OLIVE KITTERIDGE - HBO DemandNovember 07, 2014



On Demand Weekly provides new reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: “OLIVE KITTERIDGE.”

Prickly as a hedgehog. Those are words you could use to describe Olive Kitteridge. Warm, fuzzy, likable are NOT. She is feisty, crabby and does not suffer fools (which she considers most people to be).Yet as played with fierce intelligence and indomitable will by the amazing Frances McDormand, you can understand why her husband adores her and her son admires her. With McDormand’s incandescent blue eyes, incredible cheekbones, and earthy New England accent, it’s as if Katharine Hepburn were playing the Henry Fonda part in ON GOLDEN POND.

It is difficult to be the smartest person in the room, depressing even. Perhaps that is why Olive thinks depression runs in her family. She thinks it’s good to be depressed as it is a sign of intelligence. She never stops to think about how her depression plays out as anger towards everyone in her path, damaging with a scornful look or scathing word.


Frances McDormand, Unknown, Richard Jenkins, OLIVE KITTERIDGE (HBO)

John Gallagher, Jr., is very good as the Kitteridge’s wounded but resilient son. Richard Jenkins is superb as Olive’s long-suffering husband, Henry, who remains...


...attracted to her intelligence

even as she uses it as a weapon against him.


He is not her intellectual equal, but he is a kind, generous, loving soul who rarely fights back. When he starts working with Denise Thibodeau (Zoe Kazan), her fragile, doe-like open heart is like refreshing spring water to poor Henry’s parched heart. Their relationship is lovely. It borders on sexual attraction, without ever crossing the line from safely chaste. It’s no wonder Olive bristles every time she sees that Denise gives Henry what she can’t: someone to take care of.

Olive has her own unrequited affair of the heart with the hard drinking, smoking, poetry-quoting, fellow teacher, Jim O’Casey, (Peter Mullan-excellent as usual) which comes to a tragic end when he teaches the ultimate lesson in why one shouldn’t drink and drive.

Full of such small, tragic moments, along with moments that should be happy but somehow aren’t, is the delicate tale of Olive Kitteridge: the story of a no nonsense woman living in a world that baffles even her sharp mind. She wants to feel a connection but has no idea how to give that part of her that allows that connection. And the not knowing frustrates her because it insults her intelligence. It is the rare person in her life that can call her on it. By the time that person comes in in the form of Bill Murray’s Jack Kennison, we can only hope that Olive is slightly ready to thaw.






Watching Kevin Durant play basketball is an experience. He can bring viewers through an entire range of emotion in just two hours. Happiness, excitement, awe, heartbreak, hope are the most common feelings that Durant inspires. And he does inspire.

At 6’11”, Durant is an anomaly. Nearly every other basketball player his size doesn’t dribble or take a jumpshot from further than 15 feet. But Durant has no limits on the court.

Durant, who is represented by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports agency, teamed up with HBO Sports to produce THE OFFSEASON: KEVIN DURANT, a one-hour special detailing Durant’s summer.

The show starts off the day after Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated from the NBA playoffs on May 31. Durant, with his entourage of childhood and college friends, then packs up and moves to Beverly Hills, to work on his game for the summer.



 This isn’t Durant’s first time getting into show business. He starred in THUNDERSTRUCK, a 2012 movie about a high school kid who stole Durant’s ability by touching the same basketball as Durant. James Belushi and Brandon T. Jackson costarred in that. The movie made less than $600,000.

He’s part of a long line of athletes getting into the entertainment business. These stars are trying to grow their brand, which means get in front of as many faces as possible. It’s rarely about the money for Durant, or fellow NBA superstars LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. They want exposure, during their playing careers. The more people that see them on the silver screen or in primetime, the better. That’s another signature shoe or jersey sold. 


Russell Westbrook, Unknown, KEVIN DURANT (HBO)

5 New Movies On Demand to Watch: November 2014November 03, 2014

5 New Movies On Demand to Watch: November 2014

Kat Ashy (On Demand Weekly)

On Demand Weekly's Kat Ashy (@KatDoesLifegoes through all the new movies each month for her New Movies On Demand Preview.

5 New Movies On Demand to Watch - November 2014:

By Kat Ashy

It’s finally November! Now that pesky October is out of the way we can all pretend that it’s officially the Holiday season. 

Who needs 
Thanksgiving? No one even remembers Thanksgiving once the candy canes and Michael Bublé comes out. Well, I’m here to tell you that this is unacceptable. I want you to embrace Thanksgiving. I want you to love Thanksgiving! I want you to stuff your face full of pumpkin pie.

And once you’re done with your self-induced food coma I want you to check out my top November Movies on Demand!

Kat’s Top Five Movies On Demand:

5. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, Premieres November 25 - KIDS PICK
DRAGONS! I want to say that this is a fun family option for your kids but I would be lying! I know you want to watch this more than them.
PG, Animated/Family, Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou

4. TAMMY, Premieres November 11 COMEDY PICK
I just want to say that I loved Melissa McCarthy before it was cool, and now she’s everyone’s favorite obsession and starring in hilarious bawdy comedies with Susan Sarandon.
R, Comedy, Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Akyroyd, Mark Duplass, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh

3. LIFE PARTNERS, Premieres November 6 INDIE PICK - Same Day As Theatrical Release
Watch this sweet rom com for the sheer fact that it stars a now married Leighton Messter and Adam Brody. Seth Cohen and Blair Waldorf tied the knot. It’s an early 2000’s dream come true!
R, Comedy/Romance, Leighton Meester, Adam Brody

2. A MOST WANTED MAN, Premieres November 4 - ESPIONAGE PICK
The late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in this intense thriller about a Chechen Muslim that gets caught in the international war on terror.
R, Thriller, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe

1. 22 JUMP STREET, Premieres November 18 TOP PICK
21 JUMP STREET was such a thing of pure beauty that it solidified Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s bro comedy status and landed itself a sequel. After tackling High School twice, officers Schmidt and Jenko must now go deep undercover at a local college to find the supplier of the deadly new drug “WHYPHY”.

As expected it’s a chaotic mess of meat head jocks, bohemian artists, and general college debauchery. This is one ridiculously charming bromance you cannot pass up.
R, Comedy, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Peter Stormare, Jillian Bell

That’s November team! Be sure to read what other great movies premiere on demand this month below.

Happy watching!
Also This Month...

Will LISTEN UP PHILIP Get Your Attention?October 16, 2014

Will LISTEN UP PHILIP Get Your Attention?


On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today's review: LISTEN UP PHILIP (Tribeca).

Considering that writing is such a singular pursuit, it’s ironic that chasing the elusive muse has long been fodder for film fiction. From WONDER BOYS to BARTON FINK to MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, writers toiling over their works have populated film since the birth of the medium. The life of the scribe is examined once again in Alex Ross Perry’s LISTEN UP PHILIP.

Perry’s film focuses on one Philip Lewis Friedman, (Jason Schwartzman, THE DARJEELING LIMITED) a Brooklyn-based novelist living with his increasingly disengaged photographer girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss, THE ONE I LOVE).

Once something of an enfant terrible and now just a terrible adult, Philip is a narcissistic, self-obsessed writer methodically destroying every one of his relationships, whether romantic, platonic or professional. In need of both a place to work and and an escape valve, Philip accepts an invitation from once-great novelist Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan Pryce, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END), to stay at Zimmerman’s country house for a spell.



Jonathan Pryce and Jason Schwartzman in Listen Up Philip distributed by Tribeca Film.

Once Perry places the two scribes within close proximity of one another, it becomes clear that literary talent isn’t the only thing they have in common. The bitterness and dissatisfaction that both Philip and Ike exude makes them kindred assholes, with each considered such by Ike’s angry daughter (Krysten Ritter, "Breaking Bad"). Her encounters with the two novelists are marked by a surly churlishness that Ritter conveys without alienating herself to the audience.



Krysten Ritter in Listen Up Philip distributed by Tribeca Film.

Schwartzman imbues Philip with a measure of vulnerability that keeps him from being totally irredeemable; he employs the same inflated sense of self that we saw from him in RUSHMORE, keeping the world at arm’s length as a defense mechanism. It’s a daring, if not altogether pleasant performance.

LAST HIJACK Filmmaker InterviewOctober 14, 2014

LAST HIJACK Filmmaker Interview


The below interview is a repurposed interview by permission with the filmmaking team of Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting to the revealing new documentary LAST HIJACK. Available On Demand, including Amazon Instant Video, Comcast, Google Play, iTunes, Time Warner Cable, Sony PlayStation, Vimeo On Demand, Vudu and XBOX Video. - ODW 

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting
Tommy Pallotta  first connected Richard Linklater with animation when he produced the award-winning feature film WAKING LIFE. He followed up with Philip K. Dick's A SCANNER DARKLY, starring Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr. He then directed the Emmy nominated "Collapsus". Femke Wolting co-founded Submarine, a multiple award-winning production company. She produced numerous projects such as Peter Greenaway's feature Rembrandt's J'Accuse and the groundbreaking documentaries like MY SECOND LIFE.




What sparked you interest in the issue of piracy in Somalia, and how did you decide to develop a feature film on this subject?
We were watching news reports and the image of these tiny boats versus the huge oil tankers fascinated us. We wondered what drove these men to take such enormous risks. As we researched further and found out about all the underlying aspects of piracy, the waste dumping in the waters around Somalia and the broader impact of piracy on Somalian society we got even more interested. Most media stories and news stories reported on Western ships being hijacked and the experiences of the passengers. That made us curious to know more about the pirates themselves.

When we started to look into it, we quickly became fascinated by how the pirates were perceived within their own communities. Until recently they were seen as heroes, as the little guys who fought the big Western ships. And many people also profited from their actions, whether directly or indirectly. But then things began to change. A whole generation of young men disappeared, were thrown in jail or simply vanished at sea. That had an enormous impact on the people who were left behind, the families and the women. People in Somalia turned their backs on the pirates. This tension interested us, and made us to decide to make a film from the perspective of the pirates and their families.

Was it clear from the start that this film would be something else than a 'classic' documentary?
We clicked with the subject because we immediately thought it would be ideal to combine animation and documentary footage. We didn't want to make an observational documentary. Because the hijacks were something you could never be part of. Once we thought of the combination opened up so many possibilities.

Through the animation we could view the world through the eyes of the pirates. We could visualize their subjective reality, their dreams, from their memories of the civil war to the hijacks they had undertaken.


Animated Scene / LAST HIJACK (Filmbuff)

Documentary, fiction, animation and interactive media have all been combined frequently throughout both of your filmmaking careers. What inspires this openness to hybrid forms? Do you think these kinds of projects will take on a larger importance in the industry in future years?
We are interested in hybrid forms because they offer so many more possibilities in terms of storytelling. In terms of non-fiction, they challenge the idea of objective reality that a documentary should capture.

So LAST HIJACKis a hybrid incorporating live action and animation, but also feature film and documentary. Feature films and documentaries have been made for more then a century, and there are still all these conventions of genres and specific ways to tell a story. We are excited about these new hybrid forms because you can experiment and search for new forms of storytelling that don't yet have rules. More and more feature films combine live action, effects and animation to create new worlds, and now that is possible in documentaries too.

Tell us about your experience working on similarly "non-traditional projects" with directors such as Richard Linklater (WAKING LIFE, A SCANNER DARKLY) and Peter Greenaway (REMBRANDT'S J'ACCUSE).
Currently we are shooting a feature film by Peter Greenaway in Mexico, called Eisenstein in Guanajuato. It's a love story about the famous Russian filmmaker Eisenstein, and how he felt in love for the first time when he was making a film in Mexico. It's a feature film but Greenaway mixes archive footage from Eisenstein and his films in the fictional narrative. Also we just started working on a new film for a Hollywood studio, a feature film that is a hybrid as well, half live action and half animated.

Somali pirates have lately been represented in several documentary and fiction films (CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, A HIJACKING, STOLEN STEAS, FISHING WITHOUT NETS). What do you think has inspired this widespread interest? Do you have an opinion on the films made as a result, and how is your film different?

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