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The 7 Indies You Must See on VOD This February: Oscar-Nominated Shorts, ‘Crouching Tiger 2’ and More

The 7 Indies You Must See on VOD This February: Oscar-Nominated Shorts, 'Crouching Tiger 2' and More

Tumbledown” (February 12)

After proving his skills as a big screen comedic actor in studio comedies like “Horrible Bosses” and indies gems like “Sleeping With Other People,” Jason Sudeikis is moving into more adult fare in this dramatic romance, which co-stars the lovely Rebecca Hall and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year. Sudeikis plays Andrew, a music scholar who heads to Maine in order to write the biography of a late musician from the area. The only thing standing in his way is a protective widow (Hall), who agrees to the biography only if she can join as co-writer. What starts as a business partnership soon leads to an unlikely friendship and ultimately something more romantic, as both Sudeikis and Hall chart the rather predictable story with heaping amounts of resonant chemistry.

Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong” (February 12)

This romantic drama from director Emily Ting may be a millennial riff on Linklater’s classic “Before Sunrise” in that it chronicles the blossoming romance between two young strangers as they spend a long evening together in a locale as captivating and beautiful as their hearts, but it’s given an authentic pulse thanks to the genuine and appealing lead performances by Bryan Greenberg and Jamie Chung. The latter plays Ruby, a Chinese-American toy designer who visits Hong Kong for the first time on business. Stranded in a strange and foreign city, she meets expat Josh (Greenberg), and the two tour the city together before Ruby must leave in the morning. It’s a Hong Kong-set “Sunrise” that more than earns its Linklater roots.

“Glassland” (February 12)

Following up the acclaimed “Pilgrim Hill,” director Gerard Barrett showcases yet another emotionally rigorous exploration of family in “Glassland,” which rocked Sundance last year and won star Jack Reynor a Special Jury Prize for acting. Reynor, finally shedding the stain of his work in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” plays the support system of a struggling family, in which his mother, Jean (Toni Collette), is struggling with alcoholism. This penetrating film explores family crisis by grounding it in the tumultuous day-to-day life of its characters, and the emotions eventually explode thanks to Reynor and the always incredible Collette.

Forsaken” (February 19)

Father-and-son duo Kiefer and Donald Sutherland have both grown to become acting legends and household names. But while their professional paths have crossed occasionally, appearing in films like “A Time to Kill,” they have never shared the screen together in lead roles until now. “Forsaken,” a new Western from longtime “24” director Jon Cassar, sets a troublesome father-and-son drama in the action of the Wild West. Kiefer is John Henry Clayton, a now-retired gunslinger who returns to his hometown to mend things with his estranged family. Donald plays Reverend Clayton, who fears that his son’s return will only bring more violence as the two must confront a criminal gang working for the local railroad company.

Rolling Papers” (February 19)

“Rolling Papers,” a favorite at the SXSW Film Festival last year, is a timely, hilarious and ultimately stimulating look at the proposed legalization of marijuana throughout our country. While many pot docs have taken the cool and hazy approach in making their topic seem as awesome as possible, filmmaker Mitch Dickman wisely knows the best way to win an argument is through powerful statistics and reason. Sure, there’s much humor to find here, but as Dickman and Richard Baca, editor of The Cannabist, weigh the pros and cons, “Rolling Papers” makes a bold argument for the benefits of making weed legal in all 50 states.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films (February 23)

Five days before the 88th Academy Awards take place,  cinephiles will no doubt be scrambling to catch up on whatever nominees they have missed, which is always a challenge when it comes to the smaller short film categories. Fortunately, ShortsHD brings the films to audiences across the globe each year, and 2016 is no exception. For anyone looking to watch some of the year’s most dazzling, imaginative and powerful live action, animated and documentary short films — whether for enjoyment or to have a better chance at your office’s Oscar pool — this handy collection of all of the year’s nominations is must-see viewing.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” (February 26)

Kung fu fans have a reason to celebrate this month, as the long-awaited sequel to Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Destiny” comes to Netflix. Legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping (“Kill Bill,” “The Matrix”) has stepped into the director’s chair for the second film in the franchise, “Sword of Destiny.” Luckily for the original’s biggest fans, the great Michelle Yeoh returns to the role of Yu Shu Lien, a master warrior charged with protecting the legendary “Green Destiny,” an ancient sword of immense power. When the forces of evil attempt to steal the sword, a battle breaks out that may determine the future of martial arts. Joining Shu Lien in the fight between good and evil are Silent Wolf, played by Donnie Yen (“Ip Man,” “Monkey King”), and Tiefang, played by Harry Shum Jr.

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