A State of the Union

A State of the Union airs tonight – one featuring less eloquence and more explosions than the average national address by U.S. President Barack Obama.

This State of the Union also features a XXX (No, it’s not THAT kind of movie either).

XXX: State of the Union (2005) stars Samuel L. Jackson as Augustus Gibbons, head of the U.S. National Security Agency. When the going gets tough, Augustus is forced to conscript a dangerous criminal named Darius Stone (Ice Cube) to thwart a domestic terrorist threat.

Ice Cube has certainly come a long way: From wanting to “F—Tha Police” as a member of the groundbreaking rap group N.W.A. to being the nation’s last, best hope to stop a diabolical terror plot.

Willem Dafoe hams it up as a corrupt general and secretary of defence – a powerful, nefarious man that has been training a secret military unit to kidnap and kill the American president.

It’s probably a bad sign that the star from the original film (Vin Diesel in 2002’s XXX) did not show up for the sequel; We’re told his character died, hence the need for a new XXX.

But XXX is no 007 – even if director Lee Tamahori has helmed a Bond film (2002’s Die Another Day). XXX: State of the Union feels like a cheesy, B-movie in comparison, but it may get you in the right mood for the spy genre. The Bourne Legacy, a spinoff of the Jason Bourne series, bows in theatres Aug. 10. This franchise also lacks its original star, Matt Damon, but in Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers) it has a performer that can act circles around most action stars. And, of course, the hotly anticipated Bourne film is itself just a tasty appetizer for 2012’s main course: Skyfall is set to bow Nov. 8, Daniel Craig’s third time around as agent 007.

For now, you’ll have to settle for steely-eyed Ice Cube and bug-eyed Samuel L. Jackson joining forces to save the day. For fans of the genre, XXX: State of the Union may get you hungry for what Hollywood is serving next. (CTV2)

. For those looking for something with a lower body count, the classic comedy City Slickers might be for you. Billy Crystal – the old guy many of you didn’t recognize that hosted the Oscars this year – stars as Mitch, a city boy who heads out on a two-week holiday with buddies to deal with a mid-life crisis. Their destination? A cattle ranch run by Cowboy Curly (Jack Palance), which teaches the pack of metrosexuals how to be more like the Marlboro Man. It’s the buddy-vacation comedy from an era before The Hangover set a new benchmark for depravity. (Citytv)

. It’s Friday the 13th, so Ghost Hunters might be the most suitable offering of the night. The team of real-life ghost hunters investigate a 1920s suicide, as well as a bone-chilling home haunting in Gardner, Massachusetts. It’s a real-life version of Paranormal Activity. (OLN)

. Speaking of spooky, The Real Housewives of Vancouver continue their summer run on Global. Front and centre tonight, Christina’s anxiety over turning 30, coupled with her concern that Jody will attend her birthday party. I’d like to see a crossover episode Ghost Hunters: Real Housewives of Vancouver. At least one of these five women has to be possessed. (Global,)