Charlize Burns It UpSeptember 15, 2009
SAME DAY AS THEATERSOctober 23, 2009
VOD not only offers PPV Movies that screened in theaters, but cutting edge, independent films the SAME DAY AS THEATERS. Whether you want to see films made outside the Hollywood system or future stars in breakout performances, see the latest from the film festival circuit in the comfort of your own home.
MAGNOLIA PICTURES ON DEMAND
The House of the Devil (98 min)
Saw VI (really, 6th film already?!?) is opening this weekend and everyone is talking about Paranormal Activity, but real horror fans are turning their attention towards The House of the Devil.
RED CLIFF on VODNovember 11, 2009
VOD not only offers PPV Movies that screened in theaters, but cutting edge, independent films. Whether you want to see films made outside the
RED CLIFF (148 min)
Kick ass action filmmaker John Woo and international superstar Tony Leung reunite for the first time since the under-rated classic HARD BOILED (1992) in Red Cliff, an epic historical drama., based on a legendary battle during the last days of China’s Han Dynasty (208 A.D.), Red Cliff opens as power hungry General Cao Cao seeks permission from the Emperor to destroy the two troublesome warlords who stand in his way.
On Demand News & Links - 12/21December 21, 2009
ODW rounds up stories affecting the VOD Industry.
“More than 100 times this year, there was no faster way to watch a new release movie at home than with Comcast On Demand,” said Derek Harrar, senior VP/general manager of video and entertainment services for Comcast. “We pioneered day and date, so we’re thrilled that our studio partners were able to nearly triple our day-and-date movie offerings in favor of our customers.”...(Video Business)
Turning to (Video On Demand) distributors, the most prolific were Magnolia Pictures, IFC Films, and Sony. In Q1-Q3, Magnolia released 21 new specialty titles, followed by IFC with 19, and Sony with 17, mostly through Sony Pictures Classics. The next closest was Here Films with 11. Signifying the rise of video-on-demand (VOD), all of IFC’s releases, and nearly half of Magnolia’s, were released in tandem with a VOD release......(Blogger News Network)
Support Indie Films on Video On Demand. An emerging distribution outlet for many indies is day and date VOD, in which the film is available in a few theaters across the US and simultaneously available on VOD. Unfortunately, many VOD menus favor studio films and make it difficult to find independents. However, if you look, you can find them. Check out IFC, Film Buff and other new independently oriented VOD channels. When you find a new film, invite your friends over and watch it together one night this holiday season. By initiating yourself and your friends into the VOD experience, hopefully you will continue to use it as a way to watch independent movies which will in turn support them...(Huffington Post)
On Demand News & Links - 2/3February 03, 2010
Linda R. Chen/Miramax Films
On Demand Weekly rounds up stories affecting the On Demand TV / VOD Industry.Industry.
This year’s Sundance was abuzz about entries that were available for rental on YouTube or through video on demand during the festival, as filmmakers try out new ways to make an impact. These small-screen efforts have met with skepticism even while reaping the expected publicity, because it’s unclear how they might affect a movie’s distribution chances post-festival.
Now, as the independent cinema nurses its Hollywood hangover, the future remains unclear even as one message is getting louder: It is time to blow the whole thing up..... (New York Times)
Sundance: Is video-on-demand the future of indie film? For titles like 'The Freebie' and 'Bass Ackwards,' yes
I can say that Bass Ackwards will be available in millions of homes in exactly four days, on Feb. 1, via cable VOD. It’s the kind of truly and redemptively quirky cinema that adventurous moviegoers will be grateful to see. And happy to demand… (EW)
Film Execs look at the state of Indie Distribution
“People go to the movies to get away from their daily lives. What is selling now is comfort food movies. We have had movies that did under $20,000 at the box office but did a million dollars in sales on VOD” – Eamonn Bowles, President, Magnolia Pictures ... (The Global Film Village)
The Doctors Are In: Sundance Ponders New Distribution Solutions
Based on general information garnered among a variety of sources, it’s widely known that in some cases VOD can generate as many as 200,000 buys on the highest end for the sort of films released by companies in this sector... (Indiewire)
I’M STILL HERE - On Demand TodaySeptember 24, 2010
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: I'M STILL HERE.
Email John Werner
Reality TV has been with us for a long time, and will likely be around for the duration. Audiences like it and it’s relatively cheap to make. So why not make a reality movie?
Apparently, Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix are so impressed by the Kim Kardashians and Snookis of the world that they decided to squander their talent and make I’M STILL HERE. The film, we are supposed to believe, documents Mr. Phoenix’s retirement from acting and failed attempt at a hip hop career.
Casey Affleck (Magnolia)
When I invited my friend Dan to join me for the I’M STILL HERE screening he begged off by asking, “Why would I go see a movie about a movie actor who’s acting like he doesn’t want to act any more?” (This from a man who thinks JACKASS 2 is great classic cinema.) Well Dan, I can’t answer that question, even after seeing the movie and even after seeing Joaquin Phoenix on “Late Show with David Letterman” Wednesday night.
ALL GOOD THINGS on VOD - See The Trailer NowNovember 16, 2010
ALL GOOD THINGS (Magnolia Pictures) is now available On Demand. See the trailer below.
Produced and directed by Andrew Jarecki (director of the Academy Award-nominated doc Capturing the Friedmans and producer of Catfish). The film stars Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella.
Ed Burns Indie Movies on Demand Hot List : NOV 2010 - EXCLUSIVEDecember 01, 2010
AN ODW EXCLUSIVE
On Demand Weekly is thrilled to welcome fillmaker Ed Burns to our Advisory Board and our terrific roster of contributers. Ed recently blazed a new trail for digital distribution and marketing for the recent premiere of his film NICE GUY JOHNNY. Every month, Ed will share with our readers the list of independent films currently available On Demand he's most interested in watching and offer insight as to why each film makes his Hot List. We hope you enjoy and look forward to your feedback. - ODW
As an indie film lover, and parent, who doesn't get to to the theater like I used to, I now watch most movies at home. I wanted to reach out to other like-minded people, who are looking for good movies to watch on their On Demand services. Many of these titles I used to catch in the arthouse theater, and sadly, most of them have been slipping through the cracks.
So you can find me here once a month and I will tip you off to the films I'll be watching On Demand.
Indie Movies on Demand Hot List - November, 2010
ALL GOOD THINGS (Magnolia Pictures)
- Some terrific actors, including Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella, and a real life story set in New York in the 80's, makes ALL GOOD THINGS a movie I don't want to miss.
TINY FURNITURE (IFC Films)
- I am excited to check out TINY FURNITURE, written and directed by Lena Dunham, who also starred in the movie, and has generated terrific press for making this on a tiny budget with friends and family, including her mother and sister. Sounds like an authentic New York story, which I am a big fan of.
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (FilmBuff)
- EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is a compelling documentary that will have your head spinning and questioning the lines between art and manipulation. The movie is a truly unique glimpse into some of the most compelling and talented street artists around (most notably the enigmatic Banksy).
Ed Burns gained international recognition for his first feature film THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, which won the 1995 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize. His most recent film, NICE GUY JOHNNY, the darling of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, was released on October 26, 2010. A pioneer for independent filmmakers, Burns continues to innovate in this category, premiering PURPLE VIOLETS exclusively on iTunes and more recently, releasing NICE GUY JOHNNY via a multi-platform digital distribution plan. Ed recently joined On Demand Weekly's Advisory Board.
Ed will be back next month with new films he's looking forward to seeing On Demand. Let him know what you think of his picks above or future films he should consider on Twitter @edward_burns.
Ed's new film NICE GUY JOHNNY, is available now On Demand.
ODW Reviews of the films:
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP - Now Available!
Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced nominations for the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Three of the five nominees for Best Feature (Greenberg, The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone), as well as many of the most nominated films, are already available to watch On Demand.
(Eva Mendes, Jeremy Renner)
Selected from 220 submissions, this year’s winners will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. on the beach in Santa Monica. The 26th annual awards show will be hosted by Joel McHale ("The Soup," "Community") and air exclusively that night on IFC at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
On Demand Weekly has noted which films are available now On Demand so you can catch up at home on the independent films everyone is talking about this week. Enjoy!
FILM TITLE (# OF NOMINATIONS)
Winter’s Bone - Roadside Attraction (7) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
The Kids Are All Right - Focus Features (5) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
Black Swan - Fox Searchlight (4)
Greenberg - Focus Features (4) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
Rabbit Hole - Lionsgate (4)
127 Hours - Fox Searchlight (3)
Jack Goes Boating - Overture Films (3)
Tiny Furniture - IFC Films (3) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
Daddy Longlegs - IFC Films (2) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
Life During Wartime - IFC Films (2) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
Exit Through the Gift Shop - Producers Distribution Agency / FilmBuff (1) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
Lovers of Hate - IFC Films (1) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
Night Catches Us - Magnolia Pictures (1) AVAILABLE NOW ON DEMAND
2011 SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS
Tags:magnolia pictures, filmbuff, ifc films, black swan, daddy longlegs, jeremy renner, tiny furniture, 127 hours, lionsgate, community, jack goes boating, exit through the gift shop, the kids are all right, fox searchlight, eva mendes, life during wartime, film independent, producers distribution agency, focus features, rabbit hole,
On Demand Welcomes THE PERFECT HOSTJune 08, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE PERFECT HOST (Magnolia Pictures).
On Demand Welcomes THE PERFECT HOST
By Chris Claro
Though they’re still around today, via such networks as Lifetime, Hallmark, and SyFy, the made-for-TV movie had its heyday in the 1970s. B-level features that ran anywhere from 70 to 95 minutes, TV movies had the feel of the lower half of a double bill. With their pulpy plots and recognizable character actors, they were junk food, a cinematic bag of Bugles with special guest star Dick Van Patten.
As I watched THE PERFECT HOST, I was transported back to the days of my nerdy youth, when, on many a Saturday night, stuck in a three-network hell, I consumed thousands of those empty TV-movie calories.
A tight little comic thriller that – almost – moves quickly enough to leap over its fairly prodigious plot holes, David Hyde-Pierce is the eponymous character, an effete Angeleno named Warwick who is putting the finishing touches on a dinner party in anticipation of the arrival of his guests. After John, a crook on the run from the police, ingratiates his way into Warwick’s house, each man employs wits and will to maintain dominance over the other.
Hyde-Pierce is one of those truly talented actors who can disappear into a role and make the audience forget his eleven-year stint as fussy Niles on FRASIER. His slow, deliberate revelation of what drives Warwick is one of the film’s biggest pluses. Swishy one minute, menacing the next, Hyde-Pierce calibrates his performance for maximum laughs.
You Now Have GOOD NEIGHBORS On DemandJuly 06, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: GOOD NEIGHBORS (Magnolia).
GOOD NEIGHBORS On Demand
By Amy Slotnick
A serial killer in the city and a new neighbor in the building initiate the plot of thriller , GOOD NEIGHBORS. Set in Montreal in 1995, the film is lackluster and feels predictable; nevertheless it is semi entertaining.
Victor (Jay Baruchel) is new in town and moves into an old, French-style walk up apartment building, living directly above neighbors Louise (Emily Hampshire), a quirky waitress with too many cats, and Spencer (Scott Speedman), a wheel chair bound widower with a mischievous smile. The three apartments are connected by an exterior fire escape, adding an architectural spookiness as well as an alternate exit that is worked in nicely with the story’s plot.
Louise and Spencer are obsessed with the recent news stories about a serial killer who has murdered and raped several young women in the area, including a waitress from the restaurant where Louise works. Victor befriends them both and begins to walk Louise home at night, to prevent her from becoming another victim of the killer. For Victor though it is also a way to get closer to Louise with whom he has fallen almost suspiciously in love.
TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL Look For Safe Haven On DemandSeptember 28, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL (Magnet Releasing)
TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL On Demand
By Chris Claro
Rare is the truly original idea. With virtually every movie pitched as a mashup of two (or more) established properties – “It’s AMERICAN BEAUTY meets THE BOURNE IDENTITY” – it isn’t often that a film shows a glimmer of originality.
Paradoxically, TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL,
a film that takes on the tropes of hillbilly slasher films
and turns them on their bloody ear,
is one of the freshest and funniest films to come along in a while.
Full of all the expected chainsaws, wood chippers, and obnoxious college students, the film mixes gore and comedy to tell a story about how appearances can deceive. Seemingly stereotypical hillbillies Dale (Tyler Labine, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and Tucker (Alan Tudyk, FIREFLY) want nothing more than to fix up Tucker’s cabin in peace and quiet. But a series of misunderstandings and overreactions sets off a chain of bloody slayings that upend expectations and turn the victims into their own worst enemies.
Throughout, director Eli Craig – son of Sally Field – makes the most of what was clearly a shoestring budget to twist the clichés of the form in much the same way that John Landis did thirty years ago with AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. By casting a knowing eye toward the hoary devices of the rural horror flick – nubile skinny-dippers, campfire ghost stories, graphic deaths – Craig, as Landis had before him, tweaks the genre while maintaining its traditions.
The screenplay, by Craig and Morgan Jurgenson, is predicated on the idea that people – and movies, for that matter – shouldn’t be judged solely on their looks. In subverting the expectations of the audience by inverting the conventions of the film, Craig and Jurgenson offer a kind of meta commentary on thirty years’ worth of slasher flicks.
Leave it to one of cinema's most controversial filmmakers to have a "Director's Statement." Maybe they all should.
MELANCHOLIA: A BEAUTIFUL MOVIE ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD
It was like waking from a dream: my producer showed me a suggestion for a poster. “What is that?” I ask. ”It’s a film you’ve made!” she replies. ”I hope not,” I stammer. Trailers are shown ... stills ... it looks like shit. I’m shaken... more (click here)
- Lars von Trier, Copenhagen, April 13, 2011
Lars Von Trier / MELANCHOLIA (Magnolia Pictures)
MELANCHOLIA - DEMAND IT
BUCK - DEMAND IT
TRUST - RISK IT
HELLO LONESOME - DEMAND IT
Mark Pellington - Director’s Statement: I MELT WITH YOUNovember 07, 2011
Earlier this year Lars Von Trier wrote a "Director's Statement" for his new film MELANCHOLIA (Magnolia Pictures). On Demand Weekly published it upon the movie's video on demand release and commented more director's should do this.
Well lo and behold, Mark Pellington (GOING ALL THE WAY) has written one for his new film, I MELT WITH YOU, released last week on demand a full month before it will hit theaters.
Mark Pellington - DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
I MELT WITH YOU was designed and conceived as an allegory about male friendship and failure, set inside the powerful bonds of memory and promise. I was interested in exploring how middle aged men become far different creatures than they imagined they would be, and how they deal with it.
It's the story of four men searching inside themselves and finding emptiness. The film was super low budget and driven by commitment and passion from all involved, and we shot it in 18 days in Big Sur. I worked on the script with its creator, the writer Glenn Porter, and we received input and support from executive producer Neil Labute.
The movie has aesthetic influences in 80's new wave/punk rock, and the aggressive cut up poetics of William Burroughs. It was inspired by the likes of Cassavetes' Husbands and Mike Leigh’s Naked. It is quasi-experimental, intense, and personal film for me, a 180 degree turn from my last work. We were all a team, a small band of actors and crew who took our collective influences and life experience and threw it into a harrowing experimental blender, exploring the vagaries of friendship, regret, shame, failure, greed, and the desperate search for hope.
It is a film that loves music and understands the role it plays in the highs and lows of life. It is a tale, on the surface, of old friends being confronted by their youthful promise, and shifts into an exploration of the dark side, the weakness of the male psyche and men who ultimately hide from themselves and their responsibilities.
Thomas Jane & Mark Pellington / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)
At the end of the day I MELT WITH YOU is just a movie. However, it is not for the squeamish. It's the type of film that is going to generate controversy and garner deeply felt polarized reactions. I very much look forward to yours.
- Mark Pellington
Glenn Porter's WRITER’S STATEMENT
VOD Spotlight: Mark Pellington (I MELT WITH YOU)November 08, 2011
On Demand Weekly spoke with Mark Pellington, director of the new movie on demand, I MELT WITH YOU, starring Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven, Christian McKay and Carla Cugino.
Frustrated by the often long process that comes with getting movies made today, Mark Pellington (GOING ALL THE WAY, ARLINGTON ROAD) resumed shooting music videos and began looking to, as he says, “take the creative process back to a more intuitive place of directorial freedom, and get out and shoot something down and dirty, yet meaningful— quickly.”
“I was looking to make a raw, visceral, music-driven film that expressed where I was in my life,” said Pellington.
He returned to a script (inspired by LA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST)) from a lifelong friend, Glenn Porter, about men who had made an idealistic pact in college in their early twenties, and who are forced to confront the promise they made 25 years later.
“We are both 48, and found ourselves asking where our generation's version of Cassavetes’ HUSBANDS is…
where is the film about
our life experience?”
Together, they embraced the punk rock spirit of making the film their way and said “fuck it, let’s just do it ourselves,” Pellington recalls.
What transpires is a very dark, raw film. “Rather than provide answers,” offers Pellington, “The film asks a lot of questions about the real life experiences of males. I MELT WITH YOU is about self-examination and connecting with the human soul. It could be from an email. I got an email from a friend I hadn’t heard from in 20 years who saw the film.”
I MELT WITH YOU has a very recognizable cast. It started with Thomas Jane as Richard the teacher and former novelist. The film opens on Jane in the classroom with the “Uncover & Real” lesson written on the chalkboard. Pellington explains writing is the thing Richard can’t do in his life
Thomas Jane & Mark Pellington / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)
They then cast Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay in the remaining three lead roles. “I needed male actors who had the courage to dig pretty deep, and Rob, Tom, Jeremy, Christian— they just went for it,” said Pellington. As the beginning of film continues, we see the remaining three characters leave their daily lives to embark on their annual reunion.
Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe & Jeremy Piven / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)
On Demand Weekly’s Top 10 Movies On Demand 2011 - Part IIDecember 29, 2011
So many movies and so many movie lists of 2011. How could you watch or read them all and yet so many are so similar. Do you need affirmation of the films you may have seen in the theaters already? How about learning about the best films of 2011 you may have missed?
On Demand Weekly's Cynthia Kane and Chris Claro offer their Top 10 Movies On Demand of 2011. Tell us what you think of the their lists or what your #1 movie of 2010 is HERE.
Part I - Cynthia's is HERE.
Part II - Chris's is below.
10. SHUT UP, LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO ADVENTURE
Matthew Bate’s hilarious and poignant film about unwanted fame and the subculture of pre-Internet tape trading was an entertaining and effective documentary.
9. THE MAN FROM NOWHERE
The violent and kinetic thrill ride from Korean director Jeong –beom Lee was stuffed with dynamic action set-pieces and an amazing performance from child actor Sae-ron Kim
The last real man, Sam Shepard, took on the legend of the last real outlaw, Butch Cassidy, in an elegiac film about the final days of cowboys and Indians.
7. THE BIG UNEASY
Humorist Harry Shearer’s fascinating and heartbreaking document of the post-Katrina cover-up by the Army Corps of Engineers. Thoroughly sourced, sincerely conveyed, and absolutely fascinating.
6. BRIGHTON ROCK
Helen Mirren and John Hurt classed up this retelling of Graham Greene’s novel about a killer and the girl he entrances. Set against the birth of the mods/rockers conflict, Rowan Joffe’s film also boasted an intense performance by Sam Riley.
5. CONAN O’BRIEN CAN’T STOP
Behind the scenes with the talk show host on his post-Tonight concert tour, director Rodman Flender’s film was painful, funny, and painfully funny.
4. TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL
Horror clichés were turned on their ear in Eli Craig’s debut film. Stars Taylor Labine and Alan Tudyk were a joy as the harmless hillbillies mistaken for psychos.
Chris's Top 3 of 2011...
Tags:magnolia pictures, movies on demand, filmbuff, vod, on demand weekly, tribeca film, ifc, brighton rock, chris claro, top 10, the trip, the man from nowhere, tucker and dale vs. evil, burke and hare, blackthorn, the big uneasy, zonad, conan o’brien can’t stop, shut up, little man an audio adventure,
Who Made Your Favorite TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE Pledge?February 01, 2012
If you haven't heard by now, Tim and Eric are taking their act from the small screen to the silver screen with their movie TIM AND ERIC'S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE (Magnolia). It is available in theaters on March 2nd, but is available on demand now.
In an effort to make as many people know, Tim and Eric are asking people to take the following pledge.
They're asking people to:
- see the film with a family member or friend.
- in a theater within 50 miles of their location, or on demand if can't be seen in theater (BTW - it's not in theaters until 3/2/12, but on demand now!).
- tell a minimum of four people about B$M.
- not to Bit Torrent B$M
- and don't see THE LORAX.
Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones
You’ve Seen Celebrities Pledge To Watch TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE, Will You?February 22, 2012
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: TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE (Magnolia).
TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE
By Adam Schartoff
Warning: do not see this movie without smoking cannibis first. If you haven’t heard of Tim and Eric, permit me to illuminate. To call them a comedy duo would not be quite the accurate description. While they do create sketches designed to make people laugh, they generally don’t include the traditional comic arcs you might find in, say, a Saturday Night Live skit or something on Funny or Die. Gross out humor is a basic tenet as are the deranged characters who populate the sketches.
Ostensibly an expanded version of their sketch show on Adult Swim —cleverly called Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job— TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE follows the titular pair, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, whom after getting an enormous budget to make their movie, wind up and blowing it all on make-overs and other insane purchases. The movie starts with them screening their movie —maybe 10 minutes long— for the top brass at the studio which includes Tommy Shlaaang (Robert Loggia), their chief investor. Displeased with the outcome of the movie, Shlaaang demands his money back or will have the two killed.
In order to raise the billion dollars, the guys respond to a TV add to take over a mall currently operated by businessman Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell) and his son Taquito (John C. Reilly). The mall has become beset with fire and brimstone. There’s are winos sleeping in corridors, and a blood thirsty wolf looking for prey among other things. Not to say its stores aren’t in operation. One is a sword shop run by the least customer friendly human being you’re likely to come across and played by a mustachioed Will Forte. Another shop is run by a man who, in order to keep his job at the mall, agrees to hand his pre-pubescent son over to Tim who subsequently refers to the boy as his own. Fortunately the more creepier possibilities to that sub-plot are never explored.
Is GOON A Modern Day SLAP SHOT?February 24, 2012
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: GOON (Magnolia).
When they asked me to review this film, I don’t think they quite knew how connected I am to it. Let’s go back six years – I’m at a friend’s wedding and someone tells me I have to talk to the groom’s cousin. His cousin tells me he wrote a movie with his friend when he was 14 years old and they’re looking to get it produced in Hollywood. What was it about? “These two guys are in high school and they like these girls and they go to a party.” I made a face. “No, it’s good, I swear.” Who was that kid? Evan Goldberg. And the movie? SUPERBAD So what the hell do I know?
Some people start watching Youtube and waste hours looking at movies of kittens swimming or awful Paul Lekakis music videos. I watch one thing and one thing only on youtube: hockey fights. So I can’t imagine anything better than an updated SLAP SHOT written by Goldberg and shot in my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba with cameos by people I know. The homage to the 70s minor-league hockey classic starts early: profanity that doesn’t usually make it into modern films, French-Canadian stereotypes, gay jokes and players giving a hostile crowd the finger as they enter the arena. (In a nice touch, the crowd returns the favor with giant foam middle fingers.)
Seann William Scott in GOON, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
The story is influenced as much by THE WATERBOY
as it is by what is arguably Paul Newman’s magnum opus.
Much like Adam Sandler’s Bobby Boucher and his mother, hard-headed bouncer Doug Glatt, played by Seann William Scott, is protective of his younger gay brother. When his excitable best friend, played by co-writer Jay Baruchel, goads a goon into climbing into the crowd at a local hockey game and coming after him, Glatt objects to the player’s use of gay slurs and displays both his ability to take a punch and his ability to deliver one, knocking the player out in the stands.
This display of punching talent gets Glatt recruited by the local hockey team, where, in scenes reminiscent of the 1986 fighting classic YOUNGBLOOD, he learns, just barely, to skate. (Rob Lowe’s Dean Youngblood had to learn, just barely, to fight.) Glatt excels at fighting in the local league, which gets him called up to a high minor-league team in Halifax, coached by the brother of his hometown team’s coach. The Halifax team hasn’t won a game in a month, and features French-Canadian forward Xavier Laflamme, who can stickhandle in a phone booth but has been ducking body contact since famous goon Ross Rhea hit him in an NHL game three years earlier.
Liev Schreiber in GOON, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
Willem Dafoe’s THE HUNTER - On DemandMarch 21, 2012
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE HUNTER (Magnolia) .
With his stern mien and almost-feral eyes, Willem Dafoe has always conveyed a coiled-spring ferocity that he employs to make compelling and unpredictable choices on screen. Whether he’s working on popcorn flicks such as SPIDER-MAN and SPEED 2, or appearing in more refined fare like TOM & VIV and BASQUIAT, Dafoe never phones it in, infusing every part he plays with a single-minded intensity. In Daniel Nettheim’s new film, THE HUNTER, Dafoe puts his hot-wired charisma to good use as Martin David, a mercenary on assignment to track down one of the last Tasmanian tigers in existence.
Decamped to the Tasmanian outback, the solitary David bunks in the home of a woman and her two children. Lucy (Frances O’Connor, A.I.) is bedridden and depressed following the disappearance of her husband in the bush. Lucy’s kids, a loquacious girl and her silent brother, are sprites of the woods, caring for their mom without electricity or clean water. David’s arrival has far-reaching effects on Lucy and family, not all of them positive. His mission makes him the target of local loggers, who see his hunt as an encroachment on their territory. David is also viewed with suspicion by Jack (Sam Neill, JURASSIC PARK), who looks out for Lucy but has his own interests to protect.
Nettheim tells the story of David’s pursuit with an economy that befits such a spare tale. Robert Humphreys’ cinematography captures the sweeping vistas of the Tasmanian wilderness that reinforce the solitary aspect of David’s pursuit of the spectre-like beast and the script, by Alice Addison and Wain Fimeri, is concise and has a terseness that amps up the tension between Dafoe’s interloper and the leery locals.
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