Matthew McConaughey hits the motherlode in “Gold,” a fascinating real-life adventure which tells the story of Kenny Wells, a balding, pot-bellied prospector who’s down to his last few bucks when he teams with a geologist (Edgar Ramirez) and strikes gold in Indonesia. But Wells doesn’t stay on top for long.
Soon, he’s battling Wall Street sharks who are hellbent on getting a piece of his action. Part character study, part thriller and part excavation of the American Dream, “Gold” is buoyed by terrific performances from McConaughey, Ramirez and Bryce Dallas Howard who works wonders with a standard-issue girlfriend role. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Also New To VOD and Streaming
Batman & Bill: Based on a non-fiction book by Marc Tyler Nobleman, this documentary aims to restore the reputation of comic book artist Bill Finger who co-created the ever-popular DC superhero Batman along with Bob Kane. Over the course of the last six decades, Kane has received most of the credit for giving birth to the Caped Crusader but Nobleman argues that “creatively it was 98% Bill…Bob Kane had financial advice that served him well” but as far as the “major elements of Batman,” those can be chalked up to Finger. Comic book fans won’t want to miss the ultimate origin story. On Hulu.
The House of Cards Trilogy: Netflix’s first big success story, “House of Cards” starring Orange’s Kevin Spacey, was based on a terrific BBC mini-series from the 1990s which is being made available by the streaming giant. Ian Richardson stars as a cutthroat politician who’ll do anything to rise to the top, including using blackmail and murder to get what he wants. Richardson is so good, especially when he turns to the camera to confide the secrets of his sinister schemes, that he almost makes you forget Spacey – and that’s saying something. On Netflix.
The Salesman: Just as he did in the searing “Separation” and “The Past,” Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi uses the simplest of premises to explore a rich tangle of sex, identity and temptation. “The Salesman,” which netted an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film, pivots on a young woman named Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) who is attacked in her new apartment, much to the horror of her husband Emad (Shahab Hosseini) who vows revenge. Farhadi’s genius is that he’s capable of operating on so many levels at once, uncorking a nail-biting thriller, a deconstruction of a troubled marriage, and a sly rebuke to his country’s repressive regime. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Rings: Drop this dismal reboot in the Who Needs It file along with similarly misguided make-overs like “Robocop” and “Total Recall.” For this horror outing, the haunted videotape is unearthed by a professor (Johnny Galecki) who shares it with his student (Alex Roe) who shares it with his girlfriend (Matilda Lutz) ) and so on. Even though there’s an attempt to update the tale for the Internet age – beware computer files! – there’s nothing worth recommending about this curiously unscary outing. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Saving Banksy: Here’s a documentary which began as a celebration of British street artist Banksy and his decision to tag buildings all over San Francisco and quickly transformed into an exploration of the ethics of street art. The film follows a San Franciscan who opted to remove one of Banksy’s paintings from the side of a building with the hopes of donating it to a museum. Others snatch up the paintings to sell. In the end, “Saving Banksy” asks the far-reaching question of whether everything should have a price-tag? On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Puppy Love: The friendship between high-schoolers Diane (Solene Rigot) and Julia (Audrey Bastien) is put under the microscope in this intriguing coming-of-age drama. Written and directed with a light touch by Delphine Lehericey, “Puppy Love” pivots on the lonely, awkward Diane as she sets about trying to lose her virginity. When she and her some-time boyfriend fall out, Diane begins taking advice from the uninhibited Julia. But too much freedom can be a tricky thing. While a bit thin, this French-language flick is provocative and offbeat enough to keep you watching. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
For The Kids
Digimon Adventure Tri - Reunion: Get ready for a “digivolving” adventure featuring Tai and Kari and other members of the DigiDestined who crossed over to the Digital World. At some point, the gates of the Digital World mysteriously closed but will they open up again? This Japanese anime runs a fast-paced 96 minutes and brings many “Digimon” favorites back together again. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Alpha And Omega - Journey To Bear Kingdom : The latest installment in the popular animated movie series finds wolf pups Stinky, Runt and Claudette leaping into action to help protect Queen Bear and Princess Canue from the evil Rogue Wolves. The alpha and omega wolves wind up banding together with other animals from the Eastern Forest to help save their woodsy home. Expect a pawsitively thrilling treat for the whole family. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Rugrats - Season 1: The classic Nickelodeon series offers up plenty of laughs. Need proof? Check out the segments featuring Grandpa hunting for his dentures, Tommy winding up as a contestant in the “Little Miss Lovely” contest and Stu exploring his mysterious workshop. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu