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The week ahead: 'Lee Daniels' The Butler,' 'Riddick,' 'Carrie' and more

Forest Whitaker leads an all-star cast in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"; Vin Diesel stars in "Riddick," the third movie in a sci-fi series about Riddick, a heroic rebel from outer space; and Chloë Moretz and Julianne Moore headline a remake of the horror classic "Carrie." These are among the films that premiere on demand from Jan. 13 to Jan. 19, 2014. (Check with your cable or satellite provider for a lineup of on-demand channels on your system.)

"Lee Daniels' The Butler"
The Weinstein Company

Here is a list of those movies and their on-demand premiere dates:

Jan. 14, 2014: "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (Same day as DVD), Rated PG-13.

"Lee Daniels' The Butler" is a historical drama based on the real-life account of Eugene Allen, who served as a White House Butler from 1952 to 1986. The film was directed by Lee Daniels and features an all-star ensemble cast. Forest Whitaker plays Cecil Gaines, an African-American who witnessed some of the notable events of the 20th century during his tenure as a White House butler.

For more info: "Lee Daniels' The Butler" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "Riddick" -- director's cut (Same day as DVD, weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated TV-MA.

"Riddick," the latest chapter of the saga that began with 2000’s hit sci-fi film "Pitch Black" and 2004’s "The Chronicles of Riddick" reunites writer/director David Twohy and star Vin Diesel. Diesel reprises his role as the anti-hero Riddick, a dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy. The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered.

For more info: "Riddick" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "Carrie" (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White (played by Chloë Grace Moretz), a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother (played by Julianne Moore), who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom. Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, "Carrie" is directed by Kimberly Peirce with a screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

For more info: "Carrie" website

Jan. 14, 2014: “Fruitvale Station” (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

Ryan Coogler’s "Fruitvale Station" follows the true story of Oscar Grant (played by Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old San Francisco Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of Dec. 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (played by Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve; being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (played by Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late; and being a better father to Tatiana (played by Ariana Neal), their beautiful 4-year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.

For more info: "Fruitvale Station" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "20 Feet From Stardom" (Same day as DVD), Rated PG-13

Directed by Morgan Neville, "20 Feet from Stardom" is a documentary about backup singers to legendary artists which juxtaposes interviews with industry legends (Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, Mick Jagger, Sting and more) and the backup singers who have supported them, such as Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill as they illuminate the art of melding their own distinct voices with lead vocals and reveal their desires for careers as solo artists. "20 Feet from Stardom" traces the backup singers’ history — from those Phil Spector–produced pop tunes and soul-inspired British Explosion acts (Joe Cocker, the Rolling Stones) of the 1960s, to their reversal of fortune when the recording industry changed in the 1990s, and into today.

For more info: "20 Feet From Stardom" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "A.C.O.D." (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

"A.C.O.D." follows Carter (played by Adam Scott), a seemingly well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. Having survived the madness of the divorce of his parents (played by Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara) divorce, Carter now has a successful career and supportive girlfriend (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But when his younger brother (played by Clark Duke) gets engaged, Carter is forced to reunite his bitterly divorced parents and their new spouses (played by Amy Poehler and Ken Howard) for the wedding, causing the chaos of his childhood to return including his wacky therapist (played by Jane Lynch).

For more info: "A.C.O.D." website

Jan. 14, 2014: "I'm in Love With a Church Girl" (Same day as DVD), Rated PG.

Inspired by a true story, a successful entrepreneur haunted by a criminal past finds faith and redemption when God puts a woman in his life. When Miles (played by Ja Rule) meets Vanessa Leon (played by Adrienne Bailon), a woman who is different than every other woman he’s met, he is drawn to her beauty and her faith. She is a “church girl” in every-sense of the word. Increasingly, he is torn between a life that he knows and a love that he feels.

For more info: "I'm in Love With a Church Girl" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "Short Term 12" (Same day asDVD), Rated R.

"Short Term 12" is told through the eyes of Grace (played by Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge — and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (played by John Gallagher Jr.). But Grace’s own difficult past — and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself — throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility: a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection.

For more info: "Short Term 12" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "The Spectacular Now" (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

Sutter Keely (played by Miles Teller) lives in the now. It’s a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he’s the life of the party, loves his job at a men’s clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he’s never far from his super-sized, whiskey-fortified thirst-master cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky (played by Shailene Woodley) hovering over him. She’s different: the “nice girl” who reads science fiction and doesn’t have a boyfriend. While Amy has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet somehow, they're drawn together.

For more info: "The Spectacular Now" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "$50K and a Call Girl: A Love Story"

When Ross is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given six weeks to live, his newly engaged older brother Seth offers to spend his $50,000 wedding fund on a final trip of a lifetime. Their plans are complicated when Ross invites a call girl to join the group and Seth’s uptight fiancée insists on tagging along. This raucous road-trip comedy's cast includes Ross Patterson, Jessie Wiseman, Seth Grossman, Lauren Aboulafia and Asher Roth.

For more info: "$50K and a Call Girl: A Love Story" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "The Great Chicken Wing Hunt"

"The Great Chicken Wing Hunt" is a documentary feature about Buffalo wings and the ragtag team that set out to find the world's best one.American expatriate, international journalist and upstate New Yorker Matt Reynolds forsakes a successful life in Eastern Europe, compelled by a singular obsession: find the world’s best Buffalo chicken wing. Joined by his long-suffering Czech girlfriend, a perplexed Slovak film crew, and a ragtag gang of wing-obsessed misfits, Reynolds embarks on the Great Chicken Wing Hunt.

For more info: "The Great Chicken Wing Hunt" website

Jan. 14, 2014: "World Circus"

"World Circus" os a documentary that follows five circus acts as they prepare and compete for the gold at the 34th International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo. Cultural ties are transcended and the true meaning of the circus world is illuminated. At stake is the Golden Clown (the circus equivalent of an Academy Award), recognition, respect and a chance for stardom under the big top. This film takes the subject of the circus worldwide and gives it an international perspective as never done before.

For more info: "World Circus" website

Jan. 14, 2013: “Dear Mandela”

“Dear Mandela” discovers a promising new generation of South African activists as they fight for the housing promised by Nelson Mandela when his African National Congress (ANC) party first came to power. Ever since the world found itself without the charismatic leader whose courage captivated millions around the globe, the question arises about what kind of South Africa Mandela left behind and whether a post-ANC generation will follow in his footsteps. “Dear Mandela” offers one possible answer in the form of its young, passionate protagonists.

For more info: "Dear Mandela" website

Jan. 15, 2013: “Vino Veritas”

Some people need the truth to live. Others not so much. On Halloween night, the lives of two suburban couples unravel forever under the influence of a Peruvian wine brewed from the toxic skins of blue dart tree frogs. This tribal elixir effectively reduces all inhibitions to nothing, and soon friendships and relationships are revealed to be not quite what they seemed to be. Starring Carrie Preston, Heather Raffo, Brian Hutchison and Bernard White.

For more info: "Vino Veritas" website

Jan. 17, 2014: "We Cause Scenes: The Rise of Improv Everywhere"

Since their humble beginnings in New York City in 2001, Improv Everywhere has grown from a small gang of restless jokesters into an internationally recognized prank collective and a viral video-making machine. From the No Pants Subway Ride to Frozen Grand Central to the MP3 Experiment and beyond, their publicly staged scenes of chaos and joy are beloved by the hundreds who witness them, the thousands who participate in them, and the millions who watch and share the videos online. The documentary "We Cause Scenes: The Rise of Improv Everywhere" is the inside story of this groundbreaking group and its founder, Charlie Todd, who has turned the world into a stage, inventing an art form for the Internet age.

For more info: "We Cause Scenes: The Rise of Improv Everywhere" website

Jan. 17, 2014: “Big Bad Wolves” (Same day as theatrical release)

A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: the father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings — a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder. Starring Lior Ashkenazi, Rotem Keinan and Tzahi Grad. In Georgian with English subtitles. Not to be confused with the 2006 movie "Big Bad Wolves" starring Steven A. Davis and Brooke Petersen.

For more info: "Big Bad Wolves" website

Jan. 17, 2014: “Life of a King” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated PG-13.

“Life of a King” is the unlikely true story of Eugene Brown (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.) and his one-man mission to give inner-city kids of Washington D.C. something he never had: a future. He discovered a multitude of life lessons through the game of chess during his 18-year incarceration for bank robbery. After his release and reentry into the workforce, Eugene developed and founded the Big Chair Chess Club to get kids off the streets and working towards lives they never believed they were capable of due to circumstances. From his daring introductory chess lessons to group of unruly high-school students in detention to the development of the Club and the teens’ first local chess competitions, this movie reveals his difficult, inspirational journey and how he changed the lives of a group of teens with no endgame.

For more info: "Life of a King" website

Jan. 17, 2014: “Reasonable Doubt” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated R.

When up-and-coming District Attorney Mitch Brockden (played by Dominic Cooper) commits a fatal hit-and-run, he feels compelled to manipulate the case to acquit the accused criminal who was found with the body and blamed for the crime. Following the trial, Mitch’s worst fears come true when he realizes that his actions freed a guilty man, and he soon finds himself on the hunt for the killer before more victims pile up. Also starring Samuel L. Jackson and Gloria Reuben.

For more info: "Reasonable Doubt" website

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