16 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
JERICHO The Return
By Stephen Lackey
December 30, 2007
Ashley Scott on JERICHO.
Some series, mostly of the reality variety, could really benefit from the writers’ strike. One show in particular actually deserves the potential extra attention the few series running new episodes in the next few months will get; Jericho. The only real problems the series had was a slow start and just a bit of heavy melodrama here and there. Another of our favorite series, Heroes, had similar problems, in my eyes. The fans fought for this series when it was cancelled, so much so that the network decided to bring it back for one more season to see if the fan base could grow enough to make the series viable over the long haul. Now, it’s coming back to very little or no real competition. The situation couldn’t be better for Jericho. Now, it’s up to the creators of the series to bring a new season that grabs the attention of new viewers and returning fans alike to prove to the network that they did make a mistake initially canceling the series. There’s a promo video up on You Tube to start the hype machine rolling for the premiere on February 12th. Check it out:
BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (AMC, 7:15PM EST)
Battle for the Planet of the Apes, episode number five of the Apes series, is the last and least of the bunch, with a juvenile script and parsimonious production values more befitting the various APES merchandising tie-ins (including toys, comic books, and action figures) than the fourth sequel to one of the finest science-fiction films in history. In the year 2670, an orangutan called the Lawgiver (John Huston) tells a story to a group of human and ape children about an early 21st century ape leader named Caesar (Roddy McDowall): Following a nuclear war, a new society dominated by apes emerged, with Caesar leading a small group of apes and friendly humans who live together in the wilderness. When Caesar learns that a tape of his mother and father, who were killed when he was an infant, exists in the subterranean urban archives, he ventures into the destroyed, radioactive city accompanied by the human MacDonald (Austin Stoker) and the orangutan Virgil (Paul Williams)
WEAPON MASTER (DSC, 11PM EST)
This episode tells you all you ever wanted to know about the Katana.
FISHZILLA: SNAKEHEAD INVASION (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL, 8PM EST)
Examines the invasion of the Northern Snakehead Fish into Maryland that is causing extensive ecological damage.
BULLETPROOF MONK (FX, 6:30PM EST)
A warrior monk and a cocky street kid reluctantly join forces to protect an ancient Tibetan scroll capable of unleashing unimaginable power in this martial-arts coming-of-age tale that squanders the iconic presence of Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-Fat. Tibet, 1943: An impetuous young monk (Chow) is entrusted by his master with the solemn task of protecting a scroll whose words can confer enough power to rule the world. The monk must relinquish his name, but receives the gift of youth for as long as he guards the scroll. The ceremony is brutally interrupted by the arrival of Nazi soldiers led by the power-mad Strucker (Karel Roden), who wants the scroll for his own nefarious reasons. A massacre ensues, but the monk escapes with the precious artifact. Flashforward to 2003, AnyCity USA (actually Toronto, of course): Street-smart Kar (Seann William Scott) is picking pockets on the subway and the monk — unchanged after 60 years of wandering — is fleeing a cadre of dark-suited pursuers when a child falls onto the tracks. Together the monk and the thief rescue her, and Kar rewards himself by lifting the scroll from the monk's bag. He promptly nearly gets the bejesus beaten out of him by gangbangers who consider the subway their personal turf, and escapes mostly through the timely intervention of gang girl Jade (former model James King, newly billed as "Jaime"). Uninterested in the monk's overtures of friendship or his offer to help Kar hone the martial arts skills he learned by imitating old kung-fu movies at the dilapidated movie theater where he lives and works, Kar resolves to find Jade and get on with his routine of drifting and grifting. Needless to say, Kar eventually becomes the monk's reluctant pupil.
GUNS: MACHINES OF WAR (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL 10PM EST)
A look at the history and evolution of the machine gun.
MODERN MARVELS (HISTORY 8PM EST) THE MANHATTAN PROJECT
Chronicling the secret U.S. undertaking during World War II that produced the atomic bomb, which was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war.
FLASH GORDON (SCI FI 9:00PM EST) THICKER THAN WATER
Flash and Aura are kidnapped by a Deviate (Craig Stanghetta) after Flash, Baylin and Zarkov return to Mongo in search of the reconfigured rift blaster. Meanwhile, Joe's implant is activated on Earth. Sonya Salomaa, Meghan Ory.
BATMAN (BRAVO, 9PM EST)
Gotham City, a crime-ridden, debris-strewn, sunless, architecturally incoherent metropolis, is desperately in need of a savior, for the city is in the corrupting grip of crime boss Carl Grissom (Palance). Ace photographer Vicki Vale (Basinger) has been intrigued by the sightings of a mysterious, giant vigilante bat. She meets enigmatic millionaire Bruce Wayne (Keaton), not suspecting that he's Batman. Wayne is quite taken with the lovely Vicki but is distracted by the wicked ways of Grissom's top henchman, Jack Napier (Nicholson), alias the Joker.Perhaps it was inevitable, considering all the hype preceding and surrounding its release, that BATMAN would fall a bit flat once it finally reached the screen. Despite its interesting, grim tone and undeniably striking visuals from director Burton and production designer Furst, the film fails to synthesize its strengths into a compelling whole. Its obvious intention to parallel the Joker and Batman as two psychotics, one promoting good and the other evil, doesn't come through with as much impact as it should. The Joker seems maniacal, all right, but hardly as sinister as the silent Batman. In terms of acting, too, Nicholson's campy, full-blown rendering of the Joker (his best moment occurs as he pulls a ridiculously long pistol out of his pants) overshadows the miscast Keaton, whose attempt to be moody and macho gives him all the appeal of plywood.
SIMPSONS (FOX 9PM EST) E Pluribus Wiggum
Homer burns down Springfield's fast-food district. In order to float a bond issue to rebuild it, Mayor Quimby moves up election day, making Springfield's primary election the first in the nation. This causes the town to be overrun with reporters, candidates and pundits. Dan Rather and Jon Stewart have voice cameos.