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.
In Shark Alley, Courage Runs Deep
I hate being conflicted over actors I love and the projects they pick. I think Halle Berry needs an intervention.
Not for her personal life, for her career. As much as I think I love drama - I like fake TV drama and not real life drama. I am not going to call it the curse of the Oscar® because I think it’s larger than that. She really might not know a good story yet she clearly pays people to figure out that out for her and yet...I for one didn’t love MONSTER’S BALL so, while I was happy and proud Halle won an Oscar, crushing an obstacle for black women that hadn’t been crushed since Hattie McDaniel’s GONE WITH THE WIND Oscar® win, I was sure that movie went along with Halle’s other project picks - in the trash.
Berry’s newest film from Lionsgate, DARK TIDE, is really no exception. BEAUTIFULLY shot (it really does look like National Geographic was behind the camera), the story doesn’t start until an hour into the film. The first part is a very long set up. Berry plays a shark diver in South Africa who experiences a tragedy early on along with her small crew consisting of a friend/crewman, her husband played by Olivier Martinez who also is her cameraman and a beloved friend/shark back-watcher (Berry and Martinez are now reported to be engaged).
This tragedy regulates Berry into being estranged from her husband for no specific reason and no longer shark diving but doing day trips out on the lovely coast of South Africa. One day, the estranged hubs comes back with a rich idiot who’s desire to get close to sharks spells trouble for everyone on the trip, including his poor son along for the ride.
The first hour aka “the long setup” is filled with awkward dialogue, a choppy plot and not as much sea footage as you’d like. There’s a random non-sequitur scene where some local kids set to find treasures in the sea in the pitch black dark knight have a crazy run-in with some sharks that will leave you kind of scratching your head. There’s some fights and some make-ups that happen between Berry and Martinez that make zero sense as we never really can tell for sure what the root of their separation is as it doesn’t seem to be the early on tragedy since everyone else involved is still around regularly except for Martinez.
GOD BLESS AMERICAApril 06, 2012
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: GOD BLESS AMERICA (Magnolia) is available now On Demand before in theaters on May 11, 2012
GOD BLESS AMERICA
Satirizing popular culture becomes an increasingly difficult job as media further saturates the public consciousness. Television and the Web provide a bottomless maw into which product must be shoveled so that consumers and advertisers will cough up time and money – and a little piece of their souls. The problem with the product is that it constantly needs to top itself in outrageousness, thereby edging closer to being parody itself.
Of course, the most piercing and prescient view of how media could literally end up driving people to murder is NETWORK, written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet. With an almost clairvoyant sense of what reality programming and news-as-entertainment would become, NETWORK was pitch-black comedy executed by creators who knew they didn’t have to go too far to show how American media one day would.
In the 36 years since NETWORK, viewers have been assaulted by real-life variations on the insane pitches that Faye Dunaway’s Diana Christensen took from program producers: shows about teen mothers, competitive weight loss, battles over plastic surgery, spousal swapping, consumption of any and all manner of food and non-food products, even fights over the unseen contents of storage lockers; crap that is so broadly drawn and laden with stereotypes that it feels like it jumped off the pages of MAD Magazine. Why satirize anything that’s already doing the job itself?
That was the question I asked as I watched Bobcat Goldthwait’s tedious and laugh-free GOD BLESS AMERICA. The story of the divorced, jobless, terminally ill Frank, GOD BLESS AMERICA moves to the insistent beat of the verbal and visual noise that emanates from screens that are seemingly everywhere – homes, offices, restaurants, phones. Driven to the edge by both his circumstances and the noxious narcissism, rudeness, and greed of virtually everyone around him, Frank embarks on a killing spree, picking off those he considers the worst offenders one by one.
Frank (Joel Murray, MAD MEN) makes fast friends with Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr, in her feature debut), a hyperverbal teen who resents comparisons to another loquacious adolescent, Juno. (Goldthwait has Roxy go off on a tear about Diablo Cody’s facile characters and shallow stories that sounds like nothing more than a diatribe he overheard from a disgruntled screenwriter at Starbucks) With a relationship both chaste and psychotically inappropriate, Frank and Roxy set off to track down all those they think are ruining society, including reality TV stars, noisy theater patrons, and people who use “literally” when they mean the opposite.
Lionsgate Digital Distribution announced the Pre DVD sneak of three-time Academy Awards® nominated ALBERT NOBBS on demand. The film stars Oscar® nominees Glenn Close and Janet McTeer. The sneak peek is available now, a month ahead of the film’s debut on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and Digital Download on May 15th.
On Demand Weekly discussed this VOD strategy for ALBERT NOBBS and past Lionsgate films (including RED STATE, EVERYTHING MUST GO and MARGIN CALL) with Thomas Hughes, SVP, Worldwide Digital Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution.
On Demand Weekly (ODW): Why did Lionsgate sneak peek ALBERT NOBBS on demand?
Thomas Hughes (TH): ALBERT NOBBS is a great movie that in limited release theatrically (in just 75 markets) got notoriety from award nominations. This got the attention of our cable / satellite partners. Because of the early window, our partners are willing to promote it in unique ways and give it premium placement.
Thomas Hughes, SVP, Worldwide Digital Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution
ODW: Has Lionsgate sneaked movies on demand before?
TH: We did with ABDUCTION with Taylor Lautner early on December 22, 2011, before the holidays, in a limited release window until January 4, 2012. The DVD did not come out until January 17, 2012.
ABDUCTION (courtesy of Lionsgate)
It was a huge success. We saw an incremental lift over a similar genre movie.
Movies Lionsgate has sneaked before a particular window:
RED STATE: Kevin Smith (Pre Theatrical)
MARGIN CALL: Kevin Spacey, Zacahary Quinto (Day & Date)
EVERYTHING MUST GO: Will Ferrell (Pre DVD)
TRESPASS: Nicholas Cage, Nicole Kidman (Day & Date)
ABDUCTION: Taylor Lautner (Pre DVD)
ALBERT NOBBS: Glenn Close (Pre DVD)
MARGIN CALL (courtesy of Lionsgate)
ODW: How does Lionsgate decide what movies will do well on demand?
TH: It's a little bit of the Wild Wild West. We are willing to experiment. Lionsgate's entrepreneurial spirit allows us to experiment where others may not be able to.
ODW: Does Lionsgate make extras and behind the scenes available on demand as they do on DVD?
TH: In some cases we do. It's not always ready when we go out early and if the platform can take. Not every platform can. The digital partners seem to be well positioned. Everybody is familiar with iTunes extras.
I think you are going to see a movement
where everybody will want to be positioned to offer extras.
ODW: When is the release strategy of a movie determined, before or after production?
Page 1 of 1 pages
Most Popular This Month
- Valeri & Vince Vaughn Discuss The ART OF CONFLICT: THE MURALS OF NORTHERN IRELAND (10428 views)
- New Movies On Demand Preview: June 2013 (3287 views)
- 10 Reasons To Watch A BAND CALLED DEATH On VOD (1095 views)
- VOD Spotlight On Tim Roth (BROKEN) (571 views)
- CARTOON COLLEGE - Enroll Now And See It On Demand (468 views)
- June, 2013
- May, 2013
- April, 2013
- March, 2013
- February, 2013
- January, 2013
- December, 2012
- November, 2012
- October, 2012
- September, 2012
- August, 2012
- July, 2012
- June, 2012
- May, 2012
- April, 2012
- March, 2012
- February, 2012
- January, 2012
- December, 2011
- November, 2011
- October, 2011
- September, 2011
- August, 2011
- July, 2011
- June, 2011
- May, 2011
- April, 2011
- March, 2011
- February, 2011
- January, 2011
- December, 2010
- November, 2010
- October, 2010
- September, 2010
- August, 2010
- July, 2010
- June, 2010
- May, 2010
- April, 2010
- March, 2010
- February, 2010
- January, 2010
- December, 2009
- November, 2009
- October, 2009
- September, 2009
- August, 2009
- Doug Pray
- Ed Burns
- Hi Tech Mommy
- Bill Simmons
- Daisy Whitney
- Malcom Gladwell
- Modern Mom
- Cafe Mom
- Weekend Sherpa
- Truly Free Film
- K.Teraze Digital
- IFC Films On Demand
- Magnolia Pictures On Demand
- Gravitas Ventures
- Hammer To Nail
- Film Movement
- Comcast On Demand
- Time Warner On Demand
- Tribeca Film
- Nick Demartino
- Palo Alto Int’l Film Festival
- SF 360
- Film Wax
- Oscilloscope Labs
- Go Watch It