Watchmen, Stand Up Guys, The Thing from Another World: films on TV today

The world's most alternative superheroes assemble, Pacino and Walken remind us what it's all about, and pioneering sci-fi from 1950s heaven: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 

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Watchmen ★★★★
10.50pm-2.00am Film Four 

Although master comic-book writer and my fellow Northamptonian Alan Moore refuses to have his name on any movie adaptation of his work, Zack Snyder’s ambitious film of his most famous piece, the complex, hard-boiled graphic novel Watchmen, is to my mind the best. A Cold War fable about discredited, out-of-work superheroes, the story has only been mildly tinkered with and its look has been affectionately transferred from Dave Gibbons’s precise and disciplined artwork. A fine but far from starry cast (Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Malin Akerman) allows us to climb inside the dark, troubled lives of the retired caped crusaders, who are forced back into work when one of their own meets a sticky end. Frankly, if you’re not drawn in and captivated by the bravura opening credits sequence, you’re watching the wrong film. If you are, prepare for an epic, grown-up, thought-provoking ride from New York to Antarctica via Mars and the end of the world. 


Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief ★★★

6.45-9.00pm Film Four 

A normal schoolkid discovers he’s the demi-god son of Poseidon in this wham-bam adventure decorated by the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan (giving it the full Alan Partridge).      


PREMIERE

Stand Up Guys ★★★★

9.00-10.50pm Film Four 

Al Pacino and Christopher Walken star in a little-known gem of a film about a couple of doddering wiseguys who couldn’t go straight if they tried, with Alan Arkin adding a little comedy sparkle all of his own.    


Final Destination ★★★
10.00-11.50pm Dave 

Death has never been so needlessly, gleefully elaborate as in this jokey supernatural horro about a gang of good-looking teenagers who somehow, unnaturally cheat death. But death isn’t going to take that sort of thing lying down.  


The Thing from Another World ★★★★
12.55-2.35am Movies4Men 

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Chock full of suspense, one of the key sci-fi horror movies of the 1950s imagines an alien invading an arctic research station where a crack team of scientists unwittingly await their grisly fate.