Jennifer Lopez’s South Beach Tow (VOD Hidden Gem)April 13, 2012

Jennifer Lopez’s South Beach Tow  (VOD Hidden Gem)


Media savant T Tara Turk goes deep inside cable TV to reveal Video On Demand's Hidden Gems so even the busiest of our readers can get the most out of On Demand TV. Tell Tara what VOD shows you think deserves her attention.


South Beach Tow (VOD Hidden Gem)

By T. Tara Turk


Maybe I live in a world where dragon eggs get hatched (“Game of Thrones”), Schmidts sleep with CeCes (“New Girl”) and Palins host Today shows but man I have never seen the wranglings of folks who fight to keep from getting their car towed. Now, I do admit to catching the occasional rerun of “Operation Repo.” TruTV’s resident repo show, but apparently the final season aired in 2011 only to be replaced by “South Beach Tow”, produced by Jennifer Lopez under her Nuyorican Productions. Not any Jennifer Lopez. THE Jennifer Lopez.


“Operation Repo” was your standard family business, folks running into regular folks who hadn’t paid their car note. But this South Beach Tow has tipped the scales to crazy dot com. I thought maybe it was going to be an upscale towing company dealing with Real Housewives of Miami who park in handicap spots. THIS is not the case. These are folks who don’t pay their note, who park in the middle of parking lots, who block people in, who curse loudly, use racial epithets, jump on tow trucks to block them, spray paint vehicles, steal the tow trucks....holy insane asylum, Batman.


The antics are so high on this show that I almost believe these folks are planted. Anything is possible as any one of these car owners could be an extra in GIGLI (yes, I went there). How else could the camera catch one of the car owners stealing the tow truck from the POV of the truck? I know. Reality TV that’s not real. Shocking. That said, it’s hard to stop watching - make that it’s hard to divert your eyes from the shenanigans. Everytime you want to walk away, there’s another loud commotion or utterly ridiculous moment of behavior captured that refuses to let you turn away. It’s like the Jerry Springer of towing and Jerry Springer led to a musical on the West End...I’m just saying.

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Cheers to DRINKING BUDDIES On DemandAugust 25, 2013

Cheers to DRINKING BUDDIES On Demand

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: DRINKING BUDDIES (Magnolia).


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



By Chris Claro

Mumblecore practitioner Joe Swanberg graduates to the world of enunciation, decent lighting and professional grade cameras with his latest, DRINKING BUDDIES. The story of Luke and Kate, each attached but attracted to each other, DRINKING BUDDIES is a good example of what happens when a specialty filmmaker tries his hand at a genre piece. How does the filmmaker acquit himself when toiling in the field of romcom?

After Kate (Olivia Wilde, THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE) is dumped by Chris, (Ron Livingston, DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS) she finds herself leaning on her friends, couple Luke (Jake Johnson, NEW GIRL) and Jill (Anna Kendrick, THE COMPANY YOU KEEP) for support. Gradually, Luke and Kate begin to acknowledge that what is going on between them might be more than just friendship.

Swanberg, to his credit, subverts the expectations of romantic comedy by having his characters actually talk to each other about the ramifications of coupling and betrayal as opposed to acting on them. Instead of having people jump into bed with the first person who crosses their paths, the characters actually consider the effects their actions would have on their mates. Though it makes for a chatty flick, it’s refreshing to see mature, adult dialogue coming from the mouths of the protagonists and all the more impressive because the actors improvised all of it.

In addition to the upgraded production values, Swanberg works with recognizable, mainstream actors in DRINKING BUDDIES, another element that makes it one of his most accessible works to date. Wilde and Johnson, workmates in a craft brewery, have an easy rapport and each is immensely appealing. Kendrick uses her uptight attractiveness skillfully, wanting to give Luke his space but terrified that she may lose him. Even an unbilled Jason Sudeikis, Wilde’s betrothed, makes an impression in his brief appearance as another brewery employee.

DRINKING BUDDIES is that rare comedy that doesn’t condescend and appeals to both genders, a credit to its no-villains bipartisanship. Swanberg avoids cliché by making each of the characters realistically flawed and human – no one is an asshole, as often occurs in mainstream romantic comedies as a means of allowing the audience to understand why the wronged lead character is considering straying.
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