For movies, we've got 2008's Academy Award winning, The Hurt Locker, several sure-to-be-great documentaries, a Bollywood movie, one of those new weird-haired Nicholas Cage action flicks, some dreck that Tyler Perry is presenting, two documentaries by Russell Brand (pft), and a handful of movies that most of us have never heard of but, let's hope to Christmas, that they're diamonds in the rough (they're probably not).
On the TV side of things, the pickings are slim. One noteworthy addition, though, is volume 1 of the classic Reading Rainbow educational series. In a way, this addition kind of makes all of today's crap worth it. After all, what's better than having Geordi La Forge read us story books?
The Hurt Locker (2008)
R | 131 min | Drama, History, Thriller
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.
R | 99 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
Director: David Mackenzie
Writers: Patrick McGrath (novel), Patrick Marber (screenplay)
Stars: Natasha Richardson, Sean Harris, Marton Csokas
A woman becomes very curious about one of her psychiatrist husband's inmates, a man who was found guilty in the murder and disfigurement of his former wife.
Beneath the Helmet (2014)
80 min | Documentary
Director: Wayne Kopping
Writers: Baruch Goldberg, Rebecca Shore
A coming of age story that highlights five young Israeli high school graduates, who are drafted into the army to defend their country. At the age of 18, away from their houses, family, and friends these young individuals undergo a demanding journey, revealing the core of who they are and who they want to be.
Bride & Prejudice (2004)
PG-13 | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writers: Jane Austen (novel), Paul Mayeda Berges
Stars: Martin Henderson, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Nadira Babbar
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice gets a Bollywood treatment.
Casting By (2012)
TV-14 | 89 min | Documentary
Director: Tom Donahue
Stars: Deborah Aquila, Risa Bramon Garcia, Ellen Chenoweth
The surprising, never-before-told tale of the indispensable yet unsung Casting Director - Iconoclasts whose keen eye, exquisite taste and gut instincts redefined Hollywood.
Dear Frankie (2004)
PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Romance
Director: Shona Auerbach
Writer: Andrea Gibb (screenplay)
Stars: Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler
After having responded to her son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, a woman hires a stranger to pose as his dad when meeting him.
Dogs on the Inside (2014)
67 min | Documentary, News
Directors: Brean Cunningham, Douglas Seirup
Stars: Candido Santiago
Filmed in a Massachusetts prison, Dogs on the Inside follows the birth of a relationship between abandoned rescue dogs and prison inmates as they work together toward a second chance at a better life. Giving a voice to a forgotten dog and a forgotten man, the film is a life-affirming testament to the power of second chances.
Electric Slide (2014)
R | 95 min | Action, Biography, Crime
Director: Tristan Patterson
Writers: Timothy Ford (article), Tristan Patterson (screenplay)
Stars: Vinessa Shaw, Chloë Sevigny, Isabel Lucas
A chronicle of the life of furniture salesman turned bank robber Eddie Dodson.
Enemy at the Gates (2001)
R | 131 min | Drama, History, Romance
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Writers: Jean-Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard
Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes
A Russian sniper and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.
Flex is Kings (2013)
80 min | Documentary
Directors: Michael Beach Nichols, Deidre Schoo
Stars: Dj Aaron, Anime, Kareem Baptiste
"Flexing" is a dance style forged in far east Brooklyn, at the dead-end of a handful of subway lines. Flex dancers channel the grittiness and crime of East New York into choreographed violence with gun movements, simulated bone-breaking, and the mimicked ripping of hearts from opponent's chests [...] Following a group of dancers for over two years, Flex is Kings explores the hopes and realities of this under-acknowledged and totally unfunded group of urban artists.
99 min | Action, Adventure
Director: Nick Powell
Writer: James Dormer
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen, Alexandre Bailly
A mysterious warrior teams up with the daughter and son of a deposed Chinese Emperor to defeat their cuel brother, who seeks their deaths.
Pants on Fire
TV Movie | 85 min | Comedy
Director: Jonathan A. Rosenbaum
Writer: Alex Cramer
Stars: Bradley Steven Perry, Joshua J. Ballard, Tyrel Jackson Williams
When a boy lies to get fame, all of his lies come true.
Somewhere Only We Know
109 min | Drama, Romance
Director: Jinglei Xu
Writers: Shuo Wang, Yun Wang
Stars: Kris Wu, Likun Wang, Jinglei Xu
A guy meets a girl and they go on an amazing adventure together.
Sorority Row (2009)
R | 101 min | Horror, Mystery
Director: Stewart Hendler
Writers: Josh Stolberg (screenplay), Pete Goldfinger (screenplay) (as Peter Goldfinger)
Stars: Briana Evigan, Rumer Willis, Carrie Fisher
A group of sorority sisters try to cover up the death of their house-sister after a prank gone wrong, only to be stalked by a serial killer.
The Golden Era (2014)
117 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Director: Ann Hui
Writer: Qiang Li
Stars: Wei Tang, Shaofeng Feng, Zhiwen Wang
The life story of Xiao Hong, one of China's most famous essayists and novelists, who reflected the progressive thinking not frequently seen during the 1930's.
The Living (2014)
R | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director: Jack Bryan
Writer: Jack Bryan
Stars: Fran Kranz, Jocelin Donahue, Kenny Wormald
A man hires an ex-con to kill his sister's abusive husband, but the desperate act sets into motion a shocking series of events in this intense indie drama.
Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns
PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director: Tyler Perry
Writer: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tamela J. Mann, Angela Bassett, Tyler Perry
A single mom takes her family to Georgia for the funeral of her father — a man she never met. There, her clan is introduced to the crass, fun-loving Brown family.
R | 103 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Director: Philip G. Atwell
Writers: Lee Anthony Smith, Gregory J. Bradley
Stars: Jet Li, Jason Statham, Nadine Velazquez
An FBI Agent seeks vengeance on a mysterious assassin known as "Rogue" who murdered his partner.
Wing Commander (1999)
PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director: Chris Roberts
Writers: Chris Roberts (characters), Chris Roberts (story)
Stars: Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows
Blair, a fighter pilot, joins an interstellar war to fight the evil Kilrathi who are trying to destroy the universe.
Back in Time (2014)
119 min | Drama, Romance
Director: Yibai Zhang
Writer: Jiu Ye Hui
Stars: Ni Ni, Eddie Peng, Ryan Zheng
A man recounts his life growing up in Beijing during the 1980's and the beautiful woman he broke up with when he was younger.
Breakup Buddies (2014)
116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director: Hao Ning
Writers: Run Nian Dong, Xiaohang Sun
Stars: Bo Huang, Zheng Xu, Quan Yuan
Recently cuckolded and reeling from a messy divorce, a hapless former singer hits the road and the bar with his all-too-helpful best bud.
Lost and Love (2015)
108 min | Drama
Director: Sanyuan Peng
Writer: Sanguan Peng
Stars: Andy Lau, Boran Jing, Tony Ka Fai Leung
A man's epic 14 year search for his son crosses paths with another man who shares a similar story.
November Rule (2015)
Director: Mike Elliott
Writers: Candice Childress, Juwan Lee
Stars: DJ Qualls, Maria Conchita Alonso, Tatyana Ali
Up-and-coming sports shoe entrepreneur Steve, who is still reeling from the death of his dad, has made a "November rule" in order to keep his distance from the women who seem to be getting too serious about their relationship. Every November 1st, Steve makes up a whopping lie in order to break up with his current girlfriend. However, this year, when he gives the beautiful Leah her walking papers, he realizes his immature and arbitrary rule has just lost him the woman of his dreams.
Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery (2012)
TV Movie | 60 min | Documentary
Director: Ross Wilson
Writer: Russell Brand
Stars: Russell Brand, Amy Winehouse, Mitch Winehouse
After the death of his friend Amy Winehouse from an overdose, Russel Brand looks back on his own years of addiction and wants to show that not all addicts turn out the same way.
Russell Brand: End the Drugs War (2014)
TV Movie | Documentary
Director: Ross Wilson
Writer: Russell Brand
Stars: Russell Brand, Nick Clegg, David Cameron
In this personal journey for BBC Three, Russell Brand sets out to find out how other countries are tackling their problems of drug abuse and to explore how the framework of criminalization implicit in the 'war on drugs' produces enormous harm in the treatment of addicts.
Reading Rainbow (1983—) — Volume 1
TV Series | TV-Y | 30 min | Family
Stars: LeVar Burton, Jennifer Betit Yen, Arnold Stang
Levar Burton introduces young viewers to illustrated readings of children's literature and explores their related subjects.
Dancing on the Edge (2013) — Season 1
TV Mini-Series | Drama
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Joanna Vanderham
A black jazz band becomes entangled in the aristocratic world of 1930's London as they seek fame and fortune.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (2012—) — Season 2
TV Series | Animation, Family
Creator: Angela Santomero
Stars: Jake Beale, Heather Bambrick, Addison Holley
A new animated continuation to Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, where all the original characters are now grown up with their own preschool-aged children.
Odd Squad (2014—) — Season 1
TV Series | Comedy, Family
Creators: Timothy McKeon, Adam Peltzman
Stars: Millie Davis, Dalila Bela, Sean Michael Kyer
Geared for children agest 5-8, "Odd Squad" follows two young agents, Olive and Otto, who are part of an agency that seeks to save the day using math when odd things happen.
The Mind of a Chef (2012—) — Season 3
TV Series | TV-PG | Game-Show, Reality-TV
Stars: Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Sean Brock
Chef David Chang, along with his friends, explore, explain and enjoy food from around the world.
Utopia (2013—) — Season 1
TV Series | 50 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Creator: Dennis Kelly
Stars: Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Alexandra Roach, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
After a group of people, who meet online, discover a bizarre graphic novel which seems to hold mysterious answers, they find themselves being tracked down by a merciless organization known merely as 'The Network'.
Vexed (2010) — Season 1-2
TV Mini-Series | 60 min | Comedy, Crime
Writer: Howard Overman (creator)
Stars: Toby Stephens, Ronny Jhutti, Roger Griffiths
Two detectives, Jack and Georgina, who share chemistry but have complicated personal lives.
The Code (2014) — Season 1
TV Mini-Series | Drama, Thriller
Writer: Shelley Birse (creator)
Stars: Dan Spielman, Ashley Zukerman, Adele Perovic
Two Canberra based brothers become entangled in a cover up that involves a remote outback community and key members of the Australian Government.
Masha and the Bear (2009—) — Season 1
TV Series | Animation, Action, Adventure
Creator: Oleg Kuzovkov
Stars: Alina Kukushkina, Boris Kutnevich, Elsie Fisher
Masha is an exceedingly active little girl who can't sit still on one place and has to make everything a business of her own. The Bear is a big and hearty guy who loves comfort and quietness. After they first met, the Bear is always in anticipation for another fun and wild adventure that Masha will surely pull him in.
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