Captain’s hat! It’s only the bloomin’ weekend again!
Boarding passes and passports at the ready, we find ourselves in a departure lounge ready and waiting to be launched to far and distant lands with our fellow passengers. We’ll check in our heavy bags before lining up to eagerly board our flight, find our seat and buckle up. We’ll pay close attention to the safety briefing like catching a pinnacle moment in a top action film. Just like some of our favourite titles, we’ll be quickly blasted into another world where anything is possible and we can escape the low lights of our old lives, if just for a moment.
SATURDAY 20th JUNE
California Man (1992) Film4 11:00am-1:00pm (2 hours)
Two high-school students accidentally unearth a frozen Stone Age caveman in their backyard. They decide to thaw him out and show him off around town. Unfortunately, their ticket to cool starts to run out of control and cause mayhem all over the state. Teen comedy, starring Brendan Fraser, Sean Astin, Pauly Shore, Megan Ward and Mariette Hartley.
The Thirty-Nine Steps (1959) More4 11:05am-1:00pm (1 hour 55 minutes)
An innocent man becomes embroiled in international espionage as he tries to uncover the meaning behind the cryptic last words of a mystery woman, whom he knew for only a brief time before finding her dying in his flat. He must flee for his life from foreign spies and the police, who think he is a murderer. Spy thriller based on John Buchan’s novel, starring Kenneth More, Taina Elg, Barry Jones and James Hayter.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) Film4 1:00pm-3:50pm (2 hours 50 minutes)
The war between the shape-shifting robots erupts once again, as the first of the evil Decepticons leads an attack on Earth to locate an ancient planet-destroying machine. Hapless teenager Sam Witwicky is caught in the middle of the ensuing conflict as he holds the key to discovering the location of the device. Sci-fi adventure sequel, starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.
Hook (1991) Comedy Central 1:00pm-3:45pm (2 hours 45 minutes)
Peter Pan, who has finally grown up and is now a married lawyer with a family of his own, is whisked away by Tinkerbell to Neverland, where he must learn to fly again if he is to save his children from the clutches of Captain Hook. Steven Spielberg’s fantasy adventure, with Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins and Maggie Smith.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) ITV London 3:35pm-6:00pm (2 hours 25 minutes)
Scientist Dr Ian Malcolm reluctantly joins a research team on the island where his employer first designed genetically engineered dinosaurs. Meanwhile, a big-game hunter takes the chance to bag the biggest prize of all – a Tyrannosaurus rex. Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur adventure sequel, starring Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite and Richard Attenborough.
Labyrinth (1986) 5* 5:30pm-7:30pm (2 hours)
A teenager wishes her baby brother would be taken away, only to have her request granted by a band of goblins and their sinister king. She regrets her decision and sets out to rescue him, but to reach the castle where he is being held, she must find her way through a magical maze full of strange creatures. Jim Henson’s fantasy adventure, starring Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie.
Iron Man (2008) Film4 6:25pm-9:00pm (2 hours 35 minutes)
Arms manufacturer Tony Stark is taken hostage by a terrorist group and realises the weapons his company build have been falling into the wrong hands. Using his engineering skills to construct a hi-tech armoured suit, he manages to escape and then puts the technology to good use in the fight against evil around the world. Superhero adventure, starring Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) ITV London 7:00pm-10:00pm (3 hours)
Adolescent wizard Harry is unexpectedly chosen to represent Hogwarts School in a prestigious magical tournament, despite being legally too young to enter. Along with charming sixth-year student Cedric Diggory, Harry is chosen to represent Hogwarts in the contest, with champions of two other magical academies visiting the school to face deadly monsters in a series of death-defying challenges. Meanwhile, the followers of the dreaded Lord Voldemort plot to restore their master to the land of the living. Fourth instalment of the fantasy saga, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Brendan Gleeson and Robert Pattinson.
Raw Deal (1986) ITV London 10:10pm-12:10am (2 hours)
An FBI agent is discharged for insubordination after assaulting a suspect, and ends up reduced to being the sheriff of a backwater Southern town. He is later offered his old job back – on the condition he will infiltrate a gang of Chicago mobsters and bring their leader to justice for killing the son of the Bureau’s chief. Action thriller, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Wanamaker, Kathryn Harrold, Ed Lauter and Darren McGavin.
Basic Instinct (1992) Channel 4 11:25pm-1:50am (2 hours 25 minutes)
A hard-drinking San Francisco cop investigates the case of a man murdered with an ice-pick, but his normally well-honed intuition starts letting him down as he falls for the sultry and manipulative chief suspect, the victim’s former girlfriend. Thriller from director Paul Verhoeven, starring Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, George Dzundza and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
SUNDAY 21st JUNE
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) Film4 11:00am-1:00pm (2 hours)
Intelligent chimpanzees Cornelius and Zira escape the destruction of their planet by travelling back in time to 1970s America. Although initially treated as celebrities, the government comes to regard the pair as a threat to the human race when it transpires that Zira is pregnant. Sci-fi adventure sequel, starring Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Sal Mineo and Ricardo Montalban.
Fun Fact: One of the earlier scripts has the three ape-o-nauts viewing the dying Earth from their space capsule before going back in time.
Porridge (1979) Film4 3:05pm-5:00pm (1 hour 55 minutes)
Cellmates Fletcher and Godber are coerced into aiding an escape attempt organised by the sinister Grouty. However, the two jailbirds contrive to break back into prison before their absence is detected by the formidable Mr Mackay. Comedy based on the TV series, starring Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Peter Vaughan, Fulton Mackay and Brian Wilde.
Awakenings (1990) Movie Mix 4:45pm-7:10pm (2 hours 25 minutes)
A research doctor in a New York psychiatric hospital provokes equal measures of professional interest and suspicion when he appears to have discovered a means of reviving patients who have been trapped in a catatonic state for over 30 years. Fact-based drama, starring Robin Williams, Robert De Niro, Julie Kavner, Penelope Ann Miller, Max von Sydow and Alice Drummond.
The Addams Family (1991) E4 6:00pm-8:00pm (2 hours)
Creepy couple Morticia and Gomez find their unconventional life threatened by a man claiming to be a long-lost relative. When they welcome him with open arms, they fall prey to a plot that could cost them their ancestral home and the family fortune. Black comedy based on the 1960s TV series, starring Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Jimmy Workman and Carel Struycken.
The Deer Hunter (1978) ITV4 9:00pm-12:40am (3 hours 40 minutes)
The lives of three American steelworkers and their families are torn apart in the wake of the Vietnam War. After enduring horrific treatment in a prison camp during the conflict, the three friends return to their homes but struggle to readjust to normal life. Oscar-winning drama, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage and John Cazale in his last film role.
I, Robot (2004) Channel 4 10:00pm-12:15am (2 hours 15 minutes)
The inventor of an advanced form of intelligent robot is found dead, and the detective investigating the case is certain that one of the scientist’s mechanical creations is responsible – but no one believes his theory because the robots have been programmed to prevent them from harming humans. Sci-fi thriller, inspired by the Isaac Asimov stories, starring Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan and Alan Tudyk.
Fun Fact: During an interview on American Chopper: The Series (2003), Will Smith told how he wrecked the motorcycle at around 60 mph during the filming of the scene at the robot storage facility (you can see him begin to lose control in the film).
Whatever you’re up to this weekend, remember a stick in time saves nine and that sometimes patience really is a virtue.