Labyrinth, Night at the Museum 2, Blood Diamond, 48HRS, Die Hard with a Vengeance

Ch ch ch changes, Ben Stiller makes an exhibition of himself, Leo is a diamond in the rough, Eddie's mouth motors on, and Bruce goes shopping: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 
Labyrinth ★★★
5.05-7.05pm C5 

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Musicians who can act are a select bunch. But David Bowie, whose unexpected death floored fans like me, leaves a substantial visual legacy as well as a musical one and managed to find a unique niche for himself in films.As a theatrical performer who constantly reinvented himself, the diagonal into cinema was natural. He was definitive as the visiting alien in Nic Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1976, appearing disconnected, otherworldly and alluring, all Bowie traits. He even used a still as the cover for his album Low. Just a Gigolo, a German film directed by David Hemmings, placed Bowie in Weimar Berlin (he lived in the city at the time) and, although derided, its poised decadence suited him. The 80s saw him in The Last Temptation of Christ, as a blonde Japanese prisoner-of-war in Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence, a vampire in The Hunger whose eternal youth seemed pertinent, and, less artily, as Goblin King in Jim Henson fantasy Labyrinth, with the humour being what drew him to it.Soho musical Absolute Beginners (he sang the terrific theme song) and Basquiat, where he played Andy Warhol, were Bowie’s last big roles — although he cameoed as inventor NikolaTesla in 2006’s The Prestige, after director Christopher Nolan begged him.Ultimately, acting had to be fun for Bowie, hence the voicework in cartoons, and popping up as himself in Zoolander, where he umpires a supermodel walk-off: “OK, boys, let’s go to work.”His was the gift of sound and vision.


Night at the Museum 2 ★★★ 
6.00-8.00pm C4 

The stars line up for cameos to bring museum exhibits to life, as Ben Stiller has to save his magical pals from permanent storage in this playful sequel to the hit fantasy comedy.


Blood Diamond ★★★
10.00pm-12.10am BBC2 

It’s been rewarding  to watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s journey from young boy to fully fledged actor (his Oscar-nominated turn in THE REVENANT can be seen in cinemas now) and his performance as a diamond smuggler in this thriller was another step on the path.


48 HRS ★★★★
11.05pm-12.50am C4 

Eddie Murphy makes his wise-cracking debut in this action flick as a convict granted leave from prison, acting as foil for Nick Nolte’s surly cop.


Die Hard with a Vengeance ★★★★
9.00-11.00pm BBC3 

Think fast. Look alive. Die hard. A deadly game of Simon Says is central to this hundred-mile-an-hour slice of pure entertainment, which finds shopkeeper Samuel L Jackson dragged into cop Bruce Willis’s action heroics.


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