If kids' movies have taught us nothing else about scientist parents (and they haven't), it's that eventually those scientists are accidentally going to shrink down their kids and send them on a wild adventure dodging gigantic human feet amid intimidatingly tall blades of grass in what used to be a perfectly normal lawn!!! Science!
Epic, arguably the most lazily titled movie of 2013 since Identity Thief, jumps off from the same inciting event as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (quick pedantic sidebar: no, you SHRANK the kids), but drops its female lead into a fantasy world where animals talk, tiny humanoids ride hummingbirds, and there's some kind of a war going on between ... tribes, I guess. The movie is chockablock with voice talent your children will adore, from Christoph Waltz to Pitbull! I kid — it's from the creative team behind Ice Age and Rio, so whatever, your children will probably like it fine, and it'll give you something to nap to for 90 minutes or so.
New and Notable
Michael Haneke's Oscar-nominated film revolves around an elderly man coming to terms with his wife's failing mental faculties.
No Place on Earth
In this documentary, spelunker Chris Nicola finds a series of Ukrainian caves in which Jews hid out and lived, for a year and a half, during the Second World War.
Two kids abandoned on the same island by their bullies team up to find their way back to safety.
John Travolta plays a Bosnian. Finally!
3 Days of Normal
An actress who finds herself in a tiny New Hampshire town ends up getting involved with a local cop who doesn't know who she is.
No One Lives
It's killers versus ... other killers in this hostage movie from the director of Midnight Meat Train.
Groom-to-be Donald Faison braces for payback for all the pranks he pulled at all his buddies' bachelor parties.
A detective tries to reconstruct a massacre and find the killer using footage, from multiple perspectives, shot at the scene.
Heart of the Country
A country girl done in by the big city returns home to her dad's ranch in the South and is reminded of What Really Matters in this retelling of the prodigal-son parable — the latest entry in a genre I like to call "Secretly God-y."
Opportunistic Backlist Revival Theme of the Week: Date Night
I would have called this collection of romantic comedies "Summer Fling" and not "Date Night" since it doesn't actually include the movie Date Night, but no one asked me. The movies you can rent from this collection, however, include Forgetting Sarah Marshall, She's Out of My League, (500) Days of Summer, He's Just Not That Into You (weird choice for date night unless you're trying to tell someone something in a very passive-aggressive way), Letters to Juliet, and the underrated gem Crazy Stupid Love.
"In Theaters" VOD Picks
Ain't Them Bodies Saints
Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara star in the story of a fugitive trying to get back home to his wife and daughter.
Based on the true story of (white) Ward Allen and (black) Christmas Moultrie, who partnered up to live off the land at the turn of the last century.
The Frozen Ground
Nicolas Cage pursues a serial killer whose m.o. is to kidnap girls, set them free in the Alaskan wilderness, and then hunt them for sport.
You're not going to believe this, but when a high school teacher has an affair with one of her students, things end up going wrong in her life.
Renny Harlin directed this faux-documentary about filmmakers retracing the path of hikers who died in the Ural Mountains.
Spark: A Burning Man Story
Ugh, if you have to watch this documentary about stupid Burning Man, just don't tell me about it.
Weird Indie of the Week
Ron Jeremy plays a porn impresario in this heist/stroke mag/screwball comedy (?).
Early VOD Premiere of the Week
A Single Shot
When a girl gets accidentally shot and killed by West Virginia forest folk, hunter John Moon (Sam Rockwell) gets mixed up with the shooters, whose criminal activities are more elaborate than one might think.
This time, the apocalypse is cold, there are some kind of vampire things, and Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton are there.
Ip Man: The Final Fight
In 1950 Hong Kong, a Wing Chun grandmaster gets mixed up with the Triads, as you do.
Scary Movie 5
It's like the other Scary Movies, except this one has Lindsay Lohan.