The next couple of weeks feature a strong cast of films coming to Movies on Demand, including several Oscar-nominated flicks. On television, get prepared to for a handful of season finales, as well as a few premieres.
New this week on Movies on Demand
Disney hits another home run. “Frozen” is a near perfect film. It will entrance the little ones as well as adults. The story is wonderful and the Oscar-winning music is engaging. This is one that the kids will watch over and over – and the adults won’t mind. Winner of two Academy Awards. Available 3/18.
Saving Mr. Banks
Tom Hanks (as Walt Disney) and Emma Thompson (as author P.L. Travers) star in the backstory to the making of “Mary Poppins.” The film, about Disney’s long and difficult attempts to gain the rights to Travers’ famed story, is fresh and funny and sad. Available 3/18.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
This film respectfully chronicles the life of Nelson Mandela, from his childhood in a rural village to being South Africa’s first democratically elected president. Idris Elba is first rate as Mandela. The film is moving, if a tad overlong. Available 3/18.
Filmmaker David O. Russell (Silver Lining Playbook) scores again with this film about corruption and cons in the 1970s. The film’s attention to the period is extraordinary. The stellar cast includes Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. Nominated for 10 Oscars. Available 3/18.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorcese’s cautionary tale about the corruption of a young Wall Street stockbroker. Leonardo DiCaprio is great in the lead, and the supporting cast, including Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill, are excellent. Be forewarned, the film is long (three hours) and contains copious amounts of vulgar language and nudity. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Available 3/25.
Walking with Dinosaurs
This kid-friendly film is nominally about a clumsy dinosaur who has to overcome various obstacles as he grows up. The film mixes the simple story with many educational moments – good for small ones, but adults should steer clear. Available 3/25.
Dancing with the Stars
A two-hour season premiere episode kicks off the 18th season of this perennial fan favorite. This year’s contestants include hockey pro Sean Avery, comedian Drew Carey, Sochi gold medal winners Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years”), snowboarder Amy Purdy and actor Billy Dee Williams. Monday, March 17, ABC.
Pretty Little Liars
Season four wraps up as the gang learns what really happened to Ali on the night that she disappeared. Tuesday, March 18, ABC Family.
Rizzoli and Isles
Catch the season finale of cables smartest criminal investigators. Even after four seasons, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander continue to shine in the title roles. Tuesday, March 18, TNT.
This intriguing new series is set 97 years after nuclear war has destroyed earth. Humanity has been reduced to a handful of survivors eeking out an existence on a dozen space stations. In a desperate attempt to repopulate the planet, 100 juveniles are sent to earth to see if it is habitable. The result is very “Lord of the Flies” with the kids quickly breaking into factions and struggling to survive. Being a CW show, the cast is attractive and the budget is low, but the show holds promise being more “Walking Dead” than a typical teen dystopian romance. Wednesday, March 19, CW.
Season three of HBO’s “Girls” wraps. Expect big things from Lena Dunham and friends. Sunday, March 23, HBO.
Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge
This season premiere wins the geek show of the week award. Gigi Edgley (of Farscape fame) hosts this reality competition. Ten contestants participate in challenges involving various aspects of mechanical creature and puppet building and creation. The winner will get a $100,000 prize and a contract job for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Tuesday, March 25, SyFy.
USA’s long running comedy comes to a conclusion. Enjoy the insanity one last time. Thursday, March 26, USA.
AMC’s juggernaut zombie-apocalypse drama wraps up season 4. “Walking Dead” has never shied away from killing off characters, so it’s not a matter of ‘will’ someone die – but ‘who’ will die. Sunday, March 30, AMC.