Video on Demand Report: Art Thieves, Beer Heirs, and Jersey Sharks

The Headliner


“The reviews say that Battleship is stupid fun!” I said, as we walked out of Hysteria (the vibrator movie) earlier this summer. “Well, let’s go see it,” he said. So we did. Mistake!

I love a stupid action movie — the stupider the better, in fact — but the combination of the obvious invading force (surprise! It’s aliens) and PG-13 rating (consider my bloodlust unquenched!) make Battleship eminently missable. Oh yeah, there’s also the movie’s position as the meat in Taylor Kitsch’s 2012 failure sandwich, right there between John Carter and Savages. So maybe it’s worth seeing so that you can tell your descendants you were there the moment everything fell apart for him? But it’s really boring. And no one even says “You sunk [sic] my battleship!” once, which is B.S.

(Hysteria is not so hot either.)

New and Notable

The Lucky One

Zac Efron plays a returned Iraq war veteran who works with animals and is nice to a single mother and her kid, even though her kid is the smug little puke from the Toyota Highlander commercial in the chick-iest chick flick ever. No kidding, this movie offers absolutely nothing of interest to straight men. Speaking of which …

Think Like a Man

This film adaptation of Steve Harvey’s inexplicably bestselling book points out the many ways in which women are wack and yet have to adhere to extremely restrictive rules if they hope to forge real relationships with men who are worth a damn, I guess.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Hugh Grant is a pirate who goes to sea with Charles Darwin (David Tennant) in the latest erudite family film from Aardman Animation, creators of Wallace & Gromit.

Darling Companion

Lawrence “The Big Chill” Kasdan reunites with muse Kevin Kline for another look at what it’s like to be privileged and white in America. This time, Kline’s married to Diane Keaton, who loses her mind when their dog runs away.


The story of an executive recruiter/elite art thief (which also features the foxy Lannister brother from Game of Thrones in a supporting role), the Norwegian suspense film Headhunters is one I’ve been excited about since reading a great review of it in The New Yorker earlier this year.

The Heineken Kidnapping

Did you know that in 1983, Freddy Heineken, heir to the Heineken beer fortune, was kidnapped, and then hunted down his own kidnappers after his release? Well, it’s true. Rutger Hauer plays Heineken in what looks kind of like a Dutch Taken.

Below Zero

Edward Furlong plays a blocked writer (the typewriter-using kind that only exists in movies) who ends up getting stalked by a fictional murderer of his own creation (played by Michael Berryman of The Hills Have Eyes fame). Let’s be generous and say that Furlong’s look — severely gone to seed — is just for the role.

The Viral Factor

Contagion as a Hong Kong–style action thriller? Yes. Obviously. I’m in.

Citizen Gangster

Scott Speedman plays a (real) bank robber in mid-century Toronto, and his ass looks so good when he vaults over the tellers’ desks that the trailer shows him doing so twice.

The Moth Diaries

This gothic drama stars Sarah Bolger (of In America) as a boarding-school girl strangely attracted to a mysterious new girl, and Scott Speedman (again!) as their dreamy English teacher.

Searching for Sonny

Late ’00s TV stars Minka Kelly, Jason Dohring, and Masi Oka all show up in this high school reunion noir that can’t possibly compare favorably to Grosse Pointe Blank.

“In Theaters” VOD Picks


In 1964 France, a comely young lady gets paid for sex and ends up with some hot shoes, and a daughter. In 1997, that lady is Catherine Deneuve, her daughter is Catherine Deneuve’s actual daughter, and Milos Forman and Paul Schneider are also involved? Yeah, OK, I’m intrigued.

General Education

An overachieving kid goes to extremes when he finds out he’s not going to graduate with his class. Summer school with a pack of misfits and weirdos ensues.

Weird Indie of the Week

1 Out of 7

The movie may not be so weird (it certainly seems to take its mission of pitilessly educating its audience about the grim plight of teen runaways — yet Vivica A. Fox is in it), but the trailer is bizarrely paced and feels endless.

Early VOD Premiere of the Week

Solomon Kane

Surely we as a society could have found a better tribute to the late Pete Postlethwaite than to have this be his last film.

Masochist’s Choice

Jersey Shore Shark Attack

They couldn’t call it Jersey Shore Shark Attack without having at least one Jersey Shore cast member in it! YES, Vinny does SO count!

Filed Under: Battleship, Jersey Shore, Movies, Taylor Kitsch, VOD OCD