HDTV Movie Premieres: November 20-26

Runaway Bride: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

This romantic-comedy reunion from the Pretty Woman team is more artificial than the bride and groom on a wedding cake. Julia Roberts plays a small-town handywoman with an “I do” phobia whose track record in jilting bridegrooms prompts big-city newspaper hack Richard Gere to write a column about her that costs him his job. Thus ensues a phoney, lumbering loathing/love-at-first-sight bore filled with lame banalities that not even the charismatic Roberts can transcend. (1999)

All About Steve: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

In-between two of her most popular movies since Miss Congeniality, The Proposal and The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock struck out with this comedy about a crossword nut who stalks a CNN cameraman (Thomas Haden Church). Said USA Today: “Manages to be both toothless and tasteless in its satire of TV news sensationalism.” (2009)

Aliens vs Predator – Requiem: TV3, 8.30pm Monday.

Hopefully the next entry in the Alien vs Predator franchise will be AVP: RIP. This sci-fi slasher is a gore chore that not even a new, hybrid monster can enliven. Vfx sibings Greg and Colin Strause direct their first feature; Rescue Me’s Steven Pasquale stars. (2007)

Gamer: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Monday.

Anyone tempted to watch this Gerard Butler thriller first should read The Hollywood Reporter’s verdict: “The technical barrage of visual and digital effects, quick cuts and strobe lighting does produce something akin to the sensation of playing a video game. So why, one wonders, don’t potential viewers simply play one instead of watching this pale imitation?” (2009)

Adam: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

A writer traumatised by a previous relationship reaches out to her sheltered, autistic neighbour. Rose Byrne and Hugh Dancy star. Said the Wall Street Journal. “Adam succeeds at getting inside its hero’s mind and, more impressively still, gives us entrée to his singular soul.” (2009)

Constantine: Sky Moves Greats, 8.30pm Thursday.

Keanu Reeves goes to hell and back as the Philip Marlowe of exorcists in this hodgepodge of theology and terror from music video director Francis Lawrence. Based on the Hellblazer comic book, Constantine is a splashy supernatural noir that leavens its ramblings about angels, demons and crossing over with sizzling special effects and hard-boiled dialogue that would do Raymond Chandler proud (“God’s a kid with an ant farm, lady. He’s not planning anything”). (2005)

Cellular: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Friday.

Here’s a txt-book example of fun, efficient B-grade filmmaking. Fantastic Four’s Chris Evans plays a surfer who can’t hang up on an anonymous cellphone call: if he does, the caller – a woman who’s been kidnapped (Kim Basinger) – will likely die, along with her husband and son. The premise is reminiscent of Phone Booth, partly because it was co-scripted by that thriller’s Larry Cohen, but the implausibility is leavened with humour and the action is faster than the movie’s product endorsements. (2004)

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