New to VUDU: Week of October 30th, 2011

You might expect a streaming service like VUDU to add a bunch of new horror titles to the line-up on the week of Halloween. Due to licensing agreements and whatnot, I guess that’s just not how things shook out this year. Instead, the week seems to be dominated by romance and relationship dramas. Consider that counter programming. You’re probably sick of the werewolves and zombies and serial killers by now anyway, right?

The following titles enter the VUDU stream this week:

  • ‘The American Standards’ (11/1)
  • ‘Beginners’ (11/1)
  • ‘Billionaire’ (11/1)
  • ‘Cars 2’ (11/1)
  • ‘The Christmas Bunny’ (11/1)
  • ‘A Christmas Snow’ (11/1)
  • ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.’ (11/1)
  • ‘Fading of the Cries’ (11/1)
  • ‘Five Star Day’ (11/2)
  • ‘I Melt with You’ (11/4)
  • ‘Page Eight’ (10/31)
  • ‘Paper Heart’ (10/30)
  • ‘Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle’ (11/1)
  • ‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ (11/1)
  • ‘Surrogate Valentine’ (11/1)
  • ‘Water for Elephants’ (11/1)

Punctuation issues notwithstanding, the most appealing title of the week would have to be ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.‘, the romantic comedy starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Marisa Tomei. That’s a great cast, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the movie. This seems like a worthy rental.

I’ll pass on ‘Water for Elephants‘, the flop from earlier this year where Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson run off to the circus and fall in love. Or whatever. I saw Pattinson’s name in the credits and can’t even be bothered to Google a proper plot summary. Your mileage may vary.

Beginners‘ isn’t a romance, per se, but this drama in which Ewan McGregor tries to reconnect with his elderly father (Christopher Plummer), who drops the double-whammy of revelations that he’s both gay and dying of cancer, has plenty of relationship issues to tug at the ol’ heartstrings. Luke thought this was pretty great when he reviewed it earlier this year.

One-time indie darling Wayne Wang (‘The Joy Luck Club’, ‘Smoke’) pretty much dropped off the cinematic radar in recent years. He’s still been directing, but mostly disposable studio hackwork that nobody has given much of a damn about. (He did that dreadful J.Lo rom-com ‘Maid in Manhattan’, for instance.) Wang tried to get his mojo back this year with the period drama ‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan‘, but the reviews were middling at best and the picture bombed at the box office.

The final title of note this week is the bizarro is-it-a-documentary-or-not? ‘Paper Heart‘, starring Michael Cera and his (at the time) girlfriend Charlyne Yi, who wrote the screenplay. Reviews for this one were also pretty mixed.

Effective this week, VUDU also adds a 3D edition of ‘Toy Story 3‘ for purchase. Unfortunately, it cannot be rented at this time.

I’m going to forgo a random VUDU catalog pick this week, mostly because I’m writing this post on an airplane with erratic Wi-Fi. Depeding on how much work I get done during this trip, I might have another post tomorrow with a good suggestion.

All dates provided refer specifically to rental availability. Check VUDU for sell-through availability, if interested. Be sure to also check for VUDU’s $0.99 Movie of the Day offers, which are announced each day on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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