TV highlights for Fri, Oct 4

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Oct 3, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

National TV highlights for Friday, October 4.


Two dancers will walk away from tonight’s finale with $100,000 and a free pass to rest their over-worked limbs and frayed nerves on the nearest couch after almost three months of intense routines. One guy and one girl will reign supreme in a competition that has delivered some of the most impressive performances in the show’s eight-year history. Host Cat Deeley and judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Adam Shankman are joined by ’80s songstress Paula Abdul as a guest judge as viewers ultimately pick the couple who busted the best moves. The show has already been picked up for another season, so fans will be dancing on air.


Before the advent of celebrities the most famous people going around were royals, who lived a rarefied existence with money and grandeur. But, of course, they weren’t immune to illness. In tonight’s final, Dr Lucy Worsley seems like a kid in a candy store as she sashays around grand residences revealing the medical histories of Queen Victoria’s family. The medical problems are quite broad and even extend to “sexually inadequate kings”. This Worsley is quite the stickybeak, reading private letters and examining intimate possessions in her quest. Some may use this mildly interesting doco as another reason to become a republic.


Rachel (Suranne Jones) and Janet (Lesley Sharp) are detectives with Manchester police’s prestigious murder investigation team. While the duo are adept at cracking many grisly cases, they are not so successful in their relationships with men. Newly-single Janet and desperate-to-be-divorced Rachel seem at their best without the interference of males. Tonight, Rachel moves into Janet’s home when new husband Sean (Sean Maguire) refuses to give up the union – or move out. You can’t help feeling sorry for him when he incredulously exclaims, “We’ve only been married five minutes!” Meanwhile, the latest murder investigation has more than a few skeletons in the closet.

MURPHY’S ROMANCE 7TWO, 2.00pm, PG (1985)

A lovely old-fashioned romance starring Sally Field and James Garner as small-town lonelyhearts. Sally is Emma Moriarty, a single mother who moves to Arizona and strikes up a friendship with local pharmacist Murphy Jones (Garner). Emma’s courage and Murphy’s gruff charm (for which James received an Oscar nomination) makes it believable and appealing.

FLUSHED AWAY 7MATE, 7.00pm, G (2006)

A witty, immensely entertaining animated film from Aardman Features (Chicken Run, Wallace Gromit). The story follows the adventures of pampered pet rat, Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman), a high class rat who is inadvertently flushed into the sewers of London. In a city cesspool populated by villainous rats and toads, Roddy sets his sights on escaping, by any means possible. The very British humour plays wonderfully well for kids and grown-ups alike. Bill Nighy, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis (aka Gollum) also supply vocals. A fun night in.

STICK IT GO! 7.30pm, PG (2006)

Bring It On writer Jessica Bendinger wheels out another unconventional sports flick, penning and directing this chirpy tale. The story follows once-ace gymnast Haley (Missy Peregrym), who has taken up extreme sports. Her death-defying antics land her in trouble with the law, and she’s dispatched to a gymnastics academy under the tutelage of a grizzled trainer (Jeff Bridges). You can probably deduce that Haley rediscovers her love for the balance beam with the help of her mentor, just in time for the big climactic competition. Bendinger is working to a worthy formula, but Stick It’s ambition is undercut by some poor dialogue.


A near-dead amnesiac (Matt Damon), who might be a secret agent, sets out to discover his identity – aided by an enigmatic love interest (Franka Potente) – with minimal clues and a plethora of shady bad guys on his trail. With an action sensibility that no doubt inspired the new and improved Bond, this frenetic thriller from director Doug Liman (Go, Mr Mrs Smith) is something of a rarity – it’s a spy flick in which brains speak louder than girls, gadgets and guns.

SHERLOCK HOLMES NINE, 8.30pm, M (2009)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be proud of this adaptation of his famous super-sleuth, brilliantly brought to life by director Guy Ritchie. The story pales in comparison to the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr as Holmes and Jude Law, who hams it up brilliantly as trusty sidekick Dr Watson. On the hunt for a serial killer, they meet all manner of London baddies, including the dubious Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) and as the bodies start piling up, their list of suspects grows by the day. With a score by Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer, and brilliant cinematography depicting 1890s Britain by Philippe Rousselot (Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), it narrowly missed the two Oscars it was nominated for.

OUT OF TIME GEM, 8.30pm, M (2003)

Denzel Washington reunites with Devil in a Blue Dress director Carl Franklin for this Florida-set murder mystery. Washington plays a chief of police who is mired in a double-murder case after carrying out a less-than-honourable act to aid his dying wife (Sanaa Lathan). Has enough twists and turns to satisfy mystery buffs, but the story is unworthy of Washington’s talent. What’s he doing here?

FUNNY PEOPLE 7MATE, 9.00pm, MA15+ (2009)

This “bromance” from arguably the most successful comedy producer of the decade, Judd Apatow (Knocked Up), Funny People delves deeper than its title, pedigree and cast would suggest. Adam Sandler plays successful stand-up comic George Simmons. The funnyman has all the money and adulation anyone could ask for, but when he is told by a doctor his days are numbered he realises he is desperately short on close friends. Apatow mainstay Seth Rogen steps in to fill this role – an up-and-coming comedian who Simmons sees promise in – and the pair form a close bond as they try to reunite the ailing star with “the one who got away”, Laura (Leslie Mann), who is now married to a boorish Aussie (Eric Bana). A solid effort that manages to pack as many quality laughs as you would expect, and some touching moments to boot.


Sacha Baron Cohen offends all and sundry with his infamous portrayal of a Kazakhstani television reporter sent to the “greatest” country in the world – America! Armed with a bumbling producer (Ken Davitian), our protagonist heads for New York City to make a documentary for Kazakhstani state television (and track down Pamela Anderson). Along the way he meets a bunch of bikini babes, adopts a pet bear, enters a nude wrestling match and almost causes a riot at a rodeo. If you like politically incorrect, offensive satire, you’ll find it hilarious.

WHIP IT GO! 9.40pm, M (2009) Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut with this girl-power flick starring Juno’s Ellen Page. The Oscar nominee plays angsty teenager Bliss Cavendar who, fed up with her overbearing mother (Marcia Gay Harden), joins a roller-derby team and takes on the stage name “Babe Ruthless” – without her mum’s knowledge, of course. A rockin’ soundtrack and infectious performances make this ode to a bygone era worth catching. Bridesmaids’ Kristen Wiig co-stars as the wonderfully named Maggie Mayhem.

THE LIBERTINE GEM, 10.40pm, MA15+ (2004)

Getting his sea legs back, Johnny Depp is his typically eccentric self in this sumptuous, anything-but-sterile period piece, playing 17th century poet and lothario John Wilmot, aka the Second Earl of Rochester. Wilmot spends much of his time boozing with fellow scribes and prostitutes, but undergoes a reformation of sorts when he falls under the spell of, and agrees to become a mentor to, poor aspiring actress Elizabeth (Samantha Morton). It’s a testament to his talent that he never softens the rough edges of this scoundrel. The extensive supporting cast (including Rosamund Pike and John Malkovich) round out this fine period piece.

QUARANTINE NINE, 1.20am, AV15+ (2008)

In bad news for motion-sickness sufferers, Quarantine – a shot-for-shot Hollywood remake of Spanish zombie flick [Rec] – is another hand-held camera affair in the tradition of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. After the quarantining of a rundown Los Angeles apartment building due to the outbreak of a mysterious infection, the only evidence of the fate of those trapped inside is video footage of a journalist and cameraman duo (Jennifer Carpenter and Steve Harris) who were investigating an emergency call in the building. The claustrophobic gore fest doesn’t reach the heights of the original, but it ticks enough horror flick boxes to get by.

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