TV Wasteland: Here Comes December (

By:Rob Vaux
Date: Monday, December 03, 2012

Another week, another Wasteland. What beckons from the boob tube? Read on for the answers.

The Green Mile (AMC, 7:00 PM EDT)
Let’s all drink a toast to Michael Clarke Duncan, who left too soon. We miss you big guy! (The movie repeats Tuesday at 7:00 PM EDT.)

The Ring Two (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EDT)
Bet you forgot there was a sequel to The Ring. There’s a very good reason for that.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Apparently, “Awesome ability to sing Jean Val Jean’s part” is one of his super powers. Who knew? 

Contagion (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
As bad as things are these days, it can still get a lot worse. Let this film show you.

Orca (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
You can show me the footage of Shamu savaging his trainers all you like. It still doesn’t make killer whales good horror movie villains.

DeepStar Six (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s this the one with Peter Weller or the one with Jamie Lee Curtis? Oh, it’s the one with Miguel Ferrer. I didn’t know he made one of those…

Halloween (Spike, 7:00 PM EDT)
Leave it to Spike to pick the crappy version.

The Last House on the Left (Spike, 10:00 PM EDT)
This is a little better, but still unpleasant. Also, it taps into my deepest fears about garbage disposals. 

Ultraviolet (Starz, 7:30 PM EDT)
The critics really savaged this dystopian sci-fi thriller. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but… Milla Jovovich!

Underworld: Awakening (Starz, 10:45 PM EDT)
When your leading lady can’t be bothered to get pumped about a project, why should your audience?

Star Trek Generations (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Not with a bang but a whimper does William Shatner depart the saga he defined for almost thirty years.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Syfy, 10:30 PM EDT)
On the other hand, he rocks this scene pretty hard. Runs again on Tuesday at 8:00 PM EDT.

Revolution is off this week.

Elf (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EDT) and Fred Claus (ABC Family, 10:00 PM EDT)
Better the first than the second. Trust me.

Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (FMC, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:30 PM EDT)
If you feel like pissing an entire evening away on schlocky corporate product, FMC says “you’re welcome!”

End of Days (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Still excited about Schwarzenegger getting back into movies?

RED (Showtime, 8:00 PM EDT)
Not a great film, but we’re still giving it up for Helen Mirren with a .50 caliber machine gun.

Cars 2 (Starz, 7:00 PM EDT)
Pixar delivers its first genuine failure… and we’re still waiting for them to fully recover.

Van Helsing (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Thank God he can sing, otherwise we’d never forgive him. 

Battle of Los Angeles (Syfy, 10:30 PM EDT)
Don’t confuse this with the Aaron Eckhart movie; it’s a cheap Syfy knock-off.

Arrow (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
Oliver and The Huntress continue to team up, but the gal’s got it in for the local Triad leader and just can’t let it go. Wacky mayhem presumably ensues. The episode repeats on Friday at 9:00 PM EDT.

Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EDT)
A series of murders leads some to suspect Benny, but Dean’s not letting him go without a fight.

American Horror Story: Asylum (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
Someone shows up at the asylum dressed as Santa. I can’t decide if that’s merely creepy or super-creepy. Probably both.

Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
We’re off to Mark Twain’s house – at Christmas, no less – to see if the famous author can deliver some irascible wisdom from beyond the grave.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney XD, 7:30 PM EDT)
If you have to ask…

John Carter (Starz, 6:45 PM EDT)
Seriously, give it another chance. I think you’ll like it. 

Hancock (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Will Smith overcomes a problematic script to give us a lovably unlikeable misanthropic superhero.

Punisher: War Zone (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
It’s not fantastic, but you’re never going to find a better Punisher movie… at least for now.

Transporter 3 (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
We try to give Jason Statham a long rope, but shit like this makes us regret it. 

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EDT)
Howard takes a fishing trip with his disapproving father-in-law, while Sheldon takes care of Amy while she’s sick.

Elementary (CBS, 10:00 PM EDT)
Another day, another baffling murder… this one involving a university professor.

Last Resort (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
We finally learn the reason for launching nukes at Pakistan.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
The boys head to New Orleans, and reminisce about a previous visit during World War II.

Beauty and the Beast (The CW, 9:00 PM EDT)
A rock singer is killed and Cat is on the case.

Burn Notice (USA, 10:00 PM EDT)
Sam gets involved in a dangerous robbery, which may screw up Michael’s attempts to sell new technology.

A Christmas Carol (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EDT)
Jim Carrey kinda sorta makes this mo-cap version of the venerable Dickens’ tale work. More an interesting curiosity than a good film, but it at least remains true to the source material.

The Princess Bride (AMC, 7:00 PM EDT)
Yup. Still awesome.

Green Lantern (Cinemax, 6:35 PM EDT)
And in one fell swoop, DC’s movie endeavors were in serious trouble…

Aliens (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Sigourney Weaver earns an Oscar nomination for her second (and thoroughly rocking) outing as Ellen Ripley. As far as we’re concerned, there were no more sequels after this one.

Doomsday (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Neil Marshall delivers a grade-A guilty pleasure about post-apocalyptic Scotland. 

Rambo 4 (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
He’s going to kill everyone. Just sayin’.

Fright Night (Showtime, 7:45 PM EDT)
Colin Farrell has a ball as the suave vampire next door in a solid update of the 1985 original.

Piranha (Showtime, 9:30 PM EDT)
Once again, the hottest chick is the one with the gun.

Finding Nemo (Starz, 7:15 PM EDT)
Pixar scores one of its greatest hits with a fish-out-of-water tale that hasn’t lost a step in ten years.

The Dead Zone (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
Christopher Walken makes a rare sympathetic turn as Stephen King’s troubled psychic John Smith. David Cronenberg directed, and it remains one of his top works to date.

Starship Troopers (Syfy, 6:00 PM EDT)
In NPH we trust. Especially when dissecting brain bugs.

Constantine (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Keanu Reeves actually makes a pretty good noir anti-hero... and the film benefits from his efforts.

Also, Turner Classics is featuring two of the greatest movies ever made tonight: Casablanca at 8:00 PM EDT and The Third Man at 10:00 PM EDT.

Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EDT)
Peter takes a risk when watching Widmark, while Olivia heads out to find equipment for Walter.

Nikita (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
Nikita and Michael make a play for Amanda, using an abducted arms dealer as a lure.

Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Everyone in town except Audrey and one other person falls asleep, leaving them to work the Bolt Gun Killer case alone.

The Fifth Element (AMC, 7:00 PM EDT)
Luc Besson’s basic-cable staple is back for yet another week. Enjoy or cringe at your leisure.

Alien Resurrection (Cinemax, 6:20 PM EDT)
Didn’t I just say there were no more sequels?

Frequency (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Dennis Quaid stars as a father whose son contacts him from thirty years in the future. The intriguing premise drops the ball in the finale, but there’s plenty to enjoy regardless.

Predators (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
The bold, bloody sequel lands on basic cable. 

Inception (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
Christopher Nolan just knows how to put on a show.

Grimm is off this week.

The Borrowers (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
If you can’t see the superior Secret World of Arrietty, you can make do with this perfectly serviceable live-action version of the same story.

Snowmageddon (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
It’s about an evil snow globe. Yes, really.

The 12 Disasters of Christmas (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Oh come on Syfy! You can give us a better title than that!

The Happening (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Shyamalan’s career was careening downhill before this disaster turned it into a full-bore free fall. I can’t say he didn’t have it coming. 

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Don’t remember it? Neither does anyone else.

Escape from LA (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
This isn’t a sequel so much as a victory lap, with Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken given ten hours to find an all-powerful Macguffin in the ruins of Los Angeles.

Scary Movie 2 (MTV, 8:00 PM EDT)
If I have to warn you way from this one, there’s no hope.

Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s a very Dexter Christmas, as Hannah’s father gives Debra a tip that could lead to Dexter’s downfall.

Conan the Barbarian (BBC America, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:30 PM EDT)
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the lamentations of the women. 

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (IFC, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
For some reason, we’re getting the Tommy Jarvis side of the Friday the 13thsaga. Go figure.

WarGames (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Remember when everyone was scared of computers?

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Syfy, 6:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
The well-regarded third Indiana Jones film pairs with the less well-regarded fourth film. Both are worth a look, especially if you haven’t seen them in a while.

The Walking Dead is on midwinter hiatus. Once Upon a Time and 666 Park Avenue are off.