This is the first in what will be a series of regular Friday afternoon columns where we highlight the best films to watch on TV during the weekend beginning on Friday evening till Sunday. See what those films are after the jump.
This top ten list is by order of appearance rather than ranking and therefore the number 1 film is not necessarily better than the number 10 film and vice versa.
1. Star Trek (2009). Director: JJ Abrams (Mission: Impossible 3). Starring: Chris Pine (Unstoppable) and Zoe Saldana (Avatar) Mnet Movies 1/Mnet Movies HD Friday 19:30.
This is not your father's Star Trek or for that matter that TV series that we have become accustomed to in recent years. This reboot is highly entertaining and manages to please both Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. Give this one a try and you won't be disappointed.
2. The Dark Knight (2008). Director: Christopher Nolan (Inception). Starring: Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Mnet Movies 2 Friday 21:45.
The phrase tour de force was invented for this film. No matter how many times I watch this I can't get over the sheer scale of this film, Heath Ledger's brilliant portrayal of the Joker or Hans Zimmer chilling, powerful score. Chances are you have seen this already but there is never anything wrong with re-acquainting yourself with a modern day masterpiece.
3. Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003). Director: Robert Rodriguez (Sin City). Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Johnny Depp. SABC 1 Friday 22:00.
The final film in the El Mariachi trilogy, the first two being El Mariachi and the hugely popular Desperado, this is about as good a solid Friday action night film as you can ever find on the free to air TV stations.
4. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009). Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Clone High). Starring: Bill Hader (Superbad), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Anna Faris (House Bunny). Mnet Movies 1/ Mnet Movies HD Saturday 17:55.
This is a brilliant animated feature film debut from directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Not just for kids only, it hits all the right some really funny scenes and excellent, state of the CG animation. Plus its at a very kid friendly time so you can watch it with the whole family.
5. No Country For Old Men (2007). Directors: The Coen Brothers (A Serious Man). Starring: Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem (Eat Pray Love). Mnet Movies 2 Sunday 12:15. Based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy, tells the story of a man to whom "chance delivers a fortune that is not his, and the ensuing cat-and-mouse drama, as three men crisscross each other's paths in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas." It's The Coen Brothers at their best.
6. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009). Director: David Yates (Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix). Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Mnet Movies 1/Mnet Movies HD Sunday 16:35.
Arguably the 2nd best film so far in the franchise, after the brilliant Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban by Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men), this marks the beginning of the end for Harry and Co. sets up the series finale nicely.
7. How The West Won (1962). Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway and George Marshall. Starring: Carroll Baker, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Debbie Reynolds and James Stewart. TCM Sunday 19:30.
As a film blog that takes itself a bit too seriously, every now and again we will recommend you see a classic film from that under-appreciated channel known as TCM. This triple Academy Award winning Western epic comes highly recommend if only just to see what see what a film shot in Cinerama looks like.
8. United 93 (2006). Director: Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy). Starring: Ensemble Cast of mostly unknown actors. SABC 1 Sunday 20:00. The best 9/11 film released so far, this is the story of the heroic struggle by the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 to prevent their hijackers from completing their mission to crash the plane on the US Capitol. It's emotionally gripping stuff that on more than one occasion will leave you struggling to hold back your tears.
9. Requiem For A Dream (2000). Director: Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler). Starring: Ellen Burstyn (Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood), Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), Marlon Wayans and Jared Leto (Lord Of War). Mnet Movies 2 Sunday 22:05.
This film charts three seasons in the lives of the three main characters as they struggle to deal with their addictions to various legal and not so legal drugs. Look out for the haunting, Academy Award nominated performance by Ellen Burstyn as a widow addicted to weight-loss amphetamine pills.
10. Sunshine Cleaning (2008). Director: Christine Jeffs (Sylvia). Starring: Amy Adams (Junebug) and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada). Mnet/Mnet HD Sunday 23:40.
A heart warming indie dramedy from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine Cleaning tells the story of single working who starts a crime scene cleaning business in order to raise funds for her son to go private school. All in all its a great movie with solid performances all round from the lead actors.