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TV Wasteland: It's The End of the World As We Know It
Here's hoping the Mayans were wrong.
By Rob Vaux
December 17, 2012
© Mania/Robert Trate
The world ends on Friday! But just in case it doesn’t, we have some pre-holiday viewing for you to enjoy, including a pair of season finales and a whole fistful of Christmas specials.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
It wouldn’t be holidays without Chuck Jones’s delightful animated… oh wait, it’s the shitty Jim Carrey movie. Never mind.
A Christmas Carol (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
George C. Scott stars in what may be the best adaptation of the famous story ever. It repeats on Tuesday at the same time.
X-Men: First Class (Cinemax, 6:00 PM EDT)
Will Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellan share screen time in the new film? Oh the possibilities…
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Oscar bait? You’re soaking in it!
Van Helsing (Starz, 6:45 PM EDT)
If you sing “Who Am I” to us again, Hugh, we’ll overlook this.
John Carter (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Taylor Kitsch had a rough road in 2012, starring in a pair of high-end box office flops. This one, at least, proves to be a lot better than its reputation suggests.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
So long… so confusing… so glad Geoffrey Rush is here…
Revolution is off for the holidays.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The great granddaddy of Peanuts specials helps put us all in the holiday mood.
It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
David Arquette stands in for Clarence the angel, with Kermit as Jimmy Stewart in this Muppet version of It’s a Wonderful Life.
The Polar Express (ABC Family, 10:00 PM EDT)
I want to know who made the decision to turn Steven Tyler into a Christmas Elf.
The Grudge (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
We need to celebrate the holidays with creepy Japanese kids more often.
Star Trek: Nemesis (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
He’s been Bane, he’s been a Romulan… Tom Hardy just needs a Bond villain to have the hat trick!
Real Steel (Showtime, 7:50 PM EDT)
For all the high-tech bells and whistles, it’s Dakota Goyo and Hugh Jackman who make this movie work.
Steve Niles’ Remains (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
That other zombie comic book story gets a movie treatment from Syfy.
Dawn of the Dead (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s the Zack Snyder version.
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The team focuses on a Christmas haunting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Because even the unquiet dead can’t escape the holidays.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s actually Robert Zemeckis’s Mo-Cap Squad’s A Christmas Carol, but we’ll let Disney take the credit.
Green Lantern (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
Start with Sinestro next time, rather than the cosmic poo monster.
The Ring Two (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s pretty bad, but I’m glad Sissy Spacek can still milk her Carrie routine for the occasional paycheck.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Can you believe they actually started this with Will and Elizabeth as the selling points?
Kick-Ass (Spike, 8:00 PM EDT)
Mathew Vaughn prepped for First Class with this brilliant upending of superhero clichés.
The Punisher (Spike, 10:41 PM EDT)
Thomas Jane does his best, but he’s just too amiable to make a good Frank Castle.
Escape from LA (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Even with John Carpenter at the helm, this sequel loses a lot of the energy that made the first film a modern classic.
Arrow and Supernatural are off for the holiday
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
The sixth season comes to an end with Sam taking a bullet and Jesse ending up in enemy hands. It’s a two-hour episode, which is good since the rest of the regular shows are MIA for the holidays.
Miracle on 34th Street (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:15 PM EDT)
It’s a justified holiday classic, so expect to see it pop up a lot in the next few days.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
Christmas movie or Halloween movie? The battle rages on.
End of Days (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Not even Gabriel Byrne can save this turkey.
Wanted (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
It’s not every day you see a hero this deliberately loathsome. It actually helps the movie work.
Scary Movie 2 (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Tim Curry, how could you?!
Angel Heart (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Mickey Rourke was never scuzzier than in this brilliant piece of supernatural noir.
Christine (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
John Carpenter’s version of the vaunted Stephen King story stumbles at points, but still finds the essence of what King was getting at.
I don’t say this often, but it really loses something without the 3D.
The 12 Disasters of Christmas (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Not even this sacred holiday can escape the clammy grasp of Syfy original movies.
Ice Quake (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
When the ice in Alaska melts on Christmas Eve, it creates earthquakes that could destroy the world. I don’t look for logic, I just tell you what it’s about.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Starz, 9:0 PM EDT)
Nothing like kicking a dildo up a rapist’s ass for the holidays.
The Big Bang Theory, Elementary, Last Resort, The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast are off this week.
Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EDT)
Nina Sharp gets tapped to help stop the Observers, as the clock slowly ticks down to zero.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The third season closes out as Audrey, Nathan and Duke face down the Bolt Gun Killer, and Audrey contemplates her imminent disappearance.
Miracle on 34th Street (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT 10:30 PM EDT)
AMC mixes it up by running the solid 1994 remake instead of the 1947 original tonight. It repeats again on Saturday and Sunday night.
Aliens in the Attic (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
I saw this movie, about a band of kids who fight off alien invaders, but I honestly couldn’t tell you the first thing about it.
2012 (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Kudos to FX for programming this on the day the world ends. (We’re going to report Saturday and Sunday, in case the Mayans were wrong.)
In Time (HBO, 7:00 PM EDT)
I’m not sure why this film – about a future society where time literally is money – got so much bad flak. It’s actually quite interesting.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Starz, 7:20 PM EDT)
I hope paying those bills was worth it, Nic.
Grimm and Nikita are off for the holiday.
The Revenant (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
An undead soldier becomes a crime fighter in order to get the blood he needs to survive.
Cloverfield (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
If you can handle the shakycam, this modern monster movie isn’t half bad.
Rambo 4 (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Stallone mows down evil brown people by the hundreds in the fourth (and presumably final) entry in his durable franchise.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Remember this stop-motion charmer from earlier this year? Check it out if you need a refresher.
Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
The TNG crew’s disappointing movie debut is easier to handle when paired with their epic battle with the Borg.
The Wizard of Oz (TNT, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:15 PM EDT)
If you have to ask…
Casino Royale (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
Because James Bond fans need a Merry Christmas too.
The Thing (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
There’s been a surprising number of horror movies aired this week, but this fair-to-middling prequel to the John Carpenter classic actually feels seasonal.
Eagle Eye (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Boy Shia LeBeouf sure got irrelevant in a hurry.
Cowboys and Aliens (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Move along. Nothing to see here.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (IFC, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Let’s just chalk this up to counter programming. Even so, it’s pretty weak.
The Return of the King (TNT, 7:00 PM EDT)
This is quite a special movie… as the underwhelming Hobbit proves.
Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Syfy closes the week with a decent pair of Trek films.