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The week ahead: 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' 'The Book Thief,' 'Maladies' and more

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the real-life story of stock swindler Jordan Belfort in "The Wolf of Wall Street." Geoffrey Rush is among the ensemble cast of the Holocaust drama "The Book Thief." James Franco is a former soap-opera star in the drama "Maladies." Vince Vaughn is a man who finds out that his sperm donations have fathered hundreds of children in the comedy "Delivery Man." These are among the films that premiere on demand from March 24 to March 30, 2014. (Check with your cable or satellite provider for a lineup of on-demand channels on your system.)

"The Wolf of Wall Street"
Paramount Pictures

Here is a list of those movies and their on-demand premiere dates:

March 25, 2014: "The Wolf of Wall Street" (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" (directed by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese) is based on the true story/memoir of Jordan Belfort, the disgraced Wall Street executive who founded the New York firm Stratton Oakmont and led a renegade group of stockbrokers to defraud investors of millions. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort in the movie, which has graphic depictions of Belfort's greed and addictions to drugs and illicit sex. Also starring Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler and Rob Reiner. "The Wolf of Wall Street" received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

For more info: "The Wolf of Wall Street" website

March 25, 2014: "The Book Thief" (Weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated R.

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, "The Book Thief" tells the inspirational story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a new family in World War II Germany. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nelisse, Ben Schnetzer and Nico Liersch.

For more info: "The Book Thief" website

March 25, 2014: "Maladies" (Four days after theatrical release), Rated TV-14.

A daring new film from writer/director Carter (no last name), “Maladies” charts the struggles of an unstable former soap opera star (played by James Franco) in 1960s New York as he tries to restart his floundering creative career. Hoping to find clarity and new purpose as a writer, he holes up with his eccentric sister at the seaside home of their best friend (played by Catherine Keener). But as he disappears further into his own mind, reality begins to slip through his grasp. Featuring an award-winning ensemble, including David Straithairn and Alan Cumming, “Maladies” is a heartfelt but defiantly unconventional exploration of the creative mind.

For more info: "Maladies" website

March 25, 2014: "Delivery Man" (Same day as DVD), Rated PG-13.

"Delivery Man" is a remake of the 2011 Canadian film "Starbuck." “Delivery Man” is the story of affable underachiever David Wozniak (played by Vince Vaughn), whose mundane life gets twisted in a knot when he finds out that he fathered 533 children via sperm donations he made twenty years earlier. In debt to the mob, rejected by his pregnant girlfriend, things couldn’t look worse for David when he’s hit with a lawsuit from 142 of the 533 children in their 20s who want to know the identity of the donor. As David struggles to decide whether or not he should reveal his true identity, he embarks on a journey that leads him to discover not only his true self but the father he could become as well.

For more info: "Delivery Man" website

March 25, 2014: "Hide Your Smiling Faces" (Before theatrical release)

A dreamlike portrait of adolescence, “Hide Your Smiling Faces” explores rural American life through the distorted lens of youth. Unfolding over one hot, hazy summer, the film follows two young brothers — 9-year-old Tommy (played by Ryan Jones) and 14-year-old Eric (played by Nathan Varnson) — as they come to terms with the mysterious death of one of Tommy's friends.

For more info: "Hide Your Smiling Faces" website

March 25, 2014: "Chinese Zodiac" (Same day as DVD, weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated PG-13.

"Chinese Zodiac" (also known as "Armour of God III: Chinese Zodiac") is a Hong Kong action film produced, written, directed by and starring Jackie Chan. It is the sequel to the 1991 film "Armour of God II: Operation Condor," in which Jackie will reprise his role as Asian Hawk. The movie tells about Asian Hawk bringing back the bronze head statues of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, which were sacked by the French and British armies from the imperial Summer Palace in Beijing in 1860.

For more info: "Chinese Zodiac" website

March 25, 2014: “The Past” (Same day as DVD), Rated PG-13.

Following a four-year separation, Ahmad (played by Ali Mosaffa) returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his estranged French wife Marie (played by Bérénice Bejo)'s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure so she can marry her new boyfriend Samir (played by Tahar Rahim). During his tense brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie's relationship with her teenage daughter Lucie (played by Pauline Burlet). Ahmad's efforts to improve this relationship soon unveil a secret from their past.

For more info: "The Past" website

March 25, 2014: “Awake Zion”

"Awake Zion" is a documentary that reveals the unsuspecting links between Rasta, reggae and Judaism, through a musical and spiritual sojourn exploring the meaning of identity. All the way back to the alleged sultry affair between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, a certain blend of Jewish flavor has crept into the spiritual history of Ethiopia, turning up subtly in Rastafarian lifestyle, and then inevitably in reggae.

For more info: "Awake Zion" website

March 25, 2014: “How to Follow Strangers”

"How to Follow Strangers" is a portrait of two New Yorkers at different stages of their lives intersecting. It centers on Elle (played by Ilana Glazer), a young woman new to the city, alone and looking for direction. She finds that, oddly, she has the exact same schedule as Casey (played by Chris Roberti), a slightly older man in the neighborhood. After a few weeks of tacitly seeing each other, many times day, she notices that he begins to act stranger and stranger.

For more info: "How to Follow Strangers" website

March 25, 2014: "Painter: Caio Fonseca"

"Painter: Caio Fonseca" is a documentary that explores the illusive mystery of the process of making art. From his studio on the Italian coast, the contemporary American painter Caio Fonseca conjures whimsically arresting works of abstract art. The film intimately captures the isolation, resolve, and playful curiosity required to create. Attempting to articulate his methods, Fonseca’s thoughts evolve into a meditation on painting, language, and meaning in art. Through his humor and self-examination, Fonseca reminds us that the work of an artist is not simply a reflection of life, but the essence of life.

For more info: "Painter: Caio Fonseca" website

March 25, 2014: “Pixelschatten"

Shot entirely in the first person POV style, this intimate and unsettling film follows small-town blogger Pixel, who reveals his life via his blog Pixelschatten. After his friends and girlfriend move away for college, lonely and frustrated Pixel decides to change all their lives with just one post. "Pixelschatten" is a film that captures the changing social reality of a generation. Starring Ben Gageik, Zora Klostermann, Julia Globig, Adrian Thomser, Sven Gey and Caroline Süren.

For more info: "Pixelschatten" website

March 28, 2014: “Mistaken for Strangers” (Same day as theatrical release)

“Mistaken for Strangers” is a documentary that follows Tom Berninger, a slacker and aspiring horror director, whose older brother Matt is the lead singer of successful rock band The National. When Matt hires Tom as a roadie for the band’s upcoming world tour, Tom brings his camera to film the entire experience, ignoring his job responsibilities in the process. What follows is a hilarious and touching story about family, ambition and self-discovery.

For more info: "Mistaken for Strangers" website

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