BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
It took five years for Richard Donner’s extravagant production to reach the screen but it was worth the wait. It’s a highly enjoyable mixture of elaborate special effects, action and wit, with director and cast (headed by the excellent Christopher Reeve as Superman) taking the story, but not themselves, seriously. We follow our hero from his escape as Superbaby from Krypton just before the planet explodes, to his adoption on Earth, his relationship with fellow journalist Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and through to the plot, which involves wicked Lex Luther (Gene Hackman) planning, for reasons which need not detain us, to destroy California. The action begins early with Kidder dangling from a crashed helicopter and Air Force One struck by lightning — Superman to the rescue both times, of course — before reaching the big showdown. An impressive cast includes brief appearances by Glenn Ford and Trevor Howard, while Marlon Brando was reputedly paid $3 million for a cough and a spit as Superman’s real dad.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ★★★★
This has all the edge of a cucumber sandwich, but Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith are also charming company at a rundown hotel in India.
Black Sheep ★★★★
The flock fight back when genetic engineering on a NZ farm leaves sheep hungry for human flesh. Comedy and splatter knit together perfectly.
Deep Impact ★★★★
Is it a bird, a plane…? No, it’s a giant meteor falling to Earth. Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni and Morgan Freeman add gravitas to a thoughtful disaster movie.
Let Him Have It ★★★★
9.00-11.00pm True Entertainment
A young Christopher Eccleston stars in this searing true story about a mentally ill teenager who was dealt a tragic blow by the British justice system.
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