Christmas is nearly here and festive films have hogged the schedules since the start of November. I’ve done my best to pick a selection of films that don’t concern themselves with Christmas matters, with the honorable exception of (the exceptional) Die Hard.
Die Hard – Film4, Monday 10 December, 9pm
Nothing says Christmas like a bearded terrorist Alan Rickman exclaiming: “Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho” in a German accent to a bloodied Bruce Willis. Ideally Willis’ yippee-kay-yaying thriller should be viewed late on Christmas Eve after an evening of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts by a pub fireplace. Still, there’s a dearth of decent films on TV this week to be honest and Die Hard is easily the best of the lot. Sky+ it or, better still, grab it on Blu-ray.
Submarine – Film4, Monday 10 December, 11:40pm
Establishing himself as a British Wes Anderson, Richard Ayoade’s debut Submarine is a comedy drama about a teen navigating the trials of school and home life, and finding love. Plus it features Paddy Considine in a supporting role and, as everyone knows, if a film stars Paddy Considine it is immediately considered a must-watch. NB: Does not actually feature a submarine.
The Fugitive – ITV1, Wednesday 12 December, 10:35pm
Along with Back to the Future and Dumb and Dumber, The Fugitive is on one of the ITV channels at least once a fortnight. I’ve seen it dozens of times, you’ve seen it dozens of times. And it remains one of the best cat-and-mouse thrillers around, its coup de grace being Harrison Ford’s improbable dive off a 70m tall dam. Ford grew a mighty Shipman beard for the role just so he could shave it off to go incognito on the run. Method.
Predator – E4, Thursday 13 December, 10pm
Predator is another of those films perennially on TV and it’s on again this week, which is unsurprising given that schedulers will be conserving many of their newly-acquired films for the Christmas period. A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior. Arnie’s in it, ’nuff said.
Kill Bill, Vol 1 – BBC3 – Saturday 15 December, 10pm
Tarantino’s latest offering, Django Unchained, is released on Boxing Day. Initial reviews from top film critics are largely very positive, so here’s hoping it rivals his first three films (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown) for quality. That’s not to say his fourth film Kill Bill, Vol 1 is poor by any stretch, it’s eminently watchable manga-inspired revenge-tragedy. Plus it’s on BBC3, so no adverts.