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


AL­MOST FA­MOUS 10.30PM, TEN For rock mu­sic in the early 1970s, the pos­si­bil­i­ties seemed end­less. The peo­ple who played it wore their hair long and their flares even longer as they belted out a loud, proud noise they thought would echo for­ever. Al­most Fa­mous, the film from US writer-di­rec­tor Cameron Crowe, lets us in on just how close they came to get­ting it right. As a teenage mu­sic jour­nal­ist about 30 years ago, sea­soned road-war­rior min­strels such as Led Zep­pelin and the Stones would take him on tour with them, and Crowe would chron­i­cle ev­ery high point and bum note. Al­most Fa­mous is a deeply per­sonal tale, set in the days when Crowe was mu­sic’s Macau­lay Culkin star­ring in his own ver­sion of On the Road Alone.


MEET THE SPAR­TANS 9.30PM, GO! Put your gag re­flex to the ul­ti­mate test for the worst spoof flick ever. The rocket sci­en­tists re­spon­si­ble for this no-brow groan-fest be­lieve there’s an en­tire film’s worth of jokes in sim­ply point­ing out (via ref­er­ences to for­mer hit movie 300) the an­cient Greeks were kind of gay. An en­cy­clo­pe­dia en­try on the sub­ject would have bet­ter punch­lines than the dire drivel served up here.


THE KITE RUN­NER 8.30PM, FOX­TEL MAS­TER­PIECE A sim­ple, af­fect­ing tale of an Amer­i­can writer who must re­turn to the Afghanistan of his youth to right some wrongs of the past. Sev­eral con­fronting se­quences in­volve the abuse of chil­dren in Afghanistan, but the is­sue is han­dled sen­si­tively thanks to fine per­for­mances and pow­er­ful sto­ry­telling. Di­rected by Marc Forster ( Find­ing Nev­er­land).


ICE AGE 2: THE MELT­DOWN 4.10PM, FOX­TEL FAM­ILY Global warm­ing and the threat of an im­mi­nent flood forces Sid the sloth, Diego the sabre-tooth tiger, Manny the mam­moth and friends on yet another ar­du­ous cross-coun­try trek. Vaguely en­ter­tain­ing se­quel to the 2002 an­i­mated hit, but a lot of the magic is gone. Fea­tures the voices of Ray Ro­mano, De­nis Leary and Queen Lat­i­fah. A rare high­light ar­rives when a quar­tet of vul­tures war­ble their way through Food, Glo­ri­ous Food.


THE SO­CIAL NET­WORK 8.30PM, GO! This mas­ter­ful, con­tentious and grip­ping biopic of Face­book web ty­coon Mark Zucker­berg (ex­pertly por­trayed by Jesse Eisen­berg) down­loads us deep in­side the con­trol-alt-delete mind of its sub­ject. You can hit the es­cape key all you want. You won’t be able to get away. Ac­claimed screen­writer Aaron Sorkin (TV’s The West Wing) clev­erly splits the Zucker­berg story into du­elling be­fore-and-af­ter moral­ity tales. In­ter-cut with a me­te­oric rise to in­ter­net bil­lion­aire­dom is a se­ries of law­suits sug­gest­ing Zucker­berg swiped his big idea from smaller minds. A provoca­tive com­men­tary on the ever-widen­ing gap be­tween the online world and the real world.


ALVIN AND THE CHIP­MUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL 8PM, GO! More ear-shred­ding cover ver­sions and soft-serve high jinks from those dreaded helium-voiced singing ro­dents Alvin and the Chip­munks. Qual­ity ranges from half-bad to truly ter­ri­ble, depend­ing on how much you can be both­ered pay­ing at­ten­tion. The ad­di­tion of the allfe­male out­fit The Chipettes just makes the mind­less monotony of it all go that lit­tle bit longer.


A BEAU­TI­FUL MIND 8.30PM, SBS Rus­sell Crowe serves up yet another pitch-per­fect por­trayal of a com­plex real-life char­ac­ter, star­ring as gifted math­e­ma­ti­cian John Forbes Nash Jr, who tri­umphs over a lengthy bat­tle with schizophre­nia to win the No­bel Prize. This qual­ity drama is an acutely sen­si­tive and re­fresh­ingly un­sen­ti­men­tal ex­plo­ration of a de­bil­i­tat­ing men­tal ill­ness. Di­rec­tor Ron Howard shot the scenes in strict chrono­log­i­cal or­der, a rar­ity in mod­ern-day film­mak­ing.

Caught in web: Jesse Eisen­berg plays Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg in TheSo­cialNet­work.

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