WEEK IN MOVIES
In one of his best ever performances Mel Gibson stars as a reluctant hero of the American Revolution. The British Army just don’t know what they’re in for once soldier Mel gets going. The late Heath Ledger is great, too, as Mel’s son. Classy and memorably stirring period adventure fi lm, with gripping battle scenes and a compelling sense of the emotion and anger that can drive the most placid to war.
8.30PM, SBS TWO
According to the Frankenstein Principle, any movie scientist who dares to play God is doomed for a devil of a time. Such is the fate surely awaiting lovers and lab partners Clive ( Adrien Brody) and Elsa ( Sarah Polley). This Brad and Angelina of the biochemistry world splash about in the wrong gene pool when they synthetically breed a child ( best described as a pretty little girl scrambled with the features of a domestic rodent). While writer- director Vincenzo Natali is not above raising the ethical dilemmas he is more at home with dishing out the ick factor in copious quantities.
THE SEA INSIDE
1.40AM ( WED), SBS1
Uneven, enigmatic drama based on the true story of a famous Spanish euthanasia campaigner. The performance of Javier Bardem as a quadriplegic with a death wish is as moving as it is deep. The fi lm, however, is a bit of a drag, and ever so slightly shallow. When contesting the issue of the right to end it all, you can’t have an each- way bet.
FOXTEL ON DEMAND
Multi- platform premiere of this electrifying drama. It’s no real surprise that this electrifying war drama is the work of director Clint Eastwood. Courtesy of a decorated career in front of and behind the camera, Eastwood is a man who knows all too well how to pit good against evil. With much gunplay thrown in for good measure. This is the true story of Chris Kyle ( Bradley Cooper), the Navy SEAL who is ranked as the most eff ective wartime sniper in US military history. While the movie is no way a wanton celebration of killing in the line of the duty, there is a proudly patriotic streak to Eastwood’s approach that some viewers may fi nd worryingly simplistic.
Another superlative anchoring performance from George Clooney. Another intricate blend of evocative drama and winning humour from writer- director Alexander Payne ( Sideways, About Schmidt). It’s all here in The Descendants, as is so much more. Clooney plays Matt King, a Hawaiian property lawyer thrown for a loop on the eve of a deal of a lifetime. With his wife in a coma after a boating mishap, Matt must reconnect with his two daughters, each of whom respects him little and knows him even less. The fi lm covers a wide spectrum of emotions in a warm and relatable manner, and not a false note is struck throughout.
A detective investigating a murder ( Michael Douglas) encounters a femme fatale who could be a possible prime suspect in the case. Sharon Stone in her fi rst big role plays the role of villain to perfection. Also stars Jeanne Tripplehorn and George Dzundza.
Flavoursome 3- D visuals and a bland, 1- D storyline all but cancel one another out in the passable animated adventure Rio. Kids under 12 won’t mind watching it, but will be hard- pushed to remember much of it once the credits roll. Blu ( voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is a nervy, nerdy North American, a pampered pet who cannot fl y. Jewel ( Anne Hathaway) is a swingin’, sophisticated South American, a feathered fl irt who can fl y. The pair are brought together in Brazil to go forth and procreate to save their sub- species, only to be bird- napped at the height of Carnivale time in a hypercolourful Rio.