SATUR­DAY

The TV Guide - - TV MOVIES -

ONE TO WATCH

Wall-E TVNZ 2, 5.15pm Voices Ben Burt, Elissa Knight. Some crit­ics have de­scribed this as Pixar’s finest hour, but it was also a huge gam­ble for the an­i­ma­tion gi­ant, given the fact that the lead char­ac­ter has no real di­a­logue to speak of and com­mu­ni­cates mainly through a pair of par­tic­u­larly ex­pres­sive cam­era-like eyes. That said, Wall-E is a won­drous achieve­ment in the field of an­i­mated movie-mak­ing, thanks to its su­perb com­bi­na­tion of vivid sto­ry­telling and breath­tak­ing vi­su­als. For the record, Wall-E is a waste col­lec­tion ro­bot, who un­der­takes a per­ilous space jour­ney to save mankind. ★★★★★

The Leg­end Of Zorro TVNZ 2, 7pm Star­ring An­to­nio Ban­deras, Cather­ine Zeta-Jones. Seven years af­ter the first Zorro movie, the masked one (Ban­deras) has set­tled into mar­ried life with Elena (Zeta-Jones), who isn’t happy with his swash­buck­ling ways. She gets friendly with a shady French count (Ru­fus Sewell) in a plot set against Cal­i­for­nia’s bid to join the fledg­ling USA. It is a bit sharper than the first movie, with a mix of com­edy, ac­tion and an in­trigu­ing, if rather pre­pos­ter­ous, sto­ry­line. ★★★

Shrek For­ever Af­ter Three, 7pm Voices Mike My­ers, Ed­die Mur­phy. The Shrek fran­chise may have even­tu­ally fallen vic­tim to the law of di­min­ish­ing re­turns, but this fourth and fi­nal in­stal­ment in which ev­ery­one’s favourite ogre en­coun­ters the iras­ci­ble Rumpel­stilt­skin is an im­prove­ment on its im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sor, with a clever plot­line lend­ing a mod­icum of new life to the se­ries. ★★★

As­terix And Cae­sar Maori TV, 7pm An early episode in the stel­lar French an­i­mated movie se­ries in which two Gal­lic warriors become in­volved with var­i­ous char­ac­ters from the Ro­man Em­pire, which was in the process of colonis­ing France. As­terix and his fel­low war­rior Obe­lix al­ways man­age to bum­ble their way to a sat­is­fac­tory con­clu­sion. ★★★

War Witch Maori TV, 8.30pm Star­ring Rachel Mwanza. A best for­eign lan­guage film Os­car nom­i­nee, this war drama about the hor­rors faced by child sol­diers in Africa is a har­row­ing but very worth­while watch that will leave no viewer un­af­fected. ★★★★

Play­ing It Cool Choice, 8.30pm Star­ring Chris Evans, Michelle Mon­aghan. Av­er­age-at-best rom­com about a screen­writer told to write a rom­com be­fore he will be al­lowed to write an ac­tion script. Trou­ble is, he doesn’t be­lieve in love un­til he meets ‘Her’. ★★

The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, Chris Pratt. This re­make of the clas­sic western – which in its turn was a re­make of the clas­sic Ja­panese film Seven Samu­rai – never man­ages to live up to the grandeur of its pre­de­ces­sors. It cen­tres on the town of Rose Creek where the god-fear­ing folk hire a bunch of out­laws, bounty hun­ters and gam­blers to save them from a crooked in­dus­tri­al­ist. It is a premise that worked well in the past, but here it feels hol­low with the tal­ented cast never ris­ing to their po­ten­tial. That said, it is still a per­fectly ad­e­quate ac­tion ad­ven­ture, it’s just that it had big shoes to fill and it never quite gets into its stride. ★★★

The Step­fa­ther TVNZ Duke, 9pm Star­ring Penn Bad­g­ley, Dy­lan Walsh. This re­make of a 1987 thriller is but

a poor cousin to its pre­de­ces­sor. A young man home from mil­i­tary school soon be­comes sus­pi­cious about his mother’s new lover. It is loosely based on the true story of se­rial killer John List. ★★

Ghost Town Three, 8.50pm Star­ring Ricky Ger­vais, Tea Leoni. It is a shame that while Ricky Ger­vais’ stand-up is so con­sis­tently funny, his movies ap­pear to be mostly hit-and-miss af­fairs – and that is very much the case with this un­even com­edy in which the Bri­tish co­me­dian stars as a man who de­vel­ops the abil­ity to see ghosts af­ter a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence. ★★★

Be­gin Again TVNZ 1, 10.30pm Star­ring Keira Knight­ley, Mark Ruf­falo. A young singer and song­writer (Knight­ley) is dis­cov­ered by a strug­gling mu­sic pro­ducer (Ruf­falo) while both are deal­ing with bro­ken re­la­tion­ships. It is a will they/won’t af­fair and hits the high notes in its ro­man­tic-drama genre. ★★★★

16 And Miss­ing Three, 10.40pm Star­ring Ash­ley Scott, Lizze Broad­way. One of ev­ery par­ent’s worst night­mares: their teenage daugh­ter goes miss­ing af­ter ar­rang­ing to meet an older man she met on­line. In this case, the par­ent is an FBI agent. Sus­pense­ful, but has that made-for-TV feel. ★★

30 Min­utes Or Less TVNZ 2, 11.15pm Star­ring Jesse Eisen­berg, Danny McBride. Amus­ing ac­tion com­edy about a pizza de­liv­ery guy who gets caught up in the un­likely scheme of two wannabe crim­i­nals. Sur­pris­ingly vi­o­lent and dark, it ben­e­fits from a speedy pace and slick cast. ★★★

SUN­DAY

Paul Three, 8.30pm Star­ring Si­mon Pegg, Nick Frost.

Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz put Si­mon Pegg and Nick Frost on the road to Hol­ly­wood, and scep­ti­cal Bri­tish film fans said it was a dead-end jour­ney. But their ease in each other’s com­pany tran­scends the Amer­i­can­i­sa­tion of their hu­mour. Thank­fully, they also penned the script for this road-trip com­edy with a twist, in which two sci-fi fans un­wit­tingly pick up an alien hitch­hiker while en­route to Roswell. ★★★★

But­ter Choice, 8.30pm Star­ring Jen­nifer Garner, Hugh Jack­man. Garner is an ac­tress cry­ing out for a part that re­ally shows off her tal­ent. While the role of Laura Picker in But­ter was never go­ing to win her an Os­car nom­i­na­tion, she still does a nice job in hold­ing to­gether this en­sem­ble com­edy satire based around Iowa’s but­ter sculpt­ing cham­pi­onship. The hu­mour might be spread a bit thinly at times, but it is quirky enough to keep you guess­ing. ★★★

Belle Maori TV, 8.30pm Star­ring Tom Wilkin­son, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Belle is loosely based on the story of Dido El­iz­a­beth Belle, the mixed-race daugh­ter of a Royal Navy ad­mi­ral, who was raised by her un­cle, Wil­liam Mur­ray, Lord Chief Jus­tice of Eng­land in the late 18th cen­tury. He presided over a court case into an in­ci­dent, known as the Zong mas­sacre, where slaves where thrown over­board from a slave ship. It is a fas­ci­nat­ing slice of his­tory, if some­what ro­man­ti­cised. ★★★

Keep­ing Up With The Jone­ses Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Jon Hamm, Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis. Sub­ur­ban spy com­edy which squan­ders the tal­ents of its two male leads. It cen­tres around a sub­ur­ban cou­ple who dis­cover their new neigh­bours are es­pi­onage agents. Trite,

and un­evenly di­rected, its spec­tac­u­lar ac­tion se­quences fail to get it over the line. ★★ Grudge Match TVNZ 2, 8.30pm Star­ring Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stal­lone. The idea be­hind this in­cred­i­bly cliched farce of a box­ing movie seems to have been based on the ques­tion, ‘What would it be like to see Rag­ing Bull and

Rocky to­gether in the ring?’ Un­for­tu­nately, given that both the main pro­tag­o­nists are now of­fi­cially se­nior cit­i­zens, this is a ques­tion that should have been left unan­swered. ★★

MON­DAY

The Witch Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Anya Tay­lor-Joy, Ralph Ine­son. One for hor­ror fans, a dark and gritty scarefest that tells the story of a 17th-cen­tury pil­grim fam­ily who are haunted by a fright­en­ing and un­known en­tity that slowly de­stroys every­thing they have built. So creepy and bone-chill­ing, it feels like we are spec­ta­tors to a hor­ri­ble crime. ★★★★ Red Dawn TVNZ Duke, 9.35pm Star­ring Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutch­er­son. Out­ra­geously laugh­able red-neck ac­tioner in which an Iraq War vet­eran and a bunch of teens bat­tle Com­mu­nists af­ter North Korean troops take over their home city, Spokane in Wash­ing­ton. The marginally bet­ter ear­lier ver­sion, from 1984, had a sim­i­lar plot but back then the in­vaders were Sovi­ets, Cubans and Nicaraguans. ★★

TUES­DAY

Deep Water Maori TV, 8.30pm Doc­u­men­tary de­tail­ing the story of would-be round-the-world yachts­man Donald Crow­ley. He en­tered the Golden Globe race in 1968 in the hope of win­ning a big cash prize which would keep his strug­gling busi­ness afloat. But he ran into trou­ble early on, and be­gan to re­port false po­si­tions. ★★★★ Sex School Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Whit­ney Moore, Tom Arnold. De­spite the ti­tle, there’s noth­ing to learn here, so move along. Whit­ney Moore plays a vir­ginal teacher in charge of her school’s sex ed­u­ca­tion classes. ★★

WED­NES­DAY ONE TO WATCH

The Hate­ful Eight Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Kurt Rus­sell, Sa­muel L Jack­son. Some­times it seems that no other film­maker is as po­lar­is­ing as Quentin Tarantino. View­ers ei­ther em­brace his sig­na­ture blend of hu­mour and over-the-top vi­o­lence or sim­ply de­plore his blood-and-guts style. If you fall into the first cat­e­gory, then

The Hate­ful Eight is for you. Clever and kooky, it’s an in­spired piece of cin­ema which raises to great heights thanks to some bravo per­for­mances and Tarantino’s al­most child­like glee for his sub­ject. The plot cen­tres on a group of stage­coach pas­sen­gers shel­ter­ing from a bl­iz­zard. To­tally un­pre­dictable, this is Tarantino at his best. ★★★★★

THURS­DAY

Sky­fall Three, 7.30pm Star­ring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench. De­spite big pro­duc­tion de­lays, mostly be­cause of the bank­ruptcy of MGM, the 23rd of­fi­cial James Bond film is widely con­sid­ered to be one of the best in­stal­ments to date. Daniel Craig’s pow­er­ful per­for­mance brings a more com­pli­cated Bond to the screen, while di­rec­tor Sam Men­des does a ster­ling job of bal­anc­ing the vis­ually spec­tac­u­lar ac­tion se­quences with a grip­ping sto­ry­line that plumbs the pre­vi­ously

un­ex­plored depths of 007’s re­la­tion­ship with M and also in­tro­duces an in­trigu­ing new vil­lain. A clas­sic ac­tion thriller, whether you’re a Bond fan or not. ★★★★

FRI­DAY

Show­time Maori TV, 8.30pm Star­ring Robert De Niro, Ed­die Mur­phy. Leaden com­edy thriller in which Robert De Niro and Ed­die Mur­phy play odd-cou­ple po­lice of­fi­cers who are teamed for a Cops-type re­al­ity TV se­ries, bossed over by a pushy pro­ducer (Rene Russo) and an in­tru­sive cam­era crew. A good con­cept and cast are sadly wasted here. ★★

Moon­struck Bravo, 8.30pm Star­ring Cher, Ni­co­las Cage. A widow (Cher) finds her­self with a ro­man­tic dilemma when she falls for the younger brother of the man she is about to marry. This film is 30 years old, but still has the goods. Cher is su­perb, Ni­co­las Cage smoul­ders as Ronny Cam­mareri, a man with a grudge against his older brother, while Danny Aiello and Olympia Dukakis shore up the sup­port. ★★★★

Gods Of Egypt Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Ger­ard But­ler, Nikolaj Coster-Wal­dau. A sword-and-san­dal epic that will per­haps garner a small fan base be­cause of that. A sound cast strug­gles with a plot which doesn’t even give a nod to ac­cepted mythol­ogy and what sto­ry­line there is quickly loses its way. ★

Tron Legacy TVNZ Duke, 8.30pm Star­ring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hed­lund. The cin­ema re­lease was a high-tech, 3D whiz-bang for the video-game gen­er­a­tion and if that’s your de­mo­graphic, you will love this sci-fi ac­tion se­quel, even on the small screen. The orig­i­nal be­came a cult clas­sic near the dawn of the video-game era in 1982, star­ring Jeff Bridges as su­per-hacker Kevin Flynn. Here, Garrett Hed­lund plays Flynn’s son, who is haunted by his fa­ther’s dis­ap­pear­ance un­til he gets a strange sig­nal from a gam­ing ar­cade. ★★★

Bro­ken City Prime, 9.35pm Star­ring Mark Wahlberg, Rus­sell Crowe, Cather­ine Zeta-Jones. Set “in a city rife with in­jus­tice”, this noirish crime drama fails to meet the ex­pec­ta­tions pro­voked by its big-name lead duo and sup­port cast. They do their best with a thin script that needed more flesh­ing out. ★★

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