Films on TV round-up: shark bites! God smites!

Ed Williamson

17th July 2011

DISCLAIMER: there is no God. There are sharks, though: a friend of mine's seen one. Of course, he also claims he saw Jesus in a Findus Crispy Pancake but that's beside the point.

Commencing: Monday 18th July 2011

Jaws (1975) Thursday, ITV4, 11pm (also Friday 9pm)
Jaws 2 (1978) Friday, ITV4, 11.30pm (also Saturday 9.05pm)
Jaws 3 (1983) Saturday, ITV4, 11.25pm

If you were a kid in the eighties you'd have watched a lot of Spielberg films on TV, then when you grew up you'd have realised why your parents were as glued to them as you were: it's because they're ace, broadly speaking.

If Jaws were made today (and it probably will be again in a couple of years) it'd be a massive CGI 3D monstrosity with Shia Leboeuf in it; back in 1975 when a young Spielberg wasn't such a safe pair of hands where studios were concerned, it took some guts to get a massive mechanical shark in the water and pray it didn't break down. But it did ' over and over again ' and so he had to rethink his strategy. As a result you barely see the shark for the first hour or so, and instead the suggestion of it though POV shots, actors' reactions and John Williams's score makes for a whole heap of tension.

I listed the sequels above because someone at ITV's gone fish-shit this week and put them all on (I presume Jaws: The Revenge will probably be on Sunday), and if you're a completist you might want to sit through the whole lot. If you don't enjoy watching the sullying of a great film's legacy, however, you might prefer to do something else. I hear they have these things called pubs and friends these days.
Dogma (1999) Saturday, E4, 10pm

Criticisms of his later work aside, Kevin Smith had a great run of movies in the nineties. The fourth of his View Askewniverse films, Dogma is the story of two angels (Matt 'n' Ben) trying to get back into heaven, which would undo existence and mean Affleck could never go on to make Paycheck. Recurring Smith characters Jay and Silent Bob, along with Chris Rock and a bunch of other folk, have to stop them.

Predictably controversial at the time and tirelessly picketed by Catholics who lived closer to cinemas than they did to abortion clinics, it pokes gentle fun at the sillier aspects of religion while still being very much grounded in, and a tribute to, the filmmaker's own faith. In amongst some great toilet and sex humour and the usual View Askew faces you get a standout performance from Ben Affleck in particular, along with some pretty decent effects sequences given the moderate budget, and probably Jason Mewes's best turn as Jay, despite being nutted on heroin throughout most of the shoot.

Actors, eh? They can shoot smack before work and everyone praises them for it. I do it once in the staff canteen and suddenly it's some kind of 'serious disciplinary matter'. It's PC gone mad.
Also on this week

Clash of the Titans (1981) Monday, Film4, 6.45pm (also 6.45pm Saturday)
Bad Boys Monday, C5, 9pm
Fatal Attraction Monday, Film4, 9pm
Miss Congeniality Monday, 5*, 9pm
Smokin' Aces Monday, ITV1, 10.35pm
Night at the Museum Tuesday, Film4, 6.50pm
Crash (2004) Tuesday, Film4, 9pm
Eyes Wide Shut Tuesday, ITV2, 11pm
Adulthood Wednesday, BBC3, 10pm (also Saturday 11.10pm)
Raw Deal Wednesday, ITV4, 10pm
Alexander Wednesday, ITV2, 11.50pm
Iron Man Thursday, Film4, 9pm
Tremors Thursday, ITV4, 9pm
Top Gun Thursday, E4, 11.10pm
The Sixth Sense Friday, Film4, 9pm
Vanilla Sky Friday, More4, 10pm
Blade Runner: The Final Cut Friday, BBC2, 11.05pm
Empire of the Sun Saturday, ITV3, 12.40am
Cars Saturday, BBC1, 5.10pm
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Saturday, ITV1, 5.20pm
Jerry Maguire Saturday, 5*, 9pm
Red Dragon Saturday, ITV2, 11.15pm
Bad Lieutenant Sunday, C4, 12.50am

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