HDTV Movie Premieres: June 4-10
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: TV3, 8.30pm Saturday.
The whip-cracking bone-kicker’s back – older, crankier and with a whippersnapper who wants to try on his Fedora for size. Indy IV amusingly completes the family circle but can’t keep up with the other Joneses in the 30-year-old francise, largely because of a convoluted plot that lurches from one cliffhanger to another and surprisingly cruddy visual effects. Steven Spielberg directs Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf. (2008)
Legends of the Fall: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Saturday.
Anthony Hopkins stars as the head of a headstrong clan in the wilds of Montana whose unity is wrecked by the coming of war and sibling rivalry over a breathtakingly beautiful woman. Much of it is overblown in scope and scale but this old-fashioned potboiler about kith and kin, set against the staggering beauty of The Rockies, is imbued with an intellectual virility that redeems its soap operatic lapses. Brad Pitt, Julia Ormond, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas co-star; Edward Zwick (Love & Other Drugs) directs. (1994)
The Last King of Scotland: TV3, 11pm Saturday.
“King McIdi” is dead but his lethal legacy lives on in this powerhouse dramatisation of Ugandan president Idi Amin’s reign from 1971-79. As well as being a supremely suspenseful and chilling thriller about his Scottish physician (James McAvoy), it shows another side to the tabloid press’ caricature of an “ogrish, people-eating monster of a dictator”. Forest Whitaker portrays him as not only a brutal, paranoid schizophrenic but also a humorous, charismatic man of the people with mischievous wit. (2006)
Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Sunday.
Part three of this ‘teen franchise is another monsters mish-mash of cringing romance and startling creature effects. It improves on New Moon but never threatens to overshadow the original, while only those not long-in-the-tooth will be able to endure the tortured heroine’s vampire-vs-werewolf courtship dilemma. David Spade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy) directs Dexter vet Melissa Rosenberg’s third Twilight screenplay; Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner co-star. (2010)
Wedding Crashers: Sky Movies Greats, 8.30pm Sunday.
You wouldn’t want these guys at your worst enemy’s wedding. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn play party animals who gatecrash flash weddings to bed bridesmaids and whoever else might be game for wedded trysts. It’s a premise ripe with promise but the execution becomes so extreme that the movie crashes much earlier than it should. David Dobkin (Fred Claus, Shanghai Knights) directs; Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour and Bradley Cooper co-star. (2005)
Dear John: Sky Movies, 8.30pm Wednesday.
A college student (Big Love’s Amanda Seyfried) falls in love with a young solder (Public Enemies’ Channing Tatum) but the relationship is tested over the next seven years of his being on increasingly dangerous deployment. Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules) directs. Slate recommended it “for audiences who have a high threshold for sentiment and a low one for dramatic conflict”. Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall) adapted the Nicholas Sparks novel; Richard Jenkins and Henry Thomas co-star. (2010)