WEEK IN MOVIES

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

SUN­DAY THE CROODS

7.30PM, TDT ★★★

Clev­erly con­structed car­toon ad­ven­ture, even if it seems like it’s just an Ice Age with hu­mans re­plac­ing an­i­mals. Ni­co­las Cage gives voice to the head of a cave­man fam­ily forced to look for a new home, as the world’s land mass di­vides into con­ti­nents. It is easy to tell when a voice cast is en­thused by the ’toon they’re work­ing on, and their pos­i­tive vibes con­tin­u­ally give the film a lift. Bet­ter still, the story is sur­pris­ingly in­volv­ing, and the qual­ity of an­i­ma­tion is stun­ning (par­tic­u­larly in 3D). Co-stars the voices of Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.

MON­DAY SLOW WEST

9.30PM, ONE ★★★

A ca­sual weird­ness, a wis­ened grasp of when to em­brace or re­ject a cliche, a quar­tet of rip­ping per­for­mances – th­ese are the call­ing cards of this odd, funny and com­pelling western. Ac­com­plished young Aus­tralian ac­tor Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) stars as Jay, a hope­lessly ro­man­tic teen with plenty of money in his pocket and few clues in his head. This would ex­plain why, in the 1860s, Jay has left a life of com­fort in Scot­land to comb the bad­lands of Colorado in search of his lost love, Rosie (Caren Pis­to­rius). Our naive hero’s chap­er­one-slash-body­guard (Michael Fass­ben­der) has his work cut out for him. Es­pe­cially when the pair keep cross­ing paths with a bad guy (Ben Men­del­sohn). An ac­quired taste, but plenty of vivid flavours await.

TUES­DAY THE HEART­BREAK KID

9.30PM, ELEVEN ★★★

A raunchy re­union of the There’s Some­thing About Mary team of star Ben Stiller and the writ­ing-di­rect­ing Far­relly broth­ers. Stiller stars as a se­rial com­mit­ment­phobe who gets mar­ried on im­pulse, only to meet the real woman of his dreams (Michelle Mon­aghan) while hon­ey­moon­ing with the new wife. A lit­tle hit-or-miss at times, but some big, brash bril­liance on dis­play.

WED­NES­DAY THE RAIL­WAY MAN

9.30PM, TDT ★★★

Decades af­ter World War II, a Bri­tish re­turned ser­vice­man (Colin Firth) dis­cov­ers the where­abouts of the Ja­panese sol­dier who tor­tured him daily. With the full ap­proval of his friends and the sup­port of his wife (Ni­cole Kid­man), the haunted man trav­els half­way around the world, in­tend­ing to kill the man who al­most killed him. Eric Lo­max chron­i­cled his re­mark­able per­sonal odyssey in a mov­ing and con­fronting mem­oir, and this grip­ping film adap­ta­tion does not hold back on de­tail­ing his hor­ri­fy­ing or­deal.

THURS­DAY 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 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.

FRI­DAY MULHOLLAND DRIVE

11.20PM, SBS ★★★★

There’s odd, there’s weird, there’s way out, and then there’s David Lynch. Hol­ly­wood’s Mr Strange is in ca­reer-best form here, serv­ing up a frus­trat­ing, yet awe-in­spir­ing work of true orig­i­nal­ity. Avoid de­cod­ing the non-ex­is­tent plot – where an as­pir­ing ac­tor (Naomi Watts) takes a dis­ori­ented am­ne­siac (Laura Har­ring) un­der her wing – and sur­ren­der your­self to a com­pelling cin­e­matic trance. A one-way trip to obliv­ion you’ll ei­ther love or loathe. This was orig­i­nally con­ceived as a pi­lot for US TV, un­til be­fud­dled net­work ex­ecs baulked at Lynch’s blueprint.

SATUR­DAY LOST IN TRANS­LA­TION

9.30PM, ELEVEN ★★★★

A sweet and soul­ful tale of two lost in­di­vid­u­als find­ing a new di­rec­tion in life. Bill Mur­ray is ter­rific as a melan­choly movie star forming an un­likely bond with a pre­ma­turely jaded young woman (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son). The oth­er­worldly nightlife of mod­ern Tokyo pro­vides a beau­ti­ful back­drop for this nearflaw­less mood piece from writer-di­rec­tor Sofia Cop­pola (The Vir­gin Sui­cides).

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