New to Blu: February 20 – 26

  The Girl in the Spider’s Web ➢ “Sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate, this 2.39:1 1080p transfer is a terrific showcase example demo disc that could only potentially be improved by an HDR 4K UHD presentation. Details are exquisite. The art direction for this film is phenomenal with every location steeped in tiny details […]

Read more

HD Ratings: The Rookie Earns Its Stripes

Three’s The Rookie earned its highest ratings so far on Monday when it crushed TVNZ 1’s Manifest and TVNZ 2’s Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back. It benefitted from Married at First Sight’s heroic lead-in but its popularity also exposed the weakness of TVNZ’s competition. The Rookie won the 9.00 hour in the […]

Read more

Critical Condition: Bad Mothers

Bad Mothers | TVNZ 1, 8.30 Wednesday ☆☆☆☆ “The title of this glamorous suburban thriller is as big a clue as any as to its inspiration. Aside from the accents and the glorious lifestyle shots of bayside Melbourne (and a slightly underdeveloped script), it could be mistaken for HBO’sBig Little Lies. The cocktail scenes are […]

Read more

HD Ratings: Fantastic Beasts Beat Furry Beasts

TVNZ 1’s Dynasties was dethroned on Sunday when it was out-rated by TVNZ 2’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Three’s Married at First Sight Australia. Fantastic Beasts dominated in the 18-39 demographic and MAFS with 25-54s and household shoppers with kids; both see-sawed in the 18-49 and 18-54 demos. Overall, Fantastic Beasts […]

Read more

HD Ratings: Manifest Nosedives on Take-off

TVNZ 1’s Manifest (8.30 Mondays) got off to a bumpy start last week but fared better on TVNZ 2, suggesting the Lost-style drama should have been scheduled on the latter from the outset. The first hour of the double-episode averaged 2.7% of TVNZ 1’s core commercial demographic, 25-54 year-olds, on the back of The Casketeers’ […]

Read more

Dynasties to End Ratings Rule

Dynasties’ rule ends tonight (TVNZ 1, 7.00) ahead of the season premiere of Victoria and the ratings winner’s March 27 release on Blu-ray and 4K-UHD. Last week’s penultimate episode crushed the first half of TVNZ 2’s Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and topped Three’s Married at First Sight Australia in the core 25-54, 18-49 […]

Read more

Network Movies in HD: February 16 – 22

   Saturday     50 First Dates | TVNZ 2, 7.00    Blood Diamond | TVNZ 1, 8.35    Need for Speed | TVNZ 2, 8.55    Catch Me if You Can | Three, 8.55    Bram Stoker’s Dracula | Duke, 9.25    Race | TVNZ 1, 11.25    Mortal Kombat | TVNZ 2, 11.25    Cruel Intentions | Three, 11.40   […]

Read more

Three Bars The Conners From Thursdays

Three is pulling its new Thursday night comedy The Conners from primetime after only two weeks on air. The Roseanne spin-off will be replaced by a second episode of its lead-in, Modern Family, from February 21. In the US, the show overcame the loss of its star, Roseanne Barr, to become a ratings winner, second […]

Read more

HD Heads-Up: February 23 – March 1

➢➢ TVNZ 1’s latest gimmicky procedural, the single-season Deception, will screen 9.30 Sundays from February 24. About a disgraced magician who puts his skills of deception and illusion to work at the FBI, it earned middling reviews when it debuted a year ago in the US. They ranged from, “pretty absurd, but the show is too light […]

Read more

Critical Condition: Lorena

Lorena | Amazon Prime Video, from Friday ☆☆☆☆ “The Lorena Bobbitt case encompasses a multitude of issues that are equally relevant today, 26 years later: the tyranny of the 24-hour news cycle; the fear and shame that keep women from reporting abuse; the dangerous allure of instant celebrity; and above it all, our endless, unhealthy […]

Read more

Critical Condition: The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy | Netflix, from Friday ☆☆☆☆ “Just as DC Universe drops the premiere of its wild, weird Doom Patrol, Netflix presents The Umbrella Academy, an adaptation of an award-winning Dark Horse Comics title about another family of heroes. But this series is This is Us A Million Little Brothers & Sisters with a dash of […]

Read more

Critical Condition: Dirty John

Dirty John | Netflix, from Thursday ☆☆☆☆ “A dazzling matchup of pulp and prestige … Based on the Los Angeles Times‘ addictive true-crime podcast, Dirty John is the story of a convict and con man who took catfishing to almost operatic levels … Adapted for TV by Desperate Housewives writer Alexandra Cunningham, the show blends sun-drenched SoCal romance […]

Read more

Critical Condition: A Very English Scandal

A Very English Scandal | SoHo, 8.30 Wednesday ☆☆☆☆ “Although comedy may provide the spoonful of sugar that relieves life’s bitterness, it can also be used to emphasise its cold, relentless injustice … So it is with A Very English Scandal, which tells the true story of UK MP Jeremy Thorpe’s gay relationship with Norman Scott in the […]

Read more

New to Blu: February 13 – 19

  Bohemian Rhapsody ➢ “Bohemian Rhapsody is the first film I’ve reviewed that uses the HDR10+ format [which] adds scene by scene metadata to the standard HDR10 data stream that HDR10+-capable TVs can use to improve the way they render the HDR images … Throughout the film the image looks more dynamic, with slightly more […]

Read more

Critical Condition: Manifest

Manifest | TVNZ 1, 8.30 Monday/TVNZ 2, 9.30 Wednesday ☆☆☆☆ “The epitome of what Hollywood calls high-concept story-telling. A plane takes off from an airport in the Caribbean one afternoon and, despite a little rough weather, arrives seemingly intact in New York … five and a half years later. If that sounds weird but not particularly […]

Read more