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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 8 July 2018

Although today’s number one film and the first Also Ran could almost as legitimately claim the title, for BC on TV, Tom Hardy’s one-hander, set completely in the front seat of a BMW (Locke, 11.30am MaxP), remains the clear BEST FILM OF THE DAY and would certainly have taken today’s top slot if it hadn’t been chosen a fortnight ago. On an exceptional day for film choice, the best for the year so far, second and third films only clipped the first Also Ran because they both screen twice today.

Today’s Number One Film:

*Arrival, 4.50pm HBO & 5pm HBO Caribbean. Watch this if you liked Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Ex Machina or Inception. The French Canadian director who made us all sit up and take notice in 2010 with his first feature film, Incendies, and then rocked us back in our chairs in 2013 with Prisoners, and then bowled us right firetrucking over in 2015 with Sicario returned in 2016 to make us do all three in the same film – just much more slowly. It is perhaps not a film for everyone – and people who require an explosion, a car crash or a murder every ten minutes to keep their attention hooked shouldn’t even bother.For the patitent lover of deeply immersive cinema, however, few films offer this kind of reward. This is a film that has to be watched painstakingly closely to be understood; and then rewatched several times, for its depth and mastery to be appreciated. Exceptional. Recommended like the best Test match you’ve ever watched. Directed by Denis Villeneuve/ 2016/ USA/ Drama-Mystery-Sci-fi-Thriller/ 116 mins/ Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

Also watch:

Toy Story, 12.56 midday & 7.23pm 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 – and, for genuine film lovers, probably more than – 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. The truth is, the vast majority of grownup films don’t come close to this one for sheer quality.A two-bags-of-popcorn treat. Directed by John Lasseter/ 1995/ USA / Family-Animation-Adventure-Comedy/ 77 mins/ Rated G.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 12.35 midday & 9pm HBO Family. Watch this if you liked the Indiana Jones or the Lord of the Rings trilogies or the Avengers. Though one of the “new” ones, this Star Wars blockbuster fits in, chronologically, somewhere around III-and-a-half and, technologically, way on top of all its predecssors – including even perhaps The Force Awakens. The bigger your home TV, the more you will enjoy a movie purpose-designed for Imax screens. Even on regular human being TVs, though, Rogue One flings the viewer into hyperspace entertainment. For its substantial runtime, there is not a dip in excitement levels. Yes, it is pure escapist cinema – but who doesn’t want to get away nowadays? If you don’t cheer at the last frame, you’ve a heart of stone – or, at least, were totally unmoved by the original George Lucas epics. Directed by Gareth Edwards/ 2016/ USA/ Action-Adventure-Sci-Fi-Fantasy/ 134 mins/ PG for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

Just Nosed Out:

Moonlight (indy drama), 12.35 midday Max; Seven Psychopaths (action-comedy-crime-thriller), 5.20pm MaxP; Big (family coming of age drama), 3.42pm FoxClas; *Colossal (horror), 7.14pm FoxCom; *Waltz with Bashir (animated-documentary), 11am Max; Flatliners (horror), 12.19 midday HBOC;

Coraline (animated), 11.32am TNT;

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (sci-fi), 5.14pm FoxMov.

Animated/Family: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 9.24am Gldn & 10.02am TNT.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: Swiss Army Man, 2.30pm Maxl

Classic: Saturday Night Fever (drama), 9pm Stun.

Comedy: Why Him? 1.52pm FoxMov.

Documentary/Biography: The Other Boleyn Girl (docudrama-history), 11am & 5.10pm Sund.

Drama: Away We Go (Sam Mendes), 12.45 midday Stun.

Foreign: Marshland (Spanish crime-thriller), 9pm FoxCin.

Horror: Unbreakable (M Night Shyamalan), 3.10pm MaxP.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (horror), 2.25pm HBO.

Thriller: Nocturnal Animals, 6.55pm HBO.

War: The Blue Max (WWI drama), 7.38am FoxClas.

Western: The Tin Star (Henry Fonda), 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.