Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Nigel M Smith
August 1, 2012 9:15 AM
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The Top 11 Indies to Watch on VOD This August

"Bachelorette" (August 10)

Six months after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, playwright Leslye Headland's film debut "Bachelorette" hits VOD a month before opening in select markets. It's nothing like the television show, "The Bachelorette," but it does bare some resemblance to the 2011 hit film, "Bridesmaids." Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, the film follows three bridesmaids (Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan) as they reunite to celebrate the upcoming nupitals of their high school friend, Becky (a scene stealing Rebel Wilson). Supported by a male cast of Adam Scott, James Marsden and Hayes McArthur, the film's a raucous, foul mouthed blast for folks who like their hard-R comedies crass and wild.

Where to Watch: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Playstation, XBOX, Vudu, Time Warner

"Beloved" (August 17)

Spanning 50 years and clocking in at over two hours, with musical numbers to boot, "Beloved" by Christophe Honoré is nothing if not ambitious. Fans of his well-received "Love Songs" from 2007 will no doubt warm to this companion piece that features sporadic bouts of song, courtesy of long-time musical collaborator Alex Beaupain. The film is "first and foremost an actor’s movie, given that the director has assembled an extraordinary all-star cast," wrote Eric Kohn in his review out of Cannes, where it had its world premiere as the festival's closing-night film. He wasn't kidding. Ludivine Sagnier portrays the stylishly haughty shoe saleswoman (and occasional prostitute) Madelaine of the '60s, while Catherine Deneuve is the Madelaine of the '90s, now in her second marriage and prone to the occasional tryst with her first husband, played by Milos Forman. Deneuve's real-life daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, plays the adult version of her on-screen daughter, Vera.

Where to Find: Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Insight, Time Warner

"Craigslist Joe" (August 2)

From Zach Galifianakis (yes, that Zach Galifianakis) comes "Craigslist Joe," a timely documentary about one man who left everything behind to see if he could survive solely off the goodwill of America's new town square: Craigslist. The guy in question is director Joseph Garner, who for 31 days and nights embarks on a wholly modern adventure that shows how the world hasn't changed that much when it comes to a sense of community -- it's just how those communites are formed that's evolved. Galifianakis served as the executive producer.

Where to Find: Blue Ridge Communications, Bright House, Charter Communications, Comcast Xfinity, COX, DirecTV VOD, Insight, Mediacom, RCN, Sudden Link, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, iTunes, Amazon Video, Blockbuster On Demand, CinemaNow, PlayStation, Vudu, XBOX, Zune

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  • Catherine | August 8, 2012 10:16 AMReply

    Third Star is a beautiful and moving film that will stay with you for a long time. The chemistry of the four main actors is phenomenal, and the incidental characters (including performances by Karl Johnson and Hugh Bonneville) are quirky and highly entertaining. I dare you not to laugh out loud AND cry during the course of this film. Bonus: It's Benedict Cumberbatch. That alone would be reason to watch this film, but it truly is a finely crafted piece of cinema.

  • Don Quichote | August 8, 2012 8:23 AMReply

    http://bruggertheambassador.blogspot.com/ explains why THE AMBASSADOR is not a documentary nor a mockumentary, and reveals the inconvenient truth behind the story about what was left out.

  • Bruce Spencer | August 1, 2012 6:29 PMReply


    An award-winning documentary by Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett

    In 2005, after winning First Grand Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival, and four years later in 2009, a similar honor at the Fargo Film Festival, “Abel Raises Cain,” a comedy feature, has defied the laws of Hollywood’s jungle. Its “legs” remain unstoppable.

    During 2011, “Abel Raises Cain” completed a four-thousand mile tour of southern colleges and museums in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Audiences of all ages were mesmerized, reacting with sustained laughter and standing ovations.

    At South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC, the sold out screening had to be held in their spacious planetarium and projected on the ceiling. It was somewhat eerie to observe a full house of patrons laughing and applauding, while lounging on the horizontal easy chairs designed for overhead viewing.

    In New Orleans, to accommodate an overflow crowd, “Abel Raises Cain” was also projected on the side of a three-story building next door. Even traffic halted to view the movie. At its conclusion, horns honked and a marching band appeared, playing “The Saints,” adding to the excitement of cheers, shouts and applause. What a tribute for filmmakers Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett!

    After each screening, Jenny took the stage to field questions from the elated audiences. They all registered their surprise and delight at this first view of the young filmmaker who deftly handled queries. When asked where her father was, that was his cue to appear from backstage for standing ovations and applause. Alan Abel was a secret guest and he joined his daughter for more banter with audiences.

    During its past and present screenings, “Abel Raises Cain” has won major awards at film festivals in Canada, England, Denmark, Germany and France. Copies of the DVD, with a commentary and extra features, are available from its website: www.abelraisescain.com

    Alan Abel will be featured off-Broadway in 2012 with “Jester At Large,” along with fellow pranksters Paul Hiatt and Frank Murgalo. Details are to be announced soon on his website: www.alanabel.com

    # # # #

  • Michael Hawley | August 1, 2012 4:33 PMReply

    Another vote here for The Ambassador (and thanks for adding a "Where to find" listing to this regular VOD column).

  • Nigel M. Smith | August 1, 2012 4:47 PM

    Sure thing! And sorry for not adding that info sooner. -- Nigel

  • Salty Bill | August 1, 2012 3:38 PMReply

    The Ambassador is hilarious, and most entertaining. Saw this at Sundance 2012.

  • MoviesAreNice | August 1, 2012 1:28 PMReply

    Wonder if the "Third Star" team likes posting comments here.

  • Rosie | August 2, 2012 2:59 PM

    It's the fans, son. We travel in packs. And it is a phenomenal film.

  • Minuialeth | August 1, 2012 12:50 PMReply

    "Third Star" is the kind of movie that stays with you long after you've watched it. It's not your usual tear jerker, despite the fact that it features a young man dying of a cancer. It's a reflexion on how we lead our lives, sometimes deluding ourselves into thinking that we're living them at their fullest, on how we can lie to ourselves and lose what we are along the way. A lot of the dialogue and situations hit very close to home. The cast is stellar, with a special mention for Benedict Cumberbatch and JJ Field. And the Welsh landscapes are just beautiful.

  • june | August 1, 2012 11:45 AMReply

    SO excited to have finally have a VOD for Third Star. It's the kind of film that curls up in your subconscious and stays there. The gorgeously filmed landscape of Wales will forever make "Barafundle Bay" seem like a magical incantation of some kind. Bring your tissues--but revel in the incredibly endearing friendship of James, Miles, Bill and Davy.

  • Sil | August 1, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    Third Star is *the* one film to watch, just perfect!

  • Katie | August 1, 2012 11:42 AMReply

    Third Star is phenomenal! Best film I've seen in years! Watch it. Love it.