Free-to-air films

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

This film is the cen­tre­piece of the ABC’s Aus­mu­sic Month, cel­e­brat­ing the way mu­sic has told our sto­ries, brought com­mu­ni­ties to­gether and aug­mented so­cial co­he­sion via the medi­ums of ra­dio and TV, to the newer sources of iView and on­line. Di­rected by vis­ual artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pol­lard, who also wrote the film with Nick Cave, and fea­tur­ing orig­i­nal mu­sic by Cave and War­ren El­lis, it takes its ti­tle from a line in one of Cave’s song­writ­ing note­books, which he al­lowed the film­mak­ers to use as raw ma­te­rial, cal­cu­lat­ing how many days he had been alive. It presents an in­ti­mate if fic­ti­tious 24 hours in his life, his 20,000th day. Premier­ing at the 2014 Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val, it won the world cin­ema di­rect­ing and edit­ing awards in the doc­u­men­tary cat­e­gory. Com­mis­sioned by the Aus­tralian War Memo­rial and pro­duced by ABC jour­nal­ist Chris Mas­ters, who also re­ports and nar­rates, this pow­er­ful hour-long film sim­ply and di­rectly presents the un­told sto­ries of the con­flict, Aus­tralia’s long­est war. From 2001, more than 30,000 army, navy and gov­ern­ment per­son­nel bid their fam­i­lies farewell to go and fight the Tal­iban and re­build a bro­ken coun­try. It con­tains con­fronting and vis­ceral footage of ac­tion — “There were a lot of bul­lets fly­ing around and a lot of peo­ple shoot­ing at us,” says one com­bat­ant — and in­ter­views with medics, sol­diers and engi­neers, plus the rel­a­tives who waited pa­tiently back home. Please Like Me Wed­nes­day, 9.30pm, ABC This sur­pris­ingly clever com­ing-of-age com­edy re­turns for a fourth sea­son with baby-faced Aus­tralian co­me­dian Josh Thomas play­ing a ver­sion of him­self. Now an in­ter­na­tional Along Came Polly pres­ence, the show has found a place on many crit­ics’ top 10 lists. When the se­ries be­gan, Josh was on the verge of emo­tional col­lapse as he faced the chasm that sep­a­rates child­hood from the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of adult­hood. Now, more chap­ters un­fold in the con­tin­u­ing story of his youth com­ing to an ir­rev­o­ca­ble end. This oddly tal­ented young man, a sin­gu­lar pres­ence with a rare ver­bal wit and a gift for sub­tle phys­i­cal com­edy, has be­come in sev­eral short years one of our great TV stars. Based on Stephen Hunter’s novel Point of Im­pact, An­toine Fuqua’s Shooter (Satur­day, 8.45pm, Nine; Not WA) is for con­firmed ac­tion-movie fans only. Mark Wahlberg stars as reclu­sive for­mer marine sniper Bob Lee Swag­ger, lured back into ac­tion by an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt on the pres­i­dent. Stu­art Beat­tie’s adap­ta­tion of John Mars­den’s To­mor­row, When the War Be­gan (Thurs­day, 8.30pm, Eleven), star­ring Caitlin Stasey, Lin­coln Lewis and Ashleigh Cum­mings, proved a huge hit at home in 2010 — the top lo­cal movie of that year. It fol­lows a group of teenagers who re­turn from a camp­ing trip to learn their coun­try has been in­vaded by a for­eign enemy. Sep­a­rated from their fam­i­lies, they be­gin to wage a guerilla war in their fic­tional home town of Wir­rawee. For fans of Jen­nifer Anis­ton and Ben Stiller, John Ham­burg’s Along Came Polly (Fri­day, 8.30pm, Eleven) was well-re­ceived crit­i­cally and was a box-of­fice hit. Stiller does his hap­less neu­rotic turn as Reuben Fef­fer and Anis­ton her light com­edy schtick with some skill as his zany for­mer class­mate. It is also no­table for a bril­liant sup­port­ing cast, in­clud­ing Alec Bald­win, De­bra Mess­ing, Hank Azaria and Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man — al­ways a scene stealer.

Jen­nifer Anis­ton in

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