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Action

VOD Spotlight: “The Adjustment Bureau”

Many couples will say that there are people conspiring to keep them apart. But in The Adjustment Bureau, rising politician David Norris (Matt Damon) glimpses a much darker conspiracy — agents of the Bureau, who not only want to keep him from pursuing a relationship with a ballerina (Emily Blunt), but also control the rest of the world as well. In the short story “Adjustment Team” by science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick, the protagonist was an insurance salesman. The film creators made him a politician because, says producer Michael Hackett, “Picking a politician allowed us a character whose decisions can […]

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Action

VOD Spotlight: “The Eagle”

The Eagle has its story in fact — that the Ninth Legion of Roman soldiers vanished into what is now Scotland. Furious at what was likely a defeat by barbarians, the Roman emperor Hadrian built a wall to seal off the edge of the known world. Known as Hadrian’s Wall, the ruins of it exist to this day. The story was the basis for the novel The Eagle of the Ninth, an epic tale of heroism by Rosemary Sutcliff, one of the favorite novels of The Eagle producer Duncan Kenworthy. “It’s a wonderfully resonant and exciting story, with characters, issues, […]

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Drama

VOD Spotlight: “Red Riding Hood”

The story of Little Red Riding Hood has its origins in 14th-century European folk tales. In a time when dangerous and dark forests were a way of life, stories such as this kept children safely close to home at night. The story and others like it also served as warnings to young women to be careful of men — the term “wolf” surviving to this day to describe a predatory male. Moving from the wolf to the werewolf, as the film Red Riding Hood does, we have a monster that can be destroyed if it falls in love with a […]

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Hall Pass”

There are plenty of date movies that will leave couples talking, but for many, Hall Pass may generate the most intense conversations. In this romantic comedy, two wives become fed up with their husbands’ constant rubbernecking of beautiful women, So they give the men, Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis), a two-week “hall pass” in which they can do whatever they like with no questions asked.

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Action

VOD Spotlight: “Sanctum”

Given the number of films he’s made with underwater scenes — such as the dramas The Abyss and Titanic,  as well as underwater documentaries — it’s clear that James Cameron has an affinity for the dangers of water and the claustrophobic pressures of the deep, even after a near drowning on the set of The Abyss. Like Titanic, the underwater adventure Sanctum is based on an actual event. In 1988, film producer and caver Andrew Wight led an expedition into a remote cave in Australia. An intense storm caused the cave entrance to collapse, leaving 15 people trapped underground. A […]

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Just Go With It”

Brooklyn Decker makes a seamless move from modeling to acting in her first major motion picture Just Go With It. Decker’s character Palmer becomes the object of affection of Danny (Adam Sandler), who avoids commitment by telling women he is married. But when he falls for Palmer, instead of telling her the truth about his marital status, he compounds the lie, with hilarious consequences, using his long-suffering assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to play his soon-to-be-ex-wife.

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Horror

VOD Spotlight: “The Rite”

In 2007, there were reports that the Vatican was planning an initiative to install an exorcist in every diocese in the world. Matt Baglio, a reporter living in Rome, was intrigued by this and met with Father Gary Thomas, a priest undergoing exorcism training. He shadowed Fr. Thomas through six months of training, “One of the reasons why I wrote the book the way that I did,” he explains, “is to say, ‘This is the reality of exorcism as the Church teaches it.’” The result was the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, on which the film […]

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Movies

VOD Spotlight: “The Roommate”

College is a time to stretch your mind, and learn to live independently, which is what dorm life is all about. But for some, it’s also pretty dismal, especially if a roommate isn’t what you expected. In The Roommate, Sara (Minka Kelly), a design student from Iowa, is assigned a room with Rebecca (Leighton Meester), a wealthy girl from Pasadena who, as the film unfolds, develops an obsession with Sara. “Leighton was the first person we cast for this movie,” says director Christian E. Christiansen, whose previous film, Råzone, was about teen bullying. “And she is a fantastic actress. The […]

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “The Dilemma”

By Karl J. Paloucek Some situations are so uncomfortable and ugly, it’s hard to find any levity in them whatsoever. And sometimes, the best thing that can happen to such a circumstance is to exploit it for comedic value. That, in essence, is what Ron Howard has done in his film The Dilemma, starring Vince Vaughn, Kevin James and Winona Ryder. At the heart of the film is the longtime friendship of Ronny (Vaughn) and Nick (James), two entrepreneurs working on a dream of pitching their idea for an electric muscle car to the Chrysler Corporation. (Queen Latifah has a […]

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Action

VOD Spotlight: “The Green Hornet” offers another memorable Kato

“As an irresponsible idiot, I’m quite good,” says Seth Rogen, who stars as Britt Reid, the hard-partying playboy who turns to vigilante crime fighting in The Green Hornet. But as any fan of the Hornet knows, the actor playing Kato is a costar in every sense of the word. It’s actually hard to remember that Van Williams played Reid in the original TV series, but everyone with any interest in the history of superheroes remembers that Bruce Lee was Kato. So it’s particularly fitting that Asian pop superstar Jay Chou should play Kato in the new Green Hornet, as Chou […]