Indie Film Release Guide: January 29th [An ONTD Original]

Jan 28, 2021 10:37

There are several films getting theatrical releases this weekend that won’t be available for home viewing until mid-February - the long-anticipated Saint Maud, Supernova, and the reboot of Wrong Turn, which had a one day appearance in theaters. But since I imagine that most of us are watching from home rather than heading out to theaters, I will save those for the roundup in the week they release at home. Until then, there are offerings from Netflix, HBO and your local virtual cinemas to tide you over, as well as several VOD options.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. All films listed will be available at their respective sources on Friday unless otherwise noted. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have already come to VOD: January 22nd, January 15th, and January 8th.

The Dig

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Stars: Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Johnny Flynn
Writer: Moira Buffini
Director: Simon Stone
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Plot: As WWII looms, a wealthy widow hires an amateur archaeologist to excavate the burial mounds on her estate. When they make a historic discovery, the echoes of Britain's past resonate in the face of its uncertain future‎.
What you should know: Based on the novel by John Preston.
Where to stream: Netflix

Dear Comrades

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Stars: Julia Vysotskaya, Vladislav Komarov, Andrei Gusev, Yulia Burova
Writer: Andrey Konchalovskiy, Elena Kiseleva
Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy
Genre: Drama, History
Plot: When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist.
What you should know: This film is Russia’s submission to the Best International Film category for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards in 2021. It’s in Russian.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas

True Mothers

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Stars: Hiromi Nagasaku, Arata Iura, Aju Makita, Reo Sato
Writer: Naomi Kawase
Director: Naomi Kawase
Genre: Drama
Plot: After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son Asato settle into a comfortable, albeit routine, life. The family’s orderly existence is shattered by the arrival of Hikari, a young woman claiming to be Asato’s biological mother, demanding his return. As tensions mount, Satoko grows more and more emboldened to defend her family.
What you should know: Official submission of Japan for the Best International Feature Film category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. It’s in Japanese.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas

Finding ‘Ohana

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Stars: Kelly Hu, Ke Huy Quan, Chris Parnell, Marc Evan Jackson
Writer: Christina Strain
Director: Jude Weng
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Plot: A summer in rural O‘ahu takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends, and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage.
What you should know: Director Jude Weng has directed episodes of many TV shows, but this appears to be her first feature film.
Where to stream: Netflix


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Stars: Nick Sasso, Nomi Ruiz, Zoë Bell, D.B. Sweeney
Writer/Director: Nick Sasso
Genre: Action, Drama
Plot: A retired Muay Thai fighter prepares for an unexpected return to the ring while working as a bodyguard for an alluring transgender performer.
What you should know: This is director/writer/star Nick Sasso’s directorial debut.
Where to watch: In theaters and available VOD


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Stars: Edi Gathegi, Melora Hardin, Angela Sarafyan, Tony Amendola
Writer: Aaron Fjellman, James 'Doc' Mason
Director: Aaron Fjellman
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Plot: An affluent African American psychiatrist, convicted of murdering his wife, is sentenced to life in federal prison, then sent to solitary confinement. Struggling to file an appeal, he descends into madness, pushed to his breaking point by an abusive female guard hell-bent on her own form of justice and haunted by his dead wife, causing him to question his own innocence and sanity.
What you should know: This is director Aaron Fjellman’s first feature film.
Where to stream: Available VOD

The Night

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Stars: Shahab Hosseini, Niousha Noor, George Maguire, Elester Latham
Writer: Kourosh Ahari, Milad Jarmooz
Director: Kourosh Ahari
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Plot: After a night out with friends, an exhausted married couple, Babak, Neda and their baby take shelter in the grand, but eerie Hotel Normandie. Throughout a seemingly endless night, mysterious disturbances ruin their night’s rest as Babak and Neda soon realize they’re locked-in with a malevolent force that hungers for the dark secrets they’ve kept from one another.
What you should know: This film is the first U.S.-produced film to receive a license for theatrical release in Iran since the revolution.
Where to stream: Available VOD

The Little Things

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Stars: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Chris Bauer
Writer/Director: John Lee Hancock
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Plot: Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. Leading the hunt, L.A. Sheriff Department Sergeant Jim Baxter, impressed with Deke’s cop instincts, unofficially engages his help. But as they track the killer, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is dredging up echoes of Deke’s past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.
What you should know: Yes, this is a Warner Bros film, so no, it doesn’t technically belong here. But since this is a rather light release week, here it is.
Where to stream: HBO Max - available for 31 days


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Stars: Jake Ryan, John Tui, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Seth Flynn
Writer/Director: Sam Kelly
Genre: Crime, Drama
Plot: Follows Danny across three decades of his life: from the abusive state-run boys’ institutions of the sixties; to the emerging urban gang scene in the seventies where disenfranchised teenagers created their own families on the streets; to the eighties when gangs became more structured, criminal, and violent.
What you should know: Filmed in New Zealand.
Where to watch: Available VOD

Crack: Cocaine, Corruption and Conspiracy

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Director: Stanley Nelson
Genre: Documentary, Crime, History
Storyline: In the early 1980s, the crack epidemic tore through America’s inner cities like a tsunami, ravaging all in its wake. Decades later, the destructive effects on people’s lives, families and communities are still deeply felt. This documentary examines not only the personal devastation caused by the drug, but also the shadowy origins of the crisis and the resultant, ongoing marginalization of Black and Brown people trapped by the U.S. prison and healthcare systems.
What you should know: Missed adding this to the roundup when it was released a couple of weeks ago, but several ONTDers have mentioned that they thought it was worth a watch.
Where to stream: Netflix

In Theaters Only

Saint Maud (Trailer)
Supernova (Trailer)

More Releases

Softie (Trailer)
Beginning (Trailer)
L'état Sauvage (Trailer)

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