WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.