8 Films to Watch on Freeview TV This Week.
Captain Phillips Sat 26/8 ITV @ 22:15
The true story of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates and the American sailors of board who feared for their lives. Tom Hanks gives a great performance as the titular character, the man tasked with keeping his crew alive but the film is owned by Barkhad Abdi as the leader of the pirates. His first ever film role and he is just astounding. Tense, sweaty, nerve wracking stuff that's well worth watching.
The Help Sat 26/8 BBC2 @ 22:40
A wannabe writer decides to write a book about the lives of African American maids in the south of the 1960s. Unsurprisingly their lives are harsh and unhappy. Emma Stone plays the lead in this but Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain are the actors you'll remember in this upsetting, rage inducing and yet funny in places look at race relations in an era of America they want to forget.
In the Electric Mist Sun 27/8 BBC1 @ 00:25
Dave Robicheaux, a homicide detective in New Orleans finds himself heading into a decades old mystery when a modern day murder is linked to a much older one. A nice atmospheric piece of southern gothic mystery here, a touch old fashioned maybe but great acting and a super cast give it a lovely kick. Tommy Lee Jones is solid as always in the lead and gets good support from Mary Steenburgen, Kelly McDonald and John Goodman.
Byzantium Mon 28/8 Film4 @ 23:15
Two women on the run turn up a quiet beach town and it isn't long before their centuries old secret is out and they find themselves in danger again. Neil Jordan directs Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Atherton in this fine little film. Intelligent, well-written and pretty bloody stuff, this isn't for the squeamish amongst us but if you can stick with it you'll be very satisfied by this unique take on an overcrowded area of the horror genre.
White God Tues 29/8 Film4 @ 23:35
Due to a new law, a young girl in Budapest loses her beloved dog and sets out to find him. However, the dog is sick of being treated badly by other humans..... A real one-of-a-kind film here; surreal, unique, brilliantly made and pretty damn hard to watch in places but it's really, really good. Zsófia Psotta as Lili is a fine young actor and the film gives an insight into a culture we rarely see on film. Definitely my film of the week.
The Adventures of Tintin Thur 31/8 BBC2 @ 13:45
Tintin and his dog Snowy find themselves caught up in the adventure of a lifetime after a bargain find at a market stall turns his life sideways. Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the famous Hergé story is a fantastic achievement. It's a little overlong but absurd, hilarious and jam packed full of action and memorable characters. Jamie Bell and, especially, Andy Serkis are excellent as Tintin and Captain Haddock. Proper family fun.
Valerie Thurs 31/8 TCM @ 16:40
Set during a murder trial in the old west, three very different testimonies are heard but which one is the truthful version? A strange film, a mystery western noir with a touch of Rashômon would be one way to describe it and it's very watchable stuff. Sterling Hayden and Anita Ekberg as the leads are superb, Hayden his usual briary persona and Ekberg as a woman who isn't what she seems. OR is she? A bleak, compelling and surprising film.
Heat Fri 1/9 Dave @ 23:00
A meticulous bank robber meets his match in a detective obsessed with his job. Neither man will back down. A 90s masterpiece here and a perfect thriller. A long movie but every member of the cast gets their moment to shine, and what a cast. De Niro and Pacino are on fire, Val Kilmer, Amy Brennaman, Tom Sizemore et al are all excellent. An exciting, gruelling, brutal, complicated movie with one of the all time great cinematic shoot-outs.