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Genre shows take a back seat to basketball this week
By Rob Vaux
March 18, 2012
A reasonably busy week hides the lack of obvious titles to open the column. So let’s get to it!
Alcatraz (Fox, 9:00 PM EDT)
The team has to take down a musically themed serial killer who resurfaces... signaling the show's first real signs of desperation.
Being Human (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Having poked the Reaper on the snout, Sally now finds herself trapped in an alternate dimensional prison thingy. Harsh.
The Lost Girl (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Bo and her new bestie Saskia investigate one of prime-time television's all-time favorites: the sex-related murder.
Iron Man (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Marvel comic-book movies will be getting heavy play on basic cable these next few weeks. I can't imagine why...
Kill Bill, Vols. 1 and 2 (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:15 PM EDT)
Can you imagine what would have happened if they'd released this bad boy in its entirety in the theaters... or worse, cut it up to make one movie instead of two? Sometimes, evil Hollywood power brokers know what they're doing.
Jumper (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Not every crappy adaptation of a bestselling teen novel series makes a mint... as this little slice of suck aptly demonstrates.
I, Robot (FX, 7:30 PM EDT)
Will Smith has an eerie way of making shit like this watchable.
Sin City (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Look! it's in black and white! That automatically makes it cool, right?
Ghost Hunters International (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
American Samoa is apparently a bigger hotbed of supernatural activity than we thought.
Monster Man (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
After debuting out of prime-time last week, Syfy's newest reality show follows make-up artist Cleve Hall, who was responsible for the effects in such middling 80s fare as Troll, TerrorVision and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. Not sure this one's a keeper, fellas.
Inception (Cinemax, 7:30 PM EDT)
Christopher Nolan... is awesome.
Secret Window (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Just for a change, can Stephen King send his boogeymen against someone other than a famous author with writer's block?
Daredevil (FMC, 7:00 PM EDT)
Ben Affleck's much maligned comic-book adaptation has seen a recent uptick in its standing, as people watch it and concede that it really wasn't so terrible after all.
Twilight (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
This one, on the other hand, remains just as crappy today as the day we first saw it.
Green Lantern (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Between this and John Carter, Mark Strong is turning into quite the franchise villain bridesmaid, isn't he?
Hard Candy (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
That's vengeful teen Kitty Pryde terrorizing seductive pederast Night Owl II for those keeping score at home.
Teeth (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
Seriously dude, no means no.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
Damon and Sage get together again after 100 years to begin the restoration of Wickery Bridge. Because nothing says "supernatural mayhem" more than civic construction projects.
The Secret Circle (The CW, 9:00 PM EDT)
As it turns out, Cassie and Adam really are cursed... and if they keep making goo-goo eyes at each other, it's going to kill someone.
X-Men: First Class (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EDT)
Because while Ian McKellan may be sexy in the eyes of some, the phrase "sexy Magneto" needed to be seared into the public consciousness with a branding iron.
Beauty and the Beast (Disney, 8:30 PM EDT)
Still the standard by which all modern animation is judged. Yes, even Pixar.
Alien and Alien 3 (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
For the love of God, could someone get IFC the rights to the second film?! This is starting to bug me.
The Brothers Grimm (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
Matt Damon and Heath Ledger star as the titular brothers, imagined here as con artists masquerading as monster hunters. It doesn't go well for them… or for the uneven narrative which should have been a home run.
Red: Werewolf Hunter (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
On the other hand, The Brothers Grimm probably looks like freaking Shakespeare compared to this bargain-basement effort about a modern-day descendent of Red Riding Hood fighting werewolves with her new family. Ugh.
The Big Bang Theory is off for the NCAA tournament.
Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EDT)
Is this Fringe's last season? We've heard those rumblings before, but this time, there may be some truth behind them. While we wait and wonder, the team investigates a murderer who targets the emotion of love.
Nikita (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
Nikita and Michael head to Russia to confront Cassandra... presumably with a lot of guns they did not properly check with TSA.
Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EDT)
It finally happened: Sam goes crazy and Lucifer's to blame. Stupid Lucifer...
Spartacus: Vengeance (Starz, 10:00 PM EDT)
The Romans are coming, which means Spartacus needs to get his people to stop a fussin' and a feudin' before they’re wiped out.
Merlin (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Morgana attacks while Arthur flees the kingdom with Merlin and a small handful of knights. This is the first half of a two-part story.
The Princess and The Frog (Disney, 7:30 PM EDT)
Though it struggled a bit at the box office, this 2D animated outing actually proves more buoyant than most of Disney's post-Lion King releases.
Clash of the Titans (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Like the Marvel stable, this 2010 remake is likely going to see a lot of play in the next few weeks. Stick with the 1981 original, says I.
The Descent (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Want to have the righteous crap scared out of you? IFC's got your back.
Inglourious Basterds (Showtime, 8:25 PM EDT)
Quentin Tarantino has been better, but that shouldn't discourage you from catching this hoot of a World War II mash-up from one of cinema's true auteurs.
Grimm is a rerun this week.
Being Human (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
A teenage vampire and his schoolmarm mate show up to cause all kinds of trouble. See, this is how you do naughty transgressive vampires!
The Wizard of Oz (Cartoon, 6:30 PM EDT)
No, it's not a cartoon, but who cares? It's The Wizard of Oz!
Jackie Chan's First Strike (FMC, 7:00 PM EDT)
Death Proof (FMC, 9:00 PM EDT)
The lesser half of the Grindhouse double-bill ultimately saves itself thanks to Zoe Bell's white-knuckle ride on the hood of a Dodge Challenger.
Zombieland (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
I'm not the biggest fan of this movie, but man that's an impressive cast...
Sucker Punch (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Yeah, just forget I mentioned this one.
Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
It's Alice in Wonderland's turn in the Reboot Machine, with Roger Daltry popping in to provide the voice of the caterpillar.
The Exorcist (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
If you have to ask, you're never going to know.
Hannibal (BBC America, 10:30 PM EDT)
It's not a great film, but damn that Julianne Moore is gutsy, isn't she?
Outlander (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
It's Vikings vs. Space Aliens in a notion that I'm sure will be much cooler in The Avengers.
Pandorum (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
This is probably the most relentlessly unpleasant sci-fi movie since Xtro. *shudder* Xtro...