TV Wasteland: Hitchcockian (

By:Rob Vaux
Date: Monday, August 26, 2013

The week before Labor Day features more of what we’ve come to expect, as the few remaining new series continue their runs and Turner Classic prepares a marathon from one very scary fat man. Let’s have a look.


Under the Dome (CBS, 10:00 PM EDT)
New episode, still no info.
King Kong (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
This is the Peter Jackson version. They made another version in 1976, which they never air for some reason…
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Cinemax, 8:10 PM EDT)
Turns out, all they needed was a little circus afro.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
I won’t defend it, but it’s a lot more fun than it has any right to be.
Blast from the Past (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Brendan Fraser stars in a charmer about a man raised in a bomb shelter suddenly thrust into the modern world.
Salt (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Angelina Jolie should be rocking the doors off this thing. And yet…
Crank 2: High Voltage (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
IFC really loves watching Jason Statham give everyone the finger. And I don’t mean that figuratively.
Blade and Blade: Trinity (Starz, 6:55 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
What, you just skipped over the only legitimately good movie in the bunch?
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
For a film based on action figures, they really blew the “action” part of that equation.
Rewind (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Shitty time travel? You’re soaking in it!


Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s a double elimination round as contestants design concepts based around Mother Goose.
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The show heads to Orlando to check out the cosplayers at Megacon.
Life of Pi (HBO, 7:45 PM EDT)
One of the best and most beautiful films of the past few years has arrived on premium cable.
The Warriors (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Someone in the programming department thinks more highly of this one than I do.
The Mummy (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:46 PM EDT)
It’s a pretty good week for Brendan Fraser movies as this reasonably well-regarded action movie shows.
The Crow (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
You feel the loss of the main character here – beyond Brandon Lee’s tragic death – and that lends the revenge scenario a potency that other films of this kind lack.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Keanu Reeves should do much better as a detached alien than he does here.


Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Dr. Zoidberg falls in love. Take a moment to ponder the existential horror of that equation and we’ll move on.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
A former tuberculosis hospital is now a series of apartments… with really bad vibes for some reason.
Iron Man (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Downey’s still got it, even after all these years.
Silent Hill (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
This video game adaptation is complete crap, though it does have the relative novelty of watching Sean Bean not die.
The Hills Have Eyes (IFC, 10:45 PM EDT)
Alexandre Aja’s remake actually manages to improve upon the original in a surprising number of ways.
Black Swan (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
No one does “going crazy” quite as well as this movie does.
Frankenweenie (Starz, 6:50 PM EDT)
The stop motion is a joy to watch, but Tim Burton’s suburban horror send-up falls flat in all of the expected ways. 
Premium Rush (Starz, 8:20 PM EDT)
This tight little thriller about a bicycle messenger with the god-king of wrong messages it well worth another look.
The Man with the Iron Fists (Cinemax, 9:00 PM EDT)
Can you really say no to Russell Crowe playing a character named Jack Knife?
Shrek Forever After (FXM, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
The fourth film leaves a lot to be desired, but at least it’s better than Part Three.
The Mummy Returns (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The second film is goofy as hell, but still a fair amount of fun.


Wilfred (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
Wilfred’s turning over a new leaf, and Ryan’s in big trouble, giving the dog a chance to prove himself.
John Carter (Starz, 6:45 PM EDT)
Old fashioned science fiction delivered with the right amount of fun. Why oh why did nobody see it?
Looper (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
I think we have a winner for the Double Feature of the Week award.
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (TCM, 9:15 PM EDT)
A terrific 1930s horror film about a killer who displays his victims as wax sculptures. It served as the inspiration for Vincent Price’s classic (and Paris Hilton’s not-so-classic) House of Wax.
Land of the Lost (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Will Ferrell and dinosaurs… bad move boys.
Age of Dinosaurs (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
A new Syfy craptacular about the titular beasts returning to the modern world. Inspired! Or not…
V for Vendetta (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Hugo Weaving delivers on Alan Moore’s famous vigilante, but the film around him can’t quite keep pace.
The Transporter (IFC, 10:45 PM EDT)
Jason Statham tries to help out a girl in his trunk and gets into all kinds of trouble for his Good Samaritan ways. Repeats Friday at 8:00 PM EDT.
National Treasure (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EDT)
The kind of movie that dumb people think is smart.


Continuum (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Kiera risks losing her chance to return home, while Alex has to choose between his needs and Kiera’s.
This is Spinal Tap (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
I know it’s not quite genre, but it is one of the funniest movies ever made, so we’re gonna include it.
Hot Fuzz (BBC America, 10:00 PM EDT)
Just in case your love for The World’s End has not yet been satiated.
Prometheus (Cinemax, 6:50 PM EDT)
Ridley’s Scott’s ambitious food for thought isn’t perfect, but man there’s some cool stuff going on here.
Twister (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EDT and 8:30 PM EDT)
Nothing cool in Jan De Bont’s silly tornado saga. Even the effects have aged like crap.
The Green Mile (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Frank Darabont sticks around way too long, but otherwise does justice to Stephen King’s novella about a death row inmate who can heal with a touch.
Con Air (Spike, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:30 PM EDT)
Nic Cage and that haircut… how can we lose?
Shrek and Shrek the Third (TBS, 8:00 PM EDT)
What is it with skipping over the Part Twos this week?
RED (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
Geezers kicking ass? Eh, been there, done that.


Do No Harm (NBC, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s a two-parter this week. Someone, somewhere is vaguely excited about that I’m sure.
Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
Doctor #8 takes on the Master in this new special from BBC America.
The Matador (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
Pierce Brosnan plays a hitman slowly losing his mind in one of the better indie films out there in the past few years.
The Limey (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Steven Soderbergh delivers a minor masterpiece in the tale of a cockney Englishman out for revenge
Indiana Jones Quadrilogy (USA, 1:00 PM EDT)
USA has got an Indy marathon planned for us, starting with the first and best at 1:00 PM EDT and finishing with the reviled Crystal Skull in the evening.
30 Days of Night: Dark Days (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
The sequel to the flawed but interesting original makes the fatal mistake of dropping the “interesting.”
Blade II (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
And THERE it is, at last!
Total Recall (Starz, 7:00 PM EDT)
It just hurts. For so, so many reasons.
The Smurfs (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EDT)
Has anybody actually sat through this thing? I’ve tried a couple of times and I just couldn’t make it.
Outbreak (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Nice idea, lousy execution.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
And again I say… WHY did people actually go see this?
The A-Team (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Admit it: you kind of dig Liam Neeson in this film.


Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (TCM, 10:00 AM EST)
As usual, TCM has prepared a treat for us: a whole day of the Master, starting with his early film Murder! at 10:00 AM EDT, followed by Rope at noon, Spellbound at 1:30 PM EDT, Marnie at 3:30 PM EDT, The Birds at 5:45 PM EDT, Shadow of a Doubt at 8:00 PM EDT, Psycho at 10:00 PM EDT, The Lodger at midnight, Blackmail at 2:00 AM EDT and Frenzy at 3:30 AM EDT. Set your DVRs, because this is a great chance to catch up on some of the very best movies ever made.
Ghost Mine (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Syfy premieres a new reality show about haunted mines.  And again, Syfy is reaching...
The Abyss (Syfy, 6:00 PM EDT)
James Cameron’s ambitious underwater epic broke all kinds of new ground, and may have cemented the director’s mania for hanging out in submarines.
A Knight’s Tale (BBC America, 7:00 PM EDT)
It’s silly, but mostly harmless.
War of the Worlds (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
Steven Spielberg does very well in adapting the H.G. Wells classic, only to lose his nerve close to the end.
Dark Shadows (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Johnny Depp plays a vampire trapped in the 70s, a concept that sounds far better than it really is.
Ghost Rider (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
We couldn’t imagine how much worse it was going to get.
Real Steel (Showtime, 8:00 PM EDT)
We loves us the Hugh Jackman. That is all.
Transformers (TBS, 8:00 PM EDT)
Did we really need the dog urine jokes in our giant robot movie?
Dexter is off for Labor Day. Hope everyone has a good one!