WEEK IN MOVIES

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

SUN­DAY SKYFALL

8.30PM, GO! ★★★★

We lost sight of James Bond in the murky mess that was 2008’s Quan­tum of So­lace but he re­turned with one of the most ex­cit­ing and com­mand­ingly com­pelling 007 ad­ven­tures ever. Af­ter barely sur­viv­ing a bun­gled as­sign­ment in Tur­key, Bond (played with new­found grit, grav­ity and self-dep­re­ca­tion by Daniel Craig) must come to the aid of his em­bat­tled boss M (Judi Dench) in Lon­don. Javier Bar­dem all but steals the Skyfall show with his de­pic­tion of one of the best Bond vil­lains ever.

MON­DAY INVICTUS 6.15PM, FOXTEL MASTERPIECE ★★★

Clint East­wood di­rects. Mor­gan Free­man stars as Nel­son Man­dela. Matt Da­mon sec­ond-strings it to first-class ef­fect. Invictus just has to work, doesn’t it? The sim­ple an­swer is – de­spite a few mi­nor sna­fus – of course it does. Adapted from the book Play­ing to Win, the en­gross­ing story ex­plains how Man­dela pegged his pres­i­dency to South Africa’s un­likely bid to win the 1995 rugby World Cup.

TUES­DAY SLING BLADE 8.30PM, FOXTEL MASTER PICE ★★★★

The ac­claimed drama that put Billy Bob Thorn­ton on the map as a lead­ing writer, di­rec­tor and ac­tor. Thorn­ton stars as Karl, a former men­tal hospi­tal pa­tient (and con­victed killer) es­tab­lish­ing a new iden­tity for him­self “on the out­side”. The pac­ing of­ten re­calls the sim­ple power of To Kill a Mock­ing­bird in its best scenes.

WED­NES­DAY SIN CITY

8.30PM, SBS2 ★★★★★

A fe­ro­ciously in­no­va­tive film noir as­sault, adapted from the ac­claimed graphic nov­els by Frank Miller. Works through an an­thol­ogy of sur­real short sto­ries set in a hard-boiled crim­i­nal un­der­world with a hy­per-har­row­ing in­ten­sity. Stun­ning black and white vi­su­als, make-up de­sign and spe­cial ef­fects are matched by some rip­ping per­for­mances. A one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Stars Mickey Rourke, Jes­sica Alba and Bruce Wil­lis.

THURS­DAY AN­OTHER YEAR

1.50AM, SBS ★★★

One for the recorder. A typ­i­cally ac­com­plished com­edy-drama from Bri­tish di­rec­tor Mike Leigh (Se­crets & Lies, Happy-Go-Lucky). The charm­ing plot spans a year in the life of Tom and Gerri (Jim Broad­bent and Ruth Sheen), a mar­ried cou­ple com­fort­ably nes­tled in their 50s with no money wor­ries. Or wor­ries of any other kind, for that mat­ter.

FRI­DAY THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCH­ING FIRE

8.30PM, WIN ★★★★

The sec­ond screen out­ing for the all-con­quer­ing The Hunger Games phe­nom­e­non, marks a grad­ual, but no­table im­prove­ment on its pre­de­ces­sor. The tone is darker, the sto­ry­telling more com­plex and all cru­cial el­e­ments of the muchloved nov­els by Suzanne Collins re­main res­o­lutely in­tact. Not since the Harry Pot­ter se­ries has a movie fran­chise striven for and achieved such a con­sis­tently high stan­dard. As the story picks up, war­rior hero­ine Kat­niss Everdeen (Jen­nifer Lawrence) has re­turned in tri­umph to Dis­trict 12 af­ter tak­ing out the 74th Hunger Games. Now she is forced to be­come the smil­ing poster girl for an op­pres­sive regime she de­spises. If that isn’t enough, Kat­niss must also par­tic­i­pate in the 75th Games, where ev­ery con­tes­tant is a former tour­na­ment win­ner. Co-stars Josh Hutch­er­son and Aussie Liam Hemsworth.

SATUR­DAY VALKYRIE

11.40PM, SCT ★★★

Had Tom Cruise not al­ready made a movie called A Few Good Men, the ti­tle of this could eas­ily have been A Few Good Nazis. This per­fectly ac­cept­able World War II thriller – telling the true story of an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt upon Hitler in 1944 – fea­tures a mod­er­ately ef­fec­tive per­for­mance from its lead­ing man. Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauf­fen­berg, a maimed mil­i­tary of­fi­cer who be­comes both an en­light­ened ar­chi­tect and a re­luc­tant lynch­pin of a plan to bomb Hitler’s pro­vin­cial com­pound. Di­rected by Bryan Singer (The Usual Sus­pects).

Game on: Jen­nifer Lawrence lines up against former tour­na­ment win­ners in The Hunger Games: Catch­ing Fire.

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