Worth Watching in January and February 2012

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By Peggy Weber


TELEVISION & MULTIMEDIA
PBS’ AMERICAN EXPERIENCE focuses on figures and events of the American West, including Billy the Kid (Jan. 10), Custer’s Last Stand (Jan.17), Wyatt Earp (Jan. 24), and Annie Oakley and Jesse James (Jan. 31).

 

Busted Halo’s video series Sacraments 101 offers the basics for young adult Catholics and spiritual seekers at bustedhalo.com/sacraments101.

 

FILM
JOYFUL NOISE, starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, tells a fun story about a small-town choir out to win a national competition despite overwhelming odds (Jan. 13).

 

RED TAILS is the story of the African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program who faced segregation during World War II (Jan. 20).

 

BIG MIRACLE highlights a campaign in Alaska to save a family of gray whales trapped by ice in the Arctic Circle. The film is based on a true story and stars Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski (Feb. 3).

 

STAR WARS: EPISODE I — THE PHANTOM MENACE hits the big screen in 3-D (Feb. 10).

 

JOURNEY 2: The MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, the sequel to the 2008 hit Journey to the Center of the Earth, features Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, and Vanessa Hudgens (Feb.10).

 

The documentary UNDEFEATED tells the story of the underdog football team at Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee who look to change their game under the guidance of a new coach (Feb. 10).

 

In ACT OF VALOR, an elite group of Navy SEALS embark on a worldwide manhunt to stop an attack that could kill thousands of U.S. civilians (Feb. 17).

 

In THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY, the animated adventure based on The Borrowers, a tiny family secretly lives beneath the floorboards of a home until the youngest child, Arrietty, is discovered. Voices include Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, and Will Arnett (Feb. 17).

 

DVD
VEGGIETALES releases six titles from its best-selling animated series on Blu-ray HD. Each will include a DVD disc with special bonus features. The titles are: Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn’t: A Lesson in Listening to Your Parents; Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah’s Umbrella: A Lesson in Confidence; The Wonderful Wizard of Ha’s: The Story of the Prodigal Son; Tomato Sawyer & Huckleberry Larry’s Big River Rescue: A Lesson in Helping Others; LarryBoy and the Bad Apple: A Lesson About Temptation; Moe and the Big Exit: A Lesson in Following God’s Directions (Feb. 18).

 

THE WAY stars Martin Sheen as an American doctor who travels the Camino de Santiago as a way of connecting with his deceased son (Feb. 21).

 

The documentary ELEVATE traces the lives of four West African teenagers who travel from a basketball academy in Senegal to American prep schools (Feb. 14).

 

In the documentary HELL AND BACK AGAIN, filmmaker Danfung Dennis documents the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris (Jan. 24).

 

THERE BE DRAGONS profiles Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei (Jan. 10).

 

MONEYBALL, starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, tells how the general manager of the Oakland A’s, Billy Beane, put together his lineup (Jan. 10).

 

A MILE IN HIS SHOES marks the big-screen debut of actor Luke Schroder (son of child star Ricky Schroder) as an autistic baseball pitcher with the minor leagues who takes his team through an eventful season (Jan. 10).

 

Peggy Weber

Peggy Weber holds a B.A. in English from Providence College and an M.A. in journalism from Marquette University. She is a reporter, producer, and social media editor for Catholic Communications for the Diocese of Springfield.