free to air

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air - Ed­die Cock­rell

Mu­nich (MA15+) Satur­day, 8.30pm, SBS Funny Peo­ple (MA15+) Satur­day, 11pm, 7Mate (only NSW; QLD, 10.30pm) Drive, He Said (M) Tues­day, 12.40am, ABC Jack Ni­chol­son made his di­rec­to­rial de­but, from his own screen­play adap­ta­tion, in 1971 with the com­ing-of-age sports drama Drive, He Said (Tues­day, 12.40am, ABC).

The story of a randy high-school bas­ket­ball player set against the so­cial un­rest of the late 1960s and early 70s, the film was a prov­ing ground for a num­ber of fu­ture tal­ents in front of and be­hind the cam­era, in­clud­ing ac­tors Robert Towne (who later wrote Chi­na­town for Ni­chol­son), David Og­den Stiers (the TV ver­sion of M*A*S*H), Cindy Wil­liams ( Laverne & Shirley) and enig­matic writer-di­rec­tor Ter­rence Mal­ick, who did an un­cred­ited screen­play pol­ish.

Jokes should be short and sweet, ac­cord­ing to the con­ven­tional wis­dom. Stand-up co­me­dian turned film­mak­ing fran­chise Judd Apa­tow is there­fore a brave film­maker, in that he stretches the lim­its of screen com­edy with long run­ning times in such hits as The 40-Year-Old-Vir­gin, Knocked Up and the re­cent Amy Schumer movie Train­wreck. His mag­num opus to date, such as it is, is the al­most 2½-hour Funny Peo­ple (Satur­day, 11pm, 7Mate). Adam San­dler plays a mid­dle-aged stand-up comic whose movie star­dom is de­railed by a di­ag­no­sis of leukaemia, and Seth Ro­gen is his youngish pro­tege. Fea­tur­ing a raft of reg­u­lars in Apa­tow’s films (in­clud­ing his wife, Les­lie Mann, and Jonah Hill), the movie also fea­tures Mel­bourne’s own Eric Bana as Mann’s proudly Aus­tralian hus­band. It is way too long for a com­edy, but has in­ter­est­ing points to make about show busi­ness and fam­ily.

And speak­ing of Bana, he distin­guished him­self with crit­ics as the lead char­ac­ter in Steven Spiel­berg’s un­der­rated 2005 his­tor­i­cal thriller Mu­nich (Satur­day, 8.30pm, SBS). He plays a Mos­sad agent tasked with or­gan­is­ing the as­sas­si­na­tion of nearly a dozen Pales­tini­ans thought to be in­volved in the 1972 Mu­nich Olympics mas­sacre. This is a brave, thought­ful, con­tro­ver­sial film, which goes a long way to­wards ex­plain­ing why it is Spiel­berg’s least suc­cess­ful out­ing to date.

Michael Caine has been play­ing cool cus­tomers at least since The Ipcress File some 40 years ago, so it was no sur­prise to see him cast as a pen­sioner with re­venge on his mind in di­rec­tor Daniel Bar­ber’s 2009 vig­i­lante re­venge drama Harry Brown (Satur­day, 11.35pm, SBS). No­body por­trays amoral moral­ity like Caine, who re­mains lik­able even as he bat­tles his way through the low-lifes in his Lon­don coun­cil es­tate who killed his best friend.

On a much lighter note, the hit 2002 an­i­mated com­edy Ice Age (Satur­day, 7pm, Ten) fea­tures the voice tal­ents of Ray Ro­mano, De­nis Leary, Jack Black and oth­ers as a clutch of pre­his­toric an­i­mals strug­gling to cope with a lost hu­man in­fant and a gen­eral grumpi­ness about life. Im­prob­a­ble as it may sound, the film of­fers a good time for kids and adults alike.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.