This week on TV: Weird restaurants, a workaholic chef and lots of action films


  • TV
  • Saturday, 17 Jan 2015

What to watch for the week ahead. 

MONDAY

The Social Network

FOX Movies Premium, Astro Ch 413/HD Ch 433, 10pm

This is David Fincher’s biopic about an evil genius who enslaved the population of the world with a dangerous weapon of mass hypnotism called Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the evil mastermind behind this, has nefariously turned people into zombies lumbering around with their faces buried in the screens of their smartphones. 

He has successfully controlled people’s minds and made them reveal their most private selves in silly photos and up-to-the-minute updates about the banality of their lives. If you ever wanted to know how the world began to end, watch this movie. That is, if you can find some time away from updating your Facebook status.

New Police Story

TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, 10pm


Police Story is a movie franchise that will not die. It’s been around since 1985 – that’s almost three decades. There have been at least five Police Story movies, including a spin-off called Supercop 2, which stars Michelle Yeoh. This is the 2004 reboot, in which supercop Chan Ka-kui is now Chan Kwok-wing, but is still pretty much indestructible. When he accidentally leads his team to their deaths in a bad guy’s trap, Chan drowns his guilt and sorrows in alcohol. He is paired with a young cop who wants to help Chan get back on his indestructible feet. But the young cop has a secret past.

TUESDAY

Personal Taste

ntv7, Astro Ch 107/HyppTV Ch 107, noon


This K-drama is a comedy of sexual-orientation errors, you know, where someone thinks someone is gay, but it turns out that someone is not actually gay but someone else is. Stuff like that. Jeon Jin-ho is a small-time architect trying to win a lucrative project with the Dam Art Centre. 

To do so, he has to live in and study a modernised Korean building. But the woman who lives there has recently been jilted and will not share the house with anyone. Jin-ho pretends to be gay and gains access to the home. Unfortunately the director of the Dam Art Centre is gay and starts to feel attracted to Jin-ho. Starring Lee Min-ho and Son Ye-jin.

World’s Weirdest Restaurants

ntv7, Astro Ch 107/HyppTV Ch 107, 8.30pm

So, you watched Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, and you think you’ve seen the weirdest dinner ever? Monkey brains? Eyeball soup? Wait till you see some real-life weird restaurants. Host Bob Blumer will take viewers to some truly far-out eateries around the world.

There is a Japanese restaurant where the waiters are really hairy and squeak a lot – in short, they’re monkeys. Then there is a Taiwanese restaurant where you literally eat curry out of a toilet. You have to be Indiana Jones to brave some of these.

WEDNESDAY 

No Reservations

8TV, Astro Ch 708/HyppTV Ch 108, 10pm

This is the Hollywood remake of the 2001 German film Mostly Martha. This one stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron “Two-Face” Eckhart. She plays Kate, a workaholic chef who is sent to therapy by her boss because she is obsessed with cooking and her kitchen. 

After her sister dies in an accident, she is made to care for her young niece, who is still grieving for her mother. Kate takes time off to look after her niece, but when she returns to work, she finds that her boss has hired sub-chef Nick. Kate becomes jealous but soon warms to him.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Sundance Channel HD, Astro Ch 438, 10pm


The New York Times called this movie “a passionate and unruly explosion of Americana”. It was nominated for four Oscars, including one for its nine-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis. It also won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. 

The story takes place on a fictional island in the American South. Six-year-old Hushpuppy lives with her father who teaches her to be tough as she grows up to face the world. When her father contracts a mysterious illness, the world suddenly becomes chaotic, with the ice-caps melting and flooding the bayou they live in. Monsters called aurochs are unleashed, and Hushpuppy must journey to find her mother.

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THURSDAY

Heaven Sword And Dragon Sabre

Celestial Classic Movies, Astro Ch 321, 10pm


This features the Wu Tang Clan. No, not the rappers but the real Wu Tang from the Yuan dynasty. This is based on the famous Louis Cha wuxia novel. It’s essentially about two legendary weapons, the Heaven Reliant Sword and the Dragon Slaying Sabre. They are highly coveted by all martial artists (and also hip-hop artistes, I’m sure). Apart from the Wu Tang, there is the Sacred Fire Sect and the disciples of the O Mei group. 

Then there is the Nine Yang Manual that teaches about inner energy. And somewhere along the way, there is the destruction of Shaolin. All very exciting stuff. Starring Derek Yee, Yu An-an, Lo Lieh and Ching Li.

Misaeng: Incomplete Life

8TV, Astro Ch 708/HyppTV Ch 108, 10.30pm


This K-drama series airs on Thursdays and Fridays. I don’t dig Korean shows, but Misaeng is surprisingly very good. It’s the most realistic K-drama I’ve ever seen, when most Korean series are mere silly fantasies. It’s about a young man who has to try and fit into the highly challenging, dog-eat-dog corporate world of suits and ties. Its realistic portrayal of the relentless and stifling corporate culture struck a chord with South Korean viewers, and understandably so. 

Anyone who has an office job will be able to relate to this show. And if you’ve ever been yelled at by the boss, you’ll know how some of these characters feel. Starring Yim Si-wan, Lee Sung-min and Kang So-ra.

Love In A Puff

ntv7, Astro Ch 107/HyppTV Ch 107, 11pm


This Pang Ho-Cheung-directed romantic comedy is quite a film. When Hong Kong banned smoking in all indoor areas, smokers began to form groups to smoke and bond outside of their workplaces. These groups are very much like friends who eat together at hot pot restaurants, thus they name themselves the Hot Pot Packs. 

Two of these smokers, Jimmy (Shawn Yue) and Cherie (Miriam Yeung), become so close that they break up with their lovers and start a relationship together. But things don’t go smoothly for them. I don’t know how the censors are going to deal with the indiscriminate amount of swearing in the film.

Gulliver’s Travels

TV2, Astro Ch 102/HyppTV Ch 102, 10.03pm


Jack Black finally becomes the world’s biggest star. Literally. In this movie, he plays a loser who tries his hand at travel writing. He is sent on an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle, and gets shipwrecked on the island of Liliput, an island of tiny people. He becomes kind of

the boss there since he’s the largest fella, and he saves a princess, wins a war, and rescues a king. There are urine jokes, Guitar Hero gags, and a robot. A normal day in Jack Black’s universe.

One 2 Ka 4

TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, 2pm


What a weekend it’s going to be. We have Andy Lau, and then we also have Shah Rukh Khan. This is a Bollywood remake of the 1991 Hollywood film One Good Cop. Yes, it’s a pretty obscure source to mine, because that Michael Keaton movie is a cult classic and not a big hit. 

SRK plays police officer Arun, who has to care for his partner Javed’s (Jackie Shroff) children after his buddy dies under mysterious circumstances. But he soon finds that there is more to his partner’s death than it seems. And the woman (Juhi Chawla) who helps care for Javed’s kids is not who she seems to be.

Three Against The World

ntv7, Astro Ch 107/HyppTV Ch 107, 3pm

Hey, it’s Andy Lau, our beloved Saviour Of The Soul. It’s been a long time since I last highlighted a movie of his, and I feel terrible guilt in my heart. So, here’s his 1988 actioner. He plays a character named Charlie Chan, I kid you not. 

Chan is hired by an insurance company to guard a holy item but a buch of crooks want to get their hands on it. This is a star-studded affair, with Sandy Lam, Rosamund Kwan and Teddy Robin in the cast, among others. Expect a thin story but lots of action, typical of a 1980s HK flick.

Tron: Legacy

TV3, Astro Ch 103/HyppTV Ch 103, 12.30am

This is the sequel to the 1982 film Tron. Back then, we were all so excited to see “CGI”, which back in 1982, consisted mostly of colourful straight lines. Yes, we were so enthralled by the sight of straight lines. Laugh as much as you want, but this was serious stuff back then. Fast forward to 2010, and this film fatures some pretty impressive up-to-date CGI. Even though the story is a bit dumb, just watch for the visuals, and of course, Daft Punk.

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