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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COMCAST DELIVERS MORE INDEPENDENT FILM CONTENT TO CUSTOMERS THROUGH ITS ON DEMAND SERVICESeptember 23, 2010


COMCAST DELIVERS MORE INDEPENDENT FILM CONTENT TO CUSTOMERS THROUGH ITS ON DEMAND SERVICE

Nice Guy Johnny (Facebook)

UPDATED (9/24/10).
Independent film fans in Comcast markets rejoice. Comcast On Demand announced Thursday that they will deliver more independent film content. To help launch the expanded service, filmmaker Edward Burns will offer exclusive access to content from his upcoming film NICE GUY JOHNNY (distributed On Demand October 26, 2010 by FilmBuff).
Comcast announced that it will bring more independent film content to its customers through the creation of the Indie Film Club via its On Demand service. The new On Demand offering, which builds on a similar online initiative Comcast launched earlier this year, is available to Comcast digital video customers. The dedicated On Demand folder will include indie films, exclusive material, movie trailers, guest editors’ picks, extras, interviews and other special content.

“Comcast is thrilled to extend the reach of independent movies into living rooms across the country, providing more exposure for these films, which have a passionate following,” said Diana Kerekes, Vice President of Entertainment Services for Comcast. “It’s all part of giving our customers more choice, value and a sense of excitement and closeness to indie filmmakers. With the popularity of indie films, we’re proud to be working with leaders in this field, like Edward Burns, Tribeca Film, SnagFilms and others, to make that happen.”
Through the Indie Film Club, on October 26th, Comcast will debut Edward Burns’ latest film and romantic comedy, NICE GUY JOHNNY, including an exclusive interview with Burns, behind-the-scenes content, along with a live online chat with Burns. Comcast will also feature Burns as a guest editor On Demand with Edward’s “Picks and Flicks,” which will include his beloved first two features THE BROTHER MCMULLLEN and SHE'S THE ONE, as well as his top recommendations for independent films.
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TRIBECA FILM TO BOW 6 FILMS FROM 2011 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ON DEMANDApril 19, 2011


TRIBECA FILM TO BOW 6 FILMS FROM 2011 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ON DEMAND

Tribeca Film Enterprises

Non New York indie film fans, Tribeca Film is back with another slate of films available on demand. Beginning tomorrow (April 20), 6 Tribeca Films will bow on Movies On Demand. If you're in New York and can't make it to the film festival, you can watch a film for less than a cab ride.

Look for our reviews on Wednesday. More on the films in the Press Release below.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Tribeca Film, the comprehensive distribution label from Tribeca Enterprises supported by founding partner American Express, today announced that four of its films, 2011 Tribeca Film Festival official selections THE BANG BANG CLUB, THE BLEEDING HOUSE, LAST NIGHT and NEDS, will be released nationwide via video-on-demand under the “Tribeca Film” banner simultaneously with the start of the Festival on April 20. The “Tribeca Film” VOD category will also offer other festival circuit titles, including Dax Shepard’s BROTHER’S JUSTICE and THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, starring Zach Braff.
 
From April 20 through June 23, these Tribeca Film titles will be available in more than 40 million homes via cable, telco and satellite systems.  Additionally, the Tribeca Film platform will be available on the web via digital VOD services. Viewers will be able to access Tribeca Film titles via the “Tribeca Film” category of video-on-demand menus, via pay-per-view offerings and via other branded destinations online.  Tribeca Film will also begin to roll out these films’ theatrical releases, starting with THE BANG BANG CLUB in select markets as of April 22 and LAST NIGHT as of May 6.  
 
Tribeca Film’s initial VOD offerings feature notable stars such as Ryan Phillippe, Zach Braff, Keira Knightley, Taylor Kitsch, Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes. Film and television star Dax Shepard gets behind the camera for his directorial debut as he takes viewers on his journey to become an internationally-renowned martial arts star. These films will introduce audiences to the world of conflict photography, the violent side of 1970s Glasgow through the eyes of a bright young boy on the brink of adolescence and the life-changing consequences and relationships that can result in the course of one night.
 
“We are excited to be able to present a spectrum of specialty films that will simultaneously premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and on demand in over 40 million homes, giving those not at the Festival in NY a chance to enjoy these quality films,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer for Tribeca Enterprises.
 
Films premiering at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, on VOD and in theaters:
 
·         THE BANG BANG CLUB, written and directed by Steven Silver. (Canada, South Africa) – US Premiere. THE BANG BANG CLUB is the true story of four young combat photographers bonded by friendship and their sense of purpose to tell the truth. They risk their lives and use their cameras to tell the world of the violence associated with the first free elections in post-Apartheid South Africa. Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman and Taylor Kitsch star in a film that explores the thrills, danger, and moral questions associated with exposing the truth. 
 
THE BANG BANG CLUB will have a platform national theatrical release beginning April 22 in NewYork (Village East Cinema), Los Angeles (Laemmle Sunset 5), Santa Ana/Costa Mesa, CA (South Coast Village) and Chicago (Music Box Theater), and April 29 in Washington DC (West End Cinemas) and Seattle (North West Film Forum), with additional markets and theaters to follow.
 
·         THE BLEEDING HOUSE, written and directed by Philip Gelatt. (USA) – World Premiere in Cinemania. Meet the Smiths—a family full of secrets who keep to themselves on a back road outside a small Midwestern town. In this visceral, tightly wound horror/thriller, their lives are shaken when a sweet-talking Texan arrives on their doorstep on a mission for retribution. Will he succeed in his goal to bleed them of their sins, or will the family’s haunted past prove to be even more deadly than he bargained for? THE BLEEDING HOUSE will have a limited theatrical release in 2011, beginning May 13.
 
·         LAST NIGHT, written and directed by Massy Tadjedin. (USA) – US Premiere, Narrative. Apart for one night, a happily married couple (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington) is confronted by temptation that may decide the fate of their marriage. LAST NIGHT is ultimately about choices—to be in a relationship with someone, to give yourself to someone physically, to open yourself emotionally, and how to survive all three. Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet, and Griffin Dunne also star in this sexy, provocative romantic drama.
 
LAST NIGHT will have a platform national theatrical release beginning May 6 in New York (Angelika and Chelsea Clearview), Los Angeles (Laemmle Sunset 5), Dallas (Angelika), Santa Ana/Costa Mesa, CA (South Coast Village), and San Francisco (Kabuki), and May 13 in Washington DC (West End Cinemas) and Boston (Coolidge), and on May 27 in San Diego (Gaslamp 15), with additional markets and theaters to follow.
 
·         NEDS “Non-Educated Delinquents,” written and directed by Peter Mullan. (UK) – US Premiere, Narrative. Directed by award winning actor/director Peter Mullan (MY NAME IS JOE, THE MAGDALENE SISTERS), NEDS takes place in the gritty and savage world of 1970s Glasgow. On the brink of adolescence, John McGill is a bright and sensitive boy. He’s eager to learn and full of promise, but with no one willing to give him a chance, young John descends into a violent life of crime. NEDS is an intense and tragic portrayal of the loss of hope. NEDS will have a limited theatrical release in 2011, beginning May 13.
 
Also available on Tribeca Film on VOD and in theaters:
 
·         BROTHER’S JUSTICE, co-directed by Dax Shepard and David Palmer – This Hollywood satire follows Dax Shepard as he makes the rash decision to abandon comedy in pursuit of his true dream: to become an internationally-renowned martial arts star. Winner of the audience award at the Austin Film Festival and an official selection of the Hollywood Film Festival, it marks the directorial debut of Shepard and features performances by Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper, David Koechner, Michael Rosenbaum and Nate Tuck. BROTHER’S JUSTICE will have a limited theatrical release in 2011.
 
·         THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, written and directed by Deborah Chow – This dark romantic drama about intertwined fates centers on the burgeoning relationship between an unlikely pair. Nathalie (Isabelle Blais) is expecting her first child, and Henry (Zach Braff) is on his way to his next drug deal. Their paths fatefully collide one night in an event that will irrevocably change their lives. The film was an official selection of the Toronto Film Festival. THE HIGH COST OF LIVING will have a limited theatrical release in 2011.
 
The Tribeca Film website www.tribecafilm.com has an easy-to-use guide on where to find all films.
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Dax Shepherd Provides BROTHER’S JUSTICE On Demand (Tribeca Film On Demand)April 20, 2011


Dax Shepherd Provides BROTHER’S JUSTICE On Demand (Tribeca Film On Demand)

Tribeca Film Enterprises

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: BROTHER'S JUSTICE (Tribeca Film).

 

Dax Shepherd Provides BROTHER'S JUSTICE On Demand (Tribeca Film On Demand)
By Adam Schartoff


In the wake of Rob Reiner’s SPINAL TAP and a subsequent series of Christopher Guest “mockumentaries” comes BROTHER’S JUSTICE directed by and starring actor Dax Shepherd and co-directed by David Palmer. Dax (PARENTHOOD, THE FREEBIE) plays a variation of himself, a proto-Hollywood actor/producer who is constantly pitching movie ideas despite how developed or undeveloped those ideas may be.

Feeling as though he has been typecast as a comic actor, Dax’s latest inspiration is to reinvent himself as a martial arts action hero; a sort of latter day Chuck Norris. Dax thinks he’s on to an ingenious plan when he comes up with the title BROTHER’S JUSTICE.

 

Dax Shpeherd: BROTHER'S JUSTICE (Tribeca Film)
Dax Shpeherd: BROTHER'S JUSTICE (Tribeca Film)

There’s not much more to it than that. For the balance of the movie, Dax and his best pal, producer Nate Tuck (who also happens to serve as this film’s producer) try to pitch this moronic idea to a bunch of industry insiders.

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What Tribeca Film On Demand Do You Want To See The Most? - PollApril 20, 2011


What Tribeca Film On Demand Do You Want To See The Most? - Poll

Tribeca Film Enterprises

Tribeca Film is back with another slate of films available on demand. Beginning today (April 20), 6 Tribeca Films will bow on Movies On Demand.

On Demand Weekly wants to know which film you want to see the most?


Zach Braff In THE HIGH COST OF LIVING
By Adam Schartoff

HIGH COST OF LIVING

With his latest feature Zach Braff has made a pointed decision to reinvent himself.  Gone is the cuddly or quirky Zach Braff of SCRUBS or GARDEN STATE. In THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, Braff plays Henry Welles, a drug dealing American expat living in Montreal. The story really begins when Henry runs into Nathalie Beauchamp.  I mean he literally runs into her with this car, as he is driving the wrong way one wintry night looking for a client’s building...



Dax Shepherd Provides BROTHER'S JUSTICE On Demand

By Adam Schartoff

BROTHER'S JUSTICE
In the wake of Rob Reiner’s SPINAL TAP and a subsequent series of Christopher Guest “mockumentaries” comes BROTHER’S JUSTICE directed by and starring actor Dax Shepherd and co-directed by David Palmer. Dax (PARENTHOOD, THE FREEBIE) plays a variation of himself, a proto-Hollywood actor/producer who is constantly pitching movie ideas despite how developed or undeveloped those ideas may be...


Non-educated delinquents… with one who wants to break that mold… NEDS
By Cynthia Kane
 

NEDS

NEDS or ‘non-educated delinquents’ is a Scottish slang term meaning juvie or hood or gang member. It’s also an edgy and excellent new film from Scottish actor-writer-director Peter Mullen...


Keira Knightly and Sam Worthington Star In LAST NIGHT
By Amy Slotnick

LAST NIGHT
Temptation and deception are presented in a new light by the four characters of Tribeca Film Festival drama LAST NIGHT. Keira Knightly and Sam Worthington star as a young couple who, three years into their marriage, face a cross roads that will determine the fate of their relationship...


THE BANG BANG CLUB Shoots Its Way To Your Home
By Chris Claro

THE BANG BANG CLUB

In the waning days of apartheid, the early 1990s, as civil war raged throughout South Africa, a band of daring young photojournalists earned the monicker “The Bang Bang Club” for their dynamic shots of the conflict. Steven Silver’s film, starring Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman, and Taylor Kitsch, focuses on the adrenalin-fueled atmosphere that kept the shooters fighting for their pictures as well as their lives...

 

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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)
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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.

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ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS (Tribeca Film) - On DemandOctober 26, 2011


ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS (Tribeca Film) - On Demand

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.  ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS / Les émotifs anonymes (Tribeca Film). 


ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS
Chocolate Is Nothing To Be Afraid Of

By Kris Scheifele

 

Variety is the spice of life, unless it—along with most everything else—scares the living daylights out of you. The latter is the case for the two lead characters, Angélique (Isabelle Carré) and Jean-René (Benoît Poelvoorde), in ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS.

In France, this romantic comedy is called LES EMOTIFS ANONYMES, a title which doesn't really translate properly into English. In French, an émotif is not a romantic, but rather someone who has emotional issues, particularly a fear of other people. Plagued with anxieties, an émotif is deeply perturbed by mundane social situations, especially intimate ones. In France, they even have an Alcoholics Anonymous-type support group for émotifs to come out, so to speak, of the closets they literally hide in. It was as a member of this group that director, co-writer, and émotif himself, Jean-Pierre Améris, found his inspiration.

The plot is simple. Without knowing they share the same affliction, Angélique, émotif, goes to work for Jean-René, émotif, in Jean-René's ailing artisanal chocolate factory. Almost immediately, he asks his new hire out on a date. Not nearly as twee as the 2001 film, AMÉLIE, everything is super adorable and old-fashiony, but the story seems to be happening now which makes it hard not to think about the legal tinder box on which the film's premise rests. Eventually, this looming spectre fades as the two jittery lovebirds faint, sweat, and stutter through interactions fraught with self-perpetuated panic.



Obviously, variety, change, and mixing it up are definitely not the spice of life for Jean-René. Variety, however, will not be denied and spice literally saves the day. It just so happens Angélique is a brilliant, avant-garde chocolate chef, which she conceals for fear of the spotlight. Pink peppercorns, paprika, and Porcini breathe life into the unevolved, run-of-the-mill chocolates that have been both the safe staple and downfall of the business.

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MAN ON THE TRAIN - Starring Donald Sutherand & U2’s Larry Mullen Jr.October 26, 2011


MAN ON THE TRAIN - Starring Donald Sutherand & U2’s Larry Mullen Jr.

Tribeca Film

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: MAN ON THE TRAIN (Tribeca Film).

 

MAN ON THE TRAIN
By Chris Claro

 

In the opening scene of Mary McGuckian’s MAN ON THE TRAIN, a steely-eyed loner steps into a pharmacy in search of pills for a migraine. When the pharmacist denies him the medicine, a gregarious older customer is only too happy to share his pain relievers with the stranger. Undaunted by the younger man’s taciturn reserve and mildly threatening demeanor, the older man invites him back to his house for water to wash down the pills.

So begins one of the most surprising and affecting films of the year, an exploration of two solitary lives and the ways in which they converge. With an understated grace, McGuckian offers a character study of a thief and a professor – each character is nameless – and the impact each has on the other. Slight of story but richly textured, MAN ON THE TRAIN is a mood piece, one that stealthily doles out its characters’ revelations at a deliberate, unhurried pace.

 


In his first acting role, U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. is the eponymous railroader, rolling into town to set up a bank job with his mates. Mullen is tough to read as an actor; it’s hard to tell whether his quiet, buttoned-up portrait of the solitary thief is based on acting skills or lack thereof. Either way, he acquits himself and does justice to the character as he slowly reveals the layers beneath his reticent deportment.

 



And then there’s Donald Sutherland. For over fifty years, Sutherland has brought his enigmatic persona to films both great – ORDINARY PEOPLE, DON’T LOOK NOW – and not so – S*P*Y*S, SPACE COWBOYS – etching characters that are often inscrutable and off-putting. But in MAN ON THE TRAIN, Sutherland makes use of his physical stature and booming basso to imbue the professor with a verbose joviality that belies his profound loneliness. Living alone in a shambling old house that seems populated by the spirits of generations past, the sociable academic is thrilled at the idea of having a houseguest, criminal or not. With his piano, his conservatory, and his four empty bedrooms, the professor rattles about the house, tending to his guest’s needs with the enthusiasm of a man welcoming family for a holiday visit.

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THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY With Dennis FarinaOctober 26, 2011


THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY With Dennis Farina

Tribeca Film

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 LAST RITES OF JOE MAY (Tribeca Film).

 

Click Here For On Demand Weekly's Exclusive Interview With Dennis Farina

 

THE LAST RITES IF JOE MAY
By Sidney Falco

 

There are certain films, grand in scope (and budget) that aim for greatness and ultimately fail on an emotional level. And then there are films, smaller in scope (and budget), that aim for a similar greatness, but end up with mild emotional results. THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY is one of these films; it is a straight-forward narrative tale about an over-the-hill hustler, played by the talented Dennis Farina, who wants to have one last shot at redemption.

 


Dennis Farina / THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY (Tribeca Film)

Written and directed with simplicity by Joe Maggio, the film is reminiscent of films such as Vittorio DeSica’s UMBERTO D, and Louis Malle’s ATLANTIC CITY, most notably the latter film (which it never comes close to on a character or story level). Simplicity is the film’s strength; it is also its weakness. The script never really transcends the story – there is very little subtext in the film – what you see is what you get – and what you don’t know, eventually you find out.

Farina, a very complete actor in demeanor, makes all the right choices: he never over-sells himself as someone flashier (though you want him too). It’s a measured performance. Yet, the film, as well as Farina’s performance, lack any type of humor or dark comedy – a missed opportunity by the filmmaker – to counter the bleak setting, cold weather and dreary tone of the film. Granted, one could argue that this is not that type of film, but it’s gritty urban setting and shades of grey characters are nothing but tragic. The film’s a downer, and not in a good way.

There is nothing in the dialogue, nor the direction, that give Joe that extra bravado that we, the audience, long for. Dennis Farina’s face has the history, and his body language the rhythms (and the voice – no one can curse like Farina), but what comes out of his mouth is static and clunky (an attempt to hustle a slab of beef is meant, I think, to serve as a mild attempt at humor and characterization).

 


Dennis Farina / THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY (Tribeca Film)

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Tribeca Film Releases Four New Movies On Demand, Including NORTHEASTDecember 27, 2011


Tribeca Film Releases Four New Movies On Demand, Including NORTHEAST

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: NORTHEAST (Tribeca Film).

Hipster men: prepare for celibacy. The writer and director of NORTHEAST has pointed his camera at you. Your cover is blown. When you’re at a party talking about your film project, your photography or your found object art or not talking at all because being cute and mysterious gets you laid, you still know that you spend your days killing time and producing next to nothing. Hey don’t change, but since you partied your way through a certain Ivy in Ithaca (via the Ag School), graduating without any debt, but also without any education, what else could you do anyway? Whatever but don’t see this film with the chick you’re trying to shag or she might see who you really are: a loser.

 



It’s easy to watch this film expecting that it’s actually about its protagonist, Will. That’s what we expect when we watch a movie: the protagonist does stuff, we relate to some of the experiences he has and wish we could experience others. Sometimes its even fun to identify with bad guy or girl – we can even root for them. Unfortunately just about everyone is going to watch NORTHEAST this way and then wind up confused because the story is so, to be polite, sparse. This is not a movie about Will.

NORTHEAST is dating manual. It’s a red flag. It’s an older brother telling you that you should know better. If you’ve ever lived in Portland or Berkeley or Austin or Brooklyn and dated a cool guy who didn’t have a real job because he was trying to achieve his “vision,” this movie will mean much more to you that to the rest of us. You’ll remember how cute he was and how you romanticized the bravery it took for him to reject materialism and financial security. You’ll also remember that he stopped returning your calls and pretty much ignored you after you slept with him a few times. If you haven’t yet been charmed by a Will in real life, you’ll watch this movie and wonder why anyone would give the time of day to this boring zero on the road to nowhere. But now you’ll know how to identify him at the next party before you’re drawn into his bullshit.

 

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ULTRASUEDE: IN SEARCH OF HALTSON Now On DemandDecember 27, 2011


ULTRASUEDE: IN SEARCH OF HALTSON Now On Demand

Tribeca Film

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: ULTRASUEDE: IN SEARCH OF HALTSON (Tribeca Film).

 

ULTRASUEDE: IN SEARCH OF HALSTON
By Amy Slotnick

 

Halston was America’s first celebrity designer, dressing the country’s most glamorous performers and first ladies, and was the first to become a household name. Known for this love of excessiveness and glamour, Halston epitomized the 1970’s. After designing Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic inaugural pillbox hat, Halston launched his own line of clothing. Known for its casual chic and modern, fluid lines, his clothes flattered women in the signature fabrics, jersey and ultrasuede.

 

Halston was a central figure of New York City’s nightlife

and his clothes became ubiquitous amongst an elite circle,

which included Liza Minelli, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger.

 



The new documentary, ULTRASUEDE: IN SEARCH OF HALSTON, follows a string of successful documentaries about fashion greats such as Valentino, Vogue’s September Issue and photographer Bill Cunnigham. Director Whitney Sudler Smith leads his investigation on camera, interviewing many of Halston’s famous friends, muses and critics. The most interesting characters uncovered are those not as well known, such as Halston’s boyfriend, artist Victor Hugo, and the Dupont twins, revelers at Studio 54 who are candid about the drug abuse of the period.

Halston was also a leader in the licensing trend, lending his name to a wide range of products, including carpet, housewares and frangrances. He attempted to democratize fashion and dress America when he made a $1 billion contract with JC Penny to create a line of affordable Halston designs. Although today designers from Versace to Alexander McQueen have succeeded with mass-produced lines for Target and H&M, at the time the move tainted his brand.

 

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On Demand Weekly’s Top 10 Movies On Demand 2011 - Part IIDecember 29, 2011


On Demand Weekly’s Top 10 Movies On Demand 2011 - Part II

FilmBuff

So many movies and so many movie lists of 2011. How could you watch or read them all and yet so many are so similar. Do you need affirmation of the films you may have seen in the theaters already? How about learning about the best films of 2011 you may have missed?

 

On Demand Weekly's Cynthia Kane and Chris Claro offer their Top 10 Movies On Demand of 2011. Tell us what you think of the their lists or what your #1 movie of 2010 is HERE.


Part I - Cynthia's is HERE.
Part II - Chris's is below.

 

10. SHUT UP, LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO ADVENTURE
Matthew Bate’s hilarious and poignant film about unwanted fame and the subculture of pre-Internet tape trading was an entertaining and effective documentary.

9. THE MAN FROM NOWHERE
The violent and kinetic thrill ride from Korean director Jeong –beom Lee was stuffed with dynamic action set-pieces and an amazing performance from child actor Sae-ron Kim

8. BLACKTHORN
The last real man, Sam Shepard, took on the legend of the last real outlaw, Butch Cassidy, in an elegiac film about the final days of cowboys and Indians.

7. THE BIG UNEASY
Humorist Harry Shearer’s fascinating and heartbreaking document of the post-Katrina cover-up by the Army Corps of Engineers. Thoroughly sourced, sincerely conveyed, and absolutely fascinating.

6. BRIGHTON ROCK
Helen Mirren and John Hurt classed up this retelling of Graham Greene’s novel about a killer and the girl he entrances. Set against the birth of the mods/rockers conflict, Rowan Joffe’s film also boasted an intense performance by Sam Riley.

5. CONAN O’BRIEN CAN’T STOP
Behind the scenes with the talk show host on his post-Tonight concert tour, director Rodman Flender’s film was painful, funny, and painfully funny.

4. TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL
Horror clichés were turned on their ear in Eli Craig’s debut film. Stars Taylor Labine and Alan Tudyk were a joy as the harmless hillbillies mistaken for psychos.

 

Chris's Top 3 of 2011...

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VOD Spotlight: U2’s Larry Mullen Jr.January 07, 2012


VOD Spotlight: U2’s Larry Mullen Jr.

Tribeca Film

On Demand Weekly's VOD Spotlight highlights stories from the On Demand industry. Chris Claro interviews U2 drummer turned actor, Larry Mullen Jr. about MAN ON A TRAIN (Tribeca Film). Read our review of the film here.

 

Larry Mullen Jr. Drums Up Interest On Demand
The drummer from an iconic band talks with On Demand Weekly’s Chris Claro about his cinematic acting debut.

 

At 50, Larry Mullen, Jr. would appear to have precious few mountains left to scale. Founding member of the internationally acclaimed, universally respected, still-together U2, Mullen has provided the band his steady backbeat for over thirty years. He and his mates have sold over 150 million records, won 22 Grammy Awards, and are esteemed not only for their continued relevance, but their ability to bring light to the world’s ills. But even with all that, Larry Mullen, Jr. had the desire to do something new. The cliché goes that all actors want to be rock stars and all rock stars want to be actors, so just as Elvis, Bowie and Mick did before him, Mullen decided to take a shot at another kind of performance.

 



The film he chose as his debut, MAN ON THE TRAIN. It’s a remake of the French original, co-starring Donald Sutherland as a lonely professor who befriends a mysterious and taciturn stranger. The two men have a profound effect on each other and the film is an engaging, if obtuse, look at their offbeat friendship. Mullen’s involvement in the project came out of a meeting he had with his friend, the director of the film, Mary McGuckian. Though she encouraged him, Mullen was initially reticent, as he felt acting was “kind of a lead singer thing to do.”

“It’s not a dream a drummer is supposed to have,” Mullen explains. But McGuckian asked Mullen to watch the original MAN ON THE TRAIN, which starred Johnny Halliday, who was considered by some to be the French Elvis. “And he does this film and it’s a hit all over the world,” says Mullen. Halliday’s success acting in the film made Mullen less hesitant about taking the plunge into acting. “I was watching how somebody in your business actually can make that transition without too much embarrassment,” Mullen says.

Mullen was impressed that a novice such as Halliday could score onscreen, and jumped at the opportunity to take a stab at the same role, undaunted by his own lack of training. In fact, Mullen felt that his lack of professional acting skills made performing in the film easier for him. “Having no knowledge or training gave me a get-out-of-jail-free card,” he says, “I couldn’t fall back on technique if I had a problem. I just had to get up and do it again, which I did. Since I didn’t know any better, I wasn’t embarrassed in front of Donald Sutherland.”

 

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Julie Bowen, Connie Britton And More Star in Tribeca Film’s CONCEPTION - Now On DemandFebruary 24, 2012


Julie Bowen, Connie Britton And More Star in Tribeca Film’s CONCEPTION - Now On Demand

Tibeca film

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: CONCEPTION (Tribeca Film).

 

CONCEPTION
By Amy Slotnick

 

Nine romantic couples on the eve of conception. First time, first date. Erotic and neurotic. CONCEPTION shows us vignette-like scenes, immersing its audience into nine separate relationships.

The implications of sex are made relatable and humorous by the a talented cast including Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”),, Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”), David Arquette (NEVER BEEN KISSED), Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”) and Alan Tudyk (DODGEBALL).

 



We follow these couples in various set ups, one on a blind date, another going through fertility treatments. Pairs are shown in long-standing and dysfunctional relationships. Some sex-deprived, others over-sexed. What they have in common is that all are about to conceive, however not intentionally for all.

 


It’s a cute concept, but the film is weakened by the limitations of its many sketch-like scenes that provide a lack of feeling for any one story in the ensemble. As a result you never get fully immersed in the story, which breezes by at a fast pace and light, comic tone.

 

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Tribeca Film’s NEON FLESH Premieres On Demand TodayFebruary 24, 2012


Tribeca Film’s NEON FLESH Premieres On Demand Today

Tibeca Film

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: NEON FLESH (Tribeca Film).


NEON FLESH
By Joe Charnitski

 

The gritty street drama that shines a bright light into the dark corners of crime and punishment has been a part of cinema since the beginning of movies. Warner Bros. built their studio on bold gangster pictures in the 1920’s and 30’s. Many cinephiles would credit Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS for invigorating the genre and spotlighting the common hoodlum over the mafia don. The 1990’s gave us Tarantino, and his many imitators, and just a few years ago the Italian film GOMORRAH received raves for its brazen depiction of modern Italy and the expendable, low-level thugs running its streets.

NEON FLESH is a new Spanish film that forces its way into the canon of down and dirty, rough and tumble, life on the street pictures. Its protagonist, Ricky, a 20-something hustler who’s only know life in the gutters, defines the film’s philosophy in a very early voice-over, which I’ll paraphrase: there are two kinds of people, those selling flesh and those buying. There’s plenty of flesh being sold in this movie, both literally and figuratively, but who’s buying and who’s not? Well, that’s what makes the story worth telling.

 


Ricky’s mother, Pura, is due to be released from prison any day now. She abandoned Ricky a decade earlier when she was working as a prostitute. Instead of holding a grudge and cursing her name, Ricky anticipates his mother’s release like they’ve always been the best of friends. He even goes to great lengths to save money (earned by selling drugs) and buy her a very special gift: a brothel. Not my first choice on Mother’s Day, but this isn’t your average family.

Ricky recruits his friend Angelito to help him acquire the women, fix up the real estate and get his bar/club/house of ill repute up and running. Angelito warns his young friend that the big boys of the local crime scene aren’t going to be too happy with his attempts to climb out of the gutter and into the upper reaches of perversion for profit. That’s their turf. The kid won’t listen. He’s doing it for Mom after all.

As the plot builds more than one crime boss comes after Ricky and his business, his first encounters with his mother after all of these years are not what he hoped for and he eventually finds himself in the middle of a war of revenge between local police and Chino, an underworld overlord who’s son was killed under suspicious circumstances. By the end, ala PULP FICTION, it’s amazing how everything is connected.

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South Africa’s Sylvia Plath, Ingrid Jonker’s Story Is Told In BLACK BUTTERFLIESFebruary 24, 2012


South Africa’s Sylvia Plath, Ingrid Jonker’s Story Is Told In BLACK BUTTERFLIES

Tibeca 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: BLACK BUTTEFLIES (Tribeca Film).


BLACK BUTTERFLIES
The soul-piercing voice of a generation, of a people…Ingrid Jonker
By Cynthia Kane

 

She’s known widely in South Africa, but elsewhere, I’m just not sure. The South Africans refer to her as their “Sylvia Plath”, but her words speak more fully of the human experience, of injustice and touch on the social and political. Not only will BLACK BUTTERLIES attract an art-house audience and perhaps wider – particularly women and a smart crowd who just likes a good story – it may also introduce this poet’s work to a new audience outside her native land.

 

BLACK BUTTERFLIES (Tribeca Film)


To call Ingrid Jonker, the “South African Sylvia Plath” just doesn’t make sense, except they were both women, extraordinary poets, emotionally charged and both died well before their time. I don’t know if Jonker was depressed or mentally ill; this film seems to indicate the circumstances of her life played a huge part in her chaotic behavior, her enormous sensual appetites, her desire to live life fully, her need to attack injustices via her words. Is she so different than any other artist who’s politically, emotionally charged? Was it the times in which she lived that puts that judgment of mental instability on her? Was she unhinged or was her society, this Apartheid-era South Africa the element of actual insanity, and not the woman here?

 


In reality Jonker was far more political, her poems attacking the ugly, racist society she lived in. a nice but maybe not necessary moment at end, includes we hear Nelson Mandela reading her most famous work, "The child (who was shot dead by soldiers at Nyanga)". It would have been less cliché to choose another way of demonstrating her continued popularity in post-Apartheid South Africa; Nelson Mandela does not have to be part of every South African film that comes out internationally.

 

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Tony Kaye’s DETACHMENTMarch 13, 2012


Tony Kaye’s DETACHMENT

Tribeca Film

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: DETACHMENT (Tribeca Film).

 

DETACHMENT

By Chris Claro

 

To call Tony Kaye an audacious provocateur would not only make the filmmaker sound like a cheap French bistro, it would also oversimplify his mission. In both narrative film and documentary, Kaye has put a human face on issues as divisive and diverse as white supremacy, abortion, and drug smuggling, Kaye’s films challenge and prod and antagonize – as does the filmmaker himself: he sued New Line when the company wouldn’t allow him to use the pseudonym “Humpty Dumpty” on AMERICAN HISTORY X.

In his latest release, DETACHMENT, Kaye addresses the sorry state of public education in the United States through the eyes of an itinerant substitute teacher played by Adrien Brody (THE PIANIST).

 

Adrien Brody / DETACHMENT (Tribeca Film)


Brody plays Henry Barthes, an educator who has made a career of temporary assignments, the better to not develop any emotional attachments. Henry’s latest gig is in a high school in which every child appears to have been left behind; it’s a hellhole of violence, profanity, and burnt out educators. Henry’s sanguine mien is the polar opposite of those of the teachers, students, and administrators, and he stands out in his ability to face the physical and emotional ugliness he encounters with a cynical stoicism.

Henry compensates for his impotence in the classroom by trying to rescue a teenage prostitute he sees one night on a bus. Initially belligerent, the girl – played, in her feature debut, by Sami Gayle – comes to trust Henry, making a credible transition from hardened to vulnerable. In the process, she rouses something in Henry that he can’t access on the job. Though he wants to make a difference for his students, something holds him back and the results are tragic.

The first produced screenplay by Carl Lund, DETACHMENT gets the milieu right (full disclosure: I worked in and around classrooms for a number of years, so I can vouch for the film’s veracity). Lund nails the lassitude of the teachers, the combative stance of the parents, and the students’ vitriolic disrespect of both their elders and themselves. The script also addresses the political machinations that plague so much of contemporary public education, as the school’s principal, played by Marsha Gay Harden (POLLACK), finds her tenure in jeopardy due to poor student performance.

 



Lund has a feel for the gallows humor and desperation that permeate the profession, but despite that exactitude, DETACHMENT is saddled wtih a schematic and contrived storyline that recalls the ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS of the 1970s. Although the film moves effectively to what is a sadly forgone conclusion, its brew of troubled students and tortured teachers is ultimately a tad too familiar.

Kaye assembles an amazing cast to portray his sad, sorry staffers, but, oddly, underuses the bulk of it. When a director enlists the services of Oscar-winners such as Brody and Harden along with James Caan, Bryan Cranston, Blythe Danner, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen, and Isiah Whitlock Jr., he owes each of the performers a moment to shine. While Harden, Cranston, and Caan leave an impression, Nelson has very little to do and Petersen’s work is reduced almost to walk-on status. Though it’s thrilling to see actors of this caliber in a small-scale project, it’s disappointing that most of their work is so fleeting.

 

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