The red carpets have been very, very busy the past year as Hollywood has been rolling out a staggering number of made-to-be-a-hit movies and television dramas. But let’s face it – most of us are perpetual busy-bees for most of the year (and the occasional eye-bagged zombies) and are a wee bit pressed for time to really keep up with what Hollywood has to offer.

If you are one of these people (and I bet you are), no need to rummage through your many entertainment options because have we got a great list of 5 movies that you simply must watch. Go ahead, take a much-needed break, and grab some popcorn (or in some cases, a tissue box).

Being obsessed with watch-when-you-feel-like-it television services as of late, it seems fitting that this list should come to me in the short time that I wait for all my shows to buffer on Fox Movies Play (and when I say short, I mean really short – always a plus for any service. I could barely finish saying Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in that time.)

The Hunger Games

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A predictable choice and possibly a surprising one, considering the marketing strategy targeted at those of Bieber-age, but I guarantee that this movie will catch you off guard. Packed with darkness and difficult deaths, it’ll make you think at length about modern society and its pitfalls and an older audience will undoubtedly see the deep, socio-political themes embedded in this unassuming film. Acting-wise, I’d say the casting choices are perfect and Jennifer Lawrence brings Katniss, the main protagonist, to life really well taking us into the mind of the complicated Katniss, a young woman who is steadfast in her beliefs yet vulnerable to societal expectations. Fans of the books, however, may be disappointed to know that the film is much sanitized to maintain the PG rating with little prolonged focus on the morally-questionable and gory bits.

The Avengers

With all the hype surrounding this film, you cannot help but want to watch it just to see for yourself what the fuss is all about. The storyline is predictable but does its job nonetheless. The action sequences are phenomenal and the cast, being veterans in the movie business, need no introduction. With bits of humour and some very serious moments to top it off, this film makes for an entertaining two hours.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Rooney Mara totally transforms herself into Lisbeth Salander and takes us deep into the character in all its complicated glory. Not a film for the weak of heart, the plot takes us through some difficult issues including crime, moral bankruptcy and misogyny. The direction will please the avid followers of the novel just as much as those who are unfamiliar with it by keeping close to the busy plot present in the novel but presenting it carefully enough to avoid alienated viewers.

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Wall-E

Considered Pixar’s most ambitious film since Toy Story, this unassuming piece has taken the world by storm and if you haven’t watched it yet, you’re missing out! Perhaps what is most interesting about this film is the fact that the production team turns a robot with no human expressions and vocabulary into the foremost emotive device in the whole film all while making us rethink the self-destructive direction of the human race. Wall-E’s affectionate relationship with Eve is amusing yet heart-warming. It is one heck of an irony to note the bland nature of the humans against the simple but sincere humanity of a robot.

Once Upon a Time (okay, so technically, not a movie but still, worth watching)

An innovative take on traditional fairy-tales, this television drama promises to keep us on our toes. The plot is far from predictable and is well laid-out. The female protagonist, for once, is not waiting for her Prince Charming to arrive and neither is she the perpetual damsel-in-distress. Emma, the daughter of Snow White, is instead portrayed as a gun-slinging, don’t-mess-with-me sheriff of the town and is a refreshing departure from the traditional characterizations of women in fairy-tales.

And there you’ve got it – 5 of the best visual entertainment that Hollywood has to offer right now.

On a side note, given everybody’s busy schedules, if you find yourself going for the nearest on-demand, watch-when-you-feel-like-it movie service to catch up on the entertainment listed above, you’re not alone. More and more people are switching from regular television programming to on-demand services and I can totally understand why.

When I perused through what Hollywood has to offer on Fox Movies Play, it took all of two minutes to get my movie started. I could watch it not only at home on but also on-the-go on a tablet or laptop (although I frown a little when I discover that the full-screen mode on these devices doesn’t give as crystal-clear of a display as a television would – watch anything on-demand on your television screen if you have it all to yourself).

There’s buzz that television programming will cease to exist in the future and all viewers will operate on an on-demand service. Of course, nothing is free (although, honestly, I’d gladly fork out some cash for the Fox Movies package that’ll allow me to access Fox Movies Play because it beats missing out on shows just because I may be preoccupied when they premiere), but I’d say it’s worth it if you’re a Hollywood entertainment buff. Guess the technology-driven future that plays itself out in Wall-E may not that far-fetched after all.

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Popspoken would like to take this opportunity to thank Fox Movies Play for allowing us a peep into their service for the purposes of this article (be sure to hit up the subscribe button for the Fox Movies package and tune in to Starhub Ch. 623 or Singtel mioTV Ch. 409 for your viewing pleasure)

All images courtesy of Fox Movies Play. All the movies and television series mentioned are (or will be later this month, in the case of Wall-E and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) available on Fox Movies Play.