WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
Vincenzo Natali is not above raising the ethical dilemmas he is more at home with dishing out the ick factor in copious quantities.
THE SEA INSIDE 1.40AM (WEDS), SBS1 Uneven, enigmatic drama based on the true story of a famous Spanish euthanasia campaigner. The performance of Javier Bardem as a quadriplegic with a death wish is as moving as it is deep. The film, however, is a bit of a drag, and ever so slightly shallow. When contesting the issue of the right to end it all, you can’t have an each-way bet.
AMERICAN SNIPER FOXTEL ON DEMAND Multi-platform premiere of this electrifying drama. It’s no real surprise that this electrifying war drama is the work of director Clint Eastwood. Courtesy of a decorated career in front of and behind the camera, Eastwood is a man who knows all too well how to pit good against evil. With much gunplay thrown in for good measure. This is the true
story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the Navy SEAL who is ranked as the most effective wartime sniper in US military history. While the movie is no way a wanton celebration of killing in the line of the duty, there is a proudly patriotic streak to Eastwood’s approach that some viewers may find worryingly simplistic.
THE DESCENDANTS 9.30PM, ELEVEN Another superlative anchoring performance from George Clooney. Another intricate blend of evocative drama and winning humour from writer-director Alexander Payne ( Sideways, AboutSchmidt). It’s all here in TheDescendants, as is so much more. Clooney plays Matt King, a Hawaiian property lawyer thrown for a loop on the eve of a deal of a lifetime. With his wife in a coma after a boating mishap, Matt must reconnect with his two daughters, each of whom respects him little and knows him even less. The film covers a wide spectrum of emotions in a warm and relatable manner, and not a false note is struck throughout.
BASIC INSTINCT 11PM, 7MATE A detective investigating a murder (Michael Douglas) encounters a femme fatale who could be a possible prime suspect in the case. Sharon Stone in her first big role plays the role of villain to perfection. Also stars Jeanne Tripplehorn and George Dzundza.
RIO 6PM, TEN Flavoursome 3-D visuals and a bland, 1-D storyline all but cancel one another out in the passable animated adventure Rio. Kids under 12 won’t mind watching it, but will be hard-pushed to remember much of it once the credits roll. Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is a nervy, nerdy North American, a pampered pet who cannot fly. Jewel (Anne Hathaway) is a swingin’, sophisticated South American, a feathered flirt who can fly. The pair are brought together in Brazil to go forth and procreate to save their sub-species, only to be bird-napped at the height of Carnivale time in a hypercolourful Rio.
Feathered fun: The kids will enjoy animated adventure Rio.