HDTV Movie Highlights: May 15-21

My Bloody Valentine: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Saturday.

This re-make about a pick-wielding homicidal maniac in a miner’s mask is as risible as it is grisly. The original 3D effects at least leavened the ghastly looniness with nutty novelty but otherwise the teen terror is more hackneyed than a Hallmark card. Jensen Ackles (TV’s Supernatural) and Jamie King (TV’s Gary Unmarried) star. (2009)

The Lost World: Jurassic Park: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

This sequel is less a family adventure film than an oft-brutal them-vs-us thriller that splatters far more humans than the original. Whereas Jurassic Park imbued you with wonder, The Lost World will fill you with dread in much the same way as director Steven Spielberg’s first jeopardy jaw-dropper, Jaws. Less would have been more – the onslaught of special effects and Godzilla-like terror is overwhelming – but the excitement and suspense are sensational. The original’s Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore and Pete Postlethwaite star. (1997)

Bruno: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

He’s uber-rude and uber-crude but Bruno’s no Borat. Sacha Baron Cohen’s Austrian fashionista is such an extreme gay caricature that the star’s trademark ambushing of gullible Americans and celebrities seems just as manufactured. There’s a handful of hilarious sequences – Bruno’s Velcro suit, his adopting a black baby Brangelina-style – but most of what passes for humour revolves around shocking sex gags and juvenile satire (in a bid to revive his fame, the disgraced Bruno tries to negotiate peace in the “Middle Earth” but confuses Hamas with hummus). (2009)

Inside Man: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.

Spike Lee’s best “joint” since 1995’s Clockers is a tense, taut, ingenious thriller about a bank heist that leads to anything but another dog day afternoon in New York City. Lee largely foregoes his trademark racial tub-thumping to expertly craft a suspenseful, cleverly structured cat-and-mouse scenario that defies genre expectations with its insider surprises. Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster star. (2006)

Land of the Lost: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Tuesday.

Audiences and critics agreed this was a stinker of a TV series re-make, about a dinosaur scientist’s fantastic voyage into an alternate, prehistoric universe. Will Ferrell stars; Brad Silberling directs (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events). The Hollywood Reporter summed it up best: “A lethargic meander through a wilderness of misfiring gags.” (2009)

Three Kings: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Dynamite Kelly’s Heroes spin on the Gulf War, starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube as US soldiers storming the desert for plundered gold bullion. Packed with action, comedy and spectacle, this is a freewheeling, in-your-face adventure written and directed with zestful verve by David O Russell (I Heart Huckabees). The contrived ending feels tacked-on but nothing else about this princely romp disappoints. Cliff Curtis and Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze co-star. (1999)

The Beach: TV3, 8.30pm Thursday.

The team behind Shallow Grave and Trainspotting came adrift with this Leonardo DiCaprio thriller about three Bangkok backpackers who discover a desert island Shangri-La with a sinister secret. Imaginatively made but the first half’s tantalising intrigue is usurped by rudderless direction and pretentious poppycock that feebly tries to echo everything from Peter Pan to Lord Of The Flies to Heart Of Darkness. Robert Carlyle co-stars. (1999)

Taking Lives: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Thursday.

Glossy Hollywood serial killer thriller whose element of surprise is undone by its casting. It starts predictably, with Seven-style credits, and becomes increasingly preposterous as an FBI agent with special powers (Angelina Jolie) contends with hostile Toronto cops while trying to get inside the mind of a murderer whose latest gruesome slaying was witnessed by an art dealer-cum-suspect (Ethan Hawke). The plot is strictly paint-by-numbers despite a couple of heart-stopping moments and an extravagant twist which only the credulous won’t see coming. (2004)

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Thursday.

Hit sequel in which Reese Witherspoon’s perky-in-pink lawyer again proves she’s no blonde bimbo but a brainbox with a heart. This time she wins over Washington as an animal rights lobbyist. Bob Newhart and Sally Field co-star. (2003)

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