TV Movies

The TV Guide - - TV MOVIES -

SAT­UR­DAY Big Hero 6 TVNZ 2, 5.10pm

Voice Ryan Pot­ter. A nerd and his in­flat­able ro­bot buddy form a gang of high-tech he­roes to fight a vil­lain de­vel­op­ing a swarm of evil mi­crobots. It’s a kids’ film, but one which adults will en­joy, too. ★★★★

Ti­tanic Three, 7pm Star­ring Leonardo Di­Caprio, Kate Winslet. Banal di­a­logue failed to sink this sweep­ing ro­man­tic tale set against the back­drop of the 1912 maiden voy­age and sink­ing of the Ti­tanic and a mod­ern-day sal­vage op­er­a­tion. Al­though di­rec­tor John Cameron cre­ated spec­tac­u­lar ef­fects of the sink­ing, it was the charisma of leads Leonardo Di­Caprio, Kate Winslet and Glo­ria Stu­art that helped sail this block­buster into Hol­ly­wood records with 11 Os­cars. ★★★★

Ju­manji TVNZ 2, 7pm

Star­ring Robin Wil­liams, Kirsten Dunst. Manic spe­cial-ef­fects fan­tasy loosely based on Chris Van Alls­burg’s il­lus­trated book about chil­dren locked into play­ing a sur­real board game which throws up dan­ger­ous events at the roll of the dice. Robin Wil­liams is cast as one un­for­tu­nate player trapped in the rain­forests of Ju­manji for 26 years – un­til two new chil­dren sit down to play the game in the at­tic of his child­hood home. ★★★

Flat­lin­ers Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Ellen Page, Diego Luna. Be­fore they be­came fa­mous, Ju­lia Roberts, Kiefer Suther­land and Kevin Ba­con starred in the 1990 ver­sion of this film about med stu­dents ex­per­i­ment­ing with near-death ex­pe­ri­ences. As a slightly dis­turb­ing thriller, it worked well – which is more than can be said of this re­make. It starts well enough be­fore, well, flatlin­ing – de­spite a cameo from Kiefer Suther­land. ★★

Much Ado About Noth­ing M ori TV, 8.30pm Star­ring Emma Thomp­son, Ken­neth Branagh. Shake­speare’s ro­man­tic com­edy is given a new lease on life by a talented cast and sharp di­rec­tion by co-star Ken­neth Branagh who, at the time, was mar­ried to fe­male lead Emma Thomp­son. It’s great ma­te­rial and Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Den­zel Wash­ing­ton and Kate Beck­in­sale (in her screen de­but) ob­vi­ously en­joy them­selves. ★★★★ From Paris with Love Choice, 8.30pm Star­ring John Tra­volta, Jonathan Rhys Mey­ers. Sea­soned CIA as­sas­sin John Tra­volta teams up with chess-play­ing US em­bassy at­tache Jonathan Rhys Mey­ers in this over-the-top ac­tion thriller in which a be­liev­able sto­ry­line and co­he­sive plot­ting aren’t nearly as im­por­tant as out­ra­geous shoot-em-up set-pieces and an ever-in­creas­ing body count. Tra­volta gives it wings and mixes his Pulp Fic­tion per­sona with James Bond to cre­ate a char­ac­ter that is fas­ci­nat­ingly re­pel­lent. ★★★

Ocean’s Twelve TVNZ 2, 9pm

Star­ring Ge­orge Clooney, Brad Pitt. Rid­dled with plot holes, this lesser se­quel be­gins with casino owner Andy Gar­cia de­mand­ing that the money stolen from him in the first movie be re­turned quick-smart, forc­ing Clooney and co to come up with an­other ridicu­lous heist. ★★★ If I Stay Three, 10.40pm Star­ring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos. Based on a best-sell­ing ‘young adult’ novel, this tale of a young woman who must de­cide whether she wants to live or die while hav­ing an out-of-body

ex­pe­ri­ence com­bines teen ro­mance with su­per­nat­u­ral melo­drama – some­times to good ef­fect, some­times not so much. One for the angsty teenagers in your house­hold. ★★★

Seek­ing Jus­tice TVNZ 2, 11.30pm

Star­ring Ni­co­las Cage, Jan­uary Jones. What could have been a great idea for a movie ends up be­com­ing com­pli­cated and far-fetched, with Ni­co­las Cage play­ing a hap­pily mar­ried man who be­comes caught up in a mys­te­ri­ous vig­i­lante group af­ter his wife is attacked when leav­ing work. ★★


The Hit­man’s Body­guard Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Sa­muel L Jack­son, Ryan Reynolds. De­spite its air of play­ful­ness and some solid per­for­mances, this drama about a body­guard hired to look af­ter the hit­man who was the big­gest threat to his busi­ness misses the mark. There are some nice buddy mo­ments but it is ba­si­cally cliched char­ac­ters do­ing lots of shoot­ing, fight­ing and swear­ing. A to­tal waste of its talented stars. ★★

Olym­pus Has Fallen TVNZ 2, 8.30pm

Star­ring Ger­ard But­ler, Aaron Eck­hart. But­ler is Mike Ban­ning, an ex-se­cret ser­vice op­er­a­tive who comes to the res­cue when a group of North Korean spies in­vade the White House and kid­nap the Pres­i­dent. There are some scenes that are just plain over the top, but the film never re­ally seems to take it­self too se­ri­ously and has some good one­lin­ers to boot. ★★★

Ain’t Them Bod­ies Saints Choice, 8.30pm Star­ring Casey Af­fleck, Rooney Mara. A small-time crim­i­nal, who takes the blame for a shoot­ing com­mit­ted by his preg­nant lover, breaks out of jail and re­unites with her and his daugh­ter in this con­tem­po­rary West­ern. It is beau­ti­fully shot in back-coun­try Texas, nicely com­ple­mented by its sound­track but per­haps style gets more weight than sub­stance, leav­ing things to wan­der aim­lessly at times. ★★★

Blue Jas­mine M ori TV, 8.30pm Star­ring Cate Blanchett, Alec Bald­win. Some say di­rec­tor Woody Allen was pay­ing trib­ute here to a Street­car Named De­sire, or that it’s a thinly dis­guised re­sponse to his breakup with Mia Far­row. What­ever the re­al­ity, Cate Blanchett turns in a stun­ning per­for­mance as a sub­stance-abus­ing, neu­rotic woman who has fallen on hard times and moves in with her sis­ter. ★★★★

Silent Hill: Rev­e­la­tion TVNZ 2, 11.40pm

Star­ring Ade­laide Cle­mens, Sean Bean. This se­quel to a video game adap­ta­tion was ap­par­ently sup­posed to bring the story more into line with the game on which it is based. Whether that’s the case, it cer­tainly makes for one con­fus­ing hor­ror film. ★


Al­most Christ­mas Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Danny Glover, Kimberley Elise. Glover plays a wid­ower who has to host his bick­er­ing chil­dren over the Christ­mas hol­i­days. The movie sits firmly in the fes­tive com­edy genre, and is OK with­out rais­ing the bar. ★★★

The Last Boy Scout Prime, 9.30pm Star­ring Bruce Wil­lis, Da­mon Wayans. This re­mark­ably fa­mil­iar-feel­ing Die Hard clone stars Bruce Wil­lis (of course) as a cyn­i­cal, burnt-out de­tec­tive who teams up with a dis­graced grid­iron star to solve a mur­der in­volv­ing po­lit­i­cal cor­rup­tion and pro football. Slick, fast-mov­ing and

pre­pos­ter­ous, this is en­joy­able, non-cerebral ac­tion fare. ★★★

Match­stick Men TVNZ Duke, 9pm

Star­ring Ni­co­las Cage, Ali­son Lohman. Nicely de­tailed and en­gag­ing story about a pho­bic grifter played by Ni­co­las Cage, who tries to bal­ance his ‘work’ with the sur­prise ar­rival of his teenage daugh­ter. ★★★


Pa­tri­ots Day Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Ba­con. Un­flinch­ing look at the Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ing. Di­rec­tor Peter Berg doesn’t shy away from graphic con­tent but it is never gra­tu­itous. ★★★★


Amish Grace Three, 1pm Star­ring Kim­berly Wil­liams-Paisley, Tammy Blan­chard. Bet­ter-than-aver­age TV movie about a shoot­ing when Amish school­girls were mur­dered in their class­room. ★★★★

Star Wars: At­tack Of The Clones Three, 7.30pm Star­ring Hay­den Christensen, Natalie Port­man. OK, so it is bet­ter than the first Star Wars pre­quel The Phan­tom Men­ace ... but that is not say­ing much. This ac­tion-paced in­stal­ment set 10 years on still has clunky di­a­logue de­liv­ered by a hu­man cast who are not so much ac­tors as de­pressed man­nequins. ★★★

The Space Be­tween Us Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Asa But­ter­field, Britt Robert­son. A sci-fi tale cum teen rom-com where a boy born on Mars trav­els back to Earth to un­ravel the mys­tery of his birth, as well as meet the girl he has been con­duct­ing a se­cret in­ter­plan­e­tary on­line re­la­tion­ship with. Space­book per­haps? Sadly, sci-fi and rom­com gen­res don’t quite get into or­bit here. ★★


Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble Three, 8.30pm Star­ring Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Em­manuelle Beart. Slick adap­tion of the 60s TV series with Tom Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt, who is on his own in a bid to un­mask a dan­ger­ous spy. Al­though sim­i­lar to the James Bond fran­chise in many respects, this is a con­sis­tently en­ter­tain­ing es­pi­onage thriller, punc­tu­ated through­out with a series of high-en­ergy ac­tion se­quences. ★★★

FRI­DAY Pan TVNZ 2, 7pm

Star­ring Hugh Jack­man, Levi Miller. Jack­man plays Black­beard in this oddly told but orig­i­nal pre­quel to the Peter Pan story which looks at the ori­gins of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Peter and the boy who would grow up to be­come his neme­sis, Cap­tain Hook. Levi Miller is a stand­out as Peter but Hugh Jack­man’s over-the-top per­for­mance grates. No amount of fairy dust can make this fly. ★

Guardians Of The Gal­axy Vol 2 Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm Star­ring Chris Pratt, Zoe Sal­dana. Top-notch se­quel in which Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Baby Groot are back in ga­lac­tic ac­tion. The char­ac­ters aren’t so quirky the sec­ond time around, but spec­tac­u­lar vi­su­als, a strong nar­ra­tive, lots of ac­tion and clever hu­mour get it up into the strato­sphere again. ★★★★ Cat­woman M ori TV, 8.30pm Star­ring Halle Berry, Sharon Stone. While not quite in the same league as Gigli or Bat­tle­field Earth, this still ranks highly on the list of big-name block­buster

bombs, as Halle Berry vis­i­bly strug­gles with a laugh­ably bad script. ★

Pas­sen­ger 57 TVNZ Duke, 8.30pm

Star­ring Wes­ley Snipes. Star Wes­ley Snipes proves far more ca­pa­ble than the ma­te­rial he is given to work with in this run-of-the-mill ac­tion flick in which ter­ror­ists seize con­trol of an air­liner. By a re­mark­able co­in­ci­dence, one of the pas­sen­gers is an ex-cop and air­line se­cu­rity ex­pert. ★★

Shake­speare In Love Bravo, 8.30pm Star­ring Gwyneth Pal­trow, Joseph Fi­ennes. Nom­i­nated for 13 Os­cars and even­tu­ally win­ning seven, this witty and en­chant­ing ro­man­tic com­edy is most def­i­nitely not your typ­i­cal pe­riod piece. Set in the late El­iz­a­bethan Eng­land of 1590, the story opens with young and pen­ni­less play­wright Wil­liam Shake­speare – played by Joseph Fi­ennes – strug­gling against writer’s block while his debt-rid­den pa­tron Geoffrey Rush pres­sures him to fin­ish his lat­est play. The trou­ble is, things aren’t go­ing too well and the play in ques­tion – a strangely fa­mil­iar-sound­ing work en­ti­tled ‘Romeo And Ethel, The Pi­rate’s Daugh­ter’ – lacks a cer­tain oomph. What fol­lows is a su­perbly writ­ten imag­in­ing of the world’s most fa­mous drama­tist as a young man. ★★★★★

King Arthur TVNZ 2, 9pm

Star­ring Clive Owen, Ioan Gruf­fudd, Keira Knight­ley. A slightly less fan­ci­ful de­pic­tion of the leg­endary King Arthur, with­out the su­per­nat­u­ral flavour of most retellings. This story por­trays Arthur and his Round Ta­ble knights as a less chival­rous group of Ro­man mer­ce­nar­ies gar­risoned to pro­tect Cae­sar’s in­ter­ests in Britain. Clive Owen is OK as Arthur, Ioan Gruf­fudd is an Er­rol Flynn-like Lancelot, and Keira Knight­ley does well as Woad­ish war­rior woman Guin­e­vere. ★★★

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