TV Highlights include Christmas classics, Denzel Washington and New Year’s Celebrations

The next couple of weeks offers a strong collection of specials, including holiday classics, college football and New Year’s Eve celebrations. And don’t miss out on Denzel Washington shooting up the bad guys!

New on Video on Demand

dawnapesDawn of the Planet of the Apes
Set 10 years after a pandemic disease, Caesar and his band of super-apes are slowly drawn into conflict with humanity – and themselves. Well done sequel to 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” The CGI is magnificent and the story line is tense and believable. Available now.

Calvary
Brendan Gleeson stars as a small-town Irish priest who finds himself tested by his faith, friends and circumstances. It’s a bleak film that is filled with dark humor. Available now.

Skeleton Twins
Quirky comedy buoyed by the talents of the Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. The SNL alums star as estranged siblings who are brought back together after a near death experience. Available now.

pridePride
“Pride” is the kind of offbeat comedy that the Brits do so well. The film is set in 1984 and takes a look at a group of gays and lesbians who naively try and help striking Welsh coal minors. The movie wonderfully blends comedy with biting social commentary. Available December 23.

The Good Lie
Rewarding drama about Sudanese refugees who arrive in Kansas City. It’s a heartwarming fish-out-of-water tale that will inspire. Reese Witherspoon stars. Available December 23.

equalizerThe Equalizer
Action fans rejoice. Denzel Washington goes all Liam Neeson on Russian gangsters. There’s nothing terribly original here, but Washington does a great job dispatching throngs of bad guys in various (and often gruesome) ways. The film is a loose remake of the 80s television show of the same name. Available December 30.

TV Highlights

sheenAnger Management
Two new episodes from Charlie Sheen and friends – including the season finale. Perfect holiday viewing for the cynic in all of us. Monday, December 22, FX.

The Year: 2014
Host Robin Roberts takes a look at some of the biggest stories of the past year, including the rise of the Islamic State, the great Ebola scare and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Tuesday, December 23, ABC.

One Direction: The TV Special
As teen pop idols, no one does it better than Brit-boy band One Direction. See what the fuss is all about. Tuesday, December 23, NBC.

ralphieA Christmas Story
Thanks to TBS you can spend 24 consecutive hours watching Ralphie plot out how to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Just don’t shoot your eye out! Wednesday, December 24, TBS.

It’s a Wonderful Life
Christmas without this holiday staple just isn’t right. So catch George Bailey and find out why he’s the richest man in Bedford Falls. Wednesday, December 24, NBC.

Doctor Who
Enjoy the annual Christmas show from our favorite doctor. This year’s episode involves the Doctor taking a sleigh ride with Santa! Thursday, December 25, BBC America.

newyearseveDick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve
Join Ryan Seacrest and a host of talent as they welcome in the new year. This year’s performers include Fergie (who co-hosts the event), Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Florida Georgia Line, Elton John, Lady Antebellum, One Direction, Idina Menzel and Taylor Swift. Wednesday, December 31, ABC.

New Year’s Even with Carson Daly
Not a fan of Ryan Seacrest? Then head over to the Peacock Network to check out Carson Daly’s countdown extravaganza. Joining Daly will be Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Seth MacFarlane, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. Wednesday, December 31, NBC.

College Football Playoff Semifinals
Spend New Year’s day eve finding out who will meet for the National Championship on January 12. This year, Oregon meets Florida State in the Rose Bowl (ABC), while Alabama takes on Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl (ESPN).

News

lettermanLate Night with David Letterman” will wrap up on May 20. Stephen Colbert will slide into the host spot shortly after Letterman calls it a career.

“Rizzoli & Isles” will return next summer for its sixth season.

Adult Swim is bringing back the wonderfully demented “Mike Tyson Mysteries” for a second season.

Fox will pass on a second season of the murder mystery “Gracepoint.”

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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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