Oh boy, we’re starting 2021 off with a zombie comedy. That should go well.
It’s going to be a quieter week this time around. There are just two new films in limited release, and five new titles hitting video on demand. Luckily, the Virtual Theatrical market comes back to life a bit, with two new options for streaming this weekend.
Average Joe (Jan. 8)
A team of super heroes are forced to return to their mundane lives when the city announces that they’re not needed anymore.
Anti-Pick of the Week: This super hero story smacks of super amateur hour. This is Cross – Rise of the Villains levels of bad, without any Danny Trejo to give it a whiff of competence.
Zombie Bro (Jan. 8)
A young girl must enlist her juvenile father to help save the town from her biting brother.
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets (Alamo on Demand, Jan. 5)
Sixteen-year-old James Whitman (Lucas Jade Zumann) struggles to overcome anxiety and depression by seeking advice from Dr. Bird (Tom Wilkinson.) In his magical realism inspired world, James goes on a whimsical, but emotionally charged search to solve the mystery of the disappearance of his sister, after an altercation with their parents (Lisa Edelstein and Jason Isaacs.)
The Reason I Jump (Kino Marquee, Jan. 8)
Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, later translated into English by author David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas), The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world.
Staff Pick: Haunting cinematography brings this powerful piece to life. Looks riveting.
Video on Demand
A Stone in the Water (Jan. 5)
A tragic accident drives a woman to a vicious murder that she and her best friend conceal for thirty-five years. But when a stranger unexpectedly intrudes, their secretive but orderly lives are suddenly threatened. Before long, two women from different worlds, both with terrible secrets, are launched onto a deadly collision course.
Gun and a Hotel Bible (Jan. 5)
Based on an award-winning play, GUN AND A HOTEL BIBLE tells the story of Pete (Bradley Gosnell), a desperate man on the verge of a violent act and his encounter with Gideon (Daniel Floren), a personified hotel bible. As Pete and Gideon spar over ideas about morality, the Bible and God, they are forced to deal with their inadequacies. With the clock ticking, can Gideon sway Pete from pulling the trigger?
Happy Face (Jan. 5)
Estranged from his manipulative cancer-stricken mother, Stan, a quixotic 19-year-old, dons a disguise and joins a therapy workshop for disfigured patients in a misguided attempt to reconnect with her. But when his deception is revealed, Stan, who is desperate to gain coping skills to care for his disease-ravaged mother, offers the afflicted patients a bargain: he stays with the group, and in exchange he teaches them how feel good about themselves : by using their “ugliness” as a weapon against our beauty-obsessed culture.
Pieces of a Woman (Netflix, Jan. 7)
Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) are a Boston couple on the verge of parenthood whose lives change irrevocably when a home birth ends in unimaginable tragedy. Thus begins a yearlong odyssey for Martha, who must navigate her grief while working through fractious relationships with her husband and her domineering mother (Ellen Burstyn), along with the publicly vilified midwife (Molly Parker), whom she must face in court.
Something Beautiful Left Behind (Jan. 8)
The Good Grief community in New Jersey focuses on a holistic approach to mourning, where children can give in to rage in ‘the volcano room’ or say goodbye to a dying teddy bear patient in ‘the hospital room.’ Over the course of a year, we get close to Kimmy, Nicky, Peter, Nora, Nolan and Mikayla along with their constant companion: grief, as they attend their weekly group meetings at Good Grief, practice small rituals to remember their loved ones, and go about the daily work of living.