Video on Demand Report: Now With 100 Percent More Arctic Wolves!

The Headliner

The Grey

“Wild wolves are generally timid around humans.”

Perhaps, but Liam Neeson is no ordinary human, and this Alaska-set battle between man and nature is no ordinary B-movie. I love everything about The Grey; the solemnity and silliness, the characters’ lack of first names, the beard icicles. Forget the fact that there are no wolves in the part of Alaska where the movie takes place. Focus on how Neeson elevates what could have been camp into his own King Lear.

New and Notable

Rampart

Woody Harrelson gets his Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans on in this gritty drama co-written by James Ellroy (!) about a crooked LAPD cop. Featuring a brilliant supporting cast that boasts Ice Cube, Cynthia Nixon, Anne Heche, Ned Beatty, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, and Sigourney Weaver.

Albert Nobbs

Do you think if Glenn Close just keeps dressing in drag like she does in Albert Nobbs she could land lead roles as vigilantes in movies like Rampart and The Grey? Women like to come face-to-face with their own mortality in the wilderness/urban jungle, too, you know.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Why are sociopaths always so sexy in movies? And why is Tilda Swinton always such an unimpeachable goblin queen?

Splinters

Documentary about the 20-year history of surfing in Papua New Guinea and the wrenching human drama surrounding a big surfing competition.

Afghan Luke

War movie involving a journalist breaking a story about Canadian soldiers mutilating corpses in Afghanistan. Stars Nick Stahl, who recently made headlines when his wife filed a missing-persons report about him, saying that he may have gone to L.A.’s Skid Row for a drug binge. Stahl was famously edited out of Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line and is best known for his performances in In the Bedroom, HBO’s short-lived Carnivàle, and as the replacement John Connor in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. We hope he returns safely home.

Fever Night

Three Satanists have a ritual romp in the woods reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project, resulting in exploding birds and “unusual tree behavior.” Soundtracked by Thee Oh Sees, Fever Night is a mostly straight-faced throwback to ’70s exploitation films.

A Buddy Story

We see Elisabeth Moss as frumpy Peggy Olson so much it’s shocking to see her look like herself, and remember that she’s adorable. This is a shoestring indie romance co-starring … Matisyahu? What???

About Fifty

A rom-com about two dudes trying to escape being middle-aged by heading to Palm Springs. The love interest is played by Wendie Malick (Dream On, Just Shoot Me), who is still a total babe at a refreshingly appropriate 61 years old.

Fake It So Real

Documentary following a group of independent would-be professional wrestlers as they prepare for a big show in Lincolnton, North Carolina. Sweaty sequined madness replete with plenty of blood, tears, and two-by-fours to the face.

“In Theaters” VOD Pick

The Philly Kid

RAP-ROCK! MMA CAGE FIGHTING! DEVON SAWA!

Weird Indie of the Week

The Hunter

I guess it must be vigilante week on the VOD Report. Here’s Willem Dafoe as a mercenary “sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.” With Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor. Who would win in a fight between Liam Neeson, Willem Dafoe, a wolf, and a tiger?

Early VOD Premiere of the Week

Dragon Eyes

Vietnamese world-class martial artist Cung Le gets mentored by Jean-Claude Van Damme in order to take on crime lord Peter Weller (Robocop). Part of a spate of films produced by Joel Silver for action-film festival ActionFest: “The Film Festival With a Body Count.”

Masochist’s Choice

One for the Money

I mean, how bad could it be? (Famous last words.)

Filed Under: Elizabeth Moss, Glenn Close, Ice Cube, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, Video On Demand, VOD OCD, Woody Harrelson

Photo on 2014-01-10 at 12.58 #3

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert