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TV Wasteland: "His name was Phil..."
Agents of SHIELD arrives!
By Rob Vaux
September 23, 2013
You can probably guess what the big even this week is: a chance for Marvel’s domination of the pop-culture world to move into an entirely new realm. Agents of SHIELD picks up with Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), back from the dead after his apparent demise in The Avengers and leading a team of SHIELD agents in uncovering various secrets of the Marvel Universe.
It’s a good premise for a show – keeping the spirit of the Phase 1 films alive on a more modest week-to-week budget – and it also lets Marvel back into live television for the first time in quite a while. DC has been doing well there lately, and has a genuine success with Arrow. Clearly Marvel would like to emulate it. Gregg has been an underrated component in the movies, and following his character around (with a host of buddies to back him up) sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Will Marvel start conquering television the way it has movies? Only time will tell, but with Arrow egging it on, it’s apt to be a pretty fun competition regardless.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD premieres this Tuesday at 8:00 PM EDT on ABC.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 9:00 PM EDT)
Seriously no more Clancy Brown?! I want a refund. Anyhow, this week pits Ichabod against a former Sleepy Hollow witch.
The Watch (Cinemax, 6:35 PM EDT)
It doesn’t start out well on Cinemax tonight, and things go from bad to worse very quickly. Repeats on Saturday at 7:30 PM EDT.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Cinemax, 8:02 PM EDT)
Any resemblance to actual Jules Verne is purely coincidental.
I, Robot (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
It ain’t great, but it beats the two movies that precede it.
The Shawshank Redemption (AMC, 6:30 PM EDT)
Stephen King and Frank Darabout really are a match made in heaven.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (AMC, 9:30 PM EDT)
The middle third, available for any who may be of a mind.
Turistas (IFC. 8:00 PM EDT)
A rather uninteresting entry in the torture porn movement plants a group of Americans in the jungle before being targeted by organ harvesters.
Cabin Fever (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
The film that put Eli Roth on the map. For better or worse.
Kick-Ass (Spike, 6:28 PM EDT)
Matthew Vaughn’s glorious riff on comic book heroes definitely loses a step without the hard-R violence attached to it.
Piranha (Spike, 9:00 PM EDT)
The same holds true with this silly-but-fun remake of the old Joe Dante movie. “Unrated” is part of the point guys!
Finding Nemo (Starz, 7:15 PM EDT)
Best Pixar movie ever? You could make that case.
XXX: State of the Union (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Remember when Ice Cube wasn’t a parody of himself?
Ghost Rider (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
Well, there goes another perfectly good superhero destroyed by a crummy movie.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Some people think it isn’t so bad. These people are very, very wrong.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EDT)
So Jerry Bruckheimer’s picked up his toys and left the Magic Kingdom. The new Pirates film has lost a release date, so you’ll have to make do with this one for the time being.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EDT)
Another Bruckheimer joint, this one a box office bomb that didn’t quite deserve to be ignored.
Enchanted (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
Here comes Amy Adams, pulling this live-action Disney Princess movie across the finish line by pure force of will.
Knight and Day (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Tom Cruise really deserves a little slack. He’s doing good work.
Rio (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:33 PM EDT)
The humor potential for parrots cannot be over emphasized, and yet this fair-to-middling animated film kind of misses the boat.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Agent Coulson is back and hoping to move that Marvel movie magic onto the small screen. See the top of the article for more.
Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Elvira’s in the house y’all! Cassandra Peterson serves as a geust judge as the contestants create make-up based on great works of art.
Fangasm (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
This new reality show is basically Real Life with geeks, as seven sci-fi lovers share a house while interning for Stan Lee.
Pulp Fiction (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The LA underworld gets a Royale with Cheese right to the face in one of the few movies out there that can legitimately claim to have changed the way movies were made.
Taken 2 (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Not bad, but we’re hoping for great things from Taken 3: Electric Boogaloo.
Columbiana (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Zoe Saladana embarks on a roaring rampage of revenge in a flawed but vaguely watchable action film.
The Hills Have Eyes II (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Apparently, IFC has just dropped all pretense and started showing shitty horror movies all the time.
Pathfinder (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Case in point…
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The ghost of an abusive father haunts the family now living in his house. Somebody needs to slap the taste out of their realtor’s mouth.
Ghost Mine (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Nothing on this one, though it is a new episode.
The Dark Knight Rises (Cinemax, 9:00 PM EDT)
As good a way to end this phenomenal series as any.
Bolt (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
Disney scores a surprisingly well-made hit, in a tale of a TV-star dog who doesn’t realize he’s not a superhero in real life.
Gulliver’s Travels (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
You’d be surprised to learn which moment in this dreadful would-be adaptation actually comes from Jonathan Swift.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Incoherence, thy name is Michael Bay…
Liar Liar (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
It galls me that this is technically a genre film. Because it sucks. A lot.
The Shining (BBC America, 7:00 PM EDT)
Another week, another screening of The Shining on BBC America.
The Expendables (Spike, 8:00 PM EDT)
Watching Mickey Rourke fighting his way through his big speech is a thing of hypnotic fascination. Repeats on Thursday at 6:30 PM EDT.
Rambo 4 (Spike, 10:31 PM EDT)
It’s appalling, but what are ya gonna do?
Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (Starz, 8:05 PM EDT)
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to run the first film without including the second.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EDT)
The hit comedy returns for a new season, including two episodes tonight. The first covers Penny and Leonard hanging out while Sheldon is away, the second handles what happens when Leonard comes back.
Dawn of the Dead (Syfy, 6:30 PMEDT)
The film that put Zack Snyder on the map. Some of us are still trying to decide if that’s a good or bad thing.
The Covenant (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Renny Harlin directed this. Remember him? The murky supernatural thriller he gives us here will make you regret it.
Mulan (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Because the Disney Princess family was WAY too whitebread for WAY too long. Glad the movie that corrected it turned out to be pretty good in its own right.
The Fast and the Furious (Bravo, 8:00 PM EDT)
As long as Vin Diesel keeps making these movies, Universal will give him whatever he wants.
Final Destination 5 (Cinemax, 7:30 PM EDT)
I’ve never been a huge fan of this series, but I admit that the fifth one has some modest charms.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made tabloid editors ever so happy by agreeing to appear in this spy caper together.
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
Robert Rodriguez has made some good films. This is not one of them.
Predators (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Rodriguez did much better as the producer of this terrific sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger original.
Ice Age: Continental Drift (HBO, 7:30 PM EDT)
Insert “this series needs to go extinct” joke here.
The Warriors (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
IFC needs to find more movies to show us.
Scary Movie 3 (Starz, 7:30 PM EDT)
This was supposed to be better because the legendary David Zucker directed it. Not so much, as it turns out.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Nathan hunts down a killer who drains his victims of all their blood, while Duke works to get rid of his brother.
The Time Machine (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Rod Taylor stars in a terrific version of H.G. Wells’ classic tale of time travel.
World Without End (TCM, 10:00 PM EDT)
TCM follows it with a quartet of scientists who travel forward in time. Rod Taylor stars again; apparently, you couldn’t make a time travel movie in the 1950s and 60s without letting Rod Taylor star. (Oh, and TCM wins the Double Feature of the Week Award. Again.)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (ABC Family, 7:30 PM EDT)
The burgeoning franchise based on C.S. Lewis’s popular children’s books started out exceedingly well. Pity they couldn’t close the deal.
War of the Worlds (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
Steve Spielberg takes a stab at the great granddaddy of alien invasion stories, with mixed but sometimes quite powerful results.
Hostel Part II (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Eli Roth kills the subgenre he helped create with this typically vile exploitation of human misery.
300 (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
That Gerard Butler sure knows how to yell, doesn’t he?
10,000 B.C. (TNT, 10:30 PM EDT)
Did you know that woolly mammoths helped build the pyramids? Okay, no they didn’t; the movie is just completely full of shit.
The White Queen (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Nevilles completely lose their shit. That is all.
Ice Age: The Meltdown (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EDT)
That title is true in more ways than one.
Despicable Me (ABC Family, 10:00 PM EDT)
Luckily, they follow it up with a much better film. Repeats on Sunday at 8:00 PM EDT.
Con Air (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Thesis: the quality of Nicolas Cage movies is inversely proportional to the ridiculousness of his hair style. Discuss.
Hot Tub Time Machine (Comedy, 8:00 PM EDT)
John Cusack and his buddies travel back to the 80s and find out it wasn’t quite what they expected it to be.
Cars 2 (Disney, 8:05 PM EDT)
The first real failure in Pixar’s canon. Hopefully the last as well.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Another thing about these films: they’re not making new fans for vampire movies. Just ask anyone who’s made a vampire movie without Twilight in the title over the last five years.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (MTV, 7:00 PM EDT)
It apparently has a big impact on the seventh one, so a refresher viewing is likely a good idea.
X2: X-Men United (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
The franchise fires smoothly on all cylinders as Marvel’s Merry Mutants take on a human hell-bent on their destruction.
I Am Legend (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
A little Will Smith goes a long way… though not far enough when the wretched ending shows up here.
The Forbidden Kingdom (TNT, 10:00 PM EDT)
For a film featuring both Jackie Chan and Jet Li, this one is a huge letdown.
Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The new season begins with Henry escaping the Lost Boys just as the rescue party arrives in Neverland.
Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
The underrated Christopher Eccleston is the subject of this new special.
Friday the 13th Marathon (Syfy, 9:00 AM EDT)
Syfy runs parts IV, V, VI, VII and VIII in order, then runs the whole thing again starting at 7:00 PM EDT just for good measure. If you need to get your Jason on, the station’s all ready for you.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Mmmmmm… guilty pleasure…
Taken (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:02 PM EDT)
Liam Neeson does much better the first time around than the second.
Transformers (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
It’s better than the sequels, I’ll give it that.
Have a great week everyone!