Thor, The Lion King, Casino Royale: films on TV today

Chris Hemsworth's thunder god falls to Earth, Disney celebrates the circle of life, and Daniel Craig makes his debut as 007: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Thor ★★★
Premiere 8.00-10.15pm C4 

It seems quaint now that Thor was only the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the all-conquering umbrella beneath which world domination has surely now been achieved. At the time of its release in 2011, the first Avengers union was a year away and it was still possible to fit together the jigsaw pieces. Kenneth Branagh seemed a counterintuitive choice for director with mostly Shakespeare behind him, but the leap from declamatory historical drama to the mythic world of Norse gods proved not insurmountable, and our man brought not just scale and seriousness, but a good ear for humour and a swirling score by his regular Scottish collaborator Patrick Doyle. Once the Game of Thrones-style backstory is established – nine realms, Frost Giants, Asgard, Tom Hiddleston’s evil sibling Loki – we get on with the fish-out-of- water fun, as Chris Hemsworth’s po-faced, hammer-wielding hunk crash-lands into astrophysicist Natalie Portman’s experiments in New Mexico and things quickly get loud and preposterous. Way better than its sequel. 

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ★★★
1.00-2.50pm Film4 

The prehistoric pals come face to face with some scary dinos in a historically inaccurate but entertaining romp. Showing in a double bill with episode four, Continental Drift, to mark the release of Ice Age: Collision Course in cinemas. 

Three Men and a Baby ★★★★
2.40-4.35pm C5 

Messrs Selleck, Guttenberg and Danson play the skirt-chasing bachelors entrusted with a newborn in this slick 1980s comedy, when the concept of the “new man” in Hollywood movies was itself in its infancy.  

The Lion King ★★★★
Premiere 6.15-8.00pm C4 

The trials and tribulations of an orphaned lion cub receive the deluxe Disney treatment in an uplifting adventure embellished by catchy songs from Elton John and Tim Rice.    

Casino Royale ★★★★
9.00pm-12.05am ITV 

Daniel Craig effortlessly made the role of James Bond his own in this 21st movie in the series, which goes back to the beginning to show how our hero earned his double “O” status.  


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