The behemoth known as the Winter Olympics will dominate television over the next week, but if you want to take a break from skaters and skiers there are are few items of note on the airwaves. First of all, February is sweeps month, meaning the networks will trot out some meaty programming, including new episodes of most of your favorite shows. Also, check out our bonus section in this article – a guide to Valentine’s Day movies for Feb. 14.
New this week on Movies on Demand
This sci-fi film brings to the screen the classic novel by Orson Scott Card. The movie follows a brilliant young boy who is recruited to lead Earth against an alien race bent on destroying humanity. It’s a nicely done film with a good mix of action and drama. The cast has some young standouts (Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin) as well as veteran stars (Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley). Available Feb. 11.
This is a tough film for many people. The movie has a tremendous pedigree, including a talented cast (Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem), a power house director (Ridley Scott) and an award-winning writer (novelist Cormac McCarthy). The film, about a lawyer who’s world falls apart when he becomes involved in drug trafficking, is dark and brooding and violent. If you like your drama served up with oodles of excess and moodiness, “The Counselor” is probably for you. Available Feb. 11.
The Best Man Holiday
It may be a Christmas film, but “The Best Man Holiday” is an enjoyable treat anytime (and perfect for Valentine’s Day). A group of friends reunite after 15 years, with jealousies, romances and rivalries quickly reasserting themselves. The movie deftly mixes comedy and drama to create an amusing and memorable film. The mostly African-American cast does a first-rate job. Available Feb. 11.
“Free Birds” is a mildly amusing animated film that will keep the kids entertained for a couple of hours. Adults should steer clear. Available now.
The Walking Dead
TV’s finest zombie drama returns with Sheriff Rick and his ever dwindling gang on the run after the destruction of the prison they had built into a safe haven. Sundays on A&E.
138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Dog lovers rejoice. The Super Bowl of dog competitions is almost here. Don’t miss out on the fun. Monday, Feb. 10, on CNBC, and Tuesday, Feb. 11, on USA Network.
House of Cards
Keving Spacey and Robin Wright return in this biting political drama/satire. Netflix drops the entire season in one dump, making for a marathon viewing next weekend. Friday, Feb. 14, Netflix.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon kicks off a new era, replacing Jay Leno after a 22 year run. Fallon’s first guests include superstar actor Will Smith and U2. Feb. 17, NBC.
Valentine’s Day Movies
Staying in on Valentine’s Day with your significant other? Here’s some movies you might want to catch on Friday, Feb. 14 (don’t forget “The Best Man Holiday,” which we reviewed above). Check your local listings for time.
- About Time – A young man uses time travel to find romance. Video on Demand
- Enough Said – A charming middle aged love story starring the late James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Video on Demand
- Sleepless in Seattle – The ultimate romance. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan at their heart tugging best. TVGN.
- Ghost – Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze prove that love is greater than death itself. Netflix
- Date Night – Steve Carell and Tina Fey are a suburban couple whose romantic evening out turns into the adventure of a lifetime. FX
- This is 40 – Jude Apatow’s funny and insightful look at growing older. HBO
- Out of Sight – George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez heat up this film noir thriller. Smokin’. TMC
- The Notebook – Smaltz never tasted so good. MoviePlex
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s – A classic girl/romance film. Netflix
- Salmon Fishing in Yemen – A sweet, aimiable British romantic comedy-drama starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. TMC.
- Charade – Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn make for a wonderful pair in this romance/thriller set in Paris. Hulu and Netflix.
- Say Anything – John Cusack woes the girl of his dreams in this 80s classic. Netflix