R.I.P.D, Life of Pi, Batman: films on TV today

Deceased police, spiritual discoveries and Gotham's campy crusader: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




R.I.P.D. ★★★
Premiere 10.30pm-12.30am C4 

A notorious bomb at the box office, withheld from critics on release – never a sign of confidence – R.I.P.D. failed in its spirited but over-budgeted attempt to weave the sci-fi/ comedy gold of Ghost Busters and Men in Black. But the worries of studio accountants fade when a film arrives on TV and it can be assessed anew. I’ve warmed to the cheeky Ryan Reynolds of late,and his presence really helps: he’s the bent Boston cop who, once dead, is assigned to the Rest in Peace Department, responsible with Jeff Bridges’s Wild West marshal for hunting down lost souls (“deados”) and sending them to the afterlife. Bridges’s tobacco-chewing caricature is all too reminiscent of his gurning witch-hunter in another recent flop, Seventh Son, but once the demolition-derby action cranks up, and gooey CGI mutants – not to mention an awful lot of vehicles – start flying around the place, it’s possible to get into the wisecracking, cartoon fun. It is, after all, based on a comic book. 

Life of Pi ★★★
8.00-10.30pm C4 

Yann Martel’s novel about a boy’s search for God makes it to the screen courtesy of Ang Lee. The film was honoured with four Oscars, including one for its stunning special  effects.    

LA Confidential ★★★★★
11.20pm-1.30am BBC1 

Curtis Hanson’s superb adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel sees cops Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe uncover sleaze and corruption beneath the glamour of 1950s Hollywood.    

Batman ★★★★
6.45-8.50pm Horror Channel 

Forget Bale and Affleck , Batman’s most iconic on-screen portrayal has to be Adam West. More campy and colourful than those that followed (besides Clooney, obviously), West faces an all-star lineup of Gotham City’s deadliest villains; Penguin, Joker, Riddler and Catwoman. 

Bullet to the Head ★★★
9.00-10.45pm Film4 

Not content with his Expendables franchise, Sylvester Stallone gamely tries to revisit 80s-style action with this crime thriller. Sly plays a tattooed hitman who has to team up with a cop to foil a killer.     


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