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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Going the Distance” keeps it real

In the romantic comedy Going the Distance, an aspiring journalist (Drew Barrymore) and a music rep (Justin Long) meet and fall in love, then must try to keep their romance alive even though one lives in New York City and the other in San Francisco. This isn’t some romantic Sleepless in Seattle fantasy, though. Everyone involved wanted to make this relationship as real as possible. The screenplay was penned by first-time feature writer Geoff LaTulippe, who didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “The idea for the story actually came — and this would be shocking to a lot of […]

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Drama

VOD Spotlight: “Eat Pray Love” is a sojourn for the soul

By Karl J. Paloucek There’s a long tradition of stories involving women feeling trapped by marriage and finding a way out. Gustave Flaubert created a scandal in the mid 19th century with Madame Bovary, telling of a woman’s adulterous affairs as a means of escaping her tedious marriage to a dull doctor. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening offered its heroine watery suicide as her only life-affirming option. But in this century, the story that has gripped the public imagination is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, the film adaptation of which premieres this month on Movies On Demand.

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Drama

VOD Spotlight: Flipping the setting for “Flipped”

Flipped is the story of Bryce and Juli. When they first meet as second-graders, Juli knows it’s  love. But Bryce isn’t so sure. Girl-phobic and easily embarrassed, young Bryce does everything he can  to keep his outspoken wannabe girlfriend at arm’s length … for the next six years, which isn’t easy since they go to the same school and live across the street from each other.  But if Juli finally looks away, will it be Bryce’s turn to be dazzled?  The film takes Bryce and Juli from grade school to junior high,  through triumph and disaster, family drama and first […]

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: Not necessarily fighting like “Cats & Dogs”

Although the main villain in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is a cat, don’t get the idea that this follow-up to the hit 2001 comedy Cats & Dogs is anti-cat. While Kitty Galore plots to break the human-dog relationship once and for all, the plan also pits feline against feline and in fact could jeopardize the future of all creatures. “We don’t mean to misrepresent our feline friends as all bad,” says producer Polly Johnsen. “It’s just this one cat who isn’t quite with the program. As a result, cats and dogs must unite against a common […]

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Drama

VOD Spotlight: Conceiving and delivering “The Kids Are All Right”

The most talked-about movie at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and the winner of the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival, The Kids Are All Right is directed by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) from an original screenplay that she wrote with Stuart Blumberg (Keeping the Faith). It’s a richly drawn portrait of a modern family. Nic and Jules (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) are married and share a cozy suburban Southern California home with their teenage children, Joni and Laser (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson). Nic and Jules – or, when […]

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: Wealth of comedy in “Lottery Ticket”

In the comedy Lottery Ticket, Bow Wow plays Kevin Carson, a poor kid in the projects whose winning numbers in a Friday night drawing on the Fourth of July 3-day weekend may make him an instant multimillionaire — if he can hold onto the ticket long enough to claim the prize with so many of his neighbors trying to steal it from him. With friends, neighbors, local thugs and even his minister hot on the trail of the ticket, Kevin is going to have one wild weekend. Bow Wow says of the predicament his character finds himself in, “Kevin’s just […]

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Action

VOD Spotlight: The 7 evil exes of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a deft blend of action, comedy and music based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Michael Cera plays the title character, a slacker musician in an indie rock band who starts dating the girl of his dreams (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but must defeat her seven evil exes if he wants to win her heart. Scott’s journey to winning the heart of Ramona involves achieving enough self-awareness, self respect and maturity along the way that he doesn’t become just another evil ex himself. As he fights his way through the “League of Evil […]

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Drama

VOD Spotlight: Brothers on and off the set of “Charlie St. Cloud”

By Elaine Bergstrom Charlie St. Cloud, the story of a young man so overcome by grief and guilt over the tragic death of his kid brother that he retreats into a fantasy world where he believes he can still see him, is based on a novel by Ben Sherwood. Sherwood says the inspiration for his book came from two sources, “First, the sudden and unexpected loss of my father and the accompanying feelings of profound sadness and being frozen in place. … Second, the liberating, transformative power of love.”

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Comedy

VOD Spotlight: “Grown Ups” stars take their families on a working vacation

By Elaine Bergstrom In the film Grown Ups, a group of old friends get together for a vacation for the first time in 30 years. The film’s stars, including Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and others, have also known each other for years. It wasn’t hard to get them to sign on, particularly when the filming turned into a family affair. “Adam’s whole idea was that everyone would bring their families and we’d all have a nice summer at the lake house,” director Dennis Dugan says. “It was one of the best summers […]

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Action

VOD Spotlight: A new “Karate Kid” learns from the best

By Elaine Bergstrom Ralph Macchio was in his 20s when he played a bullied teen in The Karate Kid. Jaden Smith — best known for his role alongside father Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness —was just 11 when he took on the role in the remake, which makes the bullying his character endures far more painful to watch. But Smith had a pair of allies on his side who aided his transformation in the film: Wu Gang, the stunt coordinator of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, and Chan himself, who plays the role made famous by Pat Morita.