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2010 Holiday Movie Guide – Online and VOD

2010 Holiday Movie Guide – Online and VOD (photo)

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The 2010 Holiday Movie Guide. What's showing when, where and how.

The 2010 IFC Holiday Film Guide

While it could be the weather or the crowds that might dissuade people from heading to the theaters this holiday season, a handful of distributors are providing plenty of reasons to stay in with plenty of films available at just the touch of a button. IFC and Magnolia continue to bring the arthouse to your house with hot festival favorites such as Lena Dunham’s comedy “Tiny Furniture” and the Kerry Washington-Anthony Mackie drama “Night Catches Us” arriving on demand at the same time they hit theaters, while companies like FilmBuff and Gravitas are debuting new films from Edward Burns (“Nice Guy Johnny”) and Melissa Leo (“One Night”) on an array of platforms to choose from. A complete guide to what’s not at your local multiplex is below.

by Stephen Saito

DVD

ONLINE & VOD

You don’t even need to leave your couch to catch some of the latest releases, made available though your TV, computer or other digital devices. A complete overview is below.

Online and on demand for the holidays

Kerry Bishe and Matt Bush in Nice Guy Johnny, Cinetic FilmBuff, 2010

Kerry Bishé and Matt Bush in “Nice Guy Johnny,” Cinetic FilmBuff, 2010

FilmBuff

Whether it’s his dedication to remaining independent or the easygoing nature he’s always projected through his films, Edward Burns has become an unlikely pioneer for writer/directors who bypass theaters to bring their films directly to the audiences where they live. After making his last comedy “Purple Violets” the first to debut on iTunes, Burns is going digital once again for “Nice Guy Johnny,” a romantic comedy which involves a young deejay (Matt Bush) who is about give in to his fiancée’s demand to get a serious job when he meets a free spirit (Kerry Bishé) who might change his mind. A premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the film will find an audience first on cable VOD and iTunes on October 26th before rolling out on other digital platforms on November 2nd.

Following its one-night event in theaters on October 21st, Cinetic FilmBuff will also invite audiences to watch the election night doc “11/4/08” from the comfort of home, debuting on iTunes, PlayStation, Amazon VOD and other broadband platforms starting October 22nd. A month later, Banksy’s “street art disaster” doc “Exit Through the Gift Shop” forges its way to cable VOD and iTunes before hitting DVD and other digital platforms. Finally, the Outfest hit “My Normal,” which centers on a young New Yorker (Nicole LaLiberte) caught between her desire to become a proper filmmaker and her day job as a dominatrix on the Lower East Side, will arrive on cable VOD, iTunes, and Amazon VOD the same day it will land on DVD on December 7th.

Gravitas Ventures

To accompany a newly redesigned Web site, Gravitas Ventures is offering over 80 films new to VOD between now and New Year’s, even making room for holiday fare like “ThanksKilling” (now available – take that, Eli Roth!). In fact, there is a strain of dark humor in a few of Gravitas’ November titles including the VOD premiere of the Heather Graham comedy “ExTerminators” (Nov. 2), which co-stars Jennifer Coolidge and Amber Heard as a trio of women who turn their anger issues with men into a profitable business, the Screamfest-winning undead comedy “Aaah! Zombies!” (Nov. 1) and the manga adaptation “Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge” (Nov. 15). More serious fare comes in the form of recent films from veteran filmmakers Henry Jaglom (“Irene in Time,” Nov. 15) and Frederick Wiseman (“La Danse,” Nov. 15) and celebrated documentaries like the Oscar-nominated “Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” (Nov. 5) and Doug Pray’s advertising history “Art & Copy” (Nov. 1). Also newly available are the coming-of-age drama “Dakota Skye” (Nov. 1) and the Bollywood hit “Kaminey” (Nov. 1).

In December, there will be a pair of films for the tweens in your house — the musical “Standing Ovation” (Dec. 1) and the Lucas Grabeel-starring “High School Superhero” (Dec. 15) — but there is also plenty for the adults. Gravitas will enter the recent education doc fray with “The Cartel” (Dec. 1), followed by the VOD premiere of the lighter true story of Joe Redner, “Strip Club King” (Dec. 15). On the dramatic side of things, there will be Patrick Stewart’s “MacBeth” (Dec. 1), the Alyssa Milano romantic comedy “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” (Dec. 1), the Bollywood drama “Peepli Live” (Dec. 1), the David Keith smalltown drama “Boys of Summerville” (Dec. 1) and the Melissa Leo-headed ensemble drama “One Night” (Dec. 1)

IFC Films

Although most would agree Olivier Assayas’ much lauded five-and-a-half hour crime epic “Carlos” would be best seen in a theater, IFC Films has made the potentially buttbreaking experience more palatable by offering it on demand, just as it will with many of the titles on their exciting holiday slate including a trio of films already available such as the Dermot Mulroney-Diane Kruger thriller “Inhale,” the late Claude Chabrol’s final mystery “Inspector Bellamy” and the Kristin Scott Thomas drama “Leaving.” Soon those films will be joined in theaters and on demand by Lena Dunham’s breakthrough comedy “Tiny Furniture” (Nov. 17) and Claire Denis’ “White Material” (Nov. 24) and the new IFC Midnight title, “Heartless” (Nov. 19) with “21” star Jim Sturgess.

But as usual, IFC is also offering many VOD premieres of films from around the world that can be seen nowhere else in the States, starting with the French spelunking thriller “Highlane” (Oct. 20) and the Emmanuelle Bercot psychological drama “Student Services” (Oct. 27). The global offerings continue in November where IFC will premiere the odd British romance “The Orgasm Diaries” (Nov. 3, known better to some by its festival title “brilliantlove”) and the thrillers “Beneath the Dark” (Nov. 5) and “Victim” (Nov. 17). Finally in December, IFC Midnight will debut a series of French chillers — Antoine Blossier’s “Prey” (Dec. 3) and the Anne Parillaud thriller “In Their Sleep” (Dec. 3) – to compliment IFC’s Gilles Marchand drama “Black Heaven” (Dec. 10) to close out the year.


Magnolia Pictures

Several of the highlights of Magnolia Pictures’ stellar 2010 are still available through their Ultra VOD platforms including Amazon on Demand and iTunes, including the recent anthology doc “Freakonomics,” the Joaquin Phoenix mock doc “I’m Still Here,”, the Judy Greer-Patrick Wilson comedy “Barry Munday,” and the Neil Marshall action epic “Centurion,” not to mention the recent additions of “Enron” director Alex Gibney’s Eliot Spitzer exposé “Client 9” and the stripped down sci-fier “Monsters.” However, as is their wont, Magnolia will be bringing a trio of films to audiences at home nearly a month before they hit theaters. These debuts include the Black Panther romantic drama “Night Catches Us” (Oct. 29) with Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington, the Ryan Gosling-Kirsten Dunst murder mystery “All Good Things” (Nov. 12) and the Tony Jaa pièce de résistance “Ong Bak 3” (Dec. 3).

SnagFilms

The home of over 1600 documentaries is turning their attention to politics as the midterm elections draw closer, recently debuting a series of 15 films, each dealing with different social issues or politically themed, in what they’ve called their “Midterm Madness Festival.” Between now and November 2nd, SnagFilms will host the online debuts of the award-winning medical marijuana doc “Waiting to Inhale,” Mario Van Peebles’ short “Bring Your ‘A’ Game,” and Robert Yuhas’ “Becoming Barack.” Other films in the series include the ubiquitous “11/4/08,” the election docs “Purple States: 14 Shorts on the 08 General Election and Primaries” and “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”, the high school-set “Prom Night in Mississippi” and “Electoral High School,” the Wikipedia history “Truth in Numbers,” Macky Alston’s “Questioning Faith,”, the agricultural doc “Ripe for Change,” “Move On: The Movie,” and the hot topic docs “Nuclear Tipping Point,” “Operation Homecoming,” and “Tying the Knot.”

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.