HDTV Movie Premieres: February 5-11

Batman: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

Michael Keaton’s “winged freak terroriser” was a muddle of motivation — neither Dirty Harry with a cape nor a nocturnal Indiana Jones but an unsatisfactory, unconvincing compromise that betrayed Dark Knight revisionism for Hollywood expediency. Tim Burton’s Gothic spin on the Gotham hero sometimes soars but what should have been a gritty, grown-up urban frontier fable too often is clumsily executed heroic hokum, not helped by Jack Nicholson’s The Joker being less Jack the lad and more Jack the larrikin. (1989)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth: TV2, 7pm Sunday.

This corny, goofy, gimmicky Jules Verne dramatisation is a good-natured but groan-inducing visual effects hoot (want to see a dino drool?). It stars Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) and Anita Briem (The Tudors) under the direction of Xena: Warrior Princess vet Eric Brevig. Like his latest, Yogi Bear, Brevig’s big-screen debut was theatrically released in 3D, which at least leavened the nutty action with knockout novelty. Hutcherson is filming a sequel, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. (2008)

Sherlock Holmes: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

With this brazen reinvention of a literary icon, the doyen of detective fiction becomes fodder for the kind of Hollywood malarkey that prizes spectacle over even elementary deduction. No doubt Sherlock Holmes stalwarts would like to release the hounds of the Baskervilles on writer/director Guy Ritchie for dumbing down and dirtying up the hitherto erudite Baker Street duo (Robert Downey Jun and Jude Law). But at least it’s an appealingly cast and meticulously mounted diversion. (2009)

Whip It: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Drew Barrymore directs herself, Ellen Page and Kiwi Zoe Bell in a feisty take on Billy Elliot and Bend It Like Beckham, about a Texas beauty queen teen who gets down and dirty on the roller derby circuit. Noted the New York Times: “If the script piles sports movie and coming-of-age touchstones into a veritable cairn of clichés, the cast shows enough agility and conviction to make them seem almost fresh.” (2009)

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