See TAKE THIS WALTZ (Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen) TrailerMay 25, 2012


See TAKE THIS WALTZ (Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen) Trailer

Magnolia Pictures

Michelle Williams plays twenty-eight-year-old Margot, happily married to Lou (Seth Rogen), a good-natured cookbook author. But when Margot meets Daniel (Luke Kirby), a handsome artist that lives across the street, their mutual attraction is undeniable. Warmly human, funny and bittersweet, TAKE THIS WALTZ deftly avoids romantic clichés and paints an unusually true and unsentimental portrait of adult relationships.

 

Watch the trailer below and look for our review soon.

 

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Rob Reiner & Morgan Freeman’s THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE – Sneak Peek On DemandMay 31, 2012


Rob Reiner & Morgan Freeman’s THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE – Sneak Peek On Demand

Magnolia Pictures

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: THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE (Magnolia).


THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE
Never stop looking for what’s not there.
By Britt Bensen

 

See clips of THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE & more movies on demand via The Movie Loft: Quicktake...

 

As we watched Morgan Freeman (THE UNFORGIVEN, DRIVING MISS DAISY) receive the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award from the Golden Globes® in January, I’m sure we were all wondering when would we see the next solid Morgan Freeman movie performance? Not all of his roles are great (whose are?), but he’s one of today’s actors who when you see or hear his name mentioned with a movie, you take a little extra notice. Who doesn’t like Morgan Freeman?


I was curious when I first learned THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE, a Rob Reiner movie starring Freeman, was being released on demand today (Friday, June 1), a full month before in theaters (July 6). The last film they did together, THE BUCKET LIST (with Jack Nicholson) grossed $93 million domestically and $175 million worldwide. Not too shabby. The second highest grossing film to A FEW GOOD MEN.

 


Morgan Freeman / THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE (Magnolia Pictures)


The next thing I wanted to know was whether THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE would feature Freeman’s narration? He speaks first on screen at the 2:30 minute mark while his character Monte Wildhorn (I’m going to guess he’s loud & boisterous with a last name like that) is being driven to a new home in a new lakeshore town for the summer by his nephew Henry (played by SNL’s Kenan Thompson). Apparently Monte has seen better days.


We’re next greeted by his neighbors. Charlotte O’Neill (Virginia Madsen), a single mother and her three young daughters. The movie’s dialogue quickly establishes itself in the cinematic comedic styling of do as I say, not as I do. Virginia tells her youngest (Flora) to not waste water (pre fire) after learning Finneagan, the precocious middle daughter, splashed Willow, the disinterested oldest child, with water. And then playfully sprays her from the hose.

 

 
Morgan Freeman, Emma Fuhrmann / THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE (Magnolia Pictures)


As Monte bristles at being helped into his wheelchair from the truck to the home next door (yup, he’s loud), his ire catches the attention of O’Neill’s. As they venture over to look, Charlotte advises her daughters that “it is not polite to stare.” Of course they look back (accompanied by a twang of a guitar score). The movie is written by Guy Thomas whose previous film screenplay credit dates back to 1980’s WHOLLY MOSES, starring Dudley Moore and James Coco. Wholly Moses that is a long time ago!

 

I will say at this point, the movie wants us to dislike Monte (so he can start low and rise above), but give him, the movie (and this review) a chance...

 

Monte begrudgingly enters the small cottage (apparently it is free) and demonstrates he is an alcoholic by demanding Henry get him a mid-day (mid-morning?) drink. Henry hands him a full bottle, sans glass and then brings in Monte’s old classic typewriter (or as Monte calls her: “a black-hearted whore. And he’s done with her.”). We learn of Monte’s paradox as a former published writer of western novels after hearing a phone message from his agent leads to Henry’s encouragement him to respond:


Monte: Nobody cares about a writer nobody reads.
Henry: Nobody reads you because you don’t write.


Without caring for anyone or being cared about, Monte's drinking is getting in the way.

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Robert Pattinson in BEL AMI - Now On DemandJune 08, 2012


Robert Pattinson in BEL AMI - Now On Demand

IFC Films

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: BEL AMI (Magnolia).

 

BEL AMI
By Amy Slotnick

 

Paris in the 1890’s was the Belle Epoque, and all about aristocrats in lush, satin dresses and top hats, dancing at arms length while teasing sexual innuendos from beneath their corsets. Or at least this is how it is portrayed in BEL AMI, the new period drama based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant.

 



This is the setting where we find Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson), who recently returned from serving the military and now longs to be part of the rich life. Though he is without any money or talent, he does have the good looks needed to propel him to at least get a job as a journalist. Never mind that he can’t really write and is lazy about doing work. He soon realizes he is exceptionally good at something even more valuable – seduction.

 



Each rich (and married) woman he encounters, becomes his for the taking. He makes his way into the bedrooms of three main characters played by Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas. One steamy sex scene after the other, results in each woman falling in love with him with Georges unwilling to return much emotion. When he learns Thurman’s husband is ill, he strategically puts himself at the deathbed’s side, ready to propose marriage the moment her husband croaks. As the marriage and story progresses Georges becomes darker, jealous and more heartless, but still lustful and vain.
 

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VOD Spotlight: Chris Fisher, Writer/Director Of MEETING EVILJune 15, 2012


VOD Spotlight: Chris Fisher, Writer/Director Of MEETING EVIL

Magnet Releasing

On Demand Weekly spoke with writer / director Chris Fisher about his movie, MEETING EVIL (Magnet Releasing), starring Samuel L. Jackson and Luke Wilson now on demand.

 

On Demand Weekly (ODW): How did you come across the Thomas Berger novel that was the source of the film?
Chris Fisher (CF)
: Another director hired me to write the adaptation, however, once I got deep into the adaptation I realized that the other director didn't actually own the rights to the novel. So, I was in a bit of a predicament as all that I now could show for three months of work was a potential copyright infringement lawsuit. Disregarding the advice of my agents, I sent Thomas Berger and his agent a copy of the script and a letter basically pleading for an option on the novel that I could afford and since I was a struggling indie filmmaker I couldn't afford much more than a cup of coffee. We worked out a short-term deal with some definitive parameters for getting the project "setup" and after meeting those parameters I was able to do a more typical option/purchase deal for the novel.

 

 
Luke Wilson / MEETING EVIL (Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.)

ODW: Was the writing process different for you because you were adapting an existing work?
CF:
An adaptation is certainly a different process than writing an original script. In the case of a book as awesome as MEETING EVIL I think it's a much easier process. Everyone knows with a great book, there is more than enough interesting story to make a 90 minute movie. So alot of the process isn't creating so much as weeding out what might not be necessary. Everyone also knows that this filtering process is where most adaptations often go wrong.


Certainly I had to leave things out. But I wasn't attempting a beat-by-beat adaptation, but instead, I wanted to capture the spirit of Mr. Berger's noir/Western/magical realist fable if not the letter. Certainly there was also internal pressure to give this book and author whom I love and respect the credit they deserve. That was always at the back of my mind. Still, it was also my turn at bat so I took a swing. Also, and a slight diversion, but since so much "evil" has happened in the world since 1992, I felt like it was both timely and interesting to revisit Mr. Berger's themes.

ODW: What was the casting process? Did you write with Luke Wilson and Samuel L. Jackson in mind?

 

  

Samuel L. Jackson / MEETING EVIL )Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.)


CF:
The casting process was long and stagnant. Until Sam Jackson signed on. Then everything happened so fast I could barely tie my shoes. Once Sam was on board everybody wanted to do the picture. Sam made the movie happen even though I did not ever think of him for the role when I was writing... I did think of Luke when I was writing, however, as I knew that the audience must have some reason other than what's in the plot to like John Felton. And liking John Felton, at least a little bit, was necessary to get the audience hooked. On the likeability scale, Luke goes to 11.

ODW: Was the novel set in Louisiana or did you shoot there for financial reasons?

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A Little Ditty About JACK AND DIANE On DemandSeptember 28, 2012


A Little Ditty About JACK AND DIANE On Demand

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: JACK AND DIANE (Magnolia).

 

See the latest Independent Movie On Demand (IMOD) Trailers here...


 

JACK AND DIANE

By Melissa Chesman

I don’t get it. 


Not because I’m missing something (I only wish I were the culprit) but rather sadly because the film is. Touted as an indie-lesbian-werewolf-love story, the time spent reading that sentence is unfortunately more intriguing than the accrued time watching JACK AND DIANE.

 



Writer-director Bradley Rust Grey (THE EXPLODING GIRL) takes us through his teenage lesbian love story, from tomboy Jack and naïve-Brit Diane’s (the teenagers and thus the title of the movie) random love-at-first-sight encounter in New York City, through a languid, slightly tumultuous courtship where Jack learns Diane will soon leave her for school in Paris, and finally to the lovers’ settled long-distance reconciliation. Although actresses Juno Temple (Diane) and Riley Keough (Jack) make their sweet and lusty young love believable, the sluggish story and character development to match is simply, just- absolutely boring. Peeks into the teens’ backstories: Jack’s brother’s lovesick suicide, and Diane’s exile to France- so her co-dependent twin sister (back in England) can learn to stand on her own feet- provide the most interesting peaks, but the bulk of the film is stuck way down in the valley.

 



Although it doesn’t do very much to further plot or character, it is worth noting Kylie Minogue’s cameo as the heavily tattooed older woman Jack seems to return to when running from her feelings. The down-under pop-star also contributed to the soundtrack.

This is where you may be asking, “But what about the werewolves?” 

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A PLACE AT THE TABLEApril 09, 2013


A PLACE AT THE TABLE

Magnolia Pictures

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: A PLACE AT THE TABLE (Magnolia Pictures).

 

A PLACE AT THE TABLE

By Kim Gabelmann


A PLACE AT THE TABLE tackles the disturbing and mostly underreported story about hunger and starvation happening in the United States, today. Brought to us by Magnolia Pictures and also, Participant Media, who was involved in other notable documentaries, such as: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, FOOD INC and WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. Those films shed light on issues, such as the global warming, factory farming, and our education system. This time, A PLACE IN THE TABLE brings our attention to hunger, malnutrition and “food insecurity” that is plaguing 50 million American’s, 17 million whom are children, right now, yet an obesity epidemic simultaneously.
 
Jeff Bridges

The term, “food Insecurity” means that you may not know where or how your next meal is coming from, for you and/or the members of the household. The film examines this issue by focusing on three Americans, Barbie a single mother of two in Philadelphia, a Colorado fifth grader, named Rosie who depends on neighbors to feed her and, a Mississippi second grader, named Tremonica whose lack of access to healthy foods is yielding health issues, such as asthma and severe obesity for her age. All of these stories provide insight into everyday American’s who are scraping by, and forced to eat mainly processed foods that are lacking in nutrients. Yet, many of these same people look as though they are the opposite of hungry. How can a state like Mississippi be the state with the highest rate of obesity and also have the highest level of residents experiencing “food insecurity”?

It is questions like these, filmmakers Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine as they interweave a combination of real people and recognizable faces throughout the film. The film is a high quality production, is beautifully shot and has a great original score, which makes for great viewing. But, mostly the film grabs our attention through the use of graphics, statistics and well-informed perspective’s of experts on the subject.

“I think when people hear the term hunger, they still imagine a skinny undernourished human being, they see the pictures of famine victims in the sub Sahara of Africa, that’s the image we carry around” says author, Janet Poppendieck (Sweet Charity?). Ms. Poppendieck and other experts shed a light on this surprising issue that is plaguing 1 in 6 American families, according to the USDA. 
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BEST NIGHT EVER - Now On DemandDecember 27, 2013


BEST NIGHT EVER - Now On Demand

BEST NIGHT EVER (Magnolia Pictures)

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: BEST NIGHT EVER (Tribeca Film).

 

Click Here To View ODW's Monthly Movie On Demand Preview On Our Home Page

 

BEST NIGHT EVER
By Kate Asche Wilson

 

Vegas. Who doesn’t love the Vegas? I fondly recall the first time I ever set foot on The Strips sacred ground. A mere twelve years old, uncertain as to why a greasy fifty-year-old man handed me a call girl card. Uncertain as to what a call girl exactly was. Ah the sweet embrace of youth.

Now I’m much more jaded and understand where my childhood trauma stems from, but that doesn’t stop me from loving BEST NIGHT EVER. Now if you’re one of the few that doesn’t enjoy the subtle complexities of penis tiaras and Jell-O wrestling than turn back now. Seriously go watch 12 YEARS A SLAVE and ogle the mastery of filmmaking. But if you’re in the mood for mockumentary bachelorette shenanigans and NSFW debauchery than this is the film for you.

BEST NIGHT EVER is brought to you by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the brave men behind all of those questionable parody films. It’s true they’re no Trey and Matt, but with such film artistry as VAMPIRES SUCK did you really expect them to be? Despite their background BEST NIGHT EVER exceeded my expectations. Although it would be hard for me to not love a lady comedy that is essentially a BACHELORETTE/PROJECT X mash up.

Documenting the bachelorette party from the beginning road trip, we are first introduced to our four leading ladies: Claire, the sweet bride to be, Zoe, the wild best friend, Leslie, the resident uptight older sister, and Janet, our beautiful blond disaster. Holy stereotypes, Batman! But the good thing about stereotypes is that they’re based in truth, and these four women are so fun to watch as they get into outrageous situations including altercations with wayward valets, cancelled credit cards, and horribly stained hotel rooms.

 



Now it’s time to break this down into the good, the bad, and raucously racy.

The Good:

The outrageous absurdity of the situation. I keep viewing these insane bachelorette films and let me tell you if my bachelorette party does not hold up to them there will be hell to pay. I want to relate to one crazy night of nuttiness that I can tell drunken stories about in my old age to my disinterested grandkids. That is the kind of night I want, and this film encapsulates that level of absurdity to a tee. The mockumentary style of filming is also a huge plus and makes you feel that this craziness could actually happen to you. 

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