This week sees the arrival of several quality films to Video on Demand, including the return of Keanu Reeves in the action-packed “John Wick.” On network television, don’t miss the premiere of the critically acclaimed “Fresh Off the Boat.”
New on Video on Demand
Keanu Reeves makes a cinematic comeback with this kinetic thriller about a former hit man who gets back in the game after a mobster’s son nearly murders him (and happens to kill his dog and steal his beloved Mustang). One of the best action films of recent years. Available February 3.
A silly but not bad supernatural thriller that doesn’t rely on blood and gore (as evidenced by the film’s PG-13 rating). Available February 3.
Our guilty pleasure of the week. Luke Evans plays Prince Vlad Tepes, who makes a dark deal to protect his family and his kingdom. It’s hokey and stolid, but if you check any highbrow expectations at the door, you’ll probably enjoy. Available February 3.
Amiable romance about longtime friends who just might be destined for each other. Leads Lily Collins and Sam Clafin make this film enjoyable (if predictable). Available February 6.
Kill the Messenger
Jeremy Renner stars in this true life story of a reporter targeted with a vicious smear campaign after he exposes the CIA’s role in smuggling drugs into the United States in order to supply arms to Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Renner is superb as the journalist who nearly is driven to suicide by the events. Available February 10.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a troubled man who documents the sordid side of tragedy (car crashes, crime scenes), which he sells to the demanding media. Gyllenhaal creates one of the creepiest characters in recent cinema history. “Nightcrawler” is dark and disturbing. It’s not for everyone, but if you are looking for some exceptional filmmaking you should check it out. Available February 10.
Jon Stewart’s earnest and sincere drama about journalist Maziar Bahari, who is imprisoned and tortured by the Iranian government in 2009. The film finds humor and hope in the absurdity and brutality of the situation. Available February 10.
We’ve seen this before – and it’s pretty darn fun. Tough guy Jason Statham is a Las Vegas body guard who has to take on the mob. Bodies pile up, many in unique fashion. Fans of Statham know the drill, and should be satisfied with this thriller. Available now.
Against the Sun
After a plane crash in the Pacific during WWII, three U.S. airmen must survive a 1,000 mile journey on a raft with no food and no water. This old-fashioned tale is predictable and a little talky, but is buoyed by the fine performances of the three leads (Garret Dillahunt, Tom Felton and Jake Abel). Available now.
Catch the season premiere of the History Channel’s popular reality show about the inhabitants of the wild swamplands of southern Louisiana. Monday, February 2, History Channel.
Fresh Off the Boat
Get a double dose of this acclaimed new comedy, including the season premiere. “Fresh Off the Boat” is a quirky comedy about a family of Taiwanese immigrants who move to suburban Orlando in the 1990s. Wednesday, February 4, ABC.
Transporter: The Series
TNT’s adaptation of the Jason Statham “Transporter” movies provide exceptional action, exotic locations and quality production values. Season finale Saturday, February 7, TNT.
Cable TV’s most popular drama returns with our intrepid band of heroes (and villains) struggling to find a place where they can feel safe. Sunday, February 8, AMC.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The wickedly funny “Last Week Tonight” returns after a winter hiatus. Tune in to catch TV’s funniest half-hour. Sunday, February 8, HBO.
NBC has announced it is on board with “Apocalypse Slough,” an end-of-the-world mini-series starring Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer and Megan Mullally. The 10-part drama follows a group of ordinary people who gather to watch the world’s end on television (in the form of an approaching comet).
Katie Holmes will join the cast of Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” for season 3.
CBS’s long running hit “Criminal Minds” is looking at a spinoff show. Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) and Gary Sinise (CSI:NY) are being eyed as the leads.
ABC is producing a remake of the John Hughes film “Uncle Buck.” The show will focus on a man-child (played by John Candy in the original film) who learns how to be an adult by taking care of his brother’s kids.