HDTV Movie Premieres: August 14-20

Troy: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

The Achilles heel of this lavish historical epic is its clichéd human dimension. But its spectacle, action and CGI effects are sensational, particularly the screen’s biggest pyrotechnics bash since Atlanta was razed in Gone With the Wind. Like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Troy used ingenious software that turned dozens of extras into armies 60,000-strong playing virtual chess. Wolfgang Petersen directs Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Jones. (2004)

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra: 8.30pm, Sky Movies.

You’ll want to drag the makers of this toy spin-off to hell. Witless, joyless and soulless, it’s more mechanical than its inspiration and is recommended only for the most undemanding of 10-year-olds – and even they’re likely to desert it for the library! As for Christopher Eccleston’s turn as a mad-as-a-cut snake arms dealer, what must his friends in the north think? Mummy maestro Stephen Sommers directs. (2009)

Out of Time: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.

Denzel Washington reunites with Devil in a Blue Dress director Carl Franklin for a contrived thriller that has its suspenseful moments but too few to satisfy. Washington plays a small-town Florida cop whose affair with a married woman makes him the patsy in a drug money sting and a murder investigation being conducted by his estranged wife. Out of Time’s mid-section is taut and tense, as Washington’s cop struggles to keep one step ahead of the detective who knows him best, but the rest of the movie is a flaccid Body Heat-wannabe. (2003)

Shooter: TV3, 8.30pm Monday.

Mark Wahlberg plays an ex-Marine “shooter” who’s lured back into service to serve his country by thwarting an assassination of the President only to find he’s the patsy. Director Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s FinestTears of the Sun, Training Day) can’t stop Shooter from self-destructing in an overkill of violence, improbability and Bush-bashing but it’s worth sighting for its exceptional action sequences and location work. (2007)

A Guy Thing: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Monday.

Jason Lee and Julia Stiles star in a feeble screwball comedy about a groom-to-be who winds up the morning after his stag party alongside his bride-to-be’s cousin. Complications and contrivances thereupon ensue, but not many laughs. TV vet Chris Koch (The MiddleMy Name is Earl, Scrubs) directs a screenplay by Greg Glienna, who’s best known for writing and directing the original Meet the Parents (1992). (2003)

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