Video on Demand Report: Men in Black 3, Step Up 4, and the One and Only Sparkle

The Headliner

Men in Black 3 

The high point of my relationship with Men in Black 3 came the first time I saw the trailer, and witnessed for myself the majesty of Josh Brolin playing a young K, the character originated by Tommy Lee Jones. Because, come on, that is killer casting, and (from what I saw in the trailer) Brolin nailed the impression. But then I never saw the movie, and the Brolin/Jones MIB3 casting was pretty much forgotten after the Gordon-Levitt/Willis young/old casting showcased in Looper a few months later.

But even if you, like me, missed MIB3 when it was in theaters, it might be worth catching on home video for its importance as a cultural artifact. You can scrutinize Will Smith’s performance to see whether it’s changed now that he’s (allegedly) a Scientologist. You can make it a two-screen experience, looking up photos of Smith’s infamous megatrailer while you determine whether Smith’s offscreen comfort improved the film. But if the meta stuff doesn’t do it for you, there are probably aliens.

 

New and Notable

Step Up: Revolution 

The fourth installment of the venerable Step Up franchise is better than the last one (but not as good as the series-best Step Up 2 the Streets). Moose (Adam G. Sevani) is hardly in it!

 

Lawless

Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy play bootlegging brothers in this Prohibition drama. Based on a true story!

 

ParaNorman

Misfit kid Norman becomes his neighborhood’s only hope when the town gets attacked by ghouls and stuff.

 

Sparkle

This remake of the Dreamgirls-y musical stars American Idol winner/Excedrin spokeswoman Jordin Sparks, as well as Whitney Houston in her final role.

 

The Apparition

Spooky things become real if you believe in them. Maintain your mask of skepticism, Ashley Greene!!!

 

Certainty

Going through the Catholic Church’s “Engagement Encounter” pre-marriage course gets couples to confront issues in their relationships in what promises to be a gentle comedy despite the presence of Giancarlo Esposito (as a priest!).

 

Boy Wonder

A kid gets screwed up by witnessing the murders of his parents, but falls short of becoming Batman.

 

The Day

Five survivors of an apocalypse have to defend the farmhouse they’re squatting in from predators in a fictional film that dramatizes the scenarios all those people on Doomsday Preppers are so paranoid about.

 

“In Theaters” VOD Picks

Addicted to Fame

In the tradition of The Queen of Versailles and The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Addicted to Fame covers the bad decisions of a fascinating blonde — in this case, it’s a documentary about the making of Illegal Aliens, Anna Nicole Smith’s last film.

 

Walk Away Renee

Tarnation filmmaker Jonathan Caouette takes a road trip with his bipolar mother in this grim-looking documentary.

 

Sushi Girl

A grindhouse-y crime/heist/revenge situation, revolving around a woman whose job it is to let creeps eat sushi off her naked body.

 

Young and Wild

The story of a sexually adventurous teenage blogger was a Sundance award winner earlier this year.

 

Weird Indie of the Week

The Understudy

Marin Ireland (recently of 28 Hotel Rooms and Homeland) tries to kill the woman whose part she’s understudying in this Heathers-y black comedy.

 

Early VOD Premiere of the Week

A Dark Truth 

Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria headline this generic thriller in which a CIA agent discovers that the agency might have been involved in some dirty dealings.

 

Masochist’s Choice

Heaven’s Door 

Charisma Carpenter (formerly of Buffy and Angel) and Dean Cain play the parents of a kid who becomes an earthly assistant to actual angels.

 

Filed Under: Lawless, VOD OCD, Whitney Houston

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