Kneel Before VOD: May 31st
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.
The first Alien movie to release this year, Life follows a crew of astronauts trapped on a multinational space station with a mysterious, constantly evolving life-form that tears through them one by one. The movie wears its influences on its sleeve, never fully justifying its existence. That being said, there are some solid thrills and I quite enjoyed watching the cute but deadly monster monster wreak havoc on these likable astronauts confusingly lead by Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal. (Check out Tyler Scruggs' review here)
A Cure for Wellness (2017)
Gore Verbinski has suffered a string of box office disappointments since leaving the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, unfortunate because the man knows how to direct a damn movie. A Cure for Wellness is a high-concept psychological thriller starring Dane Dehaan as an executive on a mission to retrieve his company's CEO from a far away mysterious retreat. The film drags on for far longer than it should, making the twists and turns perhaps feel underwhelming, but it's packed with arresting imagery and great visual style. (Check out Rob Trench's review here)
Seoul Station (2016)
Last year's Train to Busan is one of the best zombie movies ever made, revitalizing the dwindling genre. Seoul Station is an animated story developed concurrently with Train to Busan by director Sang-ho Yeon. The film takes place slightly before Busan, and tells a similar story of a man attempting to save his runaway daughter from a sudden zombie outbreak while the government scrambles to lock down the area. The animation looks impressive, and I could not be more excited to seek this one out.
Netflix: War Machine (2017)
War Machine is Netflix's latest attempt at prestige moviemaking. The war comedy attempts to provide a fact-based but satirical take on U.S. involvement in the Afghanistan war. That's all well and good, but David Michôd's (The Rover, Animal Kingdom) film is a bit of a bore. The film should be commended for explaining real political issues in an easy to digest way, and Brad Pitt stands out in the film's lead role as General Glen McMahon, but it still doesn't amount to much.
Hulu Plus: Trial & Error Season 1 (2017)
Hulu's movie content was pretty light this week, but I can wholeheartedly recommend the first season of Trial & Error. The small town oddball cast of characters rivals Parks and Recreation in both hilarity and lovability. John Lithgow gives a funny performance as Larry Henderson, a sweet, bumbling man accused of murdering his wife. A green big city lawyer (Nicholas D'Agosto) is brought in to deal with the case, which quickly spirals out of control and becomes national news. The twists come fast, each one adding a funny new wrinkle to the case that is actually quite fun to play along with as the show goes on.
HBO Go/Now: Storks (2016)
If you would've told me this was five years old I would believe you, but apparently it's recent enough to be HBO's big premiere of the week. In a world where instead of babies storks deliver packages, one stork (Andy Samberg) and his human friend (Katie Crown) accidentally end up with a baby and must get it to the expectant parents and avoid their evil boss (Kelsey Grammer). It might not be the prettiest or most exciting animated movie to release recently, but I found it to be enjoyable enough, and it's obviously great for kids.
Also Streaming: Incident Light
Amazon Prime: Sound City (2013)
Before it closed in 2011, Sound City Studios opened its doors to countless groundbreaking artists such as Neil Young, Cheap Trick, and Nirvana, who recorded their classic album Nevermind there. Former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl steps behind the camera to direct this look at the legendary music studio. The film features interviews by a ton of artists who performed there, as well as those who were influenced by the recordings to come out of it. It's interesting for awhile, but slowly devolves into a run of the mill rock doc as it goes on.
FilmStruck: In a Lonely Place (1950)
Humphrey Bogart turns in another classic performancesas Dixon Steele, a self-destructive Hollywood screenwriter who falls in love with an aspiring actress just as he is accused of the murder the coat check girl at a club he frequents. The stylish noir tells a compelling, dark mystery and contains what some consider to be Bogart's finest performance.