New Films Highlight this Week on TV

Is too many viewing choices a bad thing? We think not. This week brings a host of quality films via Video on Demand, including the World War II epic “Fury,” and the sci-fi action flick, “Lucy.” And the fun doesn’t stop with films as the networks brings some great looking new shows to the tube, including “Backstrom” and “Sons of Liberty.”

New on Video on Demand

lucyLucy
Scarlett Johansson is accidentally transformed into the ultimate killing machine in this movie from acclaimed director Luc Besson. The film is visually striking and wildly entertaining (even if over-the-top). Available January 20.

Dear White People
Impressive debut film from writer/director Justin Simien. This social satire follows the lives of four black students at a predominantly white Ivy League college. Available January 20.

dropThe Drop
Excellent nourish crime drama about a robbery gone wrong. Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and the late, great James Gandolfini star. Available January 20.

Humbling
Sharp witted film about an aging actor (Al Pacino) who embarks on an affair with a lesbian (Greta Gerwig). Based on the novel by Phillip Roth. Available January 23

furyFury
Brad Pitt stars in this bloody WWII drama about a battle-hardened Sherman tank crew. A well done film. The intense violence will turn off some viewers, but Pitt and rest of the cast do a first-rate job. Available January 27

Book of Life
Spectacular animation highlight this enjoyable fantasy that will appeal to the younger set. The film features a nice mix of adventure, music and comedy. Available January 27

judgeThe Judge
Robert Downey Jr. is a big city lawyer who has to return to his childhood home to defend his estranged father (Robert Duvall) for murder. The premise of the film isn’t anything original, but the two great leads make this worthwhile. Available January 27

My Old Lady
A simple but rewarding film about a man (Kevin Kline) who inherits a house in Paris, but finds it comes with an elderly tenant (Maggie Smith). A bit slow, but funny and sweet. The beautiful Paris locations are worth the viewing. Available January 27

TV Highlights

wilmoreThe Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
Comedy Central brings in the always wry and funny Larry Wilmore to replace the recently departed Stephen Colbert. Monday, January 19, Comedy Central.

Justified
Kick off the final season of FX’s wonderful “Justified.” Timothy Olyphant, as an old-school U.S. Marshal, is fabulous. Tuesday, January 20, FX.

backstromBackstrom
Rainn Wilson plays a brilliant detective who happens to be a major jerk. Sort of “House” but with cops. If the show is half as funny as the trailers, FOX should have a hit on their hands. Thursday, January 22, FOX.

Black Sails
This week’s guilty pleasure. We’re suckers for pirates and “Black Sails” gives us our (decidedly adult) fix. Premiere of season two. Saturday, January 24, STARZ.

sonsoflibertySons of Liberty
This six-hour mini-series (over three nights) takes a dramatic look the radical young men (Sam Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Ben Franklin) who would help ignite a revolution. Sunday, January 25, History Channel.

The Americans
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play deep-cover Soviet spys who pose as a married couple in Washington, D.C. This intriguing series is very human – and very engrossing. Wednesday, January 28, FX.

News

friendsBinge viewing just got better. January saw the availability of all 10 seasons of “Friends” on Netflix. Sit back and enjoy.

CBS has announced that “Late Night with Stephen Colbert” will debut on September 8. Colbert takes over for David Letterman, who bows out of the host’s seat this May.

“NCIS: New Orleans,” “Madam Secretary” and “Scorpion” have been renewed for a second season by CBS.

Meanwhile, the CW has renwewed “Arrow,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Reign,” “Supernatural” (going on it’s 11th season!), “The 100,” “The Flash,” “The Originals” and “The Vampire Diaries.” None of the renewals are surprises, although both “Reign” and “The 100” ratings have been modest.

Showtime has renewed “Shameless” for a sixth season.

Netflix has ordered an 8-episode run of “Wet Hot American Summer.” The series is based on the 2001 cult film of the same name. The entire core cast will return. Netflix has also ordered a second season of it’s historical drama “Marco Polo.”

Original streaming content continues to pick up steam. Amazon has announced they will produce a new series from Woody Allen.

About Matthew Breen

Based in Colorado, but from Madison, Wisconsin, Matt likes to blog about travel, auto, gadgets, food and entrainment. Follow author Matt Breen on Google + or read his recent stories on Pursuitist.

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