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, Amazon Prime or Netflix, here are some of the best freeview movies for the coming week.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
ITV4, Saturday 17th, 23:00
In his first (and sadly last) international film, Bruce Lee stars as a martial arts expert tasked with infiltrating the island lair of a drug lord, which also happens to be home to the killer of his sister. The story is rather inspired by James Bond, but the action is anything but, as Lee and his co-stars show off all their best Kung Fu moves. With surprisingly good acting from the majority of characters and the memorable finale in the room of mirrors, Enter the Dragon was undoubtedly the best film of Lee’s tragically short career, and over four decades on is still rightly regarded as one of the finest martial arts films ever made.
Casino Royale (2006)
ITV2, Sunday 18th, 21:00
After a four year absence following the dismal Die Another Day, cinema’s most famous spy returned with Daniel Craig’s first outing as 007 putting a more contemporary spin on the character. His portrayal of the iconic spy is far more realistic than his predecessors, and while the cars and gadgets are still present, the story takes place in a far more plausible world, and it feels like Bond is a fallible character for the first time. With a tense storyline based on Ian Fleming’s very first novel, an enigmatic villain portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen, and one of the most emotional endings of any Bond film, Casino Royale is a worthy reboot of the legendary series.
The World’s End (2013)
ITV2, Thursday 22nd, 21:00
Director Edgar Wright teams up with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost once again for the third in the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto’ trilogy. In something of a role-reversal from the preceding films, Frost plays a successful businessman while Pegg is the no-hoper. The two meet up with their childhood friends to complete a pub crawl that they never finished in their youth, but find that their home town is occupied by alien clones. The supporting cast is a veritable who’s who of British talent, including Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Pierce Brosnan, and while the film doesn’t quite reach the highs of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but there are still plenty of laughs and a few decent action scenes amidst the typically British Sci-Fi story.
ITV4, Thursday 22nd, 21:00
After a six year delay fraught with legal issues, the James Bond franchise was rebooted with Pierce Brosnan taking on the role of 007. He’s up against one of his own, a traitorous former 006 agent (Sean Bean) who is looking to target London with a stolen Russian satellite. With most of the supporting cast from earlier instalments replaced and an introduction of nineties technology, the film refreshed a series that had gone a bit stale, and Brosnan was the perfect Bond for this era. A high calibre villain, two glamorous girls and some big budget action sequences helped GoldenEye kick off the new era of Bond with a bang and is certainly Brosnan’s best outing as the iconic spy.
American History X (1998)
ITV4, Friday 23rd, 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.