HDTV Movie Premieres: May 21-27

American Pie – The Wedding: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday

The last of the theatrical releases before the franchise descended into direct-to-DVD drudgery reunites half of the gang for Jim and Michelle’s nuptials. Most critics kissed off this bride and groom romp, although Variety recommended it as a “gross-out comedy masterpiece” and Premiere thought it “so tasteless, so fiendishly puerile that it’s hilarious”. At least the addition of Mad Men’s January Jones adds novelty value. (2003)

Premonition: TV3, 10.45pm Saturday.

This was one of a slew of movies that cost Sandra Bullock critical and commercial credibility until her double-whammy with The Blind Side and The Proposition. She plays an unhappy housewife who wakes up the day after her husband’s death to find he’s still alive, only to discover the next day he’s still dead. The Wall Street Journal dubbed it “Groundhog Day without the laughs.” Nip/Tuck’s Julian McMahon co-stars; Bill Kelly (Enchanted, Blast From the Past) wrote the snooze of a screenplay. (2007)

Cop Out: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

A memorabilia-mad gangster steals a rare baseball card belonging to a cop who recruits his former partner to help get it back. Kevin Smith directs Bruce Willis and 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan as two of New York’s not so funniest. Seann William Scott co-stars. Critics were scathing, with the New York Times’ being one of the most castigating: “It’s a phoned-in, gutless piece of hack work that reminds you of other, better films in the same vein.”  But closer to home The Dominion Post thought it wrung “a few laughs out of the fossilised premise”. (2010)

Greenberg: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

You’ll forgive Ben Stiller for a lifetime of Little Fockers after seeing this brutally bittersweet romantic-comedy. He shines as an embittered, narcissistic 40-year-old who yearns for an old sweetheart (Jennifer Jason Leigh) while falling for a dysfunctional lonelyheart (Greta Gerwig) whose trite truism couldn’t be truer of their fledgling relationship: “Hurt people hurt people.” Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) directed his own screenplay. Rhys Ifans co-stars. (2010)

Almost Famous: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Thursday.

This mostly fatuous idealisation of rock music journalism stars Patrick Fugit as a starry-eyed teenager who’s commissioned by Rolling Stone magazine to cover a touring band called Stillwater. Stillborn is how you’d sum up this preposterous premise for an undistinguished sex-drugs-rock’n’roll excursion that’s more Partridge Family than Eagles. Scarcely a note rings true, despite it being partly based on writer/director Cameron Crowe’s youth as a Rolling Stone scribe. Kate Hudson co-stars. (2002)


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