Let Them Chirp Awhile: On DemandJanuary 19, 2010


Let Them Chirp Awhile: On Demand

FilmBuff

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews to hot movies on demand. This week, "Let Them Chirp Awhile" from FilmBuff on Time Warner Movies On Demand and Comcast TV.
 
New to the FilmBuff (a division of Cinetic Media) VOD channel programming (that has included such diverse indie titles as docu "The Carter," about Lil Wayne, Richard Linklater's "Slacker" and Rob Epstein's "The Times of Harvey Milk") comes "Let Them Chirp Awhile," the 2007 debut feature from (then) 23 year-old Jonathan Blitstein. "Chirp" is a 90-minute low-budget film shot with donated film stock and a 'family, friends and Mastercard' approach to post-NYU filmmaking.
 
The film centers around two work-challenged, late twenties daydreamers: Bobby (Justin Rice) and Scott (Brendan Sexton III). Bobby can't write a page but he has grand ideas. Scott listens to music but struggles to write his own. Along the way, Bobby loses a dog he was dogsitting and has to find a replacement. Scott leaks Bobby's idea to a hack playwright and it is used in a showcase. Scott breaks up with his girlfriend Michelle (Laura Breckenridge) and Bobby shares a romantic moment with her, ruining the chances of his own budding relationship with another woman. They have problems but one gets the feeling Bobby and Scott will be friends forever.
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SHOCK DOCTRINE - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film FestivalFebruary 04, 2010


SHOCK DOCTRINE - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Selects

Updated...
 
The Sundance Selects film label as part of the Direct from the Sundance Film Festival initiative chose three films being screened at the festival that simultaneously became available nationwide On Demand. "The Shock Doctrine" was one of them and made its North American premiere at Sundance and simultaneously On Demand January 28, 2010.
 
Directed by Mat Whitecross and Michael Winterbottom, based on the best-selling book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, this documentary seeks to illustrate the central thesis of the book: that the embrace of Milton Friedman's free market economic theories, mainly by the right has led to increasing exploitation of crises for profit by big business and governments in a manner analogous to insidious "shock therapy treatment."
 
The filmmakers put forth that followers of Friedman's ideas are very aware of the "utility of crisis." That is, shocks (war, natural disasters, etc.) make for a perfect environment to install free market policies where they were having trouble before.
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7 DAYS - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film FestivalFebruary 04, 2010


7 DAYS - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Selects

Updated...
 
On Demand Weekly reviews movies on demand from the perspective of watching them from the comfort of your home. Currently, the Sundance Selects film label as part of the Direct from the Sundance Film Festival initiative is choosing three films being screened at the festival that will simultaneously be available nationwide On Demand. Daniel Grou's "7 Days" is one of them as it made its North American premiere on January 22nd at SFF 2010 and is available now On Demand.
 
Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault) is a successful surgeon whose world is torn apart by the rape and murder of his precious eight-year-old daughter. Soon after the perpetrator (Martin Dubreuil) is caught, Hamel embarks on a quest for revenge. He successfully kidnaps the suspect and drives him to a remote cabin where seven days of torture awaits -- the final day lands on his daughter's ninth birthday. The main detective (Remy Girard), older, wiser, and also suffering from his wife's senseless death, tries his best to track Hamel down and stop him before he turns into a monster himself. Hamel has the upper hand, but does he have what it takes to commit murder?
 
"7 Days" joins the father revenge genre along with, most recently in the US, Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness, Liam Neeson's Taken, and Gerard Butler's Law Abiding Citizen but this film differentiates itself from those flashier action movies in that Bruno Hamel is not a detective or CIA operative with special skills. He's a regular guy, albeit one whose med school prepared him incredibly well for diabolical behavior. It is also a French film, (in the French language) which skews the genre considerably.
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PAINTBALL - On DemandFebruary 09, 2010


PAINTBALL - On Demand

IFC Films On Demand

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the perspective of watching them from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: Paintball.
 
Directed by Daniel Benmayor (a featured commercial director for Anonymous Content) Paintball was produced by Filmax, a Spanish production company (though it is in the English language), that landed on IFC On Demand.
 
A group of eight "weekend warriors" arrive anonymously, in restraints and with shrouds on their heads via truck to a forest where they anticipate a rollicking game of realistically warlike paintball with another team. They check their weapons and depart. Soon, they discover they are targets of a real killing game by an unknown opponent. Sinister forces reveal themselves as an organization controlling the scenario for the pleasure of rich voyeurs. The group gets picked off one by one leaving a lone woman to try her best against "the hunter." Does she have what it takes?
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TREME ON DEMANDApril 12, 2010


TREME ON DEMAND

HBO

On Demand Weekly provides new movie and Television reviews of hot titles on demand. Today’s review: Treme.
 
The tag line “It’s not TV, it’s HBO” was intended to highlight the pay cabler’s elite status amid its TV channel rivals, and now some could say there exists an even more exclusive club, perhaps with a tag line that reads “It’s not HBO, it’s Simon HBO.” After slipping sideways from journalism at the Baltimore Sun, David Simon wrote for network hits NYPD Blue and Homicide, Life on the Street (based on his novel). Great career… And then came Emmy Award-winning The Corner, then oft-repeated “best TV show ever” (and Obama fave) The Wire and then mini-series stunner Generation Kill, all on HBO. It’s become easy to understand and appreciate the cult of David.
 
Now, with the bar higher than ever, Simon and co-creator (Wire & Homicide creative) Eric Overmyer, along with a coterie of other such alums (including Simon’s long-time friend and brilliant writer David Mills who collapsed during filming and tragically died of an aneurysm at 48) bring us Treme (pronounced Treh-MAY), an hour-long drama named after the so-called “poorest neighborhood in New Orleans” also the “birthplace of jazz” three months after Hurricane Katrina.
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METROPIA: Tribeca Film On DemandApril 27, 2010


METROPIA: Tribeca Film On Demand

Tribeca Film

The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival has begun in New York City. New this year is a selection of films available to watch the same day on VOD.
 
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: Metropia.
 
Director Tarik Saleh began as a Swedish graffiti artist whose father was a stop-motion animator. He initially never wanted to be involved in animation (it’s an art for cloistered nutters) until he found a method of utilizing the popular effects software After Effects to develop a new animation technique. Once he found his method, he developed characters and a look that would be the foundation for Metropia. All he needed was financing…
 
Metropia tells the story of Roger, a worker cog in a future European dystopia (2024) where the varied countries have been linked by subway and the majority spend their lives underground. Roger works in a cubicle making calls and has a lifeless relationship with his girlfriend. One day he hears a voice in his head giving him commands and strangely decides to follow an attractive woman he recognizes from his shampoo bottle label. A few decisions later, Roger finds himself at the center of a bizarre corporate conspiracy including a central figurehead and the beginnings of a mind-reading industry determined to control people’s thoughts and actions (involving, predictably, Television - but unpredictably, shampoo).
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CLIMATE OF CHANGE - Tribeca Film On DemandApril 28, 2010


CLIMATE OF CHANGE - Tribeca Film On Demand

Tribeca Film

The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival has begun in New York City. New this year is a selection of films available to watch the same day on VOD.
 
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: Climate of Change.
 
For those with Al Gore anxiety, fear not. Climate of Change is not a list of statistics, well, not all together at once. It is though, still a film about bold people with strong opinions and big hearts standing up and admirably doing what they feel is right. The twist is that we get these perspectives from places we don’t expect – and by that I mean not only from (most likely rich) white people. We are treated to a diverse set of cultures and environments that include Mumbai, New Guinea, Appalachia, West Virginia, London, with even a (too-brief) glimpse into the Arctic “Doomsday Vault.”
 
Directed with sumptuous beauty by BAFTA-winning director Brian Hill, Climate is glued together by a poetic script by Simon Armitage (the “millennium poet” for Britain in 2000) and narrated steadily (and at times repetitively) by Tilda Swinton.
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THE INFIDEL - Tribeca Film On VODApril 29, 2010


THE INFIDEL - Tribeca Film On VOD

Tribeca Film

The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival has begun in New York City. New this year is a selection of films available to watch the same day on VOD.
 
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 Infidel. (available on demand simultaneously with screenings at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.)
 
You may have heard of The Infidel after it made waves in the UK because of its “culturally sensitive” subject matter. Have no fear, this is no heavy drama filled with loaded meaning. It’s a big, broad, bawdy comedy about a Muslim minicab driver living a typical life in East London who discovers after the death of his mother that he was adopted and was in fact born Jewish.
 
Yes Mahmud Nasir was first “Solly Shimshillewitz.” (all we need is a soul switch and I smell a Razzie award) This new information impacts his state of mind, his marriage and his son’s marriage-to-be as the fiancee’s family contains a radical Muslim cleric from Pakistan who will make the final judgement – meaning Mahmud is tasked with being the best Muslim he can be right when he discovers he might have to learn to be a Jew.
 
The film stars Omid Djalili, a popular British comic of Iranian descent who has been in everything from Gladiator to the NBC sitcom Whoopi. Supporting cast includes Richard Schiff (The West Wing) as a Jewish-American cab driver and flawed mentor along with the very attractive Archie Panjabi (Bend it Like Beckham) as Mahmud’s loving but increasingly suspicious wife. Matt Lucas, the genius chameleon from Little Britain also appears (all too briefly) as a hairless Rabbi.
 
The supporting cast performs well - though completely to type - so The Infidel falls on the shoulders of Djalili who carries it from beginning to end with his sympathetic, likeable presence and expressive charisma.
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DADDY LONGLEGS - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film FestivalMay 25, 2010


DADDY LONGLEGS  - On Demand Direct from the Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Selects

Updated...
 
DADDY LONGLEGS was originally released on VOD in February. It has been rereleased and is now available until July 6, 2010. Below is ODW's original review from its premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
 
On Demand Weekly reviews movies on demand from the perspective of watching them from the comfort of your home. This week, "Daddy Longlegs." (originally titled as "Go Get Some Rosemary.")
 
As we've all heard, the Sundance Film Festival has made some changes in 2010. A new festival director, a focus on "tougher, smaller" films, a few surprises like new categories (Next focuses on "no-budget" films) and the Sundance Selects film label as part of the Direct from the Sundance Film Festival initiative chooses three films being screened at the festival that will simultaneously be available nationwide On Demand. Josh and Benny Safdie's "Daddy Longlegs" is one of them as it made its North American premiere SFF 2010 and is available On Demand in your living room.
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IP MAN - On DemandAugust 24, 2010


IP MAN - On Demand

Gravitas Ventures

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: IP MAN from Gravitas Ventures.
Email Sean McPhillips

 

Ip Man (or Yip Man as many know him) was a legend in his own time. However, the history and ongoing saga of IP MAN “the movie” has become legendary.

Having exhausted every potential iteration of the exploits of hero Wong Fei Hung, save perhaps some futuristic sci-fi variant where he wakes from cryogenic freezing on a China-owned space station to beat some occupying Cylon ass (I get a story credit if this idea is produced), the Chinese movie industry seized upon another obvious choice for deification. Bruce Lee’s teacher. Indeed, Mr. Man (my mom used to call me that when she was cross with me) has a great deal more mystery than his well-documented and infinitely more famous protégé, so the opportunities for exploring variations on his official life and history abound.

Corey Yuen (FONG SAI-YUK, THE TRANSPORTER) was to direct the first version but the studio producing the film shuttered before lift-off. Producer Raymond Wong (producer of at least sixty titles you’ve never heard of though you may have seen his face as an actor (in another fifty) if you watch Hong Kong cinema) then took up the mantle and proceeded to produce his own Ip Man “biopic.” Donnie Yen (IRON MONKEY) was attached to both to play Mr. Man.

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