- Matt Shiverdecker Special to the American-Statesman
Here’s a look at an interesting new release available to rent from cable and digital providers and a few titles that have recently hit streaming services.
Video on Demand
“Land Of Mine”: This historical drama tells the horrific true story of over 2,000 German prisoners of war who were used by the Danish army to clear land mines from the coastal beaches. By sidestepping the Geneva Convention and forcing these young captive men to dig up Hitler’s provisionary Atlantic Wall system, many lost their lives or limbs. Martin Zandvliet’s emotionally-charged film was nominated in the foreign language category at this year’s Academy Awards. (Cable and digital VOD)
Also on streaming services
The films of Bong Joon-Ho: The South Korean director has been earning raves for his latest film, “Okja,” which will find its Netflix premiere around the world June 28. Before that is released, the streaming giant has added three of his earlier works for adventurous viewers. You can choose from a delightful black comedy (his 2000 debut film “Barking Dogs Never Bite”), a thrilling monster movie (2006’s “The Host”), or a delectable revenge thriller (2009’s “Mother”). You can’t go wrong with any of them, although his most accessible film (2013’s apocalyptic tale “Snowpiercer”) is currently only available to rent on digital VOD. (Netflix)
“If You Aren’t in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”: Longtime producer Danny Gold steps up to direct this documentary look at life over 90 with a variety of entertainment legends. Paying tribute to Old Hollywood, Gold teams up with 95-year-old comedian Carl Reiner, who hosts interviews with friends like Tony Bennett, Betty White, Mel Brooks, Kirk Douglas, Norman Lear and Dick Van Dyke to talk about their life experiences and how they’ve dealt with growing older. (HBO Now)
“Moana”: Co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker (who previously gave us Disney’s first African-American princess with 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog”) deliver an empowering tale of a young Polynesian girl who defies her tribal chief father and ventures away from the island her family calls home in order to save it. In a tropical paradise, Moana holds her own against a powerful, but goofy, demigod named Maui (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in a hysterical voice performance). Auli’i Cravalho was only a freshman in high school when she was cast as the heroic lead in the movie, and it took her all the way to the stage at the Academy Awards, where she performed the unforgettable best original song nominee, “How Far I’ll Go.” It was written by “Hamilton” sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda, who worked on the film’s songs alongside Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. The catchy tunes punctuate the breathtaking animation that is bursting with vibrant colors. (Netflix)