TV & Radio Sunday February 19by Fiona Rae
Nigel Latta turns his attention to the grown-ups, Top Gear goes to India, and the Sunday goes to Christchurch.
Brutal Beauty (TV1, Sunday, 9.00am). Another sad reminder of Christchurch’s losses. Sir Miles Warren, who designed many of the city’s iconic buildings, from the Town Hall to the Harewood Crematorium, is interviewed pre-earthquakes at his home, Ohinetahi. He discusses his career and influences, from British “brutalism” to Scandinavian straightforwardness – and also the difficulties of boring office buildings. The documentary ends with photos from the September 2010 earthquake, and Warren’s vow to rebuild. Since then, Ohine-tahi has been extensively rebuilt and strengthened; Warren described it last year as “a reinforced concrete -fortress”.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Grown-ups (TV1, 7.00pm). And you thought he only dispensed advice about children and teenagers. Psychologist Nigel Latta rummages around in his advice basket and hands out bon mots on all sorts of issues, including relationships, love, money, beauty, self-improvement, growing old and spirituality. He finds some fun stuff along the way, too – like why we’re so paranoid about going through Customs, or the great genital-shrinkage scare of 1967.
Sunday (TV1, 7.30pm). The current affairs show returns with stories about Christchurch: Mark Crysell travels to Japan to talk with parents of the students and survivors of the CTV building collapse, and John Hudson visits Christchurch to talk with residents who are forging on. Plus, an Australian story about an inspiration teenager. More info here.
60 Minutes (TV3, 7.30pm). Tonight, reporters return to the well that is Joe Karam, who continues to fight to show that the justice system failed David Bain, and reporter Jeff Hampton, who was in Christchurch on February 22 with cameraman Bob Grieve, has put together a film of some of the additional footage that they shot from that day. More info here.
Top Gear: India Special (Prime, 7.35pm). A special before a new series begins next week - this time, Jeremy, James and Richard plan a "trade mission" to India. Typically, Clarkson managed to offend everyone.
The Tudors (TV1, 10.30pm). The final, and Henry's looking a bit worse-for-wear. Also: visions and mood swings. Expect lots of shouting and trying to make it up with the French.
Crossroads: A Story of Forgiveness (TV3, 8.25am). We watched Dean Cain being super on TV in the 1990s, but here he’s just a plain old struggler trying to recover from the very real deaths of his wife and daughter in a drag-racing accident. From the US Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie series, you can expect this fact-based drama to be wetter than a beaver’s bunions, so have hankies ready. (2007) 6 – Diana Balham
He’s Just Not That Into You (TV2, 8.30pm). Ken Kwapis thinks humiliating orangutans is funny, which you’d know if you had watched Dunston Checks In a few weeks ago. He also directed this patchwork of misunderstanding in which a bunch of Baltimorons, if that is the correct term, buzz about trying to form partnerships. Its all-star ensemble cast includes Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Long and Bradley Cooper: a veritable feast of self-involvement that makes Dunston look pretty well-adjusted. But with so many yuppies to satisfy, this romcom skates over each relationship and settles for cliché every time. (2009) 6 – Diana Balham
Last Action Hero (Four, 8.30pm). But nowhere near Arnie’s last movie before heading off to kneecap California’s economy. Here, he’s the focus of some heavy-duty adulation by Danny, a young movie fan (Austin O’Brien) who finds himself living in the world of his favourite action man, Jack Slater – “Holy cow! I’m in a movie.” It’s an interesting premise, and works best in the scenes where Danny is trying to convince Jack his crazy life isn’t real. However, Arnie is terrible at comedy and even a truckload of action-movie references – many of them to movies made by Last Action Hero’s director, John McTiernan – aren’t enough to make this an entertaining ride. (1993) 5 – Diana Balham
In a Savage Land (Maori, 8.30pm). I guess being married to an anthropologist would be a bit like being married to a psychiatrist: you’d always feel as if the other were taking notes. But put two of them on a remote island off Papua New Guinea in the 1930s and you’ve got the stuff of movies: simmering sexual tension, cultural chasms and a Somerset Maugham-ish setting – and then war breaks out. Bill Bennett (Spider & Rose) wrote and directed this Australian drama, starring Martin Donovan and Maya Stange as the couple and Rufus Sewell as a macho American pearl trader who puts the cat among the pigeons. But even with all this going on, In a Savage Land is a bit dreary and heavy-handed: yes, we know we’re supposed to question who the “savages” really are. (1999) 6 – Diana Balham
127 Hours (Sky Movies, Sky 020, 8.30pm). Or “Gone in 60 Seconds” – the amount of time it takes James Franco, playing Aron Ralston, to extricate himself from a bad situation using a cheap Chinese multi-tool. Based on Ralston’s true account, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and so much more rewarding than a feature-length film about a guy trapped under a rock could be in the wrong hands. Writer/director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) wrings every available emotion out of a truly outstanding Franco, and gives us a movie as much about the human spirit as it is about the actual grisly events. And Ralston? He played himself in The Simpsons last year. (Click here for hour 2011 interview with Ralston.) (2010) 8 – Diana Balham
Drag Me to Hell (TV2, 12.05am). Campy, scary horror magic from Sam Raimi, who co-wrote the script with his brother, Ivan. There’s definitely a move back to Raimi’s Evil Dead 80s, with funhouse frights and gross-out tricks. Alison Lohman (White Oleander) plays a loan officer (ha!) who refuses to renew an old gypsy woman’s mortgage. The gypsy (Lorna Raver) curses her, and the games begin. “A candy-coloured ghouls-gone-wild nightmare that treats every shock as a joke,” said Entertainment Weekly. (2009) 8
Just under one in three IT grads in 2015 were women. But it’s not quite translating to the industry.Read more
'In the bonds of love we meet', goes our anthem. But who's the 'we'? Do modern histories focus too much on a clash between Maori and Pakeha?Read more
Any extension of teaching Te Reo in schools would depend on whether the resources are available for it, the incoming Education Minister says.Read more
A new book tells how investigative chronicler Sir Arthur Conan Doyle came to create his famous private detective.Read more
A debut novelist finds inspiration in her New Guinea childhood.Read more