HDTV Movie Premieres: February 12-18

Australia: TV3, 8.30pm Saturday.

Crikey! You’ll want to go walkabout long before this three-hour frontier folly ends – unless you’ve a bent for melodramatic drivel that’s more farcical than fabulous. Nicole Kidman plays a headstrong aristocrat who, to stave off financial ruin and stop an Aboriginal boy from becoming one of the “stolen generation”, tries to tame maverick drover Hugh Jackman on an epic cattle drive. The odd-couple partnership leads to their locking horns with a rival beef baron (David Wenham). (2009)

Batman Returns: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

Director Tim Burton only went back to the Batcave for a second time because Warner Bros made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: “What if the second movie was a Tim Burton movie?” Hence a high-flying hoot that deftly blends black comedy and thrills-and-spills with clever writing, extreme costume design and a sexually-charged good-and-evil dualism that will have you both sneering and cheering the villains: The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). (1992)

Twilight: TV2, 8.30pm Sunday.

Fears of this teenage vampire romance being a 90210 with fangs are soon vanquished as it explores the mythology of the undead with the bewitching intrigue of TV’s True Blood. Unlike the insipid sequels, the original was fun and ferocious, making it successors look like a limp pastiche of teen romance, angst and terror. Catherine Hardwicke directs Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Peter Facinelli. Dexter producer Melissa Rosenberg adapted the Stephanie Meyer novel. (2008)

The Bounty Hunter: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

This odd-couple road comedy peaks too soon — in the first few minutes, with a laugh-out-loud pre-credits sequence that hints at how funny it might have been had what ensues not felt so painfully manufactured. Gerard Butler plays a down-on-his-luck gambler who turns to bounty hunting to pay off his debts – and relishes payback of a different kind when his ex-wife, stroppy reporter Jennifer Aniston, jumps bail over a minor offence and winds up with a price on her head. (2009)

Casino: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.

The Goodfellas gang reunites for another full-blooded, blue chip gangster drama, about the Mob being muscled out of Vegas by multinationals. Robert De Niro plays a casino boss whose luck dries up when a vicious wiseguy pal from his past (Joe Pesci) hits town and he marries an alcoholic-cum-junkie (Sharon Stone). Based on a true story, Casino climaxed the badfellas trilogy Martin Scorsese initiated with Mean Streets, dramatising the end of Vegas’ heyday, when organised crime was losing its stranglehold on the city. (1995)

The Notebook: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Monday.

In this touching but sometimes tortuous drama with a predictable twist, Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl, Fracture) and Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveller’s Wife) play a steel worker and a wealthy debutante who fall in love, only to have their relationship jeopardised by her parents’ disapproval and the outbreak of the Second World War. James Garner and Gena Rowlands co-star; her son, Nick Cassavetes (My Sister’s Keeper, Alpha Dog), directs. (2004)

The Fourth Kind: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Pseudo-documentary about the paranormal that is more ambitious than most but just as unfulfilling and silly. The title refers to encounters of the absurd kind – in this case, alien abductions in backwoods Alaska, where a psychiatrist (Milla Jovovich) treating patients for their bizarre experiences finds herself an ET target. The elaborate mix of supposed re-enactments and faux footage is meant to convince us it isn’t merely a movie, when the conceit reinforces just that, but the hokum is handsomely made and sometimes startling. (2009)

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Friday.

Quipped the New York Post of this belated sequel to the 1992 original: “There can only ever be one Bad Lieutenant: Harvey Keitel. In Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, Nicolas Cage, pretend tough guy (Malibu accent, long floppy coiffure, nervous smile), is more like the Bad Used-Car Salesman.”  But Empire thought him “a very bad lieutenant” in “a bloody good film”. Werner Herzog directs; Eva Mendes co-stars. (2009)

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