WEEK IN MOVIES

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES - WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

SUN­DAY

LAN­TANA 11.30PM, SBS ★★★★★

Un­til Lan­tana, Aus­tralian cin­ema had never truly mas­tered the genre of con­tem­po­rary drama. Vir­tu­ally all of our best se­ri­ous films have con­sis­tently shied away from the here and now, turn­ing their fo­cus in­stead upon life sto­ries or fa­mous events that draw on the power of hind­sight. Some might ar­gue there is noth­ing quintessen­tially Aus­tralian about Lan­tana, that it is a film that could have been made any­where at any time. How­ever, the sheer per­fec­tion on dis­play here in ev­ery depart­ment – es­pe­cially the uni­form ex­cel­lence of its ensem­ble cast, the eerie res­o­nance of An­drew Bovell’s screen­play, and the tex­tured di­rec­tion of Ray Lawrence – achieves an in­tel­li­gence, elo­quence and emo­tion that show­cases Aus­tralian film at the height of its pow­ers.

MON­DAY

MI­NOR­ITY RE­PORT 9.3PM, ONE ★★★★

Washington DC, 2054. There hasn’t been a mur­der for six years, thanks to an ex­per­i­men­tal task force than can pre­dict and pre­vent killings be­fore they ac­tu­ally hap­pen. Re­mem­ber how blown away you were the first time you saw The Ma­trix? Get set for an even bet­ter ver­sion of the same ex­plo­sive com­bi­na­tion of in­spi­ra­tion and in­no­va­tion from two un­likely sources – ac­tor Tom Cruise and di­rec­tor Steven Spiel­berg. One of the best films of 2002.

TUES­DAY

VANILLA SKY 9.30PM, ONE ★

Af­ter a vaguely con­vinc­ing, if not fas­ci­nat­ing, open­ing 20 min­utes – check out the stun­ning scene in which Cruise is run­ning alone through the aban­doned CBD of New York City – Vanilla Sky spec­tac­u­larly de­rails. Tom Cruise is a play­boy media ty­coon who is forced to re­con­sider his wom­an­is­ing ways af­ter be­ing hor­ri­bly dis­fig­ured in a car smash at the hands of a dis­grun­tled ex- lover ( Cameron Diaz). There are brief patches where Vanilla Sky makes a sin­cere eff ort to con­nect with its au­di­ence and the aff ect­ing qual­ity of these se­quences hint at what the movie might have been with clearer vi­sion and smaller am­bi­tions.

WED­NES­DAY

GUARDIANS OF THE GAL­AXY 8.30PM, FOX­TEL PRE­MIERE ★★ ★

As only the best ac­tion­ad­ven­ture block­busters can do, Guardians of the Gal­axy gets on your good side with ease. Chris Pratt stars as Peter Quill, a self- styled “space out­law” in ca­hoots with a green Ama­zo­nian as­sas­sin ( Zoe Sal­dana), a mul­ti­coloured mus­cle­man ( Dave Bautista), a talk­ing rac­coon ( voiced by Bradley Cooper) and, umm, a talk­ing tree ( Vin Diesel). Ticks ev­ery box for a ma­jor hit fran­chise of the fu­ture. It might ul­ti­mately break down to noth­ing but empty calo­ries, but it is al­ways full- on fun.

THURS­DAY

KATY PERRY: PART OF ME 9PM, ELEVEN ★★★

While dol­ing out the same dosage of promo piffl e as other pop- tastic con­cert docos, there is also some strong, off - mes­sage ma­te­rial in­cluded here you don’t of­ten hear. So don’t pay too much no­tice to the pass­ing pa­rade of yes- peo­ple blurt­ing out the blink­ing ob­vi­ous about Ms Perry, and fo­cus in­stead on her cel­e­brated in­abil­ity to self- edit.

FRI­DAY

THE SKELE­TON TWINS 6.25AM, FOX­TEL PRE­MIERE ★★★★

A del­i­cately poised com­e­dy­drama about an es­tranged sis­ter and brother who have just re­treated from the brink of end­ing it all. In spite of its bleak begin­nings, The Skele­ton Twins soon syncs up to an en­gag­ing comic rhythm that will ul­ti­mately pro­pel the film to a brighter, bet­ter place. Lead pair­ing Kris­ten Wiig ( Brides­maids) and Bill Hader ( Train­wreck) iso­late a ten­der­ness and truly earned up­lift to this tale that will truly res­onate with re­cep­tive view­ers. Rec­om­mended.

SATUR­DAY

IN­SID­I­OUS 11.40PM, 7MATE ★★

This cut- price jum­ble sale of do­mes­tic scares – think Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity with a con­ven­tional script and bet­ter cam­eras – is by the two Aussies who gave the world the Saw fran­chise. Af­ter In­sid­i­ous, the world may now be in­clined to for­give di­rec­tor James Wan and screen­writer Leigh Whan­nell for some of their tor­ture- porn sins. A sim­ple plot in­ves­ti­gates the mys­te­ri­ous haunt­ings of teacher Josh ( Pa­trick Wil­son), his wife Re­nai ( Rose Byrne) and their chil­dren. The film am­bles po­litely af­ter a small col­lec­tion of set- play chills, most of them de­picted in a man­ner slyly sug­ges­tive rather than archly lit­eral ( the gore quota ex­tends only to a blood- stained hand­print).

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