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

"Third Star" (August 14)

Sherlock Holmes himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, stars in this comically revealing drama about a close group of friends who take an ill-advised trip to the coast of West Wales. Trekking through the unforgiving landscape to camp on a long-beloved beach, the friends fight, laugh, drink and have a rather strange (and shirtless) encounter with Hugh Bonneville ("Downton Abbey"), which brings them together in a way they never thought possible. Think of it as Britain's answer to "The Hangover," minus the tiger, baby and Vegas-type shenanigans.

Where to Find: iTunes, Amazon, Movies On Demand, Cinemanow, Playstation, Vudu, XBOX, YouTube

"Why Stop Now" (August 17)

Previously known as "Predisposed" back when it played at the Sundance Film Festival, "Why Stop Now" pairs up recent Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg with Oscar winner Melissa Leo as a dysfunctional mother/son duo. Directed by Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner, "Why Stop Now" follows one hell of a chaotic day in the life of a piano prodigy (Eisenberg) who on the day of a very important audition for a prestigious program is forced to help his drug-addicted mother (Leo) get her fix from her drug dealer (Tracy Morgan) so she can qualify for rehab. Yes, you read that right.

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

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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.