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Week's Films to Stalk: 14th to 20th December

FilmCamera.jpgI missed last weeks Week of Films to Stalk because it takes me hours and hours to do this list, I really mean most of the evening and some of the afternoon too sometimes, and I was just getting no response or discussion back on it.

So it would be good to get some discussion going on the Filmstalker's Week of Films to Stalk on British Freeview television - as always this isn't just about British readers though as the film titles might spark something off for you.

This lists all the UK releases in cinema and the films on non-subscription television this week that I'd recommend watching, or in a few cases would recommend steering clear of. Watch out for the Filmstalker hotdog award for favourites.

Just have a look at the list of film titles on the left hand side, there's also a handy day list to see what's on during a specific day, just select the option and you'll head down the list.

This week there's some cracking films, 21 Grams, Apt Pupil, A Man Called Horse, Blow Out, Closer, Die Hard, Final Fantasy, Gremlins, It's a Wonderful Life, Run Lola Run, Say Anything, The Robe, The Terminator, and on and on.

Here's the list, enjoy the hard work!

Days:
Friday 14th
Saturday 15th
Sunday 16th
Monday 17th
Tuesday 18th
Wednesday 19th
Thursday 20th

Films:
21 Grams
A Knight's Tale
A Man Called Horse
Apt Pupil
Back to the Future Part III
Bee Movie
Blind Fury
Blow Out
Breaking the Waves
Chromophobia
City of God
Cliffhanger
Closer
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Daylight
Demolition Man
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Enchanted
Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within
Gorillas in the Mist
Gremlins
Hide and Seek
Hope and Glory
It's a Wonderful Life
Ju-On: The Grudge
Kalifornia
L' Ivresse du pouvoir (A Comedy of Power)
Les Chansons d'Amour (Love Songs)
Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Night of the Living Dead
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Pan's Labyrinth
Phantasm II
Pretty Woman
Return to Oz
Road to Perdition
Run Lola Run
Say Anything
Sleepy Hollow
Soapdish
Solaris
Species
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Amityville Horror
The Enforcer
The Firm
The Hitcher
The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther Strikes Again
The Robe
The Spy Who Loved Me
The Terminator
Time Bandits
Tomorrow Never Dies
Tootsie
Trapped
We Own The Night
Wesele (The Wedding)
Youth Without Youth

Friday 14th
01:10 - 02:45
Channel4
: Ju-On: The Grudge
Date: 2003
Directed by: Takashi Shimizu
The original Grudge film has some superbly creepy moments, although it's a pretty hard film to follow story wise. In a way it's almost better to abandon yourself to the film and just go for it, revelling in the fear.

01:35 - 03:40
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFilm4
: Say Anything
Date: 1989
Directed by: Cameron Crowe
I love this film, and I say it everytime it's on. I watched it just the other week and it was superb entertainment and John Cusack is excellent in it. Well worth watching, even with some of the dodgy haircuts.

16:55 - 19:05
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFilm4
: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Date: 1976
Directed by: Blake Edwards
More of the bumbling Inspector from the amazing Peter Sellers. This is comic genius at work, avoid cheap, silver haired, career flogging pretenders.

21:00 - 23:55
STV
: Tomorrow Never Dies
Date: 1997
Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode
Bond never dies, that's for sure. Another good fun outing for Bond.

21:00 - 23:30
ITV2
: Pretty Woman
Date: 1990
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Oh women love this and men leave the room when it's on, which is actually a bit of a shame because if you can stomach the over sentimentality then you can actually find a rather good film.

21:00 - 22:55
Film4
: Hide and Seek
Date: 2005
Directed by: John Polson
Although I take issue with the way the ending of this is handled, there's a great build up to it all and the relationships are played pretty well in the film. It's far from perfect, but it is enjoyable. Starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning with a couple of great appearances from Famke Janssen and Elisabeth Shue.

22:55 - 00:30
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFilm4
: Run Lola Run
Date: 1998
Directed by: Tom Tykwer
I can never stop raving about this superb film which replays the same sequence story multiple times except each time the main character makes a slightly different choice, each presents a different outcome and style is just oozing all over it. Couple it with a superb soundtrack and there's a great film.

23:35 - 01:20
BBC1
: Species
Date: 1995
Directed by: Roger Donaldson
Entertainment, and Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Michelle Williams, and a saucy performance from Natasha Henstridge who has turned out to be a great actress as well. Good fun science fiction horror.


Saturday 15th
00:30 - 03:35
Film4
: Breaking the Waves
Date: 1996
Directed by: Lars von Trier

01:20 - 02:50
BBC1
: Phantasm II
Date: 1988
Directed by: Don Coscarelli
The second of the Phantasm films where a strange man simply called Tall Man has some seriously evil work to carry out and uses some strange flying steel balls to help him. I've no idea how the second fairs to the first, but I remember seeing the first when I was young and being pretty scared by the steel ball scenes.

12:30 - 02:38
Hotdog-xsmall.gifBBC2
: The Robe
Date: 1953
Directed by: Henry Koster
This is a classic film that I absolutely adore, not least because it features the stunning Richard Burton. It also has Jean Simmons, Victor Mature and Michael Rennie, a veritable feast of old Hollywood icons, and the epic story plays out wonderfully on screen. A wonderful story played for all it's worth by these great actors.

14:00 - 15:55
Five
: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Date: 1938
Directed by: Michael Curtiz and William Keighley
The original Errol Flynn as Robin Hood and Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian, there's also Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains for another film this weekend with severe Hollywood old school charm. Another great adventure, if showing signs of age.

15:10 - 18:15
STV
: The Spy Who Loved Me
Date: 1977
Directed by: Lewis Gilbert
Bond is back again, this time as part of the ongoing Bond series, and we're still with the Roger Moore age of Bond.

17:45 - 19:30
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFive
: Gremlins
Date: 1984
Directed by: Joe Dante
What more could you want at Christmas? I have this down on the Genre Defining Christmas films, and rightfully so. If you can't remember why get in for this family, and adult, fun film. Superb entertainment and plenty of laughs and touching moments. Oh and plenty of fun poked at Hollywood too.

19:00 - 21:00
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFiveUS
: Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within
Date: 2001
Directed by: Hironobu Sakaguchi and Moto Sakakibara
There are quite a few who will deride this film, but I think it's a stunning piece of work. Of course the story is choppy and leaps around a little, but the animation is stunning, and I still think it's streets ahead some of the lifeless motion capture work we're seeing today. Shame that the studio making this went bust soon after.

21:00 - 23:15
Hotdog-xsmall.gifITV3
: Hope and Glory
Date: 1987
Directed by: John Boorman
I honestly remember little of this film apart from how powerful and moving it is. I really do need to revisit it.

21:00 - 23:10
Film4
: Road to Perdition
Date: 2002
Directed by: Sam Mendes
I still can't believe I've yet to see this film.

21:50 - 23:35
ITV4
: Blind Fury
Date: 1989
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
I've mentioned this before, an adaptation of the Zaitochi character who recently received a big screen outing that reached our shores, this one has Rutger Hauer playing the blind swordsman, but he's from the Vietnam war this time.

23:10 - 01:15
Film4
: Apt Pupil
Date: 1998
Directed by: Bryan Singer
An excellent film from Singer that shows it's not just Frank Darabont who can adapt Stephen King. Singer does it well too, although rather scarily at times. My father was upset as anything when the oven scene was on, he left the room rather angrily if I remember rightly.

23:35 - 01:40
ITV2
: Cliffhanger
Date: 1993
Directed by: Renny Harlin
Now, I know some will be wondering why this film is here, but like quite a few others this is sit back, disengage, entertainment. It also has some pretty tense moments, a good performance from Stallone, and a great character for John Lithgow to play. Oh, and it has Craig Fairbrass - where have you gone Mr Fairbrass?


Sunday 16th
01:25 - 03:00
Channel4
: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Date: 1972
Directed by: J. Lee Thompson
Can anyone remember this?

01:45 - 03:55
ITV2
: Back to the Future Part III
Date: 1990
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Is this the best of the trilogy? Or does it just feel like that because of everything that came before? Still, like the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series, these original films will stay in our hearts forever, no matter what Hollywood does to them. Great to see Michael J. Fox on screen.

18:50 - 21:00
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFilm4
: Time Bandits
Date: 1981
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Classic moment in film here, and one of Terry Gilliam's finest cinematic moments. A weird and very wonderful film, much like all his others, however this one is slightly more family orientated. Fond memories of some great cameos.

21:00 - 23:25
Channel4
: A Knight's Tale
Date: 2001
Directed by: Brian Helgeland
I hated the idea of this film and then I was made to watch it, and while I groaned and shook my head at parts, for the most it was entertaining and a really good take at a well trodden genre.

21:00 -23:35
ITV3
: Gorillas in the Mist
Date: 1988
Directed by: Michael Apted
Classic Sigourney Weaver moments here as she gives a superb performance of things to come from the rest of her career, a personal and studied performance that she really does consume. The tale of Dian Fossey and her great work with endangered gorillas.

21:00 - 23:10
ITV2
: Cliffhanger
Date: 1993
Directed by: Renny Harlin

21:00 - 23:00
Film4
: Sleepy Hollow
Date: 1999
Directed by: Tim Burton
Ach I have to mention it, I really don't like this film that much. It's very self indulgent and I struggle keeping hold of the story.

21:00 - 23:00
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFive
: Closer (Filmstalker review)
Date: 2004
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Superb film from Mike Nichols and stunning performances from all four leads. Natalie Portman and Jude Law are great, but Julia Roberts and Clive Owen are exemplary, and you won't hear me say that about Owen much. Honestly, this has some of the finest acting you'll see this weekend.

22:30 - 00:45
Hotdog-xsmall.gifITV4
: Horror Season:The Amityville Horror
Date: 1979
Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg
Cracking horror film that is made ten times better by the possibility that it could be real, and even if not, there's enough mystery and death around the story to totally creep you out. This is the original starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Rod Steiger, not the recent made for teenager remake.

23:10 - 01:20
ITV2
: Daylight
Date: 1996
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Another good fun film, and again with Sylvester Stallone and also starring Amy Brenneman and Viggo Mortensen. The story may seem a little contrived, but it has all the tick boxes of a disaster thriller. Again more excitement and adventure for the weekend.

23:45 - 01:35
Hotdog-xsmall.gifBBC2
: A Man Called Horse
Date: 1970
Directed by: Elliot Silverstein
Classic film. This is my pick of the week next to Closer. Richard Harris plays the lead in one of the first films to really tackle the idea of the native American Indians in a real manner, dropping the cowboy and indian act. It features that superb scene of him enduring the Braves ritual, hanging by eagle claws dug into his chest...ouch.

23:50 - 02:15
E4
: Kalifornia
Date: 1993
Directed by: Dominic Sena
Not a great film, but a good one, and it stars Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes, so something for everyone. For me it's Forbes. The film sees Pitt and Lewis as serial killers and Duchovny and Forbes as serial killer tourists. A strange setup, but it creates some interesting dynamics.


Monday 17th
14:45 - 16:25
Film4
: The Enforcer
Date: 1951
Directed by: Bretaigne Windust and Raoul Walsh
This film was originally given an X certificate for violence, but now seems very tame. A good Humphrey Bogart film with a different than usual performance as Bogart plays the good guy.

21:00 - 23:10
Film4
: Pan's Labyrinth (Filmstalker review)
Date: 2006
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
I never fell in love with this film as much as others did, I felt it had a number of flaws that critics and reviewers were so willing to overlook for the name of del Toro. I wasn't so forgiving, but it still remains a good film and something a little different from the director.

21:00 - 23:55
More4
: The Firm
Date: 1993
Directed by: Sydney Pollack
Here's another film I've never seen all the way through. Should I make the effort?

21:00 - 23:25
ITV2
: Demolition Man
Date: 1993
Directed by: Marco Brambilla
Oh come now, some more great fun for the weekend. Sylvester Stallone squaring off to Wesley Snipes with some Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary thrown in? Nigel Hawthorne must have wondered what he was doing here, I certainly did. Still, fun to be had even if the future does look daft, there are some very funny aspects to the sanitised world.

22:00 - 23:55
Channel4
: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Date: 2000
Directed by: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Another one I've never seen but have been told to. Yet the glimpses I've had have never really hooked me.

22:00 - 00:20
Hotdog-xsmall.gifITV4
: The Amityville Horror
Date: 1979
Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

23:55 - 01:45
Channel4
: Solaris
Date: 2002
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Now I haven't seen the original Russian film, but I have seen this version with George Clooney and the gorgeous Natascha McElhone, and I really liked the way of the storytelling and the performance from Clooney, it really was showing that there was much more to the actor than his old ER style which he had clung onto for so long. I like this thoughtful science fiction film, I even bought the DVD...in a sale of course!


Tuesday 18th
21:00 - 23:30
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFilm4
: City of God
Date: 2002
Directed by: Fernando Meirelles
Nope, never seen this one either, and it really is one I keep getting hasseled to see.

21:00 - 23:00
FiveUS
: Trapped
Date: 2002
Directed by: Luis Mandoki
Although it's not a totally effective thriller, nor is it a great adaptation of the novel 24 by Greg Iles. It does however have Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend, Dakota Fanning and Stuart Townsend, so it can't be all that bad. It just seems to have lost a lot of the smaller moments of 24 that made it that much more interesting.

21:00 - 23:10
Hotdog-xsmall.gifVirgin1
: The Terminator
Date: 1984
Directed by: James Cameron
Terminator, Arnie, Cameron. That's all I needed to say. Actually I had myself at Terminator.

23:00 - 01:30
Hotdog-xsmall.gifITV2
: Die Hard
Date: 1988
Directed by: John McTiernan
Another Genre Defining Christmas film from the Filmstalker feature. Die Hard is a cracker, and it hasn't aged any, although the actors have. Alan Rickman is the star of the show though.

23:30 - 01:35
Hotdog-xsmall.gifFilm4
: Blow Out
Date: 1981
Directed by: Brian De Palma
I love this film, this is the second Brian De Palma film I ever saw and the style and visuals had me hooked. John Travolta is surprisingly strong in this thriller, and there are some superbly tense moments using little dialogue.

23:50 - 01:30
ITV4
: Night of the Living Dead
Date: 1968
Directed by: George A. Romero
Well, zombies and Romero, what else do you want?


Wednesday 19th
18:50 - 21:00
Film4
: The Pink Panther
Date: 1963
Directed by: Blake Edwards

21:00 - 23:25
Film4
: 21 Grams
Date: 2003
Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
A superb and excellently scripted and acted film. I really enjoyed this when I first saw it, and although it's been a while I really am keen to see it again. I'm a big Sean Penn fan anyway, and I remember his performance here was captivating.

21:00 - 23:35
ITV2
: Die Hard
Date: 1988
Directed by: John McTiernan

23:50 - 01:50
ITV4
: Horror Season:The Hitcher
Date: 1986
Directed by: Robert Harmon
The classic film that was the subject of another made for teenagers butchery, although the casting of Sean Bean as the new Rutger Hauer was inspired. This Hitcher is much smaller, quieter and closer, and it really does build an almost mystical relationship between the two characters.


Thursday 20th
00:05 - 02:20
ITV2
: Die Hard 2
Date: 1990
Directed by: Renny Harlin
The worst of the series I think you would agree, but it's worth seeing for completeness.

01:40 - 03:45
FILM4
: Say Anything
Date: 1989
Directed by: Cameron Crowe

10:45 - 12:30
BBC2
: Return to Oz
Date: 1985
Directed by: Walter Murch
I'm really curious, I've never seen this film at all, is there anything here that's even vaguely worth catching? I have a suspicion there's not.

21:00 - 23:00
FILM4
: Hide and Seek
Date: 2005
Directed by: John Polson

21:00 - 23:20
ITV2
: Die Hard 2
Date: 1990
Directed by: Renny Harlin

22:00 - 00:00
ITV4
: Horror Season:The Hitcher
Date: 1986
Directed by: Robert Harmon

23:00 - 01:00
TMF
: Soapdish
Date: 1991
Directed by: Michael Hoffman
This is a great fun film, with a superb idea, a great ensemble cast, and some hilarious moments. Soapdish looks at a fictional soap during the final days of filming and the incredibly strange cast members relationships, almost as strange as the soap itself. Kevin Kline, Sally Field, Robert Downey Jr., Cathy Moriarty, Elisabeth Shue, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Hatcher, Carrie Fisher, you see there's already a fair list of big names.

23:10 - 01:35
E4
: Kalifornia
Date: 1993
Directed by: Dominic Sena

23:25 - 01:20
BBC1
: Tootsie
Date: 1982
Directed by: Sydney Pollack
Dustin Hoffman in drag for the whole film, and in convincing drag too. Then add on the comic talent and the strong script and there's a good laugh to be had from the film as well as a good message.


Cinema Releases
Bee Movie (Filmstalker review) (U)
No adult storylines to match the children's humour, and there's more depth to this than it would first seem, but the comedy is far lighter than other animated films to date. Still fun though and you'll giggle and occasionally laugh through it. A bee disillusioned with normal bee life takes on the human race when he finds out that they've been stealing their honey.

Chromophobia (15)
Martha Fiennes film has been receiving some positive words on the festival circuit, so it'll be interesting to see how it fares out in the real world. Ben Chaplin, Penélope Cruz, Ralph Fiennes, Ian Holm, Rhys Ifans, Damian Lewis, and the ever seductive Kristin Scott Thomas star, so there's a cracking cast. A diverse group of people come together through events and we explore their relationships, etc.

L' Ivresse du pouvoir (A Comedy of Power) (PG)
A French drama that I really know nothing about other than the IMDB plot outline of "A magistrate investigates a corporate executive". The film gets good write ups and is supposedly based around the ELF scandal, whatever that may have been. Anyone got more information?

Enchanted (PG)
I had the chance to see this at a preview screening on Wednesday, but I really didn't have any interest, and truth be told I thought I might end up just being negative about it because I wasn't interested in the genre. Sad thing is that it's getting some strong reviews!

It's a Wonderful Life (U)
It certainly is, and another from the Genre Defining Christmas film feature. This is probably one of the best Christmas films there is and I whole heartedly advise you watch this.

Les Chansons d'Amour (Love Songs) (15)
On IMDB this is billed as a musical interpretation of three lovers in Paris...interesting. We need someone to watch this over the weekend and tell us all about it.

Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium (U)
Another film that really didn't reach the parts that other films do in order for me to go and see them.

We Own The Night (15)
This film looks really powerful, with strong performances promised from Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Mendes, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall. From all accounts a good thriller and well worth seeing over the weekend.

Wesele (The Wedding) (15)
A polish dramatic comedy that one IMDB reader described as the silliest film he's seen. Now I haven't seen much Polish cinema, and with a growing UK Polish audience I'd be keen to learn and understand a more of their home cinema.

Youth Without Youth (15)
Francis Ford Coppola's return to directing is released this weekend and stars Tim Roth and Alexandra Maria Lara. The film hasn't been getting great comments coming out about it, but since it's Coppola I think it's hard not to go and see.





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Comments

Richard says, it takes me hours and hours to do this list, I really mean most of the evening and some of the afternoon too sometimes, and I was just getting no response or discussion back on it.

Rich, then you can probably consider taking this feature out so as not to add to much pressure on you if you are not getting enpugh feedback from it. If I had telly I would gladly participate more often, although there are films I might have already seen which I can still comment on anyway (so no excuse really eh?), and that's why I am posting today.

Say Anything
I've got two words for you, Lloyd Dobler. I think most women would have had dealt with one Lloyd Dobler in their entire lovelife. I don't think I have though, still waiting! The boombox scene is classic and the way it was parodied in Simon Pegg comedy Spaced was just genius. Say Anything is one of Cameron Crowe's best.

Pretty Woman
What a shame that the re-team up of Gere and Roberts in The Runaway Bride didnt do too well like this one. It was all cliché of course but then Roberts' freshness and Gere's irresistible charm made this a winner that launched Julia to stardom.

Hide and Seek
Now this was a real letdown, story-wise, it's just the old, boring predictability of it all. But I agree the performance was quite alright.

The Robe
It's still in my rental queue so I really can't comment, it was your recommendation though that's why it was there in the first place. I am loving Burton in Becket so far.

Road to Perdition
You have not seen this film? Sacrilege! Oh you ought to! Please tell me it's in your rental queue though?

Die Hard
Wow, talk about timing with the Filmstalker feature eh? I have to say this was the first action film I really enjoyed. And Alan Rickman! Wow! I ought to borrow this from my friend again then.

The Spy Who Loved Me
My friend Morbius will chastise me for this but this as a child, this wias my number 1 favorite 007 franchise. It's because of the Lotus. And Roger Moore.

Richard askes, re: The Firm. Here's another film I've never seen all the way through. Should I make the effort?

Oh don't bother with The Firm, it's really not THAT great. But A Few Good Men is definitely unmissable, I am guessing you've seen that one?

I haven't seen Apt Pupil myself but now with that blurb, I will add it to my queue.

I am looking forward to see the following in the cinema this week:

American Gangster (yeah I know, still havent seen it!), Bee Movie, Chromophobia, Enchanted, and Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

I wanted to catch It's a Beautiful Life in the big screen but my local Cineworld is only playing it on Wednesday and I can't do it then. Shame.

There Richard, that's one nice post from me for this week's films to stalk. Fellow filmstalkers, say something! Say anything! (Pardon the movie pun). :P

It's a shame because I think it's such an interesting feature, we're getting to see and talk about films we wouldn't normally, but if no one is interested...

They are on my rental queue by the way, a very long rental queue it is too, and with two different companies! I have to sort that out.

I love The Robe, despite it being a biblical epic, I think it's a wonderful film of old Hollywood epics and really does deliver everything an old Hollywood epic should!

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