WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
SHAUN OF THE DEAD 9.30PM, ELEVEN After being dumped by his girlfriend, an unambitious appliance salesman (Simon Pegg) emerges from a massive hangover to discover his sedate London neighbourhood has been overrun by the undead. There’s still some life in the zombie flick yet, judging by how this highly entertaining hybrid of horror and romantic comedy gets the job done. Great characters, witty writing and legitimate thrills.
A FEW GOOD MEN 9.30PM, ONE As speechy and preachy a courtroom drama as you’ll ever find, detailing the secret manoeuvring that shadows a naval court martial. The key here is the constant butting of heads between the three leads – Tom Cruise’s cocky maritime defence lawyer, Demi Moore’s determined career woman and Jack Nicholson’s charismatic renegade colonel. A goodguy/bad-guy melodrama in which justice ultimately prevails, but not before everyone has said their piece.
THE SWEETEST THING NOON, SEVEN Cameron Diaz needs the help of Christina Applegate and Selma Blair to get her to the church on time before her Mr Right gets there with someone else. Flimsy comedy which makes a mess of blending the feel-good frolics of My Best Friend’s Wedding with a sick chick-flick version of There’s Something About Mary. Diaz is OK, but everything else is decidedly disappointing.
INTERSTELLAR 7.30PM, FOXTEL PREMIERE The most memorable and challenging mainstream release of 2014. And perhaps the most divisive. The story is set in a not-so-distant future where our planet is virtually a spent force. Matthew McConaughey plays a former NASA test pilot who joins a secret mission to find a new home for what remains of Earth’s dwindling population. The spirit of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey pulses strongly through Interstellar’s most beguiling sequences in deep space. Co-stars Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine.
DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS 9.30PM, SBS2 Genuinely exciting and involving documentary about the history of skateboarding, as told by the hang-tenning high priests of the radical religion themselves. It is directed into an in-your-face frenzy by former boarding
champ Stacy Peralta, yet is equally accessible for skate punks and ordinary pedestrians alike. Narration comes from actor Sean Penn, whose rough-hewn tones (and the occasional clearing of the throat) suggest he recorded his lines in one take.
KILLING THEM SOFTLY 8.30PM, SBS This dark, menacing and black-hearted crime drama is not here to win friends. It is here to leave bruises. The ferocity and malice of its violence – shocking as it indeed can be – frames part of a bigger picture with something to say about modern American life. Brad Pitt plays a seasoned hitman not above outsourcing the dirty work when times are busy. As they are when assigned to find and kill two
druggy crooks who have robbed the wrong card game. As directed by Australian Andrew Dominik ( Chopper), this gritty film is at once a disarming and disillusioning experience. Co-stars Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini.
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND 8.30PM, SBS An initially unwieldy combination of fact and fictionalised docudrama will make perfect sense once you clap eyes on the incredible performance of Forest Whitaker. His portrayal of the notorious Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is a chilling reflection of a man hell-bent on appealing to the masses while secretly murdering as many of them as he can. Co-stars James McAvoy.
Deadly serious: Brad Pitt plays a seasoned hitman in KillingThemSoftly.