This Week: Movie, TV, Music, and Game Picks for February 18-24

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  • Publish Date: February 17, 2013

Notable new releases and events

The symbol indicates titles of unusual interest, quality, and/or critical acclaim.

Movie picks

Broadcast live Sunday night at 8:30p ET / 5:30p PT on ABC (with the red carpet proceedings beginning 90 minutes earlier), the 85th Annual Academy Awards will provide a rare primetime showcase for little-known films like Argo and Lincoln. Seth MacFarlane hosts for the first time, while Adele, Norah Jones, the cast of the 10-year-old film Chicago, and Barbra Streisand (for the first time in 36 years) are expected to perform on night that will be even heavier on production numbers than your typical Oscar ceremony. Don't forget to make your predictions in our annual Oscar poll; we'll reveal your consensus picks (as well as those of dozens of industry experts) in our Oscar preview on Thursday.

If you like your film award shows with a bit less pomp and with slightly better films, Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards (10p on IFC) could be for you. Andy Samberg hosts the event, which will see Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, Keep the Lights On, Moonrise Kingdom, and Silver Linings Playbook compete for best picture. View more Spirit Award nominees at our Film Awards Scorecard.

Oscar week usually means a relatively uneventful weekend at the box office, and this year is no exception, with few newcomers of note. Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon (yes, the one you're thinking of) star in Snitch, a thriller based on the true story of a man who goes undercover for the DEA to help free his wrongly imprisoned son. Dark Skies takes the sci-fi/horror route as a family (including Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton) is targeted by a deadly alien force; Scott Stewart (Legion) directs. In limited release, Inescapable comes from the director of Cairo Time, Ruba Nadda. The Damascus-set thriller stars Alexander Siddig, Joshua Jackson, and Marisa Tomei. Trailers for all three are below.

Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday's key DVD/Blu-ray releases include (not coincidentally) Argo, Joe Wright's underrated Anna Karenina, and the Ethan Hawke thriller Sinister. Check our DVD Release Calendar for a full list of this week's new releases.

Game Picks

Tuesday brings two major new titles. Three million gamers have already downloaded the multiplayer beta version of Crysis 3 (360, PS3, PC), the third chapter in Crytek's sandbox-style FPS series. The new game advances the action forward in time by over two decades to the year 2047, when New York City has been covered by a "Liberty Dome" and turned partially into a rainforest. Naturally, the new environment will necessitate the latest in cutting-edge weaponry.

Also out Tuesday is Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (360, PS3), which brings a new emphasis on action to the decades-old stealth franchise, thanks to the arrival of co-developer Platinum Games (Bayonetta). Taking place after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the fast-paced game centers on the cyborg ninja Raiden and his battle against private militias run by criminal organizations. Expect to do a lot more killing—using your high frequency katana blade—and a lot less sneaking around than you typically would in a Metal Gear game. We're expecting reviews to come in for both Revengeance and Crysis early Tuesday.

Also of note this week for gamers: Sony is expected to officially announce its next-generation PlayStation 4 console on Wednesday at 6p ET. The event—the nature of which has been kept under wraps by Sony—will be streamed live at the official PlayStation site.

Music Picks

The Copenhagen-based teen punk band Iceage released one of the better debut albums in recent memory in the form of 2011's New Brigade. Tuesday, they return with a follow-up. The 12-song You're Nothing marks the band's debut on the legendary Matador label, and early reviews suggest that the band's music hasn't lost any of its intensity.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have a bit more experience under their belts; Tuesday's Push the Sky Away is the band's 15th studio album—and that doesn't include Cave's other output with Grinderman or The Birthday Party. Already receiving rave reviews, the new Nick Launay-produced LP is the group's first without Bad Seeds co-founder Mick Harvey.

Tuesday is actually shaping up to be one of the busiest album release days of 2013 so far. Among the other notable albums arriving that day are Jamie Lidell's latest blend of soul and electronic beats (titled simply Jamie Lidell) for Warp Records, and the Thrill Jockey debut for the more experimental-minded Matmos, The Marriage of True Minds. However, note that the Major Lazer album (Free the Universe) scheduled for release on Tuesday has been delayed once more, and should now arrive on March 12th.

TV Picks

While the two awards shows mentioned above will dominate weekend TV viewing, the coming days bring a few series premieres as well. Created by TV sci-fi veteran Rockne S. O'Bannon (Farscape) and in development for over five years, Cult (Tuesday at 9p on the CW) centers on an investigative reporter who begins researching a popular TV show about cults (also called Cult) that itself may be inspiring some cult-like behavior, and could be related to the mysterious disappearance of his own brother. Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries), Jessica Lucas (Melrose Place) and Robert Knepper (Prison Break) star. Think of it as a lower-budget take on Fox's The Following.

Also debuting this week is Out There (Friday at 10:30p on IFC), a new animated comedy from one of the producers of South Park. The series, which follows three high school friends in a small town, features a distinctive animation style and has been welcomed by critics so far; voices are provided by the likes of Kate Micucci, Fred Armisen, Pamela Adlon, Linda Cardellini, and Megan Mullally. New series The Jeselnik Offensive (Tuesday at 10:30p on Comedy Central) finds comedian Anthony Jeselnik joined by a rotating group of panelists to discuss the week's most sensational news items. And ABC's medical crime drama Body of Proof returns for a third season beginning Tuesday at 10p.

Blu-ray and DVD Key TV on DVD releases this week include the second season of HBO's Game of Thrones. Find more releases in our DVD Calendar.

Closing the book on last week

#1 Product Most Popular Title on Metacritic
Aliens: Colonial Marines (360) 50 Week of 2/10-2/16
#1 Movie Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
A Good Day to Die Hard 28 $25.0 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album #1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Josh Groban: All that Echoes 75 1st week at #1
Top-Rated TV Show Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
Grammy Awards (CBS) 28.4 million viewers; week of 2/4-2/10

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