The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

WITH Spi­der- man, Su­per­man and the Ter­mi­na­tor all putting in ap­pear­ances this week, you’d think that be­tween them they could do some­thing about global warm­ing. In­stead they get bogged down in the usual gang wars and petty crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties. Why aren’t they watch­ing The Day Af­ter To­mor­row ( Fri­day, 8.30pm, Seven), which has a Rus­sian ship sail­ing up Fifth Av­enue, an ice- en­crusted Statue of Lib­erty, snow in New Delhi, and good­ness knows what else di­rec­tor Roland Em­merich can think up to scare us? Em­merich’s film was the first cli­mate- change block­buster and a pretty im­pres­sive one, what­ever you think of its not- so- sub­tle po­lit­i­cal agenda ( the US as the arch- pol­lut­ing global vil­lain). It makes Su­per­man III ( Satur­day, 10pm, Nine) look pretty triv­ial. The Man of Steel is up against mega­lo­ma­niac ty­coon Robert Vaughn in a plot to take over the world, but who cares when the world is sink­ing un­der ris­ing sea lev­els? Spi­der- Man ( Satur­day, 7.30pm, Nine), the first of the tril­ogy, was more no­table for the ro­mance be­tween Tobey Maguire and girl- next- door Kirsten Dunst than its spe­cial ef­fects ( which were won­der­ful nev­er­the­less), and

( Sun­day, 10pm, Nine) — di­rected by Jonathan Mos­tow — is best re­mem­bered for its de­mo­li­tion derby se­quence with crane and fire- en­gine. Is this a case for alien in­ter­ven­tion? is get­ting an­other run on Ten ( Sun­day, 2.45pm) and some­how one hopes that Steven Spiel­berg’s lit­tle crit­ter will come back, sign the Ky­oto treaty and set an ex­am­ple to the Chi­nese. In the real world, ( Satur­day, 9.30pm, SBS) is Mike Leigh’s in­tensely mov­ing, provoca­tive and pow­er­ful


E. T.: The Ex­tra- Ter­res­trial

Vera Drake film about a well- in­ten­tioned back­street abor­tion­ist in post- war Lon­don, with Imelda Staunton un­for­get­table as Vera, a sim­ple soul anx­ious to help poor girls in trou­ble. When the po­lice in­evitably catch up with her we are taken through all the har­row­ing busi­ness of her pros­e­cu­tion and trial. Leigh’s pur­pose is to per­suade us that Vera is en­tirely blame­less ( which one takes leave to doubt), and I hope no one will be dis­cour­aged when I say that while Vera Drake is among the most mis­er­able films I have seen, it is also among the rich­est and most ab­sorb­ing. In

( Sun­day, 9.15pm, Ten), from John Le Carre’s novel, the vil­lain is Big Pharma. I’d been wait­ing for a thriller about the


The Con­stant

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