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26/07/2021

Seventeen films on TV as we approach another bank holiday weekend in lockdown

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

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

Film guru Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the TV schedules to find movies to watch as we approach the May bank holiday weekend

Here are 17 to choose from over the next week....enjoy!

Dark Lies The Island: Saturday,  RTÉ1 @ 9.40pm

The Mannions run the lakeside town of Dromord and they all hate each other. The type of hate that leads to all manner of nefarious going's on. A hate that leads to a dark night of the soul for many of the townspeople. This Irish comedy thriller is as black as they come, scathing, biting, nasty but also in places hilarious. It's not fully successful but it's worth your time. Peter Coonan, Pat Shortt and Tommy Tiernan all nail their parts.

We're The Millers: Saturday, ITV2 @ 10.05pm 

David's in a spot of bother. He's being forced to smuggle weed from Mexico and it's a tough call for a man on his own. But if he has a family around him he'll be a lot less conspicuous. So he puts together a plan. A fun film for a Saturday night. Broad, silly, amusing stuff that may offend some but it's heart is always in the right place. Jason Sudekeis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts and a very game Will Poulter work well together. Stay for the end credits.

The Innocents: Saturday, Talking Pictures TV @ 11.15pm

When she's hired into the position of governess in a country estate, a woman called Miss Giddens begins to suspect something ghoulish is menacing the children she's supposed to look after so she sets out to protect them. This stylish and intelligent horror is 60 years old and still creepy as hell, evoking the power of suggestion in a brilliantly effective manner. Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave do great work.

Saturday Night Fever: Sunday, RTÉ1  @ 12.25am (midnight)

Tony Manero lives for the weekend. On the dance floor he's a god and there he can forget his humdrum Brooklyn existence. Life away from the music is tough though. This 1977 classic is probably a LOT grittier than you remember. The dance sequences still amaze and the music will get you going but it's the depiction of young adult alienation that will rattle you. And quite possibly appall you. John Travolta leads the film with a career making performance.

The Descent: Sunday, Film4 @ 12.45am (midnight)

Six women go on a potholing expedition into an underground cavern. Things go arseways. First off, if you are claustrophobic don't even bother with this. You'll be terrified and out of breath before the horror elements of the film even hit. If you are able for it you're in for a treat. A horrifyingly intense treat. Shauna McDonald and Natalie Mendoza are believable leads and Neil Marshall's direction is first class.

Dangerous Liaisons: Sunday, BBC2 @ 10pm

Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont are rich, decadent and bored. To fill their time they play games and when young Cécile de Volanges catches their eye things get rather complicated. Stephen Frears' 1988 drama is a fine watch, a sensual, complicated, mature drama about rich folk with too much time on their hands that's powered by splendid turns from Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman. 

Get Shorty: Monday: Sony Movies @ 1.20am

Hollywood's a dark and shifty place and when mobster Chilli Palmer rocks into town to collect a debt he realises he fits right in. So he decides to make himself at home. Barry Sonnenfeld's comedy drama is an absolute joy to watch and it's easily the best utilisation of John Travolta's talents since his 90's career renaissance. The cast also includes Rene Russo, Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo, Danny Devito and many more and they all bring their A-game.

Babel: Monday, TG4 @ 9.30pm

Four disparate groups of people are spread across three continents. A stupid mistake reverberates around the globe and ties each and every one of them together when a bullet strikes flesh. Alejandro González Iñárritu's 2006 drama is an impressive piece of work. It's a bit full of itself in places but it's cumulative effect is a stunning one. Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Gael García Bernal and Rinko Kikuchi do well leading a big cast.

Ray & Liz: Monday, Film4 @ 11.20pm

The Billingham household was a place of extremes - boredom, oppression & emotion wise. Son Ray goes home to the place that made him and looks back at the times that defined him and his family. An unusual, almost experimental watch, that will remind you of just how rancid 80's Britain, suffering under the yoke of Thatcher, was. It's hard going and definitely not for everyone but it's powerful. Ella Smith as Liz is immense.

The Scarlet Claw: Tuesday, TCM @ 3pm

Tuessday afternoon. Time for a whodunnit.  A woman is found in a pool of blood. Supernatural foul play is suspected but none other than Sherlock Holmes thinks something far more down to earth has happened. Basil Rathbone, who played the best version of the famous fictional detective is in fiery form in a Holmes tale not actually written by Arthur Conan Doyle and it's all the better for it. Funny, twisty, atmospheric. A grand afternoon watch

Benjamin: Wednesday, Film4 @ 1.15am

Lack of confidence is killing Benjamin. His first film did well but too much time has passed since. He's doubting himself into the grave. Then he meets Noah. Is he a catalyst for change? You might know Simon Amstell as an annoying music quiz show host but the man has talent and this charming comedy drama directed by him is proof of it. Downbeat, hysterical and led by a couple of super turns from Colin Morgan and Phénix Brossard.

Dial M For Murder: Wednesday, TCM @ 3.25pm

When he discovers his wife is being unfaithful a man decides to murder her to inherit her riches. These things never go to plan though. Especially when he underestimates her. One of Alfred Hitchcock's most ingenious & darkly humorous films is one that also manages to overcome it's inherent staginess with clever writing, first rate dialogue and sublime performances. Ray Milland and Grace Kelly are perfectly cast.

Enough Said: Thursday, Channel 4 @ 12.55am (midnight)

Eva is dreading the thought of her daughter going to college but then she meets both an interesting fella and a new friend through work. Little does she know both of them share a past. This is a joy of a film, warm and humorous and filled with characters who feel genuine. Julia Louis Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini are both mighty and the always reliable Catherine Keener offers lovely back up. Record and keep for when you need a pep in your step.

Pacific Heights: Thursday, The Horror Channel @ 9pm

A couple buy a big beautiful house in San Francisco and struggle to pay for it so take in a lodger. It's the worst mistake they will ever make. 30 years later I still twitch when I see Michael Keaton onscreen because of this. It's a nerve-wracking warning about always vetting the people you let into the places you feel the safest. Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith hit the spot as the home owners but this film is Keaton's by a mile.

Savage: Thursday, Film4 @ 11.15pm 

A pair of cops called Wang and Hun live and work under the shadow of Mount Baekdu on the China-North Korea border. A trio of vicious criminals out to rob an armored car ruin their day. This modern day Chinese homage to the Spaghetti westerns of the late 60's is a crunching, suspenseful and relentless affair laced with well shot violent action and likable performances from Chen Chang and Liu Hua. 

Sisters: Friday, RTÉ2 @ 9.30pm

The home Kate and Maura grew up in is being sold and they are not one bit happy about it. They decide to throw one last party and invite everyone they went to school with 20 years previously. Things get rather wild. An overlong but enjoyable film that builds the action to a fever pitch at the end. The always excellent Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are fun as the sisters and get pleasing support from Maya Rudolph, James Brolin and John Cena.

The Blair Witch Project: Friday, BBC1 @ 11.35pm

A small camera crew heads into the woods of Maryland to make a documentary about a series of ghostly events that are legendary in the area. They get lost fast. Then the darkness comes. You'd think years of rip offs and spoofs would have dented the effectiveness of this film and you'd be very wrong. It's still fantastically fashioned exercise in terror and less is more. Heather Donahue is a dtrong lead.

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

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