This Weekend in HD: December 31-January 1


 SoHo Highlight: Boardwalk Empire (Sky 10, 8.30 Sunday, 5.1) Nucky undercuts Jimmy’s bootlegging initiative; tensions escalate among striking workers and employers on the boardwalk. “No one anticipated this kind of outcome – proving that, like in True Blood, no character is safe,” Rolling Stone said of episode 10’s startling turn. “Nucky is back in the US, and thanks to Sleater’s IRA connections, flush with alcohol, giving Jimmy and his cronies some serious competition. But the idea that Nucky could go to jail for election-rigging remains a very real possibility, leaving plenty to still be resolved in the next couple of weeks. And with only two more episodes left in the season, the writers are pulling out the big, shocking death scenes that leave us on the edge of our seats.” ✭✭✭✭

Saturday

Trade Zone Gone Fishin’ (TV3, 5.30) ✭✭✭

Keeping Up With the Joneses (TV One, 7.00) It’s race day and the showdown takes place between Trevor the cranky cook and Milton’s sister Terry; Milton finds a massive python that has swallowed a wallaby. ✭✭✭

Sunday

North (TV One, 7.00, R) Marcus Lush ventures further north, to Cape Reinga, and beyond, to the Three Kings, where he touches what was once the world’s rarest plant. ✭✭✭✭

Movie: Coraline (TV3, 7.00, 5.1) Writer/director Henry Selick’s freakiest movie since The Nightmare Before Christmas was released theatrically in 3D but looks almost as eye-popping in high definition. About a bored youngster who discovers a secret passage to a seemingly happier, alternate reality, it’s a dazzling, unhinged showcase of stop-motion animation. Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher and Dawn French lend their voices. (2009) ✭✭✭✭

Movie: Die Hard 2 (TV3, 8.55, 5.1, R) Wisecracking cop John McClane again is in the wrong place at the wrong time — a Washington DC airport where he winds up having to thwart terrorists, bureaucracy and the weather while waiting for his wife’s plane to land. Hard to fault as empty-headed, high-revving escapism but fatally tries to Rambo-ise a hero whose credibility was one of the original’s chief assets. NYPD Blue’s Dennis Franz co-stars. (1990) ✭✭


Sky Movies Premiere: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole (Sky 20, 4.45, 5.1) The cinematic animation is breathtakingly detailed but still can’t transcend a muddled, semi-mystical screenplay that will have adults and older children cringing at its anthropomorphic awfulness. Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) directs; Jim Sturgess, Sam Neill and Helen Mirren lend their voices. (2010) ✭✭ 

Sky Movies Premiere: Morning Glory (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1)  Morning Glory is Broadcast News sunny side up, a fluffy comedy about a rookie TV producer who has six weeks to save a morning news show from cancellation. It’s contrived and corny but appealingly cast and peppered with home truths about high jinks hijacking news values for the sake of ratings. Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton star. (2010) ✭✭✭✭ 

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: Kingdom of Heaven (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1): Orlando Bloom goes from The Lord of the Rings to lording it over Jerusalem in this 1186-and-all-that epic about the Crusades. Some of the spectacle that made Heaven so hellishly exciting on the big screen is lost on TV while those looking for the definitive version should opt for the director’s cut on Blu-ray. (2005) ✭✭✭✭

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