Films on TV round-up: golf, gripes and great big punch-ups

Ed Williamson

15th May 2011

In which you will discover that 'Affleckian' is now a word and there's nothing you can do about it.

Commencing: Monday 16th May 2011

The Condemned (2007) Tuesday, 5USA, 10pm

Never seen it. But listen to this synopsis:

A man on death row in a Central American prison is 'bought' by a corrupt producer to be a star on his latest show. He is one of ten condemned killers to be dumped on a desolate island and forced to fight to the death for a live internet feed – with the last survivor going free. Action thriller, starring Steve Austin and Vinnie Jones.
So it's basically The Running Man with Vinnie Jones and Stone Cold Steve Austin in it. Come on, name me one bad film either of those two has been in. I'm gonna watch the shit out of this! Who's with me?
Happy Gilmore (1996) Thursday, ITV2, 10.45pm

Adam Sandler's career can be split into three sections: some fairly decent comedies and some pretty ropey ones; then a fair bit of critical acclaim for actually being really good in Punch-Drunk Love; then a stream of unimaginable shit that eventually lost him all the credit he gained for actually being really good in Punch-Drunk Love. Happy Gilmore's probably the pick of the first bunch.

Happy's a failed hockey player with anger management issues who discovers that his ability to belt the ball harder than anyone else makes him the mack-daddy at golf, so he gets himself a spot on the pro tour in order to earn enough to stop his grandma's house being repossessed. But he's too raw and he can't putt, so in steps Carl Weathers, the wily old pro who coaches him to his full potential.

So far, so King's Speech, but Sandler manages to wring a lot of laughs out of Happy's conflict with the uptight golfing world. And don't tell me you never wondered what Apollo Creed would look like with a prosthetic hand.
Changing Lanes (2002) Friday, More4, 9pm

One of those Affleckian dramas where he's a rich, suited douchebag who over the course of a couple of hours learns to be less of a rich, suited douchebag, and it's one of the better ones. A shit-sight better than Bounce, anyway.

On his way to do some important lawyer stuff on a deadline, Affleck gets into a fender-bender with Samuel L Jackson, who's on his way to a hearing to stop his ex-wife taking his kids to the other side of the country. Sam turns down the offer of a blank cheque because he wants to do it through the proper channels, so Affleck strands him on the freeway, not realising he's left his important lawyer papers behind. Jackson holds them to ransom and the two of them begin a spiteful campaign of one-upmanship, each trying to ruin the other.

Jackson's on great form: we see so much of him playing powerful, scary guys that it's easy to forget how effective he is as a frustrated man with no power, trying to grab a little for himself, like in Black Snake Moan. Affleck doesn't get too far out of autopilot for much of it but his is a better autopilot than most. Except in Paycheck, obviously. Oh, and Forces of Nature. And yeah, there was Daredevil too, wasn't there? Um … anyway, he's pretty good in this, OK? Just watch it and leave me alone.
Also on this week

The Bone Collector Monday, C5, 9pm
The Pelican Brief Tuesday, ITV1, 10.35pm
Coach Carter Wednesday, Film4, 6.20pm
The Island Wednesday, ITV2, 11pm
The Waterboy Thursday, Film4, 9pm
The Thirty-Nine Steps Friday, Film4, 4.55pm
Young Sherlock Holmes Friday, Film4, 6.45pm
Ghostbusters II Friday, C5, 9pm
Knocked Up Friday, ITV2, 10pm
Ransom Friday, BBC1, 11.30pm
Cinderella Man Saturday, BBC2, 10.30pm

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