Should you journey with Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt in ‘Passengers’?


Here’s a look at some interesting new releases available to rent from cable and digital providers and a few titles that have recently hit streaming services.

Video on Demand

“Julieta”: Originally intended as his English-language debut, Pedro Almodovar ended up sticking with Spain for his 20th feature film. He adapted three short stories from Alice Munro and weaved them into a haunting story of a woman seeking to reconnect with her estranged daughter. Set in Madrid and featuring the director’s signature bold color palette, the film serves up melodrama with a hint of Hitchcock. Emma Suarez is remarkable in the lead role, and it’s a delight to see Rossy de Palma, who starred in many of Almodovar’s ’90s films, here in a supporting role. (Cable and digital VOD)

“Passengers”: Norwegian director Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) helms this stylish sci-fi thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. They’re two people traveling on a 120-year journey in space to go live on another planet when they accidentally wake up from their hibernation pods too early. The movie succeeds thanks to the chemistry between the two leads, but the storyline presents a serious ethical dilemma that may prove too creepy for some viewers. If you are able to look past these story elements, can you survive the epically awful dialogue? Ultimately, I found it to be compulsively watchable, warts and all. The film earned two Academy Award nominations — one for Thomas Newman’s score and another well-deserved nod for the film’s gorgeous production design. (Cable and digital VOD)

Also on streaming services

“Being 17”: Even now as a 70-year-old man, director Andre Techine still has a knack for creating solid coming-of-age stories. This time around he partnered up with “Girlhood” director Celine Sciamma to write a script that shifts between violence and sexual awakening. There are class issues at play here, but mostly we’re focused on the fact that Damien finds himself becoming attracted to Thomas, who relentlessly bullies him at school in rural France. (Netflix)

“Everybody Wants Some!!!”: Richard Linklater heads to the 80s to spotlight this tale of a college baseball team in Texas. The film boasts a strong ensemble cast that includes Blake Jenner (“The Edge of Seventeen”), Glen Powell (“Hidden Figures”) and Zoey Deutch (“Before I Fall). A spiritual sequel to “Dazed and Confused,” many of the characters are disappointingly two-dimensional. It’s an ode to being a jock, and your enjoyment of the movie will likely depend on how closely that aligns with your own experiences. One thing that Linklater is an expert at is curating the perfect soundtrack for a story, and this is no exception. Blondie, the Cars, Devo and the Sugarhill Gang help it all go down a little easier. (Amazon Prime, Hulu)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Movies & TV

Jimmy Webb’s memoir takes a long look the legendary songwriter’s career
Jimmy Webb’s memoir takes a long look the legendary songwriter’s career

If you loved the late Glen Campbell’s city-named country-pop crossover hits — “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” — much of the credit goes to Jimmy Webb, who wrote all of those songs in the mid-to-late 1960s when he was barely out of his teens. The son of a Baptist minister...
‘The Snowman’ is a jumbled, nonsensical mess
‘The Snowman’ is a jumbled, nonsensical mess

Mister Alfredson, you could have saved it. We gave you all the tools — a star-studded cast, a blockbuster best-selling Scandinavian murder novel by Jo Nesbø, and three time Oscar winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker. So why is “The Snowman” such a jumbled, nonsensical mess? Director Tomas Alfredson has copped to the fact that...
From the archives: Austin musicians size up Stevie Wonder
From the archives: Austin musicians size up Stevie Wonder

The last time Stevie Wonder played Austin, in 2015, it was a three-hour thrill ride of a performance that took a packed Erwin Center audience on a breathtaking journey, remarkable for its rarely matched musical mastery and its profound spiritual reach. He’s one of the few artists of the modern era who has rightfully...
One of Austin’s best Bloody Mary brands now has a margarita mix for us
One of Austin’s best Bloody Mary brands now has a margarita mix for us

After proving that locally made barbecue sauce is an essential ingredient in Bloody Mary mix, the Austin-based brand Barbecue Wife is releasing a new drinks mix — this one especially important to margarita-loving Texans. Barbecue Wife founder Catherine Stiles has created a “junk-free” margarita mix called the Barbecue Wife Texas...
A boozy bread pudding recipe from specialty food pioneers Fischer & Wieser
A boozy bread pudding recipe from specialty food pioneers Fischer & Wieser

Earlier this week, I told you about Fischer & Wieser, the specialty food company in Fredericksburg that gained national fame in the 1990s with their roasted raspberry chipotle sauce. Case Fischer, CEO and President, and his wife Deanna Fischer, Chief Experience Officer, of Fischer & Wieser, a Central ...
More Stories