Sherlock Holmes has been getting quite the treatment of late. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman put a modern spin on things in the BBC series, and now Robert Downey jnr and Jude Law reprise their roles as Holmes and Watson respectively in the Guy Ritchie sequel,

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

. Expect a lot of action and shadowy villains, plus you get Stephen Fry playing Sherlock's older, peculiar brother, Mycroft.


If you're interested in something a little gentler, Gus Van Sant's latest outcast romance, Restless, begins this week too with Mia Wasikowska (pictured) playing a terminally ill teenager who strikes up a relationship with newcomer Henry Hopper, a funeral-crasher whose best friend is the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from World War II.

There's also family animal drama Dolphin Tale, based on the true story of bottlenose dolphin Winter, who loses her tail, starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick jnr.

And then there's Viva Riva!, the action crime drama from Congo, which follows the misadventures of an oil bandit and his sidekick as they blaze through a high-octane world of sex, violence and lurid gangsta fashion choices.

He might be known for his role as Doc Martin, but for more than 10 years, Bafta-winning actor Martin Clunes has also been diving in the Maldives. The silent parallel universe he finds there has become addictive with its vivid colours and strange inhabitants. But one resident, the reef manta, which has a wing span of up to 8m, has eluded him thus far. For a few weeks every year, winds drive tonnes of plankton into a remote bay in the Maldives, and Clunes wants to be there when the mantas arrive to gorge themselves. He takes us on the journey too in Martin Clunes - Man to Manta, 8.30pm on Tuesday, TV One.

The onslaught of excellent international musical acts visiting New Zealand over January begins this week with Californian all-girl four-piece Dum Dum Girls kicking things off on Friday at the Kings Arms, with still-cool slightly ironic girl-group harmonies and catchy handclap rhythms.

Come Saturday, fellow West Coasters, San Francisco's high-energy noise pop proponents Deerhoof will surely be quite deafening at Whammy Bar.

And if you feel like a mid-week getaway on Wednesday night, head up to Leigh Sawmill to see Wellington's Newtown Rocksteady bring their tight-as groove, funk and rhythms, with an impressive selection of horns, to the summery venue.

Head up to Ascension Vineyard at Matakana on Friday or Saturday evening, where the Melbourne Essential Theatre Company will transport you to the Sicilian village of Messina as they play out Much Ado About Nothing, for an evening of Shakespeare in the Vines.