ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Tower Heist ★★★
6.45-9.00pm Film Four
Films in which writer/director/producer and control freak Ben Stiller only acts are usually best approached with caution (that is, he’s doing them for the money). But Tower Heist, a vertiginous heist caper co-produced by co-star Eddie Murphy and directed by the Rush Hour franchise’s Brett Ratner, is safe. Stiller’s the forelock-tugging building manager of a luxury New York high-rise who leads his fellow disgruntled employees in stealing a stash of cash from Ponzi-scheme swindler Alan Alda, using all their know-how from invisibly running the building. Among them are Casey Affleck’s concierge, Michael Pena’s lift operator and Gabourey Sidibe’s maid, all likeably played. Murphy is the crook hired to help them, an improvement in a supporting role, I thought. The best bits involve high-wire stunts that will have vertigo sufferers clutching the armrests, reminiscent for me of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Inventive, silly, thrilling, but once back at ground level, the action becomes a little more, well, pedestrian.
My Stepmother Is an Alien ★★★
6.55-9.00pm Movie Mix
Dan Aykroyd gets a surprise in the shape (and what a shape) of Kim Basinger when he makes contact with an alien planet in this culture-clash romp.
Once upon a Time in Mexico ★★★
Johnny Depp provides additional firepower for Antonio Banderas’s gun-toting minstrel in director Robert Rodriguez’s violently visual, bigger budget follow-up to Desperado.
Happy Gilmore ★★
Knockabout fun (just) from Adam Sandler as a second-rate ice-hockey player who tries his hand at golf.
Dr Terror’s House of Horrors ★★★
10.45pm-12.40am Horror Channel
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and, erm, Roy Castle star in this entertaining anthology in which five men are told their grim fortunes.
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