WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

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

SUN­DAY

JOE DIRT 8.30PM, ELEVEN Joe Dirt is the kind of no­brainer Adam San­dler would have starred in dur­ing the Happy Gil­more-Billy Madi­son phase of his ca­reer. But where San­dler’s in­ex­pli­ca­ble charm would have al­lowed him to walk on the pol­luted wa­ter Joe Dirt con­fuses with com­edy, poor old David Spade just sinks like a stone to some very murky depths in­deed. In the movie’s de­fence, the script does throw the oc­ca­sional spark, but noth­ing re­ally ca­pa­ble of set­ting au­di­ences ablaze with laugh­ter.

MON­DAY

TUES­DAY

★★

KILL BILL: VOL. 2 9.30PM, GO! Master writer-di­rec­tor Quentin Tarantino ups the elec­tric­ity to close out his epic re­venge saga on an ap­pro­pri­ately high-volt­age note. For those un­fa­mil­iar with the plight of free­lance fe­male as­sas­sin The Bride (Uma Thur­man), the score­board reads “two down, three to go’’ for her bid to erad­i­cate the hit squad (led by a su­perb David Car­ra­dine) who killed her fiance and un­born child. With­out doubt, the yard­stick against which all ac­tion film­mak­ing in the fu­ture will be mea­sured.

★★★★

THE MEX­I­CAN 9.30PM, ELEVEN The Mex­i­can just puts Brad Pitt and Ju­lia Roberts to­gether and lets the su­per­star sparks fly. But di­rec­tor Gore Verbin­ski doesn’t take the easy way home. He keeps the stars apart for much of this sur­pris­ingly edgy left-of­cen­tre road movie and – be­lieve it or not – much more of a punch is packed as a re­sult. Though Pitt and Roberts – su­perbly cast as off-again, on-again lovers Jerry Wel­bach and Sa­man­tha Barzel – have their mo­ments to­gether at ei­ther end of a

★★★★

rather ropey caper tale, it is not their stel­lar pair­ing that will stay in your mind. What burns its own unique niche in the mem­ory is Roberts’ un­likely chem­istry with the late James Gan­dolfini (of TV’s The So­pra­nos) as a sen­si­tive hitman.

WED­NES­DAY

THE HURT LOCKER 9.30PM, GO! Most movies about the mil­i­tary stick like glue to the old cliche that “war is hell”. The Hurt Locker dares to en­ter the psy­che of a soldier through a dif­fer­ent door. It’s all there in the four words that ap­pear on the screen be­fore this ex­tra­or­di­nary film ar­rives at its first scene: “war is a drug”. Sgt Wil­liam James (Jeremy Ren­ner), a mav­er­ick bomb dis­posal spe­cial­ist based in Bagh­dad, is very much an ad­dict. Over two grip­ping hours, we will learn why he in­jects him­self into deathly sit­u­a­tions com­pletely at odds with a hu­man be­ing’s fun­da­men­tal in­stinct to live. Di­rected by Kathryn Bigelow.

★★★★

THURS­DAY

STEEL MAGNOLIAS 9.30PM, ELEVEN A pow­er­house cast in­clud­ing Ju­lia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Par­ton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Han­nah and Olympia Dukakis amps up this story of a close-knit cir­cle of friends who come to­gether at a lo­cal beauty par­lour as the re­al­ity of their small-town Louisiana lives un­fold. The one-lin­ers flow freely in this bit­ter­sweet drama as do the tears. Among this re­viewer’s favourite lines is one from MacLaine’s bad-tem­pered Ouiser Boudreaux: “I’m not crazy, I’ve just been in a very bad mood 40 years.”

FRI­DAY

★★★★

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RE­TURN OF THE KING 8.30PM, GO! Some nine screen hours af­ter we were first trans­ported into the weird and won­der­ful world of Mid­dle Earth, the jour­ney is com­plete. For ev­ery­one who has im­mersed them­selves in ev­ery last de­tail of Peter Jack­son’s

★★★★

am­bi­tious and ar­rest­ing adap­ta­tion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s time­less fan­tasy, The Lord of the Rings: The Re­turn of the King will prove to be a movie ex­pe­ri­ence to truly savour. The best film of the tril­ogy? With­out a shadow of a doubt, yes. Stars Eli­jah Wood, Viggo Mortensen and Ian McKellen.

SATUR­DAY

PROMETHEUS 9.15PM, TEN Ac­claimed di­rec­tor Ri­d­ley Scott ( Blade Run­ner) once again takes the con­trols of the Alien se­ries in as­sured and com­pelling fash­ion. A com­plex plot un­folds in the year 2093, where a cor­po­rate­funded space mis­sion is un­der way to in­ves­ti­gate the ori­gin of mankind. Af­ter a two-year jour­ney, the 17-strong crew aboard the space­ship Prometheus land on a dis­tant bar­ren moon, where they hap­pen upon a dome-like struc­ture that clearly does not be­long there. Stars Noomi Ra­pace, Char­l­ize Theron, Michael Fass­ben­der, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce.

★★★★

Com­pelling: Char­l­ize Theron and Idris Elba star in di­rec­tor Ri­d­ley Scott’s space thriller Prometheus.

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