Super Storm Sandy has made a mess of many things and interrupted the lives of millions. Though it is a stress for those involved hopefully power and cleanup will happen timely. There has been no confirmation from HBO, whose corporate offices are in New York City, on how it has fared Gaia’s wrath but HBO.com and HBOGo are functioning; though, my resource for this post is not available. So, the following may not be the most accurate or most timely reporting done on the matter but, nevertheless, here is WHAT’S ON.
Theatrical Movies: The movie premieres for HBO in the month run 11.03, 11.10, 11.17 and 11.24. They are WE BOUGHT A ZOO; TOWER HEIST; SAFE HOUSE and RED TAILS. It seems to be something for everyone. If I were to play the role of the decision maker for the line-up I would have placed WE BOUGHT A ZOO in the Thanksgiving weekend spot as opposed to its position as the first theatrical of the month. It would be only for the reason of its more family appeal than the other choices. In this movie, for those who haven’t already seen it, director Cameron Crowe gives us a story of a family trying to rebuild their lives and a zoo. The true story this is based on is actually British; the zoo is in Devon, England. Hollywood felt it necessary to place it in America and obtained Matt Damon in the lead. After the death of his character’s wife he and his brood submerse themselves into getting a run-down zoo in top shape once again with the aid of Scarlett Johansson in the zoo keeper’s role. This rated PG flick might be a nice one for the family to sit around.
A number of notable names appear in the next movie premiere, TOWER HEIST, the following weekend. This PG-13 action comedy stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Casey Affleck but also has Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Judd Hirsch, Tea Leoni and Gabourey Sidibe in it. The three leads play characters out to rob from the rich to get back what is rightfully theirs. It makes it a bit more redeemable than just robbing someone for the greediness of it. Their target is a stash of cash in a posh penthouse and the humor lies in the planning and execution of this heist. This Brett Ratner directed picture, when it came out, looked like it could be a total bomb yet proved entertaining to the masses. Plus, it was nice to see Eddie Murphy in something good.
SAFE HOUSE is the R-rated movie of the month and premieres next. It is a 2012 action thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It was filmed in Cape Town, South Africa. It is at that locale that a safe house for a rouge CIA agent is set up. Of course, that environment is compromised and the agent, Denzel is forced to be moved elsewhere by his attendant, Ryan, to another safe location. The hot pursuit of these two better be intense to drive this movie’.
To round out the month is LucasFilms’ RED TAILS. Stories of the Tuskegee Airmen have been told before, even via an HBO Film. This take is from the George Lucas so you know the aerial sequences must be well done; just substitute fighter planes in place of X-Wings and Tie Fighters. Also being a Lucas film, however, its dialog might not be at its best. But, I see that the screenplay is credited to a John Ridley. Regardless of the writing, I’m sure this film has a rousing sense of heroism about it and that that is easily expressed in the actions of the characters played by the like of Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ne-Yo, and others. It sounds good enough to enjoy on a chilly autumn night over Thanksgiving weekend.
In fact, I will probably catch the last three of the four movies this month. If I haven’t mentioned it before I don’t go to many movies. I live in a rural setting and the nearest cinema is twenty-five miles one way or twenty-eight miles the other. So I need to catch up. We’ll see if I can actually fit them in this month. I’ll let you know.
Originals: What I won’t miss is the original programming happening on the network. BOARDWALK EMPIRE offers a new episode each of the four Sundays in the month, at 9:00pm ET, before concluding 12.02. Is Nucky Thompson going to make it out on top before season’s end? TREME is the other dramatic series airing at 10:00pm ET. It offers us, its Season Three Finale on 11.25 leaving us with a shortened Final Season to go. The other series running is REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER. You didn’t think he’d wrap up the season without passing comment on Election Day results, do you? He doesn’t conclude Season 10 until 11.16 giving him the final word.
HBO offers documentaries as well in November. Followers know I don’t miss those. In fact, HBO presents a limited series this month entitled WITNESS beginning on 11.05. Each Monday a film about war photojournalists around the world are presented. First is WITNESS: JUAREZ followed by LIBYA, SOUTH SUDAN and RIO. Each installment shows us what kind of person it takes to keep a camera running in war-torn sections of the world. This work is under the guidance of producer Michael Mann. The other documentary premieres on 11.15. It is all about the sex, drugs and rock and roll lives of the Rolling Stones entitled CROSSFIRE HURRICANE. That title comes from a line of lyrics in “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” I’m sure to rock out with that one and will post more about it later in the month.
Sports: Sports programming is pretty scare this month. HBO was planning a countdown to the NHL’s Winter Classic but that event has been scrubbed. What they do offer is another installment of 24/7. Starting 11.17 we will be allowed into the preparations for PACQUIAO/MARQUEZ 4. They will air Saturday nights and lead in to the Pay-Per-View bout on 12.08. Speaking of boxing there are a few bouts airing, mostly under the BOXING AFTER DARK banner. Watch for them fans! Also on the schedule is another edition of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. It premieres on 11.20. What stories they are tell aren’t disclosed at this time but they always get attention because as they say “nothing is out of bounds.”
Other Movies & Shows: Next up is my opportunity to randomly dish out some other offerings to catch throughout the month. I mean once you’re full of turkey and trimmings you have to loosen the belt and watch something, right? Maybe, you’ll take me up on a suggestion, so here goes. Here’s one I never heard of, BRIDGE OF DRAGONS. In it Dolph Lundgren helps a princess save her kingdom from a power mad General in the post-apocalyptic future. How about COLLATERAL where over a steamy LA night an assassin commandeers a taxi and its driver? Tom Cruise & Jamie Foxx are in that one. There’s also X:MEN 2, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND and THE TERMINAL. Whatever it is you watch, enjoy!
HBO’s Other Platforms: Other channels in the HBO family might have something of interest as well. HBO Latino & HBO Family have the usual series running this month. Both channels, if you didn’t know, have their separate websites highlighting the schedule for each. HBO Latino takes a person fluent in Spanish to read the site. Some shows and movies from these stations can also be watched on HBOGo. We’ll check back with them to see if there is any anything outstanding next month. HBO Signature is running all ten episodes of THE PACIFIC this month as well as the movies CRAZY, STUPID LOVE and MR. POPPER’S PENQUINS. HBO Comedy offers up episodes of HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA and Season One of ENLIGHTENED.
HBOGO Some fun stuff is popping up on HBO’s streaming site. What caught my eye are movies like ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ with my man Clint Eastwood; the critically acclaimed IN BRUGES with Colin Farrel; that comedy that’s all wet, but fun, called SPLASH. Plus, there are four comedies airing on HBOGo that are exclusive digital series only seen on the site. More on those series at some point. Cinemax The first-run premieres in November are THIS MEANS WAR with Reese Witherspoon on 11.03; the superhero tale CHRONICLE on 11.10; A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS on 11.17 and a movie I never heard of called PHILLY KID on 11.24. Melissa George still kicking ass with original series HUNTED through the month as well. It airs Fridays at 10:00pm ET.
There it is. I apologize for the delay in getting this out but, now that Mother Nature has once again kicked our ass, we can now get back to normal.