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TV Wasteland: Fall is Here.
The new season kicks off just as summer comes to an end.
By Rob Vaux
September 09, 2013
The new fall season is starting to ramp up, as one summer show bows out for good and another fall show seems to be cranking it up to another level. Let’s take a look at them, and the rest of this week’s offerings.
Under the Dome (CBS, 10:00 PM EDT)
Big Jim continues hunting for Julia while stirring up the locals against Barbie. Big Jim, it has been noted, is a raging hemorrhoid.
Life of Pi (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
The son of a zoo owner takes an extraordinary trip across the Pacific with a Bengal tiger as his only companion. Not to be missed.
Killer Joe (HOB, 10:15 PM EDT)
It’s a nifty little thriller right until the end, when it takes a turn for the reprehensible.
Scarface (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Al Pacino humbly requests that you say hello to his little friend.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (AMC, 7:00 PM EDT)
They’re adding another hour to the running time, just for ads. What is wrong with basic cable?! Repeats Tuesday night at the same time.
Ghost Rider (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
For the last time, Daredevil was NOT Ben Affleck’s fault!
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Starz, 7:20 PM EDT)
Of course, Ghost Rider looks like The 400 Blows when compared to this abomination.
Kung Fu Panda (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Nobody expected this little gem to be as good as it was.
The Bourne Ultimatum (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Matt Damon bows out of the Bourne franchise in fine fashion, as his globe-trotting amnesiac spy finally returns to New York.
Quantum of Solace (Syfy, 10:31 PM EDT)
Daniel Craig’s James Bond hits a bump, turning in merely a decent adventure here instead of two of the best Bond films ever made in his other outings.
Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Last season’s winner returns as the contestants create make-up based on Mother Nature.
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The first of a two-part episode travels to Kansas City’s Planet Comicon to see what the local cosplayers are up to.
The Thief of Baghdad (TCM, 9:30 PM EDT)
Time for a little Old Tyme Awesome, as silent star Douglas Fairbanks delivers a swashbuckling take on the perennial Arabian Nights tale.
Cowboys & Aliens (Cinemax, 6:00 PM EDT)
Time for this one to ride slowly off into the sunset… and hope the talented people involved do better next time.
Dragonfly (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
Kevin Costner’s career continued its downward descent in this well-meaning but drippy tale of possible life after death.
X-Men: First Class (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Go to the head of the X-Men class boys, and thanks for getting the franchise back on the right track. Repeats on Wednesday at the same time, and on Sunday at 8:00 PM EDT.
Jackie Brown (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
One of the lesser films in Quentin Tarantino’s canon, it still benefits from a brilliant Pam Grier in the lead.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (Showtime, 7:00 PM EDT)
Among its other sins, it willfully violates the Groom Go Kaboom rule (i.e., if you show us a wedding, something unusual has to happen in the middle of it). Repeats on Saturday at 900 PM EDT.
Saw (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
The film that launched a horror dynasty actually kind of blows. It just blows somewhat less than its interminable sequels.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
A wronged woman commited suicide in a home now owned by a professor and his wife. The team arrives to get the skinny on the possible haunted-ness of it all.
Ghost Mine (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
So there’s ghosts. And digging. That’s pretty much all we got.
The Mummy and The Mummy Returns (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:46 PM EDT)
They’re perennials on AMC, but they hold up well to multiple viewings, so it’s all good. The second one plays again on Thursday at 7:00 PM EDT.
Megamind (FXM, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Comic book movies are turned delightfully on their ear, thanks to Dreamworks Animation and Will Ferrell’s wonderful can’t-win-for-losing supervillain.
Pathfinder (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Look at all the murk! At least it’s obscuring the shitty writing, acting and directing…
Zodiac (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
David Fincher’s unfocused but undeniably powerful recounting of the Zodiac Killer is worth at least one look if you haven’t seen it yet.
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
The season – and the whole series – comes to an end with Michael reaching out to those he betrayed. Let’s give Burn Notice a hand for a job well done, and somebody find something equally cool for Bruce Campbell to do.
Friday the 13th Marathon (Syfy, 8:00 AM EDT)
Syfy gets an early jump on Friday the 13th with a marathon on the 12th. Pay close attention, because this gets confusing. It starts at 8:00 AM with five episodes of the non-Jason-related TV series. Freddy vs. Jason runs at 1:00 PM EDT, followed by a set of more “canonical” entries. Part IV runs at 3:00 PM EDT, Part V at 5:00 PM EDT, Part VI at 7:00 PM EDT, Part VII at 9:00 PM EDT, Part VIII at 11:01 PM and another round of the TV show starting at 1:00 AM EDT. The whole thing more or less repeats again on Friday, though it doesn’t interfere with the station’s normal wrestling schedule.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Cinemax, 7:15 PM EDT)
Nuts to all y’all, I liked it.
Outbreak (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Look at all those great actors thoroughly wasted in a silly story about a viral outbreak.
Dragonball: Evolution (FXM, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
That sound you hear is Chow Yun-Fat touching bottom.
Machete (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
There’s plenty of movies I don’t like. This one makes me actively angry.
The Hills Have Eyes II (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
IFC really gets kind of repetitive in its programming, doesn’t it?
Cabin Fever (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
“Horror movie” doesn’t mean “fuck the world and everyone in it.” Please tell Eli Roth to study up on that distinction. Repeats on Sunday at 7:00 PM EDT.
Zoom (Starz, 7:30 PM EDT)
Tim Allen is very, very glad you have forgotten this goofy family sci-fi film.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s a good film guys, but let’s give the reboots a rest for a little while, shall we?
Vanishing Point (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s not a great film, but this 1971 number about a driver pursued by the authorities cross country has some of the best chase sequences you’ll ever see. It was also the inspiration for the finale to Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The new season starts, and things are finally getting interesting. The Troubles are still here and Audrey has returned, living under a new identity. After three seasons, the show has really found its rhythm, and the fourth looks to take full advantage of that.
Friday the 13th Marathon (Syfy, 8:00 AM EDT)
Same as Thursday, with a few little variations.
Soylent Green (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Spoiler alert: it’s people.
Minority Report (TCM, 9:45 PM EDT)
I’m not sure it should be on TCM, since it’s only a decade old. Even so, it’s a welcome presence and lets TCM easily win the Double Feature of the Week award.
Battleship (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EDT)
“Launching bombs” takes on a whole new meaning with this imbecilic “adaptation” of the classic board game.
Contagion (HBO, 7:00 PM EDT)
It’s like Outbreak except it doesn’t suck.
The Warriors (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Again, IFC, it behooves you to mix it up a little bit.
Hot Tub Time Machine (Comedy, 8:15 PM EDT)
Yet another film that seems to have found a perennial spot on the basic cable station that owns it. This one, at least, is pretty funny.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (FXM, 7:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
No Oscar for you Brad. Better luck next time.
Hancock (FX, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Will Smith becomes the living embodiment of the Superdickery website in a flawed but ultimately worthwhile superhero flick.
The Book of Eli (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
The Hughes Brothers deliver a fascinating take on post-apocalyptic mayhem that gets a big boost from Denzel Washington in the lead. Repeats Saturday at 6:30 PM EDT.
Fast Five and The Fast and the Furious (USA, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
They run in the wrong order, but I’m not sure anyone much cares.
The White Queen (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
The gals get even meaner as the war intensifies.
Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Dear Syfy: you’re trying too hard.
Robocroc (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Much better, thank you.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EDT)
AKA “The Good One.”
National Treasure (AMC, 6:00 PM EDT)
Three hours for this thing?! You’re really pushing it, AMC.
Taken 2 (Cinemax, 7:30 PM EDT)
Not bad, but definitely a step down.
I, Robot (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
As you may have suspected, the book is better.
Columbiana (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Zoe Saldana has a future in action pictures, terminal skinniness notwithstanding.
House of 1000 Corpses (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
“A” for effort Rob Zombie, but filmmaking really isn’t your bag.
Joy Ride (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
These guys don’t do any better than Rob, unfortunately.
Clash of the Titans (TNT, 9:00 PM EDT)
All that work and it’s only real legacy is representing everything that’s wrong with 3D.
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
Dexter has to choose between fleeing the country and taking Saxon down.
X2: X-Men United (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
It’s a good week for the X-Men, no doubt about it.
The Dark Knight (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
Still the one to beat, with the possible exception of Superman: The Movie.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
No wonder Alan Moore’s so cranky.
The Dark Knight Rises (Cinemax, 7:15 PM EDT)
A good ending, but I’m glad it ended here.
The Watch (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Everyone involved in this debacle should be ashamed of themselves.
Hereafter (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Clint Eastwood tries his hand at the paranormal. It’s a noble effort, but a pretty bad fit.
Have a great week everyone!