free

to air Heart-warm­ers and hor­rors

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Evan Wil­liams

BE­FORE tak­ing over as James Bond, Pierce Bros­nan played a plan­ta­tion owner in Mis­ter John­son, Bruce Beres­ford’s fine film about race re­la­tions in Bri­tish colo­nial Africa. Four­teen years later, Bros­nan teamed with Beres­ford again to make Eve­lyn (Wed­nes­day, noon, Gem), based on a true story and ar­guably Beres­ford’s most ac­com­plished heart-warmer. Bros­nan plays Des­mond Doyle, an Ir­ish work­ing man who fought a his­toric legal battle for cus­tody of his chil­dren in 1953. The film has ev­ery­thing: a brave and de­ter­mined hero, a plucky lit­tle girl, a bunch of over-the-hill ec­centrics roped in to or­gan­ise the court case and a great cli­mac­tic trial scene.

Aeon Flux (Sun­day, 8.30pm, 11) is that rarest of dystopian fan­tasies: a de­pic­tion of a fu­ture post-apoc­a­lyp­tic world where the sur­vivors live in a state of per­fect bliss, ruled by a benev­o­lent dic­ta­tor, Mr Good­child. Aeon (Char­l­ize Theron) is one of an un­grate­ful mi­nor­ity of dis­si­dents plot­ting a revo­lu­tion, and the slick­est ac­tion-fig­ure hero­ine since Lara Croft, tomb raider.

H. G. Wells imag­ined a much darker fu­ture in Things to Come (Thurs­day, 1.15am, ABC1), set in an ur­ban me­trop­o­lis known as Ev­ery­town, where war and disease are ram­pant. Di­rected in vi­sion­ary style by Alexan­der Korda in 1936, the film starred Ray­mond Massey and Ralph Richard­son and pre­dicted, among other hor­rors, the aerial bomb­ing of civil­ians dur­ing World War II.

At least in Ring (Fri­day, 12.40am, SBS Two), the hor­rors are re­as­sur­ingly su­per­nat­u­ral. This is Hideo Nakata’s clas­sic about a mys­te­ri­ous video­tape that brings death to any­one who watches it. Nakata made two se­quels and Naomi Watts starred in a 2002 Hol­ly­wood re­make. Dated it may be, but many a good fright is guar­an­teed.

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