Guiding you through the sea of available on-demand movie and television content, What's New will help you settle that age-old argument of what to watch. Covering Netflix Watch Instantly, Redbox and Cable Video-on-Demand services, this weekly Moviefone column does the grunt work so you don't have to. Movie night has officially been simplified.
Netflix Watch Instantly
(Accessed through your XBOX 360, PS3, Wii, personal computer or Roku box)
'A/k/a Tommy Chong' -- When comedy legend Tommy Chong was arrested in 2003 and given a nine-month prison sentence for the manufacture and sale of drug paraphernalia, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's revamped war on drugs soared, like a mighty eagle stricken with vertigo in mid-flight, to new levels of absurdity. Fortunately, filmmaker Josh Gilbert's cameras were rolling at the time, offering viewers a first-hand account of the vengeful American justice system in action. Play on Netflix.
'Cats Don't Dance' -- This animated comedy for the family -- which gently parodies the movie musicals of the '30s and '40s -- follows Danny (voice of Scott Bakula), a cat from Kokomo, Indiana, who loves to sing and dance and longs to be in show business. One day Danny decides to do something about his ambitions instead of just wishing, so he heads for Hollywood, convinced that he can become a star in a week. Play on Netflix.
'Crips and Bloods: Made in America' -- A documentary cataloging the turbulent history of one of the most violent gang wars in American history. Play on Netflix.
'Death of a Ghost Hunter' -- A paranormal investigator determined to prove that there is life after death investigates the house where an unspeakable tragedy occurred in director Sean Tretta's low-budget ghost story. Play on Netflix.
'Dogtooth' -- Three young people exist in a strange world of their parents' devising in this bizarre drama from writer and director Yorgos Lanthimos. Play on Netflix.
'Enter the Void' -- Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) and his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta of 'The Limits of Control'), separated as children when their parents were killed in a car crash, are re-united in Tokyo, where he's a small-time drug dealer and she's a stripper. One night Oscar is shot in a police raid, but true to a promise he made Linda as a child -- that he would never leave her -- he refuses to abandon the world of the living. Play on Netflix.
'ExTerminators' -- Heather Graham headlines this dark comedy about a lonely accountant who befriends a sociopathic dental technician and the unstable owner of a small extermination business while participating in court-mandated rage therapy. Play on Netflix.
'Farscape: Season 4' -- The fourth season of the popular sci-fi series centering on an astronaut caught in the middle of intergalactic conflict after a wormhole transports him to uncharted space. Play on Netflix.
'Get Shorty' -- A gangster is looking to get away from crooked deals and double-crossing people but ends up in the movie business anyway in this comic crime story. Play on Netflix.
'Hercules and the Circle of Fire' -- The Earth is in danger of turning into a block of ice unless the fires of the world can be rekindled. This calamitous situation is the handiwork of Hercules' treacherous stepmother, Hera, in whose immortal hands the Eternal Torch has been passed. Starring Kevin Sorbo as legendary hero Hercules. Play on Netflix.
'Hercules and the Lost Kingdom' -- The second of five made-for-TV movies starring Kevin Sorbo as legendary muscleman Hercules, this one pits the title character against his most fearsome enemy -- his own immortal stepmother, Hera. Using a number of disguises, the villainess does her best (or worst) to thwart Hercules in his search for the lost city of Troy. Play on Netflix.
'Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur' -- Hercules has settled down in a peaceful existence as a farmer with his beloved mortal family. Though he tries hard to teach his children nonviolence, his mighty strength must come back into play when a disgruntled Minotaur begins kidnapping the local citizenry. Play on Netflix.
'Hercules in the Underworld' -- In this made-for-TV movie, which was a precursor to the popular television adventure series 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,' Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) must come to the rescue when a crack in the surface of the Earth turns out to be a tunnel straight to the depths of Hell. Play on Netflix.
'The Jacket' -- A troubled war veteran tries to unlock his memories of a terrible crime in this stylish thriller, the first American project for British filmmaker John Maybury. Play on Netflix.
'Leprechuan 5: In the Hood' -- Everyone's favorite bloodthirsty Irish gnome invades the world of hip-hop in the fifth film in the Leprechaun series. Play on Netflix.
'My Brother the Pig' -- When a mysterious spell transforms a young teenager's bratty little brother into a pig while their parents are on vacation, their only hope for restoring the hoofed youngster back to his human form is to take a trip south of the border in this supernatural comedy for the whole family starring Scarlett Johansson. Play on Netflix.
'The Naked Spur' -- Jimmy Stewart plays a taciturn frontiersman who loses his home while he's off fighting the Civil War. To raise enough money for a new grubstake, Stewart becomes a bounty hunter in Colorado territory. His first quarry is a fugitive, killer Robert Ryan. Play on Netflix.
'ZA: Zombies Anonymous' -- In a world where the living and the dead coexist, a girl shot dead by her boyfriend struggles to make the transition into her new zombie lifestyle by attending Zombies Anonymous meetings and making new friends amongst the amiable undead. Play on Netflix.
Author's Sleeper Pick:
'Merantau' -- The title refers to a centuries-old Sumatran custom wherein adolescent males must leave their rural villages and prove their manhood abroad before being allowed to return home. Teenage Yuda (Iko Uwais) has traveled to the big city of Jakarta for his merantau, but soon finds himself in trouble when he helps a young stripper named Astri (Sisca Jessica) escape the clutches of a human trafficker, Ratger (Mads Koudal). Play on Netflix.
Since very little got added this week, I thought I'd play a little game of what I like to call Netflix Roulette. This is where I watch a completely random streaming film and post my thoughts. Today the wheel stops on ...
'The Church' -- La Chiesa stands alone as an effective horror film centering on a haunted cathedral with a violent past. The church's history begins in Medieval Italy, when the Knights Templar massacred an entire village of suspected Satanists and built the structure upon the site of the slain peasants' mass grave. Play on Netflix.
I'm a big fan of Italian horror films, especially those with the great fortune of having been made in the 1980s. Having recently seen and loved 'Cemetery Man,' I was excited to sink my fangs into another film by director 'Michele Soavi.' Tonally and photographically, 'The Church' feels almost identical to Lamberto Bava's 'Demons;' no surprise as it was originally intended as a sequel and no small compliment as far as I'm concerned. It is unexpectedly beautiful, insanely gory and sinfully entertaining. Look for a very young Asia Argento. My purchase of this film is eminent.
Cable Video-on-Demand Service (Simply access the VOD menu from your cable box to select from these titles)
'The Social Network' -- Director David Fincher ('Fight Club,' 'Seven') teams with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin ('The West Wing') to explore the meaning of success in the early 21st century from the perspectives of the technological innovators who revolutionized the way we all communicate.
'Let Me In' -- An alienated 12-year-old boy befriends a mysterious young newcomer in his small New Mexico town, and discovers an unconventional path to adulthood in 'Let Me In,' a haunting and provocative thriller (based on the Swedish 'Let the Right One In') written and directed by filmmaker Matt Reeves ('Cloverfield').
'Never Let Me Go' -- Kathy (Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan, 'An Education'),Tommy (Andrew Garfield, 'Boy A,' 'Red Riding') and Ruth (Oscar nominee Keira Knightley, 'Pride & Prejudice,' 'Atonement') live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love, jealousy and betrayal that threaten to pull them apart.
'Conviction' -- When Betty Anne Waters' (two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank) older brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) is arrested for murder and sentenced to life in 1983, Betty Anne, a Massachusetts wife and mother of two, dedicates her life to overturning the murder conviction.
Redbox New Releases as of 02/01
(Look for Redbox kiosks at your local grocery store or McDonald's restaurant. The films can be rented overnight for just $1)
'Catfish' -- Love and identity become twisted across the lines of the Internet in this documentary from filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.
'Cyrus' -- With John's social life at a standstill and his ex-wife about to get remarried, a down-on-his-luck divorcee finally meets the woman of his dreams, only to discover she has another man in her life -- her son.
'Machete' -- Machete (Danny Trejo) is a former Mexican Federale who plays by his own rules, and doesn't answer to anybody. In the wake of a harrowing encounter with feared drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal), Machete finds himself in Texas, where the shadowy Booth (Jeff Fahey) offers him the opportunity to make some quick cash by assassinating the unscrupulous Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro).
'Mean Girls 2' -- A pair of thrown-together high school girlfriends go toe-to-toe with the most popular, and most evil, girls in school in this sequel to the 2004 comedy.