August 27-September 2
Resident Evil: Extinction (Aug. 27, 9 a.m. and Aug. 28, 2 a.m., SYFY): OMG! Post-apocalyptic ruins of Las Vegas! We suffer a rather dire fate in this 2007 installment of the horror franchise, in which Milla Jovovich and company cross the Mojave desert while fleeing a zombie apocalypse. What survives? The Luxor stands. So does New York-New York, though the Statue of Liberty takes a substantial hit, as does the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, while the Tropicana is still standing, shakily. Others? Excalibur? Wynn Las Vegas? Bally’s? Bye, bye and bye. Perhaps when these undead invaders finish unleashing mayhem, they can do double duty at Planet Hollywood’s Zombie Burlesque.
Meet Me in Las Vegas (Aug. 27, 12:15 p.m., TCM): Hey time travelers, rewind back to 1956 for this musical starring Dan Dailey as a rancher and Cyd Charisse as a ballerina. Here’s how the movie studio described it: “A gambling rancher discovers that all he has to do to win at roulette is take hold of a ballerina’s hand.” Whatever that means. But this one, aside from co-stars Agnes Moorehead and Jim Backus, is chockablock with cameos, including: Jerry Colonna, Paul Henreid, Lena Horne, Frankie Laine, Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, Vic Damone, Peter Lorre and Tony Martin (Charisse’s real-life hubby). And as a snapshot of Vegas at its ’50s best, this one can’t be beat.
Pool Kings: Vegas Jackpot Swimming Pool (Aug. 27, 6 p.m. and Sept. 1, 12:30 p.m., DIY): A Vegas family hits the aquatic jackpot when the titular Pool Kings (Paul and Brian) turn a narrow desert yard into a wonderland of splash pads, an outdoor kitchen and a volleyball net. We’re very happy for them.
American Ninja Warrior: Las Vegas Finals Night 1 (Aug. 27, 8 p.m. on NBC; Aug. 30, 2 a.m., NBCSN): About 100 ridiculously toned athletes face off right here for our entertainment and amusement.
Food Paradise: Viva Las Vegas (Aug. 28, 11 p.m. and Aug. 29, 2 a.m., TRAVEL): Our town’s most “over-the-top” eat treats are explored, including a sushi-stacked burger on fried rice buns, and a “spiked” milkshake topped with a white blizzard of s’mores. Tell your tummy to tune in.
Leaving Las Vegas (Aug. 29, 1:30 a.m. on SHO2e and Aug. 29, 8 p.m., on SHO): Downbeat but poignant — and featuring an Oscar-winning performance from Nicolas Cage — this 1995 drama finds Ben Sanderson (Cage), an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter, arriving in town for an intentionally fatal bender. Along his drunken path, he connects with Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a sympathetic prostitute, forming a sad but unique bond. Famously intense in his acting approach, Cage reportedly prepared for his role by filming himself drunk to study his inebriated speech patterns. Whether that constitutes method acting or a weird way to pick up bar hookups is up for debate.
The Hangover (Aug. 29, 1:35 a.m., MAX and Sept. 2, 5:10 p.m., MOMAX): Cinematically speaking, our city is still hung over from The Hangover, the raucous 2009 comedy about a missing groom and a bachelor party gone off the rails that is a veritable Vegas smorgasbord. Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifanakis and Heather Graham (as a stripper/escort, of course) topline this Vegas joyride that gives us such sights as a tiger in a bathroom, a chicken in a living room, a baby in a closet, a mattress impaled on a Caesars Palace statue and a naked man in the trunk of a Mercedes. … Oh, and Mike Tyson.
Vegas ER (Aug. 29, 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon): Docs treat Vegas patients. Hopefully, you’re not among them.
Vegas Mafia (Aug. 29, 5 p.m., NGC): Just what you’d think from the title: a documentary about the mob’s role in the building of our city, including the FBI bust of a skimming operation at the Stardust, and the arrival of Big Man on The Vegas Campus, Howard Hughes (and subsequent disappearance into his own world of personal peculiarities).
Flip or Flop Vegas (Aug. 30, 1-4 p.m., HGTV): Throughout this afternoon marathon of half-hour episodes, hosts Aubrey and Bristol have more than enough to do: They find a property zoned for horses (but it’s a mess). Then they turn a split-level Southern Highlands house into a high-end bachelor pad. Not enough? OK, watch them give a ramshackle house a “beachy” facelift, then tackle a house with bars on the windows and a leaky roof. More? Seriously? Try ogling them as they puzzle out how to save an outdated farmhouse with ancient air conditioning, and discover a ‘90s-style house near Nellis Air Force base that’s ideal for a military family. Phew — that’s a lot of flipping and flopping.
Con Air (Sept. 1, midnight, TBS): You’ll wait for the grand finale set piece, but this 1997 actioner is worth it when homebound con Nicolas Cage and his not-so-merry band of airborne miscreants (including John Malkovich, Dave Chappelle and a comically creepy Steve Buscemi) crash their plane on the Vegas Strip, shearing off the famed guitar atop the Hard Rock sign. As con/pilot Swamp Thing (M.C. Gainey) declares during their uncontrolled vertical dive: “Buckle up, ladies, we’re going for a night out in Vegas!”
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (Sept. 1, 1:30 a.m. and noon, BRAVO): Calling this 2005 Sandra Bullock vehicle “silly” is over-praising it (Rotten Tomatoes bestows an abysmal 15 percent approval rating on it). But Vegas clichés at least get a good workout in this slight sequel, especially when William Shatner (at his winking, self-mocking best) is kidnapped and stashed at the ship at Treasure Island, and Bullock, Regina King and Diedrich Bader wind up at a drag club hollering out Tina Turner tunes. We question whether that would make Proud Mary proud.
2012 (Sept. 1, 11 a.m., STARZ): What did we ever do to tick off Hollywood? This time, in 2009’s 2012, we get leveled by an earthquake. Hey Hollywood, go pick on someone else — Washington, D.C. perhaps. They haven’t had a good movie wipeout since Independence Day.
Ocean’s Eleven (Sept 1, 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., E!): George Clooney and Brad Pitt (and cronies) inherit the casino-heist business from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin (and cronies) in what could easily be subtitled “Rat Pack: The Next Generation.” Catch scenes for this 2001 caper reprise filmed at the Bellagio, the Palazzo and McCarran International Airport.
The New Adventures of Old Christine: What Happens in Vegas Is Disgusting in Vegas (Sept. 2, 6 a.m., TVLAND): Well that title is rather rude, don’cha think? In this installment of the series starring the relentlessly delightful Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “new” Christine (Emily Rutherfurd) gets a Vegas bachelorette blowout that unlocks a wild side she didn’t know she had. So we have to ask: Isn’t that what Vegas is for?
— Steve Bornfeld
Dates, times and channels provided by TVguide.com. All times are Pacific, check your local listings for your time zone and channel guide.