Tonight in HD: May 27

Network Move Premiere: Crazy Heart (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) Jeff Bridges won his first Oscar in this slight but telling drama about a booze-battered country music icon who’s reduced to one-night stands in bowling alleys and opening for a rival (Colin Farrell) he once mentored … until he meets a solo mum-cum-aspiring journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who reignites his passion and creativity. What ensues is a familiar but affecting to-the-brink-and-back tale of regret and redemption that’s elevated by fine performances, superb cinematography and achy-breaky heartfelt songs that, as Bridges’ singer/songwriter laments, spring from “life, unfortunately”. Scott Cooper, who acted with Robert Duvall in Get Low and Broken  Trail, directs his first feature, which he adapted from the novel by Thomas Cobb. (2009) ✮✮✮✮


Season Finale: Call the Midwife (TV One, 9.30, F) A sister is returned to Nonnatus House; a visit from Chummy’s mother doesn’t go down well; Jenny saves the day. “She may have begun the series wobbling uneasily across the cobbles of 1950s east London on a bicycle, but Chummy’s (Miranda Hart) final scene in Heidi Thomas’s midwifery drama saw the hapless nurse with a firm handle on proceedings,” said The Daily Telegraph. “Miranda Hart began the series – an adaptation of midwife Jennifer Worth’s memoirs – playing to her strengths: slapstick humour, social ineptitude, bonkers posh girl. But as the weeks progressed, Hart has developed farce into feeling. The final episode showcased her acting ability to fine effect.” Ex-Coronation Street vet Tina O’Brien (Sarah Platt) guest stars. ✮✮✮

Pretty Little Liars (TV2, 5.30, 5.1) When Lucas goes missing, Caleb searches wildly; Hanna stalls because she doesn’t want Caleb’s to find out about ‘A’. ✮✮

The War at Home (TV2, 6.30, R) Dave is furious after Hillary sprains her ankle while skiing when he learn Vicky gave her approval for the ski trip without his consent; Larry has a crush on a classmate. ✮✮✮

The Food Truck (TV One, 7.00) Chef Michael Van de Elzen tackles one of his toughest challenges yet: creating healthy icecream to sell from his 1970 Bedford truck in a neighbourhood challenge with kiwi icon Mr Whippy. ✮✮✮✮

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 7.00, 5.1, R) Penny confides in Sheldon after her first date with Leonard goes awry. ✮✮✮✮

Modern Family (TV3, 7.00, 5.1, R) Phil is determined to prove that Luke is responsible enough to have a new bike; Gloria tricks Jay into spending a little quality time with Manny; Cameron and Mitchell attend their first toddler playgroup. ✮✮✮✮

Mike & Molly (TV2, 7.30, 5.1) When Molly learns that Mike hasn’t had a birthday party since he was nine years old, she decides to throw him a surprise party; Samuel dates a girl he met through an online dating service. ✮✮

The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.00, 5.1, R) When Leonard sees Penny with a handsome new guy, he enters into a rebound relationship with Sheldon’s nemesis, Leslie Winkle. ✮✮✮✮

Revenge (TV2, 10.25, 5.1, R) Yet another chance to see Revenge from the beginning. ✮✮

Enlightened (TV One, 10.35, 5.1, F) Season finale: After Levi goes ballistic in the middle of the night, Amy convinces him to follow in her footsteps and get treatment.  Bristling but still battling, Amy turns to Tyler for the key to forcing change at Abaddon. ✮✮✮

The Almighty Johnsons (TV3, 10.50, R, F) On the day of Gaia’s actual 21st it sucks to be mortal, and being a God isn’t exactly plain-sailing either. Said the NZ Herald of the season finale: “The scene where the Johnson boys burst into There’s Something About a Magpie – an ancient ode to the Hawkes Bay rugby team, and the family is from down that way after all – was pretty much the greatest scripted moment in New Zealand comedy in a very long time.” ✮✮✮

Sky Movies Premiere: Bad Teacher (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) Bad Teacher is a wickedly good comedy that leavens its coarseness with wit, charm and more intelligence than most of its mindless ilk. Cameron Diaz, in her funniest role since There’s Something About Mary, plays an amoral high school teacher who’ll resort to anything to marry a rich man and retire early. Some of the gags and lines are shockingly crass but the characterisations are hilarious, the cast is A+, and the chemistry between Diaz and Jason Segel’s goofy gym teacher is copybook. (2011) ✮✮✮✮

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: Transporter 2 (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) There hasn’t been a sequel this bad since Speed 2Transporter 2 doesn’t just insult your intelligence – it assumes you don’t have one. How else could the filmmakers have expected to get away with nearly 90 minutes of escapist piffle that’s so absurd it makes the original look positively Hitchcockian? The time ex-Special Forces ace Frank Martin has to rescue a kidnapped six-year-old and save the world from a lethal virus. Jason Statham, Matthew Modine, Jason Flemyng and Revenge’s Amber Valletta star. (2005) 

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One Response to “Tonight in HD: May 27”

  1. Refreshing to see Crazy Heart in original (or near enough) aspect ratio.

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