Sixteen films on TV for you to lash into this week

Ronan O'Meara

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Ronan O'Meara

16 films on TV this week to help you ignore that darkening sky

Movie Guru Ronan O'Meara gives his picks of the week

Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the TV schedules (free-to-air channels only) to find films to watch over the next week – here are 16 to choose from.

Hopefully you'll find something to hit the spot and maybe you'll even be introduced to a future favourite.

The Death Of Stalin: Saturday, RTÉ2 @ 9.10pm

1953. Moscow. Joseph Stalin has died suddenly and the Russian government is thrown into turmoil. There's a clash of egos and violence is sure to be close behind. Armando Iannucci's hilarious political satire is every bit as cutting as the tv shows he's better known and it's a decent history lesson too, giving us an insight into what made post war Russia tick. The cast is amazing with lively showings from Jason Isaacs, Paddy Considine and Steve Buscemi amongst others.

Coach Carter: Saturday, TG4 @ 9.35pm

Ex star player Ken Carter is the new basketball coach of a Californian high school and he runs a tight ship when it comes to his work. His athletes find this out the hard way when they decide to push him. This 2005 film runs on cliche and hits every beat you'd expect but a couple of powerhouse turns from Samuel L. Jackson  and Rick Gonzalez give this a heart and raise it above the usual run of the mill sports dramas.

Perfect 10: Saturday, BBC2 @ 10pm

Leigh lives for her gymnastics. She has the skill but not the drive and when a brother she never knew she had appears on the scene her talent is further threatened when a lucrative life of crime beckons. This English drama from last year is a fantastic way to spend 80 minutes. Beautifully drawn characters, an economic script and a pair of superb performances from Frankie Box and Alfie Deegan make this a must watch.

Climax: Saturday, Film4 @ 11.35pm

A company of dancers get together for one big celebration. All is going well, laughs are being had, until someone realises that something has gone very very wrong. This is French director Gaspar Noé's tamest film but if this is your first experience of his you might find that hard to believe. It lacks the graphic sex of his better known work but more than makes up for it in intensity and brutality. You won't forget this one for a while. Sofia Boutella is a solid lead.

The Void: Sunday, The Horror Channel @ 12.50am

A sheriff finds a man covered in blood on a lonely lane and brings him to hospital. Things get crazy fast. And gory. Oh so gory. This low budget 2016 horror thriller is a fun watch filled with inventive scares and some lovingly created practical special effects. If you are anyway squeamish please do not watch this. Or challenge yourself and go for it. Things happen to eyeballs and intestines that you'll never forget. The unknown cast do impressive work too.

I Was Monty's Double: Sunday, BBC2 @ 2.50pm

D-Day is on the horizon and German spies are out in force to see what the Brits have in store for them. An actor is brought in to impersonate Field Marshall Montgomery and feed the nazis disinformation and confuse their war effort. This true story is a rare beast, a WW2 film that will actually make you laugh, both with it and at the absurdity of it all. John Mills leads a cast full of very familiar British faces.

The Lego Batman Movie:  Sunday, ITV2 @ 6.55pm

The bad guys of Gotham city have a nefarious plan and it's up to Batman aka Bruce Wayne to stop them. Only he has a problem, a problem in the shape of a son he's somehow accidentally adopted. This might sound like a childish watch but it's as enjoyable a Batman film as any of them, and in some ways it's more inventive than all of them. Will Arnett is a fine Dark Knight while Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera and Ralph Fiennes add great support.

99 Homes: Monday, TG4 @ 9.30pm

Dennis Nash has just lost his home and Rick Carver's to blame. Carver's a scumbag real estate agent who lives to earn and who doesn't care who gets in his way. Nash's plan to get his home back? Why it's to go to work for Carver. A lean, tense and angry watch about the horrors of capitalism and a righteous indictment of the American dream. Andrew Garfield and an unsettling Michael Shannon both do mighty work.

Gone Girl: Tuesday,  RTE2 @ 9.30pm

On the day of the wedding anniversary a woman disappears off the face of the earth and suspicion falls on her husband. Is he guilty? David Fincher's adaption of Gillian Flynn's best selling novel is a good one. A stylish film, full of darkness and plot machinations that you won't see coming at all if you haven't read the book. Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck and Carrie Coon all give A+ performances and really help sell a pretty silly but entertaining tale.

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer: Tuesday, Film4 @ 11.15pm

Steven, a surgeon and Martin, the son of a man who died on his operating table meet and form an odd bond. Steven is an oddball but Martin........well. To say this film is a strange one is an understatement but there's so much going on here you'll be glued to your chair. It's creepy as hell, horribly witty, intensely cringeworthy and brilliantly bizarre. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman do well but Barry Keoghan owns this film.

Sauvage: Wednesday, Channel 4 @ 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. This film is not for the faint of heart, and tbh, I'll be amazed if CH4 show it uncut but there's a lot of heart and soul here. A upsetting but worthy watch led by a fantastic turn from Félix Maritaud 

The Last Boy Scout: Wednesday, TCM @ 9pm

Joe Hallenback is an alcoholic private eye with a wife and daughter who hate him. He generally hates life until he finds himself drawn into a conspiracy involving blackmail, car bombs and American football. The late Tony Scott's thriller might be a little dated now but it's still a laugh out loud funny & blisteringly violent action comedy. Amusing performances from Bruce Willis & Damon Wayans are the icing on the cake.

Bacurau: Thursday, Film4 @ 12.55am

When her granny dies Teresa comes home to visit the Brazilian town she grew up in and finds it has developed a rather sinister aura. It's location has disappeared from the internet, phones don't work anymore and there's a lot of death around. This 2019 film is yet another remake of The Most Dangerous game but it's intelligence, acting and viciousness raise it above the rest. Barbara Colen, Sônia Braga and the infamous Udo Kier all add to the madness.

Tremors: Thursday, The Horror Channel @ 9pm

Giant underground worms attack a small desert town and two very reluctant handymen called Earl and Val lead the townsfolk as they fight back. This is so so much better than it sounds. An affectionate throwback to 1950's creature features that's hilarious, satisfyingly gooey and very inventive. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are the lead pair and have a whale of a time doing it. The ropey special effects all add to the charm. A perfect beer and a spicebag film.

Blade Runner 2049: Thursday, ITV4 @ 9pm

Los Angeles. 29 years from now. A Blade Runner called K follows a lead to a farm and discovers something that could change human/android relationships forever. No one expected this sequel to the 1982 original to be any good but it's an absolute success. Stylish, intriguing, brutal, upsetting and in places quite beautiful looking. Ryan Gosling, Ana De Armas, Edward James Olmos and Harrison Ford all hit their mark.

A Simple Favour: Friday, BBC1 @ 10.45pm

Stephanie and Emily become friends when they meet at the school their kids go to. One day Emily goes missing and Stephanie tries to figure out what happened. This is loads of fun, a twisty, turny comedy thriller that never does exactly what you think it will & that's sprinkled with a little bit of what made Hitchcock's films so compelling. Anna Kendrick is a likable lead and Blake Lively is good value as the mystery woman.

Read more at hamsandwichcinema.blogspot.com/