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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Carnival Sunday 11 February 2018

Almost every film double-starred ** was a contender for the best film of the day but two were ruled out particularly regretfully, and only because one of the best supernatural horrors ever shot was fairly recently chosen (**The Omen, 1.15pm FoxClas) and the other because it is Hungarian and the subtitles are in Spanish; with English subtitles, its seamless mix of horror, crime, animal film and drama might well have taken the top spot (White God, 5.10pm FoxCin).

Today’s Number One Film:

Hombre, 7.10pm Fox Classics BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Cool Hand Luke, The Wild Bunch or 3.10 to Yuma. A great, offbeat Western includes a contender for Paul Newman’s best role – including Cool Hand Luke and The Verdict – as the white Apache drawn into a Greek tragedy that reveals all that was wrong with Manifest Destiny. His performance as a man who chooses to live and die on his own terms could have given rise to the description “quiet intenstity”. Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, the story itself is top notch and the performances are even better. The direction is as close to flawless as it gets. They really don’t make ‘em like this any more. This is a Western for people who hate Westerns.The Fast & Furious XLIII crowd should be reminded there are no car crashes at all but anyone who enjoyed O’level English should love it. Directed by Martin Ritt/ 1967/ USA/ Drama-Western-Thriller/ 111 mins/Unrated, probably PG.

Also watch:

Jaws, 3.10pm Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked Open Water, Psycho or Halloween. No 48 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Best Films, Jaws has not lost much of its bite to time. The film school textbook tension-building fills almost every scene around the shark – even though, as observed by Marty McFly when he went back to the future, the shark itself still looks fake; there may be directorial genius in it not being onscreen for more than a minute out of two hours. Spielberg’s film that stopped a generation from swimming is a great stroll down memory lane – in the dark, with lots of shadows and plenty of nervous whistling. The movie version of the hunt for the shark terrorizing the tourist beach town is far more frightening than the Peter Benchely source novel on which Benchely himself based the screenplay. Directed by Steven Spielberg/ 1975/ USA/ Horror-Thriller/ 124 mins/ Rated PG-13.

*The Big Lebowski, 12.30 midday Cinemax. Watch this if you liked Fargo, Being John Malkovich or Kingpin. This canter into Chandler territory is as atomospheric as Fargo, as compelling as The Man Who Wasn’t There, and funnier than most Coen Bros (even if, in the end, probably just not as good as Miller’s Crossing). Hugely stylish, deadpan hilarious and with every male performance a contender for best in the film, including the winner, Jeff Bridges in the title role, John Goodman’s psycho, Steve Buscemi’s idiot and what on paper was a minor role in John Turturro’s Hispanic oaf. A deep and satisfying treat for the genuine cinefile.Directed by the Coen Bros/ 1998/ USA-UK/ Film Noir-Crime- Black Comedy/ 117 mins/ R for pervasive strong language, drug content, sexuality and brief violence.

Just Nosed Out:

**Manchester by the Sea, 9pm HBOS; *The Hangover (Action-Crime-Stoner Comedy), 5.40pm HBOP; Alien, Director’s Cut (Sci-fi), 9.15am FoxClas; *Keanu, 5.35pm HBO2; Night Train to Lisbon (Drama), 12.10 midday FoxCin; Made in Dagenham (Biodrama), 5.05pm ISat.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark, 5.15pm FoxClas; Spiderman (Tobey Maguire), 10.25am HBO2.

Animated/Family: Moana, 4.13pm HBOF.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: The Royal Tenenbaums, 1pm ISat.

Biography/Documentary: American Sniper, 6.43pm HBOS.

Classic: **Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Drama-Fantasy), 11.09am HBOS.

Comedy: The Naked Gun, 5.02pm FoxMov; The Invention of Lying (Ricky Gervais), 10.35am FoxCom.

Drama: Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen), 4.33pm Max.

Foreign: Mustang (Turkish coming-of-age drama), 3.30pm FoxCin.

Horror: **The Omen, 1.15pm FoxClas

Sci-fi/Fantasy: **Avatar, 4.30pm FoxAct.

Thriller: Creed (Action-Sports), 8.50am HBOC.

War: Pearl Harbour, 6.47pm TCM.

Western: Silverado, 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.