WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS 10.30PM, 7MATE If Quentin Tarantino had honed his skills directing episodes of Minder instead of working in a video store, he would have wound up making a film such as Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. Four young London grifters pool their hardearned to enter a high-rollers’ poker game, and come out owing half a million quid to a local stand-over merchant. A quick-earner of a scam is hatched, involving drugdealing private schoolboys, pennyweight and heavyweight crims and a pair of the oldest firearms this side of the Napoleonic Wars.
GARDEN STATE 8.30PM, SBS2 A struggling actor weaning himself off a dependence on anti-depressants returns home after a nine-year absence to attend his mother’s funeral. The most mature, rewarding and downright soulful American film of 2004 marked the arrival of its writer-director and star Zach Braff as a filmmaking force to be reckoned with. A bittersweet, low-key comedy-drama that excels in every department. Highly recommended. Co-stars Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard.
BOYHOOD 5.40PM, FOXTEL MASTERPIECE The coming-of-age movie? Been there, done that. The comingof-life movie? Now, this is something new. We join typical Texas kid Mason (Ellar Coltrane) at the age of six, and bid him goodbye at 18, after 12 years of periodic filming.
Nothing much happens to the lad during this period, aside from life itself. And, as organically filmed by Richard Linklater, that turns out to be really something. A unique cinematic experience well worth the effort. Co-stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia
THE HEAT 8.30PM, TEN You won’t be needing a thermometer to take the comedic temperature of The Heat. While it might be an easy enough film to warm to – thanks mainly to the opposites-repel casting of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy – don’t go sweating on too many big laughs here. A lazy plot rips some well-thumbed pages from the good-cop-mad-cop playbook. Bullock is the organised, stuck-up, by-the-rules one. Which means McCarthy – echoing her previous star turns in Bridesmaids and Identity Thief – is
the messy, street-
smart, renegade one. Their assignment is to bring down a Boston drug baron. But that’s of secondary importance when there are so many so-so set-pieces to get to. Most trade in a bitchy brand of bickering where Bullock will get uppity about something, and McCarthy will gun her down with a profane punchline. Average.
INTO THE BLUE 9.30PM, GO! Off the coast of the Bahamas, an ace diver and part-time treasure hunter stumbles on a sunken ship and a crashed plane full of cocaine in quick succession. An alarmingly erratic thriller, best seen by heavy breathers who love to marvel at the wonder that is Jessica Alba’s buff bod. Costars Paul Walker.
AUSTRALIAN RULES 9.30PM, NITV When Prospect Bay’s junior football team makes the grand final for the first time in 38 years, its racially integrated line-up becomes a lightning rod for tensions that have rumbled for years. Within this pressurecooker atmosphere, a close friendship between the team’s Aboriginal star, Dumby (Luke Carroll), and white fringe player Gary “Blacky’’ Black (Nathan Phillips), is barely tolerated. Australian Rules is a gutsy, gripping film.
HOTEL RWANDA 8.35PM, SBS During the horrific Rwandan genocide of 1994, a resourceful hotel manager shelters more than 1000 refugees from murderous political extremists. What follows in this confronting true-life drama is a steep descent into “How could this have happened?” hell. A conscience-pricking, complacency-kicking experience. Stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo.
Messy fun: Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock star in TheHeat.