STORY WRITTTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
Produced by the great James L. Brooks (“Broadcast News”), “The Edge of Seventeen” is a breath of fresh comic air.
Hailee Steinfeld is a real delight as Nadine, an awkward teenager who is knocked for a loop when her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) begins dating her all-star brother (Brake Jenner).
Writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig concocts wonderful situations for Nadine to suffer through, including a painful date with her school crush and a disastrous pool party that ends with Nadine slinking home with her mom (Kyra Sedgwick).
Buoyed by Woody Harrelson’s scene-stealing turn as the world’s most acerbic history teacher, “The Edge of Seventeen” is a mini-masterpiece that’s both funny and full of feeling of feeling. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Also New to VOD and Streaming
Big Little Lies: Secrets and lies fuel this limited series adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel about three women (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley), all of whom happen to be the mothers of first-graders. Set in swanky Monterey, California, the seven-episode show chronicles the budding friendship between the trio as well as Woodley’s determination to track down her child’s father. Expect plenty of zingers, a typically on-target supporting turn by Laura Dern and the inevitable murder. On HBO Go
Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends): From director Colin Hanks comes a heartfelt documentary about the members of the titular rock group as they attempt to put their lives back together following the Bataclan attack which left 89 of their fans dead and countless more wounded. The doc begins with a bit of history on the band, which includes best friends Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes, and features interviews with survivors as well as footage from the Eagles’ return to Paris in 2016. At the heart of the film is a rock-solid belief not only that music matters but that it can heal all wounds. On HBO Go
The 9th Life of Louis Drax: There’s about nine different movies vying for space in this ridiculous yarn about an accident-prone youngster (Aiden Longworth) who plunges off a cliff and is rushed to the hospital where he teeters between life and death. His father (Aaron Paul) is missing, his mother (Sarah Gadon) begins a flirtation with her son’s doctor (Jamie Dornan) and a psychiatrist (Oliver Platt) turns up regularly to try to make sense of it all. The trouble is the movie can’t decide whether it’s a who-dun-it, a supernatural mystery or an illicit romance. Worse of all, there’s not a single likeable character, including Louis himself who, in one scene, thrill-kills his pet hamster. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown: An early breakthrough for Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, this wild, candy-colored farce is ridiculously entertaining as it follows our heroine Pepa (Carmen Maura) over the course of a few sleepless days and nights. Not only does Pepa discover that her lover is cheating on her but he’s leaving behind a deranged wife (Julieta Serrano) and secret son (Antonio Banderas). The beauty of this screwballer, which encompasses Mambo-loving cabbies and feminist lawyers, is that it’s fast-moving and funny without being frantic. And even though Almodovar pokes fun at all of his characters, he’s enormously fond of the whole bizarre bunch. On Filmstruck.com.
The Babymoon: Hoping to get away in the last precious weeks before the birth of their first child, a reality TV performer (Shaun Sipos) and his jewelry designer wife (Julie McNiven) opt for a tropical getaway. But what they don’t know is that their island paradise is in the midst of a political revolution. While “The Babymoon” is beautifully shot, it has some big tone problems as it wobbles between a farce and a thriller. The early scenes are best when Sipos pokes fun at what it means to be an actor always on the lookout for his big break. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
For The Kids
Trolls: Get ready to sing along with this Day-Go delight about a village of happy Trolls who are invaded by the nasty Bergens. It falls to two mismatched friends (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick) to work together in perfect harmony to save the day. The songs are EDM-flavored toe-tappers, the visuals are dazzling, and the story touches upon themes of identity and unity. There isn’t a kid alive who will be able to resist. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Powerpuff Girls: Tiara Trouble: The latest season features 12 dynamic episodes, including “Escape From Monster Island,” “Viral Spiral” and “Little Octi Lost.” Expect lots of fun involving Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup as they face off against Mojo Jojo, Manboy and plenty of other troublemakers in Townsville. Go Powerpuff Girls! On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Beavis and Butt-Head: The Complete Collection: A decade ago when everybody’s favorite couch potatoes arrived on MTV, they seemed like brainless misfits. Today, we all know they were ahead of their time. From Mike Judge comes all of the episodes of the animated series as well as the full-length feature film “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.” On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Nerdland: Even when he’s only heard and not seen, Paul Rudd manages to be a scene-stealing delight. Directed by Chris Prynoski, this irreverant cartoon finds Rudd lending his tonsil power to the animated saga of an out-of-work actor and his wannabe-screenwriter pal (Patton Oswalt) who will do just about anything to achieve their 15 minutes of fame. “Nerdland,” which is set in a Los Angeles overrun with losers, benefits from the bantering chemistry of Rudd and Patton. The satire runs out of steam eventually but the actors, with their raunchy repartee, help keep it fun. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu