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Thursday, September 23, 2021

What to Watch on Vudu: Pixar’s ‘Luca,’ Nicolas Cage in ‘Pig,’ Anthony Bourdain Documentary ‘Roadrunner’ and More

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Want to know what’s coming soon to digital and what to watch right now on Vudu? Here is your weekly guide to the latest releases:


 



What are the latest new releases to watch right now?


Luca, the latest animated feature from Disney and Pixar Studios, is now available to purchase on Vudu (in 4K UHD!). This light and highly enjoyable coming-of-age comedy follows two young shapeshifting sea creatures who become best friends and embark on a risky adventure together on the dry land of humans. Specifically, they arrive at a small coastal village in Italy, where they join a girl in her mission to win the town’s annual triathlon while dealing with a local bully and attempting to not be discovered for who and what they truly are.


It’s adorable and hilarious and entertaining for the whole family — and so much deeper, narratively and thematically, than it first seems. You’ll want to own Luca so you can watch it again and again. I don’t say this often, but there’s a lot to discover in this upon repeat viewings. Plus, when you buy the movie, you get bonus material such as making-of videos, featurettes about the places and people that inspired the story and deleted scenes.



Michael Sarnoski’s exquisite debut feature, Pig, is also now on digital for the first time, simultaneous with its ongoing theatrical release, and available to rent or own on Vudu. The Oregon-set thriller stars Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage in his most critically acclaimed and most successful film in a while — and he gives one of his greatest performances ever (ironically, it’s one of his least hammy).


Cage plays a reclusive truffle hunter whose beloved pig is stolen. He sets out to find the titular animal, but in his search he must confront his old life in the underworld of the Portland restaurant scene. Rising star Alex Wolff (Hereditary, Old) co-stars in what’s sure to be remembered at the end of this year as one of the best movies of 2021. Don’t miss it!



Other new releases out now include the nonfiction spy movie Enemies of the State, about a family whose hacker son gets caught up with the U.S. government, and the fantastical drama About Endlessness, for which Roy Andersson was named Best Director at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. The latter consists of a series of 31 vignettes ranging from the mundane to the historical, adding up to a whole that reflects on all the good and bad of humanity.



 


What movies are great to pair with those new releases?


Pixar’s Luca goes well with many of the studio’s other animated features. Maybe you want more underwater adventures in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, or the fantastical creatures of Monsters, Inc., Monsters University and Onward. I’d also recommend pairing it with Coco, Ratatouille or The Good Dinosaur. Luca also makes a great double feature with the Studio Ghibli animated film Ponyo.


Luca director Enrico Casarosa has shared many of his influences for the movie, as well, including coming-of-age dramas Breaking Away and Stand By Me, the Hayao Miyazaki masterpieces My Neighbor Totoro and Porco Rosso, Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria and 8 1/2, Wes Anderson’s animated features Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs and Aardman Animations films such as Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.


Finally, I would also add Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, Isao Takahata’s Pom Poko and Tomm Moore’s Oscar-nominated animated feature Song of the Sea for films with shape-shifting creatures. And if Luca inspires you to check out other classic movies it references, you’ll want to pick up Roman Holiday, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.



For Pig, you might want to pair the movie with John Wick, which sounds similar in premise but is definitely more of a violent action movie, or Babe, the beloved Oscar-winning family film about a sheep-herding pig. I would also recommend a Nicolas Cage double feature, perhaps with his Oscar-winning performance as an alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas or David Gordon Green’s excellent drama Joe or the more recent and surreal thriller Mandy. Or how about this: Con Air, in which Cage is hammy but also needs to do whatever it takes to get a stolen (stuffed) bunny back.



And if you like what you see with Roy Andersson’s About Endlessness, you should take a look at his 2015 film, A Pigeon Sat on a Bench Reflecting on Existence. It’s currently available to watch for free on Vudu with ads, so you’ve got nothing to lose there.


 


Are there any other big movies coming out this week?


Fresh from its theatrical debut last month, the documentary Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain arrives on digital as a Home Premiere rental on Vudu this Friday, August 6. The biographical feature is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, who made 20 Feet from Stardom and the Mister Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and is a producer of the culinary docuseries Ugly Delicious.


As its title states, the film is about the world-renowned chef, food writer and television host and personality Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations, Parts Unknown, A Cook’s Tour), who died unexpectedly in 2018. Famed chefs David Chang and Eric Ripert are among those interviewed to discuss Bourdain’s life and career. And with its foodie focus, Roadrunner would go well with Pig, too.



 


What are some great Olympics-themed movies buy this week?


As the Summer Games in Tokyo continue, I recommend browsing Vudu’s Olympic Sale for some great movies involving Olympians and/or Olympic sports. For track and field, there’s Chariots of Fire, Race, Prefontaine and I Am Bolt. Basketball fans should pick up Love & Basketball, Hoosiers and the documentaries The Other Dream Team and The Iran Job. I also recommend the sailing film Maiden, the golf comedies Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore and the wrestling movies Foxcatcher and Fighting With My Family.



 


Are we celebrating any big movie anniversaries this week?


This week marks the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of Disney’s The Princess Diaries, starring a young Anne Hathaway. Also, the Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker buddy action comedy sequel Rush Hour 2, the Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas drama Original Sin and the Tilda Swinton drama The Deep End all turn 20 years old this week. Plus, the Roald Dahl adaptation Matilda and the Keanu Reeves action movie Chain Reaction both turn 25 while the Michael J. Fox comedy Doc Hollywood and the animated films Rover Dangerfield and Rock-a-Doodle are all 30.



Going back further, Peter Weir’s World War I drama Gallipoli, the cult classic animated feature Heavy Metal, the Disney superhero movie Condorman and the horror films Hell Night and Student Bodies all turn 40 years old this week. Plus, the World War I drama Johnny Got His Gun, Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me and the sci-fi movie The Omega Man all turn 50, while the film noir Black Angel turns 75 and the classic afterlife-focused romantic comedy Here Comes Mr. Jordan turns 80.



More recent titles with anniversaries include the hilarious Will Ferrell NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Neil Marshall’s horror movie The Descent, which both turn 15 this week. Also, the sci-fi reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the body-swap buddy comedy The Change-Up both turn 10 years old this week while Suicide Squad is already five years old!



 


Can you recommend some more great movie deals on Vudu?


Vudu’s latest Summer of Savings deal is focused on horror movies, with sub-genre showcases for action-horror, comedy-horror, sci-fi-horror and suspenseful horror films, plus horror TV series, with all titles on sale for 25% off. Your best bet is to pick up some full-franchise bundles. You get nine Fredy Krueger movies in the Nightmare Collection, which includes the crossover Freddy vs. Jason and the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake.



I also recommend the full-circle Final Destination five-film collection, especially with the last installment coming up on its 10th anniversary this month. Also, there’s an 8-movie collection of Stephen King adaptations, which includes Cujo, The Dead Zone, Silver Bullet, Graveyard Shift, Thinner, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, the original Pet Sematary and the non-horror sci-fi action flick The Running Man, all together for under $40!



The latest Actor’s Spotlight showcases the movies of Jungle Cruise star Dwayne Johnson, The Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie, Free Guy’s Ryan Reynolds and Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry. Here are my recommendations for underrated or under-seen selections for each: Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain for Johnson; Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah for Robbie; the nostalgically ‘90s-set 2008 romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe for Reynolds; and Warren Beatty’s political comedy Bulworth for Berry.



Speaking of Margot Robbie and The Suicide Squad, with that DC Comics adaptation heading to theaters this weekend, Vudu has a sale on other DC movies. In addition to the five-year-old first Suicide Squad movie, you can find Robbie as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey — both movies are also available together in a bundle. And there are the animated features Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay and Batman and Harley Quinn.


Another bundled duo includes the essential funnier superhero movies Shazam! and Aquaman. Then there’s the 7-film DC collection bundle with those two movies plus the first Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League all for under $50.



 


Which must-see movies are coming soon to Vudu?


If you need one more movie to pair perfectly with Pig, the beautiful and fascinating and award-winning documentary feature The Truffle Hunters arrives on digital later this month, on August 17. As you can likely tell from the title, the movie follows real-life experts in their search for rare and expensive white Alba truffles in the deep forests of Italy. If I recall correctly, though, there are no truffle pigs in the documentary, as these truffle hunters are mostly accompanied by faithful and foraging dogs instead.



 


What are the 10 most popular movies on Vudu?


This week’s biggest hits on Vudu are led by F9: The Fast Saga, the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, which arrived on digital last Friday. The chart also includes new releases Peter Rabbit 2 and Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two, as well as the horror-comedy video game adaptation Werewolves Within, which is now available to rent or purchase as a VOD title.


1. F9: The Fast Saga

2. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

3. Peter Rabbit 2

4. A Quiet Place Part II

5. The Forever Purge

6. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

7. Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two

8. Nobody

9. Wrath of Man

10. Werewolves Within


 




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