WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

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

SUN­DAY

CAP­TAIN AMER­ICA: THE FIRST AVENGER 8.30PM, TEN As Cap­tain Amer­ica was very much a prod­uct of US wartime sen­si­bil­i­ties in the early 1940s, it must be stated up­front this is a pe­cu­liarly old-fash­ioned ac­tion film. Chris Evans stars as Steve Rogers, an un­der-nour­ished, over-pa­tri­otic wannabe soldier deemed too puny for ac­tive duty by Un­cle Sam. With all his friends head­ing off to World War II, Steve is so des­per­ately de­ter­mined to join them that he al­lows him­self to be­come the guinea pig for a top-se­cret mil­i­tary experiment. In­jected with a ra­dioac­tive su­per-serum by a kindly sci­en­tist (Stan­ley Tucci), Steve grows from geek to gar­gan­tuan in an in­stant. Now blessed with speed, re­flexes and en­durance ca­pa­bil­i­ties su­pe­rior to ev­ery soldier on the planet, the pow­ers-that-be trans­form Steve into a PR-friendly fig­ure they dub Cap­tain Amer­ica.

★★★

MON­DAY

LIN­COLN 9.30PM, ONE This is not a con­ven­tional birth-to-death biopic of Amer­ica’s great­est pres­i­dent. In­stead, film­maker Steven Spiel­berg narrows the fo­cus to four short months in the short­ened sec­ond term of Abra­ham Lin­coln (Daniel Day-Lewis). Nev­er­the­less, Lin­coln is a long film. A marathon talk-fest in which Hon­est Abe’s most sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment – the abo­li­tion of slav­ery – will be dis­cussed into ex­is­tence be­fore your very eyes. Luck­ily, for any viewer who may lose their way in this maze of florid chat­ter, there is a great per­for­mance by Day-Lewis to lead you back to clar­ity.

★★★

TUES­DAY

GREEN ZONE 8.30PM, 7MATE Matt Damon stars as a whis­tle-blow­ing soldier who knows there is some­thing

★★★

fishy about the Coali­tion of the Will­ing’s rea­sons for storm­ing Bagh­dad in 2003. The world waits for ev­i­dence of WMDs, but Damon wages a one-man war to prove there is no ev­i­dence at all. The meaty sub­ject mat­ter and Damon’s sure-footed pres­ence el­e­vate this adrenalised ac­tion thriller above the ex­pected av­er­age. The only stick­ing point is the jerky, hand­held cam­er­a­work bla­tantly over-used by di­rec­tor Paul Green­grass.

WED­NES­DAY

THE DAR­JEEL­ING LIM­ITED 5PM, FOX­TEL MAS­TER­PIECE

★★★★

A year af­ter the death of their fa­ther, three broth­ers re­unite for a soul-search­ing trip across In­dia. A mild but ef­fec­tively amus­ing dose of sen­si­tive new-age whimsy from di­rec­tor Wes An­der­son ( The Royal Tenen­baums). Stars Owen Wil­son, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartz­man.

THURS­DAY

COWBOYS AND ALIENS 8.30PM, GO! If you’re go­ing to smoosh to­gether two gen­res for fun and profit, smoosh wisely. The am­bi­tious, yet er­ratic, 1999 Will Smith ve­hi­cle Wild Wild West left a lin­ger­ing sus­pi­cion the clas­sic western and SFX-driven science fic­tion are not so com­pat­i­ble. This is con­clu­sive proof open prairies and outer space don’t mix. Cowboys & Aliens is such a de­ba­cle no one will dare try the combo again. Daniel Craig plays an ex-out­law

who has de­clared war on the slimy space mon­sters that killed his wife for or­gan­har­vest­ing pur­poses. He is joined by Har­ri­son Ford as a land baron who re­cently lost his son (Paul Dano) in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances.

FRI­DAY

AUSTIN POW­ERS: GOLDMEMBER 9.30PM, GO! The orig­i­nal Austin Pow­ers film, 1997’s In­ter­na­tional Man of Mys­tery, wasn’t much chop. The ti­tle char­ac­ter just wasn’t fully formed enough to carry a film on his own, and more gags missed than hit. The 1999 fol­low-up, The Spy Who Shagged Me, was a ma­jor im­prove­ment, thanks largely to an ex­panded role for the bom­bas­ti­cally bent Dr Evil at the ex­pense of Austin, and the cre­ation of height-chal­lenged hell­raiser Mini-Me and the de­light­fully dis­gust­ing Fat Bas­tard. Un­for­tu­nately, Goldmember is so hell-bent on re­cy­cling all that has gone be­fore, it backpedals into the same lame, in­con­sis­tent ter­ri­tory cov­ered by the first movie. De­spite a loopy new vil­lain and the choice cast­ing of Michael Caine as Austin’s old man, Mike My­ers is sim­ply go­ing through the mo­tions here.

★★

SATUR­DAY

FUNNY PEO­PLE 11PM, 7MATE This com­edy by pro­lific writer-di­rec­tor-pro­ducer Judd Apa­tow ( Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Vir­gin) is not re­ally a com­edy at all. De­spite the are-you-readyto-laugh ti­tle, Funny Peo­ple turns out to be a rel­a­tively se­ri­ous film that just hap­pens to have some great jokes in it. Adam San­dler stars as a suc­cess­ful co­me­dian di­ag­nosed with a lifethreat­en­ing con­di­tion who is de­ter­mined to clean up his messy life be­fore his time is up. Seth Ro­gen is a bat­tling gag writer hired to help out. Co-stars Les­lie Mann, Eric Bana and Jonah Hill.

★★★

To the res­cue: Chris Evans plays the tit­u­lar hero in the old-fash­ioned ac­tion film

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