The Best Movies on TV This Week: 'Alien' Edition

Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” makes its landing this week, which means we got lots of “Alien” franchise options for you. And if chest-bursting parasites aren’t exactly your cup of TV, we look at some solid counter-programming options as well. As always, be sure to verify with your local listings and cable or satellite providers.

‘Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2' (Tuesday and Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. on IFC)

Kick off the week the right way with Quentin Tarantino’s wonderfully twisted, blood-soaked samurai epic ‘Kill Bill,’ a double-bill of films that should have earned Uma Thurman two Oscar nominations. Both films can be seen on consecutive nights on IFC.

‘The Ides of March’ (Tuesday at 10:00pm on STARZ)

In the STARZ rotation this week is this solid, undervalued political drama directed by George Clooney. Ryan Gosling gives an electric lead performance with excellent supporting work by Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei.

‘Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa’ (Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. on FX)

For us adults it may seem like “Prometheus” is the only movie coming out in theaters this week, but don’t tell that to the kiddies. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” is flying under the radar, ready to sneak-attack with truckloads of opening-weekend cash. You can catch the first sequel Wednesday on FX, while the original doesn’t air until Sunday on TBS at 9:15 a.m.

‘Jezebel’ (Saturday at 8:00 p.m. on TCM)

If you’ve never seen this classic form, for which Bette Davis won Best Actress as a headstrong, rather clever Southern belle, now’s your chance. Warning: This film features no alien species or talk zebras. Watch at your own risk.

‘The Times of Harvey Milk’ (Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on Showtime 2)

This Oscar-winning documentary takes a close look at the career and eventual assassination of Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay public official. It should not be missed.

Some ‘Alien’ Encounters

Networks really know how to milk a franchise theatrical release for all it’s worth. Nearly every ‘Alien’ franchise film airs this week (including a triple-feature on SyFy), and you can catch them at the following times and channels:

‘Alien’ (Thursday at 10:00 p.m. on Cinemax)

This is where it all began -- the place Ridley Scott returns to this weekend, though not in the way some might expect. It's one of the true landmarks in both the horror and science fiction genres.

‘Aliens’ (Thursday at 6:00 p.m. on SyFy)

James Cameron's heart-pounding sequel keeps the horror and sci-fi angle but injects even more thrilling action. Sigourney Weaver -- in an Oscar-nominated performance -- has never been better than this.

‘Alien vs. Predator’ (Thursday 9:00 p.m. on SyFy)

A not-very successful blend of two iconic monsters of the horror genre. But if you are in an "Alien" state of mind, this one might be hard to pass up while you wait for "Alien Resurrection" to start.

‘Alien Resurrection’ (Thursday at 11:00 p.m. on SyFy)

By far the strangest entry of the franchise, but maybe that was to be expected when they hired Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Amelie," "City of Lost Children," "Delicatessen"). There are some really fun beats in this film, but it's also the franchise at its most disturbing -- and head-scratching.

‘Alien 3’ (Saturday at 10:15 p.m. on IFC)

Considering the disastrous behind-the-scenes circus that plagued the film before David Fincher came on board last minute, credit must be given to Fincher (in his directorial debut) for making one of the most atmospheric and haunting "Alien" films, if not the most successful.