ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
The Bank Job ★★★
You’re in safe hands with this period British crime flick, written as it is by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (The Likely Lads, Porridge), and directed by Roger Donaldson (Thirteen Days, The World’s Fastest Indian). Based on real events – the 1971 Baker Street robbery in which a gang really did tunnel underground from a rented shop into a Lloyds bank – it has a caper-ish feel that’s underwritten by the producers’ claim that the story was covered up by MI5 at the time, owing to uncompromising photos of Princess Margaret in one of the bank’s safe deposit boxes. Whether this is new evidence or just PR-grinding hype doesn’t matter. Headed by Jason Statham, miraculously dialling down his musclehead heroics and rediscovering his Lock, Stock roots, The Bank Job has a likeable cast that also includes Saffron Burrows, Daniel Mays and, as a powerful Soho pornographer, Poirot himself David Suchet. The story is rich with corruption and period detail, the pop songs are well chosen and the action, though violent, is well handled.
2.55-4.45pm Movie Mix
No, not the action flick with Scarlett Johansson hurling gangsters around like dolls, but a biopic about I Love Lucy star, Lucille Ball. A comedy fixture on American TV in the 50s, 60s and 70s, her volatile marriage to Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz was manna to the celebrity magazine mill and this TV movie provides some fascinating insights.
PREMIERE 9.00-11.35pm Film Four
Emmanuelle Riva is a revelation in Michael Haneke’s bleakly truthful Oscar winner about the effect of illness on an elderly couple’s relationship.
Blade II ★★★
Being a mix of vampire and human makes Blade (Wesley Snipes) the ideal person to take on a group of super-bloodsuckers known as the Reapers. As you’d expect, there’s gore galore, and our money’s on Wes.
The Whistleblower ★★★
9.00-11.00pm True Entertainment
Rachel Weisz brings star ballast to this uncompromising tale about a real-life Nebraska cop who discovered UN complicity in a sex scandal in postwar Bosnia. It’s harrowing stuff but a class cast that includes Vanessa Redgrave and Benedict Cumberbatch makes it eminently watchable.
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