On TV this week: Pirates, football and Academy Award-nominated films

This week we find a nice variety of films available on Movies on Demand. We’ve got Academy Award-nominated films, clever romantic comedies, action movies and naughty grandpas. On TV, there’s pirates and football to get you through the cold spells.

New this week on Movies on Demand

last-vegasLast Vegas
This film is hard not to like, even if it’s not terribly original. It has a host of aging friends (Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro) who head to Las Vegas to throw a bachelor party for the last single member of their group. The film is silly and sophomoric at times, but the veteran cast makes this work. Available January 28.

Rush
Car racing movies rarely light up the box office, and this film, by Ron Howard, didn’t quite click with audiences either. Which is a shame, because “Rush” is an intelligent, exhilarating and engrossing tale about the real-life rivalry between Formula 1 racing drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) and Daniel Brühl star. Available January 28.

cloudyCloudy with a Chance for Meatballs 2
If you liked the first “Cloudy” film, you know exactly what to expect. It’s a perfectly enjoyable animated comedy. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but kids and adults will find themselves smiling. Available January 28.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Unrated)
Johnny Knoxville plays an 86-year old grandpa taking his 8-year-old grandson back to his real father. The Jackass franchise gets a surprising and funny jolt. It’s a crazed road trip movie via hidden camera that will have most viewers laughing their behinds off. This is NOT for the whole family. Adults only. Available January 28.

Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack album coverDallas Buyers Club
Nominated for Best Picture, “Dallas Buyers Club” stars Matthew McConaughey (who is nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category) as a carefree electrician and rodeo clown who, after finding himself diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, works around the system to get medication to those suffering from the disease. McConaughey is fabulous, but the real star is Jared Leto, playing an HIV positive transgender woman. He’s unforgettable. Leto is the favorite to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards. Based on a true story. Available February 4.

About Time
Are you a fan of “Love Actually?” “Notting Hill?” “Four Weddings and a Funeral?” Then you can count yourself a fan of writer (and sometimes director) Richard Curtis – who wrote all of the above films. Curtis’ latest film, “About Time,” follows the same path as his previous works. It’s funny, cute and clever. This film stars Domhnall Gleeson, who discovers he can travel in time and change his life. He then uses his skills to win the heart of a shy woman, played nicely by Rachel McAdams. Available February 4.

Escape Plan
This is our guilty pleasure selection of the week. Old-school action stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger have to escape from the world’s most secret and secure prison. It’s got plenty action and suspense – and it’s nice to see the old guys in action together. Available February 4.

TV Highlights

blacksailsBlack Sails
This STARZ original debuted on January 25, but you can find ample chances to catch up. “Black Sails” takes an adult, grimy and dirty look at the world of pirates. Fans of the genre shouldn’t be disappointed in the show, which is set 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island”. Be warned, this is paid cable, so it’s an adult show (meaning violence, language and nudity). Veteran British character actor Toby Stephens does a first-rate job in the lead role.

American Horror Story
This clever and creepy original series wraps up its fourth season. Wednesday, January 29, FX.

superbowlWhite Collar
Season Finale. Neal and Peter race against a ruthless criminal to find a lost treasure hidden in New York. Thursday, January 30, USA.

Super Bowl XLVIII
You may have heard of this little game. Record-setting veteran quarterback Peyton Manning leads the Denver Broncos, while second year pro Russell Wilson sets the pace for the underdog Seattle Seahawks. Sunday, February 2, Fox.

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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