Cinderella (2015) U 2.25PM, BBC1 Kenneth Branagh’s live-action update of the 1950 Disney animation stars Lily James as the put-upon heroine, with Bodyguard’s Richard Madden (below, with James) as her smitten prince. Cate Blanchett is excellent value as the wicked stepmother. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) U 2.40PM, CH5 Steven Spielberg’s timeless and endearing family classic stars Henry Thomas as Elliott, the young boy who befriends a gentle alien visitor. The children know what to do; the adults make a mess of things. National Treasure (2004) (PG) 3.15PM, RTÉ2) A treasure-hunter sets out to find a war chest hidden by America’s founding fathers before a treacherous rival gets hold of it. Action adventure, with Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) (12) 5.30PM, RTÉ2 Unassuming hobbit Bilbo Baggins is recruited to join a band of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their lost homeland. Fantasy adventure, with Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen. Paddington (2014) PG 5.40PM, CH4 The bear from darkest Peru (below) wins our hearts all over again in a film full of wit and charm. It’s brilliantly animated, with Ben Whishaw voicing the adorable visitor. Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018) 15 10.30PM, BBC2 A family gathering clatters with gritted teeth in this blackly comic drama from Ben Wheatley (Sightseers). There’s a fantastic ensemble cast, including Charles Dance, Neil Maskell and Doon Mackichan.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Flash Gordon (1980) PG 11.10AM, CH4 Gloriously trashy take on the sci-fi comic strip about a US football star-turnedintergalactic hero. Max von Sydow is Ming the Merciless (above), and the music is by Queen. Death On The Nile (1978) PG 12.50PM, BBC2 A double bill of Hercule Poirot mysteries starring Peter Ustinov starts with this twisty tale. Evil Under The Sun follows at 3.10pm, while Sidney Lumet’s excellent 1974 film of Murder On The Orient Express is on New Year’s Day at 8.25am on ITV3. Maleficent (2014) PG 4.15PM, BBC1 The wicked witch from Sleeping Beauty gets a mostly sympathetic back story in this visually splendid dark fairy tale. Angelina Jolie stars as a powerful fairy whose heart and wings are crushed by her human lover. The Wizard Of Oz (1939) U 6PM, VIRGIN TWO Judy Garland is on iconic form in the evergreen musical. She plays Dorothy Gale, the young girl who is whisked over the rainbow by a tornado and finds herself in the magical land of Oz. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016) 15 9PM, BBC1 Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders are reunited as the perpetually sloshed Patsy and Edina (above), on the run in the south of France after a major fashion faux pas. Meet the Fockers (2004) (12) 9.30PM, RTÉ2 A hapless groom-to-be faces a new ordeal when he takes his staid prospective in-laws to Florida to meet his eccentric parents. Comedy sequel, with Ben Stiller.
NEW YEAR’S DAY
The Railway Children (1970) U 1PM, BBC1 The best-loved adaptation of E Nesbit’s classic children’s novel stars Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren as the youngsters who make a heroic stand alongside the train tracks in Yorkshire. Minions (2015) U 6.15PM, ITV2 Prequel to the Despicable Me movies, starring the pipsqueak yellow sidekicks. Looking for a new master to serve, the Minions join the employ of villainess Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock). The Boss (2016) 15 9.30PM, RTÉ ONE Melissa McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone directs her in the comic tale of Michelle Darnell, an entrepreneur who is sent to prison for inside trading. On her release, she recruits her former PA to help rebuild her empire. Conor McGregor: Notorious (2017) (15) 9.30PM, RTÉ2 Premiere. Documentary following the MMA fighter, one of the most recognisable names in the history of the UFC, filmed over the course of four years. The Revenant (2015) 15 10PM, BBC2 Powerful survival western, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a fur trapper fighting man and nature in the unforgiving wilderness. Attacked by a bear, DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass survives to come out fighting. Young Frankenstein (1974) PG 12.25AM, BBC2 This hilarious pastiche of the old Universal horrors is one of Mel Brooks’s finest. Gene Wilder is gloriously unhinged as the new Baron, with Peter Boyle hilarious as his monster creation (below).
Willow (1988) PG 11.35AM, CH4 Fantasy adventure from Ron Howard, from a story by Star Wars man George Lucas. Warwick Davis stars as a farmer hoping to become a sorcerer, who ends up as the protector of a princess (Joanne Whalley, above) with a destiny to fulfil. The Princess Bride (1987) PG 1.35PM, RTÉ2 Director Rob Reiner’s much-loved, endlessly quotable comic adventure stars Cary Elwes as a stable boy who sets out to rescue his true love from the clutches of an evil prince. Rango (2011) PG 5.02PM, TG4 Johnny Depp lends his voice to the inventive animated tale of a pet chameleon who gets lost in the desert. He’s mistaken for a gunslinger and made sheriff of a lawless town of animals. Isla Fisher and Bill Nighy co-star. The Lobster (2015) 15 11.35PM, FILM4 Surreal black comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos, whose current film, The Favourite, has critics in dizzy rapture. In a weird, dystopian future – where humans have to partner up or be turned into animals – our own Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz try to find a connection. Training Day (2001) 18 12AM, VIRGIN TWO Denzel Washington is on Oscar-winning form in this tough thriller. He stars as a seasoned narcotics officer whose approach to the job leaves a new recruit (Ethan Hawke, above with Washington) questioning his conscience. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) 15 12.20AM, BBC1 This sub-Indiana Jones fare – a daft and frankly uninspired video game adaptation – stars Angelina Jolie as the curvy, scantily clad (and unsurprisingly popular) adventurer.