Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Saturday: RTE 2, 9.00pm
This is one of my favourite films of the past few years, and also the one that put Robert Downey Jr. right back on track after some personal problems. Written and directed by the razor sharp Shane Black, it centres on Downey's petty thief, who somehow ends up in Hollywood and in line for a major acting gig as a Private Eye in a big studio production. There he meets Gay Perry (played wonderfully by Val Kilmer), a real PI hired to show him the ropes. The two embark on a chaotic case involving the demise of Michelle Monaghan's sister and another mysterious dead body. It's beautifully written, wonderfully directed and superbly acted, with Downey and Kilmer sparking off each other so well, you'll be wondering why it took them so long to work together in the first place. If you're sitting into tonight, plan your evening around this, you won't be disappointed.
Sunday: RTE 2, 9.00pm
Directed by the late Sydney Pollack, this is an engrossing thriller that was a vehicle from Tom Cruise during the height of his fame in the mid 90's. He plays an idealistic lawyer, a born winner, who doesn't realise the dirty shenanigans going on within his firm when he signs up for a huge salary and a flashy company car. One of the first John Grisham novels to be adapted for the bigscreen, its success spawned about forty more; but this is still easily the most enjoyable adaptation of any of the author's work. Cruise does a lot of running, a lot of shouting and spends the entire final third looking all dishevelled, but ya know, in a handsome Tom Cruise way. Gene Hackman co-stars, giving a stellar turn as Cruise's boss.
Saturday: 3.00pm TV3
In my preteen days, this film's star Anna Chlumsky was the object of my affections; as her adorable tomboy Vada, grew into herself in 1960's small town America after the death of her mother. It's a hugely touching film, and very much one that the youngsters in the house will enjoy. Macaulay Culkin played the best mate, showing early acting skills (that ultimately failed to materialise) that didn't involve bouncing paint cans off Joe Pesci's head; while Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis play her overprotective father and the new woman in his life. I can't say I've seen the sequel, as frankly I didn’t want those dear childhood memories to be tarnished, but how could it better this? On a side note, google Chlumsky, she grew up hot - which is rarely the case with child actors. Hey, I'm just saying...