TV Wasteland: The Summer Rolls On -

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TV Wasteland: The Summer Rolls On

Another week, another round of great shows.

By Rob Vaux     July 15, 2013

It’s another busy-yet-typical week, so let’s not waste any time. Here’s the schedule for the next seven days!



Under the Dome (CBS, 10:00 PM EDT)
The dome witnesses an outbreak of meningitis… doubly scary since no one can bring any medicine in to help. 
Teen Wolf (MTV, 10:00 PM EDT)
Scott’s mentor falls under a dire threat, while the rest of the gang heads out after Derek.
Fear Factor (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Syfy’s silly game show runs all night, starting at 8:00 PM EDT. Fairly warned thee be, says I.
Die Hard with a Vengeance (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EDT)
Bruce Willis takes on Jeremy Irons in the best of the series after the first.
Sky High (Disney, 9:00 PM EDT)
Let’s cut to the chase: Lynda Carter still rocks whatever scene she’s in.
Kung-Fu Panda (FX, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
I still have no idea how this film works as well as it does. Repeats on Friday at 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT.
I, Robot (HBO, 7:00 PM EDT)
Let’s face it: this is not the worst thing Will Smith has ever done.
Black Swan (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Natalie Portman goes nuts while Darren Aronofsky does a surprisingly good Roman Polanski impersonation.
The A-Team (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT)
Admit it: you giggle a little bit whenever the bad guy tells us how to attach a silencer.


Weird or What? (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
And once again, Syfy devotes an entire evening to one of its sillier reality series.
The Man with the Iron Fists (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
I’m not sure I’d call it good, but it sure is a lot of fun.
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (Disney, 9:00 PM EDT)
Robert Rodriguez is a very hit-or-miss director. This is about as big a miss as they come.
Megamind (FXM, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Guillermo del Toro acted as a story consultant for this superhero send up. I mention that only because he just directed another movie of some small interest to readers…
Ted (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
Seth MacFarlane really bugs me sometimes. And by “sometimes,” I mean “almost always.”
Crank 2: High Voltage (IFC, 10:30 PM EDT)
You can’t accuse them of not following the “go big or go home” adage.


Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Meta-time: the team ends up starring in a series of cartoons. Wait, what?
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The title is “Something in the Water,” which makes it sound like a special on malaria. 
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 10:00 EDT)
This week’s dodgy premise involves a supposedly haunted hospital. Swell.
Seven Faces of Dr. Lao (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
The overt racism is embarrassing, but Tony Randall has some fine moments and the effects are still a hoot.
Iron Man (FX, 7:00 PM EDT)
Just look at what oaks have grown from this acorn!
Hotel Transylvania (Starz, 8:20 PM EDT)
I think it’s the laziness that bugs me the most about Adam Sandler. This one, at least, has some nice production design.
GoldenEye (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
Pierce Brosnan steps gamely into 007’s shoes for a romp he was never quite able to match with subsequent efforts.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Cinemax, 8:45 PM EDT)
Jennifer Love Hewitt spends another ridiculous 90 minutes getting chased by a crazy fisherman. This was not the slasher genre’s finest moment… nor Hewitt’s for that matter.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
And I say again: independent film? Really?
The Blues Brothers (Cinemax, 10:30 PM EDT)
I don’t normally cover comedies on this column, but hey look: The Blues Brothers!
Tooth Fairy (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
The Rock means well, but he really does hurt us sometimes…


Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
Michael and Fiona get together to steal sensitive information, and certain buried feelings come to the surface.
Wilfred (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s Jenna’s birthday, prompting Wilfred and Ryan to buy her a present.
Sand Serpents (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
They basically move Tremors to Afghanistan and make the effects crappier.
Blast Vegas (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
I think the title is supposed to be some kind of pun. I think. It’s too lame to make really clear. Anyhow, the film is about a bunch of frat boys on spring break who steal an ancient Egyptian artifact and unleash an ancient curse.
District 9 (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
If you need a reminder to get excited about Elysium, look no further.
Terminator Salvation (TNT, 9:00 PM EDT)
Four short years later, people are hard-pressed to even remember this fourth entry in the Terminator franchise.
Battleship (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
I’m not sure this one will even make it two years before being cast on the ash heap of cinematic history.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (FX, 7:30 PM EDT)
Hugh Jackman’s recent enthusiasm for a massive Marvel movie mash-up sounds great… until you factor this one in. 
The Hills Have Eyes II (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
A promising reboot turns into a complete waste of time in a sequel that helped herald the end of torture porn.
House of 1000 Corpses (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Rob Zombie is a very smart guy… too smart to forgive him for bungling as many movies as he does.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (ABC Family, 7:30 PM EDT)
It’s Dumbledore’s last stand as the Harry Potter saga approaches its apex. One of the best entries in the series.
Contagion (Cinemax, 6:40 PM EDT)
Steven Soderbergh once again shows us how well he can handle any subject… including a plausible apocalypse.
Chernobyl Diaries (Cinemax, 8:30 PM EDT)
The rich potential of a horror movie set in Chernobyl is utterly wasted by this dismal effort.
The Day after Tomorrow (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Oh Roland Emmerich.  What are we going to do with you?


Continuum (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Liber8 is going to disrupt Julian’s trial, unless Kiera and Carlos can get there first.
X2: X-Men United (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
One of the franchise high points hits… thankfully well before 20th Century Fox unleashes the floodgates of X-Force-esque stinky.
The Island (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EDT)
It’s a fun film, but they really did rip it off from that crappy film on MST 3K.
The Green Hornet (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Seth Rogen?! Seriously?! Seth Fucking Rogen?
Batman Begins (Spike, 5:30 PM EDT)
Christian Bale isn’t quite the definitive Batman, but he comes closer than anyone else’s… with a little help from Christopher Nolan, of course.
Big Trouble in Little China (Sundance, 9:45 PM EDT)
We don’t like to judge those who disagree with us, but if you don’t love this film, you’re going straight to hell. The hell of the upside down sinners if we have our way.
RED (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
Because the sequel.


Zero Hour (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Hank’s dad holds the key to the whole thing… assuming that Hank and his friends stay alive long enough to capitalize on it.
Do No Harm (NBC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Jason gets an anonymous message from someone who knows about his secret. I’m guessing the premise sounds a lot better than it actually is.
Being Human (BBC America, 10:00 PM EDT)
Alex meets a new ghost at Honolulu Heights while the “Men with Stick and Ropes” arrive to cause big problems for the others.
Sinbad (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Sinbad’s grammama is in trouble, so off he goes to save her. He’s a really good grandson that way.
Primeval: New World (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
A photo shoot gets an unexpected guest when an anomaly opens up nearby. Don’t forget to scream, supermodels…
Prometheus (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Ridley Scott tosses out a baffling, brilliant conundrum of a film… and we’re all still arguing about it. Repeats Sunday at 7:50 PM EDT.
The Bourne Identity (A&E, 8:00 PM EDT)
We have three of the four Jason Bourne films tonight… on three different stations. This is the first.
The Bourne Supremacy (Starz, 7:05 PM EDT)
Followed by the second.
The Bourne Legacy (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
And the fourth, which replaces Matt Damon to its eternal detriment. Repeats Sunday at 6:40 PM EDT.
The Professional (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Jean Reno and Natalie Portman make a deadly partnership in Luc Besson’s amazing hitman thriller.
Quantum of Solace (Bravo, 9:00 PM EDT)
Daniel Craig’s reign as James Bond hits a soggy patch midway through. It’s not bad, it just suffers greatly in comparison to the two films bookending it.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EDT)
Not brilliant, but tons of kooky fun nonetheless.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
Somewhere in here, I think Kevin Smith jumped the shark. Still trying to figure out exactly where.
Transformers (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Pacific Rim officially eats its lunch. That is all.


True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
Bill and Lillith put their heads together – figuratively as well as literally – in search of ways to stop the growing war between humans and vampires.
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EDT)
Dexter’s just running down Dr. Vogel’s list like he was shopping for groceries. Evil, serial killing groceries.
Falling Skies (TNT, 10:00 PM EDT)
On the way back to Charleston, Tom learns a few unsettling facts, while Weaver and Pope try to ferret out the mole.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Marathon (Syfy, 9:00 AM EDT)
Syfy dedicates the whole day to Joss Whedon’s beloved television saga about the coolest vampire-slaying high school student you ever met.
Tomorrow Never Dies (BBC America, 7:30 PM EDT)
It would be pretty forgettable were it not for Michelle Yeoh.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (FXM, 8:00 PM EDT)
They show one of these damn things every week. I’m officially out of ways to say they suck.
Looper (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
At this point, I’m starting to believe that Joseph Gordon-Levitt walks on water.
The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)
It’s such a silly title that I can’t imagine anything good coming from it. 


Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
fenngibbon 7/15/2013 7:51:21 AM

 The Day after Tomorrow (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Oh Roland Emmerich. What are we going to do with you?

My suggestion would involve a restraining chair, those things that keep your eyes pried open (like in A Clockwork Orange), and a marathon of all his films.  Too harsh?  If so, Plan B involves a rocket ship and the sun.


As for the 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, I find myself in the same position as with a lot of films involving white actors in yellowface (the Charlie Chan films, the Mr. Moto films. the Mr. Wong films, Teahouse of the August Moon):  it's kind of awkward to watch, but the Asian character is smartest, most capable person in the movie and the white people are generally a bit nuts and/or dim, which, given the time most of these movies were made, is kind of amazing (we're not talking that Mickey Rooney abomination in Breakfast at Tiffany's).  And in the case of the 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, since the structure of the plot kind of requires the same actor to play all those roles, the choices were a white guy playing a Chinese or an Asian guy playing two white guys.  And a satyr.  And a Gorgon.  And a Yeti.  I'm not sure which would be a better choice. 

redhairs99 7/15/2013 7:59:16 AM

No mention of SyFy reairing the amazing Sharknado?  I think it reairs on Thursday.  I forgot about it last week until it had about 30 minutes left.  Turned it on and it was hilariously bad.  Then the flood of social media FB statuses and tweets comensed.  Funny how SyFy has been airing this same sort of thing for years and years, but the mainstream public doesn't take notice until now.

LadyBrowncoat 7/15/2013 8:17:35 AM

 Exactly!  Has everyone forgotten Mansquito?  Sharknado is just another in a long, LONG line of laughably bad SyFy originals.

Wiseguy 7/15/2013 8:21:53 AM

I saw Sharknado, my cousin tivo'ed it. It was awesomely bad.

I really do think syfy paid some celebs to tweet about this film. Not a bad gimmick since it got everyone talking. Last time that happened was with the Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus movie a couple of years back

jackwagon 7/15/2013 8:55:58 AM

It's pretty pathetic to think that SciFi used to have some pretty great programming like Battlestar Galactica, First Wave, and lots of anime films.....and now we get stuff like Sharknado.  I miss the good ol' days of SciFi before it became SyFy (or Siffee, as I like to call it).

redhairs99 7/15/2013 10:31:21 AM

I'm curious to see how the reairings fare in the ratings.  I think I heard the rating last week was 1.4, so even when comparing to other SyFy Original Movies, this one kind of tanked.  Then again the buzz didn't really hit until it was actually on, so maybe the buzz will be reflected by the ratings for the reairing this week.

karas1 7/15/2013 11:38:53 AM

There have been some Syfy originals that have been very entertaining.  I think my favorite was Jersey Shore Shark Attack which managed to throw a little genuine social satire in there with the comedy and bad CGI sharks.  I also have a soft spot for Boa vs Python in which a pair of giant snakes kill off a posse of big game hunter stereotypes, one by one.  and then there's Megasnake in which Michael Shanks does the worst attempt at a southern accent you've ever heard (and folks get devoured by a giant snake).

Then there was the one where Stone Henge attacked people...


The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (TNT, 8:00 PM EDT)

It’s such a silly title that I can’t imagine anything good coming from it.

There were 3 of these movies where Noah Wylie and Bob Newhart delivered Indiana Jones lite.  They were cute, the kind of movie you want to watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon when there's nothing else to do.  Harmless fun.

fenngibbon 7/15/2013 8:50:44 PM

 What people are forgetting is that Sci Fi Channel original pictures have always been, well, not good; in its last few years MST3K lampooned at least one of them, and that was when MST3K was on Sci Fi.  It's just been a weird quirk that while the channel has had good miniseries and good original series, its movies have not maintained the quality.  The main difference nowadays is that they're now making ridiculously bad movies on purpose; rather than try to change what it means to be a "Syfy Channel Original Picture," they've decided to embrace the awful in a big old bear hug.


karas1 7/16/2013 4:04:56 AM

Their rediculous awful movies get good ratings and they're cheap to make.  Why should they change?

Davewriter 7/16/2013 7:27:09 AM

Because I've got a few grey hairs on my head... I remember whenever it was one of those "just keep the kids quiet..." times they would break out the projector and show The 7 Faces.  Now if they were to try, a school would be burned down and the ground salted.

And with Crank 2, all I can say is Bai Ling.  With imortal lines like "You be my Kevin Costner, I be your Whitney"  And showing her true acting chops with scenes like when she is screaming for the hero's attention, running out into the middle of the street - only to be pasted by a car.

Ahhh... entertainment just don't get better than that!



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