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TV Wasteland: Hitchcockian

TCM has a Labor Day marathon of the master.

By Rob Vaux     August 26, 2013

The week before Labor Day features more of what we’ve come to expect, as the few remaining new series continue their runs and Turner Classic prepares a marathon from one very scary fat man. Let’s have a look.


Under the Dome (CBS, 10:00 PM EDT)
New episode, still no info.
King Kong (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
This is the Peter Jackson version. They made another version in 1976, which they never air for some reason…
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Cinemax, 8:10 PM EDT)
Turns out, all they needed was a little circus afro.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
I won’t defend it, but it’s a lot more fun than it has any right to be.
Blast from the Past (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Brendan Fraser stars in a charmer about a man raised in a bomb shelter suddenly thrust into the modern world.
Salt (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Angelina Jolie should be rocking the doors off this thing. And yet…
Crank 2: High Voltage (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
IFC really loves watching Jason Statham give everyone the finger. And I don’t mean that figuratively.
Blade and Blade: Trinity (Starz, 6:55 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
What, you just skipped over the only legitimately good movie in the bunch?
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT)
For a film based on action figures, they really blew the “action” part of that equation.
Rewind (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Shitty time travel? You’re soaking in it!


Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s a double elimination round as contestants design concepts based around Mother Goose.
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The show heads to Orlando to check out the cosplayers at Megacon.
Life of Pi (HBO, 7:45 PM EDT)
One of the best and most beautiful films of the past few years has arrived on premium cable.
The Warriors (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Someone in the programming department thinks more highly of this one than I do.
The Mummy (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:46 PM EDT)
It’s a pretty good week for Brendan Fraser movies as this reasonably well-regarded action movie shows.
The Crow (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
You feel the loss of the main character here – beyond Brandon Lee’s tragic death – and that lends the revenge scenario a potency that other films of this kind lack.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Keanu Reeves should do much better as a detached alien than he does here.


Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Dr. Zoidberg falls in love. Take a moment to ponder the existential horror of that equation and we’ll move on.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
A former tuberculosis hospital is now a series of apartments… with really bad vibes for some reason.
Iron Man (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Downey’s still got it, even after all these years.
Silent Hill (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
This video game adaptation is complete crap, though it does have the relative novelty of watching Sean Bean not die.
The Hills Have Eyes (IFC, 10:45 PM EDT)
Alexandre Aja’s remake actually manages to improve upon the original in a surprising number of ways.
Black Swan (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
No one does “going crazy” quite as well as this movie does.
Frankenweenie (Starz, 6:50 PM EDT)
The stop motion is a joy to watch, but Tim Burton’s suburban horror send-up falls flat in all of the expected ways. 
Premium Rush (Starz, 8:20 PM EDT)
This tight little thriller about a bicycle messenger with the god-king of wrong messages it well worth another look.
The Man with the Iron Fists (Cinemax, 9:00 PM EDT)
Can you really say no to Russell Crowe playing a character named Jack Knife?
Shrek Forever After (FXM, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
The fourth film leaves a lot to be desired, but at least it’s better than Part Three.
The Mummy Returns (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The second film is goofy as hell, but still a fair amount of fun.


Wilfred (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
Wilfred’s turning over a new leaf, and Ryan’s in big trouble, giving the dog a chance to prove himself.
John Carter (Starz, 6:45 PM EDT)
Old fashioned science fiction delivered with the right amount of fun. Why oh why did nobody see it?
Looper (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
I think we have a winner for the Double Feature of the Week award.
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (TCM, 9:15 PM EDT)
A terrific 1930s horror film about a killer who displays his victims as wax sculptures. It served as the inspiration for Vincent Price’s classic (and Paris Hilton’s not-so-classic) House of Wax.
Land of the Lost (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Will Ferrell and dinosaurs… bad move boys.
Age of Dinosaurs (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
A new Syfy craptacular about the titular beasts returning to the modern world. Inspired! Or not…
V for Vendetta (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Hugo Weaving delivers on Alan Moore’s famous vigilante, but the film around him can’t quite keep pace.
The Transporter (IFC, 10:45 PM EDT)
Jason Statham tries to help out a girl in his trunk and gets into all kinds of trouble for his Good Samaritan ways. Repeats Friday at 8:00 PM EDT.
National Treasure (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EDT)
The kind of movie that dumb people think is smart.


Continuum (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Kiera risks losing her chance to return home, while Alex has to choose between his needs and Kiera’s.
This is Spinal Tap (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
I know it’s not quite genre, but it is one of the funniest movies ever made, so we’re gonna include it.
Hot Fuzz (BBC America, 10:00 PM EDT)
Just in case your love for The World’s End has not yet been satiated.
Prometheus (Cinemax, 6:50 PM EDT)
Ridley’s Scott’s ambitious food for thought isn’t perfect, but man there’s some cool stuff going on here.
Twister (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EDT and 8:30 PM EDT)
Nothing cool in Jan De Bont’s silly tornado saga. Even the effects have aged like crap.
The Green Mile (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Frank Darabont sticks around way too long, but otherwise does justice to Stephen King’s novella about a death row inmate who can heal with a touch.
Con Air (Spike, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:30 PM EDT)
Nic Cage and that haircut… how can we lose?
Shrek and Shrek the Third (TBS, 8:00 PM EDT)
What is it with skipping over the Part Twos this week?
RED (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
Geezers kicking ass? Eh, been there, done that.


Do No Harm (NBC, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s a two-parter this week. Someone, somewhere is vaguely excited about that I’m sure.
Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
Doctor #8 takes on the Master in this new special from BBC America.
The Matador (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
Pierce Brosnan plays a hitman slowly losing his mind in one of the better indie films out there in the past few years.
The Limey (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Steven Soderbergh delivers a minor masterpiece in the tale of a cockney Englishman out for revenge
Indiana Jones Quadrilogy (USA, 1:00 PM EDT)
USA has got an Indy marathon planned for us, starting with the first and best at 1:00 PM EDT and finishing with the reviled Crystal Skull in the evening.
30 Days of Night: Dark Days (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
The sequel to the flawed but interesting original makes the fatal mistake of dropping the “interesting.”
Blade II (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
And THERE it is, at last!
Total Recall (Starz, 7:00 PM EDT)
It just hurts. For so, so many reasons.
The Smurfs (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EDT)
Has anybody actually sat through this thing? I’ve tried a couple of times and I just couldn’t make it.
Outbreak (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Nice idea, lousy execution.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
And again I say… WHY did people actually go see this?
The A-Team (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Admit it: you kind of dig Liam Neeson in this film.


Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (TCM, 10:00 AM EST)
As usual, TCM has prepared a treat for us: a whole day of the Master, starting with his early film Murder! at 10:00 AM EDT, followed by Rope at noon, Spellbound at 1:30 PM EDT, Marnie at 3:30 PM EDT, The Birds at 5:45 PM EDT, Shadow of a Doubt at 8:00 PM EDT, Psycho at 10:00 PM EDT, The Lodger at midnight, Blackmail at 2:00 AM EDT and Frenzy at 3:30 AM EDT. Set your DVRs, because this is a great chance to catch up on some of the very best movies ever made.
Ghost Mine (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Syfy premieres a new reality show about haunted mines.  And again, Syfy is reaching...
The Abyss (Syfy, 6:00 PM EDT)
James Cameron’s ambitious underwater epic broke all kinds of new ground, and may have cemented the director’s mania for hanging out in submarines.
A Knight’s Tale (BBC America, 7:00 PM EDT)
It’s silly, but mostly harmless.
War of the Worlds (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
Steven Spielberg does very well in adapting the H.G. Wells classic, only to lose his nerve close to the end.
Dark Shadows (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Johnny Depp plays a vampire trapped in the 70s, a concept that sounds far better than it really is.
Ghost Rider (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
We couldn’t imagine how much worse it was going to get.
Real Steel (Showtime, 8:00 PM EDT)
We loves us the Hugh Jackman. That is all.
Transformers (TBS, 8:00 PM EDT)
Did we really need the dog urine jokes in our giant robot movie?
Dexter is off for Labor Day. Hope everyone has a good one!


Showing items 1 - 4 of 4
karas1 8/26/2013 4:22:13 AM

Twister (ABC Family, 6:00 PM EDT and 8:30 PM EDT)

Nothing cool in Jan De Bont’s silly tornado saga. Even the effects have aged like crap.


Gotta disagree.  Flying cows are always cool. 

There's just something about this movie I love.  The acting is hammy and the dialogue is silly but it just has sometnig...  The only problem is, they always cut out the part where they eat dinner at Aunt Meg's house and those scenes are so important for the character development.

Wiseguy 8/26/2013 5:32:14 AM

 Transporter, the movie about a guy who is anal about rules but becomes an ass breaking his own.

LOL @ the National Treasure comment.  I hated that film which is why I never bothered with the sequel

Saw V for Vendetta last night on IFC. Had forgotten how good that film really is

blankczech 8/26/2013 10:06:25 AM

  Funny to think that someday in the future many if not all of those blockbuster movies we are presently rife with anticipation to see will ultimately end up being trashed or trivialized with one witty sentence in a column like this.

Sad that television programmers refuse to allow us to view interesting genre flicks from the 1930's thru 1970's on the flatscreen. Like rare old blues recordings those movies are reserved for fanatics and collectors.


invisioner 8/26/2013 10:47:24 AM

you are obviously too young if you don't appreciate The Warriors. Funk-era modern re-telling of an epic Greek battle in Persia.

Green Mile too long? really? I call it thoroughly fleshed out....




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