ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
War of the Worlds ★★★★
Though true to the basic premise of HG Wells’s original 1898 novel – the arrival on Earth of malevolent Martian invaders – the action in Steven Spielberg’s noisy remake is necessarily moved from the book’s Surrey to New Jersey. (Necessary for the sake of international box office at any rate.) Here, Tom Cruise manages to conveniently use the imminent destruction of the human race to mend his relationship with his estranged wife (Miranda Otto) by delivering their children (Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin) to Boston. The battle sequences are truly terrific, especially when the aliens first emerge, moving about in towering tripods, incinerating humans with death rays and blowing up everything in their path (except Tom and the kids). But further thrills are produced when the game of hide and seek begins and clues to the aliens’ Achilles heel sought. What stayed with me was one spine-tingling sequence in which a creepy burning train rattles past.
I Never Sang for My Father ★★★★
5.05-7.10pm Movie Mix
Before Gene Hackman won an Oscar for The French Connection, he picked up a nomination for this tale of a college professor dominated by his elderly father.
Wolf Creek ★★★★
10.45pm-12.45am Horror Channel
A cross-country road trip turns into a hellish Texas Chain Saw Massacre-style ordeal in one of the best horror films to come out of Australia in decades.
Tin Cup ★★★
Kevin Costner is the golfer on the skids, Rene Russo the therapist helping him put the swing back in his life in this unusual but effective mixture of sports drama and romance.
The Two Faces of January ★★★★
Intrigue and slow-burn suspense rather than frantic action as Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac get embroiled in murder in 1960s Athens.
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