Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – 7:25pm, ITV2
Endlessly imitated but never rivalled, this opening instalment of George Lucas’s original space trilogy dresses up the timeless tale of good versus evil with ground-breaking special effects and a dazzling array of intergalactic characters. Mark Hamill plays Luke Skywalker, whose dull life on a remote planet is thrown into chaos when he intercepts a distress call from beleaguered Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). With robots R2-D2 and C-3PO in tow, Skywalker teams up with an ageing Jedi warrior (Alec Guinness) and a cynical space rogue (a star-making turn from Harrison Ford) to rescue Leia from the clutches of the evil Darth Vader. Breathless action collides with sci-fi theatrics and more than a hint of mysticism to create a new style of cinema that remains unmatched for sheer entertainment value.
Breaking Dawn Part One – 9pm, C4
The fourth and final book in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga is split in two for clear commercial reasons, but this first half suffers from bloating, turning it into bland, ponderous melodrama. Dealing with Bella’s lavish marriage to undead lover Edward, their Rio honeymoon and her pregnancy, director Bill Condon’s over-reverential and plodding instalment goes from cheesy romance in the over-extended “wedding of the century” scene-setter to an It’s Alive ending. While all the lead actors have got their roles down pat by now, a certain ennui has set in that’s not helped by the banal dialogue and thin plotting in Melissa Rosenberg’s dutifully dogged script. Twihards will no doubt love the movie (and its Bill Condon-directed sequel, due out in November 2012) irrespective of its flaws, insipid pop soundtrack and focus on muscles and glamour over acting talent. But this absurdly self-serious, vapid vampire love story sadly comes off as nothing more than a parody of the fine first film.
Copycat – 11:15pm, C4
In this inventive, stylish and gripping thriller, tough detective Holly Hunter teams up with agoraphobic criminal psychologist Sigourney Weaver to hunt down a serial killer who duplicates the crimes of his most notorious predecessors. Thanks to the unbearable suspense created by Jon Amiel’s imaginative direction – the bathroom-set climax is a crackerjack shocker – the super-smart script and the confident performances of the two stellar leads, this mimic murder mystery gives the same year’s Se7en a run for its money.
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