HD Highlights: July 28

Network Movie: Blood Diamond (TV One, 9.30, 5.1) This is an exciting, suspenseful dramatisation of how the illegal diamond trade fueled civil war in Sierra Leone. While director Edward Zwick glamourises the horrors with a rich vein of Hollywood hokum that emphasises adventure over agenda, not even the 24-carat casting of Leonardo DiCaprio as a fearless rogue and Jennifer Connelly as a sexy war correspondent can rob Blood Diamond of its intensity, integrity and craftsmanship. (2006) ✭✭✭✭

Network Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End (TV2, 7.30, 5.1, R) “Do you think he plans it all out or just makes it up as he goes along?” The question is asked of that pirate of pizzazz, Captain Jack Sparrow, but it could just as well be directed at the writers of his third extravagant excursion into lionhearted looniness, complete with the pirate lord casting of Rolling Stone Keith Richard. The supernatural plot may be ‘nigh incomprehensible but the comical dialogue, wily characters and eye-popping spectacle still make for remarkably buoyant escapism. (2007) ✭✭✭

The Bionic Vet (TV One, 5.20) Noel treats a seven-month-old puppy with a painful bone deformity in both his front legs. ✭✭✭

Hyundai Country Calendar (TV One, 7.00) A young woman works with an all-male forestry gang. ✭✭✭✭

ITM Fishing Show (TV3, 7.00) The team are back aboard the luxurious Ultimate Lady, exploring the outer limits of the Tahitian archipelago. ✭✭✭

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV3, 8.30, 5.1, F) The 12th season concludes with the CSIs investigating the murders of three people whose bodies are found a few blocks away from the site of a campaign dinner. Pondered TV Guide Canada: “Remember when cliffhanger episodes of CSI were truly gripping? Sara Sidle being buried alive by the Miniature Killer? Warrick Brown being gunned down by the evil Undersheriff? Catherine Willows narrowly avoiding bursts of machine gun fire while she perused her mail after returning home from work? Yeah, that didn’t happen on [this] season finale. Instead, what writers and producers came up with was a cliffhanger that came off more as a whimper than the intended bang. Other TV critics have filled the Internet with praise for ‘Homecoming,’ but it left me colder than a victim lying on Doc Robbins’ slab.” ✭✭✭

CSI: Miami (TV3 9.30, 5.1) An exclusive hunting club where the prey is human is uncovered by the CSIs after a man is killed with a bow and arrow in the Everglades. Adam Rodriguez (Eric Delko) wrote and directed the episode. ✭✭✭

Network Movie: Choke (TV3, 10.25, 5.1, R) In this wickedly dark comedy, a sex addict concocts a bizarre choking scam to pay for his his demented mother’s upkeep in a flash private hospital. Reviews were mixed but according to the New York Times, “It adds up to an entertaining collection of vignettes strung together by a sarcastic loudmouth whose heart is breaking under his sophomoric bravado.” Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson in the Iron Man movies) directs his first feature, which he also scripted, and co-stars with Anjelica Huston and Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald. (2008) ✭✭✭

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