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If BC on TV could be sure of English subtitles, the Hungarian creature thriller/ drama/ fable/morality tale, White Dog (9pm FoxCin) would have taken the top slot because it has never been picked before. The HBO & Cinemax programming remained unavailable up to decision time, severely limiting the choice, but the evergreen and ever-dependable old movie channels came to the rescue big time.
Today’s number one film:
*The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme/ 1991/ USA / Thriller/ 118 mins/ R), 3.15pm Fox Movies BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Manhunter, Psycho or Se7en. Though it perhaps – and only “perhaps” – has a lower make-you-jump scare count than Manhunter, the first movie based on the “Hannibal Lecter” books, The Silence of the Lambs is a top-notch thriller that changed the way crime films were made. The best modern thrillers, like Prisoner, trace their roots back to it. The film has such huge atmosphere you almost don’t need the two awesome performances from Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. The cage-to-elevator-to-ambulance scenes alone make the whole film worthwhile. Of course you have to come to terms with the extremely challenging concept of a cannibal – someone who eats human beings - being a “star”, but that’s a piece of cake in the age of Quentin Tarantino/moral relativism.
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Part I: The Ground House Rules
UNLESS YOU WERE born too rich to stay anywhere but five-star hotels or too poor to travel anywhere but Port of Spain, when you’ve gone away, you’ve always depended upon the kindness of friends – especially if you’re young and just starting off professionally or old and have spent a lifetime working for newspapers. Because we’ve all been or had a house guest, then, certain practices have become standard. Follow these BC International Rules of House Guesting and you’ll be invited back for Christmas; ignore them and you’ll pack your friendship into your suitcase with your dirty laundry when you leave.Read more
Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis/ 1993/ USA/ Comedy/ 102 mins/ Rated PG-13) 9am Turner Classic Movies. Watch this if you liked The Truman Show, Forrest Gump or Hugo. Groundhog Day was the turning point in Bill Murray’s career, Read more
LEAVING the weird, new, nearly all-glass Tottenham Court Rd tube exit all alone (with a million American tourists) and there’s something in the air odder than the geography. Building works at Centrepoint, the West End’s original skyscraper, have changed the intersection’s appearance hugely but it’s nuance I’m missing. More than 30 years of unconscious habit kick in and I cross Oxford Street, pass Mickey D’s and swing right into the Virgin Megastore– to find lingerie! G-strings instead of CDs, D-cups instead of DVDs!Read more
Three films battled their way to the top of a strong field by virtue of all having two chances to see them.
Today’s number one film:
Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan/2005/ USA/ Crime-Fantasy-Drama-Action-Mystery/ 141 mins/ Rated PG-13 for intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements), 8.39am & 7.40pm HBOP. Watch this if you liked any of the other Dark Knight films, any Daniel Craig James Bond film or Sin City. The Chris Nolan Batmans are easily the best comic book-to-movie translations – or at least the smartest ones – so far made. With a first half structured a la Memento and the more familiar city-under-threat second half much more realistically presented than the claustrophobically dark earlier Tim Burton movies, and with Christian Bale leading an impeccable cast, this is a film that can please adults whoRead more