WEEK IN MOVIES

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

SUN­DAY THE MANCHURIAN CAN­DI­DATE

9.30PM, GEM ★★

Marginally dis­ap­point­ing re­make-up­date of the clas­sic 1962 thriller. Den­zel Wash­ing­ton is as fine as ever play­ing a brain­washed Gulf War vet­eran piec­ing to­gether the jig­saw of a vast po­lit­i­cal con­spir­acy, but the drama lapses into pulpy pan­tomime when the pres­sure is on. Meryl Streep’s weird Hilary Clin­ton im­per­son­ation doesn’t help, ei­ther.

MON­DAY DRIVE

8.30PM, SBS2 ★★★★

Drive presents pay­ing pas­sen­gers with one in­cred­i­ble ride. Ryan Gosling plays a soli­tary fig­ure known only as Driver, a part-time movie stunt­man not above help­ing the best crooks in LA make a quick get­away. This mys­te­ri­ous fig­ure is forced out of his shell af­ter be­friend­ing lonely neigh­bour (Carey Mul­li­gan) and her young child. With both hands on the wheel and the pedal pressed flat to the floor, this bril­liant crime thriller pro­ceeds swiftly to­wards true cin­e­matic great­ness. Gosling con­firms his rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best ac­tors of his gen­er­a­tion, while Dan­ish film­maker Ni­co­las Wind­ing Refn’s com­mand of at­mo­spher­ics is in­tim­i­dat­ingly ir­re­sistible.

TUES­DAY SNOW­PIERCER 6.20PM, FOX­TEL PRE­MIERE ★★★★

This ut­terly bril­liant, slyly in­no­va­tive ac­tion pic­ture is­sues a bar­rage of fu­ture shocks in a press­ing present tense. In a bid to stop global warm­ing, cli­mate sci­en­tists have trig­gered a new ice age. Ev­ery­one dies in the en­su­ing snap freeze, ex­cept for the oc­cu­pants of a lux­ury bul­let train. Over time, each car­riage be­comes a na­tion unto it­self. Due to an am­bi­tious combo of the high­con­cept and the high-oc­tane, this is an ex­pe­ri­ence best seen (al­most lit­er­ally) cold. Stars Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and Tilda Swin­ton.

WED­NES­DAY PA­CIFIC RIM

8.30PM, GO! ★★★

Are you into mon­sters fight­ing with ro­bots? Well here’s an all-you-can-eat buf­fet of crea­ture-ver­sus-ma­chine smack-downs. Get set to gorge your­self. Un­wieldy, uni­formly bam­boo­zling and ut­terly unique, this epic fu­tur­is­tic ac­tion block­buster is the work of vi­sion­ary film­maker Guillermo del Toro (Hell­boy). An ac­quired taste, per­haps des­tined to be held in very high re­gard in years to come. Stars Char­lie Hun­nam.

THURS­DAY THE EQUAL­IZER

8.30PM, FOX­TEL PRE­MIERE ★★★

Seems Liam Nee­son no longer has the “ma­ture vengeance” de­mo­graphic all to him­self. Den­zel Wash­ing­ton wants his cut of the aged-ag­gres­sion mar­ket, and he wants it now. In all hon­esty, is no bet­ter nor worse than the pun­ish­ing pulp Nee­son has been pound­ing out since the sur­prise block­buster suc­cess of Taken in 2008. The same un­der­ly­ing prin­ci­ples ap­ply here. Some bonkers bad­sters (Rus­sians!) have irked our worldly, weary hero (Wash­ing­ton’s char­ac­ter works in the US equiv­a­lent of a Bun­nings Ware­house!) So this old cam­paigner is quite within his rights to kill his way up the enemy’s chain of com­mand un­til the movie ends. Very vi­o­lent and very long, so best seen by hard­line ac­tion fans, and best avoided by those who are not.

FRI­DAY PULP FIC­TION

8.35PM, SBS ★★★★★

A pin­na­cle of pop-cul­ture per­fec­tion. It was here Quentin Tarantino es­tab­lished his cre­den­tials as a true movie mas­ter, tak­ing the ‘dime store’ crime nov­els of the 1950s and turn­ing them into some­thing en­tirely mod­ern.

SATUR­DAY THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

8.30PM, GO! ★★★★

The sec­ond screen out­ing for the all-con­quer­ing Hunger Games phe­nom­e­non, marks a grad­ual, but no­table im­prove­ment upon its pre­de­ces­sor. The tone is darker, the sto­ry­telling more com­plex, and all cru­cial el­e­ments of the muchloved nov­els by Suzanne Collins re­main res­o­lutely in­tact. War­rior hero­ine Kat­niss Everdeen (Jen­nifer Lawrence, above) has reluc­tantly be­come the smil­ing poster girl for an op­pres­sive regime she whole­heart­edly de­spises.

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