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The festive film season on 4 this year features the premieres of the Oscar-winning Woody Allen comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona with Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Scarlet Johansson; and Bruno, the outrageous comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen as the Austrian fashionista who is let loose in the States.

Christmas treats include Elf, the beloved yuletide favourite with Will Ferrell; Fred Claus, which stars Vince Vaughn as Santa’s bitter older brother; and The Muppets Christmas Carol, in which Kermit and the gang return in their version of the Charles Dickens’ classic, with Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Other family treats include The Princess Diaries, starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews; animated feline fun in Garfield; and premiere of Penelope, starring Christina Ricci as a young girl looking for love, despite suffering family ‘curse’.

9:00pm Friday, May 13 on F4

Morgan Freeman reprises his role as forensic psychologist Alex Cross (first seen in Kiss the Girls). This time he teams up with Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), who was responsible for the mistake that let a brilliant but deadly psychopath (Michael Wincott) kidnap a senator’s daughter. As the clock ticks away, the pair realise that this kidnapping is just the beginning of the terror in Lee Tamahori’s nail-biting adaptation of James Patterson’s outstanding thriller.

10:45pm Thursday, May 12 on F4

Ted Post’s sequel to the first in the successful series continues the story of Earth in a future where apes have traded places with humans. Charlton Heston and James Franciscus star as Taylor and Brent, the time-travelling astronauts caught up in the action, which sees militant apes pitted against renegade humans in the underground ruins of New York City. With Linda Harrison, Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall. Two further editions from the series are shown tonight after this film.

11:05pm Wednesday, May 11 on F4

Charlton Heston plays astronaut George Taylor, who is caught in a time warp and lands on a planet where apes rule, gorillas act as the army and humans are considered a sub-species. Taylor’s power of speech makes him the subject of curiosity and experimentation that could prove fatal, but he escapes with Nova (Linda Harrison) into the Forbidden Zone where, in one of cinema’s most iconic moments, he confronts the true nature of the Planet of the Apes. With Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans. Directed by Franklin Schaffner. And if men and women in monkey suits is your kind of thing, make sure to tune in tomorrow for a further triple-helping from the Planet of the Apes series.

9:00pm Tuesday, May 10 on F4

This comedy from The Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo stars Rainn Wilson as a man whose life has well and truly fallen apart. Twenty years previously, Robert “Fish” Fishman (Wilson) was heavy rock band Vesuvius’s drummer. But, when Vesuvius were offered a support slot for Whitesnake on the condition that they ditch their drummer, Fish soon found himself packing his sticks. Now, two decades on, he’s been sacked from his dead-end job, ditched by his girlfriend and forced to move into his sister’s attic. However, he unexpectedly – and unwittingly – gets another bite at stardom while preparing for a one-off gig with his 18-year-old nephew Josh’s (Matt Gadman) band. The only place Fish can find to rehearse in is very stuffy and humid, so – because he’s on his own – he chooses to play naked. But he doesn’t realise he’s being recorded. And when the film clip is posted on the web it goes viral…

11:15pm Monday, May 9 on F4

Bong Joon-ho’s monster-horror movie begins on the banks of the River Han in Seoul. Park Gang Du (Kang-Ho Song) works on his father’s food stand and witnesses a huge mutant suddenly rear up into the riverside park and make off with lunch in the shape of several citizens, including his daughter Hyun-seo (Ah-song Ko). But the monster keeps her alive. Using her mobile, she calls her father from its lair in the city’s sewers. As the Korean and US governments, try to deny the incident, it’s up to Park and his family to gather what weapons they can and kill the monster. Stunning special effects and a certain tongue-in-cheek tone make this one of the best horrors to come out of Korea in recent times. In Korean with English subtitles.

11:00pm Sunday, May 8 on F4

Neil Marshall followed up the success of Dog Soldiers with this compelling and equally scary horror story. Six women arrange a caving expedition to help one of them, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) overcome a personal tragedy. But once they are down in the dark, they realise not only are they not alone, but their ‘companions’ aren’t necessarily human… Unsettling, claustrophobic and nerve-jangling, this is not a film to be watched alone or in a small, dark room.

11:20pm Saturday, May 7 on F4

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy thriller works at two levels that meld into one. In this world, it is set in 1944. The Allies have invaded Nazi-held Europe and in Spain the surviving Republicans are fighting on, hoping for aid in their struggle. A troop of Franco’s soldiers are sent to a remote forest to flush out the rebels. They are led by Captain Vidal (Sergi L�pez), a murdering sadist. With him are his new wife Carmen (Ariadna Gil) and her daughter from a previous marriage, 11-year-old Ofelia (Ivana Baquero). Once in the forest, felia is drawn into Pan’s Labyrinth, a magical world of mythical beings where a faun (Doug Jones) sets her three tasks to be crowned as princess of this strange kingdom. In Spanish with subtitles.

9:00pm Friday, May 6 on F4

John McTiernan’s cult sci-fi actioner stars Arnold Schwarzennegger as Major Dutch Schaefer, leader of an elite commando unit sent into the jungles of South America to rescue government officials who have been kidnapped by terrorists. But as the group make their way into the jungle they realise they have been misled on the mission as they discover the mutilated bodies of the terrorists. When they endeavour to return home, somebody, or something, pursues them. As his group starts being wiped out one by one, Dutch realises he is up against a warrior that is not of this world. Followed by Predator 2.

9:00pm Thursday, May 5 on F4

Anne Hathaway plays Andy Sachs, a would-be journalist from Ohio who lands a job as assistant to the assistant of Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), editor of the successful fashion magazine Runway and an egomaniac in immaculate clothing. Andy soon learns that her personal life and her partner Nate (Adrian Grenier) run a distant second to Miranda’s whims, but a mutual respect slowly grows between the two women in David Frankel’s whip-smart comedy.

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