Free-to-air films

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

Once in a while we en­counter a doc­u­men­tary of as­ton­ish­ing strange­ness. En­ter New Zealand tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ist David Far­rier. His round in­cludes en­ter­tain­ment and the kind of vi­gnettes on the lighter side of life that typ­i­cally run at the end of news bulletins. In the course of do­ing re­search, he un­cov­ers some­thing on­line called com­pet­i­tive en­durance tick­ling, which in­volves par­tic­i­pants dressed in sport­ing ap­parel tick­ling re­strained sub­jects. But when he con­tacts the Amer­i­can-based or­gan­is­ers, they pre­sup­pose that Far­rier is a ho­mo­sex­ual, refuse to an­swer ques­tions, and threaten him with law­suits should he re­port on their “sport”. Nat­u­rally he de­cides to make a doc­u­men­tary about them. An ex­tra­or­di­nary tale turns fol­lows — don’t miss it. There have been some Joanna Lum­ley hosted se­ries in re­cent years with very ten­u­ous con­ceits, such as Joanna Lum­ley’s Search for Noah’s Ark in 2012. It’s not that au­di­ences aren’t fas­ci­nated to watch and lis­ten to the Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous star on any topic — they are. But it did prompt face­tious thoughts of a fran­chise — Joanna Lum­ley and the Tem­ple of Doom, and so on. Alas, this new three-part se­ries is based on a more pro­saic foun­da­tion: Lum­ley was born in In­dia. Fur­ther, it was dur­ing the last days of the Raj, and she boasts both sides of her fam­ily call­ing the sub­con­ti­nent home for gen­er­a­tions. What fol­lows is a deeply per­sonal jour­ney. Bat­man Fri­day, 6.35pm, SBS Vice­land To re­verse an apho­rism, this is your grand­fa­ther’s Bat­man. Mark­ing the re­cent death of Adam West, Vice­land is screen­ing the orig­i­nal tele­vi­sion se­ries that pre­miered in 1966. Here in sea­son one, episode one, ti­tled Hi Did­dle Rid­dle, even for Bat­man those who grew up watch­ing West’s Bat­man in re-runs, it is still quite a shock watch­ing the caped cru­sader saunter across the dance floor of a 60s dis­cotheque. The tech in the old Bat­mo­bile is ris­i­ble and the camp per­for­mances hi­lar­i­ous. The Dark Knight this ain’t. Mean­while, West had voiced a char­ac­ter loosely based on him­self in The Fam­ily Guy, which re­cently paid trib­ute to him, with cre­ator Seth MacFar­lane say­ing, “West was a joy to work with, and the kind of guy you al­ways wanted to be around.” If you hap­pen to be cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas in July, or sim­ply en­joy the com­edy stylings of Will Fer­rell, check out Elf (Tonight, 7.45pm, GO), where he plays Buddy, a hu­man raised by Santa’s elves. Directed by Jon Favreau ( Iron Man and Iron Man 2), it also stars James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steen­bur­gen and Game of Thrones’ Peter Din­klage. There’s no telling how the ads on free-to-air will af­fect the view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of Ge­orge Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (Tonight, 9.25pm, Nine) — but one sus­pects, not pos­i­tively. Very light on di­a­logue, the 2015 Tom Hardy and Char­l­ize Theron-led ac­tion spec­tac­u­lar won six Os­cars. For an even darker ex­pe­ri­ence, see Chan-wook Park’s Old­boy (Mon­day, 8.30pm, SBS Vice­land), which won the grand jury prize at Cannes in 2004 and was sub­ject to a poorly re­ceived Spike Lee re­make star­ring James Brolin in 2013. Min-sik Choi plays Seoul-based businessman Dae-su, who is ab­ducted and im­pris­oned in a cell for 15 years with­out ex­pla­na­tion. When he is sud­denly re­leased, he em­barks on a mis­sion of re­venge. On pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions it screened on World Movies with an R18+ rating, though here it is AV15+. Suf­fice it to say, it is ex­tremely bloody.

Adam West and Burt Ward in

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