Kneel Before VOD: May 2nd
Welcome to Kneel Before VOD, where the latest offerings on various video-on-demand platforms are highlighted for your streaming pleasure. With so many options these days from a range of different services, it can be daunting to select just one film without ending up making a list of a couple dozen. Below, find what we've selected as great entertainment choices to keep things simple.
XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017)
Fans of the Fast and Furious franchise's level of insane action and silly self-serious but fun dialogue should not miss out on this. For some reason, over 15 years since the release of the first entry in the series, Vin Diesel resurrects his not exactly beloved character Xander Cage (who died in the second movie) to retrieve Pandora's Box, a stolen device that has control of all of the satellites orbiting earth. While the film didn't perform well in the States, it was an international hit. The film features a diverse cast of actors and some genuinely entertaining over the top action set pieces. (Check out Marcelo Pico's review)
Milla Jovovich and Paul W. S. Anderson's long running big-budget hit series based on the popular survival horror video game franchise from Capcom finally comes to a close (or does it???) This entry sees Alice (Jovovich) once again facing off against the evil Umbrella Corporation, whose T-virus has infested the world, turning them into zombies. You can expect more mindless action, if you've enjoyed the previous films in the series this one shouldn't disappoint.
The Red Turtle (2016)
The underdog in the Best Animated Feature race at the 2017 Oscars, The Red Turtle is the latest from the masters of animation over at Studio Ghibli. The animating is intensely beautiful, doing almost the entirety of the storytelling work since the film is without dialogue. That's not to say that the story is all that simple either, it's a fairly substantial tale of a shipwrecked man's relationship to a large red turtle. (Check out Rob Trench's review)
The Space Between Us (2017)
This overwrought film that attempts to both be a sci-fi epic and a love story fails on both fronts pretty badly. The scenes set on Mars fail to eek out any excitement and the love story between Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson is a total nonstarter due to little chemistry and a poor script. The premise actually sounds promising, centering on the first Mars born baby as he builds an online relationship with an earth girl and meets her on his first trip to the foreign planet. (Check out Rob Trench's review)
New to Streaming:
Amazon Prime: American Honey (2016)
Andrea Arnolds's latest follow Star (Sasha Lane), a teenager, as she embraces rebellious nature on a cross country road trip filled with partying and debauchery. American Honey perhaps feels a little too aimless to justify its whopping 163 minute runtime, but its themes of youth are powerful and there are some beautiful visuals all throughout. It's a great movie to zone out to.
Also Streaming: The Mechanik
Netflix: Small Crimes (2017)
Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays a former cop just getting out of jail, hoping to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife and child. This doesn't work out, however, and he instead gets thrusted back into the life that he hoped he had moved past, including run ins with corrupt cops and the mob. Small Crimes is an entertaining thriller, complete with a stacked cast (Robert Forster, Gary Cole, Jacki Weaver, friend of the site Pat Healy), and has a wicked dark sense of humor. (Check out Rob Trench's review)
HBO Now: Victor Frankenstein (2015)
While HBO did premiere the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in their new movie of the week slot, they also added Paul McGuigan's loose adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the roster. James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe give it their all as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his assistant Igor, respectively. The film follows Igor as he's deceptively taken from his life at the circus by Frankenstein who cures his horrible hunchback. The movie gives an interesting take on the classic story, but can't quite overcome a messy logic and underwhelming end.
Hulu: Take This Waltz (2012)
A personal favorite of mine, Take This Waltz stars Michelle Williams as a married woman who becomes infatuated with a new man (Luke Kirby.) Williams must analyze her life with her husband (Seth Rogen) and decide whether or not she wants to pursue this possible new relationship. Take This Waltz takes a complicate topic and treats it with nuance. The characters are imperfect, and when they mess up it hurts.
Also Streaming: The 6th Day, Little Women, The Whole Nine Yards, Anatomy of a Murder, Bottle Rocket, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Poetic Justice, Barbershop, Troll Hunter, 13 Assassins, Eight Crazy Nights, Tucker and Dale vs Evil
FilmStruck: The Trip (2010)
FilmStruck has added the first two entries in the comedic travel series just in time for the release of the third entry, The Trip to Spain. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon give hilarious comedic performances starring as two men who begrudgingly travel by train on a food tour across the England countryside. Beautiful vistas give way to the unwilling duo's constant bickering and fighting while attempting to enjoy fancy foods.