Kneel Before VOD: March 7th
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:
Disney's latest princess musical boasts some of the best original songs of the year, thanks to the work from composer Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame. The story of a strong-willed, determined teenager (Auli'i Cravalho) destined to become leader of a small Polynesian island, who goes against the wishes of her culture by continuing the tradition of her ancestors as an explorer, in order to save her island after it falls prey to an ancient curse. Easily one of the most vividly animated and entertaining films of this kind in years, Moana is a joy for the whole family.
Pablo Larrain's portrait of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman) was one of the best reviewed films of 2016, with many praising Portman's lead performance along with Stéphane Fontaine's cinematography and Mica Levi's score. A remarkably composed snapshot of America during a point-in-time of national crisis, it's something that can't and shouldn't be missed. As friend of the site Brendan Michaels said in his review, "it will change how biopics are made, as it's one of the most formally ambitious of the subgenre".
Jurassic Park (1993)
It should be noted that the complete Jurassic Park trilogy is currently streaming on Netflix, but chances are you care about the original the most - as it manages to enthral audiences today as much as it did back in theatres nearly 25 years ago. Arguably Steven Spielberg's greatest blockbuster that's full of imagination, wit, suspense, and tons and tons of dinosaurs. Check it out on Netflix here.
Days of Heaven (1978)
With Terrence Malick's Song to Song set to arrive in theatres later this month, why not check in with another, earlier romance of his? Days of Heaven follows a young couple (Richard Gere, Brooke Adams) who relocate to the rural farmlands of Texas, where soon a love triangle forms between them and a young, rich, handsome farmer (Sam Shepard). Full of imagery culled right from the work of painter Andrew Wyeth, this is one of the most gorgeous films in Malick's oeuvre, and is a must-see. Watch it on FilmStruck here.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
One of the strangest yet most fun cult films out there, Buckaroo Banzai features an ensemble cast led by Peter Weller (pre-RoboCop) as the titular hero (also a rock star and surgeon), who with his team the Hong Kong Cavaliers set out to protect the Earth from an intergalactic threat. It's pants-on-head crazy at times and was a total bomb upon release, but in the ensuing years built up a following that today, makes it one of the most revered films of its kind. Watch it on Amazon Prime here.
American Psycho (2000)
Christian Bale's greatest performance to date came five years before he became a household name for playing Batman, with this adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's controversial novel. Bale is Patrick Bateman, an atypical rich yuppie of the 80s New York financial district on the outside, and a cold and sadistic murderer on the inside. Part horror movie, part dark comedy, and full of endlessly quotable dialogue, it's a twisted social satire that's hard to take your eyes off of. Check it out on HBO Now here.
A Simple Plan (1998)
Bill Paxton may be gone, but his on-screen performances will forever be cherished. Just like this one, where he and Billy Bob Thornton play brothers who stumble upon a huge load of cash and try to keep it for themselves, unfortunately things don't turn out so great. One of director Sam Raimi's best and most underrated films. Check it out on Hulu here.