6 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
TV Wasteland: Tampa Sets the Tone
The GOP takes center stage, while genre programming bows out.
By Rob Vaux
August 27, 2011
The Republicans are hosting their election-year shindig down in Tampa, which keeps a comparative lid on anything else this week. Our examination of the remainder awaits you below.
Grimm (NBC, 10:00 PM EST)
The daughter of one of Hank’s friends goes missing, which sends Hank and Nick out to knock on the doors of the local boogeymen.
Alphas (Syfy, 8:00 PM EST)
Summer Glau returns to the airwaves to tantalize fanboys everywhere. She’s playing a computer whiz helping Rosen, but I’m sure her outfit will be appropriately tight and non-nerdy.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Someone steals Lewis Carroll’s mirror from the Warehouse… which means mondo big trouble for everyone.
The Matrix (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
I want to see a movie – maybe just a short, like the ones in The Animatrix – detailing the origins of Agent Smith. I suspect that it would rock.
Spy Kids (Disney XD, 8:00 PM EST)
I still get nightmares from Robert Rodriguez’s oversaturated effort about a pair of kids who save their superspy parents from an evil television host.
From Dusk Till Dawn (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Rodriguez does much better here, with a little help from Quentin Tarantino.
Teeth (IFC, 10:15 PM EST)
Some maintain that most horror films are about “the monstrous feminine.” This one puts us on the other side of that equation: positing said monster as the heroine rather than the villain.
Independence Day (Spike, 7:00 PM EST)
Everyone talks about the aliens being Mac compatible here. I was always bugged that they didn’t have anything capable of taking down a biplane.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Starz, 8:00 PM EST)
I gotta give it up for Lee Ermey. The man scares the fuck out of me.
Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Contestants must create pirate make-up this week. Insert gratuitous booty pun here.
Collection Intervention (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
A couple keeps a huge comic book collection in their one-bedroom apartment. For shame!
Priest (Starz, 7:00 PM EST)
Starz never gets tired of this one, despite its copious flaws.
Eagle Eye (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
Compared to this ridiculous bit of piffle, however, Priest looks like Citizen Freaking Kane.
The Brothers Grimm (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Terry Gilliam squandered a golden opportunity with this tale of the famous brothers who run into a real supernatural menace.
Spy Kids 3: Game Over (Disney XD, 7:45 PM EST)
Stallone is not a villain. Just… no.
Ghost World (Sundance, 8:00 PM EST)
Look, this is a great film, but does Sundance have anything else they can play?
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EST)
Two episodes run back-to-back, featuring Bender rescuing a robotic fox and the team getting in touch with their inner furries.
Haunted Collector (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Wow, the second season is done already? Oh right, I don’t care. In any case, they’re treating themselves to a trip to Hawaii to finish out their second run.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
A dybbuk is an evil spirit from Jewish legend; the Dybbuk Box is an actual wine cabinet supposedly containing said spirit, which was auctioned on eBay a few years ago. The upcoming film The Possession is based on the case. The gang from Paranormal Witness gives the object a more thorough going-over tonight.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
Spencer Tracy stars in a fairly indifferent 1941 version of the famous tale. Look for the Frederic March version from a few years earlier; it’s much better.
Unstoppable (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EST)
Rest in peace Tony Scott. Glad your last movie was a winner.
Cowboys and Aliens (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Harrison Ford makes a great cowboy. Too bad the film completely wastes him.
The Happening (FMC, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
Oh M. Night, you wacky egomaniac. Will you never learn?
Scream 4 (Showtime, 8:00 PM EST)
Why on Earth would the entire cast come back yet again for… oh right, the gigantic paychecks.
The Fog (Starz, 7:15 PM EST)
Once again, the crappy remake wins out over the less crappy original.
Die Hard with a Vengeance (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EST)
That’s the one with Sam Jackson, for those keeping score at home.
Hitman (FMC, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
It’s pretty much a mess, save for the always charming Timothy Olyphant in the lead.
The Exorcist (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Films this good make IFC’s commercials even more painful.
The Rock (Showtime, 7:30 PM EST)
Every critic has at least one Michael Bay film that they secretly adore. This one is mine.
Burn Notice is off this week.
Lost Girl (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
The Ash strikes back against the danger threatening him, while Bo watches her friends and family endure terrible pain.
Rollerball (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
Turner Classic doesn’t deal in trashy remakes. Only the trashy original will do for them, with James Caan delivering far more dignity than a death sport on roller skates has any right to expect.
The Princess Bride (AMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:00 PM EST)
Twue Wuv prevails all night on AMC
X-Men: First Class (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EST)
This fifth entry in the X-Men franchise currently ranks as the very best.
Push (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
Push owes a great deal to the X-Men and while it’s not quite brilliant, it does some pretty cool things with its concept.
Sin City (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
The black-and-white imagery looks great. The rest of the movie doesn’t quite get there.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
The new season kicks off with Matt Smith reprising his role as The Doctor.
Toy Story (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EST)
You might as well rename Pixar The House That Buzz and Woody Built. That’s how much of an impact this movie had.
The Goonies (ABC Family, 10:00 PM EST)
I have it on good authority that they never say die. That is all.
Knight and Day (Cinemax, 7:10 PM EST)
Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz make a meal out of an old fashioned spy caper that never received as much credit as it deserved.
Troy (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
If Brad Pitt in a loincloth is your thing, you could do worse.
Hop (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
They decided to premiere this film in August, the perfect time for Easter. Also, it’s a horrific pile of shit.
Star Wars (Spike, 8:00 PM EST)
Greedo shoots first in this version. Fairly warned thee be, says I.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (Starz, 7:20 PM EST)
It really doesn’t matter which Resident Evil is on. They all constitute the same guilty pleasure.
Outlander (Syfy, 6:30 PM EST)
Syfy has been playing this one a lot. Clearly, there’s something about a space alien saving Vikings that they really dig.
Predator 2 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Cutting out Danny Glover’s use of the term “pussy face” is kind of like cutting Sam Jackson saying “motherfucker.” It misses the entire purpose of the exercise.
Toy Story 2 (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EST)
The perfect sequel to an outstanding original… and combos like that don’t come along very often.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Cinemax, 7:30 PM EST)
Part Three in the Harry Potter saga was a hit with critics and audiences, though some Potter fans disliked the truncated storyline and similar alterations.
Monsters vs. Aliens (FMC, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
FMC uncorks this delightful homage to 50s monster movies, featuring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Rainn Wilson, Seth Rogen and Stephen Colbert.
Iron Man (FX, 7:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
Yeah, Downey can rock this scene all day.
Unknown (HBO, 7:00 PM EST)
What have we told you people about fucking with Liam Neeson?
Rambo 4 (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Or Sylvester Stallone, for that matter.
The Empire Strikes Back (Spike, 8:00 PM EST)
This is the retooled version with new CG effects. It’s still awesome.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Johnny Depp scored an Oscar nomination for his first turn as Captain Jack Sparrow… and the movies have never been the same since.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Syfy, 8:00 PM EST)
Lost in the shuffle the summer it was released, Prince Caspian turns out to be the best of the sadly truncated Narnia series.
Evil Hands Marathon (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
Turner Classic Movies spends an entire evening covering movies about supernatural hands that take control of their owners. It starts with Hands of a Stranger at 8:00 PM EST, followed by The Beast with Five Fingers at 9:45 PM, Mad Love at 11:30 PM, and The Hands of Orlac at 12:45 AM. If you’re still awake, stay tuned for an Olde Tyme adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s work with Spirits of the Dead at 2:45 AM.