Video on Demand: Life of Pi

You may be asking yourself, what is the Video On Demand Power Ranker? It’s quite simple, really. Every week, more and more films are coming to your home entertainment systems prior to hitting the shelves of Blu-ray and DVD. Sometimes even before or during their theatrical run, you can get at this films on your cable box, your Roku, your Apple TV, your iPad, whatever other tablets exist that aren’t the iPad, and plenty of other devices.

With that in mind, we’ve built a space-age supercomputer chip and implanted it into my brain. Combined with my brain’s higher film-loving function, this silicon-based hyper-drive calculates which Video On Demand titles are best each week, complete with a handy 1-10 ranking. Video On Demand. Power. Ranker.

Got it? Great. Let’s get to it…

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1. Life of Pi

The movie that left Oscar night with several awards and plenty of controversy is our top pick of the week, mostly because it’s a gorgeous tale aided by some Oscar-worthy (and winning) visual effects work. You won’t help the company who made said visual effects escape bankruptcy, but you will get a film that will incite plenty of discussion about life and faith. Available on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Xfinity, Time Warner, Vudu, Google Play and YouTube.

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2. It’s a Disaster

A group of friends gathers for brunch, which is interrupted by the apocalypse. As it turns out, the apocalypse can cause some very messy relationship issues to rise to the surface. The cast, with the likes of Julia Stiles, David Cross and America Ferrera, is what makes this one perfectly tuned anti-romcom. You know, for date night. Available on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Cable On Demand, YouTube and Google Play.

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3. Killing Them Softly

Brad Pitt kills people for the mob in a moody project from the director of The Assassination of Jesse James by… well, you get the rest. It’s basically a story about America. Available on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube and Google Play.

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4. Rust and Bone

Marion Cotillard plays a killer whale trainer who experiences a horrible accident. Sadly, it does not end with bloody revenge upon the whale and its family. It is, however, another great film from Un Prophete director Jacques Audiard. Available on iTunes, Vudu, Cable on Demand and Amazon.

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5. Rise of the Guardians

Holiday heroes Jack Frost, Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman race to fight off the evil boogeyman as he tries to take over the minds of the world’s children. Brilliantly animated and quite fun, this Dreamworks project may have been overlooked by Oscar, but it should earn your attention. Available on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Cable, YouTube and Google Play.

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6. Zero Dark Thirty

The greatest manhunt in history. The search for Bin Laden. The great debate over America’s use of torture as a means to fight terrorism. You can finally be part of all these things with Kathryn Bigelow’s intense latest film. It’s also got a wicked final 40-minute action sequence with stealth helicopters! Available on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube and Google Play.

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7. This Must Be the Place

Sean Penn in a very serious Nazi-hunting goth phase. Available on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube and Google Play.

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8. Electrick Children

A sheltered young Mormon girl has a spiritual awakening when she discovers rock ‘n roll at age 15. There’s also some immaculate conception involved. Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Cable and Blockbuster on Demand.

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9. Somebody Up There Likes Me

Nick Offerman (you know him as The Ron Swanson) plays it a bit more straight in an existential tale about the little wins and losses in life that make up our human journey. Available on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon and Cable.

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10. Don’t Stop Believin': Everyman’s Journey

An agreeable tune that will get stuck in your head, says this very website. The tale of hired Journey frontman Arnel Pineda and his “Cinderella story.” Available on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube and Google Play.


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