Sunday's TV tips

DOCUMENTARY: Ireland’s Ocean (RTÉ One, 6.30pm)

The shallow seas around Ireland are some of the most fertile on Earth.

This programme shows the abundance of ocean life from microscopic plankton to the myriad small colourful creatures and their inter-dependence.

Filmed during the late winter of 2013, when the largest ocean storms on our planet hit the West coast of Ireland, we witness massive ocean swells crashing into our coast and look at their impact underwater.

We encounter thousands of breeding jellyfish off the Kerry coast in a scene never before filmed in Irish waters.

FILM: Despicable Me (UTV, 7pm)

Criminal mastermind Gru seethes after a rival steals one of the ancient pyramids. With his reputation on the line, Gru plots to steal the Moon using a shrink-ray gun stolen from his enemy’s heavily fortified lair, using three orphaned girls he’s adopted to breach its defences.

By the time Gru has purloined the shrink-ray, he’s forged a bond with the girls and must contemplate giving up his life of crime to become a father or face sending them back to the orphanage.

It’s a wickedly entertaining animated tale of evil versus evil that delivers a frenetic 94 minutes of laughter, edge-of-seat thrills and heart-warming sentiment.

Last year’s sequel was one of the funniest, and most lucrative of 2013. Given the fact the Minions steal both films, little wonder they have their own standalone movie in development.

Rotten Tomatoes.com Rating: 81%

DRAMA: Common (BBC One, 9pm)

Acclaimed screenwriter Jimmy McGovern has penned a thought-provoking drama with Common Purpose, a 300-year-old legal doctrine that allows several people to be charged with a crime where they are not the primary offenders, at its core.

Johnjo gives his cousin and some mates a lift, supposedly so they can get a pizza. They’re actually going to confront somebody they’ve had an argument with - and in the ensuing melee, an innocent bystander is killed.

Johnjo is horrified by what has happened, but it’s when the investigation into the murder begins that his nightmare really starts...

Actors fall over themselves to appear in McGovern’s work, probably because they’re assured of having a part they can really get their teeth into.

Nico Mirallegro, Daniel Mays, Jodhi May, Robert Pugh, Michael Gambon and Michelle Fairley are among the lucky group here.

DOCUMENTARY: The Lance Armstrong Story – Stop at Nothing: Storyville (BBC4, 9pm)

The film grabbing all the headlines at this year’s Sheffield’s documentary festival was Martin Scorsese’s The 50 Year Argument thanks to the legendary director’s involvement with the project.

As good as it is, there was another production that deserved at least as many plaudits – this offering which, as you may have worked out from the title, focuses on disgraced former Tour de France king Lance Armstrong.

For years he was cycling’s golden boy, a cancer survivor who, against the odds, had triumphed not once in one of sport’s most gruelling endurance tests, but seven consecutive times.

But behind the glory lay a sordid tale of lies and deceit, one that involved not only Armstrong, but also those close to him, many of which felt unable to tell the truth.

Here, director Alex Holmes tracks them down to find out how the cyclist got away with so much for so long.

FILM: Get Him to the Greek (Channel 4, 11pm)

A record company employee is given the task of making sure a manic, sex-crazed British rock star makes it from London to his comeback concert in Los Angeles without causing too much mayhem along the way.

His job is made all the harder by his charge’s infatuation with a model.

Like ‘This is 40’, here’s another sequel of sorts from the Judd Apatow stable, this one spun off from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Russell Brand reprises his star-making role as hedonistic rocker Aldous Snow, while Jonah Hill (also in FSM, but here playing the record studio lackey) plays the straight man.

Occasionally funny, a little awkward in the third act, and like most Apatow productions a bit too long, but well worth a look.

Rotten Tomatoes.com Rating: 73%

NEW ON NETFLIX: Europa Report

When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa’s icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary discovery.

After a near-catastrophic technical failure that leads to loss of communication with Earth and the tragic death of a crew member, the surviving astronauts must overcome the psychological and physical toll of deep space travel, and survive a discovery on Europa more profound than they had ever imagined.

Rotten Tomatoes.com Rating: 83%

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