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25/09/2021

Seventeen films on TV before the hospitality sector reopens

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 ahead of the re-opening of the hospitality sector.

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

Unsane: Saturday, RTÉ2 @ 9pm

Sawyer is troubled by events in her past and is seeking help for the psychological toll it's taking on her. But a mistaken signature finds her thrown into a nightmare it's tough to escape from. Steven Soderbergh's 2018 thriller has more than a touch of Hitchcock about it but it's surprising, disturbing and intelligent enough to find it's own identity. Claire Foy, Juno Temple and Amy Irving all do good work.

Moonstruck: Saturday, BBC2 @ 10pm

A Brooklyn bookkeeper called Loretta finds herself struggling with romantic problems when she's engaged to one brother but falling for another. What to do? What to do? This 34 year old comedy drama is a joy to behold. Warm, funny and dotted with great characters but also plenty of dramatic heft to keep you fully involved throughout her journey. Cher, Nicolas Cage (proving here that his latter day unique persona is nothing new) and Danny Aiello are all wonderful.

Viva: Saturday, RTÉ2 @ 11.55pm

Jesús does makeup for a drag troupe but longs to be onstage performing himself. When he finally gets to do it a face from his past appears and his life is turned upside down. This Cuban set but Irish made (directed by Paddy Breathnach & written by Mark O'Halloran) drama is a bit of a stunner. An upsetting but uplifting look at the generational clash between society and sexuality. Héctor Medina does superb work in a well drawn story about being true to yourself.

Spiderman : Into The Spiderverse: Sunday, Channel 4 @ 5.20pm

A teenage graffiti artist is bitten by a radioactive spider and discovers a whole new range of powers. And a whole new world of alternate universes. Move over Peter Parker, you've had your time, now it's Miles Morales's turn. An awesome piece of work, 117 mins of animation that will blow your mind, even if you aren't a comic book fan. IMO the best adaption of a Marvel comic. Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali and Jake Johnson supply superior voicework.

Stir Crazy: Sunday, Sony Movies @ 10pm

Harry and Skip have been framed for a crime they didn't commit and get sent down to the big house. An experience they'll only survive if they can walk the walk as much as they talk the talk. The second cinematic pairing of Richard Pryor and Gene Hackman loses its way late in the film but the earlier scenes of them trying to look tough will leave you weak from laughter.

Midnight Run: Sunday, Film4 @ 11.50pm

Jack Walsh is a bounty hunter and Jonathan Mardukis is the mob accountant he's just scooped up. Now all he has to do is get him from NYC to LA while avoiding the feds and the mob and other bounty hunters. This 1988 comedy thriller is absolute perfection. Profane, hilarious, quotable, full of memorable characters and the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin is off the charts. The best odd couple film you'll ever see.

Boyhood: Monday, TG4 @ 9.30pm

A masterpiece a decade in the making. A simple story of a boy and his mother growing up over the course of 10 years. Done over a few days in each year it's a magical experience watching two people grow up and age before your eyes. The story is minimal but that's not what the film is about at all. Ellar Coltrane does well in his debut appearance but Patricia Arquette owns the film with a masterful performance. A truly unique movie.

Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool: Monday, BBC2 @ 10.45pm

In the twilight of her career an American actress called Gloria Grahame comes to London to act onstage. Here she falls for a much younger man and their relationship soothes what comes next. Annette Bening is truly excellent in this look at aging and the agonies of loneliness. It's an upsetting real life story but the palpable chemistry between Bening and Jamie Bell as her young beau eases the pain.

The Dead Zone: Tuesday, The Horror Channel @ 12.35am (Midnight)

Five years ago Johnny Smith had a crash car that left him in a coma. When he awoke he had a special new skill. He can see the future and when he meets a presidental candidate he glimpses a horrifying look at the years ahead. David Cronenberg's adaption of the Stephen King novel isn't as gooey as his usual work but it's still a hell of a creepy watch powered by a spooky turn from Christopher Walken and a hammy one from Martin Sheen.

Daphne: Tuesday, Film4 @ 1.25am

Thirtysomething Daphne is drifting through life in London. Days, nights, friends both platonic and romantic are all flashing by way too fast. There's an existential crisis on the horizon. Then one day she walks into a shop and... Emily Beecham does powerful work in an effective story about the psychological effects of modern life and metropolis living that may strike a bit too close to home for some.

Birds Of Passage: Wednesday, Film4 @ 1.25am

Drugs might equal power and wealth but at the end of the day it always ends in blood and horror. Rapayet and his family discover this fact over the course of a decade in the highlands of Colombia. This is as far from Narcos as you can get. It's a similar tale but told in a far more lowkey and contemplative manner. It's a powerful look at how the new can never quite destroy the old. José Acosta and Natalie Reyes are both fantastic.

Ride The High Country: Wednesday, TCM @ 5pm

Before Sam Peckinpah ripped up the myth of the west he made old fashioned westerns like this one.  The story of a union soldier turned marshall hired to transport cash and his allies who have their loyalties tested by the promise of riches. Randolph Scott retired after this film assuming he'd never better it and he was probably right because it's brilliant. Joel McCrea is a fine lead and watch out for genre stalwarts like L.Q Jones, Warren Oates and R.G. Armstrong in supporting roles.

My Week With Marilyn: Thursday, BBC4 @ 9pm

A week in the life of Marilyn Monroe while she was shooting a film in London as seen through the eyes of a young film student who became her assistant and confidante. Eddie Redmayne is grand as the student but Michelle Williams is luminous as Marilyn Monroe. A real starmaking role, she brings one of the true screen legends to life. Kenneth Branagh has a ball playing Laurence Olivier too. 

Picnic At Hanging Rock: Thursday, Film4 @ 11.25pm

February 14th. 1900. A class excursion to Hanging Rock in the wilds of Victoria, Australia ends in disaster when a teacher and pupils vanish without a trace. Peter Weir's 1975 classic put Antipodean cinema on the map and rightly so. It's a haunting, puzzling, unnerving, dreamlike watch that asks more than it answers but once you've seen it you won't forget it for a long while. Rachel Roberts and Anne-Louise Lambert nail their parts.

P2: Friday, The Horror Channel @ 2.35am

A woman wakes in a deserted car garage on Christmas Eve and it isn't long before she realises she's not alone in there. Nope, there's a dodgy dude in there too. Isn't there always. A creepy, crunchy, violent and atmospheric watch dotted with a couple of nicely effective scares. What it lacks in originality it makes up in suspense. Rachel Nichols is a decent damsel not in distress and Wes Bentley's bad guy is nicely boo-hiss.

Parker: Friday, Virgin Media One @ 9.30pm

Parker's a thief, who never kills, who gets the job with no mess and no fuss. Until his team double cross him and leave him for dead. Then all bets are off. Jason Statham's 2013 thriller was not reviewed kindly on release but it does everything you need a Jason Statham film to do. It's fun, it's exciting, bad guys go splat. Add in a wicked cast that includes Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte and Michael Chiklis and you have a fine Friday night watch.

Zodiac: Friday, BBC2 @ 11.20pm

Someone is killing people in the bay area around San Francisco and three men become obsessed with finding out who. An obsession that became all consuming and unending. Forget Fight Club, this is  David Fincher's masterpiece. A meticulously put together film built of darkness that still manages to find time for some much needed humour. Robert Downey Jr, Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo put in career best turns here.

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

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