Freeview Flicks of the Week: Casino Royale, Silent Running and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

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In the Middle’s best weekly freeview flicks picks is here! This week we go down a rabbit hole, buy a passport to Pimlico and meet Bond, James Bond.

MONDAY – Dallas (Film4 14:45)

Westerns have a long tradition in cinematic history. Though they are still being made today, they are not the same, and are no where near as grand as the classics. 1950’s Dallas is one such classic, though is often a forgotten favourite. Old-fashioned, traditional but thoroughly enjoyable, it will take you to an earlier golden era of cinema which is just as glorious as today’s.

TUESDAY – The Third Man (Film4 16:50)

The cinematic adaptation of the classic novel The Third Man is a great thriller, made in 1949. Following pulp novelist Holly Martins on his travels to the shadowy world of Vienna in the post-war world, it has a cracking cast that includes Orson Welles as Harry Lime. It is an eye opener, examining the European world post-war and looking at how the uncertainty about the upcoming Cold War was affecting the nations. Impressive dialogue, stunning cinematography and a thrilling tale, it is certainly worth the watch.

WEDNESDAY – Rabbit Hole (BBC1 23:35)

Based on the play by David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole is the story of a young couple whose lives shatter after the death of their young son. The couple are played by Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, who give beautifully executed performances that are honest, tender and heart-breaking. Eloquently directed and shot with a simple atmosphere and cinematography, there’s a quiet beauty to the film.

THURSDAY – Passport to Pimlico (Film4 13:15)

Another classic film from 1949 is Passport to Pimlico, which could certainly teach the comedies of today a lesson or two. When London residents declare their independence, a passport to Pimlico becomes a requirement, resulting in a series of events that form a great comic romp. Of course it is silly and ridiculously funny, but it also manages to deal with political and economic issues prevalent at the time. British comedy at its best.

FRIDAY – Casino Royale (ITV1 22:40)

Last week a series of announcements about the next Bond film were made. It therefore seems like a good time to revisit the earlier films of Daniel Craig’s Bond, beginning with the masterful Casino Royale. From the opening scene with its glorious black and white cinematography, cutting dialogue and thrilling atmosphere, the film has you in its grip. It only gets better, however, and is undeniably one of the best Bond films ever made.

SATURDAY – Silent Running (Film4 15:20)

A perfect Christmas present for any film fan this year is Mark Kermode’s, one of Britain’s best and most popular film critics, book about the science-fiction film Silent Running. Although not a classic for many, it is a terrific film that follows Bruce Dern’s brilliant astronaut Freeman Lowell, who is given instructions to destroy Earth’s last botany in a future where flora is extinct on the planet. Tackling grand themes such as love and loss, you will be emotionally drained when this powerful story reaches its end.

SUNDAY – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (5* 16:20)

Phil Lord and Chris Miller are two of the most underrated and creative directors currently working in the film industry. The duo were responsible for Lego Movie, as well as 21 Jump Street. Their first feature-length directorial, though, was good-hearted Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a flurry of creativity and imagination that is entertaining, adorable and funny. Based on the famous children’s book about a town where it rains food, this is not just a kids movie, and you will find yourself smiling throughout, and becoming hungry too!

Emily Murray

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