WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media
“Elle,” the latest provocation from Paul Verhoeven (“Basic Instinct”), centers on a video-game producer named Michele (the ever-remarkable Isabelle Huppert) who’s raped by a masked intruder.
“Elle” is a revenge movie, of a sort, with Huppert struggling to find out who of her many enemies might be responsible for the attack. But it’s not as cut-and-dried as most movies about vengeance are. In fact, the slinky, purposely ambiguous thriller stirs up lots of black-comic chaos by subverting expectations every step of the way.
At its heart, “Elle” is the study of a very complicated woman who’s so strong there is nothing she can’t overcome. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Also new to VOD and Streaming
Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 1: The latest series set in the Marvel universe uncorks the origin story of one Danny Reid (Finn Jones) , a man who survives a tragedy that kills his parents. After studying martial arts with Eastern masters he returns in time to save the world from the Hand, a deadly Ninja group. The 13 episodes will feature Rosario Dawson who has popped up in all of Netflix’s other Marvel shows including “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones,” both of which are scheduled to return to the steaming service in 2018. On Netflix.
Shut In: An intriguing premise fails to get the execution it deserves in this thriller starring Naomi Watts as a child psychologist who’s growing increasingly overwhelmed with caring for her bedridden stepson (Charlie Heaton). When one of Watts’ clients (Jacob Tremblay) goes missing in a snowstorm and is presumed dead, she begins to believe that the spirit of the youngster is haunting her. Is she going crazy or are ghosts visiting her rural Maine mansion? Director Farren Blackburn shows little talent for building suspense. Worse yet, he bathes so much of the film in darkness that it becomes a challenge to figure out who’s doing what to whom. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
100 Streets: In this ensemble drama, set in one square mile of London, a handful of characters from different walks of life struggle with their fates. There’s a drug dealer (Franz Drameh) looking for a way out and a cab driver (Charlie Creed-Miles) unable to get past a tragedy. The most compelling storyline is the one devoted to a former rugby star (Idris Elba) who can’t figure out how to cope with life off the field. He cheats on his wife (Gemma Arterton) and drinks to excess. Even though “100 Streets” slips off the rails in the final reel, it still does a good job of shining a light on lives lived in the margins. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Great & The Small: Set in a desolate small town dotted with foreclosure signs, this refreshingly unpredictable drama revolves around Scott (Nick Fink), an ex-con who’s barely scraping by. When Scott isn’t sleeping in abandoned houses or doing the dirty work for his two-bit criminal boss (Ritchie Coster), he’s trying to patch things up with his ex-girlfriend (Louisa Krause.) Two lonely characters played by Melanie Lynskey and Ann Dowd also figure into the action in unexpected ways. Thanks to writer/director Dusty Bias, this indie has a humane spirit as well as a unique, knockabout charm. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Americans: The Complete Fourth Season: Now that the fifth season of this superior spy thriller has returned on Fox, it’s the perfect time to check out last season’s batch of episodes about KGB operatives Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell). Over the course of season four, they deal with deadly bioweapons, betrayals by family members and kooky cults. Prepare for an action saga that Indiewire has called “indisputably excellent.” On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
For The Kids
Ice Age: The Great Egg Scapade: All your favorite “Ice Age” characters – Manny, Scrat, Sid and Diego – are back for this short film set at Sid’s new egg-sitting business. Just when it looks like Sid will be raking in some profits, the dastardly pirate bunny Squint steals the eggs, forcing the Pre-historic pals to set off on a rescue mission that becomes the world’s first egg hunt. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Robo-Dog Airbourne: In this sequel to 2015’s “Robo-Dog,” a mechanical man’s best friend winds up running away and getting his memory-chip erased. After starting a new life with a computer whiz and his daughter, can this perfect pooch find his way home to his rightful master? On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Mickey and the Roadster Racers: Are you ready to rev up your engines for some full-throttle fun? Pull up to Hot Dog Hills where Mickey and his pals run the coolest garage on the planet. When they’re not running races around the world, Mickey and company are assisting friends in need at their Happy Helpers headquarters. Vroom, vroom. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
The Jetsons: Robo-Wrestlemania: In this futuristic feature film, everybody’s favorite space-age family unearths WWE’s Big Show, who’s been frozen for 100 years. Once de-thawed, the bruiser wastes no wresting the championship belt from a robot champ and taking control of Orbit City. It’s up to the Jetsons to travel back in time and enlist the help of WWE’s Sheamus, Alicia Fox, Roman Reign, Seth Rollins and the Uso brothers. Soon, the ultimate tag team are trying to set this twisted time-warp straight once and for all. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu
Kate & Mim-Mim: Musical Mimiloo: After Mim-Mim accidentally breaks a recording of her favorite recording, she joins Kate, Tak and Gobbie on an adventure to the Singing Seas to find Callie so they can re-record the wonderful tune. But when they arrive, they discover that Callie’s Mega Music Maker is busted, prompting the gang to go on a quest to fix the island-sized instrument. On Amazon, Google, iTunes and Vudu