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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 24 June 2018

If they hadn’t both recently screened, the three films with near-equal claims to the title of BEST FILM OF THE DAY (*Black Mass, 5pm MaxP; *Get Out, 5.35pm HBOP; *The Hours, 4.52pm FoxCin) would certainly have been selected.

Today’s Number One Film:

This is 40 – Unrated, 9pm HBO Plus. Watch this if you liked There’s Something about Mary, Hall Pass or We’re the Millers. In its 2013 year-end roundup, BC on TV rated This Is 40 the best comedy DVD release of 2013.Five years later, This Is 40 probably just retains the title ahead of We’re the Millers, because of its sharp script, superb performances – even the kids are perfect – and the magnificent comic timing of director Judd Apatow. The unrated version is only three or four minutes longer than the theatrical release and doesn’t change the story at all, apart from adding some coarse but hilarious jokes. Although it is a kind of spin-off sequel to Knocked Up, This Is 40 escapes the very short restraints of stoner comedy to mine a far deeper seam of humour; and even manages to gain in sophistication even as it descends into an adult version of nyah-nyah-boo-boo, as it does in the scene where the male and female leads are called in to their children’s principal’s office.Keep watching to the very end of the credits for the extended version of what might be the funniest scene ever shot in one take. Directed by Judd Apatow/ 2012/ USA/ Comedy-Romance/ 138 mins/ R for sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material.

Also watch:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (aka Wo hu can long) 1.50pm Cinemax. Watch this if you liked Hero, House of Flying Daggers or Curse of the Golden Flower. By far the best of all stylized modern kung fu films, and so beautifully photographed and choreographed, you could watch it with the sound off – which you might have to, if you don’t speak Mandarin or read Spanish sub-titles. No, but seriously, the English sub-titles should also be legible in a terrific film that was a critical as well as a commercial success. Two hours fly by like the martial artists soaring through the sky and springing off the surfaces of lakes.Cinema at, or near, its best.Directed by Ang Lee/ 2000/ China-Taiwan-USA/ Martial arts-Drama-Fantasy/ 120 mins/ Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence & some sexuality.

Throw Momma from the Train, 10am Paramount. Watch this if you liked Grosse Pointe Blank, The Ice Harvest or My Cousin Vinny. If you’re lucky enough, you many not have seen Billy Crystal in his best comic dramatic role outside of City Slickers and Danny De Vito’s hilariously deadpan comic touch behind the camera. Filled with great little moments, like the “Cows!” outside the window, and great big ones, too, like the Kerrrang! of the frying pan.Cable/DirecTV don’t often run movies as good as this because they’re a bit quirky; don’t miss this screening. Directed by Danny De Vito/ 1987/ USA/ Crime-Black Comedy/ 88 mins/ PG-13.

Just Nosed Out:

The Man Who would be King (adventure-classic-drama), 1.50pm FoxClas; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (action-adventure-sci-fi), 11.11am & 9pm HBOF; Toy Story 3 (animated-family), 12.12 midday Max; Spielberg (documentary), 3.55pm HBOP.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Jumanji (family-fantasy), 10.24 HBOP.

Animated/Family: *Paddington (adventure), 8.11pm Gldn.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult:.

Classic: ; Paint Your Wagon (Western), 6.24pm FoxClas.

Comedy: Little Fockers, 6.12pm CnCl.

Documentary/Biography: Ray, 2.24pm HBOS; Jackie, 9.30am HBO2.

Drama: Erin Brockovich (biodrama), 2.05pm Prmt; Loving, 6.54pm HBOS.

Foreign: Leon: The Professional (French – largely English-speaking – crime thriller), 3.28pm TCM.

Horror: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (fantasy), 8.38am HBO.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Edward Scissorshands (Johnny Depp), 1.17pm FxMv.

Thriller: The Prestige, 6.35pm Prmt.

War: Cold Mountain (Civil War romance-Western-drama), 3.17pm FxMv.

Western: The Sons of Katie Elder, 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.