TV Films Lau­ren Buck­eridge

A Guide to the Week’s View­ing

New Zealand Listener - - CONTENTS - By LAU­REN BUCK­ERIDGE


The Beguiled (Movies Ex­tra, Sky 031, 6.55pm). Di­rec­tor Sofia Cop­pola was the first woman to win the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Fes­ti­val, for her 2010 drama Some­where, and the sec­ond woman to win Best Di­rec­tor at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, for The Beguiled. The film, set in a girls’ school dur­ing the Amer­i­can Civil War, is based on a 1966 novel by Thomas P Cul­li­nan. Head­mistress Martha Farnsworth (Ni­cole Kid­man) and teacher Ed­wina Mor­row (Kirsten Dunst) have to de­cide what to do with a hand­some cor­po­ral (Colin Far­rell) found wounded on their prop­erty. How­ever, the ac­tions of young stu­dent Ali­cia (Elle Fan­ning) force the women to change their plans. The Guardian crit­i­cised Cop­pola for white­wash­ing black and bi-racial char­ac­ters. (2017)

Boy­hood (Māori TV, 8.30pm). The av­er­age movie takes about four months to film, but this com­ing-of-age drama took 12 years as it fol­lowed El­lar Coltrane, as Ma­son Evans, from 2002 to 2013, doc­u­ment­ing his growth to ado­les­cence and all the strug­gles a pubescent boy faces. Ethan Hawke and Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette play his divorced par­ents. Di­rec­tor Richard Lin­klater in­cor­po­rated changes in the ac­tors’ lives into the story, writ­ing a loose script through­out pro­duc­tion, which earned the film dozens of ac­co­lades. (2014)

To Rome with Love (Choice TV, 8.30pm). This en­sem­ble com­edy, di­rected by and star­ring Woody Allen, fol­lows four in­di­vid­ual con­cur­rent sto­ries in the “Eter­nal City” as vis­i­tors and res­i­dents of Rome find love, fame, suc­cess and many sur­prises. Fea­tur­ing Alec Bald­win, Jesse Eisen­berg, Penélope Cruz, Greta Ger­wig, Ellen Page and Judy Davis, this light com­edy is charm­ing, but scat­tered. (2012)

Gone in 60 Sec­onds (TVNZ 2, 8.45pm). De­spite its poor re­views, Gone in 60 Sec­onds lives on as a com­mer­cial suc­cess and fan favourite. When

Cal­i­for­nian car thief Kip (Gio­vanni Ribisi) is kid­napped by a Bri­tish gang­ster (Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston), his brother Mem­phis (Ni­co­las Cage), a for­mer car thief, must steal 50 cars in 72 hours to save him. An­gelina Jolie joins the ride as Mem­phis’ for­mer flame, Sway. A film for lovers of cars, clichés and non­sen­si­cal sto­ry­lines. (2000)


Wreck-It Ralph (Movies Dis­ney, Sky 037, 6.30pm). Ar­cadegame vil­lain Wreck-It Ralph (the voice of John C Reilly) longs to be a hero, so deserts his game in the hopes of re­ceiv­ing medals and praise within other games. Ralph meets the te­na­cious Sergeant Cal­houn (Jane Lynch) in the shooter game Hero’s Duty, and mis­chievous Vanel­lope von Sch­weetz (Sarah Sil­ver­man) in the candy-themed rac­ing game Su­gar Rush, in which Ralph ac­ci­den­tally re­leases an en­emy that threat­ens to de­stroy their ar­cade. This an­i­mated com­edy is a de­light for the young and young at heart. (2012)

A United King­dom (Māori TV, 8.30pm). In a film based on real events, the heir to the throne of Bechua­na­land, now known as Botswana, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), falls in love with Bri­tish worker Ruth Wil­liams (Rosamund Pike) in Lon­don af­ter World War II. The in­ter­ra­cial cou­ple cause con­tro­versy in both coun­tries, and are op­posed by apartheid-era South Africa, which threat­ens to in­vade Bechua­na­land and cut the ura­nium and gold trade with Bri­tain if the cou­ple are not sep­a­rated. How­ever, af­ter Wil­liams is ac­cepted by the Bechuana peo­ple, and af­ter a lot of geopo­lit­i­cal dif­fi­cul­ties, Khama ne­go­ti­ates the coun­try’s in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain, and be­comes the re­pub­lic’s first pres­i­dent. (2016)

The Pro­gram (Choice TV, 8.30pm). A bi­o­graph­i­cal drama about the rise and fall of US road-cy­clist Lance Arm­strong. Di­rected by Stephen Frears

( The Queen, Florence Foster Jenk­ins), the film fol­lows Irish jour­nal­ist David Walsh (Chris O’Dowd), who is fix­ated on Arm­strong’s use of per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs. In a dev­as­tat­ing re­port, the US Anti-Dop­ing Agency la­belled the years of drug tak­ing by Arm­strong and his team as “the most so­phis­ti­cated, pro­fes­sion­alised and suc­cess­ful dop­ing pro­gramme that sport has ever seen”. In the film, based on Walsh’s book Seven Deadly Sins, Ben Foster por­trays a con­vinc­ing and cun­ning Arm­strong. (2015)

The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven (Three, 8.40pm). A re­make of the 1960 film, which is it­self a re­make of the 1954 epic Seven Samu­rai. This western fol­lows seven out­laws em­ployed by the res­i­dents of Rose Creek to re­gain their town from the clutches of Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sars­gaard) in a vi­o­lent show­down. Star­ring Den­zel Wash­ing­ton as a US mar­shal, Chris Pratt as a gam­bler and Ethan Hawke as a for­mer Con­fed­er­ate sol­dier. (2016)


Seren­ity (Prime, 8.30pm). This sci-fi ad­ven­ture, di­rected by Joss Whe­don ( The Avengers, Jus­tice League), is a con­tin­u­a­tion of his short-lived, but cult favourite, Emmy-win­ning tele­vi­sion series Fire­fly. Set in the 26th cen­tury, the film picks up where the TV series left off, with the crew aboard the space­craft Seren­ity as they try to stop an en­emy agent (Chi­we­tel Ejio­for) from cap­tur­ing their tele­pathic crew­mate (Sum­mer Glau). Star­ring Cas­tle’s Nathan Fil­lion as the ship’s cap­tain. (2005)


Hol­ly­wood­land (Movies Greats, Sky 033, 8.30pm). Ge­orge Reeves rose to fame in the 1950s TV series Ad­ven­tures of Su­per­man, but his death at age 45 has long been a sub­ject of spec­u­la­tion. In pe­riod noir Hol­ly­wood­land, po­lice rule the death of Reeves (Ben Af­fleck) was sui­cide, but in this fic­tion­alised ac­count, De­tec­tive Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) pur­sues Reeves’ lover, Toni Man­nix (Diane Lane), the wife of an MGM ex­ec­u­tive. (2006)


Snakes on a Plane (Three, 8.30pm). FBI agent Neville Flynn (Sa­muel L Jack­son) es­corts a mur­der wit­ness on a red-eye flight to tes­tify against mob­ster Ed­die Kim (By­ron Law­son). To stop the wit­ness from talk­ing, Kim plants poi­sonous snakes on the plane. Jack­son is the stand­out in this con­sciously B-grade cult movie, and has one of the most iconic (and foul­mouthed) lines in mod­ern film his­tory. (2006)


Cap­tain Amer­ica: The First Avenger (TVNZ 2, 8.30pm). In the fifth in­stal­ment of the Marvel cin­e­matic uni­verse, Chris Evans stars as Steve Rogers, who signs up for an ex­per­i­men­tal pro­ce­dure af­ter be­ing re­jected by the army dur­ing World War II. Trans­formed into su­per sol­dier Cap­tain Amer­ica, Rogers must stop vil­lain Red Skull (Hugo Weav­ing) from world dom­i­na­tion. (2011) Films are rated out of 5: (abysmal) to (amaz­ing).

The Beguiled, Satur­day.

To Rome with Love, Satur­day.

A United King­dom, Sun­day.

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