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A zombie rom-com that flies

Sunday, December 14, 2014
BC on TV
Teresa Palmer and Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies.

An exceptional day for cable/DirecTV choice features two movies BC on TV would declare BEST FILM OF THE WEEK (*Dog Day Afternoon, 6 am HBOS, *The Artist, 9 pm Max), a good Ben Kingsley bio of a great man (Ghandi, 1.55 pm Fox Classics), an Aids drama that won Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto) Oscars, and a film that surely will be picked in the future (Dallas Buyers Club, 5.05 pm again 9 pm Wednesday Fox1), a very funny old parody (Airplane, 3 pm TCM) and a chance to see the bound-to-be-disappointing adaptation of one of the great modern world novels (Midnight’s Children, 11.20 am Max). The week offers a great film based on mental illness (Take Shelter, 3.55 pm Max) and Ken Loach’s lovely little paean to Scotch whisky (The Angel’s Share, 6.10 pm Wednesday Max). AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Monday 3.55 pm fox 1, 6.55 pm fox1 east. Regretfully, BC on TV is still unable to source advance cable/DirecTV scheduling past Wednesday.

Today’s best film: 

Warm Bodies (Jonathan Levine/ 2013/ Horror-Romance-Comedy/ USA-Canada/ 98 mins/ PG-13 for some language and zombie violence), 8 am, 11 am and again tomorrow 5.55 pm, 8.55 pm Fox 1 East/West. Watch this if you liked Zombieland, Paul or Shaun of the Dead. The young writer-director of 50/50—which BC on TV decidedly did not rave over—masterfully combines the usually contradictory genres of zombie and rom-com entirely seamlessly: the horror parts are genuinely scary, the zombie bits thoroughly George A Romero, the comedy cracking loud laughter straight out of the horror and the romance really working to define—and turn (a crucial word in a zombie flick)—the plot. Most movies attempting to straddle so many genres fall inwards on themselves; this one succeeds brilliantly. 

Rest of the week:

August: Osage County (John Wells/ 2013/ USA /Drama/ 121 mins/ R for language including sexual references and for drug material), Monday 3.55 pm Fox 1. Watch this if you liked Nebraska, Enough Said or Hope Springs. A cast including Meryl Streep, Sam Shepard, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Cooper would only have to turn up to be worth watching but John Wells’ superb direction makes this relationship-based drama one of the best American movies in a long time. A film for book lovers.

The Fighter (David O Russell/ 2007/ USA/ Biography-Drama-Sport / 116 mins/ R for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality), 5.10 pm Wednesday Fox Movies West. Watch this if you liked Million Dollar Baby, Friday Night Lights or The Wrestler. The Silver Linings Playbook director’s best film (until he made American Hustle) features an Oscar-winning Best Supporting Male Actor performance from Christian Bale and the only quarrel a viewer might have with that is how Bale could be viewed as a supporting actor when he’s the star of the show and actually the titular character; it would be a fair question to put to producer—and “lead” actor—Mark Wahlberg. That quibble aside, this is a fine, apparently historically accurate biography of a colourful man worth having a film made about him; especially as played by Christian Bale.

Also look out for: 

Mon: *We’re the Millers, 7 pm HBO; Tues: *Prisoners, 5 pm Fox1; Wed: *Gravity, 9.05 pm HBOP.

*Starred films have been chosen in the last three months. Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end. 


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