WEEK IN MOVIES
NO STRINGS ATTACHED
11PM, TDT ★★
There is more to like than to loathe in No Strings Attached. The hearts- and-flowers crowd should like this rom- com, however those who consciously keep their cinematic palate sugar- free had best keep their distance. If only because it is too soon after the mind- melting Black
Swan to cop Natalie Portman in anything so inane. She plays a doctor with no time for a relationship, but maybe enough time for sex. Enter Ashton Kutcher, as the guy sure to sour a sweet deal by wanting something more than physical from the physician.
10PM, GO! ★
For those who were lucky enough to not see the original
Underworld, here is what you missed: Kate Beckinsale in a rubber catsuit. Lots of greasy- haired dudes with coloured contact lenses. An ancient blood feud between fashion- victim vampires and not- so- stylish werewolves. And guns. Lots of guns. Firing bullets that nearly always hit their targets, but rarely kill them. Little has changed in the shonky sequel Underworld: Evolution, the whole bullets issue has become truly annoying the second time around. Never has so much ammo been fi red in a movie for such a low body count.
9.30PM, 7MATE ★★
With heavy helpings of bare breasts, jelly wrestling, keg parties and assorted sexual dysfunctions, Old
School is unashamedly a fi lm for guys. The initial set- up holds some fl eeting promise as it introduces us to three 30- something friends who can’t let go of their glory days at university. When easygoing Mitch ( Luke Wilson) discovers his fiancée ( Juliette Lewis) is about to host an orgy to which he is not invited, he moves to a new house adjoining his old school and Operation Regression begins in earnest. Smooth-talker Beanie ( Vince Vaughn) christens the bachelor pad with an open- door boozea- thon ( with Snoop Dogg in attendance), which awakens a long- dormant enthusiasm for nudity in the newlywed Frank ( Will Ferrell). The laugh rate drops from there, despite the best eff orts of Ferrell.
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS
8.30PM, GO! ★★
Although the fi nal instalment in this seminal series of sci- fi blockbusters will not disappoint the fans spawned by The Matrix and Matrix Reloaded, the cryptic fi nale of Revolutions takes its sweet time to hit its stride. However, once the Machines descend upon the underground colony of Zion and Neo ( Keanu Reeves) proves his credentials as the One, the scene is set for a truly awe- inspiring fi nale.
9.30PM, ELEVEN ★★★
A fresh intake of hopeful hoofers at New York’s prestige American Ballet Centre are informed that only six of them will be accepted for further studies in dancing and prancing. Sounds a bit like Survivor- ina- tutu, doesn’t it? A peppy little pirouette around and about what it takes to follow a dream, with plenty of highenergy dance routines and pleasant performances from a largely unknown cast.
8.40PM, GEM ★★★★
The last of the great movie westerns. Clint Eastwood ( who also directs) plays a born- again shooter who links up with his old gunslinging partner ( Morgan Freeman) and a short- sighted upstart ( Jaimz Woolvett) to take on one last job, completing a hit on two redneck cowboys who disfigured a prostitute. The real star of the show here is Gene Hackman, playing the psychotic town sheriff standing in the way of the trio’s bounty. Hackman’s clash with Richard Harris ( a sparkling cameo as a toffy English gunman) gives the movie the kick- start it needs after a sombre beginning, and the inevitable fi nal confrontation with Eastwood is utterly electric.
KICKING & SCREAMING
5PM, 7MATE ★★★
Laugh for laugh, goof for goof and gag for gag, Will Ferrell is the funniest man in motion pictures. Ferrell is in top form in Kicking & Screaming, and that is all that matters if you have been with him for the winning streak of wackiness stretching from Zoolander and Elf through to absurdist masterpiece Anchorman. What allows Ferrell to shine in Kicking & Screaming is the sheer blandness of its plot, which traces the same everyman-loser- coacheskids-to- be- winners arc that took The Bad News Bears and Mighty Ducks to minor premierships. Ferrell plays a reluctant soccer coach trying to slap some polish on some tarnished, talentless tykes, one of whom is his son. The highlights are Ferrell’s deranged delivery of motivational speeches – largely improvised and always inappropriate – to his young team.
Wild west: Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman as gun- slinging outlaws in Unforgiven.