10 things to watch in HD (that aren’t football or tennis)

Bored of sport? Course you’re not, but if you want to put that new TV to use during a lull in the action, this is what you should watch

Contraband

Blu-ray (out July 2)

Mark Wahlberg stars as reformed smuggler Chris Farraday, lured into carrying out one last job in order to get his brother-in-law out of a debt to a ruthless criminal. So far, so predictable – but this heist film serves up some tense moments as Marky Mark races against the clock to assemble a crew, grab the goods and get them back to the US under the nose of a suspicious ship’s captain (played by J Jonah Jameson himself, J K Simmons).

The Good Guys

Sky1 HD, June 30 at 11:45pm

Colin (son of Tom) Hanks and The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford star in this affectionate send-up of buddy-cop movies. Hanks plays Jack Bailey, a priggish, by-the-book detective who’s assigned to property crimes alongside Whitford’s washed-up alcoholic throwback – a vision of the 70s, sporting aviators and a moustache. Gleefully poking fun at every cop film and TV show going, this is well worth investigating.

Chronicle

Blu-ray (out now)

What would happen if teenagers really gained super-powers? They wouldn’t dress up in spandex and fight crime, according to this dark drama. Parnormal Activity meets Heroes in this high school sci-fi movie that chronicles (see what they did there?) the telekinetic antics of three students through a patchwork of camcorder footage.

Boardwalk Empire Season Two

Blu-ray (out now)

With the third season of HBO’s prohibition-era period drama due later in the year, it’s time to mix yourself a sidecar and refresh your acquaintance with the second season, out now on Blu-ray. A further 12 instalments of lavish parties and greedy dealings should stand you in good stead for the autumn reprisal of Enoch Thompson and friends.

Falling Skies

FX HD, July 3 at 9pm

The second season of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi drama lands on Earth. ER’s Noah Wyle stars as college-professor-turned-resistance-leader Tom Mason, leading the fight against an alien invasion. As we rejoin the action, Tom’s been missing for three months, having willingly accompanied the aliens in one of their ships as part of a bargain for his son’s life – but his absence is taking its toll.

More after the break...

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Blu-ray (out now)

John Le Carre’s genre-defining cold war spy novel was a brilliant, if at times baffling, web of alter egos and secret service back-stabbing. The film – unlikely as it sounds – is even better, with an Oscar-tipped performance from Gary Oldman and subtle lighting that seeps the grey mood of the early 1970s into every frame.

Blackout

BBC One HD, July 2 at 9pm

Christopher Eccleston stars as Daniel Demoys, a corrupt council official in the throes of a mid-life crisis, in this psychological thriller. Demoys hits the bottle, then hits an associate hard enough to put him in a coma, then finds himself lauded as a hero when he prevents a shooting. Naturally, his next step is to run for mayor. Yeah, it gets tense.

The Woman in Black

Blu-ray (out now)

Susan Hill’s spooky novel gets the big screen treatment with a grown-up Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) leading the cast. It’s big on chill-inducing moments and while it could do with a bit more jumpiness, it’s well worth a watch for some summer scares.

Daredevils: Life on the Edge

Channel 4 HD, July 2 at 10pm

Trials cyclist Danny MacAskill’s bike tricks are the stuff of YouTube legend – but mishaps happen, and while he’s recovering from surgery on his knee and his spine, he’s made this documentary about extreme sports fans and what drives them to take the risks they do.

Safe House

Blu-ray (out now)

If you want highbrow, look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you want to soothe your brain with the comfortably familiar action beats of a Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds buddy crime movie, then you’ll relish this slice of adventure. Inevitably, the titular safe house is anything but.

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