Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Goes Up Continues To Find Love

Even after opening in only five markets to mixed reviews back on May 28, What Goes Up continued (and continues) to capture interest and attention. In fact, some are even saying that slowly and steadily, Jonathan Glatzer's film is earning its place as an eccentric cult classic, one that might not have taken hold in the mainstream but has clearly acquired a highly devoted group of fans.

So who are these people? The growing audience seems to be made up of fans who enjoyed strong and unique performances from their favorite actors and those who have really taken to Jonathan Glatzer and Robert Lawson's quirky dramedy.

In the United States, they are people like James van Maanen who heartily recommended the film over Woody Allen's theatrical release of Whatever Works. And beyond the only country that enjoyed a limited theatrical release to date, more than 40 percent of the audience consists of a growing international community.

In fact, as the producers attempt to secure any last remaining rights, online interest in the film is swelling. This week, What Goes Up has three times as much traffic than the week before on YouTube. While Texas, Florida, and North Carolina (major markets missed by the initial release) are the source in the United States; Columbia, Egypt, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom round out the most interest worldwide.

Part of the phenomenon can easily be attributed to Insider fans along with some of the most loyal Hilary Duff and other cast fans, including: Hilary One, HD Revolution, Hilary Records, Hilary Fan, Gossip Gander, among others.

What Goes Up also captured attention all around. Despite the unexpected unavailability of cast members leading up to the release, the independent release still managed to capture 14.4 percent of review readers. According to Movie Review Intelligence, the film's review value amounted to $226,000 despite mixed reviews being released early when compared to other films.

On the Internet, What Goes Up fared even better. It was the leading independent release during the week of its opening with 800 mentions every day, 25-50 blog posts per day, and more than one million views on YouTube (between the original account, new account, and fan duplications). Immediately following the release, the film maintained a 70 percent positive sentiment. All together, online interest placed What Goes Up better than most major multi-million dollar motion picture releases, earning ten times the attention direct to public than it did with reviews.

What does it all mean? What Goes Up seems to be one of those rare films that will attract more interest over time, which means it's well on its way to becoming one of those haunting cult classics that will be talked about long after most movies are forgotten. And according to the producers, they are doing everything they can to remember the fans too.

While many questions have been asked as to what is next for the film and soundtrack, time will eventually provide the answers. From the entire Insider team, thank you all for you support as well as some friendships made along the way. Good night and good luck.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What's Next For 'What Goes Up' Stars?

While the producers of 'What Goes Up' are still exploring options, the movie has been keeping pace as the DVD release continues to earn new reviews. The most recent review by Kelsey Zukowski at The Celebrity Cafe, which followed Britt Hayes' review at the Examiner, that says director Jonathan Glatzer could "easily have a career among other indie darlings."

As Glatzer is already working on another project with writer Robert Lawson, we thought it might be a good idea to catch up with some of the stars from What Goes Up.

Steve Coogan has been cast in three films, including Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Eddie the Eagle; and Murder in Samarkand. However, the film that his fans are talking about is Alan Partridge: The Movie since Coogan mentioned it last May.

Hilary Duff has several movies in the making, but the role that seems to be capturing some attention is a multi-episode role on Gossip Girl as Olivia Burke, a movie star who is attending NYU to attempt to get a typical college experience. The first episode featuring Duff is scheduled for Oct. 5, according to the Examiner.

Josh Peck has been cast in a remake of the 1984 movie Red Dawn. He will reportedly play the role of younger brother Matt Eckert, which was originally played by Charlie Sheen. The film is slated to start shooting in September.

Olivia Thirlby will appear in the recently completed films New York, I Love You; and Margaret. She is also slated for The Manners of Madness and Parts Per Billion, both in development. In the interim, Thirlby has taken to the stage with Chris Pine and Chris North in Beau Willimon's "Farragut North." It runs through July 26.

Molly Shannon is still making headlines with Kath & Kim, which is the U.S. version of the hit Australian comedy about a dysfunctional mother and daughter relationship. While NBC announced there will not be a second season in May, Season 1 seems to be finding a new fan base since it became available on DVD this week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What Goes Up DVD Consumer Reviews

Since its DVD debut on June 16, What Goes Up is continuing to find a foothold as fans and friends demonstrate their support of a film that some critics correctly said "marches to the beat of its own drum." So the Insider Team thought it might be fun to take time out and let consumer reviews on sites like Amazon, Internet Movie Database, and Netflix to talk about the film.

The producers have said, all along, that the reviews they were most interest in would be those left by the people who purchased the film. Highlighted below are a variety of the reviews canvassed since the films DVD release...


“The director lands us where we need to be. But along the way, we are on ground which is just as unsettled as the characters who turn to ridiculous methods to lessen the pain of losing someone they loved in their lives. If you're willing to walk this unsettled ground, it's well worth the ride. The performances are outstanding, especially Steve Coogan and Olivia Thirlby. If, on the other hand, you need to be spoon-fed or for your plots to be singular and instantly identifiable, you will probably hate it. You kind of have to give in to it and then the doors open and the characters and the overall tone of the film resonates. It WILL make you laugh and cry.” — Dirk Diggler “painkiller”

“What Goes Up is a film that far exceeded my expectations for any new upcoming Hilary Duff films. She beautifully plays a character that seems to be searching for something to fill a gap that has been placed in her life by the death of someone she and her friends loved and worshipped. This movie seems to leave the Hollywood mold behind (very thankfully!) and shows us just how realistic life is, and how it's not perfect at all like most movies would try to make it seem. The other actors are fantastic as well, especially Olivia Thirlby and Steve Coogan.” — R. Bible Jr. “funny man”

“I think the writers did a fine job with this story and the concept of what makes a hero or maybe whether all of our heroes really aren't heroic after all. There were a few places that could have been tighter, but this film was never meant to be perfect, and for that I am glad. Kudos to Jonathan Glatzer on a uniquely different film. I love it.” — Ouija

Internet Movie Database

“What makes the movie special, are the beautiful moments that are scattered about the storyline and you can't help but be touched by them and feel for the characters involved! These moments come in bursts and they are funny and sad and plainly disturbing at times, but mostly – altogether Ironic...” — abhijitbond

“I don't often go for this genre of American drama (sorry, but I generally prefer European drama), but I do like Steve Coogan so thought I would give this film a go. Within 10 minutes I was hooked and embroiled into this little world that is so different and at times uncomfortable.” — jools_69

“At first, I wasn't sure where it was going... Up, down or just sideways. But soon, I realized the filmmakers were creating a world that resembled reality far more than almost any movie I've seen in that there are collisions between events, intentions, characters, loves, hates ...and the whole stew can be hysterically funny, odd, disturbing, heartbreaking and then funny all over again. In this way, I have to give the film enormous credit and gratitude that it does not try to be like every other movie. It does not talk down to its audience.” — CliffordBridigan


“A really nuanced and likably all over the place coming of age tale for teens and adults alike. It brilliantly captures the insular wisdom and solipsistic cliquishness of a group of believably damaged outsiders who haven't the faintest clue of life on Earth beyond the "truth" of their own emotional landscapes.” — SW 1655753

“I thought this was a pretty good movie. Kind of dark but funny at times as well. Worth the time.” — MaxWebster

“Peck and Thirlby both give excellent performances as sad and confused teens mixed up in all the choas. Hilary Duff actually does a pretty good job. Coogan is hard to watch at some moments because of some of the decisions he makes throughout. This movie is better than I thought it would be because of the small roles and how sincere they were and how they put it all out there.” — Obesetrackstar

The next scheduled Sony release of What Goes Up will be in Australia on August 5. You can find a sneak peak of the new cover design for the Australian release at Hilary News. The Image above is a snap shot of an electronic proof of cover released in the United States.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Electrelane Finds Buzz From What Goes Up

Electrelane might be on hiatus, but the British all-girl alternative rock band recently experienced a resurgance in interest as a feature performer on the What Goes Up soundtrack. Even on iTunes, songs from the soundtrack have experienced periodic surges in popularity.

Since their 2007 appearance at the Anti-Trafficking Alliance at the Barfly in London, an event the band organized, the band has maintained a low profile. Even at their final event, Electrelane choose to DJ in lieu of performing, officially making their last performance as a band December 2007 in their hometown, Brighton, England.

Today, their eclectic sound had a definite impact in setting the tone for What Goes Up. In some ways it fits, as Electrelane was sometimes thought of musical misfits. Perhaps they were just ahead of their time.

Influenced by a wide range of bands Neu!, Stereolab, Sonic Youth, and the Velvet Underground, Electrelane’s unique sound earned them international attention and set the stage for the inclusion of their music in new mediums.

For What Goes Up, the band contributed four tracks to the movie’s soundtrack: Blue Straggler, Two for Joy, Cut and Run, and You Make Me Weak at the Knees. Each of the songs are featured on other Electrelane albums, capturing their artistic progression over the years.

Blue Straggler, featured on their first album, Rock it to the Moon released in 1991, enhanced the atmospheric feel prevalent throughout What Goes Up. With the 1986 shuttle launch as a background to the film, this instrumental space-rock track inadvertently reminds the audience of the looming launch.

Axes released in 2005, the third of their albums, featured Two for Joy. With an intro that feels like you are at a funeral, and with What Goes Up it is likely that you are, Two for Joy takes the audience from the funeral like progression and escalates us through the mourning process --from fear to acceptance, with lyrics like,

I have no sorrow
If I’m glad, oh! let me show it

The upbeat melodies of Cut and Run and You Make Me Weak at the Knees, from the albums The Power Out and No Shouts, No Calls, takes the audience full circle as life’s obstacles are overcome. Here, we are reminded of the comedy and joy that life can bring.

“What Goes Up definitely benefitted from Electrelane’s musical contribution,” said James Hoke, executive producer with Three Kings Production. “Their songs, in many ways augmented the progression of the characters within the film. Director Jonathan Glatzer, who chose every track, really nailed it here.”

While there has been little heard from Electrelane since their hiatus in 2007, many die-hard fans have told us that it’s great to see them resurface again. When asked if they have any messages for their favorite band, one fan said "Yeah, we miss you!"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.D. Robb Is No Stranger To Daring Films

It's almost hard to imagine that R.D. Robb, one of the producers of What Goes Up, began his career as the precocious Scott Schwartz who double "dog" dared his classmate to stick his tongue on a frozen flagpole (and was later dared to do the same). But he did exactly that in the 1983 holiday classic, A Christmas Story.

Since, Robb had added more than 20 credits to his career as an actor, director, and producer, before being introduced to the What Goes Up screenplay. Although he was still overseeing production at a company called ZentAmerica, he immediately fell in love with the clever characters and then the undeniable passion exhibited by writer/director Jonathan Glatzer.

"From a creative standpoint, I always look for personal stories, interesting journeys, and nuanced characters. The screenplay had all of that," says Robb. "The making of the film was trying at times, but they all are for different reasons and circumstances. Throughout though, Glatzer was really great with the actors, coming from a background of directing theater."

The effort paid off, with all of the performances in this poignant independent film receiving nods for their contributions in one review or another. Most often described as a dramedy, What Goes Up also presented a different kind of movie making as it captured the chance relationship between a reporter and a group of adolescent social misfits. As perhaps best put by Pete Hammond from, it "marches to its own surprising beat."

“Life contains both funny and tragic moments. So should any good film, no matter what the genre,” Robb said. "In a film like What Goes Up, it needs to strongly address both elements, but the comedy needs to carry us to make the tragedy work and pay off. It’s challenging to find that balance in tone, especially because there is a fine line.”

While the fine line of presenting a fishbowl glimpse of life seemed too daunting for some, What Goes Up has since captured a growing cult-like following of fans who appreciate the steady pace of the film. In fact, many of these fans say they are surprised at how the movie has a stronger and stronger impact with each new viewing. Robb attributes the repeat allure to the actors.

“It was great to work with so many talented actors in What Goes Up,” Robb said. “They were all so smart, talented and intriguing in their own right. Personally, I really related to Campbell’s character with all of his struggles, fears, and dilemmas.”

Part of reason, Robb recalls, is because he vividly remembers the events that led up to the shuttle tragedy in 1986. They were not watching the television because his English teacher chalked it up as just as another shuttle launch and there was work to be done. That all changed when a second teacher entered and handed her a note.

"The look on her face was sheer horror," Robb said. "She then told us there had been a tragic accident and pulled out the television. It was on every channel, and we all watched in shock. English didn't seem all that important any more."

The parallel, minus the hometown build up as seen in the film, is striking in that writer/director Glatzer and writer Robert Lawson never dwell on the shuttle tragedy. While the pending disaster might loom in the background, they offer an anti-climax that is much more true to life. While not every critic imagined it, people are often caught up in individual struggles that seem larger than life. And then, something suddenly and unexpectedly happens that overshadows all of it and forces us to grow.

The same could be said for Robb's work on this film. As a Hollywood veteran who has worn so many hats in the film industry, he says every new project strengthens his resolve and passion for film. Every project, he says, has encouraged his growth as an artist and a businessperson. And, What Goes Up is just one more brilliant stop in his film career.

In truth, "stop" is not the right word. Robb's newest project, Triple Dog, is already in post production. He is also working on a sports film about the triumph over tragedy for one high school football team in Pennsylvania; a dark comic noir film called Killer Joe, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts; and looking forward to working on a horror/thriller from the creators of Boogeyman, which is expected to be produced by James Hoke and Tony Miranda.

"Hey," Robb muses over the prospect of working with Miranda and Hoke on a film set in Las Vegas. "There are only two executive producers in Vegas for me, baby.”

Along with the executive producers of What Goes Up, Robb has long list of people he wants to work with in the future. They include: Daniel Day Lewis, Carey Mulligan, Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Stephen Fears, Chris Young, Paul Greengrass, Michael Mann, and Anthony Mandler. And while this "short list" might cause some to wonder if any of them have been influential on his career, Robb says that honor will always belong to someone else.

"Oh, that would be my mother," smiles Robb. "She's encouraged me and supported me every step of the way." All the way, up.