Following our look at the Christmas highlights, we now bring you the New Year TV Programme and Movie Highlights 2014.
Saturday December 27th
X-Men: The Last Stand (C4, 11.35pm)
Mutants are on the verge of X-tinction, it seems, when US business Worthington Industries discovers a cure for mutation. This scientific breakthrough complicates and intensifies the battle – both physical and ideological – between Professor X’s integration-friendly X-Men and the human-hating muties let by Magneto…
This is the third X-Men film and it feels like it’s the one which gets left out in the cold a little, perhaps because one of the bad guys is Vinnie Jones, but it is a great entry in the franchise.
You Saw Them Here First (ITV, 6.05pm)
Robert Webb narrates the show that raids the archives to reveal the television debuts of some of Britain’s best-loved actors and actresses, presenters and pop stars. The programme exposes the bare facts about Alexander Armstrong’s TV beginnings, Casualty’s Derek Thomson is confronted with his folk singing past, Will Mellor longs for the days when he was paid in chocolate bars, and how a shy and retiring Australian housewife became international megastar Dame Edna Everage.
Other TV firsts include Bradley Cooper, Michael McIntyre, Martin Freeman, Nigella Lawson, Freddie Flintoff, Katy Perry and many more.
The Raven (C4, 1.35am)
Very late for a premiere, but this is the 2012 movie starring John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson and Kevin McNally, and when a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s works, a young Baltimore detective joins forces with Poe to stop him from making his stories a reality.
Dross includes censored versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (ITV, 7pm), Mission Impossible II (C4, 7.10pm), plus Not Going Out: The Outtakes (BBC1, 11.05pm) and Harry and Paul’s Story of the Twos (BBC2, 11.15pm).
Sunday December 28th
House of Fools (BBC2, 10.05pm)
Almost cancelled by the BBC due to poor ratings, but brought back to the screen by popular opinion, and the fact that the BBC shouldn’t ratings-chase as they’re a publicly-funded broadcaster.
Anarchic, surreal sitcom starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, featuring the uninvited lodgers, visitors and guests who constantly wreak havoc in their home. It’s Christmas Eve and Vic and Beef can’t wait to start the celebrations, but this isn’t the case for poor Bob whose festivities are cut short when the Christmas present he organised for his sulky son Erik catches fire. They join Julie and Bosh on an underground journey by boat to Phil Collins’s house. En route, a final surprise in the form of Santa Claus awaits.
All New It’ll be Alright on the Night (ITV, 9pm)
There might be something worth watching in this new one…
Griff Rhys Jones reveals a brand-new collection of never-seen-before flubs that the celebrities would rather we did not see. This all-new edition features Shane Ritchie in a less-than-perfect moment from EastEnders, the Come Dine with Me couple who almost split, and Jack Whitehall putting his foot right in it. Other bloopers include outtakes from hit shows All Star Mr and Mrs, Birds of a Feather and hit Australian drama Wentworth.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (BBC1, 3.45pm)
As long as it’s not censored, but it’s mid-afternoon, so you never know…
End of Days (E4, 10pm)
The underestimated and underappreciated Arnold Schwarzenegger film where he fights Satan (Gabriel Byrne) and beats up Miriam Margolyes.
Dross includes the 2012 film flop John Carter (BBC2, 6pm) and Last Tango in Halifax (BBC1, 9pm).
Monday December 29th
Christmas Epic Fails (ITV, 9pm)
Angus Deayton takes a wry look at the funny side of Christmas, including everything from cringe-worthy gifts and festive fads to cheesy songs and unsettling Santas. Festive foul-ups include Christmas light failures, an unfortunate reindeer stuck on a rooftop, and probably the most disappointing grotto ever.
The show also includes some never-seen-before TV presenter festive faux pas and assorted bloopers. Plus there is a blast from the Christmas past including Cabbage Patch-mania, The Krankies Christmas TV Special and a 1950s festive cartoon oddity with an unfortunate name. Angus even uncovers some gems from around the world including a Mexican nativity scene recreated by radishes.
The Muppets (BBC1, 6.20pm)
I haven’t seen this reboot before, but it might actually be worth a look.
Starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams, a Muppet fanatic with some help from his two human compatriots must regroup the Muppet gang to stop a avaricious oil mogul from taking down one of their precious life-longing treasures
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (BBC1, 4.05pm)
Again, as long as it’s not been censored, but this is the strongest in content of all four films, so I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t (as per the censored PG-certificate. There’s no chance of it being the uncut 12-certificate with all previous cuts waived, including the boy’s heart being ripped out by Mola Ram).
Dross includes 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Christmas Special (C4, 9pm) and a reboot of Mapp and Lucia (BBC1, 9.05pm).
Tuesday December 30th
Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe (BBC2, 10pm)
Charlie Brooker is back for his annual review of the year, in which he reviews the year known formally as 2014. Mixing the biggest news of the year with the funny and bizarre, along with brilliant guests, it provides a welcome break from the family who still haven’t left. The end of the year is often marked by a morbid sense of self-reflection, so why not join Charlie and laugh at others instead?
Phil Spencer: Secret Agent (C4, 8pm)
Yes, it’s not a Christmas show, but for humour and double-entendres, Phil Spencer is hard to beat, f’nar f’nar.
Phil Spencer returns for a new series, going undercover as a Secret Agent and coming to the rescue of frustrated house sellers across the country. This time he’s in the cathedral cities of Gloucester and Hereford. Nick and Carolyn have recently separated and are desperate to get their house sold after seven months on the market. Lorna and Stuart have had three kids since they bought their house and have outgrown it. Can Phil persuade them to do what it takes to get buyers interested? And get it all done in time for their open day?
The Look of Love (C4, 10.20pm)
Only released last year, Steve Coogan stars as Paul Raymound, the controversial entrepreneur who became Britain’s richest man.
After the untimely death of his daughter, Paul Raymond reflects on his life. Rising from a mind-reading act, Raymond grew to have a fabulously successful career as an erotica magnate that would make him the richest man in Britain. However, for all his material success, Paul’s appetites mess up his personal life, such as alienating his wife with his philandering. Furthermore, even as he challenged his society’s sexual mores, Paul’s relationship with his daughter proves troublingly problematic as she came of age. While trying to be the best father he could, Paul gradually comes to realize that his proclivities have impoverished him in ways that mere money cannot address.
Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the film also stars Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Stephen Fry, Shirley Henderson and Matt Lucas.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (BBC1, 3.35pm)
There’s probably the least chance of this one being censored.
Other films including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2(ITV, 8pm), Wanted (E4, 10pm), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (BBC1, 10.25pm), American Gangster (ITV, 11.15pm) and Damien: Omen II (C4, 12.20am).
Go to page 2 for New Year’s Eve TV up until Friday.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.