Tonight in HD: July 1

Sky Movies Premiere: Cars 2 (Sky 20, 4.20, 5.1) As co-director John Lasseter says in his cheerfully exhaustive Blu-ray commentary, Cars 2 isn’t just a “retread”. It relocates racing car Lightning McQueen and his tow-truck mate Mater to Europe for a World Grand Prix, where they become embroiled in a plot to sabotage alternative fuel’s prospects. The folksy, small-town charm of the original takes a back seat but the spy spoofing is spot-on, particularly the vintage 007 send-up that opens Cars 2, and the animation is polished to perfection. (2011) ✭✭✭✭

SoHo Highlight: Magic City (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Season finale: “Some cliffhangers leave you wanting more,” said the Examiner. “The cliffhanger in Magic City’s finale is downright cruelMagic City’s first season comes to a close with the crap hitting the fan so many times it’s going to need a hell of a clean up crew.” Then again, as the AV Club put it: “Is there anything quite as exhilarating for a TV viewer than latching onto a series after watching its pilot episode, sticking with it through the growing pains of its freshman year, and then seeing it end that first season by hitting a creative high with the knowledge that a second season has already been secured?” ✭✭✭✭

Get Fresh With Al Brown (TV One, 4.25, R) Al visits New Zealand’s smallest organic market in Riverton, joins local fisherman Paul Dobias to catch a blue-cod entrée, and finds his main in the estuary. ✭✭✭✭

Pretty Little Liars (TV2, 5.30, 5.1) When a surprising new victim of “A” is revealed, the girls’ tight-knit group may get one person larger. Meanwhile, Spencer runs from family troubles right into Wren’s arms. ✭✭

The War at Home (TV2, 6.30, R) When Larry decides to run for president, Dave is supportive of his son’s interest in leadership, until he learns that Larry is actually running for president of the Chess Club. ✭✭✭

Planet Dinosaur (TV One, 7.00) Episode three looks at the last generation of killer dinosaurs – carnivores that took killing to a new level. In the southern continents it was the powerful and muscular abelisaurids that reigned supreme but it was the famous tyrannosaurids (or tyrant dinosaurs) that dominated in the north. While the northern daspletosaurus hunted in gangs, using its highly developed smell and hearing to take down opponents like the horned rhino-sized beast, chasmosaurus, in the Southern Hemisphere the small-skulled majungasaurus reigned. And though the sharp toothed majungasaurus was an efficient killer of the much smaller feathered rahonavis, that did not stop it from occasionally turning cannibal and hunting its own. ✭✭✭

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 7.00, 5.1, R) A paintball game has surprising consequences for Leonard and his friends when it leads to a fight between Penny and Sheldon – and romance for Wolowitz and Leslie. ✭✭✭✭

Golden (TV3, 7.00) Paul and Eliot plan a trip away in order to train in secret, while Bev and Shelley come across some dangerous ‘little helpers’. NZ Herald critic Greg Dixon reckons Golden is more of a mystery than a comedy. “For sometime after watching it I sat in my own lounge chair trying to figure out whether it was a deliberately old-fashioned sitcom done without irony or a deliberately old-fashioned sitcom done with irony or whether, like the comedy-within-a-comedy of When the Whistle Blows in Ricky Gervais’ Extras, it had begun life as a cutting-edge comedy but had been butchered by the network and its producers. In the end, I figured it didn’t really matter: Golden is only funny if you enjoy relentless and relentlessly groan-making cheap shots at someone who is overweight.” ✭✭

Mike & Molly (TV2, 7.30, 5.1) When Mike’s dad comes to town early for his son’s bachelor party, Peggy decides she should attend Molly’s bachelorette bash, and proceeds to turn it into a raucous affair. ✭✭

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.00, 5.1, R) A train trip to San Francisco takes a major detour when Leonard, Sheldon, Wolowitz and Raj discover that beautiful sci-fi actress Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) is on board. ✭✭✭✭

Movie: Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (TV3, 7.30, 5.1) A pity neither is particularly witty in this mix of animation and live action. Stick to the daily cartoon strip. (2006) ✭✭

Sunday Theatre – Audi NZ Season: Separation City (TV One, 8.30) Wellington City is the star of this patchy romantic-comedy that amuses and resonates but never is as eloquent as writer/producer Tom Scott’s pithy pitch for his Kiwi Cold Feet: “It’s a terrible moment for everybody when you realise the person you’re with is not the person you love any longer.” The acting’s as uneven as the writing, caricatures outnumber individuals, and the ratio of groaners to great gags is about 5:1. Golden’s Joel Edgerton, The Gates’ Rhona Mitra and Underbelly’s Danielle Cormack star. (2010) ✭✭✭

Touch (TV3, 10.50, 5.1, F) As the Aster Corporation increases their interest in Jake, Martin joins forces with Abigail as the stakes of Jake’s custody escalate. Says creator Tim Kring of his plans for season two: “When you see the season finale, we point in a very very big direction as to where we are going. The last few minutes of the season finale are really setting up a brand new world for us for the second season. As clean a slate as I could ever imagine for a show going from one season to the other, we pull off in the season finale.” ✭✭

Sky Movies Premiere: Zookeeper (Sky 20, 8.30, 5,1) Adam Sandler, Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Jon Favreau and Judd Apatow lend their voices to this family romp about critters who teach their kindly but lonely zookeeper (Kevin James) the rules of courtship. “Some sparks of comedy and fun but largely a flat and unrewarding comedy,” said Empire while USA Today quipped: “There isn’t much in the way of plot to get in the way of Sandler’s world: There’s poo, ripped pants and hot girls falling for fat guys.” (2011)

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