WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

SUN­DAY

PROMETHEUS ONE, 8.30PM Ac­claimed di­rec­tor Ri­d­ley Scott ( Blade Run­ner) once again takes the con­trols of the Alien se­ries in as­sured and com­pelling fash­ion. A com­plex plot un­folds in the year 2093, where a cor­po­rate­funded space mis­sion is un­der way to in­ves­ti­gate the ori­gin of mankind. After a two-year jour­ney, the 17-strong crew aboard the space­ship Prometheus land on a dis­tant bar­ren moon, where they hap­pen upon a dome-like struc­ture that clearly does not be­long there. On a visual level, Prometheus truly de­liv­ers upon all ex­pec­ta­tions, with su­perb creature de­sign. Per­for­mances are top-notch, with Noomi Ra­pace ( The Girl with the Dragon Tat­too), Os­car-win­ner Char­l­ize Theron and a scene-steal­ing Michael Fass­ben­der (as an an­droid with a se­cret agenda) the fore­most stand­outs.

★★★★

MON­DAY

HAN­NAH MON­TANA: THE MOVIE SEVEN, MID­DAY Know­ing you are about to watch Han­nah Mon­tana: The Movie is like pre­par­ing to face a fir­ing squad where the guns are loaded with jelly ba­bies. The sticky sweet­ness of the ex­pe­ri­ence won’t kill you. All the same, it would have been nice to be blind­folded be­fore­hand. Sub­teenage girls who love Mi­ley Cyrus and her pop-princess al­ter ego will be ab­so­lutely de­lighted by this fea­ture­length ad­ven­ture. Which is just the way it should be with such fizzy hol­i­day fare. Ev­ery­one else should steer clear.

★★

TUES­DAY

AMER­I­CAN HIS­TORY X GO!, 9.30PM Ed­ward Nor­ton hands in a mas­terly per­for­mance as Derek Vin­yard, a white su­prem­a­cist neo-Nazi strug­gling to re­ject the blind

★★★★

ha­tred that landed him in jail. This is act­ing at its most grue­somely com­pelling, prompt­ing all kinds of thoughts about how lit­tle it takes to cause a man to fail to dis­tin­guish be­tween right and wrong.

WED­NES­DAY

JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK GO!, 9.30PM Writer-di­rec­tor Kevin Smith ( Clerks, Chas­ing Amy, Dogma) gives his favourite re­cur­ring mi­nor char­ac­ters their own movie, and the wait

★★★

is truly worth it for lovers of Smith’s lewdly lit­er­ate brand of hu­mour.

THURS­DAY

THE RUM DI­ARY ONE, 8.30PM As a staunch friend of the late Hunter S. Thomp­son, Johnny Depp con­tin­ues his cru­sade to keep the in­flu­en­tial work of the cel­e­brated Amer­i­can “gonzo” writer on the pedestal it de­serves. In this re­spect­fully dis­re­spect­ful adap­ta­tion of a lesser known salvo from the Thomp­son canon,

★★★

Depp plays Paul Kemp, a young news­pa­per­men on a round­about path to fame and for­tune in the early 1960s. Both a heavy drinker and a deep thinker, Kemp (es­sen­tially an ide­alised ver­sion of the younger Hunter S.) finds plenty of rea­sons to do both once he lands on the US-run is­land of Puerto Rico. Though beau­ti­fully filmed and ef­fec­tively acted, The Rum Di­ary is very much a mood piece de­signed to get us inside Thomp­son’s head for a while. On this level, the movie works well enough. Best seen by those with a soft spot for the au­thor, or the ever-con­sis­tent Depp.

FRI­DAY

MUL­HOL­LAND DRIVE SBS1, 11.20PM 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.

★★★★

SATUR­DAY

HITCH­COCK ONE, 8.30PM A year or so in the life of Al­fred Hitch­cock, barrelling down the rocky cre­ative road to­wards Psy­cho, the 1960 clas­sic that nearly wasn’t. Univer­sal Stu­dios re­fused to back the pic­ture, and agreed to re­lease it only if Hitch­cock would stump up the bud­get him­self. The con­tro­ver­sial film be­came the big­gest hit of Big Alf’s ca­reer. Un­for­tu­nately, what reads as a rip­ping yarn on pa­per turns out to be a right old yawn on screen. Di­rec­tor Sacha Ger­vasi whips through the key facts with very lit­tle per­cep­ti­ble ur­gency or en­thu­si­asm. It’s like watch­ing a hasty re-en­act­ment of a Wikipedia en­try on the sub­ject. If the film does have its en­ter­tain­ing mo­ments, and it may still do if you keep your ex­pec­ta­tions low, then it is all due to the work of lead ac­tor An­thony Hop­kins. He chan­nels the ec­cen­tric in­ten­sity (and in­tense ec­cen­tric­i­ties) of cin­ema’s master of sus­pense with ex­pert pre­ci­sion. Costars He­len Mir­ren, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Toni Col­lette and Jessica Biel.

★★

Scene-stealer: Michael Fass­ben­der stars as an an­droid with a se­cret agenda in Ri­d­ley Scott’s Prometheus.

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