Pay-tv films

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

With His­tory’s Vik­ings on SBS fin­ished for an­other year, the at­trac­tive, en­ter­tain­ing and, yes, eerily sim­i­lar se­ries The Last King­dom re­turns for its sec­ond sea­son. Based on The Saxon Sto­ries by Bernard Corn­well, it stars Alexan­der Drey­mon as Uhtred of Beb­ban­burg, the or­phaned son of a Saxon no­ble­man, raised by Danes and mak­ing his way dur­ing the Vik­ing in­va­sions of Eng­land. ran for two sea­sons from 2003, show­cased an in­can­des­cent tal­ent and in­tro­duced some un­for­get­table char­ac­ters and cameos. To men­tion just a few: Paul Mooney as the wise black prog­nos­ti­ca­tor Ne­gro­damus; the crack ad­dicted Tyrone Big­gums; and Char­lie Murphy’s True Hollywood Sto­ries. As Chap­pelle’s fame soared, he be­gan to tire of peo­ple yelling his catch­phrases in the street. He then fa­mously walked out of his show af­ter some­one on set laughed at a racially charged skit in an un­sym­pa­thetic way, and never came back. In the past decade, sev­eral at­tempted re­turns to standup went very poorly, due to heck­lers. But when he reap­peared last Novem­ber to host Satur­day Night Live with an open­ing mono­logue that com­pletely killed, hopes were raised for this first of two stand-up com­edy spe­cials. En­joy. Cri­sis in Six Scenes Stream­ing on Ama­zon Prime Video from Fri­day Woody Allen has made his first TV show. Why isn’t this big­ger news, you ask? Well, Allen him­self could not have talked it down fur­ther. His choice quotes dur­ing a Q&A with Dead­line Hollywood in 2015 in­clude: “I have re­gret­ted ev­ery sec­ond since I said OK” and “I haven’t had a plea­sur­able mo­ment since I un­der­took it”. If it sounds like he is be­ing self-ef­fac­ing, ap­par­ently not. “I had the cocky con­fi­dence, well, I’ll do it like I do a movie … it’ll be a movie in six parts. Turns out, it’s not ... I am not as good at it as I fan­ta­sised I might be.” Star­ring, writ­ten and di­rected by Allen, this com­edy takes place in 1960s Amer­ica when a mid­dle-class sub­ur­ban fam­ily is vis­ited by a guest (Mi­ley Cyrus) who turns their house­hold up­side down. No screen­ers were avail­able for preview. Some­times a spoof is so ef­fec­tive it re­places the orig­i­nal sub­ject in your mind. In an episode of Fam­ily Guy, Peter Grif­fin is giv­ing a hair­cut to Javier Bar­dem’s char­ac­ter An­ton Chig­urh from No Coun­try for Old Men (Satur­day, 8.30pm, Thriller). “What will it be?” he asks. “Ev­ery­thing,” Chig­urh says in that dis­tinc­tively emo­tion­less voice. ”Long in the short places, short in the long places, it should be from both the fu­ture and the past, some­thing a child would do to a doll.” Of course this 2007 film, writ­ten and di­rected by the Coen broth­ers, is no laugh­ing mat­ter. Also star­ring Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, it is set in the Amer­i­can south­west amid a drug deal gone wrong. Whiskey Tango Fox­trot (Satur­day, 8.30pm, Pre­miere) screens at the same time; though crit­ics were not as kind. It stars Tina Fey and Aus­tralian ac­tress Mar­got Rob­bie. Af­ter re­cently see­ing Lo­gan, it re­in­forced how much bet­ter 2016’s X-Men: Apoca­lypse (Sun­day, 8.30pm, Pre­miere) should have been. In a film that starred Michael Fass­ben­der, one of the most cel­e­brated ac­tors of his gen­er­a­tion, and Os­car Isaac, an ac­tor I firmly be­lieve will be re­garded as highly in years to come, the re­sults ought to have been bet­ter than this.

Dave Chap­pelle re­turns to our screens

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