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

If it started even half-an-hour earlier, QT’s magnum opus would certainly have got the top spot (Pulp Fiction BEST FILM OF THE DAY, 10pm FoxMov). Today is the worst Sunday for film choice for the year - and it's still pretty good.

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 very strong, thoroughly satisfying film and far too good, really, to have any connection to the old Kev. Recommended like firing one with your dead Dad. A real family treat, once viewed with an open mind but probably most famous for being spoofed in Wayne’s World as, “If you book them, they will come”. Directed by Phil Alden Robinson/ 1989/ USA/ Family-Fantasy-Sport/ 107 mins/ Rated PG.

Also watch:

**Colossal, 9pm Fox Movies. Watch this if you liked Shutter Island, Ginger Snaps or The Illusionist. One of the best surprises of 2016, Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigalondo makes a seamless blend of relationship drama and creature horror as easily as the story itself straddles two continents, America and Asia.Using Japanese creature horror as its literal jumping off point – the first scene could have come from Godzilla – this very clever, immaculately directed film stretches its possibilities so easily, it looks more like it’s just flexing its muscles. The less said about the plot, the greater the viewer enjoyment, though it is definitely not a film for those that like their stories to be linear.It was picked in March but is picked again today since it is not likely to screen often on cable or DIRECTV. Directed by Nacho Vigalondo/ 2016/ USA-Korea-Spain / Comedy-Creature Horror-Fantasy-Sci-fi / 109 mins/ Rated R for language.

Gladiator (The Extended Edition), 4.55pmTurner Classic Movies. Watch this if you liked Braveheart, Kingdom of Heaven or 300. Ridley “Black Hawk Down” Scott’s take on the gladiator film deserves to capture the word itself as title: it is the definitive modern version of Spartacus, though the purist would give the nod to the Kirk Douglas original if they were in the ring in a fight to the death. It deservedly won the Oscars for Best Picture, Lead Actor (Russell Crowe), Costume Design, Visual Effects and Sound.A master filmmaker like Ridley Scott revelled in a wonderfully manly film based on a rock solid script and nearly three hours whizzes by; the extended cut may actually not be as good.The violence is deeply disturbing for young viewers, though, and the R rating should be respected. Directed by Ridley Scott/ 2000/ UK-USA/ Action-Adventure/ 155 mins – Extended Edition 177 mins/ Rated R for intense graphic combat.

Just Nosed Out:

**Manchester by the Sea (drama), 6.41pm HBO2; The Hangover (action-thriller-stoner comedy), 7.15pm MaxU; Die Hard (action), 4.02pm FoxMov; Hugo (animated-family), 11.17am CnCl; The Theory of Everything (biodrama), 6.30pm Stun; Split (with Alternate Ending) (horror-thriller), 12 midday HBOP; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp indy drama), 4.50pm Sund.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Doctor Strange (superhero), 9.35am & 4.50pm MaxP.

Animated/Family: Shrek Forever After, 6.20pm CnCl.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: The Squid & the Whale (drama), 9.30pm ISat.

Classic: Scarface (action-crime-unintentional comedy), 10pm TCM.

Comedy: ***This is 40, 10.25pm FoxCom.

Documentary/Biography:

Drama: Almost Famous, 1.30pm ISat.

Foreign: Curse of the Golden Flower (Chinese action-romance), 5.12pm Max.

Horror: Ouija: Origin of Evil, 4.05pm HBOP.&

Sci-fi/Fantasy: V for Vendetta, 1.45pm HBO.

Thriller: Aeon Flux (animated sci-fi), 3.45pm Prmt.

Western: Young Guns II, 10.10am 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.