STORY WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
It’s never quite as hilarious as it should be but “Keeping Up With The Joneses” is so charmingly unpretentious that it makes for a fun watch.
Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher star as a suburban couple who discover their new, impossibly chic neighbors (Jon Hamm, Gia Gadot) are covert spies. Cue the car chases, sting operations and bonding over bullets.
Fisher, who hasn’t been this funny since “Wedding Crashers,” is a real delight especially when she’s following Gadot through a lingerie store and asking Hamm to turn up the air conditioning mid-car chase. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Also New To VOD and Streaming
Train To Busan: Korean helmer Yeon Sang-Ho sets new standards for the zombie genre with this amphetamine high of a movie that offers up one intoxicating scene after another. It’s about a workaholic father (Gong Yoo) who agrees to join his daughter (Kim Su-an) for a journey from Seoul to Busan. But the trip turns out to be the train ride from hell when some of the passengers become infected with a virus that transforms them into flesh-munching killing machines. At every stop, hordes of the undead try to derail the train as it barrels toward a safe zone. There’s a sly commentary on class warfare, touching father/daughter melodrama and enough zombie gore to satisfy even the most hardcore horror junkie. All aboard. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Come And Find Me: Whatever Aaron Paul was paid to star in this involving but far-fetched suspenser it wasn’t enough because he almost single-handedly makes it work. Paul stars as a graphic designer whose girlfriend (Annabelle Wallis) seems to disappear into thin air, leaving him with only a few mysterious photographs to try and figure out what happened to her. The thriller gets just the right amount of complicated as Paul has run-ins with the Russian mafia and corrupt government agents. And Paul sells his character’s desperation and determination so expertly that you’re with him – and the movie – every step of the way. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Retake: Mystery is the fuel which fires this intriguing road picture about a lonely man (“Desperate Housewives” star Tuc Watkins) who hires a hustler (Devon Graye) to help him re-create a Grand Canyon vacation. Writer/director Nick Corporon, in his feature debut, does an expert job keeping you in the dark about Watkins’ motives. And as Watkins and Graye delve deeper into their role-playing weirdness, the film walks a fine line between sinister and sexy. In the end, “Retake” is worth seeing for the traps it doesn’t fall into. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Story of God — Season One: Before the second season kicks off on the National Geographic Channel, check out this Morgan Freeman-hosted series about religions all over the world. Freeman is the perfect guide to explore big questions about faith, the meaning of life and how our beliefs bring us closer together. He visits seven countries to get an up close and personal look at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, India’s Bodhi Tree, Mayan temples in Guatemala, and the pyramids of Egypt. It’s a fascinating show. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Sneaky Pete – Season 1: Executive produced and written by Bryan Cranston and David Shore, this light-hearted drama is a nifty showcase for Giovanni Ribisi who really gets to strut his stuff. The actor plays a con artist who, in an effort to outrun a dangerous gangster (Cranston), takes on the identity of his old cellie Pete (Ethan Embry). Soon, Ribisi has materialized at the home of Pete’s grandparents (Margo Martindale, Peter Gerety) and is not only accepted by them but given a job as a skip tracer in the family business. Marin Ireland co-stars and Cranston pops up for a guest appearance or two. On Amazon.
The Young Pope: Leave it to Italian maestro Paolo Sorrentino (“Youth”) to capture lightning in a bottle with this drama about Lenny Belardo (Jude Law), the first American Pope. Lenny gets the job because the scheming Vatican Secretary of State (Silvio Orlando) imagines Lenny will easy to control. But that isn’t how things shake out, especially when the American imports Sister Mary (Diane Keaton) to be his advisor. When this eight-episode visual extravaganza premiered overseas, it received rave reviews for its balancing of suds and relevancy. On HBO Now.
Bates Motel-Season 4: During its fourth season, the “Psycho” prequel finds Norman (Freddie Highmore) edging closer to insanity as he kills Emma’s (Olivia Cooke) mother Audrey (Karina Logue) and stashes her body in a basement freezer. Sheriff Romero (Nelson Carbonell) knows Norman is dangerous but Norma (Vera Farmiga) just doesn’t see it. And that will be a decision she comes to regret. Farmiga, a formidable actress who’s never given a bad performance, is particularly mesmerizing this season as she finds her loyalties torn between Romero and her beloved Norman. On Netflix.
Something Wild: Not to be confused with Jonathan Demme’s comedy of the same name from 1986, this strangely gripping drama is one of only two films directed by Elia Kazan protégé Jack Garfein. Garfein’s wife Carroll Baker stars as a Bronx college student who is brutally raped after taking a shortcut through Central Park. In the aftermath, Baker moves to a flophouse and is saved from suicide by a depressed mechanic (Ralph Meeker.) And then things get really strange. Not unlike “Repulsion,” which it preceded by four years, the film takes you inside the psyche of a woman who’s slowly unraveling. The result is an unforgettable look at the aftermath of trauma. On FilmStruck.
For the kids
Nexo Knights: Book of Monsters – Season Two: In the latest batch of episodes, Knighton remains under siege by villains in pursuit of the magic Books. It’s up to the NEXO Knights to stop the bad guys’ evil plans. The ten adventures find our heroes pursuing their adversaries to far-flung locations including a glitzy golden gala, a crazy comic book convention and a spicy chili cook-off. Go Knights! On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Lion King – Life In The Pride Lands: If your kids are big fans of “The Lion King” – and who isn’t? – here’s five more adventures which continue the movie’s legacy. Join Kion and his fearless friends as they track a rogue leopard, foil some tricky jackals and face down stubborn crocodiles Also making appearances: King Simba, the spirit of Mufasa and buddies Timon and Pumbaa. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu