Here we go! The Holidays of 2012 have wound up and 2013 arrives with a whole new year of fresh entertainment from HBO. This coming year will surely have surprises as it offers new seasons of all its current shows and launches some new ones like FAMILY TREE. Sadly MIA on that front is CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. There are also HBO Films and specials ahead. In fact, some of us still await PARADE’S END. We will also see James Gandolfini, Hillary Swank, Michael Douglas, Larry Merchant and others join the ranks of talents on the channel too. Just who and what we see when, of course, is out of our control. So, even if you want your GAME OF THRONES right now we just have to take it a month at a time; so, let’s get this year going with WHAT’S ON: HBO Schedule for January 2013.
Theatrical Movies: The Saturday Night premieres for the first month of 2013 are certainly diverse. The four movies presented will offer up some slapstick comedy, followed by comedy in a raunchier vein before giving us some action and some CGIed fantasy. The flicks are THE THREE STOOGES, AMERICAN REUNION, THIS MEANS WAR and WRATH OF THE TITANS. Which one do you like? Let’s take a closer look before you decide.
THE THREE STOOGES opens 01.05 and stars Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry and Will Sasso as Curly – collectively known as the vaudevillian team of great renown. The Three Stooges is a required taste; either they crack you up every time or you just don’t find them funny. As far as this movie goes there was the concern that their style of humor wouldn’t play to today’s audience, but the Farrelly brothers, who wrote & directed, seemed to do alright with it as it topped $44 million at the box office. You’ll have to judge for yourself to see if it captured the classic comedy’s feel.
The following weekend, 01.12, AMERICAN REUNION premieres with a different comedic approach. It started in 1999 with American Pie followed by American Pie 2 and American Wedding. The same characters return with this fourth outing as they return home for a high school reunion. Returning are Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott and others. What ribald hi-jinks are involved this time? If you are a fan of these movies than by all means catch this one. Director McG gives us the next Saturday night picture with THIS MEANS WAR on 01.19. Is it a comedy with action or an action flick with some attempts at humor? Either way it gives us Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Thomas Hardy as an oddball threesome. In this one it seems that the two guys, Frank & Tuck, are spies. Unbeknownst to each other they both got their sights set on the same lady friend named Lauren. Eventually, they learn that they got the same target and each aggressively pursues her while they also hunt down a real terrorist played by Til Schweiger. Even though it is just a twist on similar romantic spy capers out there my spouse and I might catch this one together. We’ll see.
The last movie airs 01.26. It is the sequel of the remade Clash of the Titans called WRATH OF THE TITANS. In it Perseus, once again played by Sam Worthington, bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue his imprisoned father Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind again. Ah, got to love the gods. Oh, as is my want I share here what movies I watched on HBO in the past month. December is a busy month so I didn’t get so see much beyond the programming that I have reviewed at HBOWatch. I watched BIG MIRACLE when it premiered and enjoyed it. The people helping animals story was refreshing after watching PROJECT NIM. I also rewatched ENLIGHTENED Season 1 on HBOGo.
Now, as a new feature for WHAT’S ON in 2013 I’ll offer a theatrical trailer from one of the Saturday premieres. Below is WRATH OF THE TITANS.
Originals: The first-run original product on HBO is quite slight to start the new year with but, nevertheless quite entertaining. Though, we’re not LUCKy enough to have a big dramatic series we do have the comedic delights of GIRLS, ENLIGHTENED and REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER. There have already been a couple of posts about GIRLS which premieres its second season on 01.13 at 9:00pm. The three episodes in January are entitled – “It’s About Time”, “I Get Ideas” and Bad Friend.” Just how are Hannah Horvath and her femme friends going to muddle through life this go around? Their exploits are followed by ENLIGHTENED at 9:30pm which also starts on 01.13. The second season starts off with three episodes labeled “The Key”, “Revenge Play” and “Higher Power.” It seems Amy Jellicoe’s battle isn’t over yet. Also not finished is the repartee that we get from Bill Maher as we get another offering of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER beginning on 01.18 in the Friday at 10:00pm slot. The tagline for Season 11 is – “The People Have Spoken. Now It’s His Turn.” We hope you enjoy the comedy series that start off the year!
If you haven’t seen it here is a little teaser from ENLIGHTENED.
Sports: 2012 went out with a punch. It offered a marathon of the best boxing matches HBO had to air over the past year and 2013 starts with the same winning sport. BOXING AFTER DARK presents two bouts back to back out Saturday 01.19. Putting up their dukes is Orlando Salido against Mikey Garcia and Gennady Golovkin faces Gabriel Rosado. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL also has another installment on 01.22. I did manage to catch a few minutes of this show’s recap of the stories they covered in 2012. Here is to another great season starting with episode 190.
Other Movies & Shows: HBO, of course, fleshes out the rest of the air time with a variety of different programming. My comments here are to show you a sampling of the program choices available. It is up to you to find that piece that will entertain you in between the main event shows presented. First, I want to note that HBO is running first run premieres of some little known movies in late night. The movies are MARGARET, PARIAH and TRANSIT. They don’t air but a couple of times each on the channel but might be something worth catching for late night viewers.
MARGARET stars a younger Anna Paquin as a young woman who witnesses a bus accident, and is then caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people’s lives. PARIAH gives us the talent of Adepero Oduye, just recently seen in Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias as a sensitive 17-year-old African-American who discovers she’s a lesbian and struggles to come out to her conservative parents. Then there is TRANSIT. In it a camping trip goes sour for a family when they run into violent thugs. Other options out there include FIERCE CREATURES, a comedy reteaming John Cleese and Jamie Lee Curtis; Tim Allen in Sci-fi spoof GALAXY QUEST and Anthony Hopkins in HEARTS IN ATLANTIS about an aging man returning home and the emotions it evokes. Since there is no new documentary in January I’ll suggest watching the WEIGHT OF THE NATION pieces and/or the sports documentary LOMBARDO.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Let’s poke around the other formats shall we? HBO Latino now offers BORED TO DEATH in its lineup. Also it adds a new movie called PESCADOR (THE FISHERMAN). The hard working title character stumbles upon a stash of cocaine on the beach and hopes to turn his life around with the money he makes from it. HBO Family is where you can find some Monty Python alumnus. Running throughout the month is the mistaken identity farce SPLITTING HEIRS with Eric Idle and others. You can also laugh with the family through the CADDYSHACK movies. HBO Signature is continuing its run of THE SOPRANOS every weeknight at 8:00pm ET. I t is now showing Season two and I suspect will air the entire series through the next couple months. How about AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS as an alternative? HBOGO Just added to the website are movies like BLINK, about a blind woman witnessing a crime; THE FUNHOUSE, about a killer rampaging in a carnival; READY TO RUMBLE, a comedy set in the professional wrestling world; Arnold S. in THE RUNNING MAN and Ellen Barkin in SWITCH. Kids can enjoy programming on HBOGO too. With parental guidance they can watch animated tales like ROBINITA HOOD, THE SISSY DUCKLING and movies like SPACE JAM. Cinemax movies in heavy rotation will be SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS, the Downey sequel; THE DESCENDANTS with George Clooney; Tim Burton’s MARS ATTACKS and Will Smith in I, ROBOT. But the big news on HBO sister channel is the new dramatic series BANSHEE. That is the mystery thriller that Alan Ball left TRUE BLOOD to make. It looks like a killer series that will air Fridays beginning 01.11. HBOGo has sneak peeks and trailers for it. Maybe, if we are lucky BANSHEE will appear on the streaming site someday.
There it is. The mystery is out about what is on HBO in January 2013. Let us know what you look forward to or what movie you enjoy in the comments below.