Films on TV round-up: holy wars and HOLY SHIT, WHAT'S THAT?

Ed Williamson

14th November 2011

And it's another clean sweep for Film4 this week, bagging both spots on our much-coveted but oddly-little-read list of featured films on TV for the second week running. ITV4 is going to have to rethink its 'Jaws and Dirty Harry sequels-only' policy if it wants to get out of this rut.

Commencing: Monday 14th November 2011

Four Lions (2010) Tuesday, Film4, 9pm (also Saturday, 9pm)

A feature-length comedy about bungling suicide bombers by Chris Morris. Little bit of potential for controversy there, I suppose. A lot of tabloid hand-wringing and a year and a half later, though, you've got one of the most interesting and original British films in years to enjoy on TV.

Omar (Riz Ahmed) leads a group of four radicalised Muslims from Sheffield preparing for jihad, and trying to figure out how to prepare and detonate their suicide bombs without any real clue how to go about it. The results are at times moving and never less than hilarious.

This isn't to say Four Lions is without its flaws, though. (*reads back through double-negatives* - that means it's flawed.) It's not all that sure whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama, and it encourages you to root for people to blow themselves up for a cause they don't seem to fully understand. You grow to like them, so you want them to succeed, but then you remember that their success means their death and those of as many Kuffars as possible, which is, you know, bad, so its moral message is mixed. But perhaps that's the point. Having only seen it once, I'm more than ready to accept that a second viewing will convince me one way or the other. Which is handy, because it's on telly this week.

Read a full review of Four Lions on TheShiznit.co.uk.
Monsters (2010) Thursday, Film4, 9pm

I've just realised that both this week's films are 2010 debut features by British directors, which means I could have strung this whole thing together much more coherently if I hadn't already written the first bit like an idiot. Still, press on.

Monsters, which is the 2010 DEBUT FEATURE by BRITISH DIRECTOR Gareth Edwards, has the distinction of having been shot for less than $500,000 but looking like it cost ten times that. A post-alien invasion story in which half of Mexico is quarantined, leaving a man and a woman struggling to get home to America and find time to get off with each other at some point, it was made on the fly with a skeleton crew, real people for extras and a series of visual effects painstakingly knocked up by Edwards on his laptop.

Any one of us could've done it. Well, Luke probably could, anyway. This isn't so much less complicated. (*spends twenty minutes playing it rather than finishing article*)

If Monsters proved one thing it's that effects-led sci-fi movies don't have to cost eighty billion dollars and be directed by Michael Bay to be gripping or even good-looking. And that laptops do have a use other than as a conduit for pornography. Wait, that's two things.

Read a full review of Monsters on TheShiznit.co.uk.
Also on this week

Dreamgirls Monday, Film4, 6.25pm (also Saturday, 6.25pm)
A Perfect World Monday, C5, 10pm
The Conversation Monday, Film4, 11.15pm
Batman and Robin Monday, ITV2, 11.20pm
Magnum Force Monday, ITV4, 11.30pm
Field of Dreams Tuesday, ITV4, 6.50pm
Jaws 2 Tuesday, ITV4, 10.45pm
Caddyshack Tuesday, ITV1, 11.45pm
Flashdance Tuesday, ITV2, 11.50pm (also Wednesday, 11pm)
The Game Wednesday, ITV4, 9pm
Mission: Impossible III Wednesday, E4, 9pm (also Saturday, 9pm)
The Weather Man Wednesday, BBC1, 11.55pm
The Golden Child Thursday, Film4, 7.15pm
This is England Friday, Film4, 9pm
A Time to Kill Friday, More4, 9pm
A View to a Kill Friday, ITV4, 10pm
Batman Begins Friday, ITV2, 11pm
Shakespeare in Love Friday, ITV3, 11.05pm
Home Alone Saturday, E4, 4.30pm
The Station Agent Sunday, BBC2, 12.05am

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