Thursday, June 5, 2003
The dumb summer movie season is upon us. It's a time for fast and furious chase scenes, loud explosions, depressing sequels and other thought-free fare. Frankly, they're the kinds of movies that make me glad I review television. It's also time for the MTV Movie Awards (8 p.m., MTV), a celebration and send-up of last year's teen fare as well as many plugs for this season's newest popcorn attractions.
"American Pie" star Seann William Scott and singer Justin Timberlake were hosts of the awards, which were taped last Sunday. Look for speeches from the surly rapper Eminem and that leathery sage, Yoda. This is not the first time that a venerable "Star Wars" character has appeared on the MTV Movie Awards: Chewbacca growled a memorable peroration several years back.
- Shot in March 2002 by director Oliver Stone and his film crew, the documentary "Persona Non Grata" (6 p.m., HBO) includes interviews with former Israeli prime ministers Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as members of Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. While attempting to secure an interview with Palestinian president Yasir Arafat, Stone's party found themselves in the middle of an escalating conflict. Suicide bombers killed more than 20 civilians and Israeli forces responded by destroying Arafat's compound.
Filled with insightful interviews, "Persona" features entirely too many shots of Stone. It takes a certain brand of gall to turn a film about the Middle East into a vanity project, but the controversial director pulls it off. "Persona" unfolds like a film about the making of an unfinished documentary, with Oliver Stone as the undisputed star.
Tonight's other highlights
- The Devils meet The Mighty Ducks in Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs (7 p.m., ABC), live from East Rutherford, N.J.
- Brad Garrett and Jon Stewart appear on "Primetime Glick" (7 p.m., Comedy Central).
- Murder appears on a snooty restaurant chef's menu on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
- Halloween horrors and a flesh-eating virus on "ER" (9 p.m., NBC).
Globetrotting competition on "Amazing Race 4" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Ross still sees his baby doctor on "Friends" (7 p.m., NBC) ... How many reality programs should be called "Stupid Behavior Caught on Tape" (7 p.m., Fox)? ... Wrestling on "WWE SmackDown!" (7 p.m., UPN) ... Wedding bells on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" (7 p.m., WB).
J.D. balks at a contest on "Scrubs" (7:30 p.m., NBC) ... Amateur acts, delivered with dispatch, on "30 Seconds to Fame" (7:30 p.m., Fox) ... Harry teaches biology on "The O'Keefes" (7:30 p.m., WB).
Jack and Will become mentors on "Will & Grace" (8 p.m., NBC) ... Shepard Smith is host of "The Pulse" (8 p.m., Fox) ... An hour of improvisation on "Jamie Kennedy Experiment" (8 p.m., WB) ... A medical emergency on "Frasier" (8:30 p.m., NBC) ... A missing pregnant woman needs urgent medical attention on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS)
Barbara Walters and Paul Walker appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno greets Terry Bradshaw, Eva Mendes and the Eels on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).
Jamie Kennedy and David Feherty appear on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Jay Mohr and Poppy Montgomery are booked on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).