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.
Jurassic World (2015)
ITV2, Sunday 23rd, 18:35
After a 14 year absence, the Jurassic Park franchise was reborn with this enjoyably ridiculous action-adventure starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. The island from the original film is now home to a huge Dinosaur-centric resort and theme park, and the corporation running it is under pressure to come up with new attractions to keep the public interested. Their labs come up with the Indominus Rex, a genetically-manufactured hybrid of some of the most fearsome dinosaurs, which predictably escapes and wreaks havoc across the island. The special effects are much improved on the still-impressive original, but it’s the same old story, so you know exactly what you’re getting and may as well switch off your brain and just enjoy the ride.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
E4, Sunday 23rd, 21:00
Taking place a decade after the events of the first film, the second part of the POTA reboot trilogy sees the remnants of humanity trying to rebuild after being almost wiped out by the Simian Flu that also bestowed increased intelligence to a tribe of apes. That tribe, led by Caesar, has been living and growing peacefully in the forests near San Francisco until a group of humans cross paths with them. A fragile truce is established between the two races, but factions on both sides soon bring them to an inevitable battle with one another. More action-packed than its predecessor, but still featuring more thoughtful moments, the film features some great sequences, decent acting from the human characters and more superlative motion capture performances from Andy Serkis and friends. Another impressive offering in a series that nobody expected to be as good as it was.
You’re Next (2011)
Horror, Sunday 23rd, 21:00
This home invasion thriller starts like any other – a family and their significant others get together at a secluded house, and just as they’re sitting down to dinner they are attacked by masked assailants with powerful weapons and a variety of fiendish traps. What they didn’t count on is that one of the intended victims is rather more resourceful than the invaders bargained for, and she is not going to make it easy for them! There are further twists that are a little predictable, but seeing the bad guys get their comeuppance in a variety of ingenious ways more than makes up for any shortcomings. Packed with decent acting, black humour and death scenes that will make you scream with glee, this is one of the most enjoyable horror films in years and is sure to become a cult classic.
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
Film4, Monday 24th, 18:40
The final part of the best trilogy ever made takes the heroes back to the Old West, where they face new challenges along with a lot of familiar faces. The shift to a new setting allows for a plethora of new jokes as well as nods to classic Western films, and the story continues in the same vein as the previous episodes but with new twists. Michael J. Fox is excellent once again, but this is most definitely Christopher Lloyd’s film as Doc Brown’s romance with Clara Clayton becomes the focus of the tale. At the end, you’ll be sad that the story is over, but happy at witnessing closure to one of cinema’s most fantastic tales.
Cop Land (1997)
ITV4, Wednesday 26th, 22:30
A rare high point from Sylvester Stallone’s late-90’s slump, Cop Land sees him playing the out-of-shape Sheriff of a suburban neighbourhood that many New York City cops call home. When he discovers that corruption is rife amongst a number of his residents, he becomes embroiled in a story that challenges both his loyalty and ability to enforce the law. James Mangold’s gritty thriller was shot on a relatively low budget and yet boasts stars such as Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta, but Stallone acquits himself admirably amongst those acting heavyweights in a role that proved he was still capable of something more than generic action flicks.