Our recommendations for what to watch on TV in the week ahead.
57th Grammy Awards (live, Star World, Astro Ch 711/HD Ch 722, 9am)
It’s that time of the year again when the music industry ignores real talent and gives out awards to people making weird noises that purport to be music.
This year, LL Cool J will again host the glitzy show, while performers will include Kanye West (a sour-faced artiste usually known as Mr Kardashian), Lady Gaga (an artiste from outer space), Katy Perry (not an artiste), Pharrell Williams (a happy artiste), and Annie Lennox (the artiste formerly known as Eurythmics), among many others.
This is a live broadcast, all the way from Los Angeles. Go here for the nominees.
The Protector (TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, 10pm)
Tony Jaa was once touted as the next big international action superstar of the universe. Anyone who saw Ong-Bak would agree, the guy is not human. Certainly anyone who can outdo Jackie Chan’s stunts cannot be human.
Tony even set his legs on fire to kick some baddie’s skinny behind. If Ong-Bak had him going to the big bad city to look for his village’s stolen Buddha statue, in this movie (aka Tom Yum Goong), he goes to Australia looking for stolen elephants.
Yes, this is proof that if you have Tony Jaa in your movie, you don’t need a proper script. You can just keep having him looking for stolen things, and his kick-@$$ stunts will still make tonnes of money.
Cinta Jangan Pergi (TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, 10.30am)
Ep 1 – I highlight this because the synopsis is very interesting. It says: “Soraya is exploring the Europe (sic) alone. In her journey, a young Malay man named Khalil introduced (sic) himself to her. However, she was (sic) not interested.”
This is how all synopses should be written. It leaves a lot of mystery and intrigue, to pique one’s interest. If it had said that Soraya meets a young man who turns out to be a conman who steals all her money and she has to overcome obstacles being alone in Europe, that would be really boring.
But now, you don’t really know what’s going to happen because she is not interested in this man. Starring Tizz Zaqyah and Remy Ishak.
Killer Karaoke (8TV, Astro Ch 708/HyppTV Ch 108, 9.30pm)
This show is absolutely hilarious. It’s one of those shows that you find absolutely hilarious because you’re seeing someone suffering through humiliating and sometimes dangerous circumstances.
It plays on our cruel voyeurism without ever subjecting us to a guilt trip. And that’s entertainment!
This show has contestants singing a song while being “tortured”. And the tortures include being set upon by ferocious dogs, getting dipped into a pool of dangerous reptiles, and receive electric shocks while trying to serve food.
Taal (TV2, Astro Ch 102/HyppTV Ch 102, 10.03pm)
Says a lot about this 1999 musical romance when even the late great Roger Ebert loved it. This movie stars Aishwarya Rai, the most beautiful woman in the world, along with Anil Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna, with music by the genius A.R. Rahman.
The story is classic Romeo And Juliet. Manav, who is from a wealthy family, falls in love with Mansi, the daughter of a spiritual singer. When Manav’s father finds out, he moves the family away because he regards Mansi’s family as low class. But the two lovers’ bond will not be easily broken.
Whitney (Lifetime, Astro Ch 709, 9pm)
This TV movie is directed by Angela Bassett. It’s about a famous singer who is the daughter of a famous singer, who rose to stardom and married another famous singer … Yes, there are many famous singers in this movie.
Whitney Houston was one of those warblers who introduced a style of singing known as “caterwauling”, aka “the cat got strangled”. If you are a fan, you would want to see this movie about her career and her turbulent marriage to bad boy Bobby Brown.
It stars Yaya DaCosta as Whitney, Arlen Escarpeta as Bobby Brown, Suzzanne Douglas as Cissy Houston, Wesley Jonathan as Babyface, and (get this) Reign Morton as Eddie Murphy.
Little Big Soldier (TV2, Astro Ch 102/HyppTV Ch 102, 10.03pm)
So Jackie Chan is now a Datuk, thanks to the city of Kuala Lumpur, over which he once hung from a helicopter. I think he may be the first person ever to be awarded a title for hanging from a helicopter. Kudos, Datuk Chan!
Here’s his 2010 action comedy in which he stars with Taiwanese singer Wang Leehom. The story takes place during the period of the Warring States.
An old footsoldier (Chan) and a young enemy general (Wang) are the only survivors of a spectacular battle. The soldier captures the general and plans to bring him back to his leader in hopes of getting honourably discharged with a handsome reward. But they have a long journey ahead.
Welcome To The Jungle (Fox Movies Premium, Astro Ch 413/HD Ch 433, 10pm)
Here’s Jean-Claude Van Damme in a comedy. Yes, a comedy. This is about Chris, a guy who is scared of everything, even his own shadow.
His colleagues make fun of him, Phil the office bully picks on him, and he can’t even bring himself to ask a cute colleague out.
Then a team-building trip to the jungle goes awry when the crazy ex-marine coach (Van Damme) gets mauled by a tiger, and Phil proclaims himself the leader to get them all to safety. Yet it’s Chris with his Boy Scout skills who is more suited to the task.
Shooter (TV2, Astro Ch 102/HyppTV Ch 102, 10.03pm)
Marky Mark Wahlberg will forever be remembered as Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights. He really measured up to that role, and it was certainly his best and biggest performance.
This is his 2007 movie, where he plays a sharpshooter who has become a recluse. He left the military after being made the fall guy in a mission in Ethiopia. He is called back to stop an assassination attempt on the president.
Guess what? He falls for it yet again, becoming the fall guy once more. How dumb is that?
Pirates Of The Caribbean: A Stranger’s Tide (sic) (TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, 10pm)
I’m not sure which “stranger” the station’s altered title refers to. Maybe it’s Blackbeard. Or maybe it’s Penelope Cruz’s character.
Anyway, this instalment of the theme park ride-turned-movie is the best one, mainly because it’s based on a Tim Powers novel.
The story involves Jack Sparrow meeting a strange woman from his past, and together with the feared pirate Blackbeard, they race to find the Fountain Of Youth. Meanwhile, Barbossa, who has been hired by King George, is out for revenge.
Rambo: First Blood Part II (TV2, Astro Ch 102/HyppTV Ch 102, 10.03pm)
The Rambo franchise is the silliest series of movies that becomes increasingly the opposite of what it first set out to be. First Blood was an interesting take on the idea of the US Government’s own deadly creation coming home to roost.
But from there, Rambo becomes more and more of a government stooge, and the movies, more propagandistic and jingoistic.
Here’s the second movie, where Rambo is sent back to Vietnam to look for possible surviving POWs.
Starsky & Hutch (TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, 12.30am)
The original Starsky & Hutch TV series was a hoot to watch, mainly because of its two charismatic leads and the smart and witty writing.
This movie version ups the comedic content, with not much police procedural involved. It’s supposedly about the two detectives’ first-ever big case, so it’s a prequel of sorts to the series.
Starsky and Hutch investigate a former college drug dealer who has become a big-time white-collar criminal. Of course, the duo’s famous ’74 Gran Torino makes an appearance. Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg and Vince Vaughn.
Her (HBO, Astro Ch 411/HD Ch 431, 9pm)
This is a rather creepy movie about a guy who falls in love with his computer’s operating system. Yes, it’s THAT creepy.
Theodore is about to get divorced, and he’s become the ultimate lonely guy. He spends all his time playing videogames, till one day he decides to buy OS1, a system advertised as having an intelligent consciousness.
Theo becomes more and more attached to Samantha, the voice of the computer, until they both fall in love. If only he knew that the computer voice looks like Scarlett Johansson. We would have had a different movie then.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Johansson, Chris Pratt and Amy Adams.