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Film4, as the title suggests, is Channel Fours film channel, playing films pretty much all day long. Most of the films are older and well known and often delivered in weekly and monthly themes, like crime, war or comedy etc. At the moment it's the Eddie Murphy season (what happened to his career!). They do have newer films on although they tend to be foreign. They like to stick to the classics at prime time and also a good section of younger adults stuff around teatime. Don't expect the newest titles though, this not Sky movies showing off territory. Like More4, they also do great documentaries in their mix and one such film is 'General Butt Naked', an extraordinary account of an African warlord and his somewhat disingenuous conversion to Christianity to try and escape a war crimes trial. As dooyoo wouldn't add this film to their database (don't bother trying if it's not on Amazon) and it was rather good I have added it to this review. Let's just say it's my example of the type of quality films you can get on Film4.
Run Time - 85 minutes
Imdb.com - 7.4/10.0 (47 votes)
Certificate - 15
Year - 2011
Looking at the title of this you would have thought it would be more at home in a Catholic priests home movie collection than on Film4. But it's not from the Vatican's Blockbuster Video but an extraordinary documentary about a one 'General Butt Naked', a rather notorious and sadistic warlord who terrified just about everyone during the 14-year long Liberian Civil War by fighting butt naked, hence the name, only a headband and a pair of Nikes between him and the bullets, machetes and RPG's. Because he never got hit or stabbed he was quickly revered on the battlefield and acquired Godlike status for his apparent immortality, many believing 'Ju Ju' (witchcraft) was protecting him, earning big support from the locals who quite frankly chose to rally behind his militia over the many others in the capital Monrovia where the war raged the longest in fear of being victims of him. But in 1996 he left the conflict and disappeared, the killing of men, women and child even too much for a sadist like the General.
It was a terrible war and the west stood back because there was no oil to steal, but the instability allowing the west to exploit the blood diamond trade that was coming over the border from Sierra Leone. Americans inaction was a particular poor show as they had been the ones that created Liberia in the first place, the word meaning freedom, the country created for a homeland for liberated slaves after the American Civil War. Haiti, the first country ever to have been run by slaves, is also being equally exploited right now by America, the next Liberia in most commentators' eyes.
The film picks up on the Generals return to Monrovia in 2006, but as a born again preacher, the right Reverend Joshua Milton Blahyi, his wild evangelicals style of sermon in the small steamy churches of Liberia as equally manic and fearsome as his battlefield antics to the locals, although this time around seeking an unlikely redemption from the same people rather than mayhem, cutting an equally imposing figure in his sharp white silk suit waving his bible not an AK47. The devil doesn't always wear red you know.
If you have ever been to Africa you know life is cheap and people fear their Gods the most of all but religion always their escape from the chaos in search of hope, religions responsible for most of Africa's problems behind colonialism and aid dependency. But the scary thing here is Joshua not only expects his people to forgive and forget he was a psychotic killer but seeks out those he maimed, or the nearest surviving relatives of the many he killed, for a face-to-face to apology and then lay hands on them on behalf of Jesus, almost getting a sadistic pleasure from seeing them squirm again. He openly admits early on in the film that he enjoyed the killing and pain he and his men inflicted (believed to be around 20,000 victims) and you can see that sadism may not have gone far away. It's an extraordinary thing to see when he does meet them and you can see them not only cowering in front of him but God too, wondering why people like the General are allowed to exists by their almighty God.
The most amazing accounts and recollection in the film are of the Generals antics to keep his child soldiers onside, many recruited as young as five-years-old. His most popular brainwashing tactic was to get the frightened children to watch Hollywood action and war movies with big stars in them who got killed. He would then show those same stars alive again in a latter movie to prove that heroes can't die on the battlefield and so come back to life, just like they will if they get shot or stabbed. If the kids didn't believe him he would simply cut off the finger of one of them and say if you don't fight then you will lose an arm and your friend will lose a leg etc. They don't get much nastier than this guy. Sadly there lots of civil wars raging right now in Africa and lots of people like him in Africa, the so called 'dark heart'.
As the documentary presses on it becomes clear that the country hasn't fully healed and they want to hold a truth and reconciliation forum, guys like the General first up for questioning, the General having every intention to confess. You then contemplate that perhaps the film has an ulterior motive, Joshua trying to paint himself as the reformed man by seeking his absurd redemption, yet all along the same evil man alone and scared as his past catches up with him, cutting a rather lonely and somewhat delusional figure when he finally arrives in court.
All the gruesome sadistic stuff aside I really enjoyed this and found the General a fascinating character study. It's a documentary that will just draw you in deeper and deeper as you try to get to grips with the validity of this guys contrition and mental state, clearly a charismatic at what ever he turns his hands to, be it caving in babies heads with a rifle butt or passing around the collection plate, and who knows, maybe a reality TV career on African TV! This guy loves the camera and a real attention seeker and speaks English throughout to increase his audience.
The films true power is the disturbing incite into just how easy it is for a civil war to break out in African countries as the young men are prepared to kill their neighbor after a simple tribal instruction, as we saw with terrifying candor in Rwanda. Sadly the west's lunge into the third world for oil and rare metals and minerals kicks off a lot of these places into war and so plenty of General Butt Naked's to do the killing. This guy will leave you open mouthed and so a must see documentary guys...
With the analogue system to be all but gone this time next year, Freeview (channel 14 for Film4) and the like mean we will stay in more and more as there are plenty of channels to flick through, and with ITV4 and Channel 5 showing a lot more films on their three channels its hard not to find a decent flick on digital most nights. Even ITV are doing top of the range themed nights to rival Film4, their crime season last month a belter! I can't see home movie rental survive this and Blockbusters sure to fold like their American counterparts soon. The big advantage Film4 has over their rivals is the Channel4 group has their own film company - Film Four Productions - and so recently released exciting films they made or part financed like Attack the Block, Four Lions and The Kings Speech will premier on British television much faster on Film or More4 than they would other channels.
Whilst More4 is trying to set itself up as HBO now that HBO has its whole subscription channel to itself called Sky Atlantic here on the Sky platform, concentrating on running quality and intelligent TV to hoover up the lucrative and coveted top end advertising revenue all stations chase. Subscriptions channel also allow for riskier content and Film Four (what it was called when launched) used to show a lot of that type of uncensored stuff when it was also a subscription channel. But now it's a free platform they have tried to keep the audience by simply dumbing down the quality with more mainstream films. The move to free also introduced watersheds and adverts during the films to pay for it. Film4 is also broadcast on the Sky and Virgin platforms. It's interesting to note that in 2005 it managed just 400,000 potential viewers but by its 2006 free re-launch on a free platform it saw it available to 8 million households. People just won't pay for stuff they can rent occasionally at their leisure for a quarter of the price, why Sky Atlantic won't last.
The arty film types support Film4 with gushing glee and actors all too keen to do promotions for the station as they think it's dedicated to showing classier films compared to Sky's more eclectic mix. Its selling point has always been that middle-class demographic that don't want to be patronized by idiot TV. But there are 72 basic channels available on freeview in my region and it encourages you to flick and so that means when the ads are on you swap channels, exactly what Film4 don't want, and the adds all seem to be on at the same time across the platform and so you flick a lot, and if you are male nearly always ending up on Dave watching Top Gear. Welcome to American style TV folks!
Film4 is a freeview channel owned and operated by channel 4 that, surprisingly enough, shows films. Hence the name I guess.
Now, considering you have to pay for most movie channels, it's nice to know that channel is showing movies for free. While admittedly the daytime programming is a little dated for my personal taste, and tends to be a little repetitive .I've lost count of the times I've checked whats on in the daytime to see 'Fanny by Gaslight' in the listings, and whilst the film might be a classic of it's age, it does get a little boring to see it there almost every afternoon.
However, in the evenings they do do pretty well in my opinion . A lot of the time they show slightly old box office hits, such as X men , Clueless, Legally Blonde and suchlike, that provide entertaining , but not necessarily challenging movies, but ocassionally they hit on a theme and run with it, which can result in some excellent viewing.
I loved when they recently had an Asian special, showing the great Japanese 'Ring' series in both the original Japanese films and the American remakes, followed by screenings of Death Note and Death Note - The Last Name , and then topped off a couple of days later by the horrifying and yet strangely fascinating film 'Dumplings'.
This is where Film4 does well - when it starts to go a little bit off the beaten track and shows films that people perhaps aren't hugely aware of in the UK . As a longtime fan of Death Note, I was delighted when they showed it, and insisted that several friends watch it . Obviously with foreign language films come subtitles, which not everyone likes, and a lot of the films that particularly interest me seem to be on quite late , though as this is probably due to a certain amount of adult horror content, I can't really complain .
I really enjoy the chance to see foreign films I might otherwise never have heard of in the evenings too , and film 4 do show a fair few bollywood films, as well as some in french and spanish .
There are advert breaks every so often . I know some people hate adverts during movies, but I personally welcome the chance for a pee,and a snack (not at the same time!) and do not view this as a negative .
I really like Film4. They could perhaps do with modernising the daytime programming, but for a freeview channel, they're awesome, so 4 stars .
Film4 is simply a brillant TV channel, and one that I think far outdoes Sky's film channels. It became free a few years ago, and although this means you'll have to sit through adverts during your films, this isn't a problem with Sky+, for you can just start watching the film 15 minutes later and by the time the film ends, you'll be caught up with the live stream!
Film4 prides itself not on filling its schedule with the latest from Hollywood, but rather providing a more eclectic and intellectually stimulating selection of films. As a film buff that sees virtually every Hollywood release, Film4 is a Godsend in ensuring that I don't miss any arthouse releases that generally only show in a few cinemas scattered around the UK. They have a great deal of not only artistic homegrown cinema, but also foreign films, which of course means subtitles, which is going to put off some sillier folk who, dare I say, don't want to READ.
Admittedly their day-time programming isn't so hot: they generally air obscure films from the 1950s that not even cineastes such as I myself have heard of, and it's painfully evident that this is just filler as they cannot afford to fill their schedule wall-to-wall with quality films. However, at night, it is the best channel by far, and the best films are usually on between 8 and 10pm. As the night draws later, they often air more fringe programming, such as an "Extreme" film like Audition or Switchblade Romance, so they're not some stuffy, pompous film channel either.
The adverts might irritate some, but I'd rather have a few breaks if it means you get something more than the homogenised content from Hollywood. For the thinking man and for the film buff, there is no better channel.
Film 4 is a free British TV channel, showing films (no real surprise there!) and is found on channel 300 when using freesat, but is also available on freeview and sky. The channel is owned and operated by Channel 4, and so is its partern channel Film 4+1, which shows programs on Film 4 one hour later.
What sort of films are shown?
The range of films shown is increasingly varied and depends on the time of year and time of day. The films could be 20 years old, but increasingly films are shown from 2004, 2005. The films shown later appeal to older audiences, however those shown during the day (normally the channel commences broadcasting at 12 noon) are not for children only, often having 12A showings that appeal to an adult audience as well.
-Great films for afternoon fun when you have run out yourself
-Free channel of film (no need for extra sky film)
-There are advert breaks during the showing which can mean that a great plot is spoilt, however these are normally timed well, so that you don't get a break in the middle of the major scene.
-The variety of the channel may mean it can't be relied upon to have something to your taste all of the time, meaning that it might be a slight disapointment, however most of the films shown are good
Film 4 is a channel which currently shows on Freeview and cable television. As the name states, this is a channel that provides films for viewers to watch.
I often enjoy the late night movies that this channel offers, and often have some great films, but during the days, I am not really impressed with the choice of films.
I often find that during the days, they play old fashioned films that my grandparents probably would have watched, but from late afternoon onwards, the film selection usually improves a bit and there is a greater variety. With the competition of other channels and their films, I would expect this channel to possibly play more recent films, but nevertheless, it is always great to sit back and watch something when you are feeling relaxed to keep you entertained.
I must say though that I think that this channel plays a lot of commercials, and it often gets really annoying when you are really contrating on a film and they cut a very intense part to play adverts. I usually watch the 9pm movie that shows in the evenings, as I often find that this is the "better film" of the day.
What I like about Film 4-
~ They show some of the more obscure great films you would have never experienced otherwise
~ Because of this they have built up a brand name for thought provoking, cutting edge films, so movies shown on the channel are almost given the Film 4 seal of quality
~ I have loved nearly all the films they have create- the likes of "How To Lose Friends And Alienate People", "Slumdog Millionaire", "This Is England", "Venus", "Last King of Scotland", etc etc
~ Becoming freely available was definetly a good idea, I can now enjoy the channel on Sky, Virgin and Freeview
~ Although controversial, I *like* the ad breaks even just to get some food or go to the loo- I hate having to sit through the entire thing not moving in case I miss some crucial plot, and then having to pay for the privilege of being uncomfortable when the money that adverts generate is taken away
What I don't like about Film 4-
~ Expecting all films on the channel to be handpicked and good I have sat through some pretty awful productions just waiting for the good reason Film 4 chose to show it. It never came.
~ A lot of films are repeated too often for my liking. Twice a week is fine (as long as it is not for 4 weeks in a row), but more than that and the channel becomes boring and repetitive. And this is often the case.
~ Although I'm not sure how I have read of other people having to pay for parts of the service- maybe to get more specific channels?
I would never pay for Film 4 simply as it's not good enough. I have no idea who would have paid the £4 a month as it used to be but hope the channel was also better then for the money they were receiving
~ I also wish Film 4 was on throughout the day and am sure if more advertisements happened between 3am-1pm when the channel is essentially off, that Film 4 could afford to be on more
...The only terrestrial film channel
Film4 is a UK movie channel located on Freeview channel 32, Freesat channel 300, and Sky Digital channel 315.
It was first broadcast in 1998, when it was a subscription service costing between £5 and £7 a month to view.
In 2007, the channel became free to air, and the change is said to have increased the viewing figures from only 300,000 subscribers to a potential 18 Million households. The channel was able to drop its subs as it began using advertisements to help pay for its running costs.
Famous for broadcasting a variety of films including 'arthouse' and independent titles, Film4 has got the reputation of being the thinking man's movie channel. That's not to say it doesn't broadcast blockbusters, as over the years it's had its fair share. I remember watching 'School of Rock', 'Dodgeball', and 'I Robot' on the channel.
The station is on air from 1pm to 3.30am, and also has a '+1' time-slip service which allows viewers to watch the channel from an hour in the past. This sister station can be found on Freesat channel 301 and Sky Digital channel 316, although Freeview has dropped Film4 +1 due to a lack of bandwidth.
With a variety of 'seasons', Film4 often groups films together by genre. For example, they recently had a 'Sci-Fi' season which included; 'The Day After Tomorrow', 'Cypher' Equilibrium' 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', 'Independence Day', 'Vanilla Sky', 'Solaris', and 'The Core'.
Overall, Film4 is an excellent channel, which shows some inspiring films. I like the way its focus isn't purely on what's big in Hollywood, and I have enjoyed seeing a variety of world cinema including the Studio Ghibli animations.
A recommended watch.
When it was first launched you had to subscribe to Film 4 if you wanted to watch it however these days it is included in my basic cable TV package which I have with Virgin. I never saw the need to pay a subscription for it so never watched it in those days and going on the overall quality of the movies it has I'm glad I did not.
This is a non stop movie channel which comes from the owners of Channel 4, on my package it is channel 444 and 445 with the latter repeating the formers shows one hour later.
To be honest Sky get all the top movies on their channels so the offerring from Film 4 is not great however they do turn up the occasional gem. The main problem with the channel is that rarely do they have anything on outside of the nine o,clock slot that I would want to watch. The films they have on during the day are either very old or made for TV rubbish.
In teh evening they do have some good films in the nine o'clock slot such as last night Crash was showing and a couple of months ago they had a good series of British gangster movies on which was good to see although naturally all of the films had been on other channels before.
This channel has limited appeal, at least it is not totally swamped by adverts although the movies do have breaks to show ads during them so you do not get the whole experience uninterrupted.
Film 4 is owned and operated by the Channel 4 company, it used to be a pay per view and subscription channel but now you can get is as part of the basic Virgin TV cable package. On Virgin it is channel 444 with a one hour delay feed as well on 445 so eah movie has two start and finish times for you to select. I like this as the main movie often starts at 9.00 at night however sometimes I'm not home by then so a ten o'clock start is ideal.
They do have some pretty good films on this channel although they are not always the latest TV releases however I like the fact that they do show some good British films like Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as well as films from the USA.
Outside of the peak hours they tend to show quite a lot of older films that are not that good and naturally being a cable channel you will have adverts during the film but if you are not paying a premium price then that is acceptable as far as I'm concerned.
I remember not so long ago when Film4 was a pay per view channel. I think the subscription was about £6 per month. Although I was never a subscriber I used to regularly check what films were showing on the channel at the time. There would always be something of interest. There would always seem to be at least one film that I would have gladly sat down and watched. I would search in vain in the TV guide for other films on other channels but find nothing but Bruce Willis movies. This common dilemma had caused me more than once to be tempted to subscribe to Film Four. However, at £6 a month, I always felt this was a bit steep for just one channel that only started in the early evening.
So when I heard that Film4 would be free I was overjoyed with emotion. I thought I'd be able to watch all those French films with Juliette Binoche and movies by foreign directors such as Fellini and Truffaut. Unfortunately such films are few and far between and I have to say that I have been quite disappointed since Film4 became non-subscription. There are some quality films shown now and again; Secretary, The Piano Teacher, Clockwork Orange; to name a few, but in my opinion the overall quality on offer has deteriorated and there are also many repeat showings. 'The Hustler' is a great movie but after seeing it twelve times the novelty does begin to wear off. The range and quality certainly seems to have deteriorated from what I remember seeing in the TV Guide when Film4 was subscription only. Why I even remember better and more variety on channel 4 in the old days.
I suppose we should be grateful for at least one film channel that is feely available.
FILM4 is a movie channel currently broadcast in the UK on Freeview (on channel 32), Sky Digital (on channel 315, with a 1-hour timeshifted version on channel 316), and Virgin Media (on channel 444, with the timeshifted version on channel 445). The channel broadcasts from 1pm until 4am each day.
Once upon a time Film4 (or Film Four as it was then known) was my favourite television channel ever. At a subscription cost of £6 each month it showed the widest variety of movies on any television channel in the UK, all uninterrupted by advertising. I was able to see blockbusters, arthouse, foreign language, and many other types of film and I felt it was well worth every penny.
Unfortunately those days are gone, and Film4 is now definitely NOT my favourite channel. Although I now save the £6 each month as it is now a 'free' channel with no subscription, I pay for the privilege by having the films interrupted by advertising. This is something that I hate and I rarely watch films on ITV, Channel 4, five, Sky One and so on for this very reason. The range of films that the channel shows is still very wide - in that respect there has been no dwindling in the quality. It is just that now commercials interrupt each film on a regular basis and as a film fan this is really something that I cannot condone.
Anyway, enough of my rant - here are some of the films coming up on Film4 in the near future:
HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
A martial arts melodrama directed by Zhang Yimou.
BRIDE AND PREJUDICE
A Bollywood-style adaptations of Jane Austen's classic 'Pride & Prejudice', directed by Gurinder Chadha.
28 DAYS LATER
Danny Boyle's zombie horror movie, which recently received a sequel, 28 WEEKS LATER.
Film4 is still a great movie channel showing a very wide range of films. It is just a shame that these films are interrupted by advertising.
Film 4 is a free film channel owned by Channel 4 and run on all the TV platforms.
Film4 is on:
Channel 29 on Freeview
Channel 315 on Sky
Channel 444 on NTL
Channel 444 on Telewest
if you miss the start of the film, not to worry because there is one hour plus channel where films start one hour after they start on Film4.
You can find film4+ channel on:
Channel 32 on Freeview
Channel 316 on Sky
Channel 445 on NTL
Channel 445 on Telewest
ALL FILM 4 CHANNELS ARE FREE TO VIEW.
The channel run from about for about 7pm to about 3am.
The choice of films is not great, and most films are repeated.
I done the review because the channels are free and there are some good films available to watch, albeit repeated.
Film Four is a dedicated movie channel run by chanel four and is available through digital and cable television services. Personnally I can’t imagine why people consider this channel to be worth the six pound a month that it costs to subscribe. The idea behind Film Four initially a good one, giving people access to cult and classic movies as well as newer independant productions. And it would be if only the films that are shown were not available to view anywhere else. To act as an example of this, on more than one occasion the films showing on Film Four have also been screened on Channel Four within the same week. To me if I was going to pay out six pounds a month to watch films, I would much rather that Film Four would provide a similar service to that given by Sky box office or U Direct. These services allow the viewer to choose the film and the veiwing time. Paying not for a monthly subscription to the channel, but for each individual film that is watched. There is definately a niche in the market waiting to be filled by someone like Film Four as the bulk of the films available on SKY Box Office and U-Direct are newer films, which does not always mean better. The only thing I would say is that if Film Four did launch such a service,(If I was in charge I know I would) is that they would have to price their films more fairly, as the three pound price tag put on the films by the current pay-per-view providers is a little to expensive when compared to the price of video rentals.
This is an absolutely brilliant channel, not many of my friends subscribe to it and we don’t unless there’s a really good month of film, especially in the cold winters night. But if you think about it works out cheaper than renting a film out say twice a week because for £5.99 per month you can get up to 6 or 7 brilliant films a week. What more could you ask for? At the moment we have subscribed to it, with friends and family coming over to stay you need some good TV to watch at night time. Tonight, they are going to show the excellent ‘The Usual Suspects’ (watch out for the review) ‘Scream’ and ‘Four Wedding and a funeral’ just to name a few. If you have Sky digital you can watch the preview for Film Four on channel 324, you may be tempted to subscribe. What we do is the month the football isn’t that good, we stop our subscription of the Sports package and subscribe to Film Four it works out a lot cheaper. This is a very good channel, I have watched some of my best films here like; ‘Basketball dairies’ ‘Sleepers’ and many more ace films. If you like films then this is the channel for you. However, they do tend to show repeats more often than not but if it’s a brilliant film who minds? I don’t. Good viewing.
FilmFour, is THE best channel on cable/sat. How many times have you watched a Bruce Willis film and thought "Oh how did he survive that", well the answer, apartfrom he was wearing his vest, is that it is Hollywood. Now, FilmFour on the other hand, is the prime of European films in which Bruce Willis would have died when a piano fell on him. Yes - European films - where the good guy always dies! But seriously, FilmFour is one of the leading independant companies that still make half decent films. Take anything like Trainspotting, Wish You Were Here, Little Voice or Shallow Grave and they are made by FilmFour, and of course if FilmFour made them, then they have rights to show it on their channel first. Okay so it has all the usually cable/sat annoyancies like the same film is on about five times in two weeks, but the collection of European films is beautiful - La Haine, Un Homme Et Une Femme, Aurevoir Les Enfants - truly magical pieces of film making. And I have even mentioned the shorts. To sum up, it recently showed a David Lynch season - all in 35mm - all in 2:1 ratio - and it also showed Lynch's first ever movie - a short which was a Brittish television premiere. If you like GOOD films that do not necisarily have a car chase and explosion - get this channel and you will want to join the arts.