WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

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

SUN­DAY

MIS­SION: IM­POS­SI­BLE 2 11PM, TEN Spe­cial Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) joins forces with a beau­ti­ful jewel thief (Thandie New­ton) to save the world from at­tack by a deadly virus. Set largely in Syd­ney, this hotly hyped se­quel is a mi­nor dis­ap­point­ment. Di­rec­tor John Woo ( Face/Off ) takes an eter­nity to get the good stuff – that is, the art­fully art­less break­ing and blow­ing up of stuff.

★★

MON­DAY

THE USUAL SUS­PECTS 10.30PM, ONE Though the end­ing is seem­ingly given away at the start, it soon be­comes clear merely know­ing the out­come is not enough. A movie where the get­ting-there (and the get­ting-away-with-it) is ev­ery­thing. Whiplash de­liv­ery of crack­ing di­a­logue by a bril­liant cast caps off the whole she­bang per­fectly.

★★★★★

TUES­DAY

PERSE­PO­LIS 3AM, SBS Set the recorder. A boldly in­no­va­tive and en­gross­ing an­i­mated adap­ta­tion of Mar­jane Sa­trapis’ graph­ic­novel memoir, it is about an Ira­nian girl who wit­nesses the fall of a cor­rupt Amer­i­can-backed regime and the rise of op­pres­sive Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ists. This is strong and con­fronting stuff for the an­i­ma­tion genre, which by de­fault has been deemed the province of the cute kid­die pic­ture for too long. Perse­po­lis has other ideas, and it con­fi­dently presents its so­phis­ti­cated story for adults with force­ful elo­quence and all the right dashes of ironic hu­mour. Win­ner of the pres­ti­gious Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in 2007 but con­sid­ered un­lucky to have missed out on a Best For­eign Film Os­car.

★★★★

WED­NES­DAY

I AM LEG­END 6.45PM, FOX­TEL THRILLER

★★★★

Af­ter a virus wipes out al­most all civilised life, the last man stand­ing in New York City works to find a cure in this fright­en­ing, con­fronting and ab­sorb­ing ac­tion pic­ture. Will Smith ex­cels in the star­ring role, not only car­ry­ing the en­tire pic­ture but keep­ing the au­di­ence at his side through­out. The film func­tions equally ef­fec­tively as a tech­ni­cal achieve­ment, by pitch­ing an empty, eerie New York as a strangely serene ur­ban waste­land.

THURS­DAY

MEAN GIRLS 9PM, ELEVEN One of the smarter teen comedies, strut­ting its stuff in the wide-open spa­ces that di­vide the sharp so­cial satire of Reese Wither­spoon’s Elec­tion and the style-over-sub­stance savvy of Alicia Sil­ver­stone’s Clue­less. Lind­say Lo­han stars – along­side Rachel McA­dams, Lacey Chabert (far left, with Lo­han and McA­dams), Amanda Seyfried and Tina Fey – as a shel­tered, home-ed­u­cated in­genue ex­pe­ri­enc­ing life at a US high school for the first time.

★★★

Fin­ger on the pulse: Stephen Bald­win, Pete Postleth­waite and Gabriel Byrne shine in TheU­su­alSus­pects.

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