5 items from 2015
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and/or own this week via various Digital HD providers such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods American Sniper (Clint Eastwood-directed action-drama about Navy Seal Chris Kyle; Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis; rated R) Seventh Son (fantasy-adventure; Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes; also available in 3D; rated PG-13) Strange Magic (animated; voices: Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood; rated PG) Leviathan (2014) (Russian drama; Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov; rated...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
★★★★★ Living up to its title, there is an epic quality to Leviathan (2014), Andrey Zvyagintsev's tragic drama about corruption and impunity in modern Russia. Mechanic Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov) and his second wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) are facing eviction from their home overlooking the Barents Sea in the north. It's in a prime position and the miscreant mayor, Vadim (Roman Madyanov), wants to bulldoze it and redevelop the land. Kolya enlists the help of his old friend Dimitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), now a city lawyer, who arrives from Moscow with damning evidence of the mayor's past misdemeanours. Leviathan starts as a simple tale of local corruption which serves to reflect the bigger picture in Russia.
- CineVue UK
Well, sometimes some confusion can be a good thing. When I was first aware of this film’s title, I thought that this may be a remake/reboot of the 1989 Peter Weller starring monster thriller with a massive CGI beastie akin to those from Pacific Rim or last Summer’s retooled Godzilla. Seems I was mistaken. Leviathan doesn’t concern itself with a colossal rampaging demon risen from the depths, but rather it’s a complex drama set in a dreary, Russian fishing village (yes, it has subtitles). The title doesn’t refer to a scaly giant that the film’s heroes must face. They instead must square off against an even more formidable adversary, for this leviathan is comprised not of claws and fangs, but corruption and the cruelties of fate itself.
The story begins as the sun rises over that Russian village, as Nikolay (Aleksey Serebryakov) heads away »
- Jim Batts
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has unveiled its 2015 line-up which includes films representing 54 countries, 23 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres. The U.S. premiere of Niki Caro’s McFarland USA will close out the 30th fest. Based on the 1987 true story and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, the film follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. The unlikely band of runners overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.
The festival runs from January 27-February 7.
Below is the list of World and U.S. Premiere films followed by the list of titles by sidebar categories.
A Better You, USA
Directed by Matt Walsh
Cast: Brian Huskey, »
- The Deadline Team
A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the Sbiff curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet. Sbiff will open with "Desert Dancer," producer Richard Raymond’s directorial debut. Starring Reece Ritchie and Frieda Pinto, the drama follows a group of friends who wave off the harsh political climate of Iran’s 2009 presidential election in favor of forming a dance team, picking up moves from Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev thanks to the magic of YouTube. The festival will close with "McFarland, USA," starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. Telling the 1987 true story of a Latino high school’s underdog cross-country team, »
- Matt Patches
5 items from 2015
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