WEEK IN MOVIES

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

SUN­DAY

NED KELLY 9.30PM, ONE A mud­dled take on the life and times of the Aus­tralian bushranger, pan­der­ing to the myth of an Aus­tralian Robin Hood in­stead of chal­leng­ing it. Solidly evokes the at­mos­phere of a colour­ful era in our his­tory, but on shaky ground try­ing to make a saint of some­one who was any­thing but. Heath Ledger’s charis­matic read­ing of Kelly will save the day for most view­ers, who should en­joy the jour­ney in time even if patchy sto­ry­telling rides roughshod over the facts.

MON­DAY

LORD OF WAR 8.30PM, SBS2 Ni­co­las Cage is the lead­ing free­lance gun­run­ner for the Third World in this un­ortho­dox flick from writer-di­rec­tor An­drew Nic­col ( Gat­taca). It’s hard to tell if it is sup­posed to be an odd­ball black com­edy or out­spo­ken po­lit­i­cal satire but it doesn’t quite cut it on ei­ther level. Hav­ing said that, it is im­pec­ca­bly scripted and never dull.

TUES­DAY

FAST & FU­RI­OUS 6 8.30PM, 7MATE In this en­ter­tain­ing se­quel, the F&F gang – last seen hid­ing out in ex­tra­di­tion-free glam­our des­ti­na­tions around Europe – is re­united af­ter a revving-up from their old fren­emy Agent Hobbs (Dwayne John­son). As we should know by now, no one goes to a F&F movie for the story. All any­one wants from this hugely pop­u­lar fran­chise is to get high on the fumes of one au­da­cious four-wheeled stunt af­ter an­other. On this level alone, Fast & Fu­ri­ous 6 spec­tac­u­larly de­liv­ers both with quan­tity (the film runs nearly 130 min­utes, but never stops for a red-light breather) and qual­ity (there are at least five set-piece se­quences that more than jus­tify the price of ad­mis­sion).

WED­NES­DAY

THE BAND’S VISIT 2.30AM, SBS2 Set the recorder for this near-flaw­less ob­ser­va­tional com­edy about an Egyp­tian po­lice orches­tra ma­rooned in the mid­dle of nowhere some­where in Is­rael. The del­i­cately dead­pan hu­mour and pitch-per­fect per­for­mances make this a must-see for fans of high­qual­ity world cinema.

THURS­DAY

DIN­NER FOR SCHMUCKS 9PM, ONE The open­ing cred­its say the film was “in­spired by’’ the 1998 hit French com­edy The Din­ner Game. But if you’re look­ing to find any in­spi­ra­tion, you’d bet­ter bring along a pow­er­ful tele­scope or a wild imag­i­na­tion. Paul Rudd plays an ex­ec­u­tive in­vited to a din­ner where guests are asked to bring along the big­gest id­iot they know. Steve Carell’s kitsch artist – a man who crafts his works from dead mice – fits the bill. Carell and a se­lect few cast­mates ( Flight of the Con­chords’ Je­maine Cle­ment and The Han­gover’s Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis) serve up a few snack-sized bites of snappy sur­re­al­ism, but too many bland in­gre­di­ents make for an in­sub­stan­tial movie meal.

FRI­DAY

LET­TERS FROM IWO JIMA 3.55PM, MAS­TER­PIECE Clint East­wood’s rapid-fire re­turn to WWII’s bloody Bat­tle of Iwo Jima af­ter Flags of Our Fathers is a far su­pe­rior ef­fort in ev­ery depart­ment. Filmed from the per­spec­tive of Ja­pa­nese sol­diers, the spar­tan sto­ry­telling builds omi­nously into a tren­chant cri­tique of the fu­til­ity of war. Stars Ken Watan­abe.

SATUR­DAY

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD 8.30PM, TEN Let us never for­get the first two Die Hard movies were rip­ping, grip­ping pulp en­ter­tain­ment. That was more than two decades ago. Now here’s Die Hard 5, which is as hazily for­get­table as the pre­vi­ous two. Most will file it away for fu­ture trivia quizzes as “the one where John McClane goes to Moscow’’. John has an es­tranged son named Jack (Jai Court­ney) who is in trou­ble in Rus­sia so he goes over to save him. But Jack doesn’t need sav­ing, as he’s re­ally work­ing un­der­cover for the CIA. So be­gins a medium-paced merry-go-round of blam-blam-blam and blah­blah-blah, which in­cludes a dou­ble-cross twist that is too easy to pick and sev­eral dodgy Rus­sian ac­cents that are too hard to stom­ach.

No signs of slow­ing: Vin Diesel, right, con­tin­ues to de­liver the goods in the ac­tion-packed Fast&Fu­ri­ous6.

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