Thursday’s TV tips

Telly, tonight.

Thursday’s TV tips

FILM: Broken City (Film4, 9pm)

(2013) New York City cop Billy Taggart shoots an unarmed suspect and faces a prison sentence until popular Mayor Nicholas Hostetler steps in with a deal, making clear to Billy that he expects a favour in return.

Seven years later, Billy is a low-rent private detective with thousands of unpaid bills. Out of the blue, Hostetler calls in his marker: he asks Billy to gather evidence to prove that his wife Cathleen has been unfaithful.

A simple surveillance operation reveals a hotel room liaison between Cathleen and Paul Andrews, election manager of Hostetler’s charismatic rival, Jack Valliant.

Her betrayal seems clear, then Andrews is murdered and Billy grapples with the chilling probability that he signed the campaign manager’s death warrant.

A polished political thriller of corruption and betrayal. Director Allen Hughes marshals an impressive cast. Wahlberg goes through the motions, but Crowe savours his opportunity to chew on scenery.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Natalie Martinez, Kyle Chandler, Alona Tal.

COMEDY DRAMA: Death in Paradise (BBC1, 9pm)

Just in case you were wondering what Kris Marshall’s favourite episode of this series is, look no further.

“We just had such a brilliant cast,” recalls Kris. “It was my favourite script as well; we just had great fun with it. And we had such brilliant actors; we had Nick Moran, Neil Morrissey, Steve Evets, Sally Phillips, Francis Magee... brilliant actors.”

It centres on Flowers of Progress, a veteran rock band who are on the island to record a new album after years of being apart. With a major sponsorship deal hanging in the balance, tensions are running high.

Could another untimely demise be on the cards? Of course it could.

Lead singer Stevie Smith has a stormy relationship with his brother and fellow band member Jim.

So when Stevie is electrocuted in the swimming pool, DI Humphrey Goodman has to find out who did the deed, and why.

DOCUMENTARY: Modern Times: Warwick Davis’ Big Night Out (BBC2, 9pm)

There’s never been a short actor as big as Warwick Davis. His films have grossed billions of dollars, while his TV output is also impressive.

At the moment he’s narrating Planet’s Got Talent; is new frontman for Celebrity Squares and his own travel show, Weekend Escapes.

Then there’s a role in the year’s most anticipated movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And when he’s not working on all those projects, he’s busy with his own pet project: establishing Britain’s first ever theatre company for reduced height actors.

For decades many have been stuck with pantomime or ’creature work’ in TV and films such as Harry Potter, Willow and the Leprechaun movies.

Here, award-winning filmmaker Ursula MacFarlane follows investor/creative force Warwick as he forms a company that takes on the classics in mainstream theatres around the UK.

We follow rehearsals for their staging of Philip King’s farce See How They Run show.

DRAMA: How to get away with murder (RTE Two, 10pm)

“It’s All Her Fault”

Annalise takes on a new client, Max St. Vincent (Steven Weber), an eccentric millionaire who is the key suspect in his wife’s brutal murder.

All the clues point to St. Vincent as the killer, but Annalise challenges her students to prove he’s innocent – whether that’s the truth or not. Meanwhile, Annalise deals with issues in her own home when her growing suspicions that Sam (Tom Verica) is somehow involved in Lila’s disappearance start to affect their marriage.

In flash forwards, we go back to the night of the murder and learn that Wes might be hiding a few secrets of his own.

DOCUMENTARY: Married Behind Bars (Channel 4, 10pm)

Marriage, they say, is an institution. But when weddings take place in an institution, it’s just the sort of offbeat subject matter that is perfect for Channel 4 documentaries such as this.

Of course, the film crew could have shot the doc in rain-lashed Blighty, but you can usually bet that if there’s a Stateside jolly on the cards, a documentary team won’t be far behind.

Last year, in California alone, more than 1,800 weddings took place behind bars, and this film follows the stories of three American ladies who have decided to tie the knot while their partners are serving time.

As you might imagine, there’s no shortage of technical hurdles to overcome.

The couples must follow strict dress codes, walk down the aisle via an X-ray machine and kiss each other through bulletproof glass.

You can imagine how well the wedding cakes are scrutinised.

COMEDY: The Keith Lemon Sketch Show (ITV2, 10pm)

Given his inspired lunacy on Bo Selecta! more than a decade ago, there’s little wonder Leigh Francis would return to the sketch format at some point.

Of course these days he’s better known as Keith Lemon, the moustachioed Lothario whose work on Celebrity Juice helped land him an NTA recently.

Hardly surprising that ITV are keen to sign him up for many other projects, and this latest show should tickle the fancy of many a fan.

He’ll be spoofing the worlds of TV, film and celebrity, and is joined by a selection of famous faces.

First up are Take Me Out presenter Paddy McGuinness, actor John Thomson and former Inbetweeners star Emily Atack.

The latter is no stranger to Keith’s ways having worked on Lemon La Vida Loca a few years ago, and in one year’s time (February 5) she also appears in the revamped Dad’s Army movie.

FILM: The Firm (More4, 10pm)

(1993) A bright, unsuspecting Harvard law graduate joins a small but profitable law firm. Unfortunately for him, the high-class company turns out to be controlled by the Mafia, causing problems for the promising young graduate, especially when his own life is placed in danger.

There’s an age-old saying that the film is never as good as the book. So don’t read John Grisham’s novel first, and prepare to be entertained by this excellent movie. Although a little far-fetched, The Firm is a well-made, entertaining production.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, Terry Kinney, Wilford Brimley, Ed Harris, David Strathairn

FILM: Into the Wild (Film4, 12.50am)

(2007) Drama based on the true story of Chris McCandless, who decided to give away his life savings and possessions, before abandoning all the trappings of modern life in favour of living in the wilderness.

He started out on a journey across America, planning to settle in the wilds of Alaska. However, he soon realised he was far from prepared for the dramas that lay ahead of him.

Having written and directed the offering, Sean Penn excels himself in a role behind he camera, while Emile Hirsch gives a fantastic performance which leaps off the screen.

With stunning backdrops and cinematography, and a brilliant supporting cast of Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt, there’s simply nothing to not like here. If you like Reese Witherspoon’s recent drama Wild, then this should be right up your street.

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt.

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