I’ve been spouting on for years that H’wood needs to offer its wares for home theaters on the same day that the film arrives in the traditional theater. When Freakonomics: The Movie is released, you’ll be able to download and watch it in your home before it arrives in theaters.
Alex Gibney (Enron:The Smartest Guys in the Room, Casino Jack and the United States of Money) delivers a visually arresting look at the crumbling façade of Sumo wrestling and exposes searing and violent truths about this ancient and revered sport. Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) offers up a buoyant and revealing angle on the repercussions of baby names. Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp) balance levity and candor with their eye-opening profile of underachieving kids incentivized to learn with cold hard cash. Finally, Eugene Jarecki, who brought us the unforgettably powerful Why We Fight, investigates an unsettling theory to explain why crime rates dramatically dropped in the early ’90s. Seth Gordon (The King of Kong) weaves the pieces together with brisk interludes, providing context and commentary from the authors. Freakonomics exposes the hidden side of everything, debunking conventional wisdom, and revealing what answers may come if one just asks the right questions.
You’ll be able to buy and download the movie via iTunes on September 3, 2010, but if you want to sit in the noisy, uncomfortable, and often dirty movie theater to watch this documentary, you’ll have to wait until October 1st. Unless I’m mistaken, I believe this is the first movie to get a home release before its theatrical debut. If your head is spinning over this news, don’t be too surprised – more than likely Freakonomics will see a limited release for OSCAR consideration, and those of us that live anywhere but New York or Los Angeles won’t see it show up on the theater marquee.