HDTV Movie Premieres: October 22-28

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: TV2, 7.30pm Saturday.

“Do you think he plans it all out or just makes it up as he goes along?” The question is asked of that pirate of pizzazz, Captain Jack Sparrow, but it could just as well be directed at the writers of his third extravagant excursion into lionhearted looniness. The supernatural plot may be nigh incomprehensible but the comical dialogue, wily characters and eye-popping spectacle make for remarkably buoyant escapism. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley again set sail. (2007)

Zoolander: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

As the star, director and writer of this fashion world spoof, Ben Stiller never stops flirting with disaster. He uses the creative equivalent of pinking shares to shape material that’s as subtle as my predicting it won’t have you in stitches. Think Austin Powers meets Pret A Porter but without the sophistication of either, although the “freak gasoline fight accident” almost makes the rest of the movie worth sitting through. Owen Wilson co-stars. (2001)

Paranormal Activity 2: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

Here’s that spooky rarity: a sequel that improves on the original. In the case of this pseudo-doco take on haunted house movies, that might not seem much of a stretch. But Paranormal Activity 2 is creepier and more unnerving, with a couple of sit-up-straight moments of nightmarish intensity. Tod Williams (The Door in the Floor) directs Katie Featherston, who also stars in Paranormal Activity 3, which releases this weekend. (2010)

Evan Almighty: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.

Steve Carell plays a newly elected, meticulously groomed congressman whose sanity is questioned when he suddenly sprouts a scruffy beard, starts wearing robes and sandals, and says God (Morgan Freeman) has commanded him to prepare for a flood. Mercifully, Carell’s deft comic prowess, some witty touches and surprisingly robust visual effects are enough to stop you forsaking this Almighty. Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty) directs. (2007)

Mimic: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Tuesday.

Mira Sorvino plays a Big Apple boffin who saves the city from a cockroach-borne black death in this gross-out bugfest from Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro (who disowned the studio cut). The creature effects are fantastic but the shocks they should spark are dulled by a plodding build-up involving extraneous characters and a second half whose excitement is offset by its lack of originality. Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin and F Murray Abraham co-star. (1997)

Devil: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

This is an efficient and effective horror movie about time running out for five people trapped in a lift. As emergency services rush to their rescue, one by one they become victims of a supernatural presence among them. The outcome might be pat but reaching it is freaky, unnerving fun, thanks to an excellent cast, tight direction and an intriguing, refreshingly gore-free plot. Quarantine’s John Erick Dowdle directs. (2010)

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