HDTV Movie Highlights: March 6-12

27 Dresses: TV3, 8.30pm Saturday

Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl goes from Knocked Up to just another romantic-comedy knock-off in this frock-shock schlock about a wedding arranger who’s always, always the bridesmaid. Jane Nichols (Heigl) loves organising weddings: she’s been a bridesmaid at 27 of them and it looks like her younger, gold-digging sister’s will be the 28th – if only Tess (Malin Akerman) wasn’t marrying the man she’s long coveted, her boss (Edward Burns). Complicating the preparations are the unwanted attentions of a wedding-beat reporter (James Marsden) whose cynicism about romance couldn’t be more at odds with her fairytale take on true love. (2008)

Revolutionary Road: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Saturday.

American Beauty director Sam Mendes goes back to the ‘burbs to explore more marital turmoil with this portrait of a marriage that’s as flawed as the relationship it depicts. The ‘50s period detail is exquisitely rendered in high definition — think a more sumptuous Mad Men — but the human dimension is never realised, save for a bravura closing shot that hints at what might have been. The leads, who were much better in their first movie together, Titanic, over-act with a theatricality that undermines what should have been agonising intimacy while their characters’ predicament feels contrived rather than tragic. (2008)

Rocky: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday

The original remains the best but its best picture triumph suggests Oscar voters were punch-drunk at the time given all of the losers — All The President’s Men, Bound For Glory, Network, Taxi Driver — were worthier contenders. Sylvester Stallone stars; John Avildsen (8 Seconds) directs. (1976)

Fast & Furious: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

The latest in the preposterous petrol-head phenomenon, Fast 4, fast-forwards the franchise. There have been two sequels since the original but this is the first to reunite that blockbuster’s cast and characters in a storyline that sees lawman (Paul Walker) and outlaw (Vin Diesel) join forces to defeat heroin smuggling from south of the border. The title reflects this return to roots as well as the non-stop action that’s imbecilic but irresistible, particularly the tanker hi-jacking that opens the movie and is amusingly referenced at the end. (2009)

Something’s Gotta Give: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday

Laboured romantic-comedy starring Jack Nicholson as an over-the-hill Lothario who falls for the strong-minded mother (Diane Keaton) of his latest dalliance while recuperating from a heart attack at her Hamptons beach house. The first half is fun, the second a drag as they inevitably fall out and reconcile amid the overly elaborate conceit of her writing a hit play that betrays their relationship. (2003)

Stay: TV3, 10.25pm Sunday.

Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster’s interrupted a dream run of acclaimed movies, from Monster’s Ball and Finding Neverland, to Stranger Than Fiction and Kite Runner, with this thriller about a psychiatrist who has three days to stop a patient from killing himself. The excellent cast includes Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling, Kate Burton, Naomi Watts, Elizabeth Reaser, Bob Hoskins, Janeane Garofalo, and BD Wong. Rolling Stone aptly summed up its reception: “Some people find this twisty and twisted psychological thriller arty and pretentious. I find it arty and provocative.” (2005)

League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Think of this as X-Men with a Victoriana twist. It’s set on the eve of the last millennium when a dastardly industrialist has sprung a plot to hurl the world into war so he can make a mint from the arms race. The calls goes out for the super literary heroes of the era — Allan Quartermain, The Invisible Man, Tom Sawyer, Captain Nemo, Dorian Gray, Dr Jeckyll/Mr Hyde, Mina Harker — to join forces and use their unique powers to thwart this apocalyptic threat to mankind. Sean Connery, ER’s Shane West and Primeval’s Jason Flemying star. (2003)

Little Miss Sunshine: TV3, 8.30pm Friday.

The funniest, most therapeutic road trip romp since Sideways stars Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin as an extended, dysfunctional family on the verge of a mental and mechanical breakdown while in a Kombi van en route to a child beauty contest. It’s inevitably contrived but, thanks to dynamite writing, directing and acting, steers clear of any wrong turns — even if the audacious showstopper of a climax does risk the wheels coming off. The result is a minor comic masterpiece that’s as hilarious as it is heartfelt (and which won Oscars for Arkin and screenwriter Michael Arndt). (2006)

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