HDTV Movie Highlights: April 3-9

Friday the 13th: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Saturday.

Re-make of a horror movie that spawned a franchise of re-makes. It was the 12th in the grisly Jason series and was directed by Pathfinder’s Marcus Nispel, who’s helming another schlocky ‘80s re-make: Conan. Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki, Shark’s Danielle Panabaker and The Mentalist’s Amanda Righetti star. (2009)

Footsteps: TV3, 12.25am Sunday.

One-time cinematic suspense supremo John Badham (Nick of Time, Stakeout) directed this made-for-TV thriller, about a neurotic crime novelist (Candice Bergen) who finds herself on the verge of another nervous breakdown when she’s trapped in a remote beach house with two strangers: an obsessive fan and a dodgy cop. Bryan Brown and Michael Murphy co-star in a dramatisation of an Ira Levin (Boys From Brazil) play. (2003)

12 Mile Road: TV3, 1.45am Sunday.

In this better-than-it-sounds telemovie, Tom Selleck plays a divorced farmer juggling more women in his life than Big Love’s Bill Henrickson: his live-in girlfriend and her daughter, his ex-wife and his own troublesome daughter, who upsets the apple cart when she comes to live with them. Lost’s Maggie Grace and Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn co-star. (2003)

Martha: Behind Bars: TV3, 2.15am Sunday.

From the director of Vampire Bats, Eric Boss, comes a dramatisation of Martha Stewart’s trial for insider trading and her subsequent imprisonment. Variety thought it “mostly watchable” and praised Cybill Shepherd’s “stately, icy and occasionally irate portrayal, which peels back the curtain just a bit on Stewart’s outward perfection to reveal the kind of demanding boss prone to throw a fit when she doesn’t have the proper knife laid out for her.” Desperate Housewives’ Gale Harold co-stars in a screenplay by Swimfan’s Charles Bohl. (2005)

Gran Torino: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

Clint Eastwood’s first role in four years could be Dirty Harry at 80: a newly-widowed Korean War vet estranged from his children who keeps a gun handy because the neighbourhood’s gone to hell. His fellow blue-collar “Polacks” have moved out and families of “swamp rats,” or refugees from the Vietnam War, have moved in. How this cranky racist unexpectedly and grudgingly bonds with his new neighbours and helps a young gang prospect come of age never convinces but it is directed with unusual elegance and grace for such a corny crowdpleaser. (2008)

Fired Up: Sky Movies, 8.30pm  Tuesday.

Quipped Village Voice of this Wedding Crashers-ish comedy about two dudes who sign up for cheerleaders camp: “We’re light years away from Animal House, sure, but who ever thought we would long for the richer, funnier dignity of American Pie?” (2009)

The Uninvited: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

This re-make of a 2003 Korean horror film about a wicked stepmother stars Emily Browning (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events). Otherwise, as the New York Post observed: “This is pretty much your classic been-there, done-that scenario: evil stepmother, clueless father, imperiled teen.” (2009)

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Peter Scollet (Raising Victor Vargas) directs Michael Cera (Juno) as a heartbroken music fan who asks a stranger (The House Bunny’s Kat Dennings) to be his girlfriend when he sees his ex- out with a new guy. According to Premiere magazine, “It’s a fantasy of one night in New York City and all its insanity, grossness, romance, and glamour.” (2009)

Igor: Sky Movies, 5.25pm Friday.

Mel Brooks meets Tim Burton in this goofy Frankenstein spoof about an evil scientist’s hunchbacked apprentice who at last gets a crack at creating life. The animation and vocalisations are marvellous – think Eddie Izzard as Dr Schadenfreude — but the screenplay by American Dad’s Chris McKenna is as patched together as the monster (Eva). What should have been a monster smash rather than a direct-to-DVD release in NZ suffers from being the first feature film of director Tony Leondis, whose previous credit, the made-for-video Lilo & Stitch 2, suggests he’s an animator’s apprentice at best. (2008)

Anger Management: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Friday.

Analyse this: What draws top talent like Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, John Turturro and Heather Graham to an Adam Sandler comedy? At least Woody Harrelson was only co-opted because of his friendship with Nicholson. What was everyone else’s rationale? Or, in the case of this middling romp about a cuckoo shrink (Nicholson) and his pent-up, put-upon patient (Sandler), irrationale? Despite being doggedly lowbrow, Anger Management is a likeable if lacklustre lark leavened by amusing cameos and occasionally droll exchanges between the protagonists (“In Europe, it’s not considered unusual for three or four men to share a bed”/ “That’s why I’m proud to be an American”). (2003)

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply