HDTV Movie Premieres: November 5-11

New in Town: TV3, 8.30pm Saturday.

Renee Zellweger, JK Simmons and Harry Connick Jr star in a romantic-comedy about a hotshot city-slicker consultant from Miami who finds herself stranded in small-town Minnesota mid-winter. The Hollywood Reporter thought it “strictly old hat — and a poorly assembled hat at that.” The Wall Street Journal was even more blunt: “Unfunny at best and borderline-amateur at worst.” Six Feet Under’s Frances Conroy co-stars. (2009)

Burlesque: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

Cabaret meets Showgirls meets A Star is Born in this vehicle for Cher and Christina Aguilera. “The music and dance are thrilling and the costumes saucy enough to satisfy,” Empire acknowledged, “but the whole is so camp and cliched that it must be deliberate. Right?” Steve Antin directs his own screenplay; Grey’s Anatomy’s Eric Dane, The Good Wife’s Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher and Stanley Tucci co-star. (2010)

Snake Eyes: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.

Political conspiracy thriller starring Nicolas Cage as a crooked cop whose bending of the rules while investigating a politician’s murder during an Atlantic City prizefight paradoxically proves both his making and his undoing. It’s an unusual dilemma for an action hero and one that, ironically, robs Snake Eyes of thrills as the see-through plot lumbers towards a lame resolution that’s neither visceral nor thought-provoking. (1998)

Mercury Rising: TV3, 8.30pm Monday.

Bruce Willis plays a jaded FBI agent babysitting a nine-year-old autistic savant who endangers his life by unwittingly cracking a top-secret espionage code. Willis sleepwalks through an intelligence conspiracy scenario that will convince only those who believe there’s a man in the moon. Alec Baldwin, True Blood’s Carrie Preston and Human Target’s Chi McBride co-star; Harold Becker (City Hall, Sea of Love, Domestic Disturbance) directs. (1998)

The Stranger: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Monday.

Made-for-video action movie that’s essentially pro-wrestling with guns, given the FBI hero’s played by Wrestlemania-c Steve Austin. According to High-Def Digest, the HD specs are almost as feeble as the writing, action and direction: “Delineation is beyond horrible, as blacks crush significantly and constantly. The picture goes from sharp to dull, nice vivid reality to flat ugly distortion, and never decides what it wants to be for any period of time.” (2010)

MacGruber: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Tuesday.

Not even recommended if you can’t take movies like The Stranger seriously. This ‘80s action movie spoof evolved from a Saturday Night Live skit and stars Will Forte as an ex-special ops ace who’s recruited to thwart a plot to nuke Washington DC. The Hollywood Reporter thought it “utterly disposable but diverting” but the New York Post quipped, “Comedy just isn’t his Forte.” Kristen Wiig, Ryan Philippe, Val Kilmer and Powers Boothe co-star. (2010)

Somewhere: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Somewhere will have many wishing they were anywhere but in front of a TV. It opens with a static, two-minute shot of a Mustang looping a racetrack and barely picks up pace over the next 90 minutes as it painstakingly explores a Hollywood star’s relationship with his 11-year-old daughter whose pseudo-sophistication belies the movie’s slice-of-life minutiae. Sofia Coppola directs Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning. (2010)

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