Here are some interesting new releases available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"Life of the Party": Melissa McCarthy is unquestionably a funny person. She can appear in almost anything and make you laugh. Unfortunately for her career, she keeps choosing to partner with husband Ben Falcone to write and produce movies that don’t always seem to use her talents in the best ways. Much like in their previous collaborations "Tammy" and "The Boss," McCarthy is very funny here (mostly) as a housewife named Deanna who gets dumped by her husband (Matt Walsh) right after dropping their daughter off at college. In her quest to process this painful experience, she decides that she will also go back to school and earn her degree. It’s a clever premise, and the cast, including Maya Rudolph and Gillian Jacobs, go the distance to do what they can. Parts of the storyline are excruciatingly dumb, and the pacing often feels like it was edited by somebody who never read the script, but I think one of the biggest problems is that they tried to water the comedy down to a PG-13 rating when McCarthy is at her best when things are as raunchy as possible. (Cable and digital VOD, available in 4K Ultra HD)
"RBG": This is already one of the most successful documentaries at the box office this year. Co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen deliver a thought-provoking look at the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a scant 96 minutes. It only begins to scratch the surface of her impact on the law and popular culture, but it’s a fascinating portrait of her legal career. Watching her laugh on camera while seeing Kate McKinnon’s impression of her on "Saturday Night Live" for the first time is one of my favorite film moments of 2018. The film is rounded out with archival footage and interviews with friends and contemporaries like Gloria Steinem and NPR’s Nina Totenberg. (Digital HD purchase only; rental available Oct. 3 after CNN broadcast)
Also on streaming services
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society": Already a hit when released earlier this spring across England, this new movie from Mike Newell ("Four Weddings and a Funeral") was picked up for release in international territories by Netflix. Lily James ("Baby Driver"), Glen Powell ("Set It Up"), and Matthew Goode ("Downton Abbey") star in this adaptation of the bestselling 2008 novel of the same name about a young writer from London preparing a book about the people of Guernsey Island after they survived through the German occupation during World War II. (Netflix, available in 4K Ultra HD)