The Best Films On Freeview June 17th – June 23rd

Here are my recommendations for the best films on Freeview this week.

Monday 17th June: Die Hard (1988)

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Film 4, 9.00pm.

An oldie but a goodie, Die Hard started an action franchise which established Bruce Willis as THE everyman badass. As wife beater-clad John McClane, Willis is on top form as an NYPD cop out to knock down Alan Rickman’s German baddie, Hans Gruber. It’s a timely reminder that Willis once had it in him to make interesting characters extraordinary. Before he had them neutered and grasping at the teet of former glories (A Good Day To Die Hard, anyone?)

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Tuesday 18th June: Copycat (1995)

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Film 4, 10.50pm.

Copycat is a film I return to every year. Perhaps it’s because of my own interest in true crime. But saying that, there’s plenty of straight-to-video flicks with imaginative titles such as Dahmer and Bundy that remain on the shelf. Sigourney Weaver stars as agoraphobic psychologist Dr. Helen Hudson, whose interest in serial killers leads to her becoming a target. The enticing element of the film is the killer’s M.O. – he borrows his killing method from famous serial killers in history. Weaver is excellent, both fragile and demanding, with Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney backing her up as two SFPD cops.

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Wednesday 19th June: Hot Shots! (1991)

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E4, 8pm.

Before tripe like A Haunted House and Scary Movie 17 ruined the parody genre, and after the trend-setting Airplane, there was Hot Shots! From director Jim Abrahams, who also directed The Naked Gun series comes this Top Gun parody starring Charlie Sheen as a troubled fighter pilot. Stalwarts of the stupid, Cary Elwes and Lloyd Bridges co-star. If you like your gags sharp, witty and rather silly then treat yourself to a mid-week giggle.

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Thursday 20th June: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

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Film 4, 10.45pm.

One of Tarantino’s less commercial outings, Inglourious Basterds is a blazing puzzle of a flick, slowly slotting into place across its generous running time. Set during Nazi-occupied France during WW2, the story follows a group of Jewish US soldiers who’ve a plan to assassinate a bunch of Nazi leaders. Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth and Diane Kruger star. But the real scene stealer is Christoph Waltz’s Colonel Hans Landa, both mysterious and odious.

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Friday 21st June: Fight Club (1999)

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Film 4, 11.10pm.

Like The Shawshank Redemption five years before, Fight Club suffered at the box office and more than made up for it on video. Based on the phenomenal debut novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Edward Norton’s narrator tells his life story kickstarted by the presence of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt.) If you’ve never seen Fight Club, then you’re missing out on three prominent figures in film coming together for a trio of lifetime best performances. Pitt was born to play the charming Durden, Norton ringing a strange truth to his ennui and director David Fincher bringing it all together. Change your life. Watch this film.

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Saturday 22nd June: Dog Soldiers (2002)

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Film 4. 11.35pm.

British horror rarely shines as bright as it does in Dog Soldiers. A mainly male ensemble leads this story of mysterious happenings in the Scottish highlands. As a couple of campers are found torn apart, a band of British Army soldiers are sent to investigate under the presumption they’re about to embark on a training regime. It turns out to be the regime of a rather unusual nature. Kevin McKidd and Liam Cunningham star, but it’s Sean Pertwee who makes the biggest splash, as Sgt Harry Wells, whose line “I hope I give you the shits!” is guaranteed to make you howl at the moon!

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Sunday 23rd June: Mars Attacks! (1996)

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ITV 4. 9.00pm.

Tim Burton didn’t always make films with Johnny Depp. In fact, he used to make with the funny with a lot of other actors. Mars Attacks! is a black comedy, its laughter a result of hilarious performances from an Oscar-winning cast. Jack Nicholson, Annette Bening, Glenn Close and Pierce Brosnan play up to the silly as Earth is overrun by Martians with a desire to blow up the planet while having a right hoot. It’s the perfect antidote to straight laced alien invasion fare like Independence Day. Mars Attacks! knows the plot is far fetched, and so do its aliens.

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gem seddon freelance blogger freelance film journalist freelance writer

About the author

Gem is a freelance writer with nine years' experience. She's written about alternative health and wellness since 2016, penning original blog posts, newsletters, recipes, and social media ads for local acupuncture clinics.