A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 17 June 2018

On the first Sunday of the competition, BC on TV tips its hat to the 2018 World Cup by picking three sports films but the real contenders for the BEST FILM OF THE DAY (Inception (action-fantasy-sci-fi), 5.10pm MaxP, Black Mass (biodrama-crime-thriller), 1.20pm Max) were fairly recently picked anyway.

Today’s Number One Film:

*Field of Dreams, 10.10am HBO Family. Watch this if you liked Millions, Dances With Wolves or E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial. By far and away Kevin Costner’s best film, this wonderful little fantasy of a man bringing legendary baseball players to life in his Iowa cornfield is not at all corny and, more important, avoids entirely the sentimentality of its chief competitor, Dances With Wolves (even though the aficionado would expect its subject matter, the relationship of fathers and sons, to give rise to the most cloying of Costner’s excesses). Beautifully shot and deftly directed, this is a very strong, thoroughly satisfying film and far too good, really, to have any connection to the old Kev. Recommended like firing one with your dead Dad. A real family treat, once viewed with an open mind but probably most famous for being spoofed in Wayne’s World as, “If you book them, they will come”. Directed by Phil Alden Robinson/ 1989/ USA/ Family-Fantasy-Sport/ 107 mins/ Rated PG.

Also watch:

Creed, 9am & 6.27pm Cinemax. Watch this if you liked Rocky, Hacksaw Ridge or The Lone Survivor. Though it goes against BC on TV’s grain to recommend anything remotely connected to Sylvester Stallone (except possibly Janice Dickinson, Naomi Campbell & Jami Gertz), the hyper-talented Fruitvale Station director, Ryan Coogler, twists the original doh!/Yo Adrianne Rocky story so far out of shape as to make it come out good. It’s no surprise that the story is considerably improved by shifting it from the old Italian Stallion to the son of Rocky’s old opponent-turned-best friend who died in the ring against Da Rock in one of the many sequels that were even worse than the original. Truth be told, Sylvester Stallone turns in a far better dramatic performance, his best yet, as the ageing trainer than he ever did as the star boxer: brace yourselves, but he is actually good – though the show remains the vehicle of the young star, Michael B Jordan. The fight scenes, the best parts of the other Rocky movies, are just as good or better in Creed. Far, far better than the dreadful Southpaw. Directed by Ryan Coogler/ 2015/USA/ Drama-Sport/ 133 mins/ Rated PG-13.

Bend it Like Beckham, 10.05am Fox Family. Watch this if you liked Parenthood, Monsoon Wedding or Goal. Lovely little film about adolescence, immigrants and football.Its flaws are the result of its shoestring budget and most of those shortcomings are more than adequately compensated for by the sheer enthusiasm of cast and crew. It is a feelgood film but you feel utterly good.Directed by Gurinder Chadha/ 2002/ UK-Germany-USA/ Comedy-Drama-Family-Sports/ 112 mins/ Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.

Just Nosed Out:

What We Do in the Shadows (black comedy-horror), 8pm ISat; Coach Carter (biodrama-sports), 1.55pm FxMv; Gladiator (adventure-thriller), 7.08pm TCM; Zombieland (action-comedy-horror), 6.20pm FxMv.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire superhero), 3.41pm HBOF.

Animated/Family: Despicable Me, 5.47pm HBOf .

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: Closer (drama), 11.50am FxMv .

Classic: Back to the Future (action-sci-fi), 6.50am, II 8.50am MaxU .

Comedy: Clear History, 1.10pm HBOS.

Documentary/Biography: Jackie, 3.35pm HBO.

Drama: It’s Complicated (rom-com), 1.30pm HBO.

Foreign: White God (Hungarian creature horror), 4.52pm FoxCin.

Horror: When the Bough Breaks, 10.15am HBOC.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Avatar (adventure), 1.12pm CnCl .

Thriller: Snatch (action-crime), 9.50am HBOP.

War: Hell is for Heroes, 5.38pm FoxClas.

Western: Hondo (John Wayne), 9pm 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.