Here is an interesting new release available now from digital providers as well as some titles currently available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"It Started as a Joke": Back in 2008, comedian Eugene Mirman launched a festival in Brooklyn that gave a spotlight to the rising stars of the alternative comedy scene, and it ran for a full decade. He has since expanded his fan base considerably with the rousing success of the animated Fox series "Bob's Burgers,“ in which he voices young Gene Belcher. This wonderfully funny and surprisingly touching documentary had its world premiere at South by Southwest 2019 and looks back at the genesis and timeline of this iconic festival. We are given hysterical performance footage and interviews from people like Jim Gaffigan, Mike Birbiglia, Janeane Garofalo, Bridget Everett and other key players in the festival's history. The best scenes involve NPR's Ira Glass participating in something called "The Drunk Show" and his recollections of it. Filmmakers Julie Smith Clem and Ken Druckerman balance the laughs with a deep dive into Mirman's personal life, including his wife's courageous battle with cancer and the birth of their first son. (Digital VOD, 4K Ultra HD available)
Also on streaming services
"Dolphin Reef" and "Elephant": Every year since 2008, Disney has celebrated Earth Day by releasing a new film from their Disneynature division and given proceeds from them to conservation charities around the globe. Without any movie theaters open this year, they've gone ahead and pushed two films online to stream this month. Natalie Portman narrates "Dolphin Reef," a documentary that focuses on a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin named Echo and his family. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex narrates "Elephant," the 15th film in the Disneynature series. It follows a herd of African elephants as they migrate hundreds of miles from the Kalahari Desert to find food and water near the Okavango River Delta. (Disney+, 4K Ultra HD available)
"Les MisÚrables": No, this is not another adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel (although it does take place near the city where that story takes place). Nominated for best international feature film at the 92nd Academy Awards, the full-length debut from Ladj Ly is a gritty inner-city drama about the escalating conflicts between police officers and the mostly immigrant population that resides in the working-class suburb of Montfermeil. As the movie begins, the streets are packed with people celebrating France's win in the World Cup. We follow a group of cops on patrol who focus on street crime over the course of this one day as tensions escalate. With many first-time teenage actors in the cast, there is a palpable realism in every shot that builds toward an unforgettable climax. (Amazon Prime, 4K Ultra HD available)