Saturday’s TV tips

Your guide to tonight's best TV.

Saturday’s TV tips

LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (TV3, 7pm)

The world would be a much duller place without Richard Madeley. For decades he has been brightening up TV and radio with some of the most jaw-dropping comments ever heard.

Some of us still can’t quite believe the time he dressed up as Ali G, or those completely random observations of the world such as: “There’s not many better things than seeing an older woman skipping”.

Now, a few weeks after supporting daughter Chloe on The Jump, he’s in the comedy crosshairs of the Geordie duo for I’m a Celebrity Get Out of Me Ear!.

Plus, the Supercomputer is in Edinburgh, where locals use hidden talents to win flights to the Big Apple, and a studio audience member plays to win the contents of a commercial break.

And if that’s not enough to sate your appetite, there’s plenty of games, star guests and musical performances to tide you over.

DRAMA: Hostages (BBC4, 9pm)

There’s a good bet you won’t be aware of 1992 TV series Inyan Shel Zman, or the 1993 movie Nikmato Shel Itzik Finkelstein. However, both projects gave actress Ayelet Zurer a chance to hone her craft before moving on to bigger projects such as Steven Spielberg’s Munich, Superman reboot Man of Steel and Marvel’s new TV series Daredevil.

Two years ago she starred in this critically acclaimed offering as Dr Yael Danon, which is now getting a welcome screening many moons after Channel 4 aired the US remake.

In this week’s offering, a soldier surprises the Danon family and the kidnappers by turning up at the front door, and it soon transpires that Noa has been keeping secrets.

Directors Omri Givon and Rotem Shamir crank up the tension, while good support comes from Jonah Lotan, Micha Selektar, Dar Zuzovsky, Yaov Rotman, Mickey Leon, Hilla Vidor and Tomer Kapon.

MUSIC: Reginald D Hunter’s Songs of the South (BBC2, 9.15pm)

If you’ve seen recent Colin Firth movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, chances are you will never hear Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic Freebird in the same way again after a stunningly violent scene in a Kentucky church.

No such moments of graphic horror in this superb series as the eponymous funnyman continues his exploration of the American South through its music. In Alabama he attends a Lynyrd Skynyrd gig and learns about the city of Muscle Shoals’ role in the development of soul.

Then Reg is back on home turf in the state of Georgia; he takes a trip to Athens, where rock bands the B52s and REM were formed.

Given the acclaim of Martin Luther King biopic Selma, there’s also a timely trip to Atlanta, the birthplace of the civil rights leader.

There are contributions from Clarence Carter, Sharon Jones, Arrested Development, St Paul and the Broken Bones.

MUSIC BIOGRAPHY: The Rise of James Brown: Mr Dynamite (BBC2, 10.15pm)

James Brown changed the face of American music. This film follows his journey as he escaped his poor Southern roots and became one of the most important music talents of the 20th century.

Director Alex Gibney may have been a fan of the musician, and when producer Mick Jagger rang up one day and asked if he wanted to make a film about him, it was very hard to say no.

Alex believes Brown thought of himself as “a kind of scientific entertainer that would deliver to people what they wanted.”

He also thinks there was something “more elemental in what he did that gave his music power”.

There was no shortage of material to choose from.

However, Gibney believes the best stuff is the unofficial material, such as a rare reel from a Boston concert. A perfect companion to that other Jagger-produced offering, the big screen biopic Get On Up.

FILM: Cuban Fury (Channel 4, 9pm)

(2014) A boy’s dream of being a champion salsa dancer is shattered by bullies. Twenty years later, Bruce Garrett returns to the dance floor as an overweight and under-confident adult, and tries to get his old footwork back in a bid to sweep his boss off her feet.

As Nick Frost is one of the most likeable actors of his generation, and both Rashida Jones and Kayvan Novak are always terrific, you may want this to take off like Jennifer Grey being held aloft by Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Alas, it fails to get airborne.

However, it’s great to see Frost bring his dream project to the big screen, even if it lacks the brilliance of previous successes Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The fact it made a modest profit is a bonus.

Starring: Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Rashida Jones, Olivia Colman, Ian McShane, Kayvan Novak.

FILM: Mystic River (TV3, 10.55pm)

(2003) Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood directs Sean Penn and Tim Robbins in Oscar-winning performances in this tale of a seemingly senseless murder ... and how the tragedy reawakens the buried trauma of a long-ago crime.

In Boston 25 years ago, 11-year-old Dave Boyle unwittingly gets into a car with two strangers.

When he returns four days later, Dave is different in a way that destroys his friendship with Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus.

Now Sean's (Kevin Bacon) a cop, Jimmy's (Sean Penn) a neighborhood store owner with a prison record and mob connections, and Dave's (Tim Robbins) trying hard to keep his demons safely submerged.

But when Jimmy's daughter is murdered, each of the men must confront a past that none wants to acknowledge. As the investigation tightens around these three, an ominous story unfolds--of friendship, family and innocence lost too soon.

Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon

FILM: Runaway Jury (Channel 4, 10.55pm)

(2003) In the wake of an office block massacre, vengeful widow Celeste Woods, whose husband Nick perished in the bloodbath, launches a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the gun company which made the killer’s weapon.

She hires the famously incorruptible Wendell Rohr, while the firearms company enlists oily lawyer Durwood Cable and Machiavellian jury consultant Rankin Fitch.

But neither side is ready for the mysterious intrigue launched by charismatic juror Nick Easter.

An excellent cast and slick pacing mean you don’t dwell too long on the John Grisham-inspired story’s more implausible aspects.

Starring: John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison, Bruce McGill, Jeremy Piven, Nick Searcy

FILM: Brooklyn’s Finest (BBC2, 11.55pm)

(2010) Richard Gere is a jaded New York patrolman a week away from retirement, Ethan Hawke’s hard-up narcotics officer is tempted into stealing drug money, and undercover detective Don Cheadle is getting way too close to his crimelord friend Wesley Snipes.

Their paths rarely cross but director Antoine ’The Equalizer’ Fuqua puts their fates on a bullet-strewn collision course in another epic tale of law and moral disorder.

The risible King Arthur proved that Fuqua sucks at historical sagas, but with Training Day, served up a gritty tale of corruption.

He’s back in the latter category here with a clever drama that brings terrific performances from a cast who give their all.

Starring: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, Ethan Hawke

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