It’s Time To CHOOSE (Review & Interview)March 17, 2011


It’s Time To CHOOSE (Review & Interview)

IFC Films

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: CHOOSE (IFC Midnight), below the interview.

 

Editor's Note: On Demand Weekly interviewed CHOOSE producer Allen Bain about the film and distriubting it on VOD.

 

ON DEMAND WEEKLY: You’ve been a part of many films [including MANITO, XX/XY, CAMP]. What prompted you to produce a horror film?
ALLEN BAIN: I've been a  horror fan since I first saw HALLOWEEN as a pre-teen. I believe that horror is a great medium to explore serious social issues while keeping the audience entertained (and scared). CHOOSE is really a movie that poses the question of  nature vs nurture if you think about it. 
 
CHOOSE (IFC Midnight)
CHOOSE (IFC Midnight)
 
ODW: How are you promoting CHOOSE to the at home, Video On Demand [VOD] audience?
AB: The fun thing about CHOOSE is that it's not over when the end credits roll.  The movie will keep you asking yourself what choice would I make when presented the impossible choice. It's a game we all play in our daily routine.  We are promoting the film and the concept together.
 
ODW: What is the advantage of watching films at home on VOD?
AB: I've been producing films for over a decade and when I started people had these giant, heavy TV's with small screens. Now most people have big, sleek, HD flat screens, and home stereo systems.
 
Hollywood is constantly trying to one-up itself in regards to spectacle so that it can get seats filled in the local theaters. Everyone seems upset that the DVD market is dying, let it die and let's move on. VOD is the ultimate form of instant gratification. The quality is close to what you get in a theater, the price is reasonable and the convenience is unbeatable.

 

It's Time To CHOOSE
By Lorisa Bates

 
With a dark and gloomy ecstatic, CHOOSE immediately reminded me of SAW. Director Marcus Graves quickly pulls the audience into an opening scene which explores the whole notion of choice and consequence. 
 
The film opens with a loving suburban family whose life is turned upside down when a masked psychopath forces the teenage daughter to decide which of her parents will live and which one will die.  When she refuses to choose, a gun is place to her younger brother’s head, and she reluctantly blurts out her choice. The deranged killer takes his sick game even further when he makes her stab the parent of choice to death.  
 
Flash forward. We meet journalist student Fiona Wagner (Katheryn Winnick) and her father Tom (Kevin Pollack) the local Sheriff investigating random crimes throughout his suburban town. He and his young detective piece together evidence that link these heinous scenes to the same unknown psychopath.
 
CHOOSE (IFC Midnight)
CHOOSE (IFC Midnight)
Read More

BLOOMINGTON DemandJune 02, 2011


BLOOMINGTON Demand

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: BLOOMINGTON (FilmBuff).

 

BLOOMINGTON
By Amy Slotnick

 

BLOOMINGTON is a coming of age drama about Jackie, a former child actress (played by Sarah Stouffer) who attends college in the mid-west to find independence from her acting career in Los Angeles. However blending in with the student body proves to be more difficult than Jackie expects. Her peers seem to only be interested in her as a celebrity but don’t show much genuine interest in being her friend.

At a meeting for the psychology department Jackie meets Professor Catherine Stark (played by Allison McAtee), a beautiful teacher in her 30s who is rumored to seduce her students. Despite warnings from others, Jackie is quickly enamored with Catherine and without any hesitation, they begin an intense and sexual romance. Jackie leaves school for a job in LA and the distance from Catherine, complicates their relationship.

 

Read More

SLACKISTANJune 02, 2011


SLACKISTAN

FilmBuff

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: SLACKISTAN (FilmBuff).

 

SLACKISTAN On Demand

By Sky McCarthy

Few films coming from the Middle East focus on the inner turmoil of bored youths. Such a genre is frequently associated with young American directors and writers seeking to capture the backlash of living in a capitalist society with forgone ideals. In a region so mired by political turmoil, it is easy to forget that millions of people in this cultural region are probably living the same boring lives as any suburban American.

SLACKISTAN follows the intermingled stories of five privileged Pakistani teens as they struggle with young adulthood in a society deprived of any opportunity for forward thinking individuals. Instead of dwelling on the political instability, however, director Hammad Khan focuses on the various insecurities faced by his protagonists – ultimately creating a universally relatable story.

 



Hasan, the story’s leading male, is an aspiring filmmaker who struggles throughout the film to find an intriguing topic. His difficulty in pinning down a subject matter reflects every character’s inability to succeed at anything post-university while also mirroring the disturbing lack of cinema to come from the Middle East in recent decades. Despite no obvious obscenities (to Western eyes), SLACKISTAN has yet to be released in Pakistan due its use of the word “lesbian” and infrequent, but heavy, drinking.

Read More

HELLO LONESOME, Hi On DemandJune 02, 2011


HELLO LONESOME, Hi On Demand

Film Movement

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: HELLO LONESOME (Film Movement).

 

HELLO LONESOME, Hi On Demand
By Adam Schartoff

 

Three stories about isolation and the desire to connect; provocative, funny and painful all at the same time. These stories are woven together to create HELLO LONESOME, Adam Reid’s debut feature film.

In one storyline, shallow on-line gambler Gordon (Nate Smith) meets pretty Debby (Sabrina Lloyd) through an Internet dating service. Whether its Debby’s charm or her wide screen television —one’s never sure initially— it isn’t long before Gordon has moved in. When Debby discovers that she is ill, will Gordon rise to the occasion or make a dash for the door?

 



In a second storyline, widow Eleanor (Lynn Cohen, Magda from SEX AND THE CITY) has lost her driver’s license due to her failing vision. She ends up relying on her young single next-door neighbor, Gary (James Urbaniak) for more than just trips to the supermarket.

 



Lastly, aging voice over actor Bill (Harry Chase) has to talk his postal deliveryman Omar (Kamel Boutros) for social time and an overnight play date from his black book to fill the void of actual family relationships. Recording out of his built-in studio doesn’t help his sense of claustrophobia, even though he lives in the middle of the woods.

Read More

Rashida Jones in MONOGAMY On DemandJune 08, 2011


Rashida Jones in MONOGAMY On Demand

Oscilliscope Labs

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: MONOGAMY (Oscilliscope).

 

Rashida Jones in MONOGAMY On Demand
By Amy Slotnick

 

Wedding photographer Theo (Chris Messina) has developed a side business that appeals to his inner voyeur. He offers to “Gumshoot,” for people, meaning to take verite style photos of paying strangers while hiding from their vision. People hire him to capture on film what they are like in their real life, a contrast to the artificial poses of the wedding parties that occupies Theo’s day job.

Theo and his finance, Nat (Rashida Jones: PARKS AND RECREATION), seem content and comfortable in their Brooklyn life together. Sure, maybe they don’t have sex as much as Theo would like, but Nat’s a beautiful, smart and artistic partner who seems to truly love him. However, Theo’s latest Gumshoot project, photographing a woman who calls herself Subgirl, begins to distract him from the relationship.

 


Subgirl entices Theo by refusing to speak with him directly, communicating only through email, and then plans to have Theo photograph her from afar, while she masturbates in a public park. Theo’s interest in Subgirl is piqued and though she doesn’t know why, Nat can sense Theo’s distance.
 

Read More

On Demand Welcomes THE PERFECT HOSTJune 08, 2011


On Demand Welcomes THE PERFECT HOST

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: 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.

 

Read More

FIRE IN BABYLON On Demand - Viv Richards InterviewJune 29, 2011


FIRE IN BABYLON On Demand - Viv Richards Interview

Tribeca Films

The following interview of Sir Vivian Richards (West Indies Cricketing Team: 1974 - 1991 & Team Captain: 1984 - 1991) is courtesy of Tribeca Films for their film FIRE IN BABYLON (now available on demand). - ODW.

 
 

The West Indies cricketing team of the '70s/'80s will forever be recognised in history as one of the greatest teams in the world, performing on the field at an outstanding level, playing with a symbolic declaration against racism and fighting for equality. Did you ever put down the success on the field to luck?
I can tell you, we worked hard enough to get where we wanted to get at that time. It wasn‟t a luck thing. This was all about the fact that we were fitter, [had a] sense of professionalism and also there was a sense of all that pride, and putting that combination of all those things together created that team.


Your team's success was during a time of race-riots, civil unrest and Apartheid. Did you feel all that happening when you were on the field and how did you use the game to not just overcome it, however help other people suffering this injustice?
You are conscious [of it], everywhere where you had suffering of people of your colour, South Africa, wherever, I always felt conscious about it. For anyone in the team who wasn‟t aware of some of this stuff that was going on worldwide and where we, as people were on the wrong end of the stick most times, it was pretty common for me to try as an individual, to try and instil some of this belief – what we are here for and what we can achieve. We have an avenue to accomplish that and that avenue is the god-given talent we were given through the game of cricket.


So that was one way of sending that message that I think we are on an equal par in here, not superior or inferior in any way but on a level par.


As well as your cricketing talent, you are held in great esteem for refusing to play in South Africa during the apartheid, despite them offering you a „blank cheque.‟ How important was it for you to take a stand as a West Indian Cricketer and publically reject the regime?
At that time they were rather desperate because they were starved of international cricketers or sportsmen of high standards.

I think [they] felt confident that I would sign but I wanted to find out a few things - one of the things that was on the table was being an „honorary white‟. How can a black man be an honorary white man? No money in this world would help me go to South Africa in that sense. If I was to give them my natural status. I was going to sit anywhere on a train I wanted to sit. I was going to go anywhere that I wanted to go. That is the privilege of human beings so there were a few things on the table that just didn‟t feel right.

 

When we look at the South Africa situation, I was offered a lot of money to tour that part of the world [but] because of what was going on in South Africa in terms of the apartheid regime… all that to me whatever you achieve as a cricketer, I would like to think that is one of my greatest innings – rather than scoring that at Lords or the ARG - to have made such a significant contribution, it may be tiny, but having said no to the apartheid regime in South Africa, not going, that to me is worth more than any triple century, double century whatever, the fastest century. And that is outside the border of cricket of where cricket is concerned – cricket gave me the platform for that.


The West Indies is a collection of several islands, however when people talk about it, they often refer to the nations represented in the West Indies Cricket team. As citizens of different countries, did you feel united on the field not only playing the game, but also representing unity and fighting against persecution?

I can tell you one thing is [that] when we are playing and got on that field we put aside all the differences and the issues that the islands had, and to me I felt at the time what our politicians couldn‟t achieve we could… and did actually, in the end. Bringing that force together, uniting that region together itself. Wherever the West Indies were performing, wherever we were, the closeness of all the islands, all in partnership wanting to know what went on. I think our team played a lot in the so-called integrating factor. Whoever said sport is not a powerful force?


I can tell you that sport is seriously powerful because I have been involved in that to see the transformation of individuals who come speaking to you, individuals who are passionately tell you how much they enjoy what you guys are doing out there because collectively everyone could speak as a unit. The West Indies cricket did that more than anything else in my opinion.


I felt that, I felt a huge responsibility. Because whenever you perform, I could always imagine the noise of the various islands. I could see, just visually see the passion and how people felt about the achievement.


With colonialism, the English also brought over cricket, which essentially the West Indies used to battle them. Did it make you and the team feel proud by beating them at their own game?
Well you shouldn‟t have been the colonial master that you did, then by coming and giving us an opportunity to [learn]. So we were fortunate to be given an opportunity and help through our colonial past to play the game – and this is the opportunity that you gave us! How I look at it in this light is that having invaded our land you left a game and we became reasonably good at it. That‟s one benefit! [smiles]


You should look at it that way, that you actually had a foot in it. Rather than be totally ignorant to the fact of what are these guys doing in this game of cricket and been doing this and doing that. You should be satisfied you gave us the opportunity – these are things you expected to do especially when you were colonial masters then and these are the things you should have done and did and should feel proud of.

 
 

Viv Richards / FIRE IN BABYLON (Tribeca Film)
Read More


THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER - Now On DemandJuly 27, 2011


THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER - 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: THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER (IFC Films).

 

THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER - Now On Demand
By Amy Slotnick

 

Director David Mitchell’s debut feature film explores the familiar landscape of a summer spent in suburbia, when community pools, bike riding and sleepovers dominate the life of the American teen. In THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER, Mitchell’s characters exist in a non-descript time period, in which cell phones, texting and online anything is avoided. This helps to make the lazy, long days of the non-working teen, waiting for high school to start, seem almost mythic.

 



Films such as AMERICAN GRAFFITI and DAZED AND CONFUSED are clear influences, but unlike those films, Mitchell avoids any strong plot devices to drive the narrative. Instead the film recalls familiar feelings and a mood to which many can relate.

Four main storylines play out simultaneously on one long, hot day at the end of summer in a generic, mid-western suburb. Adults are absent and it seems like every kid in the town is heading to a sleepover party. But the characters each have their own motives for the night, none of which involve sleeping.

 



Maggie (Claire Sloma) likes the lifeguard at the town pool, but also wants the burn out kid to like her. She and her sidekick friend ditch the sleepover and head on their bikes to a party by the lake, to find the boys, drink beer and go for a late night swim.

Read More

CULTURES OF RESISTANCE - On DemandAugust 03, 2011


CULTURES OF RESISTANCE - On Demand

SnagFilms

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: CULTURES OF RESISTANCE (SnagFilms).

CULTURES OF RESISTANCE - On Demand
We Shall Overcome by singing, dancing, painting, writing….
By Jean Tait

 

Art can be a powerful tool. In CULTURE OF RESISTANCE (CoR), a documentary feature directed by Iara Lee and produced by George Gund, we get to see that power at work. CoR highlights the work of artists, musicians, and dancers throughout the world who are working for peace and justice, and are re-conceiving resistance as a fundamentally creative act.

To see artists risking their lives and well-being to make important statements is always scary, yet exhilarating, and when the work is impressive as well, it becomes awe-inspiring.

In an attempt to show such a variety of artists (musicians, dancers, graffiti artists, cartoonists, painters, filmmakers, etc.), in a multitude of countries and regions, the filmmakers bite off a little more than the audience can chew. Rather disjointed and jarring in the transitions, it is nonetheless a powerful film.

 

Read More

Ashley Judd And Patrick Dempsey Break Into On DemandAugust 03, 2011


Ashley Judd And Patrick Dempsey Break Into On Demand

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: FLYPAPER (IFC Films).

 

FLYPAPER - On Demand
By Amy Slotnick

 

FLYPAPER is a hybrid that combines the heist film genre with comedy, in which two teams of bank robbers descend on the same bank at the same time, while the bank’s security system is down for several hours of upgrade.

The bank robbing teams are opposites - one is a group of sleek, seasoned criminals with the equipment and experience to do the job, and the other is a pair of hillbillies who lack any clue as to what they are doing. The two groups resolve to work together and share the hostages, who include Patrick Dempsey as a charismatic savant, and Ashley Judd, as a practical and beautiful bank teller.

 



As people begin to be mysteriously killed, Dempsey’s character pieces together that another burglar with his/her own agenda exists among them. Like in an Agatha Christie story, he is able to solve the whodunit by process of elimination. However the plot has some holes and lacks suspense and believability.

Read More

Edie Falco Is In Your BackyardAugust 03, 2011


Edie Falco Is In Your Backyard

Screen Media

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: 3 BACKYARDS (Screen Media).

 

3 BACKYARDS - On Demand
By Amy Slotnick

 

Two-time winner of Sundance’s directing award, Eric Mendelsohn follows up his first feature film JUDY BERLIN, with the poetic drama, 3 BACKYARDS.

3 BACKYARDS follows three interwoven stories, all set during one autumn day in a quaint Long Island town. A businessman, a housewife and a child are the main characters all of whom appear at first as very familiar archetypes.

 



Observing them as they go on brief but emotional journeys, we witness each find something unexpected. Their stories are connected by the theme that unseen, and sometimes secret, happenings can be found in one’s metaphoric backyard.

 

Read More

Go Ask Alice When She Is On DemandAugust 10, 2011


Go Ask Alice When She Is On Demand

Eurocinema

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: DEAR ALICE (Eurocinema).

 

DEAR ALICE
A universal story reminds us that life is just about six degrees of separation….

By Cynthia Kane

 

What might attract most U.S. audiences to DEAR ALICE is that Danny Glover plays one of the principal roles in this ensemble cast. What I love about his performance is that he once again proves himself a formidable actor and that the egoistic hand of Hollywood stardom has never blemished him as an artist.

Why is he acting in a Swedish film, one might ask? Why not? Swedish director Othman Karim does come with some clout. His 2005 OH, SARA won top awards at the Moscow International Film Festival and introduced Alexander Skarsgård (HBO’s TRUE BLOOD) to the world.

 



The story takes place one ordinary day in Stockholm where four persons’ lives - four persons struggling with major, but to others seemingly trivial, issues - invariably mesh, collide circumstantially and change each other’s life paths forever.

A Gambian immigrant, Franzis Namazi (Danny Glover) trying to bring his family to live with him in Sweden struggles with the right to stay and with economic breakdown, unable to keep his little shop selling African tchotchkes and art afloat; a former television star, Bosse (Ulf Brunnberg) is suddenly replaced by a younger, ethnically diverse star at Swedish Television, only to find his beloved wife is deceiving him with a younger version of himself; a husband and father, Moses Said (Peter Gardiner) who himself is a first generation African-Swede attempts to deal with his wife’s ascendency in the corporate legal world, while attempting to send money to his hospitalized father in a village in Uganda – the transaction held up by the international forces considering that anyone with the name of Moses Said must be sending money to fund terrorist activities; his blonde Swedish wife, Karin Carlsson-Said (Tuva Novotny) faces her first day as a corporate law partner, only to discover her new partners insist she drop her Muslim husband’s surname; the final connecting element that bonds them forever is a narcissistic and troubled actor, Hakan (Stefan Sauk, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) ignores the warnings of his lawyer, Karin, and sets off on an alcoholic rampage.

Read More

AUTOEROTIC - Mumblcore On DemandAugust 24, 2011


AUTOEROTIC - Mumblcore On Demand

IFC Films

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: AUTOEROTIC (IFC Films)


 

Click Here For On Demand Weekly's Exclusive Interview With Director Joe Swanberg

 

 

AUTOEROTIC - Mumblcore On Demand
By Chris Claro

 

The genre that forces you to crank the volume all the way up, mumblecore, marches on with AUTOEROTIC, directed by Joe Swanberg (UNCLE KENT) and Adam Wingard, a rambling and digressive examination of the sexual foibles of a group of Chicagoans. Swinging wildly from outrageous farce to creepy voyeurism to – one or two – moments of tenderness, the film is explicit, prurient, and not the least bit sexy.

 



Using naturalistic settings and lighting, Swanberg and Wingard, who wrote the script with Simon Barrett, dive deep into dysfunction, shining a light on a panoply of sexual maladies, including chronic masturbation, anaorgasmia, online porn addiction, and self-asphyxiation as sexual aide. It’s all as much fun as it sounds, and it features a crew of self-absorbed hipsters who make sex look about as inviting as a visit to the DMV.

The film opens with a vignette featuring a guy who thinks he isn’t packing enough to satisfy his girlfriend. Despite her assurance that he’s wrong, the guy breaks up with her and starts a regimen of penis enlargement pills. Satisfied with the initial results, he starts popping them by the jarful. When it appears he’s about to score with a girl, she runs, screaming and naked, from his monster member (which is never shown on camera).

Read More

IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONTAugust 31, 2011


IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT

Oscilliscope Labs

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: IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT (Oscilliscope).

 

IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT

By John Werner
 

The FBI called the Earth Liberation Front, or ELF, one of the most dangerous groups in the country. To illustrate that point, Academy-award nominated director, Marshall Curry opens his documentary with a series of news reports about domestic terrorism. A ski resort burns to the ground, a lumber mill engulfed in flames, more buildings scorched and a press conference by law enforcers celebrating the end of ELF activities.

Daniel McGowan, one of fourteen members of ELF arrested, was working for Marshall Curry’s wife when he was busted. It’s how the director was introduced to his subject.

At first, I thought McGowen wasn’t what you might expect a domestic terrorist to look or sound like. In fact, this unlikely, (and for me unlikable,) protagonist of “IF A TREE FALLS,” initially seems like a pretty ordinary guy. Raised by a NYC cop in Queens, a catholic high school track star, he’d never even been camping until about the time he became an Eco-Terrorist.

 

Read More

Helen Mirren In Graham Greene’s BRIGHTON ROCKAugust 31, 2011


Helen Mirren In Graham Greene’s BRIGHTON ROCK

IFC Films

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: BRIGHTON ROCK (IFC Films).

 

BRIGHTON ROCK On Demand
By Chris Claro

 

In his adaptation of Graham Greene’s BRIGHTON ROCK, writer-director Rowan Joffe resets the noirish story of a low-level hood named Pinkie to early-60s England, against the background of the Mods vs. Rockers riots that gave rise to both the hippie and the skinhead movements. With the time shift, Joffe is able to take advantage of the styles and music of the era while reinforcing the timelessness of Greene’s violent tale of murder and deceit.

Sullen, violent, but oh-so-seductive Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley, CONTROL) finds himself in trouble after accidentally killing a member of a rival gang. To prove his innocence, Pinkie insinuates himself into the life of waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY), confiding in her about the murder and convincing her to marry him. Rose, under Pinkie’s hypnotic spell, does so, over the objections of Ida (Helen Mirren, RED), who sees Pinkie as the sociopath he is. True to the film’s noir roots, complications ensue and things end badly.

 

 

BRIGHTON ROCK is an odd duck: a middling thriller that almost seems more concerned with its production design than its modest story. True, the thin ties and period cars and Dave Clark Five tunes ground the film, but they also detract from a generally well-acted tale which calls to mind the moral dilemmas faced by characters in such contemporary stories of guilt and retribution as A SIMPLE PLAN and BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD.

As in those films, the slow build toward an inevitably dark conclusion saps BRIGHTON ROCK of some of its suspense, but Joffe compensates by coaxing strong performances from his actors. The Riley’s brooding Pinkie emanates a sinister sexiness that’s catnip to the naive Rose. Riseborough stands out as Rose, who becomes more mature and aware of herself even as she refuses to see Pinkie as anything but misunderstood.

 

Read More

Tribeca Film Is Back On Demand With GRAVE ENCOUNTERSAugust 31, 2011


Tribeca Film Is Back On Demand With GRAVE ENCOUNTERS

Tribeca Film

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: GRAVE ENCOUNTERS (Tribeca Film).

 

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS
Or why in the world would anyone spend the night in a creepy, abandoned mental hospital?!

By Cynthia Kane

 

Ghost stories will never go out of fashion. They’ve enthralled us humans since time began. We all like to be scared; we all like to watch a good thriller; we love horror. Paranormal activity, astral projection, zombies, vampires and connection with the dead are all the rage – see prime time television any night of the week.

So it doesn’t matter whether this film is real or a piece of fiction.

And oh boy… I expected to dislike GRAVE ENCOUNTERS – a kind of rip-off BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, mock-umentary, fake reality show, first-time directed by some guys called the Vicious Brothers.

But you know, I couldn’t help myself; I got into it. It’s scary.

Here we follow a small 20-something crew with a reality show on paranormal activity decides they’ll spend the night at the old and abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital somewhere in Maryland outside Baltimore. The investigating team arrive, already enjoying themselves, laughing, full of skepticism, even though the place purports to be a hotbed of weird, psychic and ghostly phenomenon, given the drastic and unsavory experiments practiced on patients in the 30s, 40s and 50s – lobotomies, weird experiments, etc.

 



We’re told the place was abandoned in the early 60s. Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) is our host. He’s invited a renowned (and bogus) psychic, Houston Gray (Mackenzie Gray) to spend the night with him, locked inside, roaming the halls, to claim to feel a presence or two.

They – the ghost hunters and crew – are having a good time of it, until their sound guy suddenly disappears. As they try to find him in the massive complex, what starts off as a quirky night for good ratings turns evil and twisted. Corridors turn into mazes that never end, staircases suddenly lead to nowhere.

Dark, gnarly tunnels and bathrooms with tubs filled with blood and human matter. The entrance doors are locked and the windows open and close at their own will. Objects move and floats, their food rots into disgusting slop. The night never seems to end.

Read More

Aaron Eckhart Is BILLSeptember 07, 2011


Aaron Eckhart Is BILL

Gravitas

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: MEET BILL (Gravitas).


MEET BILL
By Joe Charnitski

 

Many movies have centered on an upper middle class, lower middle aged man arriving at the point in his life when he realizes his marriage, his job, his habits and his lack of self-confidence all add up to a pointless, sad routine. He wonders, “What happened to me?”. You know the guy. He has more memories than dreams. He longs for the days when his wife was the wild child he met many years ago. He’s shocked when he sees himself on videotape and his overgrown gut dominates the frame. He’s also the title character in the comedy MEET BILL.

 



Aaron Eckhart (THE DARK KNIGHT, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) plays Bill, the insecure, candy obsessed EVP of Human Resources at the bank his father-in-law owns. That’s the only way he secured the job, of course. His wife Jess (Elizabeth Banks) has no respect for him, his brother-in-law (who also works at the bank) openly mocks and degrades him and his father-in-law can barely stand the disappointing sight of him. Things only get worse for Bill when he secretly tapes Jess having a tryst with local newsman Chip Johnson (Timothy Olyphant), and making jokes about her husband’s “little acorn.” Ouch. Encouraged by the prep school teenager (who remains unnamed throughout) he has agreed to mentor, our hero attempts to transform his look, his luck and his life.

 



Like many moviegoers, my first exposure to Aaron Eckhart

was in the role of Chad in Neil LaBute’s dark comedy

IN THE COMPANY OF MEN.

Bill is exactly the kind of man Chad would hate

(and then cruelly manipulate and take advantage of).

 

In the role of Chad, Eckhart was mean and brutal, but not without charm and the ability to make you laugh against your will. In the role of Bill, Eckhart seems uncomfortable and unsure. He tries too hard to play the schlub, just contorting his face and slouching a lot. He’s supposed to be a unique, lovable loser we all rally behind. Instead, he’s just sad, and he doesn’t make us laugh very much at all.

Read More

REBIRTH - A 9/11 Docuementary That Is More Than A FilmSeptember 21, 2011


REBIRTH - A 9/11 Docuementary That Is More Than A Film

Oscilloscope Labs

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: IREBIRTH (Oscilliscope).

 

REBIRTH

By John Werner

 

Tenth anniversary remembrances of 9/11 are everywhere, from a multitude of TV specials, radio retrospectives, newspaper reports to speeches and dedications. I even saw a commemorative car dealership ad. I dare say it’s ubiquitous and in some cases disquieting. As a result, I’ve been asking myself why ten years is so significant. Why do most of these TV specials and movies have to be released now? Why not five years ago? Or a year ago?

Then I saw REBIRTH, Jim Whitaker’s feature-length documentary, and remembered the adage, time heals all wounds and realized that this particular tribute couldn’t happen at a better time. REBIRTH has to be seen now. It is significant to the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 in a way that I’m not sure any other tribute could be. The film is a beautifully executed tribute to the strength of the human spirit and our amazing ability to heal.

 



Whitaker has been making the film for a decade following the lives of five people who suffered deeply from the events of that day - Nick a teenager the day his mother was killed; Brian, whose brother was a first responder; Tim, a firefighter who lost too many colleagues; Ling, a severely burned survivor from an impact floor and Tanya who lost her fiancé that day. Since 2002, they shared their life story, their living-history of 9/11, with Whitaker. REBIRTH also parallels the rebuilding of these lives with the rebuilding of ground zero featuring unique and ambitious multi-camera time-lapse footage of the site.

Read More

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON Invades VOD FridaySeptember 27, 2011


TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON Invades VOD Friday

Don't know what movie to watch on demand? Let On Demand Weekly help you browse through the New Movies On Demand (MOD) every week.

By Britt Bensen

 

MOVIES ON DEMAND

 

Movies On Demand Premiering This Week (September 26, 2011)



TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON – Premieres September 30

Name the Michael Bay movie. Explosion. Noise. Bad guys. Smart alek protagonist. More explosions. More noise. THE ROCK?

No. Space is a setting. ARMAGEDDON?

Nope. Features a babe. PEARL HARBOR? THE ISLAND? THE LIONEL RICHIE COLLECTION?

No, no and no. It's got robot on robot attacks. The Republican Debates?

No. The good guys have a moral compass. Oh, TRANSFORMERS! Which one?

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON without Megan Fox., but lucky for mankind Shia LaBeouf gets a new babe and is ready to fight the fight. Why else would the Autobots care?

There are some pretty cool explosions, if you're into that.
Shia LaBeouf, John Turturro
PG-13


Available On Demand the same day as DVD

 

 

And don't miss

 

PEARL JAM 20 – Premiered September 24

 

If you like PEARL JAM, then see the movie.
Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Layne Staley
NR, Documentary/Music


Same day as theatrical release

 

 

- Britt Bensen



Britt is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder of On Demand Weekly. He is the former head of Affiliate Marketing and VOD for Sundance Channel. Prior to Sundance Chanel, Britt worked for Miramax Films and BMI. He also on the Advisory Board of the Palo Alto Intl Film Festival.

 
You May Also Like...
Read More

Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

banner_160x600