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Films on Television this weekend

TelevisionSet.jpgSlightly later than expected, but a late learning conference (hi to all the learning people who are now checking out the site!), a foreign spam attack, and another thing I cannot tell you about just now, I've been very busy.

So here's some of the films showing this weekend on UK television, and if you aren't in the UK or don't have freeview there's still discussion to be had, so join in!

Cross of Iron on ITV4 10:00pm - 12:40am
I've never seen this film, but it's Sam Peckinpah with James Coburn and Maximilian Schell in a harsh anti-war film about the German retreat on the Russian front during the second World War. I've heard a lot of positive things about this film, very tough, bloody and extremely well directed.

The Player on Film4 10:45pm - 12:55am
I hardly remember this film from when I first saw it, but I do remember the great opening shot and that the film is superb. Strange that I can't seem to remember much about it though, is it one of these films that you love at first viewing and forget quickly?

A Tale of Two Sisters on Film4 12:55am - 3:05am
This isn't a superb example of Asian horror, but it is good and contains some superb visuals. The latter part of the film is a little bit confusing but still delivers a big punch. The film is about two sisters who return home after receiving psychiatric treatment return home to their cruel step parents

Lawrence of Arabia on Film4 5:00pm - 9:00pm
David Lean's amazing epic with a fantastic cast, fifteen months in the hardships of the Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Spain and er...Britain. I have to admit that I've never actually managed to get through this entire film, after all it is four hours long here, at least that's because of advert breaks. Have you managed to sit through this and does it really deserve the epic title?

Backdraft on ITV3 9:45pm - 12:25am
Ron Howard directing Robert De Niro, Donald Sutherland, JT Walsh and the stunning Kurt Russell. That's it. Reasons for watching are now over. Seriously though this is great entertainment and Russell is just superb as a heroic fireman. I really like De Niro's over obsession about the fires, and the gorgeous filming of the flames themselves.

Donnie Darko on BBC3 10:15pm - 12:00am
This is a fantastic film which really made Jake Gyllenhaal. Richard Kelly shows us something that we really don't know what it is or how to categorise it, and that's damn good. The film is superb and has some stunning visualised scenes, and the whole idea of the rabbit is just incredible. Where did it all come from? Who cares, just enjoy it. After all Southland Tales might be rubbish.

Back to the Future on ITV2 10:30pm - 12:40am
Fantastic entertainment that has Michael J. Fox in the role of his career (next to Spin City I'd say). I love the superbly written script, the jokes, the cleverness of the whole time travelling idea, and that car. It's a shame we'll never see another of these, and at the same time it's very good that we won't, after all you just can't improve on this film or the series.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Film4 10:50pm - 12:25am
This time we're being treated to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not the remake. This has two scenes that made my Most Haunting Scenes, and deservedly so. It's a shocking and terrifying film that is filled with uncomfortable moments that haunt even more because of their basis on actual events. Very gritty, very real, and very unnerving. It's also extremely refreshing that it's very low on splatter and gore. I much prefer it to the unsubtle and bloody remakes.

Heist on Channel4 11:20pm - 1:25am
Gene Hackman. That's it. I've never seen this film but the fact it has Hackman in it makes it a must doesn't it? It also stars Sam Rockwell, which is a nice addition I guess!

The Omen on BBC1 11:50pm - 1:40am
Richard Donner makes the best Omen ever and with a superb cast. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick play superbly against the huge force of the Devil's spawn. It's fantastically played, incredibly creepy, and made me so scared of lifts...or is that another in the series? One of the things that make the film so superb are the incredibly inventive deaths, and just how creepy and evil one child can look. All this from the man who gave us Superman. Why didn't any of these hit the Most Haunting Scenes?

Back to the Future on ITV2 11:50pm - 1:40am

And Now for Something Completely Different on ITV3 9:00pm - 10:50pm
A collection of Monty Python's most successful sketches. The funniest thing on the planet...ever.

S.W.A.T. on Five 9:00pm - 11:25pm
Yes! Here's one in the eye for you Louise! (Sorry, personal joke there) This is a lot of fun, over the top nonsense, and LL Cool J still looks...well...cool! Forget Samuel L. Jackson, LL is the man in this film, but Colin Farrell looks like an idiot. In this that is! Stupid fun and I don't challenge you to argue the point.

Scarface on ITV4 10:10pm - 1:30am
Meet my little friend...the chainsaw in the bathroom...Mix an Oliver Stone script with Brian De Palma at the helm with Al Pacino on gallons of cocaine and you have this story of a man who would be King only to fall from grace by his own ego and power. It's a visually stunning film that doesn't hold back in any single scene. I love the decedance of the final scenes and the growing madness in the character. Fantastic.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance on Film4 10:55pm - 1:15am
The final part of the Vengeance trilogy which seems to be unfairly negatively weighted against the first two parts. Sure Oldboy is superb, but stand this film on it's own and it's excellent. The ending and the turnaround of the character is very well crafted, and while it may not pack the same punch as the other films it has a bit more subtlety to it. I enjoyed it, and so should you too. Don't pre-judge it on the previous movies.



Have to strongly disagree with you on A TALE OF TWO SISTERS. Personally I think it is the best (bar none, not Ringu, Pulse, Dark Water, Ju-on - strange to think that all four of those have been remade in the US) J-Horror type film (Yes I know it's Korean, but it certainly adheres to much of the genre) The above examples come close but don't quite make it to the thematic complexity and the confidence this movie has in letting its audience do the heavy lifting. Also it is gorgeous to look at, finely shot and textured.
Also, even including all Hollywood big budget movies and such, A TALE OF TWO SISTERS has the best sound design done on a film (DVD) that I've heard. I uses the 'crawl up on the bead in daylight' scene to show off my Home Theatre system to people (and scare the shit out of them in the process. It works like a charm.

It takes a fairy tale, and injects modern-ity into the story structure...but retains all of the creeping unease and impending feeling that bad things are about to happen that is in for example Grimm fairy tales.

Yes, I love this film. It is painful to see it dismissed in such a fashion. I respect your opinion on the film, but I take umbrage!!


Hey Triflic, well we can't agree all the time. Difference makes us human.

I shan't chant that rubbish about subjectivity, because if I really believed that then there would be no need for anyone like us to write about movies.

I believe there is a huge breadth of films that appeal to the mass and you are guaranteed to like them. However Asian films are definitely not in that mass arena (and that's a good thing).

I just didn't take to the film when I saw it, I do agree visually it looks lush, but it didn't affect me as much as it did you.

That's cool. I like A Chorus Line...does that make me a freak? Actually it does. Anyway...

Don't take umbridge, that's a bit steep. I'm sure there are many films that I'm sure you like and I won't!

Tell you what then, I'll put it on my rental queue and give it another chance, how's that?

I've got Tale of Two Sisters on DVD here. Will likely watch it this month as I'm doing my one-man horror film festival again for October.

Lawrence of Arabia is, I believe, one of those films you need to see on a really big screen to get properly. I've seen it only on TV, in which form I still recall it being good, but I've not seen it in years. Similarly, I was iffy towards Donnie Darko on the small screen, but I saw the director's cut on its later theatrical release and was converted.

I have the Lawrence of Arabia DVD still sitting on my shelf, unopened. I am still trying to analayse which 4 hours of my day I can use to finally watch it. :D

Funny thing about the Donnie Darko Directors cut. I prefer the shorter original with the 'compromised' musical choices. The whole film works better for me. All the extra stuff added to the Directors cut hurt the film, bloat it up, and change things (epecially the opening song...Echo and the Bunnymen were a way better choice over INXS.

Neat that you were converted with the new version though.

Richard. No worries. Cheers. Our opinions are startlingly similar on many things, but not this one. If you give A Tale of two sisters a second chance, let me know if you are 'converted' There is a surprising amount of intelligence buried in that film..

I have never seen Lawrence of Arabia in a cinema theatre. I saw it for the first time on TV, with few or no ads, late night, with a poor image quality, and a regional dubbing.

I thought my live had changed.

No need to say more.

Echo and the Bunnymen were a way better choice over INXS

Yes, this is something I agree with. "Never Tear Us Apart" doesn't have the same force at the beginning as what "Killing Moon" does. And yet the INXS track was the one Kelly wanted all along, and apparently he took the Bunnymen track only because the budget wouldn't cover the licensing for the INXS song. Now he's got his original wish, but was it the right one? I don't know...

This brings up the discussion about the creatives original work vs the audience interpretation.

Which is right and which is better? Each is right because in effect the film is remade by the person watching it because it's a new set of feelings and interpretation from the original creative.


Right I'll need to find something else to watch instead, thank god for cable television. Man I hate that film....

Managed to watch the first half of Backdraft last night before falling asleep, and caught Poseidon at work today.

Kurt Russell is a right muppet. One night he's a fireman and knows to check doors before opening them, the next day he's upside down in a burning ship without any basic knowledge at all. What gives?

"This brings up the discussion about the creatives original work vs the audience interpretation."

Hmmm, I prefer the hacked studio version of Sam Raimi's ARMY of DARKNESS over his after-released cut. The S-Mart ending is better than the 'few extra drops' ending, even if the depressing ending is more in line with the other two film, the S-Mart ending is more in line with the pure silliness of AOD.

I have to say that Ridley Scott is going to have to pull something pure genius out of his ass next year to get me to believe that his 2007 cut of BLADE RUNNER will be better than the 1992 (studio cut) of Blade Runner. I prefer the 1992 'directors cut' (approved by Scott, if not actually done by him) to the 1982 theatrical cut, however I consider the 1992 version absolutely perfect in every way, I cannot see how he can improve it. Certainly his most recent re-jiggering of ALIEN was good, but not as good as the original version.

Hey Lee, interesting observation...I think you're missing an underlying point of films and actors though! Must be all those late nights with the baby and work!

You've just given me an idea for a new feature Triflic - thanks for that. Even if the recut of a movie is better I think there's something about that first viewing that elevates the version you see first. A second viewing of the film is always a little less than you remember.

I think the cuts of Blade Runner definitely give me a different feeling on the film, but I would find difficulty in saying I don't like one of them...I think I can appreciate both.

Alien, well I have to say I can't really go one way or the other on that recut. I think perhaps this really does have the first viewing effect above.

Darkness I totally agree with you. That ending does fit perfectly with the movie. Perhaps when he was recutting he realised he needed something with a bit less comedy and silliness to it to give the film a different weight and therefore point him in a slightly different Hollywood direction?


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