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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box

It’s a clean sweep for crime flicks in today’s film picks.

Today’s Number One Film:

*The Godfather Part I, 12.20 midday Paramount. BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Casino, Goodfellas or the HBO series The Sopranos. Part I of BC on TV’s favourite film of all time and the American Film Institute’s No. 3 begins the story of the rise of the crime figure – Marlon Brando in his best role ever (except possibly for Kurtz in Apocalyspe Now) supported by Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and more. The most quoted movie of all time, for the very good reason that it has the best script, ever. “Leave the gun; take the cannoli”. Part I & II are really one film, shot two years apart. Like The Sopranos, its best imitation, and the greatest American cinematic art created since The Godfather, the real strength is its revelations about family life and the human condition, not crime. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola/ 1972/ USA/ Drama-Crime/ 175 mins/ R).

Also watch:

*The French Connection, 9.20am Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked The Departed, Mean Streets or Wonderland. The gritty tale of Popeye Doyle and Buddy Russo – Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider in two of their great roles – is one of the great New York City movies and features the film school textbook chase scene, one of the best chases ever shot in cinema, and one that remained unsurpassed (as an on-foot chase) for 35 years, an entire anthropological generation, until it was clipped by the one in the Daniel Craig Casino Royale. No. 70 on the American Film Institute Top 100 American Films list. Directed by William Friedkin/ 1971/ USA/ Crime-Thriller-Action/ 104 mins/ Rated R.

*Casino, 11.10am Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked The Godfather, American Gangster or Goodfellas. One of the most overlooked of Scorsese/De Niro films – perhaps because it covers similar Mob ground to Goodfellas and The GodfatherCasino deserves more attention and repays watching. Told in flashbacks with excellent performances from Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci – both upstaged by Sharon Stone in possibly her best role ever, even if she recalls Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface – it runs to three hours, all thrilling, once you can stomach the violence. Directed by Martin Scorsese/ 1995/ USA-France / Crime-Drama / 178 mins/ R for strong brutal violence, pervasive strong language, drug use and some sexuality.

Just Nosed Out:

*Bridge of Spies (Cold War-Drama), 10am CnCl; Suffragete (Bio-Drama-History), 10.10am Max; Brother Bear (Animated-Family), 12.20 midday Max; Inside Out (Animated-Family), 10.10am MaxU; *The Brothers Grimsby (Stoner Comedy), 11.48am HBO2; *Ant-Man (Superhero), 7pm HBOF.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: *Everest, 8am HBOC; Batman (Michael Keaton), 2.08pm TCM.

Arthouse/Independent:

Biography/Documentary: The Aviator, 4.35pm Max.

Comedy: **The Hangover (Stoner Comedy), 2pm MaxP.

Family/Animated: *Rango, 12.50 midday FoxFam.

Drama: *Silver Linings Playbook, 6.37pm Max.

Horror: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, 11.11am HBO.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: The Terminator, 6.20pm Film.

Thriller: *Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom, 4.10pm FoxFam; The Untouchables (Crime), 2.05pm FoxClas.

War: *The Hurt Locker, 10pm Film; Saving Private Ryan, 4.39pm ISat.

Western: True Grit (John Wayne), 5.50pm FoxClas.

*Starred films have been picked before. **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.

*Starred films have been picked before.