Tonight in HD: March 24

SoHo Highlight: The Shadow Line (Sky 10,9.40, 5.1) Khokar is forced to retire after Gabriel rumbles that he had Petra try and kill Gatehouse (Stehen Rea, above). As villains fall out, Gabriel goes to meet Gatehouse in a deserted rural location for a final showdown. Said The Daily Telegraph of the series finale: “The Shadow Line visually delineated its characters as sharply as a graphic novel. I wasn’t buying it though, any of it … The Shadow Line seemed to exist in some strange alternative world, where everyone plucked epigrams from the air and no one chased around after the actors with hand-held cameras trying to make TV look like Real Life. And it never did.” Echoed The Times: “The final episode, while to its credit providing answers to its mysteries, did not justify the investment in time and intellectual effort it asked of us.” But Cultbox thought otherwise: “Yes, it had a theatrical flamboyance that took it perilously close to pomposity. Yes, it struggled at times to keep its footing under the weight of its multiple plot strands and the number of bodies it managed to rack up along the way. But in the final analysis, it was worth watching from beginning to end and lost neither its charm nor its compulsion along the way.” ✮✮✮

Movie: Independence Day (TV3, 8.30, 5.1, R) About an alien invasion of Earth, its incidence of corny melodrama, lazy stereotypes, gargantuan plot holes and gung-ho patriotism is as high as the body count. Yet they’re part of the fun of watching what is unabashedly a B-grade ’50s doomsday movie dressed up in the blockbuster trappings of a Star Wars meets Top Gun with an X-Files twist. Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch and Jeff Goldblum star. (1996) ✮✮✮

The Secret Lives of Dancers (TV3, 4.30, R) The company hit the South Island and it’s an emotional homecoming for Lucy Balfour. ✮✮✮✮

TradeZone Gone Fishin’ (TV3, 5.00) A slice of outdoor New Zealand. ✮✮

Rheem Outdoors With Geoff (TV3, 5.30, R) Showcases the spectacular New Zealand outdoors and abroad. ✮✮

Hyundai Country Calendar (TV One, 7.00) Season premiere: join the muster in heavy snow as a family sells its Catlins farm and clears the stock. ✮✮✮✮

Terra Nova (TV3, 7.30, 5.1) Jim and Taylor investigate the colony’s first murder; Skye helps Josh find a way to get his girlfriend from 2149 to the past. ✮✮✮

Winners & Losers (TV One, 10.30, R) Sophie’s stalker is revealed, and it’s someone she never would have guessed; Frances’ new relationship is causing problems at work; has Matt done enough to win Bec back? ✮✮

Movie: The Mermaid Chair (TV3, 11.15, R) Telemovie about an unhappily married woman who’s summoned back to her family home, where a long-buried secret fires new passions. Kim Basinger, CSI’s Alex Carter and Bruce Greenwood star. (2006) ✮✮

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7 Responses to “Tonight in HD: March 24”

  1. I think I read somewhere that there are plans for another Independence Day movie 🙂

  2. ID2 seems to have died a natural death from what I can see online. Will Smith is asking for $50 million to star in ID2 and ID3.

  3. I recorded and watch ID4 last night. That would have to be the best 5.1 sound I’ve heard from any HD channel in this country. Pity that these idiots, though, after the credits at the start, which are in 2.35:1, switched to “zoomoVision” 1.77:1 losing the side panels. Reminds me of the bad old days of “pan and scan” on analogue TV.

  4. Couldn’t agree more re the “zoomoVision”. The same happened with the Die Hard movies. And it’s not just a free-to-air issue — 2.35:1 movies on Sky frequently air in the 1.85:1 ratio, too, presumably so viewers don’t feel they’re being “robbed” of picture detail on their 16:9 displays (ie. no black bars top and bottom) when, in fact, the opposite is true.

  5. Zoomovision is definitely something that annoys me when watching movies on TV. Much prefer to watch Blu-ray movies in correct aspect ratio rather than waiting for them to hit our TV screens, many months later. Most Blu-rays are in the correct aspect ratio but not all of them. You can usually find an internet source to confirm if the movie has been released in the correct aspect ratio.

  6. Even Blu-ray is no guarantee of getting the correct aspect ratio — eg. the NZ release of Solomon Kane was zoomed-in and you could clearly see how much was chopped off because the docos used excerpts in the oar [original aspect ratio]. The UK BD was in correct ar.

  7. That’s right. You do need to do some research in advance to make sure you get the version in the correct aspect ratio. One of the reasons why I import a lot of Blu-rays from the UK or US, including Solomon Kane.

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