Free-to-air films

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

Rus­sell Crowe nar­rates (but sadly doesn’t ap­pear in) this new doc­u­men­tary ex­am­in­ing the past, present and fu­ture of the French wine in­dus­try. It fea­tures in­ter­views with crit­ics, col­lec­tors, con­nois­seurs, vi­gnerons and wine­mak­ers. It also ex­am­ines the com­plex­i­ties of the global mar­ket for French wine and the grow­ing in­flu­ence of the Chi­nese col­lec­tors. It is vis­ually stun­ning and very in­for­ma­tive for oenophiles and the layper­son alike. This gen­tly daffy se­ries stars James Buck­ley from The In­be­tween­ers as Brian, an English of­fice worker who gets a mys­te­ri­ous pack­age in the mail con­tain­ing an amulet. When he puts it on his wrist, he is mag­i­cally trans­ported to another realm in­hab­ited by fairies, sooth­say­ers and wizards. (It turns out that’s where his mo­bile phone charger was mis­tak­enly de­liv­ered.) Brian is nat­u­rally keen to re­turn to his home and temp­ing job, but the band of mis­fits he meets in the me­dieval pub aren’t much help. Many have iden­ti­fied the me­dieval fan­tasy world as pop­u­larised by Game of Thrones as a rich tar­get for com­edy, such as the up­com­ing Matt Groen­ing an­i­mated sit­com Dis­en­chant­ment, due out this year on Net­flix. But Zapped is un­for­tu­nately only a mildly amus­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Bad Banks Tues­day, 10.30pm, SBS When this show de­buted on SBS On De­mand a month ago, who would have thought the no­tion of “bad banks” would have so much res­o­nance in this coun­try? Since then, of course, the bank­ing royal com­mis­sion has lifted the lid on the lo­cal fi­nance sec­tor’s mis­deeds and sharp prac­tices. No doubt that par­tially ex­plains this Franco-Ger­man Red Ob­ses­sion se­ries’ pro­mo­tion to the main chan­nel. Set dur­ing the fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2007, it stars Paula Beer as Jana, a tal­ented young in­vest­ment banker who gets a sec­ond chance with a dream fi­nance job in Frankfurt af­ter be­ing fired from a sim­i­lar role in Lux­em­bourg. But Jana quickly be­gins to suspect her old boss is still pulling her strings. It was praised in Ger­many for scriptwriter Oliver Kienle’s aver­sion to the over-ex­pla­na­tion of fi­nance. None­the­less, some scenes re­main a lit­tle on the dry side. Soon to star in the Ama­zon Prime Video se­ries Jack Ryan, John Krasin­ski plays a sol­dier in 13 Hours (Satur­day, 9.30pm, Seven)(not Vic, Tas or WA), a drama­tised ac­count of the 2012 at­tack on US in­stal­la­tions in Beng­hazi, Libya. Nat­u­rally, there has been de­bate over the Michael Bay­di­rected film’s fidelity to ac­tual events give their totemic po­lit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance to many in the US (though much of it amounts to nit­pick­ing). En­ter­tain­ment writer Chris Nashawaty re­cently made an im­pas­sioned plea in The Wall Street Jour­nal for the 1980 film Cad­dyshack (Sun­day, 6.30pm, 7Flix) star­ring Chevy Chase, Rod­ney Danger­field and Bill Mur­ray, to get its cul­tural due. He writes: “Set at a lily­white citadel of man­i­cured fair­ways and snooty en­ti­tle­ment, Cad­dyshack is a time­less slobs-v-snobs satire, but it was also some­thing new and not en­tirely re­spectable in movies: the first full-blown in­cur­sion of the crazy world of im­pro­vi­sa­tional com­edy.” It has of­ten puz­zled me why Brian De Palma’s Scar­face (Satur­day, 8.35pm, Vice­land) is re­put­edly so loved by ac­tual crim­i­nals … the story of Tony Mon­tana (Al Pa­cino) comes across more as a cau­tion­ary tale about the cost of tak­ing short­cuts to the Amer­i­can Dream.

Plenty to like in

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