What a difference a week makes. The first few days of the month were packed with treasures, but now we’ve come upon a slim release slate. Nevertheless, there are still some highlights. John C. Reilly shines in the animated feature "Wreck-It Ralph," Keira Knightley once again teams with Joe Wright for a steamy adaptation of "Anna Karenina," and "Bully" - one of the most talked about docs from this past year, finally spreads its message across the web.
A clever way to spotlight our favorite video games from yesteryear, "Wreck-It Ralph" finds John C. Reilly providing the voice of lovable villain Ralph, whose ambition of becoming a hero could lead to disastrous repercussions for the arcade in which he lives.
Why Watch It: Reilly’s voice was made to be in animated films.
In Keira Knightley’s latest exploration into the world of tight corsets and horse-drawn buggies, she reteams with director Joe Wright (who directed her in "Pride & Prejudice" and "Atonement") for this adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel about a high-society girl in Russia and her life-changing affair with the mustached Count Vronsky ("Kick-Ass"’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
Why Watch It: There’s just something about the 19th century that brings out the best in Knightley.
Bullying has been around for as long as anyone can remember, but in the last few years it seems as though the acts of picking on social outcasts have become extremely disturbing, with some incidents escalating to suicide or murder. One of the highest-grossing documentaries of 2012, the film looks closely at this hot button topic.
Why Watch It: A moving doc that all kids should see.
Co-directed by the unlikely duo of Michael Apted ("The World Is Not Enough," "Gorillas in the Mist") and Curtis Hanson ("8 Mile," "L.A. Confidential"), the Southern California surf scene is highlighted in this drama about a troubled teen who is determined to ride one of the biggest waves imaginable, and the grizzled surfer (Gerard Butler) who trains him how to survive the feat.
Why Watch It: We’re convinced; Gerard Butler should only do supporting roles the rest of his career. That’s where he does his best work.
Believe it or not, the world of modeling is not what you see on "America's Next Top Model." In fact, it can be a harrowing journey in which you’re plucked from your homeland as a young teen and exported to a foreign country where you are paraded in front of agencies like cattle in the hopes of scoring a few gigs. This rare glimpse at the real industry looks at the girls who are chosen, as well as a former model who now travels the world doing the choosing.
Why Watch It: So raw and honest you’ll never look at a glossy ad the same way again.
Available On: iTunes
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
What happens when you combine the director of "Napoleon Dynamite" and Jack Black? A bizarre comedy about a monk (Black) who moonlights as a Luchador. Need we say more?
'Ferris Bueller’s Day Off'
New to Netflix streaming, take another trip through Chicago with the poster child of adolescent rebellion. Who can say no to Matthew Broderick’s baby-faced problem solver as he "borrows" his friend’s Dad’s car, talks his way into a swanky restaurant, catches a Cubs game and steers clear of a crazed principal all by the time his parents get home from work? Save Ferris.
'The Blind Side'
In celebration of offensive tackle Michael Oher’s Baltimore Ravens winning the Super Bowl, watch his inspiring life story as a homeless youth (played by Quinton Aaron) turned football star become a 2010 Best Picture nominee. Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal as the sassy businesswoman who decides to foster the kind-hearted young man.