On Demand: ’Scandalous’ a provocative look at National Enquirer’s evolution
Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title currently available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer": If you only know the National Enquirer from glancing at the checkout racks at your favorite grocery store, this documentary might open your eyes to how it has slowly morphed from gossip rag to a publication that influenced the last presidential election. Mark Landsman ("Thunder Soul") sits down with former editors, writers and other staff members to discover how the publication evolved over the years. When the paper was purchased and became an actual tabloid in 1953, it mostly ran scandalous stories and gruesome crime scene photos to boost circulation. It worked but didn't appeal to mainstream consumers, so it softened the content, focused on celebrities and light stories and ended up with prime visibility in nearly every grocery and convenience store in America. More than anything, the National Enquirer enabled our cultural obsession with famous people long before the internet made it easier than ever to follow their every move. Landsman very smartly focuses on the biggest stories of their history — the infamous photo of Elvis in his coffin on the cover; breaking the Gary Hart affair scandal; and bulking up their newsroom to report on every detail of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Less time is spent on the modern edition run by Trump pal David Pecker, but some former employees are not shy about their disdain for how politics have shaped recent covers. At its best when highlighting the excesses of the National Enquirer’s glory days, this is a provocative look back at an oft-maligned American institution. (Cable and digital VOD)
Also on streaming services
"Brittany Runs a Marathon": In this Sundance hit from director Paul Downs Colaizzo, Jillian Bell gives a terrific performance as the title character. She is a young woman struggling in New York City who is told by her doctor that she needs to lose weight and get healthier. As somebody who uses food and comic relief to ease the pain, this isn't an exciting prospect for Brittany, but she somewhat begrudgingly forces herself to run around her block. And then goes a little farther. Soon, she's setting a goal to run the New York City Marathon. The film handles her journey in a very honest and heartfelt way, but it also reflects those nasty feelings we all have when we put ourselves down or don't like what we see when we look in the mirror. With a lot of laughter, tears and self-depreciation, this "based on a true story" tale just might inspire you too. (Amazon Prime, 4K Ultra HD available)