Skip the Theater This Weekend, You’ll Fare Better With These VOD Options

By  · Published on July 31st, 2013

As summer begins to wind down (it must be tired, starting in May and all), this week’s new releases are unexpectedly slim and particularly uninspired. Sure, you could go see 2 Guns (and enjoy its first ten or so minutes and then drift off because the rest of it is so reminiscent of the rest of the season’s explosion-heavy comic book-based fare) or The Smurfs 2 (because you have children), and you may even be in a city big enough to see the release of the wonderful The Spectacular Now or the surprisingly solid Europa Report, but otherwise, this is not a good weekend at the movies. So stay home! If we’ve learned anything this week, it’s that the movie theater is dead and that the VOD release reigns supreme, and with the current trend of smaller films hitting VOD platforms before making it to the theater, you can even catch something your brick and mortar pals are still waiting to see.

So stay couch-bound, order something to eat from the Internet, and lay low with these VOD offerings of note. You’ll be back in the theater next week anyway, when the summer’s last great hope, Elysium, finally arrives on the big screen.

Drinking Buddies

I’ll admit it – a major reason for penning a list of VOD recommendations for this week was so that I could give some love to Joe Swanberg’s tale of boozin’ and lovin’ and complete romantic relationship confusion. The indie auteur’s most mainstream outing yet, the film stars Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson as a pair of best work buddies, with Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston as their significant others. Various things push the couples apart (and towards each other), from after work drinks, a weekend away, and even a particularly arduous apartment move. It feels lived in and real, and it asks some quite relatable questions about modern love (like, just because two people are very, very similar, does that mean they should be together?), all while being charming and funny.

Hell Baby

It’s on your television before it’s in theaters! It stars a demonic baby! And Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb! And a hell baby! If The Conjuring was too scary for you, but you’re still craving a cinematic exorcism, get thee to a Hell Baby.


Watch the Canadian original before the Vince Vaughn remake hits theaters later this year (retiled Delivery Man).

The Lifeguard

No, I don’t like the Kristen Bell-starring film about a shiftless young woman who returns home to find herself and ends up falling into old habits in a big way. I don’t like that it allows the charming Bell to seduce a troubled teen, with consequences for their dumb actions being meted out against other people. I don’t think it’s particularly interesting or smart or funny. But I do think it’s important that people watch it and see what it’s like when the perennially charming Bell is saddled with unforgiving material. Think of it this way – it will make you really appreciate that Veronica Mars movie.

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files

A creatively constructed documentary from two SXSW Film Festivals ago, the film uses dramatic reenactments to share the murderous life and times of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. It doesn’t always live up to its promise, but it’s often very entertaining and very unsettling – perfect to watch at home with a bunch of friends! Not alone! Do not watch it alone!

Only God Forgives / Lars and the Real Girl / Crazy Stupid Love

Apparently VOD is now the home of your most unexpected Ryan Gosling marathon.

Bull Durham / Eight Men Out / Field of Dreams / Hardball / For Love of the Game / Major League

Hey, why not have your Gosling marathon on Saturday and then do a major baseball movie marathon on Sunday? Hey, also why don’t you get up and walk around for a bit, because I’m getting tired just imagining all the sitting this would entail.

InAPPropriate Comedy

Just kidding.

Drinking Buddies

No, really, just watch Drinking Buddies and then you can go live your life out in the world.