Video on Demand Report: Creepy Dolls, Bad Musicals, and Canadian Indies
Man on a Ledge
Sequels: Man on a Drawbridge, Man in a Fridge, Man by a Hedge. Sam Worthington is the man, and Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Oliver, or Edward Burns are the ledge. Pablo F. Fenjves, the screenwriter, has previously written mostly TV movies with titles like Trophy Wife, The Devil’s Child, Bloodhounds I & II, and When the Dark Man Calls.
New and Notable
A Necessary Death
A Blair Witch–type fiction posing as documentary film about a man planning his on-camera suicide. Follow-up to Daniel Stamm’s last effort, the horror faux-doc The Last Exorcism.
An ensemble romantic comedy about a group of strangers finding love on the national holiday. Nah, just kidding, it’s a war movie.
Ewan McGregor and Eva Green in an erotic thriller. You know what that probably means: full-frontal and lots of it.
The Doll Master
A Korean horror movie about dolls that involves a creepy lady in a wheelchair, an old man chained up in a cellar, and a doll museum in the forest. Have fun never sleeping again while you dream about dolls crawling all over you!
Amanda Seyfried gets her Liam Neeson–style vigilante movie on. Instead of a kidnapped wife or daughter, it’s her sister she’s searching for. Stop looking for Molly! I’m right here! I was carrying you all along!
Josh Lucas as a businessman on the downswing who buys and boards a sailboat to find himself. Sounds like all my Moby Dick fantasies. What is so alluring about boats? It’s because they’re wombs, right? Who’s got a boat I can borrow?
Deadwood-aping no-budget remake of a 1935 John Wayne movie, starring Christian Slater as the titular cowboy. Ticks off every imaginable Western cliché, Canadian-style.
“In Theaters” VOD Pick
A reporter interviewing convicts at a juvenile detention center falls for one of them. Directed by insanely beautiful actress/director Maiwenn, whom you may recognize from High Tension or The Fifth Element. She had a fucked-up life as a child actress, and served as the inspiration for Mathilda, the Lolita-like sexualized child character played by Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional. Creepily enough, Maiwenn had a child with director Luc Besson when she was 16. Now 36, she has become a respected French director in her own right.
Weird Indie of the Week
Take This Waltz
Canadian actress Sarah Polley steps behind the camera again after her triumph with Away From Her. Take This Waltz is a dramedy about relationships starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, and Luke Kirby. Silverman, who flexes her serious acting skills, supposedly also has a nude scene.
Early VOD Premiere of the Week
Ralph Fiennes marks his directorial debut by starring in a modern-day set adaptation of Shakespeare’s Roman tragedy Coriolanus opposite Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain, and Brian Cox.
Love Never Dies
If the Les Misérables trailer stoked the tiny fire inside of you that likes bombastic ’80s musicals, you may be interested in this curio: the filmed version of Love Never Dies, the much-maligned sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Ten years after the events of Phantom, heroine Christine Daae becomes the main attraction at a 1907 Coney Island show called Phantasma. Something Wicked This Way Comes–style, we find out that the Phantom now runs the amusement park, and then some crazy steampunk theme park set piece numbers go down. This actually sounds a whole lot like Brian De Palma’s campy horror-musical Phantom of the Paradise, which was actually nominated for an Oscar in 1974 for its Paul Williams songs. Fun fact: I tried to direct my friends in a production of The Phantom of the Opera in second grade.