The TV Guide - - TV MOVIES -

3 Nin­jas M ori TV, 3pm Star­ring Vic­tor Wong. This mildly ap­peal­ing fam­ily ac­tion com­edy about three broth­ers trained in the art of nin­jutsu by their el­derly grand­fa­ther spawned three se­quels. Boys un­der 10 should thor­oughly en­joy them­selves. ★★★

Po­lice Academy 3: Back In Train­ing TVNZ 2, 7pm

Star­ring Steve Gut­ten­berg, Michael Winslow. The first was a clas­sic and the sec­ond was a more than ad­e­quate se­quel, but third time is def­i­nitely not the charm. While still a rea­son­able ef­fort, this third out­ing for the boys and girls in blue marks the start of a steep de­cline for the fran­chise. Fol­lowed by four more se­quels. ★★

Justin And The Knights Of Valour Choice, 7pm Voices Fred­die High­more, An­to­nio Ban­deras. Justin dreams of be­com­ing a knight just like his grand­fa­ther, Sir Roland. How­ever, knights have been ban­ished and re­placed by lawyers and their strict rules. But after an in­spir­ing visit to his gran, Justin bids farewell to his sweet­heart Lara and em­barks on the ul­ti­mate quest – to train to be­come a knight. Av­er­age an­i­mated fan­tasy made by a Span­ish pro­duc­tion com­pany. ★★

Stronger Sky Premiere, 8.30pm Star­ring Jake Gyl­len­haal, Ta­tiana Maslany. It’s the story of Jeff Bau­man, an af­fa­ble un­der­achiever thrust in the na­tional spot­light after los­ing his legs in the Bos­ton marathon bomb­ing. But the en­su­ing celebrity sta­tus in many ways wors­ened Bau­man’s or­deal and he be­gan to drink heav­ily, a prob­lem made worse by his al­co­holic mother. That raw­ness is the film’s strength – the hero is an or­di­nary guy who isn’t ashamed to be less than amaz­ing. ★★★★

Cin­ema Par­adiso M ori TV, 8.30pm Star­ring Philippe Noiret. This beau­ti­fully filmed Ital­ian art­house gem is sure to give you the warm fuzzies, espe­cially if you en­joy nos­tal­gic for­eign films. The di­rec­tor rem­i­nisces about his child­hood, his orig­i­nal zest for films and, of course, the girl who got away. ★★★★

In­ter­stel­lar TVNZ 2, 8.40pm

Star­ring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hath­away. En­gross­ing sci-fi drama that ex­plores the dif­fi­cult no­tion of space travel and the use of worm­holes – some­thing which in the hands of a lesser di­rec­tor than Christo­pher Nolan could have be­come a mess mired in sci­en­tific hokum. ★★★★

Killing Them Softly Choice, 9pm Star­ring Brad Pitt, James Gan­dolfini. The story re­volves around two low-level cons who try to frame a Mob-made man. Brad Pitt plays hit­man Jackie Coogan with a grit and style not seen since his days in Snatch while James Gan­dolfini is an as­sas­sin past his prime. ★★★★

The Green Mile Three, 8.55pm Star­ring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Dun­can. Multi-award-win­ning adap­ta­tion of the Stephen King novel about a com­pas­sion­ate team of war­dens – headed by Tom Hanks – who work on a Louisiana prison death-row wing. Their rou­tine is dis­rupted by the ar­rival of a huge in­mate who may be able to per­form mir­a­cles. ★★★★

Godzilla TVNZ Duke, 9.30pm

Star­ring Matthew Brod­er­ick, Jean Reno. Godzilla is a Japanese phe­nom­e­non which hasn’t en­gen­dered the same fol­low­ing in the West. This 1998 film tried to rem­edy that by

bring­ing in some big names such as Matthew Brod­er­ick, Jean Reno and Hank Azaria to star along­side the big fella. But it didn’t quite cap­ture the essence of the 30 Godzilla movies pro­duced by Japanese com­pany Toho, and left many Amer­i­can crit­ics scratch­ing their heads at the lu­di­crous plot. ★★

300: Rise Of An Empire TVNZ 2, 11.55pm

Star­ring Sul­li­van Sta­ple­ton, Eva Green. The first 300 was an ac­tion-movie mas­ter­piece – epic fight scenes, hulk­ing war­riors, and enough of a story to keep things in­ter­est­ing. The se­quel tries to copy the for­mula, but is as ef­fec­tive as a choco­late spear. Eva Green gets a nod as the vil­lain­ous Artemisia, al­though the cos­tume bud­get seems to have been rather small for some of her scenes. ★★

The Fifth Es­tate TVNZ 2, 1.50am (Sun­day)

Star­ring Daniel Bruhl, Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch. Through his now in­fa­mous Wik­iLeaks site, Ju­lian As­sange has em­bar­rassed, an­noyed and frus­trated gov­ern­ments and big cor­po­ra­tions. Rest­ing on an eerily spot-on per­for­mance by Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, this highly de­tailed drama is As­sange’s story, warts and all. ★★★

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