The new year is well on its way and we are in the bitterest part of winter. Many of us know that February can be nasty and cold. There is no better time then to grab a throw and your favorite hot beverage and get cozy with some good HBO entertainment in the evenings. What does HBO offer to lure viewers in this coming month? The biggest attraction just might be not one but two special events. Plus, there is the continuation of two comedies and plenty more to explore. Or who knows, guys you might want to seek out a romantic movie with your loved one? Let’s go through the drill and discover what is on for February 2013.
Theatrical Movies: Wow, am I out of touch or what? Only one movie this month that gets the featured Saturday night premiere is recognizable to me. How can I recommend what to watch if I don’t know the material? I’ll investigate a bit and make it right. The four movies that get their debut runs in February are THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT; BATTLESHIP; THE LUCKY ONE and WANDERLUST. The movie I recognize, by title, is BATTLESHIP; the rest are a bit of a mystery. If you heard of the others and/or saw them in the cinema maybe you can do your part by reviewing or recommending them in the comments below.
Starting us off on 02.02 is THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT. From the duo behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall comes this “charming & funny” (New York magazine) romantic comedy that leaves the conventions of the genre behind. Jason Segel and Emily Blunt star as a smitten young couple whose journey down the aisle hits a series of speed bumps that threatens to tear them apart. Can they get past their respective differences and career aspirations to make it work? Rhys Ifans, Chris Pratt and Alison Brie co-star. It is directed by Nicholas Stoller and written by Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller. Oh, a romantic comedy; no wonder it wasn’t on my radar. HINT: this is one of those movies guys you can offer to watch will your mate!
In fair play ladies you should offer your man a turn to watch a movie that suits his tastes. I am not sure if BATTLESHIP is the one but it airs the next weekend on 02.09. This movie was hyped as the latest Sci-Fi pix out there but didn’t get treated nicely by critics. If you get opposition to watching this one guys just tell the ladies that Alexander Skarsgard (of TRUE BLOOD) stars in it and they’ll suddenly want to watch it with you even if it is about an alien armada taking on the U. S. Navy. Hell, I still can’t get past the whole “based on the Hasbro game” pitch. On the following Saturday (02.16) premieres a movie that suits her Valentine’s Day ideas. It is called THE LUCKY ONE and it is inspired by a Nicholas Sparks novel. In this sweet romantic piece Fate takes a hand in the life of a war vet who attributes his survival in a deadly firefight to photo of a young woman he finds amid the rubble. Zac Efron stars as the soldier whose vow to find the mystery lady leads him to a single mom in a small Louisiana town. But even as an unlikely relationship takes form, the pair must deal with obstacles from their respective pasts. Aww, let’s see how many guys get roped into watching that one!
The final new movie on the channel stars Alan Rudd and Jennifer Aniston debuting on 02.23. I like the recently married Aniston. I’m still waiting for her to break out as an A Star. WANDERLUST wasn’t the movie to do it I guess. After a rough patch leaves them unemployed and penniless, George and Linda Gergenblatt leave New York City behind for Atlanta. What they stumble upon is a hippie commune and a special journey to improve their relationship. Your relationship may improve too if you treat your significant other to a romantic movie on HBO!
My last thoughts, for now, in movies, are all about which ones I caught in the first month of 2013 and my plans for this upcoming month. Well, first off I did watch THE THREE STOOGES. All I can say is either my sensibilities have changed with age or this humor just didn’t hold up in this millennium. What say you? I also caught the premiere of WRATH OF THE TITANS. I liked the first one and even the Harry Hamlin original so I added this flick to my watch list and it ended up ‘good’ but not ‘great.’ Along with all the original content I watched that made a full month of programming. Now, looking ahead, I have to say I doubt I’ll see BATTLESHIP. Maybe, if I stumble upon it while channel surfing. As for the three romance themed flicks I’ll leave that up to my wife but, I’m only watching one! It could be THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT. Here is its trailer.
Originals: HBO continues with its comedy originals in February. Sundays (02.03, 02.10, 02.17 and 02.24) of course, get our attention with the continuation of GIRLS and ENLIGHTENED and Friday (02.01, 02.08, 02.15 and 02.22) is reserved for REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER. Each series
has four episodes this coming month. GIRLS at 9:00pm gives us “It’s a Shame About Ray,” “One Man’s Trash,” “Boys,” and “Video Games.” ENLIGHTENED follows at 9:30pm and the coming episodes there are called “Follow Me,” “The Ghost Is Seen,” “All I Ever Wanted” and “No Doubt.”
HBOWatch hopes you are in the thick of it and enjoying the comedic exploits of Hannah and company & Amy and co-workers. Bill Maher offers something completely different. It is a great mix of comedy and talk on hot button issues that affect us all. Catch it live Fridays at 10:00pm.
Two special events air in February. One has garnered a lot of talk not only at HBOWatch but elsewhere. The other is totally something quite new for HBO. I hope we can generate some good discussion about both here on our site. The Mini-series that many have been waiting for since 08.12, when it aired in the U. K., is finally about to air here. PARADE’S END has a special premiere. Its first two parts air back to back on Tuesday, 02.26. Part Three and Part Four air together on Wednesday, 02.27 and Part Five plays 02.28. Each night the story begins at 9:00pm.
The other event is billed as an HBO Documentary Special and is called BEYONCE: LIFE IS BUT A DREAM. Its first airplay is 9:00pm on 02.16. It is a unique piece that will get discussed in its own post down the line. For now let’s just say it is a documentary about the life and career of the famed performer Beyonce Knowles. It is all about her, made by her and, who knows, maybe just for her as well. So is it a glorified advertisement or a vanity thing? It claims to be an honest piece about her letting the world know just who Beyonce is. We’ll make that call once the documentary airs. Here is just one of the clips out there promoting it.
The Beyonce piece is not the only controversial documentary to air in February. We have drawn attention to this one already around here. It is the HBO Documentary Film: MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD. This eye opening film delves inside the shocking truth behind a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting children for decades at St. John’s School for the Deaf. At the heart of the story are four courageous deaf men who vow to break the Church’s code of silence. It premieres Monday, 02.04 at 9:00pm. It is a must-see in my book.
Sports: HBO is not sports heavy in February but the stalwart journalist Bryant Gumbel still holds court. His latest episode of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL airs Tuesday, 02.19 at 10:00pm.One of the top interviews of this installment is a sit down with Ronda Rousey the UFC’s top female fighter. Also on HBO’s schedule, of course, is some boxing. Two bouts play out back-to-back beginning at 10:30pm on 02.16. HBO’s WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING gives us Broner vs. Rees plus a Banks vs. Mitchell rematch that night.
Other Movies & Shows: This section is always a crap shoot. I don’t know what other programming is offered until I do some investigating and then there is the problem of bringing to light what titles I think HBOWatchers might like to be aware of. Here is one more stab at finding what you like. In January, maybe as an experiment, HBO offered some late night first-run films. They didn’t, disappointingly, in month two of 2013. Two titles I found buried in the schedule are JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE with Tim Allen and a new one to me called DARK WOLF billed as a sexy, scary horror movie. Other films have a heavier rotation, which some viewers don’t like, like THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU airing on eight different dates; CHRONICLE runs seven times; HORRIBLE BOSSES across six different nights and RED RIDING HOOD five times.
Are there some shows to catch? HBO FIRST LOOK gives a sneak peek at the movies Admission, A Good Day To Die Hard and Identity Theft throughout the month; late night has episodes of THE CATHOUSE and some 2012 summer documentaries re-air including MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT. Here is hoping you find something you like!
HBO’s Other Platforms: Don’t forget there are more channels than just HBO proper. I don’t let you with this next section. I offer a title from each and encourage you to explore these channels on your own. HBO Latino has a piece called JUAN OF THE DEAD airing now. HBO Family has GETTING EVEN WITH DAD from 1994 starring Ted Danson. HBO Signature is continuing its run of THE SOPRANOS every weeknight at 8:00pm ET. Monday, 02.04 offers Episode # 44 “Pie-O-My” and ends with Episode # 62 “Cold Cuts” on Thursday, 02.28. HBOGO HBO’s online streaming service is always interesting to explore. Besides its series library some other works just added include Christian Slater in AMERICAN PSYCHO; Frank Herbert’s DUNE directed by David Lynch; the thriller THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE and THE MIGHTY DUCKS. Kids can check out the beautifully animated THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT and those who like something more adult can watch TRACY MORGAN: BLACK AND BLUE. Cinemax The three movies in the Guide for the sister channel in February are RED TAILS on 02.02; DRAGON EYES on 02.09; SAFE HOUSE on 02.16. The Alan Ball series BANSHEE is still going strong as well. The episodes airing next are Episode 04 – “Half Deaf is Better Than All Dead;” Episode 05 – “The Kindred;” Episode 06 – “Wicks;” and episode 07 – “Behold A Pale Rider.”
Well, that’s all I got this time around. Hope you appreciate it. Feel free to talk about what interests you in the comments below. Oh, and fellas, don’t forget to watch that romantic movie sometime around Valentine’s Day.
About The Author
Editor at Large of HBOWatch.com and the internet's foremost HBO expert.