This Week on Television: dancing, Robot cops, Navy SEALs and pirates

Most of our favorite television shows have wrapped up for the season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of goodies available in the coming weeks. HBO offers a powerhouse original movie (The Normal Heart), while Fox kicks off another season of one of its long-running reality shows (So You Think You Can Dance). And who doesn’t like 10 weeks of the great John Malkovich, who comes to network television as the legendary pirate Blackbeard.

New this week on Movies on Demand

lone-survivorLone Survivor
Fans of raw action films will appreciate “Lone Survivor,” the true story of a group of Navy SEALs who are trapped deep inside enemy territory in Afghanistan after a botched mission. Mark Wahlberg stars in this film, which netted more than $125 million at the box office. Available June 3, 2014.

A solid remake of the 1980s classic. This version eschews the black humor of the original and instead delves into the complex questions that face society in the face of immense technological changes. Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton star in the film, which sports some excellent action sequences. Available June 3.

son-of-godSon of God
The life of Jesus – from birth to death and resurrection – is told. The film is very old school – respectful and reverential and without controversy. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado does a nice turn in the title role. Available June 3.

Rigor Mortis
This Chinese horror tale is a moody, atmospheric movie about a building inundated with all sorts of creepy creatures. “Rigor Mortis” delivers its scares (and there are plenty) with old-fashioned story telling and pacing. Available June 6.

Fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy “Anna,” a futuristic tale of a detective who can enter into the memories of others in order to solve crimes. But when the detective, played by British actor Mark Strong, is given his latest case, a troubled 16-year old girl, he finds himself cast into murky and deadly world. Available June 6.

TV Highlights

TheNormalHeartLogoThe Normal Heart
This adaptation of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play of the same name follows the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York in the early 80s. The top notch cast includes Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Julia Roberts and Jim Parson. First airs May 25 on HBO, but check your television schedule for replays.

The World Wars
Just in time for Memorial Day, the History Channel presents a three-night mini-series tracing a 30 year period from World War I to the end of World War II. The series mixes archival footage with dramatic reenactment and interviews to tell the story of the era’s great leaders. Begins Monday, May 26, History Channel.

Season 5 of this entertaining competitive cooking reality show kicks off this week. “MasterChef” allows amateur chefs to face the pros (including Gordon Ramsay) as they seek to become the nation’s next big culinary sensation. Monday, May 26, Fox.

wil-wheaton-prjectThe Wil Wheaton Project
Will Wheaton (Wesley Crusher from “Star Trek: Next Generation”) hosts his own talk show on the SyFy network. Expect a slightly twisted and humorous look at pop culture, sci-fi films, television and video games from Wheaton, one of the Internet’s most accomplished and insightful geeks. Tuesday, May 27, SyFy.

So You Think You Can Dance
Fox’s dance competition kicks off its 11th season. Hosts Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy return, along with hostess Cat Deelay. This week, the auditions begin. Wednesday, May 28, Fox.

John Malkovich stars as the famed pirate Blackbeard in this NBC series. There’s plenty of action, mystery and romance in this beautifully photographed series, which was shot in the Bahamas. Malkovich fans should love seeing the great actor in his first regular television role. Friday, May 30, NBC.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO subscribers should make sure to visit this wickedly funny look at the top news stories and pop culture topics from the past week. Oliver, previously from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” does a outstanding job.


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