Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Amanda Seyfried's high profile porn star pic in stealth Philly opening

The much-hyped "Lovelace" is the second Radius/TWC release in as many weeks to roll into town without any advance screenings for the press -- or even a word from the distributor.

Amanda Seyfried’s high profile porn star pic in stealth Philly opening

Peter Sarsgaard puts the moves on Amanda Seyfried in Lovelace.
Peter Sarsgaard puts the moves on Amanda Seyfried in Lovelace.

If you’ve eyeballed Allentown native Amanda Seyfried on the cover of this month’s Elle, or seen her on TV, on websites or in any number of national magazines, you might be curious to check out the movie she’s been busy promoting -- Lovelace, about the 1970s porn star Linda Lovelace. Well, the much-hyped film – co-directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, and also starring Peter Sarsgaard, James Franco (as Hugh Hefner), Juno Temple, Sharon Stone and Robert Patrick – IS opening in the Philly area this Friday, booked into the AMC Cherry Hill and Neshaminy plexes without any advance press screenings, or even, until just two days prior to its bow, a word from the distributor, Radius/TWC. That’s it.

Last Friday, Aug. 2, the same thing happened with another of the newly-minted distributor’s titles -- Only God Forgives, with Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas, which snuck into the Bala Theater, and that was that.

Radius/TWC is a new Weinstein Company label, dedicated to multi-platform releases, doing “day and date” openings in which a title debuts simultaneously via Video On Demand and in theaters. So, yes, both Lovelace, which traces the porn star's rise to pop cult iconhood thanks to the 1972 X-rated phenom Deep Throat, and Only God Forgives, a tale of vengeance and mixed martial arts set in the Bangkok underworld, can be seen in the comfort of your own home on various VOD platforms, like iTunes, Vudu, Time Warner, etc. But if you’re going to go to the trouble to book your films into that old platform called the moviehouse, maybe a little promotion wouldn’t hurt. Other distributors -- IFC and Magnolia, for two – have long been releasing titles on VOD and in theaters concurrently, but they let the media in the respective markets know, and typically screen their titles for the local critics, too. By basically dumping their movies in a couple of suburban venues, Radius/TWC is doing both the diligent moviegoer and the filmmakers and actors who worked so hard on their projects a disservice.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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