Where to find Vegas on your TV, Nov. 22-28
All listings are subject to change, and are Pacific time. Also check for listed programs on streaming and on-demand services.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Given how so many Vegas visitors are highly animated, figuratively speaking, let’s make it literal in this week’s spotlight, shining on two flicks that portray us in cartoon terms:
Beavis and Butt-head Do America (Nov. 22 @ 6 p.m. and Nov. 25 @ 3 a.m. on El Rey): Yes, Vegas is honored (or maybe not) to be visited by the dumbbell duo in this 1996 adult animated comedy. Impressively, you can take in the entire Vegas vibe — albeit in animation and seen through creator Mike Judge’s twisted perception — in a two-minute whirlwind segment as the ditzy dudes arrive in town, set to the song “Love Rollercoaster” (seriously). Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyGC5teih1U. Judge voices the titular twits, but guest pipes include those of Demi Moore, Bruce Willis and David Letterman.
The Boss Baby (Nov. 27 @ 1:30 p.m. and Nov. 28 @ 11 a.m. on FX): Vegas in a computer-animated 3D comedy about kids? Sure, why not? We frown on letting actual children in casinos, but this is the movies, and in this one, they wind up in a bachelorette party limo and sip some Long Island Iced Tea. Oh, and there’s an Elvis impersonator — naturally. But hey, the kids are pretty much grown-ups in diapers anyway
BIG-SCREEN VEGAS THIS WEEK:
Casino (Nov. 22 @ 3:20 a.m. and Nov. 25 @ 4:45 a.m., 7:45 a.m., 8:10 p.m. and 11:10 p.m. on STARZ channels): Robert De Niro’s genius bookie Ace Rothstein (based on Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal), Joe Pesci’s brutal mob enforcer Nicky Santoro (based on Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro) and Sharon Stone’s gorgeous, greedy hustler Ginger McKenna (based on dancer/socialite Geri McGee) form the compelling triumvirate in director Martin Scorsese’s intense 1995 classic about the building and destroying of a casino empire, the fictional Tangiers (based on the Stardust). (And don’t forget Oscar B. Goodman, portrayed by — and played by — Oscar B. Goodman!) The Tangiers was re-created at the Riviera and the Landmark properties. What else will you see? Oh, how about … the Peppermill, the Jockey Club, Las Vegas National Golf Club, the La Concha Motel, the Regency Motel, Piero’s restaurant, Bally’s hotel-casino, Tony Roma’s restaurant, the Glass Pool Inn, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, McCarran International Airport, Fremont Street and Valley of Fire State Park. And who else will you see? Oh, how about … Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Dick Smothers, Frankie Avalon, Alan King, James Woods, Jerry Vale and Don Rickles. It doesn’t get more Vegas-y than this one, folks.
Rush Hour 2 (Nov. 22 @ 9:45 a.m. on HBO): Cop cutups Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker somehow wind up in our town (don’t ask how) at the “Red Dragon” hotel-casino to solve a counterfeit money laundering scam in this 2001 martial arts laugher-sequel. Guess who played the Red Dragon? The now-defunct Desert Inn, which had already closed before filming began, but was all dressed up in a Chinese-palace theme.
Diamonds are Forever (Nov. 22 @ 9:25 p.m., Nov. 23 @ 9:20 a.m. and Nov. 28 @ 6 p.m. on EPIX channels): Vegas. Las Vegas. Where the martinis (shaken, not stirred) are endless, and so are the legs of Bond gals Jill St. John and Lana Wood. After exiting the series post-You Only Live Twice, Sean Connery made his return in this often campy 1971 caper about diamond smuggling, the villainous Blofeld, a slot machine-playing Q and gay assassins — most of it within our cozy neon confines. Pay particular attention to the two biggest casino co-stars, the Tropicana and Circus Circus. And that theme song by Bond musical stalwart Shirley Bassey is one of the series’ best.
Showgirls (Nov. 23 @ 12:10 a.m.; and Nov. 28 @ 11:45 p.m. on STARZ channels): Is it the most notorious stinker about Las Vegas ever made … or the most devilishly clever cult film about Las Vegas ever made? Or both. Read all about it here: Diary of a mad movie.
Sgt. Bilko (Nov. 23 @ 6:25 p.m. and Nov. 26 @ 7:45 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. on STARZ channels): This 1996 throwaway, with Steve Martin trying to step in for the legendary Phil Silvers in the sitcom role that is etched in TV history, features a scene shot at the Mirage. Perhaps you want to see it for that. Then again, perhaps not. A box-office bomb-e-roo, it also grabbed the award for “Worst Resurrection of a TV Show” at the 1996 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. YEESH!
Get Him to the Greek (Nov. 24 @ 5:10 p.m.; and Nov. 27 @ 8:20 a.m. on MOMAX): Vegas is once again on the comedy default setting of Sin City salaciousness (lap dances, nutty sexual escapades) in this 2010 entry — a sequel of sorts to 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The plot (of sorts): A record exec (Jonah Hill) has to drag a rock star (Russell Brand) to L.A.’s famous Greek Theatre for a comeback tour kickoff concert. Of course, debauchery ensues en route. Vegas-wise, look for eyefuls of the Hard Rock Café, Liberace Museum, Planet Hollywood, the Plaza hotel-casino and McCarran International Airport.
Vegas Vacation (Nov. 25 @ 1 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on AMC): The hapless Griswold family headed by Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo — and featuring those kids who are recast in every movie to play, well, their kids — come to town in this 1997 Vacation series sequel. (Or, being the fourth one, perhaps it’s a “four-quel. Scenes were shot at The Mirage (including the Siegfried & Roy show), MGM Grand, the Riviera, the Klondike, the Sands, the Neon Museum, the Fremont Street Experience, the Hoover Dam and Club Paradise. Cameos include: Christie Brinkley, Sid Caesar and Vegas resident/1992 Playboy Playmate of the Year Corinna Harney-Jones, who must endure Chase’s come-on at the blackjack table. Oh — and Wayne Newton and his Casa de Shenandoah estate. Stray tidbit: A highway sign in the flick says Chicago is 1,880 miles from Vegas. Actually it’s about 1,700. But what’s 180 miles between friends? [RELATED: Vegas Vacation Behind the Camera]
Bugsy (Nov. 26. @ 2:40 p.m. on EPIX): First, the minuses: You won’t see much of honest-to-goodness Las Vegas in director Barry Levinson’s 1991 gangster epic that purports to chronicle Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s rise in our town and his “creation” of the Flamingo hotel-casino. For one thing, it was mostly shot in California, where a full-scale, time-warp replica of the Flamingo was built near Palm Desert and La Quinta. And for another, the mob dynamo gets more credit than history allows by the film never mentioning William Wilkerson, who actually conceived of and built the resort, and owned nearly half of it (Siegel only got involved as it neared completion). We know — details, details. But Bugsy remains a triumphant piece of film-making, thanks largely to the towering lead performances of Warren Beatty as Siegel and Annette Benning as gal pal Virginia Hill. And Siegel’s embrace of Las Vegas (and checkered life) has helped fuel the mystique of Vegas to this day. An old expression applies here: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” And film it, too.
Honeymoon in Vegas (Nov. 27 @ 1:05 a.m. and 1 p.m. on STARZ channels): Nicky Cage is back (yes, if you add in Leaving Las Vegas and Con Air, he’s got a thing for us, since he lives here, at least some of the time). In this 1992 laugher, gambler/con man James Caan wins $65K from broke PI Cage, so fiancée Sarah Jessica Parker goes off with Caan to pay off the debt. Comic hilarity ensues when Parker falls for Caan and Cage must win his gal back.
The Godfather (Nov. 28 @ 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on IFC) and The Godfather Part II (Nov. 28 @ 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on IFC): C’mon, you remember this 1972 classic’s Vegas connection, don’cha? Ya know, when the Corleones in Part I muscle in on the territory of Bugsy Siegel-inspired Moe Green (Alex Rocco) — who is later shot through the eye (Bugsy-style!) but not before he accuses Corleone weak link Fredo (John Cazale) of, um, making love to (not exactly his phrasing) cocktail waitresses two at a time. It’s coming back to you, right? Yes, that’s the Tropicana hotel-casino featured in the original, with some interior scenes shot at the former Riviera. Catch glimpses of The Desert Inn in 1974’s Part II — and in a nod to the northern reaches of our state, stretches of Lake Tahoe smile for their closeup in the sequel.
The Hangover Part III (Nov. 28. @ 10:30 a.m. on FXX): All hail the return of the Wolfpack in this 2013 trilogy-ender in which the gang (Bradley Cooper, El Helms and Justin Bartha) try to get off-his-meds Zack Galifianakis back on track with a road trip to You-Know-Where. Bring on the mayhem, dudes — specifically, at Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s.
Ocean’s Eleven (Nov. 28 @ 1 p.m. on WGNA) and Ocean’s Thirteen (Nov. 28 @ 6 p.m. on WGNA): 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.” Between the two flicks, catch scenes filmed at the Bellagio, the Palazzo and McCarran International Airport. Oh, and in the sequel, even Al Pacino shows up. Hoo-ah! [RELATED: https://www.lasvegasnewswire.com/behind-the-camera-oceans-eleven-traded-bruce-willis-for-george-clooney-and-his-keg-of-guinness-missed-out-on-bill-murray-and-made-stars-of-the-bellagio-fountains/
VEGAS HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE:
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Nov. 22, 25, 26, 27 @ 6 a.m. on USA; and Nov. 25 @ 7 a.m. on OXYGN)
Premier Boxing Champions Weigh-In: From Las Vegas LIVE: Wilder vs. Ortiz (Nov. 22 @ 2:30 p.m. on FS1)
Hard Time: Locked Up — Vegas Breakdown (Nov. 22 @ 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on NATGEO)
My Lottery Dream Home: Lucky in Las Vegas (Nov. 22 @ 8 p.m. and Nov.23 @ 3 a.m. on HGTV)
Flipping Vegas (Nov. 23 @ 7 -10 a.m. on A&E; and Nov. 28 @ 1-8 p.m. and 9 p.m.-midnight on FYI)
Top This Party: Las Vegas (Nov. 23 @ 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on LRW)
Cops: Las Vegas Heat (Nov. 24 @ 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on WGNA)
Premier Boxing Champions Prelims: From Las Vegas (Nov. 24 @ 5 p.m. and Nov. 25 @ 8 p.m. on FS1)
The Big Bang Theory: The Vegas Renormalization (Nov. 24 @ 10:30 p.m. on TBS)
Futurama: Viva Mars Vegas (Nov. 24 @ 11:30 p.m. on SYFY)
Paranormal State: Vegas (Nov. 25 @ 6 a.m. on FYI)
Aerial Cities: Las Vegas 24 (Nov. 25 @ 6 a.m. on Smithsonian)
Pawn Stars (Nov. 27 @ 7 a.m.- noon on HISTW)
My Lottery Dream Home: Vegas Dream Home (Nov. 28 @ 8 a.m. on HGTV)
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown: Las Vegas (Nov. 28 @ 10 p.m. on CNN)
— Steve Bornfeld