Video on Demand Report: Argo VOD Yourself
In the midst of the revolution in Iran in 1980, six employees of the American Embassy in Tehran slip away from the building when it comes under siege and hole up at the home of the Canadian ambassador. Back in Langley, CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck, who also directed) comes up with a crazy idea to get them out: He’ll create a fake movie production and have the diplomats pose as members of its crew who are in Iran to scout locations. If that sounds just crazy enough to work, that’s because spoiler, it does. Or, I guess, it’s not really a spoiler, since Argo is based on true events that happened in 1980 and were only recently declassified.
You can still see Argo — the Best Picture front-runner at the Oscars this weekend — in first-run theaters, but here it is on demand; that’s something that doesn’t happen too often anymore these days, and is a testament to how satisfying a movie experience it really is.
New and Notable
Keira Knightley rejoins her Atonement director, Joe Wright, to play the titular heroine. As her lover, Vronsky, Aaron Johnson has a distractingly dumb mustache. I’m sure it’s period-accurate, but still.
Horror novelist Ethan Hawke buys what seems to be a perfectly nice suburban house. It turns out to be, like, super-haunted.
Teenage pals Victoria Justice and Jane Levy try to get to a Halloween party, but encounter a series of unfortunate setbacks along the way.
Now Is Good
Dying teenager Tessa (Dakota Fanning, doing a British accent) attempts to cram as much living as she can in her last moments including falling in love.
This horror/detective story is the latest John Cusack film to make you ask yourself, “What is John Cusack doing with his life?”
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome
This prequel to Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica TV series covers the First Cylon War, and you know what that means: Young Bill Adama!
Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren are former buddies turned antagonists in this story of a guy trying to get a MacGuffin across town or something. (If the particulars really matter to you in this elaborate excuse for lots of fighting, this movie may not be for you.)
“In Theaters” VOD Picks
Like Someone in Love
Since the trailer tells you NOTHING, I’m forced to copy and paste the description: “An old man and a young woman meet in Tokyo. She knows nothing about him, he thinks he knows her. He welcomes her into his home, she offers him her body. But the web that is woven between them in the space of twenty four hours bears no relation to the circumstances of their encounter.”
The Jeffrey Dahmer Files
This documentary, supplemented with reenactments, tells the story of the notorious serial killer.
Weird Indie of the Week
Hansel & Gretel Get Baked
In this stoner horror reimagining of the fairy tale (available on demand before it’s in theaters), the witch lures kids to her house with great weed. When you see that the witch is played by Lara Flynn Boyle, your only surprise will be that it took this long for her new lips to star in a horror movie.
Early VOD Premiere of the Week
After his girlfriend breaks up with him, an indie filmmaker (Alex Karpovsky) tries to get over it while taking his latest film on tour.
If you’d prefer to see Alex Karpovsky as an angry spurned lover, there’s this.
In 1976 Wales, inspiring teacher Minnie Driver tries to put on a musical despite the raging hormones of all of her students.
Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike
I’m no Rand scholar, but I’m pretty sure that when she imagined John Galt, she wasn’t picturing D.B. Sweeney.