Free-to-air films

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

This show re­minds me of The Pres­tige, where Chris­tian Bale’s ma­gi­cian disappears from one side of the stage only to reap­pear on the other side — ta da! Host Karl Ste­fanovic has proven to have magic where it re­ally mat­ters — rat­ings — for This Time Next Year, which fea­tures Aus­tralians mak­ing pledges and re­turn­ing to show their progress a year later. This week, an os­teopath dreams of run­ning away to the cir­cus. ABC’s pre­mier science pro­gram Cat­a­lyst re­turns this week, and it's a rather tooth­less af­fair. Clearly seek­ing to side­step past con­tro­ver­sies about cov­er­age of statins and Wi-Fi that saw the for­mer host de­part, we are treated to what could be de­scribed as softball Be­yond 2000- style in­fo­tain­ment. Biome­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer Jor­dan Nguyen, the de­vel­oper of a mind-con­trolled smart wheel­chair that was the sub­ject of an ear­lier doc­u­men­tary, Be­com­ing Su­per­hu­man, presents the lat­est in vir­tual re­al­ity. Fu­ture episodes will see Tim Flan­nery pon­der­ing whether sea­weed can save the world; as­tro­physi­cist Gra­ham Phillips on whether we are alone in the uni­verse; and Nikki Stamp on how we should look af­ter our hearts (but will she men­tion the S-word?) and the lat­est med­i­cal ad­vances to live a long and healthy life. For­ti­tude Stream­ing on SBS On De­mand The open­ing scenes of this new psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller are thor­oughly dis­com­bob­u­lat­ing. The great Bri­tish ac­tor Michael Gam­bon is walk­ing along a shore­line in the Arc­tic, with a long-lensed cam­era in hand. Grad­u­ally he hears scream­ing and in the dis­tance sees a man be­ing eaten by a po­lar bear. He takes his ri­fle, aims un­steadily, For­ti­tude then shoots the man dead. The fic­tional town of For­ti­tude is new to the ex­pe­ri­ence of vi­o­lent crime and the re­sult­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions cause the lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers to sus­pect and mis­trust one an­other. The cast in­cludes Stan­ley Tucci ( The Hunger Games), Richard Dormer ( Game of Thrones’ Beric Don­dar­rion), Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston ( Doc­tor Who), and Dan­ish ac­tress Sofie Grabol ( The Killing), with Den­nis Quaid and Michelle Fair­ley ( Game of Thrones again) join­ing for sea­son two, which is also avail­able to stream. Ir­ish direc­tor Gary Shore’s Drac­ula Un­told (Tonight, 9.45pm, Seven; not Vic, Tas, SA) was a far bet­ter film than many crit­ics gave it credit for. Luke Evans ( The Hob­bit: The Des­o­la­tion of Smaug and The Bat­tle of the Five Armies) stars as Vlad “the Im­paler” Tepes who be­comes a vam­pire to pro­tect his wife (Sarah Gadon) and fam­ily. It also stars Charles Dance (most re­cently seen in Game of Thrones as Ty­win Lan­nis­ter) as the Mas­ter Vam­pire. The 2013 ro­man­tic sci-fi film Her (Tonight, 8.30pm, SBS Vice­land), star­ring Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, leaves you with the dis­tinct im­pres­sion of direc­tor Spike Jonze’s pre­science. The plot fol­lows Theodore Twombly (Phoenix), who falls in love with his com­puter op­er­at­ing sys­tem, Sa­man­tha; but as so many love sto­ries go, she be­gins to out­grow him and things get com­pli­cated. Check out Jour­ney to the West (Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, SBS Vice­land) one of the most en­joy­able ver­sions of this ever­green Chi­nese fa­ble. Tang San­zang (Wen Zhang) is an as­pir­ing de­mon hunter, but when he meets the real deal, Miss Duan (Tai­wanese ac­tress Shu Qi), it’s love at first sight. But first, with her help, San­zang must tame the leg­endary Mon­key King.

Michael Gam­bon in

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