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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Seven films to watch on TV in the UAE this week 

We've scoured the listings so you don't have to

Idris Elba in a scene from 'The Dark Tower.' Ilze Kitshoff / Columbia Pictures / Sony via AP
Idris Elba in a scene from 'The Dark Tower.' Ilze Kitshoff / Columbia Pictures / Sony via AP

Stuck for what to watch on the small screen? With our handy guide, you can enjoy the best of the week’s movies without checking your programme guide, or you could just record them all and indulge in a weekend binge. Here’s your pick of the week’s best.

Amerikan Passport

Sunday April 1, 7pm, The Sundance Channel

When Seattle native Reed Paget set off on a budget trip around the world with an old 8mm camera in 1989, he thought he was going to visit the Seven Wonders of the World and document the experience. His first stop was China, where he inadvertently found himself documenting the Tiananmen Square uprising. After escaping to Hong Kong with his footage, Paget discovered he had deveoloped a new obsession with documenting war and strife, and this documentary covers three years of his travels through conflict zones, from dodging scuds in Iraq to getting up close with the Sandanistas in Nicaragua, via witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall. A fascinating tale of accidental journalism.

Jackie Brown

Monday April 2, 10pm, Paramount Movie Channel

Pam Grier in 'Jackie Brown'. Everett Collection / Rex Features
Pam Grier in 'Jackie Brown'. Everett Collection / Rex Features

Jackie Brown is unique in the Quentin Tarantino canon – it’s the only time the director has ever made a movie adapted from someone else’s work, in this case Elmore Leonard’s 1992 novel Rum Punch. Pam Grier stars as the titular flight stewardess, with a sideline in running dirty money between Mexico and the US, and a supporting cast includes Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Bridget Fonda and Tarantino mainstay Samuel L Jackson. What a truly heavyweight back-up crew. Jackson even lists the movie as his favourite Tarantino film, and he should know – he’s been in most of them.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Tuesday April 3, 12.30pm, The Sundance Channel

Al Pacino in Glengarry Glen Ross. Courtesy New Line Cinema
Al Pacino in Glengarry Glen Ross. Courtesy New Line Cinema

Al Pacino, above, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris and Alec Baldwin head up an impressive cast in James Foley’s real estate drama, based on David Mamet’s adaptation of his own play. The movie unveils a web of deceit and subterfuge as four competing real estate agents get dirty following the worrying news that only the best performing two will keep their jobs. The film wasn’t a smash hit on release – it didn’t even make back its modest $12 million budget in US theatres, but with outstanding performances from a stellar cast, and a script from one of modern drama’s greatest minds, its commercial failure is just a reminder that big box office and great movies are not mutually exclusive.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Wednesday April 4, 5pm, OSN Movies First

Already sick of waiting for the next instalment of Star Wars fun when Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theatres in May? Ease the pain with 2016’s debut Star Wars spin-off movie, Rogue One. Felicity Jones leads the cast in this prequel to 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, which tells the story of how the rebels acquired the plans for the Death Star, and thus gave birth to one of the most successful movie franchises in history. The movie is actually surprisingly dark for a Star Wars story, which means at least two very good things – no Jar Jar Binks, and no Ewoks.

Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters and Marvels

Thursday April 5, 8.30pm, Paramount Movie Channel

Stan Lee and Kevin Smith during Hollywood's Master Storytellers Evening with Stan Lee and Kevin Smith at Mann's Chinese Theatre. Getty
Stan Lee and Kevin Smith during Hollywood's Master Storytellers Evening with Stan Lee and Kevin Smith at Mann's Chinese Theatre. Getty

Get your geek on ahead of the weekend’s ComicCon with this feature-length interview with Marvel legend, the 95-year-old Stan Lee. Kevin Smith, Marvel devotee and dir­ector of geek classics such as Clerks and Dogma, conducts the interview, appropriately enough in a Santa Monica comic shop, and Lee talks at length about his life, loves and, of course, his comics and characters and the myriad movie adaptations of them. Essential preparation for a weekend of geekery.

Dark Tower

Friday April 6, 9.30pm, OSN Movies First (premiere)

Hollywood golden boy Idris Elba, stars as gunslinger Roland Deschain in Nikola Arcel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s long-running series of novels. In fairness, the movie isn’t the greatest Stephen King adaptation out there, and it was somewhat overshadowed on release last summer by the simultaneous release of the superior, and better performing, reboot of King’s scary clown tale It, but with weaponised psychic teens, demonic wizards and anachronistic gunslingers from another dimension to drink in, there are definitely worse ways to spend a Friday night.

AI: Artificial Intelligence

Saturday April 7, 7.05pm, OSN Festival

Steven Spielberg’s completed version of a project his friend Stanley Kubrick began working on in the ‘90s is the tear-jerking tale of 12-year-old David, a self-aware artificial life form, and his struggle to find meaning in an uncaring universe. Spielberg perhaps delivers a more cuddly version of the movie Kubrick may have created had he not passed away in 1999, but Spielberg’s ability to invoke empathy for his characters, as well as a Kleenex-inducing final scene, mean he maybe also delivers a far more emotionally involving experience.

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