TV | Freeview Flicks of the week – Time Bandits, Public Enemies & a giant peach

LSi has compiled our weekly list of the best films on TV. This week we ride an unstoppable train, encounter a giant peach and see WWII through a child’s eyes.

MONDAY – Time Bandits (Film4 16:00)

Watching a Terry Gilliam film is an experience like none other. The brain behind the classic Brazil and most recently The Zero Theorem is well known for his unique style. Working with some of his Monty Python comrades, Time Bandits is full of hilarious Python-esque humour, the usual strikingly true social commentary from Gilliam and a feeling of adventure. Yes, it is no masterpiece like Brazil, but it is enjoyable, good fun with important messages about society at the centre.

TUESDAY – The Way Back (Film4 18:25)

Much like Gilliam, Peter Weir is famous for directing classic films, in his case The Truman Show and Dead Poets Society. Again, The Way Back is not his masterpiece, however it is rather good. With a stellar cast that includes Colin Farrell and Ed Harris, it is a tense survival story full of epic landscapes that will fill you with a desire to explore the world. It is long but the harrowing drama will be enough to absorb you.

WEDNESDAY – James and the Giant Peach (Film4 11:00)

Roald Dahl is the king of children’s literature, with many of his books being turned into films. James and the Giant Peach may not be his most famous or popular story, but the story of a young orphan who goes on a journey with bugs in a giant peach is one of his most charming. The stop-motion animation is simply wonderful, and works well as a contrast with the live action parts. After watching this you will immediately be hunting for your battered copy of the Dahl book.

THURSDAY – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (BBC2 21:00)

Based on the brilliant and popular children’s book, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a faithful adaptation with a different take on WWII as we see it from young Bruno’s, an eight-year-old, eyes. The son of a commander of a concentration camp, he befriends a young Jewish boy, a friendship that will change his life and lead to shocking consequences. If you don’t know how this ends do not find out! Just make sure there is a box of tissues to hand.

FRIDAY – Tropic Thunder (BBC3 21:00)

On a Friday night sometimes we just want to relax and watch a film that is action-packed and does not require much thought on our behalf. Tropic Thunder is just this. Directed by Ben Stiller it is a silly but fun and quite frankly hilarious film about a group of actors forced to become soldiers whilst shooting a war film. It is everything but serious, but a blacked-up Robert Downey Jr. and crazy Jack Black will bring home the laughs.

SATURDAY – Unstoppable (FIlm4 21:00)

It seems like only yesterday that the late Tony Scott passed away, but it was actually two years ago. One of the kings of action films, he is best known for his work on Top Gun, but his last film Unstoppable is also a thrill ride. Starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine it is an action-packed, tense drama that puts you on the edge of your seat as they try to stop an unstoppable train. It gets right to the point and wastes no time, just what every action film should do.

SUNDAY – Public Enemies (ITV4 22:00)

Everyone loves a good gangster film, and Public Enemies fits that bill perfectly. Johnny Depp portrays the infamous John Dillinger who battles against the Feds headed by the ever brilliant Christian Bale. Directed by Michael Mann, you know it is going to be a good story well told. Do not go in expecting Heat, but enjoy the ride nonetheless.

Emily Murray

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