Last year we brought you a special edition of our Best Film on TV series, picking out the cream of the crop from the movies on TV over the Christmas period. We return to the series for a one-off article written by Paul to once again recommend the films being shown on television over this festive season. Think of it like the Radio Times. But better.
by Paul Field (@pafster)
Honestly, how lazy and predictable is the Radio Times Christmas film guide? They wheel out Barry Norman and Andrew Collins to tell you to watch James Bond & Toy Story, handing them 5 stars and gushing reviews aimed at people who’ve never seen them, in 2014…… it’s as if VHS, DVD, Blu-ray and the myriad of streaming services .never happened. Because clearly if you failed to see these films at the local picture house, terrestrial television is absolutely your first chance to see them – if it was 1975. Guess what Andrew, everyone already has Toy Story on DVD. You may live in a world where you all pile round the village elders hut, where the only telly in the village is located, and enjoy the annual treat of the Queen’s speech and James Bond on a black and white portable. We’re here to offer an alternative selection…
Christmas Eve –
Radio Times says Skyfall at 8pm on ITV (utter drivel, Craig has the charisma of a cereal box, three hours of your life I’ve saved you there). Instead head over to 5* for madcap horror at 9pm with Cabin in the Woods. 11.40pm on Film4 will see you set for brutal Indonesian actioner The Raid and set your recorder for C4’s Finnish offering Rare Exports at 1.55am, where we meet a very different Santa Claus….
Christmas Day –
Radio Times says Puss in Boots. I’d rather eat pus from an old boot. Who’s paying these people to pick whatever ropey kids film is on at 3 o clock as ‘film of the day’. Much more fun to be had by heading for Carry On Screaming on ITV 3 10.50, and staying with them as they deliver a feast of classic British comedy…Carry on Camping 12.50pm, On The Buses 2.35pm, Mutiny on the Buses 4.25pm, Holiday on the Buses 6.15pm, Carry On Cleo 8pm, Steptoe and Son Ride Again 10pm and finally Frankie Howard rocks up last knockings for Up Pompeii at midnight
Boxing Day –
Radio Times says Avengers Assemble is ‘film of the day’ on BBC1 at 8.30pm. What they mean is, ‘most expensive film of the day’. C5 at 5pm have the late great Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in A Shot In The Dark. Movie Mix are kicking it old school at 9pm with Blue Thunder, you can’t do better than 80’s cops in cool helicopter movies. Late offering from Film 4, Shane Meadows nasty Dead Man’s Shoes with the ever watchable Paddy Considine 12.15am.
Saturday 27th –
Radio Times, finally pick something off the wall, The Raven (John Cusack in a ropey costume drama). No thanks, we’re heading off to BBC4 at 7.30pm for some truly wonderful Ealing comedy with Whisky Galore. E4 at 9pm deliver up some Statham action with the 3rd instalment of The Transporter series and its recorder time again for a 1.55am on Film 4 with the excellent and often overlooked… Super.
Sunday 28th –
Radio Times have gone all out, hours of thought and deliberation have gone into choosing ET…..sigh. There’s 80’s fantasy on offer with Movie Mix instead at 1pm for Krull, 5.15 on 5* has laughs aplenty with Danny Devito and Matthew Broderick doing battle in Deck The Halls, and good old Film 4 again come to the rescue with gritty period drama about bootleggers at 11.05pm, Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Shia LaBeouf all star in Lawless.
Monday 29th –
Radio Times, I’d rather be back at work than watching today’s offering of The Muppets at 6.20pm on BBC1. For those of us off though, we’ve classic comedy on C4 at 2.50 with Brewster’s Millions or C5 are serving up a wartime treat with The Dam Busters at 3pm. Woody Harrelson puts in a shift over on ITV4 at 10pm with Natural Born Killers, and a late offering on Film 4 as Peter Dinklage stars in an odd little comedy about inheriting a disused railway station, The Station Agent 11.20pm.
Tuesday 30th –
Radio Times. One of those Harry Potter Movies, no idea which one, they’re all the same and they’re all shit. Move along please….7.45 in the am if you’re up and about, the original body-swap comedy is on C4, Freaky Friday. Couple of double bills that might float your boat, Young Guns 1 & 2 kicks off at 9pm on 5USA and who doesn’t love holidaying with the Griswalds? 11pm on ITV4 and you can have a National Lampoons Vacation & European Vacation.
New Years Eve –
Radio Times. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Barry Norman picked that, what meds he is on nowadays? We’ll be getting into our bustles and bonnets as James McAvoy rocks up with Anne Hathaway in Becoming Jane, 1.20pm on BBC2. Proper afternoon war film on C5 at 3.10pm as Lee Marvin leads an all-star Dirty Dozen. If you’re not down the pub, the best film of the whole festive break ends our listings, BBC4 at 11pm and the amazingly talented Alec Guinness before he was pissing about in Star Wars delivers multiple performances in one of the finest comedies ever made, Kind Hearts & Coronets.