Your night in: Best movies on TV tonight
FREE-TO-AIR: EVERY MOVIE TONIGHT ON TV - RATED OR SLATED
Crap-tabulous reboot of Chevy Chase's National Lampoon Vacation hits of the 1980s. While thin slivers of humour deliver if you're very forgiving or heavily medicated, these flukey laughs are far out-weighed by thick slabs of gormless groaners (strange clumps of hair in bathtubs! random holes in toilet walls! Chris Hemsworth in a state of arousal you can see from the moon!) that can crush the will to live. Stars Ed Helms.
WAR ON EVERYONE (MA15+)
A refreshing rejection of standard-format cop-comedy norms? Or merely a reckless bore? It ain't sitting on the fence to say the only answer is a bit of both. Meet Terry (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bob (Michael Pena), two bent cops on their last chance of ever going straight. There's a possibility a big-time heist is about to happen on their beat. But will Terry and Bob ease off on their puerile party habits long enough to save the day?
DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? (M)
The heart-wrenching tale of a youth incessantly worried by the unexplained absence of his motor vehicle. The young man in question (Ashton Kutcher) is sufficiently aggrieved by this discovery to begin looking for his wheels immediately. To do so, he enlists the assistance of his best friend (Seann William Scott) to retrace the events of the night before, where some soft drugs and mixed drinks may have been consumed. A heartfelt plea on behalf of novice drivers everywhere who are inexplicably separated from their primary means of transport.
Arguably the last of the great movie westerns. Clint Eastwood stars as a born-again shootist who links up with his old gunslinging partner (Morgan Freeman) and a shortsighted upstart (Jaimz Woolvett) to take on one last job, completing a hit on two redneck cowboys who killed a prostitute. The real star of the show here is Gene Hackman, playing the psychotic town sheriff who stands in the way of the trio's bounty.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (M)
2009's origin-story-driven Star Trek was just the reboot up the backside the long-running franchise needed. This belated sequel delivers more of the exciting goods, even if it settles for a slight, but noticeable downscale of impact. The new mission of the Starship Enterprise is to hunt down the mysteriously sinister John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a former Starfleet officer now looking to destroy his one-time allies. Stars Chris Pine. Zoe Saldana.
Steve Martin is a broke producer who puts the world's biggest action hero (Eddie Murphy) in his latest screen atrocity by filming the star without his knowledge. The hilariously disastrous disaster pic Chubby Rain is then completed for a measly $2,000. A screwball comedy of rare quality, taking several satirical swipes at the movie business with deadly accuracy. The minor characters are also great - most notably, Heather Graham as a country girl hellbent on sleeping her way to the top of the Hollywood tree, Christine Baranski as a deluded stage veteran, and Eddie Murphy again in a second, surprise role that caps off the mayhem with just the right dash of stupidity.
MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL (M)
7.30pm WORLD MOVIES
The SBS sub-channel World Movies is currently churning through the cinematic repertoire of seminal UK comedy troupe Monty Python every night this week. This middling efforts (by Python's own high standards at least) takes a satirical chainsaw to the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Worth a look if you've never seen it, but real fans know the best is yet to come later this week.
WITHNAIL & I (M)
9.10pm WORLD MOVIES
From the 1980s hails one of the finest British comedies to ever hit the big screen. If you are in the right mood, it is simply impossible not to fall for this hilarious tale of two hard-living losers (played by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann) who bumble their way through an ill-fated holiday in the English countryside. It's the kind of flick that that is crammed to the gills with in-jokes and bizarre behaviour that just beg to be quoted or re-enacted endlessly after repeated viewings.
THE BERLIN FILE (MA15+)
11.05pm WORLD MOVIES
A highly underrated thriller from South Korea set in the German city of Berlin, off all places. It is here a North Korean 'ghost agent' has been cut loose by his handlers and left to fend for himself. While his wife tries to exploit her connections at the local embassy, operatives from both the North and South come after the couple with sinister intent.
STREAMING: FIVE MOVIE PICKS FOR STREAMING OR RENTAL TO GET YOU THROUGH THE EVENING
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (M)
While still mourning the tragic passing of his mentor Tony 'Iron Man' Stark, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) heads to Europe where he hopes to strike a new romantic spark with old flame MJ (Zendaya). It isn't long before Peter's travels sync with crises only his Spidey alter ego can quell. Expect a little romance, a little more goofy, geeky comedy, and a lot of breakage and fights at popular Euro-tourist hot-spots. Some nice work on the sly from new franchise recruit Jake Gyllenhaal as the enigmatic Mysterio.
One-of-a-kind fairytale for adults from director Tim Burton. Johnny Depp moves a mountain of emotion from a molehill of a character that, as the title suggests, has clippers where his fingers should be. The star-crossed romance with Winona Ryder is touching stuff, but it is the minor flourishes (Burton's broadsides at suburban sameness and personal prejudice) that will really cut you up.
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Newcomer William Lodder stars as Jack, a level-headed teen with a little bit of the rebel about him. A fateful first try at go-kart racing by Jack catches the eye of Patrick (Richard Roxburgh), a reclusive former racetrack ace who knows a maverick talent behind the wheel when he sees it. A Karate Kid-style relationship develops between the cheeky, has-an-answer-for-everything newbie and his grouchy, there's-a-lesson-in-everything mentor. While not a classic by any stretch, the movie keeps up an energy and sense of humour that young audiences will find very easy to relate to.
KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND (M)
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Grim and gripping in equal parts, this unapologetically dour Norwegian drama depicts a notorious sequence of events on the icy prison island of Bastoy in 1915. The teenage inmates were pushed to the brink of revolt by inhumane conditions and stubbornly insensitive staff. Don't go expecting catharsis. What takes hold is more like a state of controlled catatonia, as the boys of Bastoy concentrate with all their might on protecting their will to survive. Stars Stellan Skarsgard.
THE PUBLIC (M)
Emilio Estevez writes, directs and stars in a folksy drama about an often-unmentioned problem many public libraries deal with all over the world: a rising level of patronage by the homeless. Estevez plays Stuart, a 'lifer' in the library game who has bent the rules whenever he can to look after those he knows are doing it tough. Not be the sexiest issue around which to frame a movie, but its heart is in the right place and its conviction is driven home ably.
Originally published as Your night in: Best movies on TV tonight