HDTV Movie Premieres: January 8-14

The Sentinel: TV3, 8.30pm Saturday.

Kiefer Sutherland shouldn’t have given up his day job – TV’s 24 was far more compelling and convincing than this feeble conspiracy thriller about a Secret Service plot to kill the President of the United States (you can guess the enemy within just from the casting). Michael Douglas and Kim Basinger co-star; ex-Homicide: Life on the Street star, and behind-the-scenes vet of The Shield and The Wire, Clark Johnson, directs a screenplay by Geroge Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum, Ocean’s Twelve). (2006)

Capitalism: A Love Story: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Saturday.

With this indictment of the American way, Michael Moore may be arguing apples and oranges — replacing an economic system, capitalism, with a political one, democracy — but the message is clear: let’s usurp financial power with people power. And why not, given the outrageous arrogance of Wall St and the compromised politics of Washington? Capitalism may be simplistic and manipulative but it’s also trenchant and succinct, nothing more so than the sight of Moore quarantining New York’s financial district as a crime scene. (2009)

Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who: TV3, 7pm Sunday.

The latest Dr Seuss adaptation was touted as being from “the creators of Ice Age” but they only produced it, which explains why Horton isn’t as zany or nimble as that movie (although co-director Steve Martino is co-helming Ice Age: Continental Drift). But the tale of an elephant who becomes the lifeline for a community living on a speck of dust is still memorable for its splendid animation, artful, faithful wit and sprightly gags. Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett and Seth Rogen lend their voices. (2008)

The Lovely Bones: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

Director Peter Jackson’s first non-fantasy feature in 15 years was a mixed bag of Bones. It’s like two movies in one, each with bursts of brilliance but neither adding up to a satisfying or convincing whole. About a 14-year-old girl narrating the aftermath of her rape and murder, it combines supreme suspense with celestial silliness, bravura filmmaking with bizarre excess, gorgeous visuals with grating contrivances. Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan star. (2009)

Epic Movie: TV3, 8.45pm Sunday.

Low-budget, lowbrow blockbuster movies spoof from writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Disaster Movie, Vampires Suck). It yet again proves one of Hollywood’s scariest movie phenomena: no one ever went broke underestimating the public’s taste. And just when you thought the late David Carradine’s legacy couldn’t get any worse … House’s Kal Penn, Glee’s Jayma Mays, Harper’s Island’s Adam Campbell, Carmen Electra, Jennifer Coolidge and Crispin Glover co-star. (2007)

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.

The weatherman in this TV news spoof has an IQ of 48. Clearly that’s the audience writers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay had in mind for their ‘70s send-up set in a San Diego newsroom where the sleazo-machismo culture is under threat from emerging feminism and the rise of America’s first anchorwoman. There are some funny moments but for the ultimate in anchor idiocy with smarts, Mary Tyler Moore’s Ted Baxter and Frontline’s Mike Moore are still untouchable. (2004)

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