VOD Report: Django Unchained Has Both Our Curiosity and Attention

The Headliner

Django Unchained

As the 2013 Best Picture Oscar nominees continue limping onto VOD, the latest entry is also the penultimate one. Amour, see you whenever. Django, welcome to the living rooms of America. No, we haven’t seen a, er, “an African American” on a horse before. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet, the original line is just slightly different. Keep an ear out for it!)

Just kidding: If you only know one thing about Django Unchained, it’s probably that a hateful term for African Americans is used, like, hundreds of times — but not so much that you ever get used to it. What else you need to know is that, as in his last film, Inglourious Basterds, writer-director Quentin Tarantino deals with a hideous chapter of human history by creating a parallel universe in which the oppressed contrive to destroy their oppressors, period accuracy be damned. As usual, Tarantino has too hard a time editing himself, but the film is still, at turns, funny, poignant, gory, and tense. Amid it all, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz (who won his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance), and Samuel L. Jackson seem to be competing in a “Who’s Having the Most Fun?” contest. (I’m pretty sure no one does that in Amour.)

 

New and Notable

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

Nothing can prepare you for the chaotic lives of the Whites, a large, colorful family with a lot of problems — and not just drug problems, but … mostly drug problems.

 

Last Night

One pivotal night tests the fidelity of a married couple (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington).

 

Janie Jones

When her mother has to go to rehab, Janie Jones (Abigail Breslin) “gets” to spend time with her estranged rock star father (Alessandro Nivola).

 

Face 2 Face

Katherine Brooks road-trips to meet 50 of her Facebook friends in this documentary.

 

Newlyweds

Attractive New Yorkers learn that relationships can be difficult in a film by and starring Edward Burns.

 

Detachment

Tony Kaye (American History X) directed this film about teachers in a public high school that, whatever other faults it might evince, certainly does not seem to glamorize the profession.

 

Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston

The late designer’s friends tell his story in this documentary biopic.

 

The Last Rites of Joe May

An elderly short-con hustler (Dennis Farina) tries to do something worthwhile with the little time he has left.

 

Wings of Life

Let Meryl Streep’s mellifluous narration guide you through this documentary about flying creatures of all kinds.

 

Delhi Safari

Brad Garrett and Jane Lynch are among the stars lending their voices to this Madagascar rip-off.

 

Not Suitable for Children

When he learns that the treatment for his testicular cancer will render him infertile, Jonah (True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten) has a one-month deadline to get someone pregnant.

 

My Last Five Girlfriends

Alain de Botton’s internationally best-selling book, On Love, has been adapted into this film about a man trying to learn lessons from his five most recent partners.

 

Grave Encounters

Though it employs the techniques of a documentary, you can tell this footage that purports to be from a ghost-hunting reality show is fake because the people in it actually find something.

 

A Monster in Paris

In 1910 Paris, an unlikely trio has to try to conceal the true identity of … basically, a gigantic irradiated flea.

 

No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson

Hoop Dreams director Steve James tells the story of Allen Iverson, at the time still a high school student, getting arrested on assault charges in 1993.

 

Black Butterflies

Carice van Houten stars in this biopic of Ingrid Jonker, a poet known as South Africa’s Sylvia Plath.

 

Dark Frontier

A struggling family of farmers faces a new challenge when three ex-soldiers arrive and mess things up with their gold.

 

Romantics Anonymous

Two super-shy chocolatiers develop a new line to save their company and, though they fall in love along the way, may both be too scared to admit it.

 

Tchoupitoulas

This film lets you experience a night in New Orleans through the eyes of three young boys.

 

Beware the Gonzo

Renegade high school journalist Ezra Miller gets kicked off his school paper and, to get revenge, starts his own.

 

4some

Two middle-aged couples go to the Caribbean and discover wife-swapping, as one does.

 

Silver Case

An important metal briefcase goes missing and ruins everyone’s day.

 

Separation

A couple working on their troubled relationship in a remote cabin has to put that on hold when a townie starts trying to kill them.

 

Neon Flesh

Nick Jonas lookalike Ricky wants to open a nightclub/brothel. “High testosterone entertainment” is a quote from Variety offered in the trailer. Duh?

 

The Bleeding House

The premise — in which a creep with a Southern accent tries to bleed a family to death (literally) for their past sins — lets you know it’s a horror movie. The Tribeca Film imprimatur lets you know it’s classy.

 

Clandestine Childhood

In 1979 Argentina, Juan leads a double life with his family, who are revolutionaries working to overthrow the government.

 

Sushi: The Global Catch

This documentary examines how sustainable the global sushi market is. (Spoiler: not sustainable.)

 

Love Sick Love

Gossip Girl’s Matthew Settle has the bad luck of hooking up with a lady who wants to test their love by artificially compressing a year’s worth of holiday celebrations into one extremely terrible weekend.

 

“In Theaters” VOD Picks

Errors of the Human Body

A geneticist tries to right a past wrong through genetic engineering, because that always works out well.

 

Weird Indie of the Week

Fresh Meat

Let’s call this one “Gangsters vs. Cannibals.”

 

Early VOD Premiere of the Week

Greetings From Tim Buckley

Penn Badgley plays doomed musician Jeff Buckley in a biopic that also covers the late star’s father, fellow singer-songwriter Tim.

 

The English Teacher

A lonely high school English teacher gets entangled with a talented former student. As the teacher, Julianne Moore puts on glasses so you know she’s mousy.

 

33 Postcards

After 10 years’ correspondence, a Chinese orphan meets her Australian sponsor (Guy Pearce), who hasn’t exactly been representing himself to her accurately.

 

What Richard Did

One drunken mistake ruins a teenager’s promising future.

 

Masochist’s Choice

3 Blind Saints

My Cousin Vinny meets We’re No Angels in this story of three boobs on a road trip who get into trouble in a tiny podunk town.

Filed Under: Django Unchained, VOD OCD

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