Films on TV round-up: exes, excitement and explosions

Matt Looker

26th June 2011

Ed's disappeared from the internet for the weekend so I'm covering his regular Films on TV throughout the week feature. Only I'm short on time, so I've done a rush job with far less research and far more nonsensical rambling. Shit, is it too late to still put his name at the top of this?

Commencing: Monday 27th June 2011

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) Monday, ITV2, 9pm

Thanks to a gorgeous Hawaiian setting and just sheer brilliant comedic performances from everyone involved, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is my favourite of all the Apatow films. Jason Segel is the sad-sack dumpee who creepily follows his ex (Kristen Bell) on a tropical holiday so that he can drink himself into a pitiful stupor while she carries on with new boyfriend, cockernee lothario Russell Brand. Cue cringe-worthy scenes of awkward encounters and a host of superb minor characters filling out the lei-wrapped backdrop.

Segel is perfect as the loser trying to cope with a broken heart and Russell Brand is at his most palatable here (tellingly in his first major film role), while love interests Bell and the decidedly more agreeable Mila Kunis both hold their own with their comedy co-stars.

While the story has genuine warmth and non-patronising character arcs, some of the best moments come from the most throwaway of scenes, including those involving Jonah Hill as the fanboy suck-up to Brand's rocker God, and the ever winning charm of Paul Rudd. This line-reading in particular has me crying with laughter every time I see it ' it's all in the sheer ignorance to the urgency of the situation.

Rudd really should play more of these idiot characters and less straight-up straight man roles. I demand it.
Van Helsing (2004) Wednesday, ITV2, 10pm

Ah, I remember the hype that surrounded the release of this film. Front page on Empire magazine with the general consensus being: 'Van Helsing reimagined as a burly action hero fighting all sorts of supernatural horrors? How can than not be awesome?'. As it turns out, it can quite easily not be awesome ' just let Stephen Sommers direct it (the man behind The Mummy films and GI Joe: Rise of Cobra).

Because what is still quite a cool concept gets completely overshadowed by bloated CGI, silly anachronistic gadget-weapons and campy acting by Richard Roxburgh, who somehow manages to overplay an already pantomime villainous Dracula. Throw in Kate Beckinsale as a dull, lifeless love interest for Jackman's monster hunter and we have ourselves a film that even the combined excitement factors of vampires, werewolves and Frankensteins cannot save.
Broken Arrow (1996) Thursday E4, 11pm

Back when Christian Slater was still a just-about-bankable star and John Travolta wasn't always making completely terrible career choices, the pair pulled together and yanked this action gem out of their combined 90s Hollywood arses. It may not be on par with the Con Airs and the Face/Offs that were released around a similar time, but Broken Arrow still deserves more acclaim than it gets.

Slater and Travolta are pilot best buddies but then Travolta turns 'wrong' and steals a nuke so Slater must go after him in order to...blah, blah, blah. EXPLOSIONS!

With ridiculous, over-the-top action that would make Michael Bay stand back and say 'Wow ' that's a bit much', this film sees Travolta at his charismatic badass baddie best and, sometimes, that's all a film needs for it to be one of the most kick-assingest movies ever made. Sometimes. I'm obviously not counting Battlefield Earth.

You're right. Verdomme, dat is kicken.
Also on this week

Nighthawks Monday, ITV4 9pm
Shallow Hal Monday, 5*, 9pm
The Transporter 2 Monday, Film4, 9pm
First Blood Monday, ITV1, 10:35pm
Burn After Reading Monday, ITV2, 11:15pm
Dinoshark Tuesday, Syfy, 9pm
Collateral Damage Tuesday, 5USA, 9pm
Transporter 3 Tuesday, Film4, 9pm
Lethal Weapon 3 Tuesday, ITV4, 10pm
Terminator 2: Judgement Day Tuesday, Sky1, 10pm
Inside Man Tuesday, ITV2, 11pm
The Rock Wednesday, BBC3, 9pm
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Wednesday, E4, 9pm
Dumb and Dumber Wednesday, 5*, 9pm
Mission: Impossible III Wednesday, Film4, 9pm
The Fog Wednesday, ITV4, 10pm
The Godfather: Part II Wednesday, More4, 11.05pm
Gone Baby Gone Wednesday, BBC1, 11.15pm
Assassins Thursday, ITV4, 9pm
Ip Man Thursday, Film 4, 9pm
The Contract Thursday, Channel 5, 10pm
Troy Thursday, ITV2, 10pm
Falling Down Friday, ITV4, 9pm
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Friday, 5*, 9pm
Heat Friday Film4, 9pm
Atonement Friday, ITV3, 10pm
The Godfather: Part III Friday, More4, 10pm
Miami Vice Friday, ITV1, 10.35pm
American Pie Saturday, ITV2, 9pm
The 51st State Saturday, Channel 4, 10pm
Total Recall Saturday, Sky1, 10pm

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