Here is an interesting new release available now on digital VOD as well as a few titles currently available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"Driveways": Even though I watch far more movies than your average person, it isn't often that something completely takes me by surprise. Director Andrew Ahn's second feature is the quietly disarming story of Kathy (Hong Chau), a single mother from Michigan whose life is upended after the death of her estranged older sister. Twelve years apart, they were practically strangers, but Kathy has inherited her sister's house, so she drives her son Cody (Lucas Jaye) to upstate New York so they can clean it out and sell it. This simple task could change their lives, creating some financial freedom and support. That turns out to be a fleeting fantasy because after they show up Kathy discovers her sister was an extreme hoarder. The home is packed floor to ceiling with piles of junk, leaving her with far more than she bargained for. Cody, a painfully shy and quiet kid, ends up making an unlikely friend out of the next-door neighbor Del (Brian Dennehy, absolutely wonderful in one of his final performances), who is a war veteran and widower. This is the kind of story that some may find too slow or make people complain that nothing much happens, but I fell so deeply for these characters and the small revelations in their lives. Nominated for best female lead and best first screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards after it played the festival circuit, this is a beautifully poignant film and easily one of my favorite releases of the year. (Available to rent from Austin Film Society's Virtual Cinema and other digital VOD providers)
Also on streaming services
"Greyhound": Another casualty of COVID-19, this World War II drama was slated to hit theaters last month from Sony Pictures, but it was instead sold off to Apple for their new streaming service. Tom Hanks, who stars and also co-wrote the screenplay, was quoted in a recent interview as saying it is "an absolute heartbreak" that it won't be seen on the big screen. Inspired by the Battle of the Atlantic and based on C.S. Forester's novel "The Good Shepherd," it tells the story of a first-time captain leading Allied soldiers to the front lines. (Apple TV+)
"The Old Guard": Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Beyond the Lights") helms this adaptation of Greg Rucka's graphic novel series starring Charlize Theron as Andy, the renegade leader of a mercenary team of immortals. These ancient warriors have spent centuries battling the bad guys but run into trouble after a new member joins the squad. If you're up for some serious action, it's your best bet this week. (Netflix)