arnold schwarzenegger terminator 2

Seeing as Friday is the day of the week new releases hit cinema screens, I figured it might be a good time to post my picks of the best films on freeview this week in the UK. Feel free to disagree with me, by posting your responses below. I’ll only take counter-arguments seriously which incorporate the word “bibimbap.”

Friday 13th June: The Departed (2006)

the departed leonardo dicaprio martin scorsese

More 4, 9pm. If you can sit through nearly three hours of duplicity then sod going down town to have your appetite for life drained by the rigmarole of getting into a shitty club at 3am and stay home for this. A massive ensemble of Hollywood’s heavyweights double cross each other and swear their way through two hours of one of Martin Scorsese’s most compelling crime dramas. Led by Leonardo DiCaprio, his assignment to bring down Mafia kingpin Costello (Jack Nicholson) sends the plot doo-lally. Gripping stuff. One of the better remakes the industry has produced. But not as good as the Friday The 13th remake.

Saturday 14th June: DOUBLE BILL BONANZA! Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990)

arnold schwarzenegger predator

“Hi, I’m Ed Winchester.”

FIim 4. 9pm and 11.05pm. Heed the above advice: stay home, grab a load of beers (or wine coolers – if you’re that way inclined) and hunker down for soldiers vs. predators. It’s Arnie on fine form, struggling just as much as the predator to blend in and pass for human. The sequel isn’t quite the tour-de-force the original is, but there’s a killer in-joke in the Predator’s trophy room. No, not his cross country ribbon.

Sunday 15th June: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

National Lampoon's Vacation

ITV 4. 9pm. The Griswolds. Proof that even idiots can accomplish big life goals. If your life’s ambition is to trek cross country to visit a theme park whose figurehead is a Moose called Walley. That’s just an excuse to get Chevy Chase and his long-suffering wife and their two kids into a car and as many ridiculous set-ups as is possible. Expect very stupid things to happen to an even stupider man. A very funny start to the Vacation series.

Monday 16th June: The Grey (2012)

Liam Neeson The Grey

Film 4. 9pm.  Who doesn’t want to watch Liam Neeson battle wolves? If that’s you, then prove me wrong by being the only person on the planet who wasn’t screaming with glee at the thought of Mr. Taken battling a harem of pissed-off dogs. It’s surprisingly poignant, considering it’s a man vs. nature adventure romp, set off by a catastrophic plane crash that leaves a bunch of oil drillers stranded in the wintry plains of Alaska.

Tuesday 17th June: Watchmen (2009)

watchmen movie malin akerman patrick wilson

Film 4. 11.05pm.  An adult superhero movie that actually demands attention from its viewer. If you’re expecting to switch it on and zone out, then put The Amazing Spider-Man on. Watchmen is a cerebral, twisty caper that plants itself firmly in the dark, brooding end of the comic book spectrum, that also extends to superhero copulation. Expect a genre-bender and ye shall be rewarded.

Wednesday 18th June: Sleepers (1996)

arnold schwarzenegger predator

“Hi, I’m Ed WInchester.”

ITV 4. 11.20pm. ……….. Predator is on at 11.15pm again on Film 4.

Thursday 20th June: Aliens and/or Terminator 2

aliens james cameron queen alien

Aliens, Film 4. 9pm. Terminator 2, Channel 4. 10pm. Last night there was sod all worth watching (except Predator again) and tonight you’ve two options, both from James Cameron, and both beautiful examples of how genre cinema can break free from the shit-shackles its often restrained by and transcend your expectations. Both sequels are compelling, tense, and crafted with the care of a director who loves movies. Sadly, with Cameron tied into Avatar sequels until he’s barking orders from a bed we probably won’t see anymore of his legendary genre efforts.