Oscar contenders highlight new Movies on Demand

The next couple of weeks offers some excellent movie viewing opportunities for TDS TV users via Video on Demand. Several Academy Award aspiring films will be available, as well as some lesser known gems.

On the television front, January marks the return of many shows to the airwaves.

New this week on Movies on Demand

enoughsaidEnough Said – Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini score a triumph in this sweet, middle-aged romantic comedy. Gandolfini’s take as a lovable every day guy is a charm after watching him play Tony Soprano for so many years. While older audiences will appreciate the film’s perspective, this is not just for mom and dad. Anyone who likes a smart, funny film will love “Enough Said.” Available January 14.

Lee Daniel’s The Butler – The life of Cecil Gaines, who served as butler to eight presidents, is chronicled. It’s a respectful and inspirational look at history (civil rights, Vietnam, etc.) through the eyes of an African-American family. Forest Whitaker turns in a solid performance in the title role. Oprah Winfrey co-stars. Based on a true story. Available January 14.

riddickRiddick – Our guilty pleasure of the week. Vin Diesal returns as the cult sci-fi anti-hero Riddick. It’s action and shooting and bulging biceps. Available January 14.

Fruitvale Station – Heart wrenching film about the last day of a young man’s life. Based on a true story, the film features a great performance by Michael B. Jordan in the lead. Knowing the film ends in tragedy only makes the narrative even more devastatingly powerful. Available January 14.

Carrie – A remake of the classic horror film that only mildly succeeds. If you like horror films and haven’t seen the original, you’ll probably enjoy this. The best reason to see the film is Julianne Moore as Carrie’s mentally disturbed mother. Yikes! Available January 14.

phillipsCaptain Phillips – Tom Hanks does a magnificent job as the captain of an American cargo vessel set upon by modern-day pirates. The film is gripping and entertaining, not to mention newsworthy. A special call out to the unknown actors who play the desperate Somali pirates—they do a superb job. Based on a true story. Available January 21.

Blue Jasmine – A haunting (and disturbing) film by Woody Allen about a New York socialite (expertly played by Cate Blanchett) who’s world is crumbling around her. This is classic Allen – deeply flawed characters fighting to find some semblance of happiness in a twisted world. Available January 21.

TV highlights

There are so many shows coming back online after the typical December hiatus, you’ll need to check the listings and/or your DVR for your favorites. One you might want to be sure to check out is:

How I Met Your Mother – The long-running comedy begins an uninterrupted run to a March finale. Even if the show isn’t what it once was, it’s still enjoyable. So tag along for the ride. Monday, January 13, CBS.

Meanwhile, there are a few new things you should look at catch:

chozenChozen – How can you go wrong with this premise: Bobby Moynihan of “Saturday Night Live” stars in a new animated series about a gay, white rapper. If you like your entertainment a little weird and twisted, this is probably right up your alley. Monday, Jaunary 13, FX.

idolAmerican Idol – The granddaddy of reality singing competitions returns with a revamped cast. Keith Urban is the only holdover from 2013, but Jennifer Lopez returns this year and Harry Connick Jr. is on board as well. We look forward to seeing how Connick does with a full time gig on the show. In the past, he has proven to be one of the best guest mentors on the show. He’s witty and funny, but knows his music as well anyone. Wednesday, January 15, Fox.

Duck Dynasty – The Robertson clan hopes to have controversies behind them as the new season begins. Two new episodes should satisfy fans. Wednesday, January 15, A&E.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – The season premiere for this twisted hit show. Thursday, January 16, TLC.

Flowers in the Attic – Lifetime offers a new take on this classic tale of abuse and neglect. Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn star. Saturday, January 18, Lifetime.

20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Enjoy one of the better awards shows. Rita Moreno will get a lifetime achievement award. Saturday, January 18, TNT.

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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