Free-to-air films

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

Like Alec Bald­win in 30 Rock be­fore him, veteran dra­matic ac­tor An­dre Braugher ( Homi­cide: Life on Now be­gin­ning its eighth sea­son, this first episode of Great Bri­tish Rail­way Jour­neys finds host Michael Por­tillo tak­ing a jour­ney from Lon­don’s King Cross to Edinburgh aboard the newly re­stored Pacific steam lo­co­mo­tive the Fly­ing Scots­man. Built in 1923 for the Lon­don and Brook­lyn Nine-Nine North East Rail­way, it had a sto­ried ca­reer be­fore be­ing re­tired by Bri­tish Rail­ways in 1963. The story of its re­birth is a fas­ci­nat­ing one, and in­cludes a tour of Aus­tralia (Syd­ney to Perth) in 1988-89 as part of the bi­cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion. It is now en­sconced at the Na­tional Rail­way Mu­seum in York. To ride on the Fly­ing Scots­man is to be im­mersed in the el­e­gance of old-time steam en­gine travel, and Por­tillo’s guests — some of whom worked or rode on the orig­i­nal — can’t dis­guise their glee. Bel­gian di­rec­tor Jaco Van Dor­mael is play­fully and provoca­tively ir­rev­er­ent. His most re­cent film, The Brand New Tes­ta­ment (Mon­day, 7.40am, World Movies), of­fers an­other spin on his ca­reer­long fas­ci­na­tion with the Chris­tian ori­gin time­line. In this par­tic­u­lar it­er­a­tion, God (Benoit Poelvo­orde) is a bit­ter hus­band and fa­ther in Brus­sels who con­trols the world from his com­puter and sends peo­ple text mes­sages in­di­cat­ing their date and time of death. There’s much more, but this is a film best dis­cov­ered, not de­scribed. Be­fore mak­ing him­self known with the 2011 ac­tion film The Raid, Welsh film­maker Gareth Evans had a dry run via the lesser-seen but equally ki­netic 2009 In­done­sian mar­tial arts film Mer­an­tau (Satur­day, 2.30am, SBS). Iko Uwais, who sub­se­quently starred in both Raid films, is the young fighter who spe­cialises in the tit­u­lar fight­ing tech­nique. The lit­tle com­edy that could, di­rec­tor John Lan­dis’s univer­sity-set Na­tional Lam­poon’s An­i­mal House (Mon­day, 8.30pm, SBS Viceland), changed the land­scape of Amer­i­can youth com­edy and in­tro­duced the world to John Belushi. Given the film’s rau­cous, raunchy and redo­lent sub­ject mat­ter, SBS’s Viceland is just the place for it.

Andy Sam­berg in

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