WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
BRAVE 7.35PM, 7MATE A moderately engaging girl’s own animated adventure from Pixar Studios. Kelly MacDonald is the voice of Merida, a medieval Scottish princess who accidentally turns the offer of a magic wish into a beastly curse that blights her father’s kingdom. Production values are firstclass, but the storytelling often plods and the “wow’’ factor associated with Pixar classics such as Finding Nemo and WALL-E is conspicuously absent. Nice enough, but not essential. Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson also lend their voices. LIVE AND LET DIE 9.30PM, GO! Blaxploitation was never cool again after Bond (Roger Moore) hit Harlem. Warning: this film contains voodoo magic and embarrassing jive talkin’. FLIGHT NOON, FOXTEL PREMIERE A brilliant Denzel Washington plays a pilot who pulls a move during a troubled landing that saves the lives of almost all on board. However, when a toxicology report shows our hero was high on cocaine, the flyboy crashes to ground very quickly. The more we learn about this damaged man, the more we are left to wonder how he even made it into the cockpit that fateful morning. Co-stars Kelly Reilly and John Goodman. BROTHERS 1PM, NINE A torrid drama themed around waves of posttraumatic stress disorder that crash through a family with deep roots in the US military. The story centres on an unreliable ex-con (Jake Gyllenhaal) who discovers a
responsible side he thought he never had when his soldier sibling (Tobey Maguire) returns from an ill-fated tour of duty in Afghanistan. Make no mistake, Brothers is out to put your emotions through the wringer. However, the sheer excellence of the cast serves as a valuable buffer. Top-notch acting ensures the experience never quite becomes the ordeal that many viewers may initially fear. Powerful, provocative storytelling at its very best. Co-stars Natalie Portman.
ORANGES AND SUNSHINE 1PM, NINE The bizarre true story of how almost 150,000 British children placed in community care between 1947 and 1979 were relocated to Australia under false pretences. A work of controlled, retrospective
outrage. Stars Emily Watson, David Wenham and Hugo Weaving.
THE MUPPETS 6.30PM, 7MATE A quality exercise in all-ages entertainment, deploying a potent something-foreverybody factor in every scene. With Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie and the gang back in full effect, the enjoyment stakes are raised. A suspenseful race against time is occasionally diverted by some killer musical interludes (even Rainbow Connection earns its keep). If you have subjected (intentionally or accidentally) a child to an Alvin&the Chipmunks movie, it is your duty to rectify the mistake by treating them to The Muppets. Good stuff. Stars co-writer Jason Segel and Amy Adams.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS 7.30PM, TEN Though we are now several chapters into the movie memoirs of the world’s most popular young nerd, the Diary Of a Wimpy Kid franchise remains as broadly entertaining (for the 8-to-12s) and bearable (for their parents) as ever. It is the summer holidays, and series mascot Greg (Zachary Gordon) is having his temperature raised by the sheer prettiness of classmate Holly (Peyton List). Meanwhile, Greg’s dreaded older bro Rodrick (the everamusing Devon Bostock) has his own designs upon Holly’s older sis. While the featured players get thrown under the bus repeatedly for the sake of sight gags and slight gags alike, they are still yet to wear out their welcome.
Step back in time: Jason Segel helps out his felt-covered friends in TheMuppets.