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The Quick Take for January 31, 2014

Streaming Now

"Gotta catch 'em all!" All 51 episodes of Pokémon, that is, now available to stream on Hulu Plus. The Croods, a recent animated film from DreamWorks about a family of cavemen searching for a new home since their old one was destroyed, was just released to Netflix. For a fast-paced film, try Ron Howard's film Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth as a Formula One racer, now available On Demand. And for something completely different, the classic Marilyn Monroe film Some Like It Hot is now on Netflix (it's #14 on the American Film Industry's list of Top 100 Films).

Critics Roundup

This year, Super Bowl ad hype seems to be bigger than ever. YouTube's site Ad Blitz has an estimated 55 Super Bowl advertisement already available for viewing, backstage clips from the filming of the ads, and a countdown: "3 days until voting begins." Variety reports, "What's more impressive, the ads have been watched more than 44 million times as of this week, according to Google." Besides the expected group of companies that paid $4 million for their 30-second spots, Indiewire says that "cinephiles have something to look forward to," because major studios will be airing new trailers and first looks at upcoming movies, including DreamWorks' Need for Speed, The Amazing Spiderman 2, and Neighbors. And James Franco will star in a 90-second ad for the Ford Fusion Hybrid. The ad already has a preview in which Franco, playing Rob Riggle, claims, "This has never been done before in the history of commercials." (See the full preview here.) Ford's spot will not happen during the game, but between the coin-toss and the kick-off. This year there is even a non-Super Bowl Super Bowl ad. Intrigued? Watch Newcastle Brown Ale's preview with Anna Kendrick here.

A documentary about the local dirt bike gang of Baltimore premieres today. 12 O'Clock Boys follows 13 year-old Pug as he and other gang members ride their dirt bikes at vertical angles down the city's streets. Some critics are not totally impressed, including Mike D'Angelo, who says its "shapelessness can be frustrating." He thinks filmmaker Lofty Nathan "withholds everything that might push the movie in a particular direction." (Read the full review here.) On the other hand, Eric Kohn for Indiewire says the film "turns Pug into a symbol for greater social unrest" as the gang is "the only available outlet for many young men unable to explore safer pursuits." Kohn also says Nathan turns their "unauthorized stunt work" into "poetry." (You can read Kohn's review here.) Whether it feels directionless or like poetry in motion, 12 O'Clock Boys might be worth viewing, if just for a look into a more benign gang-culture in Baltimore.

Movie News

The Oscar nomination for Joni Eareckson Tada's song "Alone Yet Not Alone" from the film of the same name was rescinded yesterday. Read the official press release here and CT's coverage here and here.

The first trailer for the adaptation of John Greene's YA novel The Fault in Our Stars was released on Wednesday, and the view count is already over four million. Watch the trailer here.

Sequels abound: Elizabeth Banks is set to direct Pitch Perfect 2 (read more here) and a third installment in the Thor franchise is in the works (read more here).

Heather Cate is a spring intern with Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King's College in New York City.

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The Quick Take for January 31, 2014