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25/07/2021

Seventeen films on TV over the next week to keep you on the straight and narrow

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

Ronan O'Meara gives his picks of the week

Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the TV schedules to find films to watch as we face into another nine weeks of lockdown.

Here are his choices....enjoy!

Money Monster:  Saturday, RTÉ2 @ 9.25pm

America comes to a standstill when both the host and producer of a successful financial news show are taken hostage by a angry investor and the whole saga plays out live on air. Jodie Foster directs this exciting, thought provoking and topical look at the unspoken after effects of financial crashes. Julia Roberts and George Clooney do well but Jack O'Connell steals the show as a man at the edge of his tether.

Mindhorn: Sat, BBC2 @ 11.30pm

Richard Thorncroft, a washed up actor best known for a 30 year old show is dragged back into the public eye when a serial killer who believes the show was real decides he'll only talk to him. If you grew up on 70's and 80's TV you'll have a load of fun with this. Packed full of glorious little touches and perfectly handled homages to a cheesier era. It's great craic and the familiar British cast lead by Julian Barrett all enjoy themselves.

Silence: Saturday, TG4 @ 11.40pm

Eoghan is returning to Ireland. It's been years since he was home. He's back because he's after getting a curious job offer. To record the sounds of a landscape free from man made noise. This is one of the more unusual Irish films you'll ever see. It's tough to get into at first but soon enough you'll be glued to the screen by it's beautiful blend of sound & vision. Director Pat Collins has made something special here.

The Gangster, The Cop And The Devil: Sunday, BBC4 @ 10pm

A serial killer with a strange modus operandi is terrorising a city in South Korea and one of his attempted victims is a crime boss who must work in tandem with the cop investigating the case to bring things to a close. This stylish, vicious and humorous Korean film takes a bunch of age old cliches and breathes new life into them. It's pure pulp fiction but man is it entertaining. Ma Dong-seok as the crime boss is the stand out.

Unforgiven: Sunday, RTÉ2 @ 9pm

A woman is attacked in a small frontier town and three men are hired to kill the attacker. One of the men is a retired gunslinger who is reluctant to return to his former life. This film is a masterpiece. It's a story that takes apart the myths of the old west and shows them for what they really were and it's a fitting end to Clint Eastwood's western career. Clint, Morgan Freeman, Frances Fisher, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris all play their parts magnificently.

In The Loop: Sunday BBC2 @ Midnight

It's all kicking off in the middle east and UK and US spin doctors are trying to prevent a war. But humans have a wee tendency to make mistakes..... This kinda spin off of the TV show In The Thick Of It is a joy, a profane and nasty joy. If you've seen the show you'll get more out of this but if not there's still loads here to laugh at including a fantastic turn from James Gandolfini. Peter Capaldi is deadly as always.

Dreams Of A Life: Monday, Film4 @ 1.25am

In 2006 a woman called Joyce Vincent was found dead in her flat due to natural causes. Her body had been lying there for 3 years and no-one ever even noticed she was missing. This docu-drama tries to find out why. This is a film you'll need to be in the right frame of mind to watch. It's about the isolating effects of modern day urban life, selfishness, apathy and what happens when they combine. It's compelling but it's also upsetting so beware.

Maudie: Monday, TG4 @ 9.30pm

Maudie, a sickly woman broken by arthritis struggles with her life in rural Canada. To prove her independence she takes a job and discovers a new hobby. Maudie is a film that will kick you in the gut while at the same time filling your heart. Sally Hawkins is phenomenal in the title role, an unshowy but astounding performance that will stay with you for an age. Backing her up is a very effective Ethan Hawke and assured direction from Aisling Walsh.

84 Charing Cross Road: Tuesday: Sony Movies @ 1.15pm

Helene lives in New York. Frank lives in North London. Helene loves old books. Old books are Frank's business. A letter from her about them sparks a life long friendship played out through the post. A perfect afternoon watch. A story about the ties that bind and taking a chance. Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins are both marvellous in their parts and get mighty back up from Judi Dench and Mercedes Ruehl.

District 9: Tuesday TCM @ 11.10pm

In an alternate version of 2010 aliens have been on Earth for almost 30 years and have established a colony in South Africa. Where they are, of course, treated like muck. One day a man tries to evict them. It doesn't go to plan. Neil Blomkamp's allegorical sci-fi/thriller is a darkly comical & inventively gory film that takes aim at South Africa's horrible issues with race. Sharlto Copley as the lead plays a hell of a part.

Neds: Wednesday, Film4 @ 1.25am

Despite a rotten upbringing courtesy of a mean & violent father, young John McGill still excels in school and hasn't yet become disillusioned by life in a poverty stricken 1970's Glasgow. Yet. Peter Mullans' gritty 2010 drama is an unforgiving look at existing in a city where life was often cut short by the twin spectres of drugs and gangs.  Stunning turns from Conor McCarron and Gary Milligan and some spiky slivers of humour will keep you watching.

The Color Of Money: Wednesday, Talking Pictures TV @ 9.05pm

Pool hustling legend Fast Eddie Felson is getting long in the tooth when he discovers a pool player named Vincent who's skill and confidence reminds him of someone he used to be a long time ago. They team up to make money. But are they too alike?  Martin Scorsese's 1986 follow up to The Hustler is a fine film, carried by a trio of brilliant performances from Paul Newman, Tom Cruise and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The one-take pool scene scored by a famous Warren Zevon song just rocks.

Fences: Thursday, Channel 4 @ 1.15am

Life in post war America isn't easy when you've dark skin and past experiences and disappointments have left their mark on Troy's soul, turning him bitter and angry. His wife Rose and his son Cory bear the brunt of it all. A superb adaption of a Pulitzer prize winning play that manages to overcome it's staginess and it's Oscar bait stature to become a powerful study of humanity. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are both amazing. 

Bachelorette: Thursday, Comedy Central @ 11.20pm

Becky's getting hitched and Regan, Gena and Katie are her bridesmaids. They are also a trio of absolute wagons who are coming close to ruining the day the bride has been looking forward to forever. Not everyone is going to like this but if you can get in tune with it's at times mean spirited blend of comedy and cringe you will have fun. The cast is awesome with Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson and Lizzy Caplan all having a whale of a time.

The Last Stand: Friday, Film4 @ 9pm

In this Arizona set story a drug lord on the run is looking to get back to Mexico through a quiet border town. And the sheriff of that town? None other than a creaky old Arnold Schwarzeneggar. You can probably guess what happens. Arnie proves here in spades that he still has it. A highly amusing bit of nonsense, full of fun and inventively bloody action sequences. Good support from Luis Guzman and Peter Stormare is the icing on the cake.

The Butcher Boy: Friday, RTÉ2 @ 9.30pm

Francie Brady is a strange sort of boy. And strange boys aren't tolerated in 1960's Monaghan. Eamonn Owens is unreal in the lead role. It's a tour de force performance and almost unbelievably it was his first film. A film that's by turns hilarious, grim as hell, black as night and just plain wild. Plus there's a wicked cast full of well known Irish faces in it. It's a film not everyone will take to but it's really worth your time.

Bad Dreams: Friday, Talking Pictures TV @ 10pm

An entire cult has immolated themselves and only one young girl survives but she's been in a coma for over a decade. She awakes a grown woman but terrifying flashbacks are plaguing her. Then the people around her start to die. An underrated 80's chiller that's built a (heh) cult following in the last few years and it's made worthwhile by a surreal, unsettling storyline and a villainous turn from the always unnerving Richard Lynch as a bad guy who'll pop up in your nightmares.

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

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