HDTV Movie Highlights: July 3-9

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Saturday.

Matthew McConaughey’s woeful run of romantic-comedies ends with this sprightly spin on A Christmas Carol, in which he plays a womanising rock-star photographer – think Annie Liebovitz meets Mick Jagger – who eschews relationships to “swim in the lake of sex every night” … until his brother’s wedding forces him to confront his past, present and future. It sounds execrable but McConaughey’s chemistry with Jennifer Garner, sharp dialogue, tight execution and inspired casting make Ghosts a hoot. Michael Douglas co-stars. (2009)

Inkheart: Sky Movies, 4.55pm Sunday.

Brendan Fraser plays a “silvertongue” who literally can bring book characters to life – but it turns out to be as much a curse as a gift, and leads him on a quest to rescue his missing wife from the pages of a long-out-of-print medieval adventure called Inkheart. The cast, special effects and production design are splendid but can’t disguise the convoluted plot or surprisingly mechanical execution. Paul Bettany and Helen Mirren co-star. (2008)

District 9: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

Writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s first feature jumbles too many political themes within an already confused sci-fi scenario that’s saddled with an unsympathetic lead and characters who are stereotypes or ciphers. About ETs stranded as refugees in the slums of Johannesburg, it boasts terrific creature effects and plenty of action but doesn’t convince as satire or allegory and, like the aliens, wears out its welcome. (2009)

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