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The TV Wasteland Continues
Another Quiet Week on the Boob Tube
By Rob Vaux
August 08, 2010
A Bleak TV Wasteland this week..
© Bob Trate
When you find yourself eyeing that CMT encore performance of Captain Ron, you know that the TV schedule has touched rock bottom. We shall endeavor to persevere, however, ferreting out what tiny bits of genre nourishment are available and presenting them to you as succinctly as we can.
Monsters Vs. Aliens (HBO, 7:15 PM EDT)
Dreamworks’ homage to 50s-era monster movies remains clever, energetic and charming, even when it isn’t in 3D. Stupid 3D…
The Fifth Element (Syfy, 7:30 PM EDT)
I’d love to see a poll stating which things about this movie people find most annoying. I bet Chris Tucker wins hands down.
Ran (TCM, 10:00 PM EDT)
If foreign films don’t scare ya, you could do worse than Akira Kurosawa’s epic samurai retelling of King Lear. A LOT worse.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Tia Carrere guest stars as a beauty from Lattimer’s (Eddie McClintock) past who may seduce him into betraying the team.
Unnatural History (Cartoon, 8:00 PM EDT)
It’s still Tuesdays? Are we sure? Because TV Guide… oh, never mind. Henry (Kevin G. Schmidt) hunts a cursed ruby before it can get into any serious mischief.
I Sell the Dead (Showtime, 6:45 PM EDT)
Anyone who’s missed this little-seen homage to Hammer horror movies--starring Lost’s Dominic Monaghan as a Victorian-era grave robber who battles zombies and fellow ne’er-do-wells in an effort to earn a dishonest buck--is missing a real treat. Set your TiVos and prove me wrong.
The Rundown (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
This one doesn’t have nearly the charm of I Sell The Dead, but it retains its sense of fun, and may actually be The Rock’s best starring effort to date.
Mad Max (IFC, 8:25 PM EDT)
Remember when Mel Gibson didn’t make your skin crawl? IFC does and is willing to share.
Jennifer’s Body, (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s still playing. Just sayin’.
Ghost Hunters International (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
We’re off to Central America, where the jungles of Nicaragua hold evidence of spectral intrusion (possibly related to the revolution of the 1970s--Syfy is still being skimpy on the details).
Blowout (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Brian De Palma hauls himself out of derivative hackery just often enough to let his supporters excuse all manner of cinematic abominations he has perpetrated. Blowout is one of his best: a top-notch thriller starring a terrifyingly young John Travolta as a sound effects engineer who inadvertently records a murder.
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
Robert Rodriguez scores much more often than De Palma does, but when he misses, hoooo boy! Case in point: this misbegotten would-be children’s story featuring a pre-hunk Taylor Lautner and a number of third-tier actors who should really know better.
The Unborn (HBO, 7:30 PM EDT)
With all the creepy kids running around the movies these days, one wonders why people keep having them.
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) needs to sneak into prison to keep a well-meaning inmate safe. Be sure to pack your toothbrush shiv, big guy.
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
A planet full of robots puts Darwin’s theories to the ultimate test. Mmmmmm… sacrelicious.
Moonlight (The CW, 9:00 PM EDT)
Josh (Jordan Belfi) falls victim to a crime kingpin, whose underlings didn’t brief him on the whole “my girlfriend knows a vampire detective” thing.
The Universe (History, 9:00 PM EDT)
Solar storms serve as the focus this week, along with all the apocalyptic possibilities they entail.
Stan Lee’s Superhumans (History, 10:00 PM EDT)
Stan the Man takes a look as quick-draw experts, warrior monks and someone referred to as “the World Sauna Champion.” I’m betting Kitty Pryde could take the whole lot of them.
Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
In addition to the usual UFO sightings, Fact or Faked takes a look at a spot in Texas where cars roll uphill.
The Devil’s Rejects (IFC, 8:45 PM EDT)
Rob Zombie’s sequel to his odious House of 1000 Corpses may be the best thing he’s done… though that still isn’t saying much.
X-Men: The Last Stand (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
I liked the film, and even I want to drive a busload full of burly dockworkers over to Brett Ratner’s house and take turns punching him in the junk.
Mary Knows Best has apparently been pulled from the schedule. Did you see that coming, psychic lady?
Eureka (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Kevin (Trevor Jackson) go camping… and will presumably return alive, despite the no-doubt bizarre circumstances which accompany them.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Haven’s weird storylines wore out their welcome a long time ago, and yet the viewership remains high. Where the hell were you people when Caprica needed you?!
Being Human (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
George (Russell Tovey) struggles to keep his more canine features under wraps, while Annie (Leonora Crichlow) runs into an enigmatic fellow spirit.
Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Patrick Stewart stars the this adaptation of the classic science-fiction novel, which may mitigate Syfy’s usual amounts of Maximum Suck. On the other hand, Russell Mulcahy directed it, so maybe not.
The Princess Bride (FMC, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Fox Movies has an entire evening of twu wuv, with a side order of “inconceivable!” to wash it all down.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
I defy you to determine which robot is which during the copious fight scenes. Also, you’ll need to explain why Michael Bay hates women so much.
Ghost Rider (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Nicolas Cage is a nutty, nutty cat. That is all.
True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Magister is missing and Fangtasia is the focus, presumably putting Eric (Alexander Sarsgard) on the hot seat.
The Gates (ABC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Callie (Kiele Sanchez) treats a patient who may be mixed up in a murder case.
King Arthur (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
Come for Clive Owen in Shouty Man mode, stay for Keira Knightley in that strappy leather number.
Eregon (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Author Christopher Paolini really likes himself… and really hates us if he allowed this piece of crap to ever hit theaters.
X2: X-Men United (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
AKA The Really, Really Good One.