7 Films worth seeking out on Freeview TV this week
War Of The Worlds Sat 15/4 BBC2 @ 21.45
Steven Spielberg's terrifying version of the HG Wells story. Made only 4 years after the 9/11 attacks, all manner of meanings can be read into this story of world wide attacks from otherworldly beings but its best to just sit back and gawp in awe at the horrifying spectacle before you. Tom Cruise rocks it as always but a short vignette with Tim Robbins as a crazed survivor will stick with you for days afterwards.
Rescue Dawn Sat 15/4 BBC1 @ 23.45
A US fighter pilot is shot down over Laos during the early years of the Vietnam war and puts his heart and soul into escaping the arms of his captors. Christian Bale gives his all in this tense and fast moving and extremely entertaining true story. Directed by Werner Herzog too and definitely one of his most accessible films but he still manages to cast his unique style over the story.
East Is East Sun 16/4 CH4 @ 23.05
The late Om Puri is excellent in this 70's tale of a traditional Pakistani father who comes to resent the fact that his English born children aren't growing up in the ways he expects them too. A funny but at times hard to watch insight into life as an immigrant in England and one that refreshingly doesn't contain the same terrorist or fundamentalist tropes that these films usually do.
Brother Mon 17/4 Film4 @ 01.30
A disgraced Japanese yakuza finds himself in Los Angeles and works with his brother and new friends to create a new criminal enterprise. Japanese superstar Takeshi Kitano brings his trademark laconic cool to America and it makes for a highly entertaining film. The tone may seem odd to people not used to Kitano's unique style but the scenes of gentle comedy and horrific bloodshed somehow compliment each other in a perfectly strange way.
The Running Man Tues 18/4 TCM @ 21.00
It's 2017. America has become a military state with closed borders. Hmmm this sounds familiar. Prisoners are executed on reality tv. Arnie is one such prisoner but he's been wrongly convicted and must fight his way to freedom. A highly entertaining action film full of laughs and good crunch that has become frighteningly prescient in the present day. Arnie is good fun as always and is supported by a solid cast of B movie regulars.
Solaris Thurs 20/4 Film4 @ 00.40
A man is sent on a mission into deep space to investigate strange happenings on a space station.An almost 3 hour long Russian subtitled sci-fi film from Andrei Tarkovsky isn't going to be everyones cup of tea but if you are willing to stick with it this is a very rewarding experience. It's a film that will scare you, make you think, reminisce about people from your past and generally do things to your head that most other films won't. Highly recommended.
The Birdman Of Alcatraz TCM Fri 21/4 @ 15.00
Burt Lancaster had a fantastically long and varied career and this film arguably contains his best performance. This is a prison set tale about a man who for once was actually guilty of his crimes and how he set about bettering himself whilst inside. A sad, claustrophobic, touching and superbly acted film filled with sumptuous black and white photography. Excellent support from Karl Malden & Telly Salavas too.