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The Couch March race

A Trifecta of the Week’s Best Films on the Box
Published: 
Sunday, February 15, 2015
BC on TV
Leo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island.

The Couch March race

As a service to the handful of unpatriotic Trinis not worshipping at the Carnival altar (ie, those who have not paid three months’ rent to pretend to live the high life for 14 or 15 of the next 36 hours), BC on TV will today pick the top six films of each of the next three days, one major choice and five runners-up. BC on TV knows it is tantamount to treason for a Trini to refuse to either take part in or religiously bear witness to the Conny Voll, but BC on TV feels duty-bound to those few disloyal Trinis who prefer to watch films of substance instead of live coverage of the greatest show of feathers and sequins on Earth. Ho-firetrucking-hum.

Today’s best film: Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese/ 2010/ USA/ Thriller-Mystery-Fantasy/ 138 mins/ R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity), 5.17 pm Paramount. Watch this if you liked Inception, Memento or The Matrix. A contender for Best American Film of 2010, and almost certainly the Most Imaginative, this is the film Martin Scorsese should have got the Oscar for, not The Departed; you spend the first four reels thinking, “WTF?” and the last reel going, “Wow!” Almost unbelievably, in the 130-plus weeks this incarnation of BC on TV has been running in the SAS, this film has never been chosen, a reflection, not of its quality, but of how relatively rarely it screens on cable and DirecTV.

The next five in the Couch March race: 1. *The Paperboy, 9.15 am Fox1. 2. King Kong, 6.30 am HBO. 3. *Prisoners, 8 am and 11 am Fox1E,W. 4. Murder by Numbers, 7.15 pm TCM. 5. Rush, 3.50 pm and 6.50 pm Fox1E,W.

Carnival Monday’s best film: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese/ 1976/ USA / Drama-Thriller/ 113 mins/ R), 1.50 pm Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon or No Country for Old Men. Martin Scorsese’s magnum opus and one of the greatest New York movies ever made stars Robert De Niro in his greatest performance as Travis Bickle, the titular taxi driver who descends into the city’s madness. “You talking to me?” Violent, gritty, quoted by everyone from David Letterman to the Clash (on their Combat Rock album) and heartbreakingly real, the film is also an astonishing technical masterpiece with every scene beautifully shot and the climactic multiple murder establishing the benchmark for film editing. Jodie Foster’s stunning debut as the teen prostitute is surpassed only by Harvey Keitel’s magnificently understated pimp. One of the great American films (even if the AFI, somehow, rank it at only 47). Put the children up for adoption if you have to, just don’t miss a moment of this.

The next best five J’Ouvert Bomb tunes: 1. Omar, 7 pm MaxE. 2. The Wild Bunch, 4.45 pm TCM. 3. Jaws, 6.55 am CnCl. 4. Simon Killer, 6.07 pm HBOP. 5. *Juno, 4.45 pm CnCl.

Carnival Tuesday’s best film: Her (Spike Jonze/ 2013/ USA/ Romance-Drama-Sci-fi/126 mins/ R for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity), 7.40 pm MaxE. Watch this if you liked Mr Nobody, Lucy or Lost in Translation. Her is not a film for everyone and, for the Trinidadian, it might well ground a treason charge, since Her is as deep and imaginative as modern Trinidad Carnival is shallow and mindless. Set in a not-too-distant future Los Angeles, Her asks important questions of self, identity and relationships to others in a story of a lonely man who falls in love with his computer operating system. (It helps that the OS speaks with Scarlett Johansson’s voice.) It won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar and Golden Globe and Joaquin Phoenix was highly deservedly nominated for Best Actor in both. The thinking person’s antidote, perhaps, to the featherbrained feather-and-beads Carnival.

The next best five steps to Las’ Lap: 1. *The Artist, 6.45 pm Max. 2. *We’re the Millers, 3.28 pm HBOP. 3. Metro Manila, 5.35 pm MaxE. 4. The Other Boleyn Girl, 4.15 pm Max. 5. Disturbia, 3.55 pm CnCl.

*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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