Tag Archives: The Social Network

Best Films on TV: 16 – 22 December

This week sees a return of our best film on TV articles. If you’re ‘bah humbugging’ your way through December, Owen is here to tell you what to watch out for this week.

Deep Blue SeaMonday 16 December – Deep Blue Sea (Five, 22.00)

Bah! It’s that time of year again where nothing is on TV but half-baked Christmas specials and those awful family Christmas movies starring kids you’ve never seen in anything else, getting all teary eyed at the magic the Yule tide brings. Thankfully, Five have seen sense and decided it put on a film about super-intelligent sharks, chomping their way through an underwater facility made up of scientists and Samuel L Jackson. Merry Christmas, every one.

Tuesday 17 December – Ping Pong (Film4, 23.05)

Although I would dearly love to choose Zoolander for the umpteenth time, what with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty due out soon and because it’s a very funny comedy, I am most intrigued by this documentary Film4 are showing. Released last year, it tells of an elderly man given a week to live and his trip to China to compete in a world senior ping pong competition (instead of setting up a meth lab to provide for his kids, a la Walter White.) With lots of good write ups and purely because it sounds so unusual, I reckon this will be the best film on TV on Tuesday. Yes. Even better than the generically sounding ‘A Star for Christmas’ on Five.

Wednesday 18 December – A Field In England (Channel 4, 00.20 (Thu morning))

Didn’t get a chance to see Ben Wheatley‘s trippy film about a group of deserters in the English Civil War? Well here’s an early Christmas present for you from Channel 4 who are repeating one of the most bizarre releases of 2013. Divisive amongst those who saw it, not just our podcast team, you’ll either think it brilliant or “pretentious shit”. (It’s brilliant, by the way.)

Thursday 19 December – The Social Network (Film4, 21.00)

Christmas can often be the time of year for taking stock of what you have in life and laughing hard at those losers who don’t got what you got lolz. Ahem. The Social Network is one such opportunity to do that, as you can point and sneer at Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of crushingly obnoxious super-rich loser and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. It’s also a pretty good film, which is something of a bonus.

Friday 20 December – Die Hard (E4, 21.00)

Oh, alright, I suppose I better pick at least one Christmas film this week. But if I have to, then it’s going to be John McTiernan‘s Godfather of all action movies, Die Hard. Starring Bruce Willis as the shoeless cop trapped in a building overrun with terrorists, trying to rescue his wife, what could be more Christmassy than that? Yipee kayay mother fuc–I mean, father Christmas.

Saturday 21 December – The Young Victoria (BBC2, 17.25)

For something a bit more mellow after the previous bout of fists, guns and blood, look no further than Emily Blunt giving one of her best performances to date as Queen Victoria in this period drama. Romantic, tragic and amusing, it is far better than it had any right to be. I’m trying to remember if she gives any speeches about reforms, pensions, and places her and Albert visited that year, but none spring to mind.

Sunday 22 December – My Neighbour Totoro (Film4, 11.00)

Are you sick of us recommending this yet? Is it because you still haven’t gotten around to watching it? Is that because there’s something wrong with you? Well, consider this a final warning.. or… recommendation (sounds less threatening that way.)  Studio Ghibli’s animation is sweet, funny and delightful. But, if you are feeling a bit depressed, you could check out ITV4. They’re showing men killing each other for petty reasons starting with All Quiet on the Western Front at 11.45, followed by Paths of Glory. Never Let Me Go on Channel 4 at 10.25 should be enough to leave you heartbroken and lost for breath should you not be able to get a copy of Up on DVD. Although, if you really must watch a proper Christmas film this week, then Scrooged starring Bill Murray is also on Channel 4 at 4.30. With all these good films arriving on one day, it’s like Christmas has come early. Sorry.

Best Films on TV: 19-25 August

Site editor James Diamond picks his favourite films on free-to-air UK television this week.

Evil Dead IIMonday 19th August – Evil Dead II (Film4, 12.35am)

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell reunite for the sequel to the groundbreaking original. This film is a funnier, and less ‘nasty’ movie than Evil Dead, and for me is the best of the trilogy.

Tuesday 20th August – Crank (ITV4, 10pm)

A little like this month’s Pain & Gain, Crank is a film you need to watch having left your morals and conscience at the door. It’s an exploitation film featuring racial stereotypes, an unhealthy view of women, and a protagonist named Chev Chelios (The Stath in fine form). If you can get past that though, it’s simply one of the most relentless and entertaining action films of the last ten years.

Wednesday 21st August – The Social Network (Film4, 9pm)

Directed by David Fincher from a script by Aaron Sorkin, everything about this ‘biopic’ of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is stylish and brilliantly realised. Great central performances from Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer keep the audience engaged in what is essentially a film about computer programmers squabbling. Gripping stuff.

Thursday 22nd August – The Imposter (Channel 4, 9pm)

This earned bronze in Best of 2012 choices, and here’s what I had to say about it:

“This is one of those documentaries that hammers home the cliché that truth really is stranger than fiction. It tells us the story of a young French man who impersonated a missing 13-year-old boy from Texas, ensconcing himself within the family home and their community with tall tales of being trafficked by the military. What makes this film more than a weird Channel 5 documentary is its innovative use of recreated flashbacks and, most importantly, interviews with the people at the centre of this strange situation – including the con-man himself. A true story that plays out like a Coen Brothers thriller, this film really has everything.”

Friday 23rd August – Pan’s Labyrinth (Film4, 1am)

Quite simply one of the finest films of the last decade, and an example of what Guillermo del Torro is capable of with the right script (I’m looking at you, Pacific Rim).

Saturday 24th August – The Long Kiss Goodnight (Watch, 10pm)

One of the great forgotten action thrillers of the nineties, this was written by Shane Black at the height of his powers and earning potential. The film’s underwhelming box office performance had a huge effect on him though, and he didn’t have another script produced for nine years (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which he directed himself). Geena Davis stars as a housewife with no memory of her Jason Bourne-esque former secret agent career, until her life is threatened. It is also director Reny Harlin, and co-star Samuel Jackson’e favourite film of their long careers.

Sunday 25th August – Stand By Me (Five, 3.55pm)

Rob Reiner’s adaptation of Stephen King’s short story is perfect Sunday afternoon viewing with the family. A coming of age story that hits all the right notes of rebellion and nostalgia and still fits into a sub-90 minute running time. Great stuff.