Reviewed! Two Impressive, Charming Indie Web Shows
“Professional Friend” borrows a lot from films like “Rushmore” and “Wristcutters” (albeit not as dark as the latter). That’s not to say that this web series is unoriginal. In fact, “Professional Friend” does something that few shows — TV or otherwise — are able to do anymore: surprise. Cont… Read MoreTags: Professional Friend, Reviews, Vimeo, web series, Whatever this is, youtube
‘Whatever this is’: A Better Kind of Web Series
‘Professional Friend’ Is Surprising in the Best...
Reviewed! Two Amazing Sports Web Documentaries Worth Your Time
“City.Ballet.,” to state the obvious, is as much a cautionary tale about ballet as it is a love letter to it. Each episode navigates the scuffed walls of the New York City Ballet with equal parts reverence and apprehension, as it dives into the brutally competitive world of professional dancing. In an e… Read MoreTags: Casualties of the Gridiron, City Ballet, Documentary, GQ, Reviews, Sarah Jessica Parker, web series
‘Casualties of the Gridiron’: A Moving and Effective...
‘City.Ballet.’ Is Gracefully Done
Reviewed! ‘Inferno’ Burns Bright; All the Tech Talk on Earth Can’t Save ‘Betas’
Noir these days is really hard to pull off. One of the oldest genres in the books, the tropes are so easily identifiable, so ingrained into our culture, that any filmmaker aspiring to do something with the form needs to be wary of falling into the trap of unintentional parody. You can have only so many hatted, quiet hero-cops before you realize it’s time to retire a character type that perfected by Humphrey Boga… Read MoreTags: Amazon Originals, Betas, Inferno, Reviews, Vimeo, web series
‘Betas’ Should Have Never Left the Test Phase
‘Inferno’ Sears to Life Beneath Its Cold, Dark Exterior
Reviewed! John Goodman and Teen Musicals Fail to Impress
Comedy pilots are incredibly hard to pull off, more so than any other genre on television. Don’t believe me? Just think about it: How often is it that it’s the comedy pilot that convinces you to watch a television show, and not some other factor like who the show is from, who stars in it, or — in this age of catch-up television — someone who told you to … Read MoreTags: Alpha House, Amazon Instant VIdeo, Awesomeness TV, John Goodman, Reviews, Side Effects, youtube
‘Alpha House’ Has the Pieces in Place, But Falls Flat
‘Side Effects’: A Teen Musical in the Key of...
Reviewed! Hulu Goes Two for Three with Newest Originals
Behind the Mask, Hulu, Mother Up, original series, Reviews, The Wrong Mans
‘Mother Up’: An Underwhelming Narcissistic Journey
‘Behind the Mask’ Uncovers the Humanity Behind...
Make the Right Choice with ‘The Wrong Mans’
‘The Edge’: For Dancers by Dancers
You’re Perfect,’Lyric Lines,’ Never Change
Elliott Wilson’s Interview Series with Myspace is...
‘Destroy the Alpha Gammas’ Commands Attention
‘In the Booth’ Is in the Zone
‘MyMusic’ Season Two Hasn’t Harmonized… Yet
Reviewed! ‘Fail Lab’ Is a Winner
Reviewed! ‘I Am Unstoppable’ Inspires; ‘What Will the Maid Think?’ Cleans Up Nicely
With a web series called “What Will the Maid Think?” featuring an episode titled “There’s a Croc in the Room,” you better believe I was expecting to see a live crocodile attack a very frightened hotel maid — I also believe they like to be called “room service atten… Read MoreTags: I Am Unstoppable, Reviews, The Weather Channel, ulive, Weather Films, What Will the Maid Think?
‘What Will the Maid Think?’ Delivers Squeaky Clean Laughs
‘I Am Unstoppable’: A Web Series Not Meant for the Web
Reviewed! ‘Wainy Days’ Is a Classic; ‘Spellslingers’ Falls Short of Magic
With it essentially being “Comedy Week” at VideoInk, I figured one of our weekly reviews should be of an all-time classic: “Wainy Days,” from writer, comedian, and filmmaker David Wain.
Th… Read MoreTags: David Wain, Felicia Day, Geek and Sundry, My Damn Channel, Reviews, spellslingers, wainy days, youtube
‘Spellslingers’ is Good, But Not Magical
‘Wainy Days’ — A Web Video Classic
Reviewed! ‘Cleaners’ a Bit Messy; Youth Harsh in ‘We Are Young’
Through all six, half-hour (including ads) episodes of Crackle’s new original series, “Cleaners,” I had one repeating thought: There is a good, fun show here, hidden in the messy work of a director and script that often tries to do too much.
‘Cleaners’ Is Fun, When It’s Not Trying Too Hard
‘We Are Young’: Being Young Sucks, Growing Up Sucks
Reviewed! ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy II’ Is Bloody Fun; Love to Hate ‘Daddy Knows Best’
The history of the “Mortal Kombat” franchise in web video is an interesting one. Who can forget the release of “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth,” an independently produced short film that re-imagined the popular gaming franchise into something much darker, grimier, and honestly, more refreshing? The release of the film, which was di… Read MoreTags: Blip, Kevin Tancharoen, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, My Damn Channel, Reviews, Steve Rannazzisi, Warner Bros., “Daddy Knows Best”
‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy II’: Blood, Guts, and Solid...
‘Daddy Knows Best’ Knows What’s Really Funny
Reviewed! ‘Soccer Academy’ is a Kick; You Won’t Regret ‘The Morning After’
I’m not a fan of soccer. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the sport or actively hate it; soccer just hasn’t ever “done it” for me — even though I am an obsessive fan of hockey, a sport that shares some similarities with the world’s most popular sport.
This makes it difficult for me to watch soccer-based movies. There have been so… Read More
‘Soccer Academy’: The Kids Have All the Fun
‘The Morning After’: Good (Not Too) Clean Fun
Reviewed! Ricky Gervais’ ‘Derek’ Examines the...
Reviewed! Yahoo’s Fall Comedy Lineup Shines More Than It Stumbles
Sometimes the quality of a one-on-one interview series is largely dependent on how good the guests are. In the case of “Losing It with John Stamos,” in which celebrities like Matt Stone (“South Park”), Olivia Munn (“The Newsroom”), Adam Pally (“Happy Endings”), and Bob Saget (“Full House”) talk to John Stamos about sex and related things, the host is uneven but the guests are terrific. That’s not to say Stamos is … Read MoreTags: Adam Pally, Bob Saget, Cheryl Hines, Ed Helms, Ghost Ghirls, Gillian Jacobs, Jack Black, John Stamos, Losing It with John Stamos, Morgan Spurlock, Olivia Munn, Principato-Young Entertainment, Rachael Harris, The Fuzz, Tiny Commando, Vuguru, Warrior Poets, We Need Help, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Screen, Zachary Levi
Reviewed! Intel and Toshiba Score with ‘The Power Inside’
We ranked it:
It goes without saying that “branded entertainment,” especially in the form of a multi-part web series, can be very difficult to pull off. The questions that brands and creative-types struggle with whenever working together on a project get amplified when it’s a piece of content that has a lot more investment behind it. Questions like: How much of a presence should a brand have within the series? What are ways to integrate the brand or product cleanly into the story so that viewers are not pu… Read MoreTags: Blades of Glory, branded entertainment, Harvey Keitel, Intel, Josh Gordon, Reviews, The Power Inside, Toshiba, Will Speck
Reviewed! There’s More to CW Seed’s ‘Husbands’ than Famous Faces
We ranked it:
When creative forces from mainstream Hollywood experiment with original web content, they tend to fit into one of two camps. There are the polished, high-profile branded series that make a big splash but never really bring in audience. Then, there are the more humble “let’s play” shows, which allow a large, recognizable cast to take a relatively modest budget and have some fun.
Shows arising from the latter category have a tendency to perform better, from the seminal “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog” to Yahoo’s award-winning “Burning Love.” This… Read MoreTags: Amy Acker, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Burning Love, CW Seed, Felicia Day, Husbands, Joss Whedon, Seth Green
Reviewed! Tastemade’s “Raw. Vegan. Not Gross.” and CW Seed’s “Backpackers”
For the past year, I have not eaten meat, fish, poultry, fried foods or any number of things considered by most to be yummy and crave quenching. My name is Allen, and I am a vegan member of the Engine 2 tribe. We vegans are an odd lot, not that we can be grouped together along a common denominator like redheads or left-handed pitchers. One thing vegans do share is an ongoing quest for new recipes, flavor combinations and all matters of food that will satisfy our evolving taste buds. Folks like me, wh… Read MoreTags: Allen Weiner, Backpackers, CW Seed, Raw. Vegan. Not Gross, Reviews, Tastemade
Cold Feet Leads to European Adventures
Some Healthy Food for Thought
Reviewed! Hulu Original ‘Quick Draw’ and My Damn Channel’s ‘Love Me Cat’
In Hulu’s new original series, “Quick Draw,” Nancy Hower and John Lehr deploy the tried-and-true Frankenstein school of television creation. In such a style, one pieces together mismatched pieces of previous works (some of art, some not so artful) to create a new, living, breathing entity and roll it out to the screen. Sometimes the result is monstrous; occasionally, it’s an upgraded iteration of the original goods. In the case of Hulu’s current effort to… Read MoreTags: Allen Weiner, Hulu, hulu originals, Love Me Cat, My Damn Channel, Quick Draw, Reviews
Ready, Fire, Aim — Here Comes ‘Quick Draw’
A Cat’s Nasty Pajamas
Reviewed! ValDean Entertainment’s “Asbury Park” and Vox Media’s SB Nation YouTube Channel
In the spirit of full disclosure, my first pass at “Asbury Park,” the story of a young man’s life after being released from jail, left me lukewarm, puzzled, and somewhat disenchanted. Producer/director/writer Al Thompson serves up a three-part narrative, yielding what could be viewed initially as a very unsatisfactory conclusion, ending on a final note that hits like an unintentional press of the stop button. A second view of this drama gave me a different p… Read MoreTags: Al Thompson, Allen Weiner, Asbury Park, Daily Win, Reviews, SB Nation, ValDean Entertainment, Vox Media, youtube