HD Highlights: July 22

Sky Movies Premiere: Super 8 (Sky 20, 8.30, 5.1) This fun monster movie could have been a super, ‘80s-style kidult adventure about small-town youngsters unearthing a military conspiracy and chasing an ET on steroids. The young cast, especially We Bought a Zoo’s Elle Fanning, and the production values are sensational. But the screenplay soon loses the plot and the fatuous, sentimental finale will have you cringing. Star Trek’s JJ Abrams directs; Joel Courtney, Friday Nights Lights’ Kyle Chandler and True Blood’s Jessica Tuck co-star. (2011) ✭✭✭✩

SoHo Highlight: John Adams (Sky, 10, 8.30, 5.1) “Things move rather slowly in this episode, even more so than in the courtroom drama of episode one,” Premium Hollywood warned. “There are, however, progressions with John’s political dealings in Europe as he moves to work with the government of the Netherlands, resulting in a very funny moment when they hesitate to commit to provide financial assistance to the States because they haven’t established much in the way of credit. [Paul] Giamatti’s performance is consistently strong, and the episode concludes on a decidedly ominous note, with poor John battling off an unspecified disease. Still, it’s hardly what you’d call a cliffhanger.” ✭✭✭✩

Series Finale: Planet Dinosaur (TV One, 7.00) The final episode explores dinosaurs’ extraordinary ability to survive, from the bizarre magyarosaurus, which lived in the shadow of the biggest flying animal – hatzegopteryx – and showed an amazing adaptation to island life, to the weird nothronychus, a carnivore that gave up meat eating. This astonishing capacity to evolve helped dinosaurs to dominate Earth for more than 160 million years — until an unprecedented extraterrestrial event … The Blu-ray of the series goes on sale early next month. ✭✭✭✩

Sunday Theatre – The Audi NZ Season: The Golden Hour (TV One, 8.30)  The inspirational true story of New Zealand’s greatest ever day at the Olympics, based on the experiences of Olympians Peter Snell and Murray Halberg, and their coach Arthur Lydiard. Justin Pemberton (Love, Speed & Loss) directs. ✭✭✭✭

Homeland (TV3, 10.55, 5.1, R) Carrie receives a new piece of electronic evidence from an undercover agent while staying glued to the surveillance footage of life in Brody’s home. ✭✭✭✭✭

The Good Wife (TV3, 12.00, 5.1, R) Another chance to see this terrific Julianna Margulies drama, about a wife scorned who’s reborn, from the beginning. But fans would prefer to catch up with season three, which has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards — but which TV3 has delayed until next year (when hopefully it will air back-to-back with season four). ✭✭✭✭

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: Snakes on a Plane (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) Anaconda meets Airplane in this beaut B-grade hoot that lives up to its title – and then some. Yet it took producer Craig Berensen nine years to uncoil his pet project on the big screen, in spite of the foolproof pitch: “Two of the biggest fears people have: Fear of flying and fear of snakes. Throw them together at 30,000 feet and see what happens.” Samuel L Jackson, Julianna Margulies and Nathan Phillips star. (2006) ✭✭✭

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