WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

SUN­DAY

THE KING’S SPEECH SEVEN, 8.30PM A su­pe­rior his­tor­i­cal drama and in­spir­ing movie ex­pe­ri­ence. A re­luc­tant Bri­tish monarch over­comes a de­bil­i­tat­ing stam­mer with the aid of an un­con­ven­tional speech ther­a­pist (Ge­of­frey Rush) from Aus­tralia. Colin Firth won a Best Ac­tor Os­car for his por­trayal of King George VI, a com­pli­cated man forced to take the throne un­der ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances.

MON­DAY

MIS­SION: IM­POS­SI­BLE II ONE, 8.30PM Spe­cial Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) joins forces with a beau­ti­ful jewel thief (Thandie New­ton) to save the world from a deadly virus out­break. Set largely in Syd­ney, this hotly hyped se­quel is a mi­nor dis­ap­point­ment. Di­rec­tor John Woo takes an eter­nity to get to the good bits – that is, the art­fully art­less break­ing and blow­ing up of stuff. Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is there to sup­ply back-up.

WED­NES­DAY

COL­LAT­ERAL ONE, 8.30PM A high-priced con­tract killer (Tom Cruise) forces an LA cab­bie (Jamie Foxx) to as­sist with an evening’s work. Cruise throws some con­vinc­ingly men­ac­ing shapes in his first all-out bad­man role, but the real stand­out is the ag­gres­sively at­mo­spheric di­rec­tion of Michael Mann ( Heat). A stylish, com­pelling in-your-face thriller.

THURS­DAY

TROPIC THUN­DER ONE, 8.30PM While shoot­ing a block­buster war film in the wilds of Viet­nam, a cast of ego­cen­tric ac­tors be­come en­gaged in a run­ning bat­tle with lo­cal drug lords. The per­form­ers think it’s all part of a show be­ing filmed with se­cret cam­eras, which only fur­ther en­rages the en­emy. De­spite an all-star cast of fun­ny­men – led by Ben Stiller, Jack Black and a bril­liant Robert Downey Jr – this high- con­cept, low-im­pact farce doesn’t quite stir up a per­fect storm of mirth. Never be­fore has a seem­ingly throw­away com­edy re­quired so much heavy lifting from the viewer. Good enough, but it should have been great.

FRI­DAY

JAN­DAMARRA’S WAR ABC, 12.05AM Aus­tralian his­tory – or, at least, the ver­sion taught in schools – is short of Abo­rig­i­nal he­roes. Which makes this grip­ping doco – exquisitely nar­rated by Ernie Dingo – all the more sig­nif­i­cant. It tells of a mo­ment of re­bel­lion against the cru­elty of set­tlers in WA’s Kim­ber­ley re­gion and the cir­cum­stances un­der which a “tame” Abo­rig­ine called Jan­damarra led his Bun­aba peo­ple in armed re­sis­tance.

SATUR­DAY

TWO HANDS 7MATE, 10.30PM This spir­ited, spunky lit­tle crime pic was one of the best Aus­tralian films of 1999. When $10,000 in cold, hard cash goes miss­ing on the mean streets of in­nercity Syd­ney, some­one must pay. Com­bines the grit and ur­gency of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Bar­rels with some first-rate flour­ishes rem­i­nis­cent of early Tarantino, but doesn’t shirk an un­de­ni­ably Aus­tralian take on events. Stars Bryan Brown, the late Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne.

No more Mr Nice Guy: Tom Cruise ex­plores his dark side by play­ing a con­tract killer in Col­lat­eral; be­low, Ben Stiller in Trop­icThun­der.

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