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TV Wasteland: August is for Movies!
There's some good films on the Wasteland this week.
By Rob Vaux
August 19, 2013
It’s another busy week, so let’s get to it!
Under the Dome (CBS, 10:00 PM EDT)
Someone new arrives in town… which, considering the premise, is just a wee bit suspicious.
Teen Wolf (MTV, 10:00 PM EDT)
Scott’s going to shut down Deucalion! I don’t watch the show, so I have no idea what that measn.
Freddy vs. Jason (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
I have to confess I’m kind of fond of this latter-day monster mash, though it really could have done more with its concept.
Quantum of Solace (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
And yet again, I will mention the not-science-fiction-ness of this film on Syfy.
The Last House on the Left (AMC, 9:00 PM EDT)
As remakes go, it could be worse. At least they ditched the silly cops from the first film.
End of Days (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
I think we were done with Schwarzenegger long before this silly Biblical thriller. His work here just cemented the deal.
The A-Team (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Wow. Sharlto Copley’s awesome in this one too.
The Bourne Legacy (HBO, 8:30 PM EDT)
Jeremy Renner should be awesome here. He just doesn’t have good material to work with.
The Shawshank Redemption (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
They really should let Frank Darabont direct ever Stephen King adaptation ever.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Three sequels planned? Honestly, that’s not an entirely bad prospect.
Also, there’s a new South Park tonight at 10:00 PM EDT on Comedy Central. For those so inclined.
Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Future Frankenstein is the theme this week. Sounds promising.
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
They cover cosplayers from a Seattle convention this week. Emerald City Comic Con, perhaps?
The Ninth Gate (Showtime, 6:15 PM EDT)
The first two-thirds of this film rank among Polanski’s best. And then it all goes horribly wrong.
Total Recall (Starz, 10:00 PM EDT)
Yet another remake, this one not even memorable enough to be bad. Repeats on Sunday at 9:00 PM EDT.
Assault on Precinct 13 (Cinemax, 6:20 PM EDT)
This remake, on the other hand, was unjustly forgotten: a sharp update of John Carpenter’s low-budget original.
Demolition Man (AMC, 6:30 PM EDT
Is it weird that I blame this film for the whole Dennis Rodman unpleasantness?
Taken 2 (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
Liam Neeson is great, but the rest of the film is a textbook example of the law of diminishing returns. Repeats on Sunday at 8:15 PM EDT.
Battle: Los Angeles (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Quick, disposable, but still lots of fun.
Hostel and Hostel Part II (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
The yin and the yang of torture porn, representing both its dubious apex and ignominious demise.
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
A ravenous monster is on the ship with the Planet Express crew. We’re not sure, but we suspect they may be sending up a certain prominent Ridley Scott sci-fi film.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
A mother and he children face off against a ghost from the Old West. I’m sure it will be much less cool than it sounds.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Okay, it’s not genre, but it does feature Obi-Wan Kenobi as well as being on the short list of the greatest movies of all time.
The Darkest Hour (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
Horror movies don’t come any less inspired than this imbecilic also-ran about an alien invasion in Moscow.
The Woman in Black (Showtime, 10:30 PM EDT)
Luckily, Showtime recovers with a truly awesome follow-up.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Starz, 8:10 PM EDT)
One kid with leaves growing out of his ankles doth not a decent family film make.
Megamind (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Sooner or later we’re going to get another big budget superhero parody. It won’t be as good as this one.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Do you win a prize for being the mosy incoherent Michael Bay movie of all? Repeats on Sunday at 8:00 PM EDT.
The Hills Have Eyes and The Hills Have Eyes II (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:15 PM EDT)
One terrific remake served up with one truly dreadful sequel.
Dark Shadows (HBO, 7:00 PM EDT)
Tim Burton may have passed the point of no return with this one.
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
James sends Michael and Sonya to Mexico, just as Strong decides to play his hand.
Wilfred (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
Wilfred finds someone to long for. Pity she’s seriously unavailable…
Sharknado (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Fair warning: Syfy’s going to pound this thing into the ground.
Ghost Shark (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
It can hunt on land and sea! That kind of makes it a land shark instead of a ghost shark, but who are we to quibble with the Gods of Syfy Titling?
Elf (Starz, 7:20 PM EDT)
Will Ferrell does earnest enthusiasm very well .
Frankenweenie (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s better as a short.
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Forest Whitaker is the engine driving this amazing film about a mob hitman who adheres to the cod of Bushido.
Knight and Day (FX, 7:30 PM EDT)
Cruise and Diaz exhibit the kind of old-fashioned movie star chemistry that used to power every big-budget production. Consider it a last hurrah.
Starship Troopers (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
In case you want to remember what Neil Patrick Harris was like before he became supercharged with awesome.
Alice in Wonderland (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EDT)
Tim Burton strikes again! This one, at least, looks damn pretty.
Twilight (ABC Family, 8:30 PM EDT)
It doesn’t get any better with age.
Up (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
This one, on the other hand, is aging like fine merlot.
Continuum (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Travis gets his hands on a CPS suit and Kieran and Carlos have to stop him. Just another Friday on Continuum.
Premium Rush (Starz, 7:25 PM EDT)
Two of our favorite actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon, square off as a bicycle messenger and a corrupt cop on the streets of New York.
Looper (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
And we have a winner for the Double Feature of the Week award.
The Usual Suspects (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
Okay, Friday has officially become the night of a thousand awesome movies.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EDT)
Disney supposedly hit a speed bump with their version of the Victor Hugo classic. Personally, I think it’s one of their all-time best.
Hercules (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EDT)
This one is definitely second-tier, however, with only an interesting visual look to hold it up.
Conan the Barbarian (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
All together now: what is best in life?
Dragon Eyes (Cinemax, 6:45 PM EDT)
Yeah, nothing with “Eyes” in the title is going to cut the mustard with the kind of line-up tonight.
Snake Eyes (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
Nic Cage and Brian De Palma: two great tastes that turn into total bugfuck insanity onscreen.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT)
It’s a truly dreadful film, but at least they shot it like crap, so we don’t have to see any of it.
Predators (FXM, 10:00 PM EDT)
FXM recovers quite nicely, however.
Hereafter (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Considering that Clint Eastwood directed and Matt Damon stars, this story about precognition should have been a lot better.
Snow White and the Huntsman (HBO, 6:45 PM EDT)
This rather dreadful fairy tale movie can’t get off of premium cable fast enough.
Poseidon (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
It bombed for a reason, you know.
Rambo 4 (Spike, 6:30 PM EDT)
It’s awful, but the CGI blood fits Stallone like a glove.
The Expendables (Spike, 8:30 PM EDT)
Is it wrong that I preferred the sequel? Repeats on Saturday at 6:30 PM EDT.
Yes Man (TBS, 9:00 PM EDT)
We always knew that this Jim Carrey piece of shit about a guy who literally can’t say “no” would settle on the Superstation eventually.
The White Queen (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Margaret joins forces with Warwick against Edward, while Jasper Tudor is forced into exile.
Do No Harm (NBC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Jason has a son, giving rise to the hideous notion of a Jekyll and Hyde and Son. Thank God the benevolent deities of cancellation stepped in.
Life of Pi (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
One of the best films of 2012 makes its premium cable debut. Not to be missed.
Repo Men (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
Yeah, Syfy is really where this dystopian turd belongs.
The Prestige (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
And then they go and follow it up with one of Christopher Nolan’s very best. Believe me, that’s saying something.
The Princess and the Frog (ABC Family, 7:15 PM EDT and 9:15 PM EDT)
It’s amazing what a good villain can do for you.
Silent Hill (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Video game adaptations haven’t gotten any better, which should fill any fan with fear.
Cabin Fever (IFC, 10:45 PM EDT)
Everyone loves Eli Roth’s horror film debut. Everyone, that is, except me.
Rambo III (Cinemax, 7:30 PM EDT)
John Rambo teams up with the heroic freedom fighters of al Qaeda to… wait, what?! Really?! Stupid changing global politics…
Con Air (Spike, 9:00 PM EDT)
More Nic Cage insanity, this one at least compulsively watchable.
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
Dexter’s on the trail of a new victim. There aren’t that many left, so get them while they’re hot big guy!
Futurama Fan Favorite Marathon (Comedy, 6:00 PM EDT)
Comedy Central spends the whole evening counting down the 10 favorite episodes of the beloved cult cartoon, as chosen by the fans.
The Crow (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
BBC America needs to put Brandon Lee’s glorious swan song in the rotation more often.
The Dark Knight Rises (HBO, 7:10 PM EDT)
The least of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is still one hell of a ride.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Bill Night and Michael Sheen chew gloriously on the scenery as the Underworld saga hits an unexpected high point.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Pretty darn awful, despite the bevvy of talented actors.
National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets (ABC Family, 6:30 PM EDT and 9:30 PM EDT)
Silly, silly movies! But ultimately harmless.
Wrath of the Titans (Cinemax, 6:35 PM EDT)
And… that’s it for Sam Worthington. He’s a nice guy, so give him a hand.
V for Vendetta (IFC, 6:30 PM EDT)
Considering the source material, this should have been a masterpiece.
Cloverfield (IFC, 9:15 PM EDT)
Something to tide you over until Pacific Rim comes out on Blu-ray.
Bruce Almighty (TBC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
The crappy Jim Carrey movies show no signs of letting up over on TBS.
This is Spinal Tap (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
Let’s close out with one of the funniest movies ever made. Just because.