A trifecta of the best films on DIRECTV & Cable
Part I of BC on TV’s all-time favourite film (The Godfather BEST FILM OF THE DAY) screens in near hi-def on Fox Classic at 4.10pm. There are two chances to see the very strong and hugely watchable original Ralph Macchio version of The Karate Kid (11am Prmt & 3.35pm Film), so much better than the Jaden Smith travesty; both sequels screen immediately after on Film (Part II 6.05pm, Part III 7.55pm). It was only because they were both recently picked that BC on TV managed to resist the temptation of picking the two first Also Rans and making it a clean Sunday sweep for horror.
Today’s Number One Film:
Evil Dead, 2.05pm MaxPrime. Watch this if you liked The Cabin in the Woods, Halloween or the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Sam Raimi’s groundbreaking horror more than made up with atmosphere, intensity, macabre humor and sheer firetrucking enthusiasm for anything it might have lacked in budget. By today’s excessive standards, it’s almost tame – well, most of it: that tree scene still upsets, disgusts and distresses – but, in the early 1980s, at the height of the Mary Whitehouse-led English ‘video nasty’ scare, Evil Dead caused the censors massive problems; the original version was released uncut only in 2001! All the fuss over the violence overshadowed the simple scariness of the movie. Very many horror films copied it directly but no one, to date, has imitated it as well. A horror film that is also a film school film and the kind of masterful balance between tongue-in-cheek and pencil-in-the-leg (or chainsaw-in-the-shower) that Brian De Palma wished he could have achieved in Scarface. Directed by Sam Raimi/ 1981/ USA/ Horror/ 85 mins/ Rated NC-17 for strong substantial graphic horror violence and gore.
Death at a Funeral, 9.40am ISat. Watch this if you liked Margot at the Wedding, The Hangover or A Fish Called Wanda. Wet-your-pants funny but not for anyone who thinks funerals are no laughing matter. The director of The Stepford Wives and Bowfinger extracts superb deadpan performances from a genuinely star-studded cast – including Peter Dinklage before he was better known as Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lanister. A contender for the best film farce of the current century, the impeccable timing is topped only by the very clever script. The last shot is priceless. It is even probably funnier than the black version, Chris Rock notwithstanding. Directed by Frank Oz/ 2007/ UK-USA-Germany-Netherlands/ Black Comedy / 90 mins/ R for language and drug content.
Rango, 2.20pm Fox Family. Watch this if you liked Hugo, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Alice in Wonderland. The small percentage of critics who dismissed Rango as 2011’s version of Finding Nemo, an identikit kiddie flick aimed at the sentimental periphery of the Ritalin mob, seemed not to have noticed the movie’s several strengths, not the least of which is Johnny Depp as the voice of the conflicted chameleon trying to find his way in a confused and confusing world. A great script and tremendous pacing don’t hurt, either. This is one of the few family films that appeals to the intelligence of parents and children alike. The opening sequences alone, which pay homage to while simultaneously mocking the bombastic musical scores and extravagant opening titles of spaghetti Westerns, make the film worthwhile. Gore Verbinski/ 2011/ USA/ Animation-Adventure-Comedy-Family/ 107 mins/ Rated PG for rude humour, language, action and smoking)
JUST NOSED OUT:
**Let Me In (Horror), 7.05pm FoxCin; **Unfriended (Horror), 2.20pm HBO2; Meet the Parents (Comedy), 6.45pm Stun; Meet the Fockers (Comedy), 1.45pm FoxCom; Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Sci-fi), 11.45am MaxP.
BEST Pay Per View BET: Fences.
Action/Adventure: **Drive (Crime), 6.50pm MaxP.
Art House/Independent: Juno, 7.15pm Sund; Big Fish, 11.35am HBOF.
Biography/Documentary: Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender version, of course), 4.25pm HBOS.
Children/Family: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Adventure-Comedy), 2.08pm TCM; Finding Nemo, 9pm HBOF; Finding Dory, 9pm HBO2.
Classic: The Untouchables (Crime-Drama), 2.10pm FoxClas.
Comedy: There’s Something About Mary (Farrelly Bros), 1.40pm Film; RV, 4.30pm CnCl.
Drama: Whiplash (Music), 11.55am HBOS.
Horror: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows Part I (Fantasy), 10.12am HBO2.
Sci-fi-Fantasy: *Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 7.25am & 4pm MaxP.
Thriller: American Gangster (Crime), 1.45pm HBOS.
Western: Two Rode Together (John Ford), 9pm FoxClas.
*Starred films have been chosen in the last year. ** Double-starred films have been chosen in the last two months. Particularly strong Also Ran choices are bolded.
Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.