HDTV Movie Premieres: November 13-19

The Final Destination: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

The 3D effects were the chief reason to see this ingeniously grisly slasher sequel, about a kid who tries to cheat premonitions of death. As the Los Angeles Times cogently observed: “Though this latest entry has an OK sense of humour, moves swiftly enough and sports an effective opening sequence of racetrack destruction that puts its Fusion 3-D technology to good use, it mostly comes off as a particularly flimsy excuse to string together a bunch of gory killings.” (2009)

Alien vs Predator: TV3, 8.30pm Monday.

Humans are the meat in the sandwich of this horror franchise hybrid that’s been made with more bytes than bite. Despite its over-familiarity, it’s a better monster mesh than Freddy vs Jason and can still put the frighteners on thanks to ferocious computer-generated effects. Starring a largely obscure cast, apart from Alien vet Lance Henricksen and Ewen Bremner, it’s set in a bizarre pyramid beneath the Antarctica ice where members of an archaeological dig become fodder in a turf war between the sci-fi foes. (2004)

Nine: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

The title of this musical from Chicago’s Rob Marshall refers to the women who complicate an Italian filmmaker’s life while he desperately tries to come up with a screenplay for his next movie, which is due to shoot in 10 days. Nine looks and sounds fabulous in high definition but the elaborate numbers feel disconnected from a ponderous narrative that falls fatally short of its 81/2 inspiration. Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard and Judi Dench star. (2009)

In the Line of Fire: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Clint Eastwood plays an ex-minder of JFK’s who’s all-but over-the-hill as a Secret Service agent struggling to protect the current President from another assassin (John Malkovich). Eastwood superbly mocks his Dirty Harry heroics without compromising the authenticity and iron-fisted will of his keenly-etched character while his relationship with much younger colleague Rene Russo is just as credible, making for a suspenseful cat-and-mouse thriller with a stylish sense of humour and a soft spot for May-December romance. (1993)

Double Jeopardy: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Thursday.

Facile Fugitive-lite thriller about a woman who breaks her parole to kill the husband who framed her for his faked murder. Ashley Judd plays the victimised wife who, under US law, can’t be convicted of the same crime twice; Tommy Lee Jones co-stars as her doggedly pursuing parole officer. Despite appealing leads and a couple of exciting chases, Double Jeopardy never rises above one-dimensional escapism. (1997)

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