WEEK IN MOVIES

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

SUN­DAY MARCH OF THE PEN­GUINS

8.30PM, ABC2 ★★ ★ ★

A re­mark­able Os­car- win­ning doc­u­men­tary about the har­row­ing breed­ing cy­cle of Antarc­tica’s em­peror pen­guins, which have de­vel­oped an in­ge­nious set of sur­vival in­stincts to go on liv­ing in their in­hos­pitable en­vi­ron­ment. The in­ti­mate yet un­ob­tru­sive footage of the birds’ nine- month or­deal builds into a mov­ing mon­u­ment to the sheer pre­cious­ness of a life. A mag­i­cally med­i­ta­tive and to­tally un­for­get­table movie ex­pe­ri­ence. Nar­rated by Mor­gan Free­man.

MON­DAY THE PEACE­MAKER

8.30PM, ONE ★ ★

A nu­clear war­head has gone miss­ing and it’s up to Ge­orge Clooney and Ni­cole Kid­man to find it be­fore it ex­plodes. A good, but not great, ac­tion fl ick.

TUES­DAY STATE OF PLAY

8.30PM, 7FLIX ★★ ★

Though pitch­ing it­self as a punchy political thriller – which it is for much of its run­ning time – State of Play is re­ally I Am Leg­end for print jour­nal­ists. Rus­sell Crowe plays the last good in­ves­tiga­tive reporter left in a news­pa­per world over­run by zom­bie bloggers. With a sixth sense for what makes a good story great, Crowe’s rum­pled writer un­cov­ers a con­spir­acy that will rock the foun­da­tions of US pol­i­tics and big busi­ness. Com­pressed and remixed from the bril­liant Bri­tish TV minis­eries of the same name, this is a smart, slick and highly en­gross­ing who­dunit. A timely re­minder that hard news is hard work.

WED­NES­DAY THE HEAT

8.30PM, TDT ★ ★

You won’t be need­ing a ther­mome­ter to take the comedic tem­per­a­ture of The Heat. While it might be an easy enough film to warm to – thanks mainly to the op­po­sites- re­pel cast­ing of San­dra Bul­lock and Melissa McCarthy – don’t go sweat­ing on too many big laughs here. Bul­lock is the stuck- up, by- the- rules one, which means McCarthy is the messy, streets­mart, renegade. Their as­sign­ment is to bring down a Bos­ton drug baron, but that’s of sec­ondary im­por­tance when there are so many so- so set- pieces to get to. Av­er­age.

THURS­DAY UP IN THE AIR

8.30PM, FOX­TEL DRAMA/ RO­MANCE ★★ ★ ★ ★

Cor­po­rate “tran­si­tion spe­cial­ist” Ryan Bing­ham ( Ge­orge Clooney) trav­els all over the US sack­ing peo­ple. He is very good at what he does – and aware enough to recog­nise a great day for him will al­ways be the worst day of some­one else’s life. A so­phis­ti­cated meld­ing of sub­tle, con­tem­pla­tive com­edy and mean­ing­ful mod­ern drama, this is must­see. It might sound like heavy go­ing, but it is blessed with a rare light­ness of touch to keep the blues at bay.

FRI­DAY BIRD­MAN

6.30PM, FOX­TEL MAS­TER­PIECE ★★ ★ ★

An obliquely un­set­tling and serenely strange blend of black com­edy and psy­cho­log­i­cal drama, this is quite un­like any film in re­cent mem­ory. Michael Keaton de­liv­ers a stun­ning per­for­mance as Rig­gan Thom­son, a for­mer movie star bat­tling to rein­vent him­self as a le­git­i­mate stage ac­tor. The cramped back­stage set­ting of Bird­man be­comes cru­cial to our un­der­stand­ing of Rig­gan’s plight. For back- up, Keaton draws from an im­pec­ca­bly cast sup­port en­sem­ble ( Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Ed­ward Nor­ton) which is never less than cru­cial.

SATUR­DAY SAV­ING PRI­VATE RYAN

8.40PM, SBS ★★ ★ ★ ★

Su­perb movie with a hu­mane mes­sage that should never be for­got­ten once ex­pe­ri­enced. Tom Hanks ( left) leads a squad of D- Day sur­vivors be­hind en­emy lines to find a sol­dier the US Army does not want to see die. The bat­tle se­quences are unfl inch­ing in their re­al­ism and the act­ing is ex­em­plary. The story moves the viewer with­out ma­nip­u­la­tion.

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