Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas -- Movies for Tribeca Film Fans From New Video (Review)

When I am looking for a movie to watch, I usually check out the independent movie channels online, as well as the local rental kiosks.  There is something about these low budget films that really makes for a captivating movie experience.  I find that the acting in these types of movies is much better than other movies in the mainstream movie arenas.  And, it is nice to see some of my favorite actors/actresses from film and television delve in independent films.  One of my go-to spots for Tribeca Film favorites is NewVideo.com.  Not only do they offer DVDs for purchase, but I am now seeing more digital download movies, which is great, as I can watch them on my iPad or on the go.  

Here are just some of the recent Tribeca Film releases that New Video is offering, that would make for great gift ideas for movie buffs who like Tribeca Film selections/independent movies.


"A mysterious criminal rolls into a small town planning to knock off the local bank, assuming it will go off without a hitch. But when he encounters a retired poetry professor, his plans take an unlikely turn. With no place to stay, the professor generously welcomes him into his home. As the two men talk, a bond forms between these two polar opposites, and surprising moments of humor and compassion emerge. As they begin to understand each other more, they each examine the choices they’ve made in their lives – secretly longing to live the type of lifestyle the other man has lived, based on the desire to escape their own.

An English language adaption of Patrice Leconte’s acclaimed French crime drama “L’Homme du Train,” THE MAN ON THE TRAIN stars Donald Sutherland as The Professor and Larry Mullen, Jr. in his acting debut as The Thief. The original version, which won awards and critical praise when it premiered in 2002, starred Jean Rochefort and Johnny Hallyday (a renowned musician widely known as the “French Elvis Presley.”)

THE MAN ON THE TRAIN also stars Kate O’Toole, Tony Nardi, Carlo Rota, and Graham Greene. Adapted by Mary McGuckian from a screenplay by Patrice Leconte and Claude Klot; Stefan von Bjorn, cinematography; Mary McGuckian, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Martin Katz, producers. The DVD includes deleted scenes."

Pricing:                                $26.95 US
Runtime:                             90 minutes
Rating:                                 NR
Language:                           English
Color:                                   Color
Audio Format:                  Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo
Genre:                                  Drama, Thriller


"Directed by Josh Stolberg (Piranha, Good Luck Chuck), CONCEPTION is a clever, romantic comedy that proves it takes more than sex to make a baby. From a couple fighting the odds of fertility to young teenagers losing their virginity, the film follows nine very different couples on the night they conceive, showing that sex can sometimes be more neurotic than erotic. The hilarious ensemble cast includes Emmy® winner Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Emmy® nominee Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), David Arquette (Never Been Kissed), Jason Mantzoukas (The League), and Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball).

“Funny and charming.” – Aisle Seat

CONCEPTION is written and directed by Josh Stolberg; produced by Leila Charles Leigh, Stephanie Sherrin and Josh Stolberg; co-produced by Leila Charles Leigh; edited by Naomi Sunrise Filoramo; cinematography by Noah Rosenthal. The DVD includes an Interview with Director Josh Stolberg and Producer Leila Charles Leigh, Presented by American Express, and Deleted Scenes and Outtakes."

Pricing:                       $26.95 US
Runtime:                     87 mins., plus extras
Rating:                        NR


"Janice (Jenna Fischer, The Office) is in her thirties and struggling with adulthood. Tim (Chris Messina, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), a silver-painted street performer, realizes that his unique talents don’t exactly pay the bills. THE GIANT MECHANICAL MAN is a charming comedic love story between Janice and Tim about what it means to grow up and find love on your own terms.

Evicted from her apartment and forced to move in with her overbearing sister (Malin Akerman, Couples Retreat), Janice is on the receiving end of well-intentioned but misguided pressure to date Doug (Topher Grace, That ’70s Show), an egotistical self-help guru. Everyone seems to know what’s best for Janice and she often struggles to find her own voice and speak up for what she wants.

Tim is a dedicated street performer who enjoys his role as a mechanical man. His girlfriend recently ended their relationship because of his lack of motivation to find a better job. After looking at job listings in the newspaper, he eventually finds a position at the local zoo, where Janice is later hired to work at one of the concessions stands. As Janice and Tim begin to know each other, they form a common bond and realize they are perfect for each other.

As a symbol of the urge to break free from a life defined for us, THE GIANT MECHANICAL MAN brings forward an optimism and feeling of belonging that can only come from falling in love.
Director/writer Lee Kirk’s debut feature, THE GIANT MECHANICAL MAN, releases October 9 on standard digital platforms and DVD from Cinedigm Entertainment Group, a division of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), following a theatrical premiere and cable VOD release in April from Tribeca Film. In addition to Fischer, Messina, Grace and Akerman, the film’s stellar cast includes Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad), Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher) and Rich Sommer (Mad Men).

Says Kirk: “’What if only one person understands your art?’ This was the question I posed when I began writing the script. And in doing so, the most important character for me to create was this ‘one person.’ I wanted someone who on the surface seemed ordinary and forgettable, the kind of person you pass on the street and wouldn’t notice, but upon closer inspection is every bit as vibrant and complicated as the rest of us… her journey is where the true emotion of the story lies. From here, the film evolved into a love story.”

THE GIANT MECHANICAL MAN is directed and written by Lee Kirk; executive produced by Michael Cowan, Michael Gallant, Tim Nardelli, Mike Ilitch, Jr., and Glenn P. Murray; produced by actress Jenna Fischer, Molly Hassell, and Michael Nardelli; edited by Robert Komatsu. The DVD includes an interview with Jenna Fischer and writer/director Lee Kirk, presented by American Express."

Pricing:                                $26.95 US
Runtime:                             89 mins. + extras
Rating:                                 NR
Language:                          English
Color:                                   Color
Audio Format:                  Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo
Genre:                                  Comedy


"On the surface, James Deakin (Nick Stahl, Sin City, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) lives a quiet, routine, comfortable life with his wife Amy (Mia Kirshner, The Vampire Diaries) in their suburban home. Under the subtle manipulation of a faceless voyeur, however, cracks in their relationship begin to emerge. When Amy suddenly disappears, James is left to wonder if she’s been abducted or simply abandoned him, but their tormentor doesn’t stop there. As the manipulations become more twisted and violent, James desperately tries to identify just who’s doing this to him and why, but his adversary always seems to be one step ahead.

In this fresh, subversive take on the found-footage horror genre from the makers of Splice and Cube, filmmaker Randall Cole uses hidden cameras secretly placed throughout the house to illustrate the terror from the stalker’s point of view.

“Puts an entirely new spin on the concept of verite horror” – Twitch Film
“A taut, often ingenious thriller” – Variety

388 ARLETTA AVENUE is written and directed by Randall Cole; executive produced by Vincenzo Natali; produced by Steven Hoban and Mark Smith; edited by Kathy Weinkauf. The DVD includes Behind the Scenes Interviews with Cast and Crew, Presented by American Express."

Pricing:                       $29.95 US
Runtime:                     87 mins., plus extras
Rating:                        NR


"In 1960s Cape Town, as apartheid steals the expressive rights of blacks and whites alike, young Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten, Black Book, Valkyrie) finds her freedom writing poetry while frittering through a series of stormy affairs. Amid escalating quarrels with her lovers and her rigid father, a parliament censorship minister (Rutger Hauer, Sin City, Batman Begins), Jonker wit­nesses an unconscionable event that will alter the course of both her artistic and personal lives.

BLACK BUTTERFLIES, a narrative feature based on the life of “South Africa’s Sylvia Plath,” releases July 17 on standard digital platforms and DVD. The film premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, where van Houten received the Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Award. At the 2011 Netherlands Film Festival, BLACK BUTTERFLIES received the Best Film Award, van Houten received the Best Actress Award and Sander Vos received the Best Editing Award. The film received rave reviews and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.

Jonker gained worldwide recognition in 1994 after Nelson Mandela read her poem, “The Child Who Was Shot Dead by Soldiers in Nyanga” during his opening address to the first South African democratic parliament. While living in Cape Town, Jonker became involved with Jack Cope and led a free-spirited life, despite her inner turmoil. Many of her poems and writings reflected on the destruction created by apartheid, including the poem made famous by Mandela.

After learning more about Jonker and watching Mandela’s address, Dutch producer Arry Voorsmit was inspired to create a feature film about the troubled poet. Much of the research for the film revolved around documentaries, books, and Jonker’s poems as well as Cope’s journals, which were donated after his death, to the National English Literary Museum in Grahamstown, South Africa.

“The core of the story became this idea that as a human being you have to have a reason to live. There is a need for everybody to express themselves and apartheid is just the background in front of which our story unfolds,” Voorsmit said.

BLACK BUTTERFLIES is directed by Paula van der Oest (The Domino Effect, Tiramisu); executive produced by Arnold Heslenfeld; produced by Frans van Gestel, Richard Claus, Michael Auret and Arry Voorsmit, written by Greg Latter; edited by Sander Vos; cinematography by Giulio Biccari. The DVD includes an interview with van der Oest and van Houten, presented by American Express."

Pricing:                                $26.95 US/ $29.95 CAN
Runtime:                             96 mins. + extras
Rating:                                 NR
Language:                          English
Color:                                   Color
Audio Format:                  Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo
Genre:                                  Drama

Don't ask me to choose a favorite amongst the films above, as they were all good in their own right.  From dramas, to comedies and thrillers, you will not be disappointed when you pick up one of more of the above movies to watch.  And, when you sit down to watch these movies, you will be pleasantly surprised to see well-known actors like Donald Sutherland and current television stars like Jenna Fischer (The Office)and Julie Bowen (Modern Family) starring in this films.  I will say that Black Butterflies was extremely moving, and a movie not to miss.

So, with the holidays fast approaching, head on over to NewVideo.com today and purchase some of the above titles, as well as other best selling or featured films online, to have in time for the holidays.  This website has become my go-to site for independent films, and will hopefully become yours. :-)


About Tribeca Film
Tribeca Film is a comprehensive distribution label dedicated to acquiring and marketing independent films across multiple platforms, including video-on-demand, theatrical and home video.  It is an initiative from Tribeca Enterprises designed to provide new platforms for how film can be experienced, while supporting filmmakers and introducing audiences to films they might not otherwise see. American Express continues its support of Tribeca and the independent film community by serving as the Founding Partner of Tribeca Film.

About Cinedigm Entertainment Group
Cinedigm Entertainment Group, a division of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp is a state of the art digital distributor of award-winning independent films and alternative content. CEG has released close to 200 independent films and alternative content events over the last few years, with past releases ranging up to 1,000 screens based on content and audience footprint. Films released by Cinedigm include: “Life In A Day.” directed by Kevin McDonald; “The Ward,” directed by John Carpenter; “Smell of Success,” featuring Billy Bob Thornton, Téa Leoni and Ed Helms; Foo Fighters documentary, “Back & Forth,” directed by Oscar® winner James Moll; and Peter Bogdanovich’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Current and upcoming CEG films include “No Room For Rockstars,” Parris Patton’s documentary chronicling the Vans Warped Tour; “Like Water,” directed by Pablo Croce; “The Invisible War,” directed by Kirby Dick; “Citadel,” directed by Ciaran Foy; “In Our Nature,” starring John Slattery; and “22 Bullets,” starring Jean Reno and produced by Luc Besson.

Additionally, Cinedigm delivers feature films, TV programs and web originals via digital download, streaming, video-on-demand, Blu-ray, and DVD. The company’s library includes award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films®, next-gen indies from Flatiron Film Company®, including international blockbuster “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within,” and acclaimed independent films and festival picks through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Tribeca Film. New Video is proud to distribute many Oscar®-nominated films including “Hell and Back Again,” “GasLand,” “Waste Land,” “The Secret of Kells,” “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” and Chico & Rita.” Cinedigm™ and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp™ are trademarks of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp www.cinedigm.com. [CIDM-G]

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views are mine and mine alone. 

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