HDTV Movie Premieres: September 3-9

The Bourne Ultimatum: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday. 

Part three at last resolves questions about the amnesiac spy’s past, from who he is and why the CIA wants him dead to whether he’s a natural born killer. But such is the intricacy and rush of the suspenseful storytelling – director Paul Greengrass cranks up the action to the brink of improbability — that you have to think as fast on your feet as the paranoid Bourne. Matt Damon, Julia Stiles and David Strathairn star. (2007)

The Boat That Rocked: TV3, 8.30pm Sunday. 

Think Titanic meets Top of the Pops for this ensemble comedy about pirate radio in ‘60s Britain. Set on a ship of foolish DJs in the North Sea that Westminster wants to sink, it’s too long and corny but is buoyed by a crowdpleasing cast that includes Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby and a seminal, pop music soundtrack. Richard Curtis (Love, Actually) directs his own screenplay; Bill Nighy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Nick Frost co-star. (2009)

Inception: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.

Forget about having to use only a fraction of your brain’s potential to comprehend Inception. Christopher (Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight) Nolan’s dazzling, bewildering, most cinematic conundrum yet concerns a ‘dream team’ that extracts corporate intelligence from people’s subconscious – until one of its targets hires them to implant a self-destructive idea in a rival’s mind. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page star. (2010)

Weekend at Bernie’s: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday. 

One-joke comedy about two young insurance brokers who uncover in-house fraud and tell their boss, unaware he is masterminding it. He plots to kill them at his beach house but when the unlikely lads turn up, they find Bernie has been rubbed out – and spend the rest of the weekend trying to liven him up. Idiotic farce which has some good sight gags but not a lot else. Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy star. (1989)

Observe and Report: TV2, 9pm Sunday.

This is one of those dark comedies that mistakes obnoxiousness and immorality for cutting edge. Seth Rogen plays a shopping mall security guard whose romantic and professional ambitions – he wants to be a cop – are thwarted by his bipolarity and a car park flasher. Even worse than the objectionable characters and feeble, profane humour is observing an actor of Ray Liotta’s calibre reporting in for such drivel. (2009)

Jumper: TV3, 8.30pm Monday. 

Director Doug Liman’s post-Bourne Identity descent from the giddy genius of Swingers and Go to the hollow, high-concept heroics of Mr & Mrs Smith accelerates with this stinker of a sci-fi thriller. Shattered Glass’ Hayden Christensen plays a “jumper” who, inexplicably, can teleport himself to anywhere in the world while eluding globe-hopping assassin Samuel L Jackson. Tiresome and incoherent. Jamie Bell, Kristen Stewart and Diane Lane co-star. (2008)

Resident Evil: Afterlife: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Monday. 

The zombie franchise that’s taken up permanent residence at the multiplex reverts to live-action for the fifth fun instalment. Forget the indecipherable plot about T-virus survivors infiltrating the headquarters of the corporation that spawned it – just enjoy B-grade sci-fi executed with A-grade flair in stunning high definition. Paul WS Anderson again directs Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter; new to the franchise is Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller. (2010)

Secret Window: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Monday. 

One of the better Stephen King dramatisations stars Johnny Depp as a newly-separated author with writer’s block who starts to doubt his sanity — and his longevity — after he’s accused of plagiarism by a hillbilly from hell (John Turturro). David Koepp (Ghost Town, Stir of Echoes, The Trigger Effect) directs with suspenseful, unsettling finesse but can’t stave off the disappointment of a denouement that resorts to a hoary old horror cliche to explain the hero’s state of mind. (2004)

The Ghost Writer: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.

The reluctant ghostwriter of a former British Prime Minister’s memoirs becomes embroiled in a conspiracy plot when his subject’s accused of war crimes. The real-life parallels with Tony Blair are fun to ponder, and the Machiavellian machinations fascinate, but neither is enough to overcome the constraints of a low budget or a climax that’s more cynical than surprising. Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, and Kim Cattrall star; Roman Polanski directs. (2010)

What Happens in Vegas: TV3, 8.30pm Thursday. 

… is not a lot to write home about, it turns out, but as far as odd-couple screwball comedies go, Vegas is worth a punt. Variety summed it up best: “This two-seated star vehicle for top-billed Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz wrings a respectable number of laughs from a formulaic scenario about attracted-opposites who bicker and back-stab their way toward happily-ever-aftering.” Dana Fox (Couples Retreat) wrote the screenplay. (2009)

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