Every week Mat Corne scours the TV Guide for the best movies showing on UK free-to-air TV. So for those of you that refuse to pay for Sky Movies or Netflix, here are five of the best freeview movies for the coming week.
Film4, Saturday 12th, 23:20
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson form an unlikely team in this post-apocalyptic comedy, as human survivors of a zombie outbreak that take a road trip to California. Along the way they meet a devious pair of sisters, played by Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, and the foursome form an uneasy group. There’s plenty of laughs and some reasonably gruesome moments in this film, which has plenty of heart despite its grim premise. The cameo appearance by Bill Murray is certainly one of the highlights, along with the spectacular finale in a California amusement park.
The Fifth Element (1997)
5Star, Sunday 13th, 19:25 and Friday 18th, 21:00
Luc Besson’s Sci-Fi thriller is amongst his most commercially successful films, despite polarising critics when it was released 20 years ago. Bruce Willis stars as an unwitting saviour of the world when bewildered super-human Milla Jovovich almost literally falls into his lap in futuristic New York. An action-packed adventure across a visually-spectacular world ensues, as they pit their wits against Gary Oldman’s eccentric villain and a bunch of invading aliens. It’s a fairly straightforward action movie at heart, but the spectacular cinematography, visual effects and Jean-Paul Gaultier’s costume design propel it into a unique stratosphere of its own. At the end of the film you won’t quite understand everything you just saw, but it will certainly have left an impression!
American History X (1998)
ITV4, Monday 14th, 23:00
Edward Norton is almost always worth watching, and this is one of his standout roles, playing a white supremacist who is rightly imprisoned following a vicious racially-motivated attack. Released three years later, he is determined to leave his old life behind, but finds that his younger brother (Edward Furlong) is following a similar dark path. The film pulls no punches, with some sickeningly violent moments, but the story is gripping and the acting superb. It is by no means an enjoyable film, but definitely a good one, and the subject matter of hate and its destructive influence is arguably more relevant in today’s world than it was when the film was made.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Film4, Monday 14th, 18:50
Just as Tom Hanks and Jim Carrey did before him, Ben Stiller takes a step away from goofball comedy towards a more dramatic role in this film, which he also directed. He plays the titular character, a mild-mannered daydreamer that works in the photography department of Life magazine. When the negative of the picture to be used for the final printed copy of the magazine goes astray, Walter must track down the nomadic photographer that took the shot. His journey takes him way out of his comfort zone, seeing and doing things beyond his own vivid dreams. Whilst predictable and rife with product placement, it’s an enjoyable feel good movie with some spectacular, mostly Icelandic scenery, and a decent performance from Stiller in one of his most likeable roles.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
Sony Movies, Sunday 13th, 16:35
Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor combine for the third and final time in this comedy, where they respectively play a deaf guy and a blind guy. When they are implicated in a murder, they must work together to overcome their disabilities and prove their innocence by tracking down those responsible for the crime. The story is pretty terrible, but there are some amusing scenes and a chance to see an early performance from Kevin Spacey as one of the villains. Unfortunately, due to the broadcast time, some of the funniest moments are likely to be edited out, but this still gives the chance to see two of the best – and sadly missed – comedians of this era doing their thing.