WEEK IN MOVIES
4.30PM, 7MATE ★★
Jerry Seinfeld’s much-hyped animated comedy is a fizzer. He supplies the voice of a whiny bee who wants more from life than just 9-to-5 in a hive. Many fans were expecting a little more zing and sting from the legendary TV funnyman. Kind of funny in parts, but largely dull all the way through.
1.15AM, SBS2 ★★
A floaty, fleetingly memorable coming-of-age drama set in the canefields country of northern NSW. John Hurt stars as an Alzheimer’s sufferer sent to live with relatives who barely know him. Hurt and his young co-star Lily Bell-Tindley offer fine performances, but the movie itself makes little impact. Production values are quite good for a low-budget Australian offering, with the beautiful cinematography of Hugh Miller often communicating what the story itself cannot. Co-stars Emily Barclay.
9PM, NINE ★★★
For a basic political comedy, The Campaign is funny. We all know the corridors of power are paced by people wearing big fat clown shoes. So we are ready and primed to vote one for laughter from the get-go. Will Ferrell ( Anchorman) and Zach Galifianakis ( The Hangover) are the best in the business at making the wrong seem right. But in going head-to-head in the same movie, these two wizards of the warped go mighty close to cancelling out each other’s magic talents. The pair play rival candidates in a bizarre election race where every rule in the book – and more than a few moral taboos – will be broken. Make no mistake, The Campaign still gets the job done on the strength of its bitsy broadsides at the surreal phoniness of American politics. Just bear in mind that your enduring goodwill towards Ferrell and Galifianakis will often override an inkling that some sections of The Campaign are not quite up to scratch.
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
9.30PM, ONE ★★★★★
Superb movie with a humane message that should never be forgotten once experienced. Tom Hanks 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 unflinching in their realism, the acting is exemplary and the story moves the viewer without manipulation.
8.30PM, FOXTEL ACTION ★★★
When a mafia-connected Vegas entertainer (Jeremy Piven) turns super-snitch, a ridiculously diverse array of hitmen and bounty hunters form a disorderly queue to get him. In many ways, a storyfree, IQ-deficient version of TheDeparted. Which is not necessarily a bad thing if mindless action and visceral visual panache form your idea of a movie marriage made in heaven. Definitely a mess, but a hugely happening one. Co-stars Ryan Reynolds, Alicia Keys and Ben Affleck.
TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN
8.30PM, TEN ★★
As the opening instalment of what later became a best-selling series, author John Marsden’s 1993 novel Tomorrow, When the War Began has been a prized read for an entire generation of young Australians. Done well – or even just moderately effectively – this teen-skewing action flick could have paved the way for an unprecedented home-grown franchise. Unfortunately, moderately effective is as good as it gets here, despite the best efforts of some talented newcomers and a smattering of impressive stand-alone scenes. A loopy, hard-to-accept story follows a group of teens fighting for their lives after Australia has been invaded.
BLADES OF GLORY
9.30PM, GO! ★★★
When it comes to playing it dumb, the smartest operator around is American comic Will Ferrell. He’s in cracking form in this comedy set in the weird, wild world of competition ice-skating. Ferrell’s hopelessly absurd odd-couple repartee with co-star Jon Heder is priceless stuff. The pair play disgraced Olympic figure-skaters who join forces to beat a lifetime ban from competition. If you loved Anchorman or Dodgeball, you’ll certainly dig this.
Vote one: Will Ferrell is in a popularity contest in TheCampaign.