HDTV Movie Premieres: September 25-October 1

The Hoax: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Saturday.

One of Richard Gere’s better movies also is one of his most obscure – despite being directed by Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, Cider House Rules, Chocolat). He plays a charming scribe who convinces everyone he’s Howard Hughes’ authorised biographer. As Entertainment Weekly observed: “Gere is terrific at suggesting the kind of addictive cocktail of excitement, panic, chutzpah, creativity, and naked hunger for fame and megabucks that might inspire such big, fat lies.” (2007)

Blade: Trinity: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.

The vampire slayer who makes Buffy look like a big girl’s blouse returns for more slice-and-dice bravado. Writer/director David S Goyer completes his bloodsucker trilogy with the help of a scribe who, believe it or not, is credited as Marv Wolfman! Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson and Jessica Biel star. (2005)

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Sky Movies, 5.15pm Sunday.

This threequel may be on thin ice story-wise — the gang unearths a lost world after Sid’s snatched by a dinosaur — but the animation and humour remain lively and inventive, especially the ingeniously Looney Tunes-ish Scrat sequences. (2009)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

Harry Potter VI conjured up some of the boy-wizard saga’s best reviews. In the words of spellbound Miami Herald critic Rene Rodriguez: “Half-Blood Prince is the franchise’s Empire Strikes Back — the episode in which the pace slows down a bit, the characters deepen and mature, the good guys take a big hit, and all hell is gearing up to break loose.” (2009)

Children of Men: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Tuesday.

Set in 2027, when infertility has become so rife that the last child was born 18 years earlier, this prophetic shocker stars Clive Owen as a one-time activist who long ago sold out to cynicism and alcoholism – until a chance encounter with his ex-wife (Julianne Moore) leads him on a journey that rekindles his political conscience and could save the world. Michael Caine co-stars. (2006)

The Young Victoria: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

Some critics lamented this dramatisation of Queen Victoria’s early years for not being a blood-and-thunder bodice-ripper. Yet it’s the filmmakers’ touching, underplayed approach, without ever being dull or earnest, that makes Victoria so refreshing and enchanting. It’s replete with political intrigue but combines these machinations with tenderness and intelligence, exquisite performances and wondrous production design. Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend and Miranda Richardson star. (2009)

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