Video On Demand

Fruitvale Movie

During the summer of 1998, one of the two multiplexes in my modestly sized hometown devoted one of its sixteen screens to limited release films throughout the entire season. They showed a range of small, non-mainstream narrative works from that surprisingly indie-rich summer, including Darren Aronofsky’s Pi, Vincent Gallo’s Buffalo ’66, Wayne Wang’s Chinese Box, James Toback’s Two Girls and a Guy, Don Roos’s The Opposite of Sex, Whit Stilman’s The Last Days of Disco, Neil LaBute’s Your Friends and Neighbors, and Mr. Jealousy, a film that almost nobody remembers Noah Baumbach made. Despite their nearby availability, I saw approximately zero of these films. I was thirteen years old, and my parents maintained their strict no-R policy. But it was enough for me that the names of these films showed up in the local paper, and that I saw their posters displayed through smudged plexiglass outside the box office as I bought my ticket to see Jane Austen’s Mafia! for the third time (I’m not kidding). I told myself I was perfectly content with the likes of Godzilla, Small Soldiers, and that other Avengers, but I patiently looked forward to the day when I was brave enough to sneak into (and, a few years later, pay to see) these movies so that I could figure out what this trailer was all about. I wasn’t yet experiencing blockbuster fatigue, just bottled excitement that there were new and weird and envelope-pushing movies that existed out there. But apparently, my multiplex’s experiment was a […]


Texting in Movies

Earlier this week, Deadline Wherever reported that during a panel at CinemaCon, exhibitors discussed the option of allowing patrons to text during films. It was pitched as an attempt to attract younger audiences to the theaters, even though it doesn’t actually address the reason (price of films, quality of the home video experience and rampant online piracy) why teens and college students don’t go to the movies as much as they did in the 70s and 80s. At Film School Rejects, we support a staunch no-texting policy (and no tweeting, Facebooking, web surfing, Wikipediaing, playing of Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja) at all theaters. However, instead of pointing out the fallacies of this idiotic suggestion, we’re taking a look into the future. Here is a possible timeline of what might happen were texting allowed in movie theaters. Gird your loins and enjoy this cautionary tale from Cole Abaius and Kevin Carr.


Reject Radio

Meeting Evil writer/director Chris Fisher joins us to talk about how necessary movie stars are to getting financing in the indie world (and how to talk to Samuel L. Jackson on set). Plus, we go beyond the headlines to explore the Alamo Drafthouse‘s expansion into New York City with CEO Tim League and to push the envelope of film festivals with Tribeca Executive Director Nancy Schafer. Download Episode #129


Get the Gringo

Giving movies limited theatrical runs alongside a day-and-date Video On Demand release is becoming more and more popular in our current landscape of digital media. We’ve never seen a big movie that has high hopes of pulling in huge box office dollars take the risk, but it seems like a strategy that’s been working out well for smaller budget arthouse and genre films. The latest movie to make such a deal is probably the one with the most star power to ever take the VOD plunge. Deadline Peekskill is reporting that Mel Gibson’s upcoming Get the Gringo (formerly known as How I Spent My Summer Vacation), a Mexico-set action film that he both stars in and financed through his Icon Productions, has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and DirecTV for its release and promotion. This deal is unique in that the movie will be available exclusively on DirecTV for a period, with wider VOD options coming later in the year. The film is set to hit DirecTV customers on May 1, the same day that it will be screening in at least 10 markets alongside a Gibson Q&A taking place in an Austin theater.


Warner Bros. Logo

It’s been my opinion for a while now that all-you-can-eat subscription services like Netflix are going to be a temporary thing with a limited window of success. Back when movie streaming was a minor thing aimed at a niche, tech savvy audience, it probably made sense for studios to sign deals with Netflix giving them access to their film libraries. Even five years ago high speed Internet wasn’t so ubiquitous, and if you wanted to stream something over the Internet, that pretty much meant you were streaming it to your computer monitor. But in today’s world of omnipresent wifi and apps that allow everyone to stream movies to smart TVs, video game consoles, app-enabled Blu-ray players, smart phones, and tablet computers, the entire game has changed. Now people can stream movies wherever they are, whenever they want. And they do… a lot. I think we’ve all seen that statistic floating around that 1/3 of all Internet traffic in the evenings comes from people streaming movies through Netflix. While I’m not in any position to prove that such a statistic is true, let’s just assume that it’s mostly true; that accounts for a huge amount of movie watching that ten years ago was being done through the more profitable to studios vehicle of DVD purchases and rentals.



Coming off a year where box office sales showed some of the most disappointing weekends in quite a few years, and where the DVD buying bubble has now clearly burst, you could say that it’s starting to look like the film industry is in some financial trouble. They’ve tried to find new revenue in the form of 3D films, but as the months have worn on ticket sales to 3D showings have been bringing in less and less extra cash, and sales of 3D enabled home equipment pretty much never got out of the gate with any momentum. Factor in the rise of cheap rentals through Redbox kiosks and all-you-can-eat streaming services like Netflix, and the film industry as a whole is faced with the daunting task of how to keep their content seen as being a commodity. All hope doesn’t seem to be lost for makers of motion pictures, however, THR talked to a number a studio heads about what’s been working for them over the last year and where they expect to see growth in 2012, and there seems to be some hope. Over and over again the two areas where movies seem to be making more money than they did in year’s past is through video on demand services and sales of Blu-ray discs. Dennis Maguire, the president of worldwide home media distribution for Paramount said, “2011 showed that home entertainment continues to excite and enthrall consumers. Blu-ray and EST continued to surge, and new delivery systems […]



Take a minute to look down at your remote control (which you carry with you at all times). What’s missing? Nothing. However, Netflix disagrees. The company is partnering with several manufacturers to put Netflix buttons right on your remote control. This takes the three-button-pressing process down to a one-button-pressing process, which is great, but it seems like a case of jumping the gun. Granted, Netflix dominates the realm of video and streaming rentals right now, but it’s not the only player in the game and it has a lot of work to do to stay relevant. Instead of branding your clicker, they could be getting a better and more diverse library added to their streaming option – an option that lacks a lot of classic movies, higher-rated television shows, and the popular films of the past few years.



As if the image of Willem Dafoe’s nude buttocks wasn’t enough to haunt you, Lars Von Trier’s entire film is going to be landing in New York and Los Angeles on October 23rd. Spooky!

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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