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Drama

VOD Spotlight: Performances in “The Fighter” pack a punch

A friend of mine told me recently that he wasn’t in a hurry to see The Fighter because, frankly, he felt like he’d seen it already. I could hardly blame him. The broad strokes of the story — a down-on-his-luck, mush-mouthed boxer struggles through family strife and hard knocks on his way to glory — fit right into the tired sports-movie template. But thankfully, The Fighter has much more firepower in its arsenal than just the same old jabs. Long a passion project of star Mark Wahlberg, the film tells the real-life story of “Irish” Micky Ward, a determined brawler […]

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Drama

VOD Spotlight: Eastwood’s “Hereafter” explores life on the other side

As a star and a director, Clint Eastwood has had a relationship with death for years. In his acclaimed recent films, he explored the effect of death on the living in Mystic River and the need to die with honor in Gran Torino. In Hereafter, Eastwood looks at what life may be like after death. “We don’t know what’s on the other side, but on this side it’s final,” he says. “People have their beliefs … but those are all hypotheticals. Nobody knows until you get there.” And in that spirit, Eastwood has crafted a film that raises questions viewers […]

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Animation

VOD Spotlight: The compassionate supervillain of “Megamind”

All superheroes have their supervillains, but the title character in Megamind examines life from the perspective of the “bad guy.” Megamind is a cuddly blue alien baby who fell to Earth and landed in a prison where he was raised by convicts. Now an adult, Megamind believes it is his destiny to be evil and fight the “good” alien, Metro Man. But Metro Man (voiced by Brad Pitt) may not be as good as Megamind or the public believes. Conversely, Megamind may not be so evil.

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Jackass 3”

So you think your kid is crazy? In 1997, aspiring lunatic Philip John “PJ” Clapp shot himself in the chest with a .38-caliber revolver to test the strength of a bulletproof vest. But according to his mother, the man who would change his name to Johnny Knoxville was apparently crazed from early childhood. The toddler who would climb out of his playpen and throw himself on the floor “matured” into a teen who reportedly dove out of a second-floor hotel window into the pool. Jackass, the TV series and the films, worried Knoxville’s mom, Lemoyne Clapp, who says she hopes […]

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Morning Glory”

There is a great tradition of comedies featuring ambitious young women, from the 1940 film His Girl Friday to the modern dramedy Working Girl. In Morning Glory, the comedy is set in the frequently funny world of morning news broadcasts. It stars Rachel McAdams as Becky Fuller, a talented television producer who tries to make peace between an egotistical news reporter (Harrison Ford) and a morning show host (Diane Keaton) so she can turn the falling ratings around. “If you’ve seen any clips on YouTube, you know that morning news is full of some of the most absurdly hysterical stuff […]

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Due Date”

Right from the start it was a mismatch made in heaven. Writer, producer and director Todd Phillips loves working with creative comics skilled at improvisation. Though he worked had worked with Due Date star Zach Galifianakis, most notably on the hilarious comedy The Hangover, he’d never had that experience with Robert Downey Jr., who he calls “one of the greatest talents out there.” He knew Downey was looking to do a comedy and thought the actor would be perfect for the role of a husband trying to get home in time for the birth of his son. “The thing that […]

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Movies

The top 10 Movies On Demand of 2010

By Ryan Berenz Global digital media measurement and research company Rentrak released its Multi-Screen Top Performing Titles of 2010 list, which includes the top viewed Movies On Demand from last year: Title/VOD Release Date/Domestic Box Office Gross (Millions) 1. The Blind Side (3/23/10) $226 2. Couples Retreat (2/9/10) $109.2 3. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (3/19/10) $296.6 4. Hot Tub Time Machine (Unrated) (6/29/10) $50.3 5. Grown Ups (11/9/10) $162 6. Date Night (8/10/10) $98.7 7. It’s Complicated (4/27/10) $112.7 8. The Book of Eli (6/15/10) $94.8 9. Shutter Island (6/8/10) $128 10. The Hurt Locker (1/12/10) $17

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Life As We Know It”

Life as We Know It is a romantic comedy about a man and woman (Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel) who become guardian of their mutual friends’ baby when the parents are killed in an auto accident. The pair, now sharing their friends’ house, have nothing in common but a mutual dislike for each other and a love of little Sophie. Because of the limitations of filming infants and small children, identical twins are often used to play one very young character. With Life, the film’s creators found charming identical triplets — Alexis, Brynn and Brooke Clagett, born in May 2008 […]

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Drama

VOD Spotlight: “The Social Network” is a slap in the Facebook

By Karl J. Paloucek It wasn’t all that long ago that we lived in a world without Facebook. But as with all things in the information age, change happens rapidly, and the difference between being at the vanguard of change and just behind it can not only be razor-thin, but it can also be enough to sever friendships that should have lasted a lifetime. In essence, this is the story of The Social Network. Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg stars as an unbelievably arrogant Mark Zuckerberg in the story of the socially awkward rise of Facebook, the most successful social networking […]

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Action

VOD Spotlight: Jovovich makes “Resident Evil” franchise her own

The Resident Evil films may be based on a video game, but the franchise plays by its own rules and has become famous for unexpectedly killing off major characters without warning. Not so for Alice, played by Milla Jovovich, who now appears in Resident Evil: Afterlife. “Alice is the ultimate heroine,” producer Don Carmody says. “She‘s a combination of Wonder Woman and Indiana Jane and she‘s out there kicking ass and taking names.”