Friday, April 6, 2012
The Video on Demand Report: Chipwrecked on Squeakquel Island
By Molly Lambert
Too lazy to go to a movie theater, but still want some fresh-from-the-Hollywood-meat-grinder entertainment? Good news! We'll plumb the depths of video-on-demand so you don't have to!
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked The first movie my little brother ever saw in theaters was 1987's The Chipmunk Adventure, and since he had just learned to talk pretty recently — he was 2 — he kept shouting out names of things on the screen like "car!" and "tree!" until an adult man who was seeing the movie by himself turned around and told my parents, "PLEASE BE QUIET SOME OF US ARE TRYING TO WATCH THE MOVIE." If you have children and are somehow forced to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, I feel for you. Maybe rent The Chipmunk Adventure instead. I swear it is awesome and it employed a lot of excellent animators who left Disney in the eighties after The Black Cauldron tanked. Plus the songs are way better than the chipmunked versions of "Party Rock Anthem" and "Bad Romance" you'll have to endure during Chipwrecked. If you are, for some reason, watching Chipwrecked of your own accord, that's your fault and I blame you for the next eight squeakuels, but be sure to look out for alternative comedians David Cross and Jenny Slate keeping straight faces while acting alongside CGI rodents.
New and Notable
Redemption Road Directed by Mario Van Peebles, starring Michael Clarke Duncan, Taryn Manning, Tom Skerritt, and the former Dylan McKay. I'll quote YouTube commenter Ghostgnads22 from here: "Luke Perry GONNA CUT OFF YO BALLS WIT A POCKETKNIFE!!!!!!!!!!!"
Wake Up Sid A hit Indian coming-of-age romantic comedy about two hipsters falling in love in Mumbai. Unpretentious, semi-naturalistic, and lacking item numbers, it stars the extremely winning Ranbir Kapoor as the aimless and immature Beavis and Butt-Head T-shirt-wearing college student Siddarth Mehra. (The Sid of the title.) He's a spoiled rich kid who never studies, while love interest Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma) is an aspiring journalist who works for Mumbai Beat (a takeoff on Time Out! Mumbai). With shades of '90s independent and '60s New Wave films, Wake Up Sid is refreshing and genuinely sweet.
One Fall (
A guy falls off a 200-foot cliff and comes back from the dead with healing powers, which he charges people for. A superhero movie about JESUS! Also the town it is set in is called "One Fall" and I presume without knowing that it takes place in the fall. Starring, written, and directed by soap opera actor Marcus Dean Fuller. Oh, and his character's name is "James Bond."
The Melancholy Fantastic
DOLL HORROR = AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Summer Lover (Trailer NSFW)
Looks like if Mamma Mia had been about Meryl Streep dumping all three suitors in favor of experimenting sexually with chicks, one of those fake foreign movies the characters on Seinfeld were always going to see, or Henry & June with even more softcore sex. Main character Sappho travels to the isle of Lesbos with her husband — lesbian high jinks ensue and lead to an FFM ménage à trois. To quote commenter 2ndbeast00 "yay tits on˙ youtube loll."
Helmed by a coproducer/director of Dog the Bounty Hunter (Dog cameos) and formerly titled 420 Austin High, this is the type of stoner teen movie you see late on cable one night after a couple bong hits too many and then wake up the next day thinking you dreamed it existed. The Goth main babe is named "Lambert," and that's enough for me to recommend it.
Murder by Proxy
A documentary exploring the psychology behind spree killings and the behavioral phenomenon known colloquially as "going postal."
Stacey Dash DOES NOT AGE. This looks like The Big Chill and has George Clooney's girlfriend Stacy Keibler, plus a cameo from Terrell Owens. Produced by Datari Tuner, a former male model who is building himself a little empire with reality shows like I Married a Baller and low-budget indie films like Video Girl.
Based on a true story about Oxycontin dealers in Charlestown, Massachusetts. I will watch basically anything where all the characters have Massachusetts accents, especially if it rips off the Goodfellas narration and features Boston boy David Burns from Real World: Seattle.
"In Theaters" VOD Pick
"The story centers on a group of strangers trapped in a time warp house where a terrible event transpired exactly 100 years prior." Those strangers include Mark Twain impersonator Val Kilmer, generic blond mangenue Matt Barr, charming comedic actress Bonnie Somerville, "successful European private investor" Christian Baha, and Ving Rhames. Includes creepy white-lace-wearing ghost children in foggy forests and Ving Rhames singing spirituals in a creepy voice.
Weird Indie of the Week
Hellacious Acres: The Case of John Glass
"What if the planet winds up still being uninhabitable? Will I have to freeze myself back in that coffin? Or simply wait for death like an idiot?" An arty, low-budget horror movie about a guy in a gas mask walking around an abandoned world and talking about it in a Strong Bad voice. Looks hilarious and weirdly beautiful.
Early VOD Premiere of the Week
Luke Wilson and Samuel L. Jackson will both be in anything for a buck. Jackson is a deranged law officer named Richie who says things like, "All I do is kill people who are already dead." Directed by Chris Fisher, who did S. Darko, the unofficial sequel to Donnie Darko.
A Little Bit of Heaven
What starts out seeming like an even limper-than-usual Kate Hudson romantic comedy turns out to be a Kate Hudson-gets-cancer romantic comedy! With Gael Garcia Bernal, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lucy Punch, Romany Malco, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kathy Bates. Currently rated at 5 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.