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Su­per 8 (2011) 12 Satur­day, 9pm, Ch4 When chil­dren are the pro­tag­o­nists of a film, it doesn’t mean adults in the au­di­ence can’t re­late to it. On the con­trary, it gives grown-up view­ers the chance to look back on their own child­hoods with a new per­spec­tive. Set in 1979, Su­per 8 fol­lows a group of young teens who wit­ness (and catch on cam­era) a cat­a­strophic crash that de­rails a freight train and un­leashes oth­er­worldly forces on their un­sus­pect­ing town. The chil­dren – Ryan Lee, Elle Fan­ning and Gabriel Basso (above) among them – share a se­cret, a key to the strange go­ings on, but they also have fam­i­lies and far more or­di­nary prob­lems to con­tend with. Pro­duced by Steven Spiel­berg, the spirit of his fam­ily clas­sic E.T. lives on in this plucky group of young friends whose close en­counter helps them to come of age.


Air­plane! (1980) 12 Sun­day, 9pm, ITV4 Movie par­o­dies aren’t of­ten thought of as trail­blaz­ing. Af­ter all, the whole point is to poke fun at other, orig­i­nal films. But Air­plane! is the ex­cep­tion, a com­edy that spoofs Hol­ly­wood’s big­bud­get dis­as­ter flicks and emerges a true orig­i­nal. On a flight from LA to Chicago, pas­sen­gers and crew are struck down by a bout of fish-re­lated food poi­son­ing and there is no one to fly the plane, ex­cept in­flat­able au­topi­lot Otto (above, with Julie Ha­garty) whose skills do not ex­tend to land­ing the craft. The hu­mour is silly and ab­surd but also in­no­cent, un­pre­ten­tious and time­less. The point of the film is sim­ply to make its au­di­ence laugh out loud or groan with rel­ish at the corny but per­fectly timed cliches. The cast are all in on the joke, too. Re­mark­ably, Les­lie Nielsen and Lloyd Bridges were new to com­edy, but af­ter Air­plane! their ca­reers flew in new di­rec­tions.

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