pm

Christine Chubbock is troubled. Her job as a TV reporter is getting to her, she's having health problems and her crush on a co-worker is going nowhere. She takes drastic action. Action that is still remembered to today. A dark but humane character study of a life lived painfully and an empathetic look at the miserable treatment of women in the workplaces of the 70's. J. Smith-Cameron and Michael C. Hall give solid backing but Rebecca Hall as the eponymous character is electrifying.

The Midwife: Sunday, BBC Two @ 1.20am

Claire has the magic touch. She's a expectant mother's dream, a midwife who makes the birthing process so much easier for them. It's just a pity she's not as nice to herself and a face from her past is about to stir all manner for emotions up for her. Catherine's Frot and Deneuve both do magnificent work in a rich and rewarding and very French tale of resentment and forgiveness.

Small Soldiers: Sunday, ITV @ 2.15pm

Advanced missile technology accidentally implanted into a line of children's toys makes them come to life. But not cute happy toys. Oh no, that would be too easy. An exciting and funny story that feels like a spiritual sequel to Gremlins and packed full of knowing nods to older sci-fi, war & horror films. There's plenty to keep the kids and adults happy and a superb cast too with Kirsten Dunst and Jay Mohr standing out.

Mary And The Witch's Flower: Sunday, Film4 @ 2.40pm

Sunday afternoon, no better time for a dose of anime to soothe the soul. Mary, a young girl, stuck living with her grand-aunt in the country, follows a cat into the woods one day and discovers a magical new way of living her life. The story isn't vintage Studio Ghibli but the wonderfully realised visuals on display here combined with a true sense of awe guarantee you'll like it. A nice introduction to the world of Japanese animation for kids and adults.

Gangster Squad: Sunday, ITV4 @ 10pm

Totally ignored on it's release Gangster Squad is a brutal, pulpy and entertaining story of cops vs gangsters set in post war Los Angeles and it's well worth a watch. John O'Meara (My Da's name, I got a great kick out of this) played by Josh Brolin in full on tough guy mode, builds a team of cops to take down arch criminal Mickey Cohen. Bullets, blood and hard boiled dialogue fly across the screen. Just ignore it's rather loose take on historical fact and you'll be fine.

How I Live Now: Monday, Film4 @ 1.50am

An American teenager's trip to the English countryside goes awry when a nuclear explosion flattens London and martial law is imposed. Trapped in a foreign country she must find a way to survive. Kevin McDonald's adaption of Meg Rossof's book is as dark as you'd imagine but an excellent turn from Saoirse Ronan will keep you watching as she turns from an spoiled annoying ingrate into a ferocious survivor.

The Beguiled: Monday, TG4 @ 9.30pm

The pupils and staff of an all girls school in the state of Virginia are thrown into turmoil when they come across a wounded Union soldier on the run from the Civil War. Sofia Coppola's hazy drama takes a while to get going but when it does...... Robust, disturbing and torrid stuff with a first rate cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell all doing effective work. A heady slice of American gothic.

And Then We Danced: Tuesday, Channel 4 @ 2.15am

He's spent years mastering his ballet craft and Merab is just about to claim a place in his country's national dance troup. Well that is the plan until another dancer demi contretemps his way into Merab's head. A well told and compassionate tale of love that nearly got it's cast and director in a lot of trouble in conservative Georgia. Levan Gelbakhiani and Bachi Valishvili both nail their physically demanding roles with aplomb.

Silent Running: Wednesday, TCM @ 1pm

A compelling and intelligent drama from Douglas Trumbull set aboard a spaceship holding what's left of the earth's plant life. Just one man is tasked with caring for it all and when the order comes through to come home he doesn't take it well. Bruce Dern is at his best here and is ably supported by three robots called Huey, Dewey and Louie. Yes, it does sound a bit bizarre but it's a quite remarkable achievement.

My Feral Heart: Wednesday, BBC Two @ 11.15pm

Luke has Downs syndrome and when his mam dies he is moved into a residential care home despite the fact he's well capable of looking after himself. He's troubled by his life there but gradually opens up when he finds something strange in the grounds outside. A beautifully performance from Steven Brandon powers on an upsetting yet heartwarming and absorbing story.

Don't Breathe: Wednesday, Film4 @ 11.40pm

Three thieves break into the house of a man they assume will be an easy target. Man oh man were they wrong. Will any of them live to see sunlight again? This 2016 horror thriller, despite an icky and unsettling subplot, is a real nailbiter of a watch especially if you're bothered by the dark or small places. Steve Lang is a ghoulish baddie and you'll want Jane Levy to survive even though she's a thieving little fecker.

Inseminoid: Thursday, Talking Pictures TV @ 3.20am

The archaeologists of Xeno project are investigating an ancient civilisation on a distant planet when one of them is attacked. An attack which has repercussions for every single one of them. Norman J.Warren's notorious and nasty sci-fi horror from 1981 might feel like an Alien rip off in places but it's memorable in it's own right too for it's outlandish twists and turns and it's fine cast that includes Judy Geeson, Stephanie Beacham and Victoria Tennant.

All The President's Men: Thursday, BBC4 @ 10pm

An investigative reporter working for the Washington Post is working on a piece about a break in at the Democratic party headquarters in the run up to the presidential election. What him and his workmate uncover shakes America to it's core. A classic look into the corrupt heart at the centre of seats of power. Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman. Jason Robards and Hal Holbrook do amazing work in a genuine and influential masterpiece.

Sauvage: Friday, Film4 @ 1.10am

On the quiet, leafy streets and parks of the French city of Strasbourg a young man sells his body to stay afloat. Drugs are becoming an issue and his customers treat him like muck and all Leo wants is someone to love. A film that's not for the faint of heart, and tbh, I'll be amazed if Film4 show it uncut but there's a lot of humanity and soul here. A upsetting but worthy watch led by a fantastic turn from Félix Maritaud.

Xtro: Friday, The Horror Channel @ 9pm

A man is abducted by a light in the sky. Three years later he returns. Is he the man he once was? Go on, have a guess. A nuts film, the wackiest thing you'll see on TV this week, this month and maybe even this year. It's terrifying, hilarious, nauseating, ingenious, bizarre, grotesque and it's brilliant. If you've seen it watch it again and marvel at it. If you haven't.......I'll say no more. Philip Sayer is a very game lead.

The Place Beyond The Pines: Friday, BBC One @ 11.50pm

The existences of four men crash together in a small town tale of crime and corruption. Set over fifteen years it's about the cyclical nature of life and how acts of violence have effects that take a long time to fade away. It's top flight cast includes Ryan Gosling, Mahershala Ali, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendez and especially Ray Liotta all on mighty form. A long but gripping watch that feels like a mini series condensed into movie form. But in a good way.

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

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