From James Bond to Citizen Kane, the best TV movies of the week

Casino Royale, ITV4, 9 p.m.

In 2006, in an effort to add fervor to a movie series that had grown tired and worn out, the owners of the James Bond Eon Productions franchise handed the keys to the Aston Martin to the relatively unknown Daniel Craig. He could act (not a prerequisite, admittedly), had an all-important flash in his stunning blue eyes, and, as the audience would discover, he looked great in a pair of La Perla leggings.

Behind the scenes, Eun has also given his share of writing duties to Hollywood newcomer Paul Haggis, writer and director of action crime drama Crash, and for their source, their material has gone all the way back to its beginning: Casino Royale. Published in 1953 and the first of 11 James Bond novels, it is short and tightly composed, and after a card game and an extended torture scene revealing Fleming’s fondness for S&M, little happens. In other words, it is a perfect setting for what is essentially a genesis story.

Craig’s tenure as Bond ended with last year’s No Time To Die, and it’s widely regarded as a huge hit, thanks in large part to the stellar start he made here. The technology is certainly useless – the movie was released two months before Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone and apparently didn’t give MI6 its head – and clearly, there’s no scene in which Q unveils a whiz-bang. which became a staple of the Dalton/Brosnan years. But everything else hits the money. It was an era when darkness was in vogue (the first reboot of Christopher Nolan’s Batman appeared one year ago), and Casino Royale gracefully jumped on the bandwagon.

Speaking of jumping, you can probably skip the first big movement sequence unless you’re a fan of parkour or free-running. Our first sighting of Bond was in Madagascar, where he sets out on a terrorist hunt and engages in a long hunt that showcases the (admittedly awesome) skills of parkour legend Sebastien Focan. Much better is the second chapter. It forms the core of the film and largely follows the plot of the novel as Bond heads to Montenegro to confront criminal financier Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) in a high stakes poker game. place? Casino Royale of course. Bond’s escort (and the millions of British government money he uses for a stake) is the curiosity of the Treasury, Vesper Lind (Eva Green), who appears to have an immediate loathing of the conceited spy, who has recently been elevated to double status. Already trying the patience of Service Head M (Judi Dench). Of course, her fiancĂ© did not last long…

And the best of the rest…

Saturday 14 May

Away from the dazzling crowd, BBC Two, 8pm

It’s 1870 and Bathsheba Everdeen (Carrie Mulligan) lives with her aunt on the estate next door to handsome sheep farmer Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), whose honest advances she rejects. Soon, Bathsheba inherits her uncle’s vast estate and defies expectations by turning the faltering farm over to Gabriel as patron of the estate. Meanwhile, wealthy and emotionally repressed farmer William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) makes his feelings for Bathsheba known, but her head turns into reckless and reckless sergeant Troy (Tom Stredge). Centered on Mulligan’s meticulous performance, beyond Madding Crowd, is a visually stunning portrait of rustic desires, even if it can’t quite live up to John Schlesinger’s 1967 version.

This Is Spinal Tap, BBC Two, 10.40pm

Laughters reached 11 in Rob Reiner’s fantastic 1984 film ‘Rockumentary’. Christopher Guest, Michael McCain and Harry Shearer play members of a British band whose “eclectic appeal” has become as they head out on a disastrous tour of America. As if undersized props, canceled concerts, and abandoned record engagements weren’t frustrating enough, there are also tensions between the group and their manager, especially when the lead singer’s girlfriend takes a seat on the tour bus. Not only is it a classic comedy, it features some of the best English accents ever by American actors.

Sunday 15 May

On The Town, BBC Two, 1.30pm

Three sailors have a 24-hour vacation in New York and are determined to make the most of it. One decides to hunt down the model that appears in an ad campaign, another spotlights an anthropologist, and a third finds himself resisting the interest of a female taxi driver. The plot is minimal to none, but this soulful 1949 musical is so full of energy, you won’t really care. The Big Guys Gene Kelly, Jules Munchen and Frank Sinatra are all as great as sailors, the music is provided by Leonard Bernstein and the screenplay and witty words come from the futuristic book Singing Singing in the Rain by Adolph Green and Betty Comden. New York locations only add to the appeal.

Ordinary Love, BBC Two, 10pm

Leslie Manville and Liam Neeson perform compellingly as a couple in turmoil in Lisa Barros Dissa and Glenn LeBourne’s intimate 2019 drama, based on a screenplay by Northern Irish playwright Owen McFarty. Ordinary Love elegantly captures the details of the daily lives of a wife and husband, who fondly accept each other’s shortcomings and find comfort in the easy silence that permeates their household routines. It always resonates in life’s ordinary moments—her saucy addition to a soup recipe, a seemingly sweet conversation about eating fruit and vegetables. The opening 15 minutes of McCafferty’s bland script encourage us to get closer to the main characters of the suburban bubble before giant ripples from a cancer diagnosis test the strength of marital bonds.

Monday May 16

The misfits, great! Classic movies, 4.20 pm

The 1961 John Huston drama, based on a screenplay by Arthur Miller, marks the last screen appearances of two Hollywood legends – Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. Thirty-year-old Roslyn Tabor (Monroe) is divorcing her husband, Raymond (Kevin McCarthy). She and her friend Isabel (Thelma Ritter) are drowning in sorrows at a local bar, as cowboys Gaylord Langland (Gable) and his friend Guido (Elie Wallach) approach the two women. They invite Roslyn and Isabelle to Guido’s half-completed farm in the country. The women accepted the invitation and Roslyn eventually moved to the farm with Gaylord to complete work on the building. An encounter with Gaylord’s friend, rodeo contestant Pierce Holland (Montgomery Clift), creates friction between the two fledgling lovebirds and tests the strength of their relationship.

Tuesday 17 May

Drag Me to Hell, BBC Three, 11.40pm

When bank worker Christine (Allison Lohmann) refuses to extend the loan of Mrs. Ganoush (Lorna Raver), the old woman retaliates by attacking her, cursing her with Lamia, the demon who will expel the young woman’s soul three days later. With the emotional support of her boyfriend Professor Clay (Justin Long), the impoverished young woman seeks spiritual guidance from spiritualist Ram Jas (Dilip Rao) behind him to break the curse. Made in Noughties, when horror movies increasingly became an exercise in sadism, Drag Me to Hell was a welcome throwback to more playful times. In particular, the series remembers director Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, which is characterized by its turbulent mixture of blood and dark humor.

Wednesday May 18

Disappearance in Clifton Hill, movie 4, 9 p.m.

As a little girl, Abby (Tobins Middleton) witnessed a little boy being thrown into the trunk of a car by two adults in Clifton Hill, near Niagara Falls. The incident haunts her even though her older sister, Laure (Hannah Gross), maintains that it never happened and that the kidnapping was just a product of Abby’s fertile imagination. Abe is forced to return to Niagara Falls to oversee the sale of the family hotel that had belonged to her late mother. Charlie Lake (Eric Johnson), whose family owns vast tracts of property, is eager to buy the land. When you’re done with the deal, Abby decides to reveal the truth about the kidnapping with the help of a local conspiracy theorist named Walter (David Cronenberg) in this thriller.

Thursday 19 May

Citizen Kane, BBC Four, 9pm

Narrated through a series of flashbacks, this groundbreaking drama centers on how newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) amassed his wealth and power – only to discover that life at the top was very lonely. The reporter pulls the millionaire’s story together, revealing an epic tale of ambition and struggle along the way. But will it solve the mystery of Kane’s dying last words: “Rosebud”? Considered by many to be the greatest film ever made, it is Orson Welles’s finest hour as a writer, director, and star. That’s no feat, considering he was only 25 years old when he made the movie – and he’s gone on to participate in many other classics. Co-starring Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore and Everett Sloan.

Friday 20 May

The Fast And The Furious, ITV, 10.45 p.m.

A fun ride that sees Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) race all the entrants on the streets of Los Angeles for the first prize of $10,000. Dom feels invincible until undercover FBI agent Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), who investigates a series of truck hijackings, challenges his supremacy. Director Rob Cohen has turned surfing Point Break into a street racing movie. You reach top speed in the first 20 minutes and never hit the brakes. Cohen fills the screen with a blur of shiny metal and burnt rubber as Walker and Diesel play their roles with minimal effort. Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster also appear. Released in 2001, it was the first film in a hugely successful franchise – eight sequels and a spin-off to date have followed, with Fast X due next year.

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