Network Movies in HD: January 19 – 25

   Saturday     Storks | TVNZ 2, 7.00    Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian | Three, 7.00    Saving Mr Banks | TVNZ 1, 8.30    The Equalizer| TVNZ 2, 8.30    Deep Blue Sea | Three, 9.05    Keanu | TVNZ 2, 11.10 The Pyramid | Three, 11.15   Sunday    Babysitter’s Black Book | TVNZ […]

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HD Heads-Up: January 26 – February 1

➢➢ FBI (Prime, 8.30 Mondays from January 28) is the latest Law & Order drama from veteran producer Dick Wolf. It’s set in the New York office of the bureau and, from next month, will go head-to-head with TVNZ 1’s Manifest (which originally was slated for TVNZ 2). Reviews ranged from “a fast-paced drama that’s engaging […]

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New to Blu: January 16 – 22

  Venom ➢ “Venom was digitally photographed, primarily at a resolution of 2.8K and finished at 4K, unsurprising given the digital roots and effects-heavy picture. The UHD looks terrific even upscaled and offers a solid boost over the Blu-ray, a sharper, clearer, cleaner image in every way. The digital source photography shines on the UHD, […]

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Critical Condition: Butterfly

Butterfly | TVNZ 1, 8.30 Wednesday ☆☆☆☆ “As you might expect from the first mainstream drama about a transgender child who wants to transition, there is a sense of touchstones being arranged … Beyond these few odd clunks, it is a wonderfully delicate drama that covers new ground carefully and features fully realised characters at war with […]

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Critical Condition: Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico | TVNZ OnDemand, from Wednesday ☆☆☆☆ “Roswell, New Mexico, the CW network’s second adaptation of Melinda Metz’s acclaimed Roswell High novel (the first being 1999’s Roswell, which aired on the WB and UPN), isn’t so much a reboot as it is a reimagining of a familiar story updated for today’s volatile political climate […]

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Critical Condition: The Passage

The Passage | TVNZ OnDemand, from Tuesday ☆☆☆☆ “The Passage is a high-concept sci-fi thriller based on popular novels by Justin Cronin. It has been boiled down to its most essential elements and easily digestible plot points, exactly the right way to mainstream the show for a broadcast audience without making it dull, dumb or disingenuous … what makes […]

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Critical Condition: True Detective (S3)

True Detective | SoHo, 3.00/7.30 Monday ☆☆☆☆ “Season 3 is very good. Structurally, it uses the same reopened case conceit as Season 1, where a detective is talking to investigators about a long-ago mystery that still haunts him, but it adds a third timeline to great effect. Oscar winner Mahershala Ali plays Wayne ‘Purple’ Hays, […]

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New to Sky Box Sets in February

The first four seasons of SoHo’s hypnotic The Affair will screen next month for the first time on Sky Box Sets. Also new to the back catalogue binge channel will be Generation Kill, Little Britain and the 2007 series, Tell Me You Love Me. Screening in order of their nightly rotation will be: Big Love […]

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Network Movie Highlights: January 12 – 18

   Saturday     Flubber | TVNZ 2, 7.00    Night at the Museum | Three, 7.00    The Aviator | TVNZ 1, 9.00    8 Mile | Three, 9.10    The Hollow Man | Duke, 9.20 The Spectacular Now | TVNZ 2, 10.30 Aliens vs Predator – Requiem | Three, 11.20   Sunday    Yoga Hosers | TVNZ 2, 12.15am   […]

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Critical Condition: Titans

Titans | Netflix, from Friday ☆☆☆☆ “The high-powered team behind the show — the Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the uber-producer Greg Berlanti and the DC veteran Geoff Johns, a one-time Teen Titans writer — is aiming for the superhero version of kitchen-sink realism rather than comic-book gloss. Like Netflix’s Marvel series and Mr. Berlanti’s DC […]

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Critical Condition: Sex Education

Sex Education | Netflix, from Friday ☆☆☆☆ “A sweet, progressive British dramedy from newcomer Laurie Nunn, Sex Education  blends teen sex-romp tropes with a refreshing level of empathy. While there’s plenty of sexploitation humor — prepare for close-ups of human nether regions and a remarkable number of phalluses — the show is focused on how […]

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HD Heads-Up: January 19 – 25

➢➢ TVNZ 1 will beef up its new season slate with the premieres of Dynasties (7.00 Sundays from January 20) and The Split (8.30 Fridays from January 25), and live coverage of the T20 clash between Kiwi cricketers and rugby players (from 4.30 January 25). Dynasties is the latest Sir David Attenborough blockbuster (the Independent thought it “as enjoyable as anything […]

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New to Blu: January 9 – 15

  Venom has topped the US sales chart two weeks in a row but won’t be released on Blu-ray and 4K-UHD here until next Wednesday. This week’s pickings are limited to the obscure action movie Final Score, The Fantastic Films of Ray Harryhausen: Collection Two and the animated Adventure Time: The Complete Ninth Season, Ghost in the Shell Movie […]

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Critical Condition: Project Blue Book

Project Blue Book | TVNZ OnDemand, from Wednesday ☆☆☆☆ “History’s new scripted drama is ‘based on true events,’ or at least the recorded instances of possible UFO sightings and the Air Force’s subsequent investigations during the 1950’s and ’60s … It digs into a specific and perhaps forgotten portion of history, brings it to life, and […]

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Critical Condition: White Dragon

White Dragon (aka Strangers) | SoHo2, 8.30 Wednesday ☆☆☆☆ “So many questions by the end of Strangers, chief among them being, am I really going to watch another seven episodes of this? It’s not that the premise is terrible or the cast bad — John Simm did a heroic job with dialogue that was sometimes […]

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