Video on Demand Report: Life of Pi Is on Demand; Maybe Now’s the Time to Get That 3-D TV
Life of Pi
The Academy Awards are now behind us (for another 11 months or so, anyway), but On Demand is doing us all a solid by giving us a chance to catch up on yet another Best Picture nominee: This week, it’s Life Of Pi.
Though Silver Linings Playbook was based on the book of the same name, and Les Misérables was based on a musical based on a book, Life of Pi is the most literary (you have to read it with an English accent) of this year’s Best Picture nominees, having been adapted from Yann Martel’s Booker Prize–winning novel, in which Pi Patel watches his whole family, and most of their zoo animals, die in a shipwreck, only to survive along with an unlikely companion: a tiger. Some of the film’s impact may be lost in your home theater — even people who hate 3-D loved the 3-D Life of Pi — but it should still be evident why Ang Lee was this year’s Best Director Oscar winner.
New and Notable
This is the 2012 Alfred Hitchcock biopic that’s about him making Psycho. (The other one, which you may have seen on HBO, was mostly about The Birds.)
Rise of the Guardians
Mythical personages (Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc.) join forces to save the world’s children from … fear, I guess? Personified? I don’t know.
This Must Be the Place
After the death of his Holocaust-survivor father, a supergoth (Sean Penn) makes it his mission to track down the Nazi who ruined his father’s life.
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Nick Offerman produced and co-stars in this comedy about a kid (not Offerman) who’s remarkably terrible at being married.
Nick Offerman shows up here, too, but in a darker story about a couple who find their marriage threatened by addiction.
Love Free or Die
Bishop Gene Robinson tells the story of reconciling his homosexuality with his faith, and with his position as a clergyman in the Episcopal Church.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away
If you can’t make it to the Québecois circus in person, this film is the next best thing.
Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold helmed this daring new adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic novel.
The First Time
Teenage friends have to decide whether they want to lose their respective virginities to their crushes or to each other.
A 10-year-old Zulu boy leaves his village for the city and forms an unlikely friendship with a fearful old woman.
Juno Temple responds to her mother’s engagement by going on an unsanctioned road trip with her gay best friend to find her biological father.
How did Snoop Dogg become Snoop Lion? This documentary tells the story.
An Indian woman’s world opens up when she learns to speak English.
Kill Me Now
A bitchin’ beer bash at a remote cabin is ruined by, guess what, a serial killer.
I Am Not a Hipster
A San Diego musician perseveres in the face of tragedy while, let’s be honest, probably being a hipster.
Action impresario Johnnie To produced this film, which appears to be China’s answer to The Fast and the Furious.
“In Theaters” VOD Picks
Beyond the Hills
The director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days returns to cheery Romania for this story of a girl accused of demonic possession.
If I Were You
While stalking her husband’s mistress, Marcia Gay Harden stumbles into a situation in which she and said mistress resolve to make each other’s decisions rather than continue making their own bad choices.
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
This documentary covers the incredible story of how Arnel Pineda replaced Steve Perry to tour as the lead singer of Journey.
My Amityville Horror
Was the house from The Amityville Horror haunted for reals? This documentary says: maybe.
Weird Indie of the Week
Three strangers road-trip from Los Angeles to D.C. in what is supposedly the first-ever movie shot entirely with iPhones.
Goran Visnjic ends up in a unit of the L.A. County prison system set aside for gay and transgender inmates, which the trailer makes us think is the worst thing that could ever happen to a person. (Available on demand the same day as theatrical release.)