HDTV Movie Premieres: November 12-18

Max Payne: TV3, 8.30pm Saturday.

Yet another atmospheric video game adaptation that starts promisingly only to go down one dead end after another. The hero (Mark Wahlberg) is a New York City cop who’s investigating a chain of bizarre murders when he stumbles upon a conspiracy linked to the slaying of his wife and child two years earlier. At least the startling visual effects are exquisitely freaky. John Moore (The Omen) directs; Mila Kunis and Beau Bridges co-star. (2008)

Resident Evil: Apocalypse: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

A predictably hi-tech, high-fatality fantasy starring leggy chicks with awesome arsenals under siege from ravenous hordes of the living dead spawned by corporate skulduggery. Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Oded Fehr star in the kind of movie that would be just at home on an X-Box or PS3 console. In fact, more so — based on reviews of the Blu-ray, don’t expect the HD quality to be as mind-blowing as the violence. (2004)

Get Smart: TV2, 8.30pm Sunday.

This is less a remake of the ‘60s spooks spoof than a shrewd reinvention that references the original without trying to outsmart it. Steve Carell makes a terrific new-millennium Maxwell Smart who isn’t as absurd as Don Adams’ yet still manages to squeeze in most of the catchphrases that made the character so memorable. Anne Hathaway is 99, Alan Arkin “Chief”, Bill Murray Agent 13 and Terence Stamp Siegfried (the original, Bernie Kopell, has a droll cameo). (2008)

Funny People: TV3, 8.30pm Sunday.

Writer/director Judd Apatow’s obsession with genitalia gags frustrates Funny People’s potential as a standout comedy about stand-up comedians. At least Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen bond beautifully as a terminally ill king of comedy who tries to atone for his womanising while mentoring and tormenting a dogsbody who aspires to emulate him. Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman co-star. (2009)

Tron: Legacy: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

This sequel to the 1982 groundbreaking special effects showcase is as laborious and bloated as it is belated. Jeff Bridges returns as the video games guru whose adult son (Garrett Hedlund) tries to rescue him from deep within one of his own creations. Recommended only for fans of the original in search of their lost youth. Joseph Kosinski directs a screenplay by Lost’s Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz; Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen co-star. (2010)

Grosse Pointe Blank: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.

Black comedy starring John Cusack as a hit man who attends his 10th anniversary high school reunion – and finds his hometown sweetheart’s father is his next target. Funny but misses the mark as savage satire. Joan Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, Hank Azaria, Jeremy Piven and Dan Aykroyd co-star; George Armitage (The Big Bounce) directs Tom Jankiewicz’s one and only filmed screenplay; co-writer DV DeVincentis went on to script Cusack’s High Fidelity. (1997)

Alpha Dog: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Monday.

In-between tearjerkers The Notebook and My Sister’s Keeper, Nick Cassavetes wrote and directed this drama based on the drug-dealing exploits of one of the FBI’s youngest most-wanted. Justin Timberlake earned the most kudos in cast that included old dogs Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone and Harry Dean Stanton. “But the movie belongs to its youngsters, and it’s a real eye-opener,” reckoned The Washington Post. (2006)

Jackass 3: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Tuesday.

Fans of Johnny Knoxville’s school-of-hard knocks humour will agree with Salon.com’s take on this comedy that originally was released in 3D: “Whether he’s getting hit in the face with a dildo or cozying up to Martha Stewart, Knoxville is always affable, playful and able coax a laugh out of an audience by doing ridiculous things. He’s a jackass all right, but he’s a jackass in shining armour.” Jackass vet Jeff Tremaine again directs. (2010)

Aeon Flux: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Tuesday.

Surprisingly dull live-action dramatisation of the cult ‘toon about a sexy assassin, starring Charlize Theron as a sleek, kinky, futuristic cross between La Femme Nikita and Catwoman. Then again, Peter Chung’s characters never stood a chance in the hands of screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (The Tuxedo, Clash of the Titans). Jennifer’s Body’s Karyn Kusama directs Kiwi Martin Csokas (The Debt), Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Frances McDormand and Pete Postlethwaite. (2005)

Dude, Where’s My Car: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Dud comedy about two pizza delivery dudes who wake up the morning after a wild night out and can’t remember parking their car. Or trashing their twin girlfriends’ cottage. Or taking $200,000 from a transsexual stripper … Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott and Jennifer Garner star. Ashton’s That ‘70s Show collaborator, writer/producer Philip Stark, wrote the screenplay while director Danny Leiner has largely done episodic TV since (including SoHo’s How to Make It in America). (2000)

Tombstone: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Friday.

Shameless albeit stirring hokum starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer as the OK Corral legends who were done more justice in Lawrence Kasdan’s Wyatt Earp. This mockery is characterised more by political correctness and city-slicker sleight-of-hand – revisionism has no part here, only romanticism in the guise of realism that spurns the truth for Tinseltown twaddle. Sam Elliott, Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Paxton and Charlton Heston co-star. (1993)

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