Screen gems: What’s ahead in movies and on TV for the week of Jan. 5

 
 

‘The Legend of Hercules’: Kellan Lutz stars.
‘The Legend of Hercules’: Kellan Lutz stars.
SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT

Big screen

Opening Friday

Her (R): Writer-director Spike Jonze’s sci-fi tinged fantasy centers on a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with a computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Although it sounds cutesy, the movie is actually a melancholy and observant meditation on loneliness and alienation.

Lone Survivor (R): Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch are among the members of a Navy SEAL team that failed a 2005 mission to hunt down a Taliban leader.

August: Osage County (R): Tracy Letts adapts his Pulitzer-prize winning play to the screen, with Meryl Streep as a domineering mother and Julia Roberts amongst her dysfunctional children. There will be shouting

The Legend of Hercules (PG-13) Renny Harlin ( The Deep Blue Sea, Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight) directs this new recounting of the adventures of the musclebound Greek hero (played by Kellan Lutz).

Rene Rodriguez

Small screen

Downton Abbey (9 p.m. Sunday, WPBT-PBS 2): Oh my! As the fourth season gets under way, those poor Crawleys are awash in dead heirs, fatherless babies, and scandalous widows and wenches. It’s enough to tax the stiffest upper lip.

Intelligence (9 p.m. Tuesday, CBS): An intelligence operative (Josh Holloway, Lost) has his brained fitted with a microchip that contains like a zillion national-security secrets. And a lethally sultry spy (Meghan Ory, Once Upon A Time) has been assigned to protect him. Hey, you think CBS will be surprised to learn this show already aired on NBC, when it was called Chuck?

Chicago P.D. (10 p.m. Wednesday, NBC): A new police procedural from producer Dick Wolf, who created all 885 of the Law & Order shows, of which this one is an indecently kissing cousin.

The Spoils of Babylon (10 p.m. Thursday, IFC): A big cast (it includes Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell, just to name a view)- join in this send-up of the epic mini-series. The plot, using the term more loosely than either God or Daniel Webster would approve, nominally concerns the incestuous children of an oil dynasty. All you really need to know is that it’s the kind of show where Ferrell plays the shah of Iran.

Banshee (10 p.m. Friday, Cinemax): Producer Alan Ball’s delightfully over-the-top series about Amish mobsters (no, “Amish” is not a typo) terrorizing a tiny Pennsylvania town returns for a second season.

Helix (10 p.m. Friday, Syfy) In this new series, government eggheads find themselves racing against time to find a cure for a lethal virus that could wipe out all of humanity, and then things get worse. You know the Real Housewives of Miami are somehow or other at the bottom of this.

Enlisted (9:30 p.m. Friday, Fox): A slobby but amusing comedy about three inept brothers serving together on the most incompetent Army post in America. Located in Florida, naturally.

Glenn Garvin

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