FREE- TO- AIR FILMS
LEST I be sued for defamation and locked up, I can assure readers that all films mentioned in this column, whatever I may say about them, are masterpieces of cinematic art.
I haven’t seen National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion ( Saturday, 11.15pm), but Seven reckons this is National Lampoon’s most outrageous family misadventure yet, so that’s good enough for me.
You can bet it will be just as tasteless as the others. The original, National Lampoon’s Animal House, was a huge hit with young audiences, grossing more than $ US80 million, which was a lot of money in 1978.
Seven has something called Saving Jessica Lynch ( Thursday, midday), billed as the incredible true story of Private Lynch’s heroic rescue during Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2003. The real Jessica Lynch has since publicly accused the US Government and military of fabricating the story as part of a propaganda campaign to justify the invasion of Iraq, so I’d be inclined to treat the incredible true story, starring Laura Regan ( Dead Silence , Hollow Man 11 ) as only slightly incredible.
Theresa Russell plays an American divorcee who has an affair with a psychiatrist in Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing ( Sunday, 1.40am, ABC) and Anthony Hopkins plays a distinguished college professor who has an affair with a younger working- class woman in Robert Benton’s The Human Stain ( Friday, midday, Seven). In both cases the acting is more convincing than the material, but you wont forget either film in a hurry.
Geoffrey Rush stars, with others, in House on Haunted Hill ( Sunday, 11.30pm, Seven), an above- average spooky in the old darkhouse tradition ( and a remake of William Castle’s famously scary 1959 original). Five strangers are persuaded to spend a night together in a former insane asylum and anyone who comes through the experience will receive $ 1 million.
Mad Cows ( Monday, midday, Seven) is from Kathy Lette’s novel about a spunky Aussie girl ( Anna Friel) who takes on the evil British class system in an attempt to get English cad Alex ( Greg Wise) to acknowledge his baby son. Lette specialises in wickedly clever one- liners but, as funny as they usually are, they don’t transfer easily to the mouths of actors.
Lette makes an appearance ( as does