ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
The Dark Knight ★★★★★
9.00pm-12 midnight ITV2
These days writer/director Christopher Nolan has entered a new orbit with mindbending sci-fi epic Interstellar, but his journey into other dimensions really began with the earthbound Batman Begins, which de-camped the caped crusader. First sequel in the trilogy, The Dark Knight takes that seriousness to the next level, recasting the Joker as a psychopathic terrorist, played with jerky, sadistic unpredictability by the late Heath Ledger (who won a posthumous Oscar for his efforts). He forces Christian Bale’s gravel-voiced Batman to consider retiring, allowing “White Knight” DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to take up the crime-fighting slack. While this essentially administrative storyline doesn’t exactly sing with dramatic potential (and a romantic subplot underuses Maggie Gyllenhaal), there are brilliantly handled, explosive set pieces and the whole film is suffused with violent menace. I still find Begins more elegant, but the grandiloquent third part The Dark Knight Rises makes this one seem almost understated, and the sheer excess actually improves it.
Get Him to the Greek ★★★★
Russell Brand stole his scenes as a rocker in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and this cheeky but charming spin-off was his reward.
The Lincoln Lawyer ★★★
This thriller about a hard-drinking lawyer hired to get a rich kid off a murder rap marks the point when Matthew McConaughey got serious about his career.
You don’t have to be a Motorhead fan to enjoy this portrait of its frontman, but it helps. Dave Grohl and Alice Cooper are among the talking heads.
King Boxer ★★★★
Everybody was kung-fu fighting after this 1972 Shaw Brothers film opened in America, sparking a trend and paving the way for Bruce Lee.