Notable new releases and events
The symbol indicates titles of unusual interest, quality, and/or critical acclaim.
The first major game release of the year is Capcom's DmC: Devil May Cry (Tuesday for PS3 and Xbox 360, and January 25 for PC), a reboot of the extreme combat series featuring a new-look Dante. It's the first installment in the series since 2008's Devil May Cry 4, though, with the review embargo still in effect, we can't tell you yet if critics are as skeptical of Dante's new design as fans seem to be.
While there are no other major console or PC releases this week, iOS gamers may be interested in the just-released Joe Danger Touch, an action/racing game (based on the indie console title Joe Danger) that is receiving mostly stellar reviews so far.
Fox's Fringe concludes its five-season run on Friday night with two back-to-back episodes airing at 8p and 9p. Although the series was never a ratings hit, it developed a devoted following among sci-fi fans and many TV critics, ultimately sticking around long enough to produce 100 episodes (including Friday's series-ending "An Enemy of Fate"). While there's still plenty of story to wrap up, the cast seems enthused about how everything concludes, with co-star John Noble recently telling reporters, "I hope history will judge it as one of the great finales of all time. I really believe they will." (EW and TVLine have more comments from cast and crew.)
While Fringe might be leaving the airwaves, the week ahead also includes plenty of new arrivals, including The CW's Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries (Monday, 8p). A one-hour drama (rather than a comedy as the original HBO series was), the show centers on the character of Carrie Bradshaw as a high school senior, and is based on Candace Bushnell's book series of the same name; early reviews are mixed. Later in the week, pop culture experts battle for a $100,000 prize in the new reality competition King of the Nerds (Thursday, 10p), hosted by former Revenge of the Nerds stars Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong.
On Comedy Central, the new sketch comedy series Kroll Show (Wednesday, 10:30p) will be paired with the returning Workaholics (Wednesday, 10p). The former finds comedian Nick Kroll (The League) performing as a variety of characters (including Bobby Bottleservice and NBA Ref Jeff), as he does from time to time in his stand-up routines and on shows like Comedy Bang Bang.
It actually could be a very good TV week for fans of alternative comedy. Also debuting is Newsreaders (Thursday, Midnight), Adult Swim's latest spinoff from Childrens' Hospital. You'll spot plenty of familiar faces on the TV newsmagazine spoof, including Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Wise, Tom Lennon, Lizzy Caplan, Katie Aselton, Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Ed Begley Jr., and comedy legend Dan Rather. And the terrific FX animated series Archer (Thursday, 10p) returns for its fourth season with a Bob's Burgers-themed episode that finds star H. Jon Benjamin appearing (sort of) as his characters from both shows. Following Archer is the new live-action comedy Legit (Thursday, 10:30p), starring Australian stand-up Jim Jefferies.
Get dates and times for every show premiering this week, from American Idol to the return of Best Week Ever, at our TV Premiere Calendar.
Key TV on DVD releases this week include the short-lived (no pun intended) Ricky Gervais series Life's Too Short 63 and the second and final season of Men of a Certain Age 86. Find more releases in our DVD Calendar.
He said he'd be back, and, apparently, he meant it. Friday, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gets top billing in The Last Stand, an action film in which he plays a small-town sheriff whose day off is ruined by a drug kingpin attempting to escape to Mexico. Luis Guzman, Johnny Knoxville, and Forest Whitaker also star in the English-language debut for director Kim Ji-woon (I Saw the Devil 67). Watch the red-band trailer below.
Also out Friday is Broken City, a crime thriller starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe that marks the first solo directorial effort for Allen Hughes (Menace II Society). Mama, meanwhile, is a horror film from Spanish director Andres Muschietti, a protege of Guillermo Del Toro (who produces). Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau star. Trailers for each are below.
This week's key film event, however, is the opening of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Anyone lucky enough to be heading to Park City, Utah this week (the festival begins Thursday and runs through the 27th) will have a chance to see the world premieres of Richard Linklater's Before Midnight, Michael Winterbottom's The Look of Love, Park Chan-Wook's Stoker, Drake Doremus' Breathe In, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon's Addiction, and seemingly every other promising indie film due in 2013. Here's the full lineup, courtesy of the official site; look for our recap on the 28th.
Leading the list of new releases this week is a new album from indie rock veterans Yo La Tengo. Fade is the Hoboken trio's follow-up to 2009's Popular Songs 79, and while it is one of their mellower albums, critics have nothing but great things to say about it so far. Stream the entire album (until Tuesday) over at Pitchfork.
This week's other major release is LongLiveA$AP, the long-delayed official studio debut from New York rapper A$AP Rocky (no relation to Ke$ha). Joining Mr. Rakim Mayers on the LP are Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Santigold, Big K.R.I.T., Florence Welch, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, and more. Early reviews range from decent to great, while Stereogum suggests that the sound is reminiscent of 1990s trip-hop.
Also out this week is Lysandre, the solo debut for former Girls frontman Christopher Owens. And fans of electronic music can check out the Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory collaboration Elements of Light, which finds the German producer teaming with a Norwegian percussion group utilizing a carillon made up of 50 bells. (You probably don't have that preset on your Casio keyboard.)
Closing the book on last week
|Most Popular Title on Metacritic|
|Zero Dark Thirty 95||Week of 1/6-1/12|
|Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)|
|Zero Dark Thirty 95||$24.0 million; 1st week at #1|
|#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)|
|Various: Les Miserables OST||1st week at #1|
|Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)|
|NFL Playoffs (NBC)||30.3 million viewers; week of 12/31-1/6|