There are some entertaining titles out this week. For starters, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson round out the ensemble cast in the dark comedy "Seven Psychopaths." Wu-Tang member RZA has his directorial debut out with "The Man With The Iron Fists," which stars Russell Crowe in all his scenery-chewing glory. And find out why Kathryn Bigelow wasn’t the only one who got the shaft from the Oscars, as John Hawkes shines in "The Sessions."
This delightfully vicious comedy stars Colin Farrell as a struggling screenwriter who stumbles onto the radar of the L.A. criminal world after his friends (Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken) kidnaps a gangster’s Shih Tzu.
Why Watch It: Great ensemble cast and a biting wit that keeps this dark comedy from going off the rails.
Available On: iTunes, Cable On Demand, VUDU
'The Man With The Iron Fists'
Wu-Tang Clan co-founder RZA has dipped into movies for years now, both in small roles ("Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai," "American Gangster," "Funny People") and doing film scores ("Kill Bill: Vol 1," "Blade: Trinity"), but now he’s turned to the director’s chair. Who better to create a flashy kung-fu pic than the man who gave Shaolin Monks street cred? RZA also stars as the blacksmith of a small town who tries to defend it from a band of warriors and a British soldier (Russell Crowe) in search of treasure.
Why Watch It: Forget Russell Crowe as Javert — this is his best role of the year.
All the attention has been on Kathryn Bigelow getting hosed of an Oscar nomination, but how about John Hawkes? Here he plays Mark O’Brien, who has spent most of his life in an iron lung after contracting polio at age six. We follow his emotional, often comical journey to experience the touch of a woman through a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) and eventually lose his virginity.
Why Watch It: Hawkes gives one of the best performances of his career.
An overlooked comedy from last summer, "Celeste and Jesse" stars Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg as a divorced couple who attempt to move on with their romantic lives while still being best friends. Of course, that doesn’t work out, leading to an exploration by both to find what they really want.
Why Watch It: Jones, who also co-wrote the script, gives an emotional performance that explores more of her acting range than anything she’s been in before.
Available On: iTunes, Amazon Instant
When the barrage of scandals and rumors during a political campaign become overwhelming, the pros turn to Paul Turner (Rob Lowe) to clean things up. Here we follow Turner and his team as he tries to make his guy shine the brightest amongst all the campaign bluster.
Why Watch It: Lowe goes full force on the charm in an impressive role.
Available On: Cable on demand
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and to get you ready, your on-demand cable service has compiled some of the best football movies. Look for the "Football Flicks" tab in the movies section and you’ll find some great titles like "Any Given Sunday," "The Blind Side," "Invincible," "The Longest Yard" (both the Burt Reynolds classic and Adam Sandler stinker), "Remember The Titans," "Rudy" and more.
Available On: Cable On Demand
Before getting Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play a young Bruce Willis in "Looper," director Rian Johnson cast JGL in his debut film, "Brick." An ode to the film noir tales he loved as a kid, Johnson created this high school drama more like a '50s gangster movie with Gordon-Levitt as a Humphrey Bogart-like investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.
Available On: Hulu (free)