Week two of no new theatrical releases gets interesting with the increase of “virtual theater” services popping up.
Herding together all of the new releases on the streaming market just got a lot harder. While the good folks over at Film Pulse still maintain one of the best resources for standard VOD release schedules, we’ve got a new wrinkle.
This week, we see a ton of smaller theater chains go digital, replacing theatrical premieres with a digital debut. Distributor Kino Lorber is pairing with theaters such as Alamo Drafthouse to stream indie/festival films, and Music Box has a virtual theater program with a similar list of independent/small chain theaters. These virtual tickets split revenue with your selected theater (you don’t need to be a resident, just pick somebody to help out!) Many include cast and crew Q&A or other features on opening day.
As many of these programs are brand, spanking new, we’re bound to miss a few. Hopefully as the dust settles, we’ll have a reliable list of who is offering what.
Virtual Theatrical Releases.
Bacurau (Kino Marquee)
Bacurau, a small village in the Brazilian sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita, who lived to be 94. Days later, its inhabitants (among them Sônia Braga) notice that their village has literally vanished from online maps and a UFO-shaped drone is seen flying overhead. There are forces that want to expel them from their homes, and soon, in a genre-bending twist, a band of armed mercenaries led by Udo Kier arrive in town picking off the inhabitants one by one.
And Then We Danced (Music Box)
A passionate coming-of age tale set amidst the conservative confines of modern Tbilisi, AND THEN WE DANCED follows Merab, a competitive dancer who is thrown off balance by the arrival of Irakli, a fellow male dancer with a rebellious streak.
Extra Ordinary (Kino Marquee)
Rose, a mostly sweet & mostly lonely Irish small-town driving instructor, must use her supernatural talents to save the daughter of Martin (also mostly sweet & lonely) from a washed-up rock star who is using her in a Satanic pact to reignite his fame.
Video on Demand.
How to Fix a Drug Scandal (Netflix)
In 2013, Massachusetts State Police arrest 35-year-old crime drug lab chemist Sonja Farak for tampering with evidence: and that was only the beginning. Over time, details emerged that Farak had been in fact using the drugs that she was tasked with testing. Did anyone know what had been going on? And when did they find out?
Rogue Warfare: The Hunt
When the leader of an elite team of soldiers is captured by terrorists, it is up to the team to find and rescue him before it is too late.
Two bumbling Irish twins, Jackie (Mark Webber) & Mickey (Jon Abrahams) must resort to extreme measures to pay off their father’s debt to a local mob boss, Tony Davolo (Chazz Palminteri). Their situation becomes increasingly complicated when a tough-as-nails teenage girl, Clover (Nicole Elizabeth Berger), forces the brothers to take to the streets in a desperate attempt to out-run Tony’s pair of hit-WOMEN and keep Clover out of harm’s way.
The Other Lamb
For her entire life, the cult she was born into has been all that teenage Selah (Raffey Cassidy) has known. Along with a band of similarly cloistered young women she lives seemingly unstuck in time, cut off from modern society in a remote forest commune presided over by a man called Shepherd (Michiel Huisman), a controlling, messiah-like figure with a frightening dark side. But when her insular world is rocked by a series of nightmarish visions and disturbing revelations, Selah begins to question everything about her existence—including her allegiance to the increasingly dangerous Shepherd.
Slay the Dragon
SLAY THE DRAGON shines a light on this timely issue [gerrymandering], and follows a handful of citizens’ groups, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally, as they battle party operatives and an entrenched political establishment to fix a broken system.
A romantic comedy about a group of friends navigating love, life, and relationships as they reach the mid-point.
SHOOTING HEROIN tells the story of a small-town community that comes together to fight back against the spread of drugs “by any means necessary”—a story of a group of vigilante townsfolk who take justice into their own hands to fight for the heart of America, and save the next generation from overdosing and dying.
Cofee and Kareem (Netflix)
I’m going out on a limb here. Taraji P. Henson has been high and low lately, mixing great films with some duds like Proud Mary. Ed Helms hasn’t really lived up to The Hangover in his later comedies. And this is a police comedy, which tends to be extremely predictable. Having nearly talked myself out of it, I have to say that I did find the trailer to be pretty funny. We could all use a laugh these days.
While police officer James Coffee (Ed Helms) enjoys his new relationship with Vanessa Manning (Taraji P. Henson), her beloved 12-year-old son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) plots their break-up. Attempting to scare away his mom’s boyfriend for good, Kareem tries to hire criminal fugitives to take him out but accidentally exposes a secret network of criminal activity, making his family its latest target.