Shaun of the Dead, Beowulf and Double Jeopardy - best films on TV tonight

Read up on our top film picks on TV tonight Monday 2 June

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Shaun of the Dead, Beowulf and Double Jeopardy - best films on TV tonight
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Shaun of the Dead - 9pm, ITV2

Just as Londoner Shaun (Simon Pegg) decides to get his aimless life back on track, the capital becomes Zombie Central as the dead rise to eat the living. If you like Pegg and director Edgar Wright's cult Channel 4 series Spaced, you'll enjoy this deadpan blend of undergraduate humour and hardcore horror, which ransacks George A Romero's Dead saga and virtually every Italian zombie flick for inspiration. It may seem like a one-joke conceit but you do actually care about the characters, which sustains the narrative. Shaun's mates are all played by familiar TV faces - Spaced's Nick Frost, The Office's Lucy Davis, Black Books's Dylan Moran. But the real stars are his mum, the magnificent Penelope Wilton, and stepdad, Bill Nighy, who move the splatter farce into more resonant areas. It's proof that British film comedy can work without Richard Curtis.


Beowulf - 9pm, 5*

Myth and technology combine in this spectacular animated fantasy that reworks the English language's oldest surviving poem using 21st-century computer power. As in The Polar Express, director Robert Zemeckis employs state-of-the-art "performance capture" techniques to turn his cast - including Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and Brendan Gleeson - into digital avatars. The earthily entertaining script by award-winning comic-book writer Neil Gaiman (Stardust) and Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary adds a bold new dimension to the story of Beowulf's battle against the monstrous Grendel (Crispin Hellion Glover) in 6th-century Denmark. Zemeckis creates a dark fantasy full of haunting images, not least Angelina Jolie's sultry turn as Grendel's demonic mother. Ironically, the attempt to take animation to a new level of photorealism occasionally produces a strange distancing effect; some viewers may feel more intrigued by the process than immersed in the action, particularly when they can choose from conventional 35mm, IMAX 3D, Real D and Dolby 3D Digital Cinema formats.


Double Jeopardy - 9pm, Film4

This thriller was a big hit in the US, where women lined up to see Ashley Judd's wronged wife get her own back on her evil, cheating partner. What starts off as a romantic sailing trip turns into a nightmare when she wakes up one morning surrounded by coastguards with her spouse (Bruce Greenwood) missing and pools of blood all over the boat. She's sent to prison for his murder, but is he really dead? And if not, where is he? Judd gives a believable performance, but Tommy Lee Jones is in sub-Fugitive mode as the federal officer on her trail. It's completely preposterous, of course, but perfect mindless entertainment if you're in the mood.

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