Tag Archives: OnDemand

In 7 days…

During this fortnight that is Wimbledon, I can’t get enough tennis.

7DaysInHell-720x1066But that’s not why I loved and fervently recommend 7 Days in Hell, the hilarious mockumentary scheduled to air this Saturday night on HBO.

(I saw it early OnDemand. Gotta love OnDemand.)

Andy Samberg (SNL, Brooklyn 99) is Aaron Williams, a washed up former tennis star long removed from the game who returns for one last epic match against his bitter rival, young tennis phenom Charles Poole, played by Kit Harington (the late — or is he? — Jon Snow of Game of Thrones).

The match goes the full five sets and, since it is played at Wimbledon, does not have a tie break in the final set. So the play goes on and on — for a variety of bizarre reasons — for seven long days.

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will be a tad jealous when they see why.  (They hold the real record for the longest match at Wimbledon, iffin you didn’t know — 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days.)

There are tons of cameos by celebrities from television, film, tennis, even the world of magic. The story is outrageous, but the documentary format is honored, so it looks right…

Even though it is gloriously wrong.

Best of binge

We all are born with certain talents or gifts.

Binge watching is one of mine.

orangeisthenewblack3-1210x738

Now, you might argue that all of us can binge watch a television show or mini-series as long as we have access on Netflix or OnDemand.

I beg to differ.

As Liam Neeson would say, “It takes a particular set of skills.”

  1. Sitting still for long periods of time. I list this first because I feel it is most important. If you are a person who needs to ‘piddle,’ — always getting up and doing something, whether it’s eating or drinking or using the bathroom or organizing your pencils — binge watching will be difficult for you. It will take you weeks to watch the new season of Orange is the New Black. A true binge watcher can do it in two days. Max.
  2. Focus (or multi-tasking while still watching TV). I give you a choice here, because I find that I use both methods during my long binge-watching sessions.  Some episodes demand my complete attention. Others offer small windows of opportunity to check email or IM with a friend (which still ‘watching’ the program.) Can you handle the singularity?
  3. Organizing your life. You cannot take two days to binge watch House of Cards or Bloodlines unless you can clear your calendar.  And that involves getting things done in the days and weeks preceding the binge watch, which is made possible–in my house, anyway–by exhaustive list making.  If it isn’t written down, it usually doesn’t get done.  And I have to get a lot of stuff done to justify a big ol’ two-day binge.
  4. Bladder control. Contrary to popular belief, bladders do not come in a variety of sizes. They are all the same — male and female, adult and child. What does vary is our muscle control and ability to ‘hold our bladder.’ Not having to get up every 30 minutes makes #1 and #2 more plausible (and will help you be more efficient at checking off line items on #3).

Best of luck with your next binge watch!

A pat on the back

Hey, Time Warner Cable — mark the date on your calendar!  Someone (me) is giving you positive feedback.

(I’m as shocked as you are.)

alphabetTWC recently changed the way they order their listings in the on-screen program guide.

In the past, they listed all movies and TV shows that began with ‘The’ under ‘T’…which is stupid.  You might miss a program altogether if you forget that all important article tacked on the front of the title.

But recently — I’m not sure how recently, but I watch a lot of TV, so I’m guessin’ it hasn’t been that long ago — they changed their policy.  Now a movie like ‘The Last Five Years’ (which opens in theaters and OnDemand today) is listed under the letter ‘L.’

How groundbreaking. How logical.  How unlike Time Warner Cable.

Let’s hear it for common sense!

 

Fun rerun

edge of tomorrow I didn’t see Edge of Tomorrow when it was in theaters.

I thought the ‘Groundhog Day meets Aliens’ premise sounded interesting — and goodness knows its reviews on RottenTomatoes.com were very fresh — but I just never saw it.

(Based on its box office numbers, several people had the same attack of inertia.)

But now it’s OnDemand, so I finally watched it today.  And it’s good.

The Groundhog Day conceit is handled with a lot of humor, and it doesn’t feel repetitious.  Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt also do a bit of role reversal in this film, with Emily occupying the skilled warrior role and Tom the clueless PR mouthpiece.

It’s nice that Tom can make fun of this action hero self.

Not that he isn’t a pretty fast learner…

Schooled

kidnapped for christIf you subscribe to Showtime, I encourage you to watch the documentary Kidnapped for Christ, currently available OnDemand.

The film centers on a Christian boarding school in the Dominican Republic that advertised itself as a rehab center for troubled US teens.  The filmmaker, an evangelical school student, was allowed complete access to the teens there and, during production, uncovers disturbing information about the school’s “behavior modification program.” She also learns that some students had been kidnapped from their homes with their parents’ full knowledge and permission.

Her commitment to the project eventually morphs into a determination to help these abused teenagers — one in particular who wants to leave the school where he is essentially being held prisoner.

This story is heartbreaking and, I learned, just one case among thousands around the world.

It is a must-see.

 

Dance, dance baby

I love a good documentary on a Saturday morning.

And First Position, which is currently in theatres and available OnDemand, is great.

The feature film documents the journey of six young ballet dancers as they attempt to qualify and compete in the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City, the most prestigious youth ballet competition in the world. 

This contest isn’t just about trophies or medals; it’s serious business.  The winning dancers receive full scholarships to top ballet schools and contracts to the most prestigious ballet companies in the world — jobs that are few and far between.

The filmmakers have amazing access to the dancers at home, in the rehearsal studio, and in the wings before, during and after their competition performances.  It’s pretty incredible…and no small wonder the documentary was named the audience choice’s first runner up for Best Documentary at the Toronto Film Festival where it premiered.

See?  Told you it was great.