Here’s a look at a few interesting new releases available to rent from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available to stream.
Video on Demand
“Blade Runner 2049”: After years of speculation, Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) released a visually stunning sequel to Ridley Scott’s science-fiction cult classic last fall to critical acclaim and audience indifference. Even though the box office numbers were disappointing, it super-served the hardcore fans, and maybe that’s all that matters. Ryan Gosling stars as an LAPD “Blade Runner,” an officer who tracks down robots that have become illegal on Earth, called replicants, and decommissions them. Roger Deakins, who previously shot “Sicario” and “Prisoners” for Villeneuve, is the film’s cinematographer, and this is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous films of 2017. Filled with deeply saturated colors and impressive effects work, it’s fun to watch even if you get confused by the plot. Harrison Ford, who starred in the original film, is thankfully along for the ride but doesn’t show up until fairly deep into the excessive running time of 163 minutes. “Blade Runner 2049” is nominated for five Academy Awards including best cinematography and best visual effects. (Cable and digital VOD; 4K rental available on FandangoNow, iTunes and Vudu)
“Loving Vincent”: Just when you think it’s all been done before, a film like this comes along to change your mind. Funded through Kickstarter and the Polish Film Institute, Saoirse Ronan and Chris O’Dowd are among the voice actors in this animated story about the life of Vincent Van Gogh. Every frame of the movie was created as an oil painting on canvas with many shots inspired directly by specific works of Van Gogh. 125 artists painted 65,000 full images to bring the story to life. The end result is truly breathtaking and carries the weight of a screenplay that has a tendency to drag. “Loving Vincent” was nominated Tuesday for the Oscar for best animated feature. (Cable and digital VOD; 4K rental available on iTunes)
Also on streaming services
“Unrest”: Jen Brea seemingly had a perfect life. She was pursuing her doctorate at Harvard, where she had also fallen in love and met her future husband. Then, as if a spell had worn off, things went off the rails. Her intensely personal and innovative documentary shows us how quickly chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as M.E. or myalgic encephalomyelitis) can alter a person’s life and relationships. After being told by a specialist that it was all in her head, she picked up a camera and started to document the pain. With the help of a film crew to hit up locations and a Skype account to conduct interviews from bed, we’re able to see how Jen utilized the internet to form a network of friends from around the world suffering from similar symptoms. (Netflix)