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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 20 May 2018

Today’s Number One Film: Paddington, 2.47pm Cinemax 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)

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 13 May 2018

Today’s Number One Film: Waltz with Bashir, 9.10pm Cinemax BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked The Fog of War, American Splendour or Frost-Nixon. Though the animation is eerily beautiful and enough of a reward in itself, its immense power is only realised at the very end, in the last few seconds, when the incredible good sense of making a documentary about war in a cartoon is revealed in an unforgettable sequence, the only non-animated portion of the film. With most of the narration and dialogue being in Hebrew and/or Arabic, and with English subtitles such an unpredictable quantity in Latin American cable/DIRECTV

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 6 May 2018

Today’s Number One Film: Lawrence of Arabia, 10.54am, Turner Classic Movies. Watch this if you liked The Bridge on the River Kwai, 12 Angry Men or Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. David Lean’s masterpiece tells the largely true tale of the Englishman who meddled in the Middle East in World War I, trying to bring Arab tribes together (towards His Majesty’s advantage). Though the real life TE Lawrence’s brother declared he should not have recognized his own brother from the screen version, Peter O’Toole’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the harrowing change in Lawrence from lighthearted dilettante to burdened war veteran remains the meat of the film, with lots of hefty potatoes supplied in

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 29 April 2018

Today’s Number One Film: Field of Dreams, 7.05pm Cinemax. 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

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 22 April 2018

Today’s Number One Film: Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (aka The Final Cut), 9pm HBO Plus BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Arrival, Children of Men or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Director’s cuts are usually longer, adding in bits the auteur was forced to remove by studio executives worried about long runtimes. This cut was a literal one and improved the original theatrical release greatly by surgically slicing out its most cancerous five minutes – the contrived happy ending inane American focus groups and studio bosses wanted. Perhaps even more important, it removed entirely the Harrison Ford film noir gumshoe detective voice-over narration, transforming this version into an altogether fine, all but flawless, film.

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