8 Films to Watch on TV This Week
Hard Target Sat 4/8 ITV @ 23:20
Starring The Muscles from Brussels and Lance Henriksen, this John Woo-helmed action-thriller captures the essence of New Orleans perfectly, and is a thrill a minute. Drifter Chance Boudreaux (Jean Claude Van Damme) tracks down and takes on the big bad who are hunting homeless men in the Creole city. This, in typical Woo fashion is very violent but highly entertaining.
Florence Foster Jenkins Sun 5/8 BBC1 @ 20:15
Ms Foster Jenkins was a member of New York City royalty in the 1940s, an heiress who dreamed of singing at Carnegie hall. The only slight problem was the fact that she couldn't carry a tune, some may say awful. Meryl Streep is, as always, amazing in the lead role of an elegant and charming film which is hilarious but can be quite upsetting. Simon Helberg and Hugh Grant in support play their parts perfectly too.
Nightcrawler Sun 5/8 BBC2 @ 22:00
Jake Gyllenhaal gives a(nother) career best performance in this dark and intense tale of Louis Bloom, a desperate crime journalist willing to go outside the law to further his career prospects. This is gripping and compulsive viewing made by Gyllenhaal's Bloom who is so seedy and creepy that you'll need a shower afterwards. Strong back up from Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed too.
Chevalier Mon 6/8 CH4 @ 02:15
Six Greek men head out into the Aegean sea to fish and become embroiled in a series of games to prove who amongst them is the 'best in general'. A darkly funny and disturbing look into the male psyche and the ridiculous lengths men will go to to compete with each other. The casts' naturalistic performances both complement and sometimes ruin the beautiful scenery.
Twelve Monkeys Tues 7/8 BBC4 @ 22:00
A convicted criminal is sent back in time to gather information to help stop a plague that has decimated the earth of the future but he gets sent back further than he should have been. Terry Gilliam's time travel thriller is absolutely bonkers and utterly compelling with an ending that will have you drawing diagrams to understand it all. Bruce Willis is at his best in the lead but Brad Pitt steals the film as a psychiatric patient he meets on his travels.
Cherry Falls Thur 9/8 Horror Channel @ 02:30
A serial killer is targeting virgins in a small town. The only way to survive? Lose your virginity as fast as possible. Sounds crass doesn't it? It's far from it. A funny, intelligent and subversive satire on modern horror that really works if you go with the concept. The late Brittany Murphy is very solid in the lead and gets fine support from Michael Biehn and Jay Mohr. Totally ignored on its original release but worth a re-evaluation.
Grave of the Fireflies Fri 10/8 Film4 @ 01:20
World War II is coming to a close and two siblings, Seita and Setsuko who live in Kobe, Japan find themselves alone and hungry after US forces firebomb their city. This animated story is in my opinion the best and most effective anti-war film you will ever see. It's a masterpiece that will kick you in the heart and pretty much ruin your day but don't let that stop you watching though because it really is something special.
My Brother the Devil Fri 10/8 BBC2 @ 23.35
Rashid (James Floyd) and Mo (Fady Elsayed) are two Muslim brothers growing up in Hackney. The eldest, Rashid, is in a gang and doesn't want that life for his brother, he also has a secret that's not exactly compatible with his religion. Sally El Hosaini directs a beautiful looking film which tells a familiar story but with a unique slant on things. Floyd and Elsayed both give committed, genuine performances which carry the film superbly.