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1/1 and 1/1
ITV’s Raging Bull, 11 p.m.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that to see the extraordinary biopic of Martin Scorsese about boxer Jake LaMotta, you have to be a boxing enthusiast. It should be seen by everyone who enjoys movies, if only to find out why it appears in “best picture” lists daily. LaMotta, who rose to fame as the middleweight world champion in the 1940s, is played by Academy Award winner Robert De Niro. He’s not saving his aggression for the ring, unfortunately, and LaMotta’s temper takes its toll on his career and his family. In the fight scenes, De Niro looks compelling and famously gained 60 pounds to play the older La Motta, but it’s not just the weight gain that makes his success unforgettable. There’s still good support from Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty, who never got better.
Channel 4, Get Out, 10:55 p.m.
Gifted African-American photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is worried about meeting his white girlfriend Rose’s parents on a road trip (Allison Williams). He is warmly greeted by Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford) and his wife, psychiatrist Missy Whitford, when he arrives at her parents’ pristine community (Catherine Keener). But something feels wrong in the neighborhood, and Chris is unnerved by the passive actions of Walter (Marcus Henderson) and maid Georgina, the black janitor of the Armitages (Betty Gabriel). “Get Out” is a razor-sharp satire that draws inspiration to take a scalpel to the simmering racial tensions in America today from the creeping terror of Stepford Wives. The cleverly focused terror of Jordan Peele prescribes disturbing aggression and laughter in equal measure.
Movie 4, Skate Kitchen, 11 p.m.
Rachelle Vinberg, the skateboarder and actress, plays Camille, a teen from Long Island whose protective mother wants her to give up skateboarding after sustaining a painful injury. Instead, on New York’s Lower East Side, she befriends a group of female skaters and begins hanging out with them to learn lessons about life and friendship. Inspired by a real-life group of skateboarders and featuring a largely non-professional cast (a notable exception is Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith), the sympathetic coming-of-age drama by director Crystal Moselle is a fascinating look at a subculture. The environment is more relevant than the plot, but the movie was so successful that it influenced the Betty television series, about the attempts of young women to gain a foothold in what is still a sport dominated by men.
Film4, Enough Said, 7:10 p.m.
In Nicole Holofcener’s marvelous romantic comedy, released shortly before his death in 2013, Sopranos star James Gandolfini makes his final film appearance. Eva, a massage therapist who embarks on a promising new romance with TV archivist Albert, stars as Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Gandolfini). Unfortunately, a new client, a celebrated poet named Marianne (Catherine Keener), who doesn’t have a positive word to say about her ex-husband, is also courting Eva. With a jolt, Eva discovers that Marianne’s ex-husband, Albert, is the same man she sees, and starts to secretly collect information about their failed relationship. Buoyed by the winning partnership between Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said is a testament to the transformative power of love and its leading man.
Troopers of Starships, ITV4, 9 p.m.
There are two opinions on Paul Verhoeven’s bloody and over-the-top sci-fi epic about heavily armored grunts fighting a species of alien bugs on a distant planet. One says it’s a bloody and over-the-top sci-fi epic about heavily armored grunts battling alien bugs on a distant planet. The other considers it a superior (and knowing) piece of political satire that warns against militarism, xenophobia and neo-fascism while taking a side swipe at the increasingly intrusive and controlling media.
When the film was released in 1997, many critics forgot that Verhoeven’s cult classic RoboCop, made a decade earlier, also combined satire and black comedy, and went for the first option. Perhaps they still had the sour taste of the Showgirls of 1995 in their mouths. But Starship Troopers has been reassessed and rehabilitated in the meager quarter century that has passed since then. From the point of view d