HDTV Movie Premieres: March 12-18

Bride Wars: TV3, 8.30pm Saturday.

Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson star as best friends whose meticulous wedding plans crash when a clerical error leads to each getting married on the same day. Critics scarcely celebrated: “A shrill, mechanical comedy” (Variety); “has possibly the worst comedy idea since Springtime for Hitler, with almost no room for redeeming camp” (Baltimore Sun); “pretends to be a satire of wedding mania, but since there’s virtually nothing else to the movie, the satire comes depressingly close to endorsement” (Entertainment Weekly). (2009)

Carlito’s Way: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

From maestro filmmaker Brian De Palma comes this supremely-crafted gangster thriller about an ex-con (Al Pacino) who wants to go straight — but first he has to dig his sleazy lawyer (Sean Penn) out of a hole which could become a grave for both of them. It’s a masterfully directed mix of melancholy and mayhem that rarely surprises but is never less than mesmerising. Longtime Steven Spielberg collaborator David Koepp (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullJurassic Park, War of the Worlds) wrote the screenplay. (1993)

The Book of Eli: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

This post-apocalyptic drama looks spectacular in HD but can’t sustain its narrative ambitions. Denzel Washington plays a resourceful, enigmatic nomad who runs foul of a warlord (Gary Oldman) who covets his most valuable possession: the only surviving copy of the Bible. As noble as Eli’s themes are – the rebuilding of society, the importance of spiritualism, the sacredness of text – they’re ultimately sidelined for just another good-vs-evil stoush, albeit one enlivened by dazzling production design and a satisfying twist. (2010)

The Holiday: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Monday.

Rarely has a romantic comedy been as in love with itself as this overlong, narcissistic showcase starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as overtly winsome, unlucky-in-love gals who swap dream homes one down-in-the-dumps Christmas. It’s Complicated’s Nancy Meyers directs her own screenplay; Jack Black, Jude Law, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell, John Krasinski (The Office) and Sarah Parish (Mistresses) co-star. Dustin Hoffman has a (wisely) accidental cameo. (2006)

Repo Men: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Monday.

Observed the New York Times of this sci-fi actioner about human organ repossession: “It may have been a shrewd business decision by the film’s director, Miguel Sapochnik, to treat the story as a nasty, comic thriller. But when, after a certain point, Repo Men subsumes its satire to strenuous action sequences, it loses its edge and turns into a chase movie of no special distinction.” Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Carice van Houren (Valkyrie), Chandler Canterbury (Knowing) and Liev Schreiber star. (2009)

Letters to Juliet: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Big Love’s Amanda Seyfried stars in a Romeo & Juliet-inspired romance about a young American in Verona. Critics weren’t smitten. Typical was The Hollywood Reporter’s view: “Bland, predictable picture, whose sole assets are a cute premise, the Italian countryside and the dignity Vanessa Redgrave brings to a part that, on the page, is quite beneath her.” Quipped the Christian Science Monitor: “A movie that has more sap than a pine forest.” Bride Wars’ Gary Winick directs as if he was 13 Going on 30. (2009)

Cinderella Man: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Friday.

The trio behind A Beautiful Mind – director Ron Howard, star Russell Crowe, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman – collaborate on another underdog knockout, combining supremely suspenseful boxing sequences, tender, witty storytelling and an Oscar-nominated supporting turn by Paul Giamatti. Crowe is no welterweight, either, as James J Braddock, the Rocky of his era whose legendary comeback in the ring rallied the downtrodden during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Renee Zellweger co-stars. (2005)

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