Only one major release is coming to theaters near you this week: “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” There are plenty of decent leftovers still playing at the multiplex, but if you insist on seeing something shiny and new, you can actually stay at home this time.
The documentary “Ballplayer: Pelotero,” about two kids from the Dominican Republic trying to win Major League Baseball contracts, is out today both in theaters (it’s at the West End Cinema in D.C.) and on Video on Demand.
Same-day VOD or iTunes releases are a great way for independent filmmakers to get their work out to a segment of movie fans who realize that going to the theater can be a pain in the butt (and that the popcorn is better and cheaper at home). And your TV is the perfect place for “Ballplayer” — the engaging story doesn’t depend on a big screen to make its point, and the film wasn’t shot using any particularly fancy equipment.
The strength of “Ballplayer” lies in the two young players it follows and the questions it raises about the inherent unfairness of a system that promises riches to a very few while demanding that many sacrifice nearly everything.
If you haven’t tried a VOD film, this is the weekend to stay home and go to the movies.