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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 25 February 2018

For those lucky enough never to have seen it, the DIRECTV Channel runs a back-to-back marathon of the complete season one of Sally Wainwright’s excellent Yorkshire police/crime drama, Happy Valley, kicking off at 2pm.

Today’s Number One Film:

Paddington, 9.33am & 8.20pm HBO Family BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Babe, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, or The Adventures of Milo and Otis. There are pure-kiddie movies – such as Finding Nemo, Up and The Incredibles – that are so good, grownups might like them; and there are other “kiddie” films that are really grown up films kids can also enjoy, like the Shrek and Toy Story films. Paddington may be the best of the latter lot so far made, at least for West Indians who have left home: with frequent soundtrack appearances by a live calypso band (featuring lead vocals by Tobago Crusoe) singing kaisos by Lord Kitchener – London is the Place for Me, most aptly – Paddington is a comedy about a stuffed toy bear that is also a director-acknowledged allegorical indictment of English post-colonial immigration practice. It is also a first-rate action film in the vein of Indiana Jones and, often, a top-notch tip of the hat to Charlie Chaplin’s slapstick. This is a film that does what cinema ought to: transport the viewer to a flawless, credible and enthralling other-world, from which he or she emerges with great reluctance but even more greatly lifted spirits. Borrow a child, if you have to, just make sure you see it. Directed by Paul King/ 2014/ UK-France/ Family-Comedy-Adventure-Animated/ 95 mins/ PG for mild action and rude humour.

Also watch:

The Hangover, 9pm HBO Plus. Watch this if you liked We’re the Millers, Pineapple Express or This Is 40. As action-packed as Zombieland, as off the wall as Pineapple Express and with a script as intelligent and almost as funny as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, this could be the best road trip film since Sideways. All “entertainment” movies should be this well made; it is a real pity, though no surprise at all, that its sequels could not live up to such a high standard.As close to a literary worth as a stag party movie will ever get, it is stuffed to the limit with belly laughs but still leaves room for huge tension, suspense and action; and, on top of all of this, it’s got Mike Tyson and a Bengal tiger strolling around doing their own thing.A delight for both the Fast & Furious and the Coen Bros crowds. Directed by Todd Phillips/ 2009/ Germany-USA/ Action-Comedy-Drama / 100’/ R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity and some drug material) 8.45pm MaxPrime.

Toy Story 3, 12.16 midday Cinemax. Watch this if you liked Finding Nemo, Shark Tale or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Though indubitably a children’s movie, Toy Story is one of those rare films that adults can enjoy just as much as their kids. The characters are more real than many non-animated movies today, the script is tight and very funny, and the adventure is cracking and, unlike most adult films that cash in on the success of the first, both sequels live up to the original by finding greater depth in the characters and new ground to cover instead of repeating the formula with new set pieces. A two-bags-of-popcorn treat.Directed by John Lasseter/ 1995/ USA / Family-Animation-Adventure-Comedy/ 77 mins/ G.

Just Nosed Out:

**Jaws (Adventure-Thriller-Creature Horror), 1.50pm FoxClas (see Also Ran); *The Skeleton Key (Horror), 9.41am HBOS; *Keanu (Action-Comedy-Thriller), 4.15pm HBOC; *Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part I (Fantasy-Horror), 1.30pm HBOP/ & the Half-Blood Prince, 4.25pm MaxU; Sin City (Animated-Action-Thriller), 8.45am FoxAct; Silver Linings Playbook (Drama), 9.54am & 4.43pm Max; Loving (Biodrama-Romance-History), 8pm Max.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: *Mad Max: Fury Road (Sci-fi), 3.05pm MaxP

Animated/Family: Little Fockers,12.40 midday FoxCom.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: Mr Pip (Drama), 10.40am FoxCin.

Biography/Documentary: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (Music), 8.35am FoxMov.

Classic: Presumed Innocent (Courtroom-Thriller), 10pm TCM.

Comedy: Hail, Caesar! (Coen Bros), 11.10am Max.

Drama: Million Dollar Baby, (Sport), 2.09pm Max.

Foreign: The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentine Mystery-Thriller), 9pm FoxCin.

Horror: Jaws II, 3.55pm FoxClas.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: District 9, 12 midday Prmt.

Thriller: *Don’t Breathe (Crime), 6.35pm MaxP.

War: War Dogs (Stoner Comedy), 10.05pm MaxP.

Western: Last Train from Gun Hill, 7.25pm FoxClas.

*Starred films have been picked in the last year.**Double-starred films have been picked in the last two months.***Triple-starred films were picked last week.

Particularly strong Also Ran films are bolded.

Please verify times.Advance Internet scheduled times can be wrong, especially at month-end.