WEEK IN MOVIES
8.45PM, GEM ★ ★
Sumptuous, sensuous fairytale set in a sleepy French village in the late 1950s. Juliette Binoche opens a chocolate shop, the produce of which packs an unmistakably aphrodisiac wallop. A goodnatured confection ( with a few swirls of drama blended in for good measure). Co- stars Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Lena Olin.
MONDAY NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
9.30PM, ONE ★★ ★ ★
The Coen brothers ( Fargo) returned to brilliant form with this haunting, hard- bitten and incongruously aff ecting chase fl ick based on the Cormac McCarthy novel. Josh Brolin stars as a Texas hunter who happens across $ 2 million in a briefcase, and a frightening Javier Bardem plays a merciless killer out to retrieve the cash. Though several scenes are extremely violent and unapologetically amoral, there is a chilling composure that will not be denied. Highly recommended.
9.30PM, GO ★ ★
Stick with me here only if you’re into cyborgs and sequels. Basically, a fresh crime wave in Detroit means the creators of the original crime- fi ghter RoboCop go back to build a new- and- improved version ( imaginatively dubbed RoboCop 2) to sort it out. Unfortunately it malfunctions and goes rogue, forcing original RoboCop ( Peter Weller) to take on not only the crime wave, but also his demented “brother”.
THE MATRIX: RELOADED
8.30PM, GO ★★ ★ ★
It seems like eons ago that
The Matrix burst from nowhere to become one of the most stylistically and thematically infl uential works in movie history. It wasn’t just fi lm fans who fell under the spell of this trippy, aggressively adventurous dose of hi- fi sci- fi . Everyone from fashion designers to government surveillance agencies – and of course other fi lmmakers – were aping its every move. Heck, people were even saying Keanu Reeves could act. The Matrix:
Reloaded was time to put up or shut up time for the brains behind the franchise, the writing/ directing Wachowski brothers. They respond to the challenge in typically cavalier fashion. These guys are in a league of their own, and so too is Reloaded. Defi nitely warrants repeat viewing.
9PM, ONE ★★ ★ ★
The Mexican could have just put Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts together and let the superstar sparks fl y. But director Gore Verbinski doesn’t take the easy way home. He keeps the pair apart for much of this surprisingly edgy left- ofcentre road movie and much more of a punch is packed as a result. Though Pitt and Roberts – superbly cast as off - again, on- again lovers Jerry Welbach and Samantha Barzel – have their moments together at either end of a rather ropey caper tale, it is not their stellar pairing that will stay in your mind. What burns its own unique niche in the memory is Roberts’ unlikely chemistry with James Gandolfi ni ( of TV’s The Sopranos), who virtually steals The Mexican from under the noses of the movie’s big names while playing a sensitive hit man named Leroy.
NOON, SCT ★★ ★
An unashamedly dour, yet wholly satisfying thriller. George Clooney plays Jack, a black- ops assassin who wants out of the pay- to- slay business. To ensure his exit, all he has to do is cool his heels in a sleepy Italian village, and manufacture a weapon for a fellow agent. Much of The
American plays out in a state of wearying, worrying silence. Jack is a man alone with his thoughts. And his thoughts are nobody’s idea of great company. Look hard at Clooney’s uncharacteristically remote ( and highly eff ective) performance, and you are sure to be intrigued, alarmed and surprised by what is on Jack’s mind.
8.30PM, 7MATE ★ ★
Look out, everyone! Adam Sandler has a magic remotecontrol to manipulate life as if it were pre- recorded TV! A catchy little idea for a comedy catches a bad attack of the sads at the halfway mark, where the fi lmmakers mistakenly think it’s time for some drama and a few lessons about the human condition. We like our Sandler fi lms simple and stupid, thanks very much. Co- stars Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken.