Published: 00:02, 16 December 2017
Some say it’s not Christmas ‘til you’ve watched Hans Gruber's slow motion fall. Others say “Die Hard, a Christmas film? Bah humbug!” In the run-up to Christmas Channel 4 seeks to subtly answer the much debated question, screening the original Die Hard movie just nine days before Christmas Day.
New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis, pictured) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve. Joining her at a party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for, the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the high-rise, and everyone in it – not bargaining on the one-man squad team and his white vest, McClane. The film was made for $28m and grossed more than $140m, spawning a small army of sequels.
Friday, December 22
Sit back and enjoy the adventures of the woman who brought us a unique pronounciation of Chechnya and a warning against wearing very big pants. At the start of the year 32-year-old Bridget (Renee Zellweger) decides it’s time to take control of her life and start a diary. The film of Helen Fielding’s laugh out loud book directed by Sharon Maguire and written by Richard Curtis, Andrew Davies, and Helen Fielding also brings us Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in their prime. Zellweger was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. Two sequels followed.
Saturday, December 23
In one of John Candy’s last films, Cool Runnings is loosely based on true events when the Jamaicans made their debut in the Winter Olympics in 1988.
The story of four Jamaican bobsleighers who dream of competing in the Winter Olympics – despite never having seen snow will have you chuckling all the way to the Queen’s speech.
The film’s soundtrack also became popular with Jimmy Cliff’s cover of I Can See Clearly Now reaching the Top 40 in several countries including the UK.
This production of F Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. Co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann, it also stars Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Elizabeth Debicki and follows the life of millionaire Jay Gatsby and his neighbour Nick (Maguire), who recounts his encounter with Gatsby in the Roaring Twenties.
Although unpopular with critics when it was released, audiences praised it and at the 86th Academy Awards, it won Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.
Cinderella (2015) BBC1, 3.10pm
It’s Christmas Day, so revel in some romance and escapism, with the romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh. Based on the eponymous folk tale, it was also inspired in part by Walt Disney’s 1950 animated film and stars Lily James as Cinderella with Richard Madden, and a host of big names including Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter.
If the effects in 1993’s Jurassic Park impressed you, then Jurassic World will knock your socks off. The 2015 film is the fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park series and stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Set 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World takes place on the same fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, where a theme park populated with cloned dinosaurs has operated for 10 years. Following a suggestion from Steven Spielberg, writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver explored the idea of a functional dinosaur park. After a record-breaking opening weekend during which it grossed $500m worldwide, it became the second highest-grossing film of 2015. Work is underway on a sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, due out next summer.
The debate in the real world is raging about how much robots should be part of our lives, but here’s a Disney film showing us the bond that can be formed with a robot.
The 3D computer-animated superhero film is loosely based on the superhero team of the same name by Marvel Comics and tells the story of Hiro Hamada, a young robotics prodigy who forms a superhero team to combat a masked villain. It was the highest-grossing animated film of 2014 and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and the Kids’ Choice Award for Favourite Animated Movie.
* Your What's On guide inside your local paid-for KM paper this week has a three-week TV listings guide with features and interviews with the stars.
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