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Films on Television this weekend

TelevisionSet.jpgHere's the weekend again. Where does the time go? Well set yourself up for a rainy weekend in the UK this weekend, and sit back to enjoy some good films on TV...hopefully.

As usual those that aren't in the UK, there's still some debate to be had on the films I've picked out. After all I might be wrong! Oh and this one is going to have a bit of contention in it for all those that hated a certain Alan Moore comic book film with Sean Connery...

So without further ado, here are the films for this weekend's telly watching as chosen by Filmstalker.

Vanilla Sky on Film4 9:00pm - 11:35pm
Although I prefer the subtlety of the original, Abres Los Ojos, this is a superb film. Tom Cruise gives one of the best performances of his career and he's joined with an equally strong Cameron Diaz and Kurt Russell. There's some little magic missing from the original, and here we're treated to bigger signs, louder directions, and an ending that at times just doesn't quite stay on the tracks of the whole idea, However it's a great film, wonderful if you've never seen it before, and still great to watch a second time. Some moments will have your heart in your mouth.

The Bourne Identity on ITV2 9:00pm - 11:15pm
This was on late last night and I decided to stay up and watch the start of it. What do I like about it...let's see, the great story and the superbly set pacing. Then there's Franka Potente, and the surprising appearance by Walton Goggins who I adore in The Shield, he is too good looking isn't he?

From Russia With Love on ITV4 10:00pm - 12:10am
This is a cracking Bond film which delivers on all fronts, something to remind us of the best Bond (the Scots make the best secret agents). This one has Bond being targeted directly by SPECTRE, and Robert Shaw going head to head with the big man. Cracking entertainment.

Caddyshack on BBC1 Scotland 11:35pm - 1:15am
There's one thing that makes me think of this film time and time again. Kenny Loggins singing "I'm Alright" and the dancing gopher. That's all you need to remember and you're sucked into the world of gopher baiting with explosives on a golf course and chocolate snacks causing mayhem in the pool. Oh I laugh at this film, Bill Murray is superb, as is Chevy Chase - "NaNaNaNaNa" - bot both are outshone by the gopher himself.

The Battle of Midway on STV 12:40pm - 3:00pm
Epic battle and epic sound. John Ford directs this film of actual footage and huge Hollywood stars narrating the terrifying events.

The Guns of Navarone on Channel4 4:10pm - 7:00pm
Fantastic performances on this film adapted from an Alistair MacLean adapted novel. Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn being leading men that we just don't seem to have nowadays. It's a wonderful war film which reminds me of sitting in on Sunday afternoons. Great entertainment.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on Five US 7:00pm - 9:00pm
I don't know what everyone is talking about, this film is superb, it deserved to do much better and make more money for the studio and saved it from bankrupcy. Mind you the money they poured into it I'm not sure anything could have saved them. Even watching this now the effects are amazing, a third of the development time was spent on Dr. Aki Ross' hair, and it shows. In fact the production shows throughout the film, it's gorgeous to look at and actually the story is good too and it's filled with great voices.

From Russia With Love on ITV4 7:20pm - 9:30pm

The Firm on Film4 9:00pm - 11:50pm
You know I've never seen this film, and with my desire to try and watch every single performance by Gene Hackman I'm going to have to. I'm not so keen to see the younger Tom Cruise in action, nor am I that keen to see a John Grisham film, I've never gotten into his novels or the film adaptations. The Hackman part aside I just feel I have to see this film, it seems to get so much positive exposure, and it's directed by Sydney Pollack, and it stars Holly Hunter, David Strathairn, Tobin Bell, and Ed Harris. Sounds good doesn't it? Should I be watching it?

Death of a President on More4 9:10pm - 11:05pm
Well he's being shot again, and although it's not a great film, it has some strong things to say. Have a look at the Filmstalker review.

Minority Report on BBC3 9:40pm - 11:55pm
What is it with Tom Cruise this weekend? It's strange, I'm just trying to remember what I really thought of this film, and I remember a couple of scenes and not the overall feeling of it. Samatha Morton, Neal McDonough, Colin Farrell and Max Von Sydow also star in a competent sci-fi, but is it up there with other Philip K. Dick adaptations, and does Steven Spielberg direct something special?

Back to the Future Part II on ITV2 10:25pm - 12:25am
Oh wow! What a superb piece of entertainment. This film has everything for every age group, and it manages to tie perfectly in with the time travelling theme by connecting back with the first film seamlessly. The superb characters are back, the excellent scripting, and Michael J. Fox delivering great entertainment for his money. You have to love this series of films, and you can't argue for another one, anything more is going to taint the fun to be had in these films.

Liberty Stands Still on Five US 11:00pm - 1:00am
I think this is a cool mid range film Linda Fiorentino, Oliver Platt and Wesley Snipes deliver a quite unexpected film, and a rather enjoyable one too. The wife of an arms manufacturer is held hostage in the middle of an open park while the hostage taker sits at the end of one of his long range rifle scopes. There's an ultimatum and a ticking clock, while the police and the media watch on. Both Snipes and Fiorentino are strong, and from what I remember it's an enjoyable and tense film, quite cleverly put together.

The Grudge: Ju-On on Film4 11:50pm - 1:35am
The original that started the Asian franchise as well as the remake in the US and then it's own sequel. It's confusing and multi-layered, but I actually think that adds a hell of a lot to the film. It certainly is creepy, and carries the traditional Asian horror images that you may have come to have known in recent years. I do like what they did with the US remake which made it much more accessible to the western audiences. This is a good chance for you to do some comparison if you haven't yet seen the original.

Driven on Channel4 2:20am - 4:20am
Sylvester Stallone's CART racing film had some interesting cast and a wealth of storyline out there in high speed racing, that is if they'd chosen something like Formula 1! The film is about the drivers and the racing of the US CART championships, now while that means little go-karts in the UK, it's something different in the US. Who knows why this failed? I don't because I haven't seen it yet, but the word is that it's not so good. However I'm a racing freak so I want to see how realistic the racing sequences actually are. Oh, CART's not that one they just go round in circles?

Back to the Future Part II on ITV2 12:35pm - 2:35pm

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen on Channel4 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Here's the biggie. I liked this film, and I'm not going to apologise to any of you including Alan Moore and Sean Connery who both hate it for totally different reasons. This is the film version of Moore's comic by the same name, and I actually think it's very effective at sticking to the original. If we're going to talk about messed up stories then perhaps the mirror should be turned on the follow up comic series, now that's a mishandled story. No this film is enjoyable, with superhero misfits and some cracking characters both good and bad. Great fun film and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

From Dusk till Dawn on Channel4 10:00pm - 12:00am
I enjoyed the beginning of this film much more than the rest. When it began with George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino as bad guys I was really looking forward to seeing them as just out and out baddies. Then something different happens, and the place just explodes into mayhem. Over the top and loads of fun, sometimes silly and some bizarre lines, it's just a big feast - if you'll pardon the pun - of over-the-top-ness. It was a fair break for Clooney at the time, and isn't it a surprise to see where he is now? I'm much happier that Tarantino has moved onto richer and deeper things, producing some superb movies.



Oh boy...Caddyshack was funny. Not all out howling funny, just a constant series of laughs and giggles. The best bits are definitely the gopher...and the song - I'm still humming it!

Part of the problem I had with the Final Fantasy film was that, for all the time and effort clearly spent on making the human figures look realistic, they still looked like computer generated images. I recall there being some hype at the time about CGI actors displacing real ones, but there was never a point during that film where I looked at it and thought I was looking at a real human being. The day when computer actors took over from real ones was still a long way off, going on the evidence of Final Fantasy. Great alien creatures, mind you.

For some reason I saw The Firm at the cinema back in '93, probably because the people I saw it with made the decision about what to see instead of me. (I make a point, usually, of going to the cinema by myself when I do go. It's not normally a collective activity for me.) Haven't seen it since then. I recall it being OK, not really my thing normally, but the ending was an infuriating copout.

The Firm is quite good, I prefer the book but that's a whole other conversation. I think the ending in the book was better as well.

I seem to remember we went to see Minority Report together with a few other people (from that place we used to work that we won't mention!). I'm the same I can remember a few scenes, but not if I thought it was outstanding or not. I mostly remember laughing at the woman he goes to see who had all the plants. I may well watch it again, not just for the plant woman though. Ok I'm done now.

Man there's a lot of Tom Cruise on tv this weekend apparently. Seen them all of course.

Plant woman? Man, I don't even remember that...I'm either getting old or that film really didn't make an impression.

Yeah, I agree with you James, although that's not the filmmakers fault. The hype seemed to come around the film rather than from it.

As much as people would have us believe, there is no way to substitute for an actor right now. Look at Superman Returns, his face was so distorted behind crystal you couldn't have made out how real it looked and the development time was horrendous.

No, there's no way to do it now and it's a very long way off replacing an actor. Complimenting, yes. Having to get a different performance from the actors, yes. Never replacing them. I don't believe that's in our lifetime.

However, what I think that did show us is that using computing technology you can make a great film. You still need bags of great voice talent though, perhaps even more so.

I've actually totally lost what my point was!

RICHARDDDDDDDDD!!! How could you say that about 'Minority Report'? *Simone aghast*

You better catch it again then come back here and tell us if you had a change of heart!

Minority Report is indeed a great sci-fi movie, I am with Simone in that. It deserves repeated viewings.

About the rest of the list:

-The Guns of Navarone is so entertaining! Why directors nowadays don´t want just that? I don´t want messages, I want to have fun!

-The same with Back of the Future II. What a perfect trilogy that was. I just adore Doc, Chris Lloyd is my hero.

My vague recollection is that Tom Cruise goes to see crazy plant lady and gets stung by a weird plant. She eventually gives him the antitode, whilst they are having a conversation in a huge greenhouse. For some reason I remember her being funny.

Hmmm..maybe it's not you that's getting old but me that's losing my marbles.

Navarone doesn't have a message?! It's got loads of messages. Every film has a message!

So Richard, did you see 'Minority Report' again? ;)

Errr...no. Red wine, friends for dinner (we ate food, not the friends!) and more red wine proved too difficult a temptation!

HAHAHAHAHA I didnt think you had cannibal tendencies. ;)

But I would beg to differ on that last comment of yours, "Every film has a message!" Surely there's like a few films who doesnt have a message?

Another idea for a future feature eh?

Heh.Even S.W.A.T has a message, don't watch me ever again.

I don´t think every movie has a message. Or at least, the message is less important in some movies than the entertainment. Guns of Navarone was so different from Jarhead or Three Kings, for example.

And I recall some movies with no message at all: most of adventures films. What´s the message in any Indiana Jones movie? Or in any Ray Harryhausen one? In a spaghetti western or in giallo? In the Zatoichi movies or in Randolph Scott westerns? The only message I get there is: hey guy, this is going to be a fun story and we are not pretentious. Enjoy!

And I enjoy. I like movies that any kid can enjoy and then enjoy them again as an adult, with no moral or political subtexts. Those, to me, are the best films of all. And, sometimes, the most difficult to do.

Or the Scream 1,2,3,4,5,6... and Scary Movies 1,2,3,4,5,6!

Different, but each had messages.

Indy is all about belief on various levels, including parental and religious.

Argonauts has belief again and tons of parables such as strength comes from within, the mightiest can be felled with the smallest of weaknesses, etc, etc.

Saying "this is going to be a fun story and we are not pretentious" suggests that anything with a message is pretentious and therefore not fun.

This is so wrong, there's no black or white here. You can find a message in every film (even SWAT!) that comes through scriptwriting and characterisation, and this doesn't mean that the film has to then be pretentious and serious.

Even Caddyshack this weekend had plenty of messages for all.

What´s the message in any Indiana Jones movie? Or in any Ray Harryhausen one? In the Zatoichi movies

Nazis are bad, the dead have the ability to use weapons despite a complete absence of flesh, and blind people can be surprisingly dangerous to others. Well, those are the messages I get, don't know about anyone else... :)

HAHAHAHA Nice one James. ;)

I see your point Rich, of course MOST movies have messages, but not ALL.

Oh....I can see a challenge coming!

Oh well... I am done, I give up! :P

Gee, I love the Argonauts, by the way. And Clash of the Titans. They made me so happy as a child.


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