Tonight in HD: June 3

Sky Movies Premiere: Thor (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) This superhero franchise thunders on to our screens opens like a cross between Flash Gordon and Paul: a disgraced god stripped of his powers falls to Earth and is run over by a geeky scientist-cum-star-crossed lover. Thor is goofy fun but will disappoint those who prefer Norse god sensibilities to ungodly nonsense. Kenneth Branagh directs Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. (2011) ✮✮✮


Shackleton’s Captain (TV One, 9.30) Two-hour dramatisation of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s doomed 1914 expedition to the South Pole that reveals the heroism of Kiwi navigator Frank Worlsey. Said the NZ Herald: “In a combination of interviews with experts, re-enactments of the events, intercut with original film footage and stills by the expedition’s official photographer, Frank Hurley, Shackleton’s Captain tells the tale from a different perspective, giving credit to the seamanship and skills of Worsley (Craig Parker). Made with a $812,500 NZ On Air budget, there are moments in Shackleton’s Captain which can feel like an extended version of I Shouldn’t be Alive, rather than something for a Sunday Theatre slot. But it’s done with great heart and enthusiasm.” ✮✮✮✮

Pretty Little Liars (TV2, 5.30, 5.1) Love is a powerful motivator for Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer, especially if it means keeping their loved ones safe from “A.” ✮✮

The War at Home (TV2, 6.30, R) Dave takes the family on a trip to visit his parents in Florida. Unfortunately, Vicky hates Dave’s parents, Mike is afraid to fly, and Hillary wants to stay at home. ✮✮✮

The Food Truck (TV One, 7.00, F) Season Finale: Chef Michael Van de Elzen turns his attentions to sushi to see if he can put an inventive spin on the popular Japanese takeaway to serve at the ASB Showground for Japan Day. ✮✮✮✮

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 7.00, 5.1, R) Newly famous because of an article in a magazine, Raj gets an inflated ego and makes a disastrous play for Leonard’s long-time crush, Penny. ✮✮✮✮

Modern Family (TV3, 7.00, 5.1, R) After some nudging, Jay begrudgingly takes Phil out to fly his new model airplane, and one of their maneuvers goes awry.  ✮✮✮

Mike & Molly (TV2, 7.30, 5.1) When Molly suggests that she and Mike write their own wedding vows, Mike gets worried – until Carl tells him to write his vows like he’s describing how much he loves lasagne. ✮✮

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.00, 5.1, R) Leonard and his friends stage an intervention to make Sheldon confront his long-standing fear of driving. ✮✮✮✮

Touch (TV3, 11.30, 5.1) Following numbers from Jake, Martin helps reunite a French woman with her biological mother and twin sister, then tries to find the person responsible for their estrangement. ✮✮

Sky Movies Greats: Premiere: Edge of Darkness (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) In this Hollywood re-make of the iconic British miniseries, grief-stricken cop Mel Gibson investigates a nuclear weapons conspiracy after his daughter, who works for a shadowy corporation, is murdered. Although directed by the 1985 original’s Martin Campbell, this Darkness doesn’t have the same sinister or enigmatic edge, but has been cleverly updated and boasts a terrific, tough-guy dinosaur turn from Gibson that almost makes up for the gratuitous violence and execrable ending. (2010) ✮✮✮✮

Sky Movies Premiere: The Task (Sky 20, 10.30, 5.1) Obscure, direct-to-disc horror movie about realty TV contestants who spend the night trapped in a hunted prison. DVD Verdict thought it “uninspired and strictly by-the-numbers” but DVD Talk reckons “the vitriol heaped against it on the Internet Movie Database may be justified based upon its ho-hum first half but The Task manages to redeem itself with an engaging second half”. The cast includes Tom Payne (Luck), Adam Rayner (Mistresses), Antonia Campbell-Hughes (Lead Balloon) and Sam Stockman (Whitechapel). (2011) ✮✮

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