Tonight in HD: December 18

SoHo Highlight: Boardwalk Empire (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) In the wake of a personal loss, Nucky solicits advice on his political situation from Arnold Rothstein; Eli remain suspicious of his brother’s actions; Jimmy flexes his muscles at Mickey Doyle’s expense. “Two Boats and a Lifeguard was written by Terence Winter (the show’s creator), and directed by Tim Van Patten (its lead director), and that combination usually suggests a premiere, a finale, or some kind of very special episode,” HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall predicted of season two’s eighth instalment. Time magazine said it was filled “with all kinds of generational, paternal-filial tension” but the AV Club thought “it took a while … to get revved up, especially given that it came after such a slam-bang episode. Two Boats And A Lifeguard is more aftermath-y, and more elusive. Until Nucky makes his move, that is. Then the situation gets interesting in a hurry.” ✭✭✭✭

Hellcats (TV2, 5.30) When Alice’s father shows up at sectionals to watch her fly, she makes a drastic decision to blackmail Savannah for her spot. ✭✭✭

North (TV One, 7.00, R) Marcus Lush discovers there’s more to Piha than Piha Rescue, goes nude – again – and boats the Kaipara. ✭✭✭✭

Movie: Up (TV2, 7.00) Toon titan Pixar was on the up and up with this funny and touching fantasy about a cranky old man and an eager-beaver boy scout who float off to a mystical South American jungle in a house held aloft by thousands of balloons. It seems you’re never too old or young for adventure, or for movies this enchanting, imaginative and pixel-perfect. (2009) ✭✭✭✭

Movie: Date Movie (TV3, 9.00, 5.1, R) From Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, the writers/directors of Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie, comes a dire romantic-comedy spoof starring How I Met Your Mother’s Alyson Hannigan. How bad is it? Let’s just say it won Carmen Electra a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress. (2006)

Movie: Phat Girlz (TV3, 10.45, 5.1, R) An edgy comedy about two frustrated plus-size women obsessed with their weight while struggling to find love and acceptance in a world full of ‘hot bodied’ babes. Mo’nique, Jimmy Jean-Louis and Godfrey star. Among the most charitable reviews was the New York Daily News’: “a sweet, if thinly plotted tale”. (2006) ✭✭

Birdland (TV One, 12.30, R) ✭✭✭✭

Sky Movies: Due Date (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) This Planes, Trains & Automobiles retread goes off the rails with a masturbating dog gag that signals the desperate extremes to come – which is a pity given how good Robert Downey Jr and Zack Galifianakis are as an odd couple on the road trip from hell: a wannabe actor transporting his father’s ashes and a father-to-be frantic to get from Atlanta to LA for the birth. If only the humour was as sharp as the production values. The Hangover’s Todd Phillips directs; Michelle Monaghan and Jamie Foxx co-star. (2010) ✭✭

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