WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
THE BOURNE LEGACY 8.30PM, 7MATE No Matt Damon? Not really a Bourne movie then. Such is the fate met by this unsuccessful spin-off from the hit spy-thriller franchise. Watching the film go through its motions is like showing up for a play only to be told the understudy will be filling in for the star. Playing a fugitive stablemate of Jason Bourne, Jeremy Renner does not deploy the emphatic look-at-me factor needed to quell any rightful doubts one might have about the movie. The Bourne Legacy in no way honours the Bourne legacy. It is merely an exercise in brand maintenance until Matt Damon is ready to be Bourne again. Co-stars Rachel Weisz.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD 8.30PM, SBS2 “The entire universe depends on everything fitting together just right,” the narrator says. The speaker is six-year-old girl Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) and only a fool would question how she has acquired this wisdom. Set on the flatlands of Louisiana, Hushpuppy and her neighbours face a flood of biblical proportions. The youngster’s survival instinct and the unifying spirit in the community are depicted in an unorthodox yet mesmerising manner. The experience is like a dream come to life, with Hushpuppy doing all she can to stop it from ending in a nightmare.
ROAD TRIP 9.30PM, 7MATE Four friends make a cross-country journey to prevent the delivery of an incriminating videotape. Occasionally crass, but consistently funny lowbrow comedy that is much better than American Pie. A great guilty pleasure for those who love this kind of stuff.
RING 2 1.30AM (TUESDAY NIGHT), SBS2 This sequel to the groundbreaking Japanese horror hit Ring (both films were later remade starring Naomi Watts) bears all the hallmarks of a rushed job. The spookery that made the first Ring so great is merely repeated, not built upon. Nevertheless, though Ring 2 is a comparative letdown, there are still enough ideas and short, sharp shocks of energy to put most contemporary US horror outings to shame.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL 10.30PM, FOXTEL MASTERPIECE
Just like the establishment from which it takes its name, The Grand Budapest Hotel offers a sprawling, lavish and highly enjoyable escape from reality. The year is 1932, and M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) is at the peak of his powers as the Grand Budapest’s celebrated chief concierge. Not a want nor need of a solitary guest gets past him and not a single rich old lady can resist his charm. It is upon the sudden death of one biddy, Madame D (Tilda Swinton) that Gustave seizes the opportunity for which he has seemingly spent a lifetime planning. Madame D has named him as a featured beneficiary in her will but her psychotic sons (Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe) hate Gustave and are prepared to unleash hell to destroy him and the Grand Budapest.
UP 6.30PM, 7MATE After attaching thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Another instant classic from the
computer animation powerhouse that is Pixar Films ( WALL-E, Finding Nemo). The delightful, inspiring and genuinely heart-warming picture is one of their best yet, playfully guiding its all-ages audience through a complex, yet simply moving tale. A big yes.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS 10PM, TEN Woody Allen’s glorious love-letter to Paris marks a striking return to form for the veteran filmmaker. Owen Wilson plays Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter holidaying in the French capital with an antsy fiancee (Rachel McAdams) and her overbearing parents. One night, Gil stumbles on a miraculous part of the city where the long-gone Paris he has always pined for returns to life. Something of a fairytale for lovers of art, literature and love itself, the film is abundant with charm.
Disappointing ride: Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz fail to reach expectations in TheBourneLegacy.