Seth Meyers’ THE AWESOMES - A Hulu Original SeriesNovember 21, 2013

Seth Meyers’ THE AWESOMES - A Hulu Original Series

The Awesomes (Hulu)

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 Awesomes" (Hulu).

EXCLUSIVE: Read Director Joel Schroeder's  8 Things He’d Like You to Know About Calvin & Hobbes here...


By Joe Charnitski


What did you think of this year’s summer superhero movies?

Iron-Man came back for the third time (not including his appearance in THE AVENGERS) and Superman was reinvented, for at least the third time (not including his TV work). Wolverine broke away from the X-Men to release a solo adventure, and even The Lone Ranger (ok, he doesn’t have super powers, but I think the premise still applies) galloped across cinema screens once again. As long as we keep paying, and IRON MAN 3 made north of $400 million, Hollywood will keep playing the super hero card, as they have for decades.

The creators of Hulu’s new animated series “The Awesomes” are hoping that all of this experience with heroes, villains, civilizations in peril and all that will make us appreciate their comedic, but not fully satiric, take on the genre. The series follows the adventures of Prock (voiced by series creator SETH MEYERS) a low grade hero who has inherited a Justice League-type band of superfriends from his father, Mr. Awesome, after his recent retirement. Mr. Awesome’s team doesn’t believe the young professor and doctor (thus, Prock) has the right stuff, so they quit the team. A federal government bureaucrat alerts Prock that he will lose his funding from Uncle Sam if he doesn’t put together a band of formidable super crime fighters.

Over the course of the first episodes Prock does build a team, and they have some impressive strengths, but also some wacky weaknesses. Can this team of misfits save the world from the evil likes of Doctor Malocchio (voiced by SNL alum Bill Hader)? Can Prock ever live up to his father’s legend, or even to the competition from everyone’s favorite big hero on campus, Perfect Man? 

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MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS - The Documentary Featuring The National Premieres On DemandMarch 28, 2014

MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS - The Documentary Featuring The National Premieres On Demand


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: MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS (Starz Digital Media & Abramorama).


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


By Joe Charnitski

I think we can all relate to rivalry, sibling or otherwise. We’ve all had someone in our lives, relative or not, who nudges us towards jealousy and insecurity by their very existence: the friend with the more successful career, the know-it-all acquaintance who’s the first to hear about everything cool, the colleague who never shows stress under deadline.

At first glance, this idea of rivalry is at the center of the new documentary MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS. After a full viewing, though, this doc is about a lot more.
The National

 Matt Berninger is the lead singer of the indie rock treasure The National. He has decided to invite his younger, and certainly less successful brother, Tom, to join the band on tour as a roadie. He could probably use the work, so it’s a nice offer. Tom accepts but with two ulterior motives: 1) he’s an aspiring filmmaker and a documentary about his brother’s band sounds like a great project, and 2) he thinks he’s about to party and bond with Matt all around the world. Matt sees this tour as work, not play, and tries to make it clear to Tom that he too must take his roadie gig seriously.

The best way to describe the dynamic between the two brothers
is to think of a hipster version of Bradley Cooper’s character in THE HANGOVER
going on tour with Zach Galifinakas’ character in the same film.
Tom clearly looks up to Matt, and desires affirmation from his brother. Matt clearly loves Tom, and is rooting for him to find a joyful, independent path in life. But, for most of the film, they kind of miss each other’s targets.

Tom is such an unintentionally funny character to watch. His interview segments of the doc are terrible due to his rambling questions, if a question even exists in his stumbling speeches. His inability to focus and his adolescent point of view made it almost difficult to believe this was a pure documentary and not played up for the cameras. I don’t mean any of this as a criticism of the movie.

The movie is hilarious because of how bad Tom seems to be at making a doc and being a roadie, or an adult for that matter. If you were a Saturday Night Live fan in the 90’s, you’ll think of The Chris Farley Show, just like I did.
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BESIDE STILL WATERS - On DemandNovember 20, 2014



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: BESIDE STILL WATERS (Tribeca Film).

A group of childhood friends reunite after one member of the circle experiences the sudden death of his parents in a car accident in the indie film BESIDE STILL WATERS. It’s Daniel (Ryan Eggold, THE BLACKLIST) who’s lost his folks and the gang meets at his family lake house one last time before all is packed up and the house is sold. This is a location filled with nostalgia for everyone, and now it’s simmering with the intense need for mourning, and plenty of guilt as none of Daniel’s friends made it to the funeral.



THE BIG CHILL will certainly come to mind as you watch this film: old friends together again in a remote location, recent death in the air, past relationships rekindled. The kinds of conflicts you’d expect from such a scenario are on display early. Daniel’s ex-girlfriend Olivia (Britt Lower) arrives with a new fiance in tow, played by Reid Scott (VEEP). Martin and Abby are the married couple who have seen their passions cool, although Martin hopes this weekend can turn up the heat. Some of the pack have become successful, like reality TV star James (Brett Dalton, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.). Other are struggling, like Tom (Beck Bennett, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE) who was fired by his Dad just before the trip.

Overall the film succeeds in stirring up wistful longing for days gone by, like any sentimental story of this kind should. It does fall into some stereotypical traps, though. For example, a musical montage of the hilarious, drunken fun everyone is having during their first night in the house. One segment built around a drinking game named Whiskey Slaps is the comedic highlight of the film. If you can’t guess what a Whiskey Slap is, you’ll pick it up quickly once you see the concept in action.

Despite some of its emotional missteps, the film does hit a few notes exactly right. During a one conversation a character offers the cliche, “All’s fair in love and war” to which Tom questions, “What do we know about love and war?” A poignant commentary on this privledged pack. Director Chris Lowell also created a device wherein we see Danilel’s stream of consciousness memories in a quick series of black and white images. It’s the best choice from a craft/chatacter perspective in the film, and it continues to add dimension to Daniel through the picture.



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