Here is an interesting new release available this week through cable and digital services as well as a new title currently available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"Feels Good Man": First-time director and animator Arthur Jones tells the story of Matt Furie in this acclaimed documentary. He is an underground artist who created a comic called "Boy’s Club," scans of which he posted to social networking site MySpace in the mid-2000s. The comic had four characters, but one called Pepe the Frog, whom Jones described as a "chill frog-dude," took on a life of his own over the years. Also known as the "sad frog" meme on the internet, Furie’s innocent creation was co-opted by denizens of an online message board called 4chan around 2008. Anonymous users would constantly use and alter Pepe’s image, often in discussions tied to the hateful ideology of the self-described "alt-right." This eventually led to Pepe’s likeness to be deemed a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. Filmed over the course of two years, this is a fascinating portrait of how easy it is to lose control of something you created once it is out in the world at large. Jones won the U.S. documentary special jury award for emerging filmmaker after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. (Cable and Digital VOD, available in 4K Ultra HD; also screening at the Alamo Slaughter Lane)
Also on streaming services:
"The One and Only Ivan": Based on the children's novel of the same name by K.A. Applegate, this family film tells the inspired by a true story of a silverback gorilla named Ivan who lives in captivity at a circus sideshow located inside a strip mall. Mack (Bryan Cranston) has taken care of Ivan since he was a baby, when he was rescued from poachers in Africa. Ivan and the other animals who star in Mack's show have been well treated but long for freedom and actively band together to try and break out of their cages. Working from an emotionally charged screenplay from "School of Rock" scribe Mike White, director Thea Sharrock perfectly balances the human actors and computer-animated animal characters. It is a testament to how far technology has come that Ivan (voiced by Sam Rockwell) and his friends look incredibly realistic. Some of the other animals also have inspired voice casting — Helen Mirren plays a prissy poodle, R&B legend Chaka Khan earns solid laughs as Henrietta the chicken, co-producer Angelina Jolie lends her talents to playing a wise old elephant named Stella, and Danny DeVito steals the show as a stray dog named Bob who likes to hang out inside Ivan's cage when he's not eluding capture himself. (Disney+, available in 4K Ultra HD)