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Scooby-Doo! And WWE: Curse Of The Speed De­mon TVNZ 2, 8.15am

Star­ring The Un­der­taker, Triple H, Paige. Scooby and his gang team up with WWE stars at a Mus­cle Moto X event where a phan­tom racer is caus­ing havoc. Helps a lot if names like The Un­der­taker, Triple H and Paige mean any­thing to you (as­sum­ing that you are un­der 12). ★★

Queen Of The Desert Choice, 10.30am

Star­ring Ni­cole Kid­man, Robert Pat­tin­son. Gertrude Bell (Kid­man) was a pi­o­neer­ing ar­chae­ol­o­gist, writer, pho­tog­ra­pher and moun­taineer who trail­blazed women’s rights dur­ing her ex­ten­sive trav­els and work in the Mid­dle East in the early 1900s. Her real-life story de­serves a bet­ter ve­hi­cle than this rather tame ef­fort. ★★

12 Strong Sky Pre­miere, 8.30pm

Star­ring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shan­non. Loosely based on real events, 12 Strong tells the story of CIA and US Spe­cial Forces op­er­a­tives who fought along­side an Afghan war­lord against the Tal­iban shortly af­ter 9/11. It’s a rous­ing tale and bet­ter than 13 Hours: The Se­cret Sol­diers Of Beng­hazi which has a sim­i­lar theme. ★★★

Al­lied Three, 8.30pm

Star­ring Brad Pitt, Mar­ion Cotil­lard. Epic wartime ro­mance which prom­ises so much but fails to live up to ex­pec­ta­tions. It cen­tres on a French re­sis­tance fighter and a Cana­dian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer whose ro­mance is threat­ened by the pres­sures of war and the pos­si­bil­ity that all is not as it seems. Evok­ing mem­o­ries of Casablanca with a bomb-dam­aged Europe and the req­ui­site num­ber of Nazi vil­lains, it’s still a well-told tale, even if the two leads lack the siz­zle to make it seem plau­si­ble. ★★★

I Love You Phillip Mor­ris Choice, 8.30pm

Star­ring Jim Car­rey, Ewan McGre­gor. Broke­back Moun­tain had more dig­nity, but this is a far fun­nier tale of same-sex love. That is hardly sur­pris­ing, with manic funny guy Jim Car­rey tak­ing the lead role of Steven Rus­sell, a mar­ried cop-turned-con­man who is se­cretly gay. When jailed for fraud, he finds true love in the shape of a fel­low in­mate. Based on a re­mark­able true story. ★★★

Ano­ma­l­isa M ori TV, 8.30pm

Voices David Thewlis, Jen­nifer Ja­son-Leigh. Direc­tor Char­lie Kauf­man be­lieves that, “The world is ter­ri­fy­ing and de­struc­tive and de­hu­man­is­ing and tragic”. This is re­flected in Ano­ma­l­isa, a stop-mo­tion an­i­mated movie heavy on anal­y­sis and in­tro­spec­tion. David Thewlis voices the lead, a de­pressed writer of mo­ti­va­tional books who hooks up with a call-cen­tre worker. Pup­pet sex isn’t new – think Team Amer­ica, World Po­lice, but it’s un­set­tling, much like the re­ac­tion Kauf­man wants from the film as a whole. ★★★★★

French Kiss Bravo, 8.30pm

Star­ring Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline. It may lack an orig­i­nal sto­ry­line, but the chem­istry be­tween the leads siz­zles. Meg Ryan plays Kate, a newly jilted wo­man who con­quers her fear of fly­ing in a bid to travel to France to re­trieve her ex-lover from the arms of an­other wo­man. In the process she meets up with a charm­ing French rogue (Kline) who, for rea­sons un­known to her, can­not seem to let her out of his sight. ★★★

Rid­dick TVNZ 2, 8.40pm

Star­ring Vin Diesel, Karl Ur­ban. Some­thing of a re­turn to the back-to-ba­sics na­ture of the orig­i­nal Rid­dick movie Pitch Black, this third film in the fran­chise is set five years af­ter the events por­trayed in The Chron­i­cles Of Rid­dick, and sees our (anti)hero once again strug­gling for sur­vival in a hos­tile alien world. There is not a whole lot that’s new about this set-up, but the ac­tion is well done and the fu­tur­is­tic visu­als are suit­ably ef­fec­tive. ★★★

Ver­ti­cal Limit TVNZ Duke, 9.30pm

Star­ring Chris O’Don­nell, Bill Pax­ton. Ac­tion-in­fused moun­tain thriller from ex-pat Kiwi direc­tor Martin Camp­bell, in which an ex­pe­ri­enced climber (Chris O’Don­nell) sets out on a dan­ger­ous res­cue mis­sion up K2 to find his sis­ter. Filmed mostly in New Zea­land, with lo­cal scenery and ac­tors much ap­par­ent. ★★★

Annabelle TVNZ 2, mid­night Star­ring Annabelle Wal­lis.

A spin-off from The Con­jur­ing, Annabelle tells the back story of the doll that is cred­ited with hav­ing a de­monic pres­ence. It’s scary enough to keep sen­si­tive souls awake at night, but you keep on won­der­ing why they didn’t just throw the darned thing away. ★★★

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