WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

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

SUN­DAY

SU­PER 8 ELEVEN, 8.30PM Writer-di­rec­tor J.J. Abrams ( Star Trek) has taken the mod­ern creature-fea­ture (a genre he ear­lier med­dled with as the pro­ducer of Clover­field) and clev­erly blended it with fam­i­lyfriendly ad­ven­ture of a very spe­cific vin­tage. If films such as Stand By Me, Grem­lins and E.T. were part of your youth, you will be sure to ap­pre­ci­ate what is go­ing down in Su­per 8. The year is 1979. In a small steel town, a group of young friends film­ing a no-bud­get movie wit­ness a train crash. A strange, in­de­scrib­able cargo strewn among the wreck­age threat­ens the sur­vival of one and all. Abrams takes his time go­ing for his “big re­veal”, fo­cus­ing in­stead on the warmth he finds amid his en­dear­ing teen pro­tag­o­nists. Stars Elle Fan­ning and Joel Court­ney.

MON­DAY

AUS­TRALIA 8.30PM, TEN Of­ten very good, but falls short of be­ing truly great. There are times where di­rec­tor Baz Luhrmann’s fre­netic mash-up of styles bar­rels past some­thing for ev­ery­one and threat­ens to be­come too much for any­one. Though Aus­tralia is in essence a sweep­ing ro­man­tic epic a la Gone with the Wind, it is also a screw­ball com­edy, an out­back western and a mil­i­tary ac­tion flick. Ni­cole Kid­man plays a prissy English aris­to­crat who falls for Hugh Jack­man’s mav­er­ick drover dur­ing a marathon cat­tle drive to Dar­win in the late 1930s.

TUES­DAY

THE FIGHTER 10PM, GO! A box­ing movie with sur­pris­ingly lit­tle box­ing in it. Many of the punches that con­nect in this riv­et­ing, rous­ing drama are thrown metaphor­i­cally well out­side the ring. The film tells the true story of the in­ter­sect­ing ca­reers of half-brothers who em­body very dif­fer­ent brands of boxer. Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is care­fully guard­ing a store of po­ten­tial that could take him all the way to the top. Dicky Ek­lund (Christian Bale) blew all the po­ten­tial he had on an ad­dic­tion to crack co­caine. The Fighter may trace a fa­mil­iar sto­ry­telling arc, but it steers clear of many cliches.

WED­NES­DAY

THE A-TEAM 8.30PM, ONE A bombastically mind­less and rather fun re­boot­ing of the 1980s TV show of the same name. It should come as no big sur­prise then that the all-new The A-Team isn’t about to tam­per with the same old for­mula. Only now, the ex-Viet­nam vets are ex-Iraq, and a lit­tle more self-serv­ing than be­fore. Story cen­tres on a quar­tet of dis­graced sol­diers look­ing to clear their name while the army and the CIA track their ev­ery move. The stunt work (whether CGI-as­sisted or not) is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive. If you are not punch­ing the air at the sight of the A-Team­ers op­er­at­ing an ar­tillery tank while it plum­mets from a launch point just out­side the planet’s at­mos­phere, you are just too hard to please. Stars Liam Nee­son, Bradley Cooper.

THURS­DAY

SHAUN OF THE DEAD 9.30PM, ONE After be­ing dumped by his girl­friend, an un­am­bi­tious ap­pli­ance sales­man (Si­mon Pegg) emerges from a mas­sive hang­over to dis­cover his se­date London neigh­bour­hood has been over­run by the un­dead. Great char­ac­ters, witty writ­ing and le­git­i­mate thrills. Two very twisted thumbs-up. In one hi­lar­i­ous scene, we learn of the de­cap­i­tat­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties of old vinyl al­bums by Dire Straits and Sade.

FRI­DAY

VALKYRIE 9.30PM, SEVEN Had Tom Cruise not al­ready made a movie called A Few Good Men, the ti­tle of this project could eas­ily have been A Few Good Nazis. This per­fectly ac­cept­able World War II thriller – telling the true story of an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt on Hitler in 1944 – fea­tures an ef­fec­tive per­for­mance from its lead­ing man. Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauf­fen­berg, a maimed mil­i­tary of­fi­cer who be­comes both an en­light­ened ar­chi­tect and a re­luc­tant linch­pin of a plan to bomb Hitler’s com­pound.

SATUR­DAY

HEART­BREAKER 11.20PM, SBS1 They say that break­ing up is hard to do. But they haven’t met Alex (Ro­main Duris). He’s the head of a re­la­tion­ship-wreck­ing crew that, for a hefty fee, will save a good woman from the wrong man. So be­gins Heart­breaker, a lively and en­joy­able French rom-com. Set in the glo­ri­ous re­sort of Monte Carlo dur­ing sum­mer, the film cap­i­talises on an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally spry and wired comic per­for­mance from Duris that is just too en­gag­ing to be de­nied.

Out­back epic: Ni­cole Kid­man and Hugh Jack­man star in di­rec­tor Baz Luhrmann’s Aus­tralia.

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