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The week ahead: 'The Wolverine,' 'Prisoners,' 'Elysium,' 'Kick-Ass 2' and more

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Two movies starring Hugh Jackman ("The Wolverine" and "Prisoners") are among the films that premiere on demand from Dec. 16 to Dec. 22, 2013. Also premiering on demand this week are the sci-fi thriller "Elysium," the superhero action flick "Kick-Ass 2" and the documentary "One Direction: This Is Us." (Check with your cable or satellite provider for a lineup of on-demand channels on your system.)

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

Dec. 17, 2013: "The Wolverine" (Weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated PG-13.

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world, he will face a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality.

For more info: "The Wolverine" website

Dec. 17, 2013: "Prisoners" (Same day as DVD, weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated R.

How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His 6-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests its driver, Alex Jones, but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child's life is at stake the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello and Paul Dano.

For more info: "Prisoners" website

Dec. 17, 2013: "Elysium" (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

In the year 2159, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the planet’s crime and poverty, and they critically need the state-of-the-art medical care available on Elysium – but some in Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens’ luxurious lifestyle. The only man with the chance bring equality to these worlds is Max (played by Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission – one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (played by Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces – but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.

For more info: "Elysium" website

Dec. 17, 2013: "Kick-Ass 2" -- with extended scenes (Same day as DVD, weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated R.

After the insane bravery of Kick-Ass (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes (played by Jim Carrey), our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) — reborn as The Mother F**ker — only the blade-wielding Hit Girl (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) can prevent their annihilation.

For more info: "Kick-Ass 2" website

Dec. 17, 2013: "One Drection: This Is Us" (Same day as DVD), Rated PG.

This documentary is a behind-the-scenes look at One Direction, from the group's beginnings on the British "X Factor" to embarking on One Direction's 2013 world tour. Starring Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne.

For more info: "One Direction: This Is Us" website

Dec. 17, 2013: "The Family" (Same day as DVD; months before Redbox release), Rated R.

In the dark action comedy "The Family," a Mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the Witness Protection Program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of Agent Stansfield (played by Tommy Lee Jones) to keep them in line, Fred Blake (played by Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children, Belle (played by Dianna Agron) and Warren (played by John D’Leo), can’t help resorting to old habits by handling their problems the “family” way. Chaos ensues as their former Mafia cronies try to track them down and scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings, in this subversively funny film by Luc Besson.

For more info: "The Family" website

Dec. 17, 2013: “Ain't Them Bodies Saints” (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

The gritty landscape of 1970s Texas Hill Country is the backdrop for this mood-drenched collision of love and crime. After his pregnant wife (played by Rooney Mara) makes one false move during a bloody shootout, a bank robber (played by Casey Affleck) faces a 25-year sentence that destroys his dreams of a family life. Shot through with the yearning and melancholy of a folk ballad, David Lowery’s directorial breakthrough — one of the most acclaimed films at Sundance and a special Critics’ Week selection at Cannes — extends the Bonnie and Clyde tradition with its breathtaking meditation on the fragility and transience of love. Also starring Ben Foster and Keith Carradine.

For more info: "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" website

Dec. 17, 2013: “Contest” (Same day as DVD)

Bullied high-school student Tommy (played by Daniel Flaherty) is suddenly befriended by his chief tormentor, Matt (played by Kenton Duty), the school’s most popular student and star athlete. Tommy is suspicious, but is forced to accept the awkward friendship in order to enter a cooking contest with a big prize. And besides, it’s so much easier to impress his crush, Sarah (played by Katherine McNamara), when he’s not getting beat up by Matt and his team. As the cooking contest heats up, Sarah sniffs out a conspiracy, but nobody wants to hear about it. Can Tommy trust his budding friendship with Matt or is it all a huge joke on him?

For more info: "Contest" website

Dec. 17, 2013: “Jack, Jules, Esther & Me”

Jack and Lou are unlikely best friends. Jack's from Park Avenue and has everything; Lou's from Jackson Heights and has nothing except a plan: to win the heart of Jules, his model congress running-mate. Lou ropes in Esther to keep Jules guessing and together, the four embark on an all out romantic adventure during their last weekend before college. Written and directed by Daniel Poliner, the film was shot in New York City and stars Alexander Flores, Jessica Rothe, Aaron Sauter and Alice Lee.

For more info: "Jack, Jules, Esther & Me" website

Dec. 17, 2013: “We Are What We Are" (Weeks before DVD, Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated R.

A seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, the Parkers have always kept to themselves, and for good reason. Behind closed doors, patriarch Frank rules his family with a rigorous fervor, determined to keep his ancestral customs intact at any cost. As a torrential rainstorm moves into the area, tragedy strikes and his daughters Iris and Rose are forced to assume responsibilities that extend beyond those of a typical family. The most important task that the girls face is putting meat on the table— but not the kind that can be found at the local supermarket. As the unrelenting downpour continues to flood their small town, the local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that the Parkers have held closely for so many years. Starring Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Wyatt Russell and Jack Gore.

For more info: "We Are What We Are" website

Dec. 17, 2013: “All That I Am”

When Dr. Lynn abandoned his terminally ill wife on her deathbed, he left his three children Susan, Christian, and Win essentially orphaned. Almost a decade later, on the eve of their annual family reunion, Dr. Lynn unexpectedly shows up at Christian's door claiming he can justify his nine-year absence. Drug-addled and emotionally vulnerable, Christian reluctantly agrees to escort his father to the reunion, sending an already volatile family environment reeling.

For more info: "All That I Am" website

Dec. 17, 2013: “Four”

In a nameless, suburban American town, the smell of barbeque fills the air as Fourth of July celebrations move from a hot summer day into night. And for just this night, the small world of four strangers will become even smaller, as their lives collide and sex, lies, desires, and truths are revealed.

Dec. 17, 2013 “The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time”

The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time" is a feature-length documentary film about classic arcade game collecting. For the past six years, San Francisco Bay Area documentary filmmaker Jeff Von Ward traveled the country on frequent-flyer miles while couch surfing to interview Gen-Xers who have transformed their garages and basements into classic ‘80s arcades.

For more info: "The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time" website

Dec. 17, 2013: "The Vivian Maier Mystery"

This fascinating documentary uncovers the life of Vivian Maier, a nanny working in New York and Chicago who, unbeknownst to many, had a secret passion for photography. When she died in 2009 at age 83, she left behind thousands of photographs and an incredible body of work that now lives on and established her as one of the century’s master street photographers. “The Vivian Maier Mystery” uncovers the story behind the woman behind the camera.

Dec. 19, 2103: "Cutie and the Boxer," Rated R.

"Cutie and the Boxer" is a reflection on love, sacrifice, and the creative spirit. This candid New York documentary explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and artist Noriko Shinohara. Directed by Zachary Heinzerling.

For more info: "Cutie and the Boxer" website

Dec. 20, 2103: "Wrong Cops" (Same day as theatrical release), Rated TV-MA.

Los Angeles 2014. Duke, a crooked and music-mad cop, deals weed and is aggressive to passersby. Around him: a treasure hunter, a sex maniac, a female cop blackmailer and a one-eyed monster who dreams of being a star. Starring Mark Burnham, Eric Judor, Steve Little, Marilyn Manson, Eric Wareheim, Arden Myrin, Grace Zabriskie, Ray Wise, Steve Howey, Agnes Bruckner and Daniel Quinn.

For more info: "Wrong Cops" website


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