To the Wonder
After going the better part of a decade without making a film after the Best Picture Oscar nominee The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick is on a tear, following up 2011’s Tree of Life with To the Wonder (available on demand the same day as its theatrical release), less than two years later.
While Malick’s most recent films may seem daunting in their scale — set against the backdrop of World War II (in the case of Line), or trying to cover all of life on Earth through the lens of a single family (OK, I never saw Tree of Life, but I know I saw dinosaurs in the trailer) — To the Wonder features a story that actually seems like a topic that could be fully covered on film. Ben Affleck returns to acting in someone else’s movie to play a man torn between his love for two different women: a beautiful European (Olga Kurylenko) who’s moved to the U.S. to be with him, and an American (Canadian Rachel McAdams, stretching) he’s known since they were kids. Also present — and forebodingly narrating the trailer — is Javier Bardem as a priest, and let’s hope one who sticks closer to the Eat Pray Love end of the spectrum than, say, Skyfall.
New and Notable
Hyde Park on Hudson
Bill Murray plays FDR in this poorly reviewed biopic.
Only the Young
This documentary follows a handful of teenagers in a California desert town where there is, apparently, almost nothing to do. (That’s every town when you’re a teenager.)
Down the Shore
Jersey Shore residents have to hold things together when “a deadly secret from their past” comes out. Well, that’s rarely good.
Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch reunites with his troubled brother, who apparently hasn’t gotten much less troubled since they were last around each other.
A young woman’s death affects her small town in this festival favorite.
He’s Way More Famous Than You
Indie darling Halley Feiffer plays herself (kind of) in a story about her efforts to goose her career by writing her own star vehicle.
Bob’s New Suit
This film tells the story of a family through a particular set of wedding clothes.
Can U Feel It: Ultra Music Festival
I feel like nothing could be less compelling visually than a concert film about an electronic music festival, but maybe that’s your thing.
Specialists investigate whether a rise in demonic possessions is part of an organized plot. (Spoiler: Looks like yes.)
Australia’s answer to the Harold & Kumar franchise features less fast food and more driving through the Outback.
X-Men: First Class star Lucas Till becomes the object of obsession for a mousy classmate, and not in the cute way.
Finally, someone thought of combining the zombie genre with the martial-arts genre.
Sexy Evil Genius
Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff reunites with a bunch of her exes … and her nefarious plan proceeds from there.
A man seeking a new life gets set up in a scheme hatched by people he meets on a VIP train in India.
“In Theaters” VOD Picks
Aimless American Simon (Melancholia’s Brady Corbet) tries to heal a broken heart while on vacation in Paris, but a relationship with a prostitute quickly turns dangerous.
In a dystopic future where civilians willingly get injected with celebrities’ blood, things somehow go wrong???
The Angels’ Share
In director Ken Loach’s latest, wastrel Robbie learns he has a sensitive nose for whiskey, which he parlays into a whiskey heist.
100° Below 0
This time, it’s Europe’s turn to be battered by a once-in-a-lifetime killer storm.
Opportunistic Backlist Revival Themes of the Week: Tom Cruise/The Ocean
The imminent big-screen release of Oblivion is the peg for this collection of Tom Cruise’s greatest hits, including the first three Mission: Impossibles (the fourth — and, in my opinion, best — is streaming on Netflix), Rain Man, Collateral, Top Gun, Interview With the Vampire, Jerry Maguire, Risky Business, Born on the Fourth of July, Valkyrie, Knight and Day, Eyes Wide Shut, and one of the all-time best character-actor showcases in movie history, The Firm.
With Earth Day just around the corner, the time is right for this collection of documentaries about marine life, including Amazing Ocean (above), Fascination Coral Reef, Worlds Under Water, and Coral Reef (the last of which is also available in 3-D, though you need to provide your own 3-D TV and glasses).
Weird Indie of the Week
A slain med student gets reincarnated into a racist toy.
Ring the Bell
A douchey sports agent learns What Really Matters (God).