Ronan O'Meara gives his picks of movies on TV during the first week of 2022
If you are planning to watch a movie over the New Year period, we've got you covered. Film guru Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the TV schedules and has picked 16 to choose from.
Veronica Guerin: New Year's Day, TG4 @ 9.35pm
A fearless journalist investigating the upper echelons of Dublin drug dealing finds herself & her family threatened when she gets too good at her job. Joel Schumacher's biopic is a gritty, frightening and well acted film. Cate Blanchett in the eponymous role does a nice job, showing both Veronica's strong and scared sides, plus her Irish accent is a solid one. Gerald McSorley as John Gilligan is excellent too as evil personified.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry: New Year's Day, Talking Pictures TV @ 10.50pm
Larry and his buddy are on the run after a successful shop heist when Mary, a face from Larry's past, invites herself along for the ride. Soon all three are being chased by an obsessive sheriff. Peter Fonda brings a nice bit of counter culture cache to an endearingly silly slice of vehicular mayhem fuelled fun while Susan George and Vic Morrow bring up the rear nicely.
A Town Like Alice: Sunday, BBC Two @ 1am
1942. Malaysia. The Japanese army has swept through the country and a captured British woman is forced on a death march. A march that will have an effect on the rest of her life. A beautifully shot look at a part of 20th century war history that's often overlooked combines with an affecting love story in a way that should feel cheesy but somehow doesn't thanks to stellar work from Virginia McKenna and Peter Finch.
My Best Friend's Wedding: Sunday, Film4 @ 6.55pm
Julianne and Michael have decided that if they aren't married by 28 (28!!) they'll marry each other. Days before her 28th (28!!) birthday Michael announces he's getting married to Kimmy. Julianne decides to ruin the whole thing. P.J. Hogan's 1996 romcom is a very enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours with Julia Roberts on fiery form and Rupert Everett owning the film as her GBFF. The karaoke scene with Cameron Diaz though. If you've already seen it you know....
Mary, Queen Of Scots: Sunday, BBC Two @ 9pm
Mary Stuart has become the Queen of Scotland. Her cousin Elizabeth is the Queen of England and is worried about Mary's claim to her throne. A worry that sets in motion a dark chapter in British history. Purists will whinge about inaccuracies in the story but when you have Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie both doing masterful work in a lovingly depicted past who cares? Be warned, some scenes will disturb.
Michael Inside: Sunday, RTÉ One @ 9.30pm
His Da is in jail, drugs have killed his mam and his grandfather is terrified Michael is heading down the same roads. A favour for a friend sees the 18 year old banged up inside for 3 months and now he has to decide to stand tall or learn nothing at all. Frank Berry's 2017 drama is a powerful and upsetting look at the horrors facing young Irish men who've been abandoned by a government that just doesn't care. Dafhyd Flynn, Lalor Roddy and Moe Dunford do strong work.
Calendar Girls: Monday, TG4 @ 9.25pm
After Annie's husband dies of leukemia herself and her friends get together and decide to raise money for cancer research. What better way to make fast money than a nude calendar. But Annie and her friends are shy middle aged women. Will it happen? A charming, touching and wry look at friendships and insecurities and courage. Julie Christie, Helen Mirren and Celia Imrie lead a cast packed full of faces you'll know well.
Revenge: Monday, The Horror Channel @ 10.55pm
A woman goes on a trip to her boyfriend's desert home and there's she's attacked and assaulted by his friend and then left for dead. But they've totally underestimated her. Totally. A day-glo French thriller from 2017 that digs up the corpse of 70's exploitation film and gives it a fresh perspective and a brutally violent do-over. Genuinely tough going and in places quite horrifying but really worth your time. Matilda Lutz is a lead you won't forget anytime soon.
Baby Driver: Tuesday, RTÉ 2 @ 9pm
Baby's a legend behind the wheel. His skills have him in high demand as a getaway driver but he has to have the right tune playing in his ears. Edgar Wright's 2017 comedy thriller is far from his sitcom roots but it's a nice slice of excitement for a Tuesday night. A wicked soundtrack, some full on belly laughs, a couple of blistering action scenes and a fine cast that includes Ansel Elgort, Lily James, John Hamm and Jamie Foxx.
Dead Calm: Tuesday, TCM @ 11.20pm
Following a life altering tragedy, a couple on a boating holiday at sea take in the survivor of a boat wreck. Of course things go sideways. Don't they always. A claustrophobic thriller that never gets dull despite being mostly set onboard a small ship. Believable performances and a tonne of tension make this a nail biting watch. Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill are a beliveable couple and Billy Zane makes for a memorable baddie
The Escapist: Wednesday, Film4 @ 9pm
Frank has been in jail a long long time. He's institutionalised. He knows he'll die inside. But then he gets news about his daughter and he needs out. So along with 3 other inmates he devises a cunning plan. Shot in Dublin's Kilmainham prison, The Escapist is as suspenseful as you'd imagine but not as straightforward as you'd think. It's a good one though and Brian Cox and Joseph Fiennes work wonders together.
I'm Alright Jack: Wednesday, Talking Pictures TV @ 9.05pm
Big things are expected of Stanley Windrush, he's a blue blood and he's back from the war but when he gets a job he's annoyed to find he has to start from the bottom and the men above him find him an easy target for all their problems. A satirical, knowing and comedic look at post war Britain and it's industrial boom. Ian Carmichael, Margaret Rutherford, Terry Thomas and a vicious Peter Sellers all add to the fun here.
Road Games: Thursday, The Horror Channel @ 12.50am (midnight)
Pamela is hitchhiking across Oz. Pat is the lorry driver who picks her up. Then Pamela disappears and Pat finds himself playing cat & mouse with a extremely dangerous presence. Richard Franklin's thriller is a forgotten classic, one that plays out like an 80's version of a Hitchcock movie. Very unpredictable and very compelling. Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis are both reliable as always.
Croupier: Friday, Film4 @ 1.50am
When his writing career just won't work out a man takes a job at a casino as a croupier and slowly finds the job and the insights it gives him into the seamier side of life are getting under his skin. Mike Hodge's 23 year old thriller might be a little light on story but it's atmospheric setting and compelling performances from Clive Owen, Gina McKee and Alex Kingston will ensure you watch until the credits roll.
The Missouri Breaks: Friday, TG4 @ 9.45pm
A dark, strange and blackly comic western starring Jack Nicholson as a rustler who steals both the livestock and the daughter of a rancher and Marlon Brando as the regulator hired to kill him. Violent, funny and surreal with a seriously satisfying and bizarre turn from Marlon Brando as a character you will hate. Nicholson rocks the lead. Harry Dean Stanton & Frederic Forrest in support are eye catching as always.
Sea Fever: Friday, Film4 @ 11.05pm
The superstitious crew of a trawler working the waters off the Irish coast allow a marine biologist onboard to study deep sea fauna and soon find out there might be something to the old legends about letting red haired women on boats! A rarity, a genuinely scary Irish horror film that has the courage to stick to it's convictions. Hermione Corfield, Olwen Fouéré, Dougray Scott and Connie Nielsen all do effective work.
As always visit hamsandwichcinema.blogspot.com/ for more film and tv chat.
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