WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

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

SUN­DAY

AMER­I­CAN PSY­CHO 9.30PM, ONE This screen adap­ta­tion of Bret Easton El­lis’s con­tro­ver­sial novel is weak, no­table only for Chris­tian Bale’s driven per­for­mance as a New York busi­ness­man who moon­lights as a se­rial killer. Quickly lapses into a bor­ing sing-song rhythm of death and de­plorable be­hav­iour.

MON­DAY

SHAUN OF THE DEAD 10.30PM, ONE Af­ter be­ing dumped by his girl­friend, an un­am­bi­tious ap­pli­ance sales­man emerges from a mas­sive han­gover to dis­cover his se­date Lon­don neigh­bour­hood has been over­run by the un­dead. There’s still some life in the zom­bie flick yet, judg­ing by how this highly en­ter­tain­ing hy­brid of hor­ror and ro­man­tic com­edy gets the job done. Great char­ac­ters, witty writ­ing and le­git­i­mate thrills.

★★★★

TUES­DAY

I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUM­MER 9.30PM, ELEVEN This se­quel to the hor­ror hit I Know What You Did Last Sum­mer takes place ex­actly one year af­ter the orig­i­nal. You may re­call the plot of the first film, in which Jen­nifer Love He­witt and some friends accidentally hit a bloke with their car, then throw his body in the wa­ter to cover up their mis­deed. To their sur­prise, it turns out their vic­tim wasn’t dead at all and, worse still, hap­pened to be a mur­der­ous, hook-handed psy­chopath with a PhD in killing teenagers. The se­quel is blood­stained busi­ness as usual, with the ex­pected com­po­nent of un­sur­pris­ing sur­prises, false false alarms, fake end­ings and bad puns pass­ing for bad jokes.

★★

WED­NES­DAY

SUN­SHINE CLEAN­ING 11.55PM, SBS ONE This gen­tle, unas­sum­ing US indie dram­edy is the story

★★★

of two sis­ters who start a busi­ness mop­ping up the af­ter­math of crime scenes. De­spite its ap­par­ently down­beat con­cept, it would be wrong to peg Sun­shine Clean­ing as a fea­ture-length equiv­a­lent of a grotty CSI episode. The film turns out to be quite a suc­cinct and ap­peal­ing char­ac­ter study of peo­ple do­ing what they must to keep their heads above wa­ter. There is hu­mour in what the pair learn on the job, but noth­ing re­sem­bling a cheap joke. Pos­si­bly an ac­quired taste, but it does help that per­form­ers as tal­ented as Amy Adams ( Amer­i­can Hus­tle) and Emily Blunt ( The Devil Wears Prada) are fill­ing the lead roles. Co-stars Alan Arkin.

THURS­DAY

BLACK SWAN 9.30PM, ELEVEN Is the pres­sure of striv­ing to be­come a star bal­le­rina get­ting to Nina (Natalie Port­man)? Or has all that time wait­ing in the wings al­ready got the bet­ter of this

★★★★

achingly vul­ner­a­ble young woman? As is direc­tor Dar­ren Aronof­sky’s pre­ferred style, an­swers are kept tan­ta­lis­ingly just out of the reach of per­plexed view­ers. How­ever, few could ever dis­pute the re­fined cal­i­bre of Port­man’s Os­car-win­ning per­for­mance.

FRI­DAY

THE HOB­BIT: AN UN­EX­PECTED JOUR­NEY 8.30PM, GO! The be­gin­ning of a tril­ogy of films based on the beloved book by J.R.R. Tolkien. While un­doubt­edly daz­zling to the eye, a de­cided lack of sto­ry­telling ur­gency (there was no need to stretch this sim­ple story across three long in­stal­ments) floods all other senses with pure te­dium – un­less you are a to­tal tragic for all things Lord of the Rings. Martin Free­man plays Bilbo Bag­gins, the home­body hob­bit who re­luc­tantly joins the wise wiz­ard Gan­dalf (Ian McKellen) and a tribe of war­rior dwarfs for a mam­moth trek into the un­known. The spe­cial-ef­fects

★★

work is ut­terly spell­bind­ing, but there’s no hid­ing the un­nec­es­sary pad­ding that bloats the run­ning time to al­most three hours.

SATUR­DAY

THE WOLVER­INE 8.55PM, TEN An­other solo out­ing for that metal-clawed, mut­ton­chopped X-Men mu­tant Wolver­ine (aka Lo­gan) turns out to be some­thing of a re­turn to form. Never ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial, but never a waste of your pre­cious time. The story un­folds largely in Ja­pan, where Lo­gan (a ripped and som­bre Hugh Jackman) has emerged from years of ex­ile to do battle with the Yakuza, some ninja archers and ev­ery free­lance hit­man in the land. Yep, it is mostly a fight movie, oc­ca­sion­ally a chase movie, and that is all. Set-piece com­bat se­quences range from quite good to truly great. A heart-stop­ping fiveminute scrap on the roof of a bul­let train is one of the great stand-alone ac­tion scenes.

★★★

Claws out: Hugh Jackman heads to Ja­pan in his own X-Men film with TheWolver­ine.

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