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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

HERE are times when this col­umn feels like Adam San­dler’s char­ac­ter in Click ( Sun­day, 9.40pm, Nine; NSW, Vic only), bur­dened with too many re­mote con­trols whose func­tions are un­clear. In San­dler’s case, he’s likely to open the garage door when he wants to change chan­nels. Then a wizard ma­te­ri­alises in the form of Christo­pher Walken and gives him a uni­ver­sal re­mote that al­lows him to con­trol the uni­verse. At first it’s great fun. He can mute his bark­ing dog, re­play life’s hap­pier mo­ments, fast-for­ward through traf­fic jams and bor­ing din­ner par­ties, and spend more time with his ne­glected wife ( Kate Beck­in­sale). Steven Spiel­berg, in ear­lier days, would have had a mar­vel­lous time ex­ploit­ing this charm­ing premise. But, as of­ten hap­pens in su­per­nat­u­ral fan­tasies, ev­ery­thing gets sil­lier and more pre­ten­tious, and you may hap­pily click over to Chil­dren of Men ( Sun­day, 10.10pm, Ten), set in a mil­i­tarised Bri­tain in 2027. I rated this the best film I saw in 2006, a mas­ter­piece from Mex­i­can di­rec­tor Al­fonso Cuaron, based on a novel by P. D. James ( who is still writ­ing bril­liant de­tec­tive sto­ries at 88, bless her. If you haven’t read her lat­est, The Pri­vate Pa­tient , I urge you to do so be­tween free-to-air movies). She imag­ines a world in which the pop­u­la­tion is infertile. No baby has been born for 18 years. This is one of those rare fu­tur­is­tic fa­bles that ring hor­ri­bly true, for the good rea­son that the world por­trayed looks all too grimly like the one we know. Clive Owen plays a re­luc­tant hero who shelters a preg­nant African woman and has to get her to a safe place to have her baby. Of course, the weather be­ing what it is, you’re in no mood for this sort of thing, but see it, at least, for two or three ex­tended action se­quences, filmed in un­bro­ken takes, that are surely among the most grip­ping in all cin­ema. Bach­e­lor Party ( Satur­day, 10.55pm, Seven) is an early Tom Hanks film about a bach­e­lor party ( crass, pre­dictable stag night hu­mour; Hanks went on to do bet­ter things) and Along Came a Spi­der ( Fri­day, 11.30pm, Seven) is an un­be­liev­able, un­pleas­ant thriller about the ab­duc­tion of a US se­na­tor’s 12-year-old daugh­ter in which the uglier as­pects of the story are soft­ened by the sanc­ti­mo­nious pres­ence of Mor­gan Free­man as a guilt-rid­den de­tec­tive. That leaves Les Cho­ristes ( Sun­day, 9.30pm, SBS),

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