WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.