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VODetails: 'Dying to Do Letterman'

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by Matt Singer
December 4, 2012 12:50 PM
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"Dying to Do Letterman."
More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we're looking at "Dying to Do Letterman," a documentary about a stand-up comic with cancer -- not a tawdry horror film about a slasher stalking the members of a high school varsity football team. 

Directors: Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina

Cast: Steve Mazan, Jim Gaffigan, Ray Romano

Official Synopsis: "'Dying to do Letterman' is a hilarious, heart-felt, award-winning feature-length documentary that proves one thing: dreams matter. When 35 year old stand-up comedian Steve Mazan learned he had cancer, and might only have five years to live, he dedicated his life living his dream: performing comedy on 'The Late Show with David Letterman.' This documentary chronicles his five-year journey, as he races his own ticking clock to achieve a nearly impossible goal. Hilarious, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspirational, Steve’s journey brings a brand-new perspective to living with cancer. This is a story that proves it’s not how much time you have, it’s what you do with it. As Steve says, 'If you stop chasing your dreams, you’re already dead.'"

Trailer:

Reviews:

Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects:

"Steve Mazan is actually pretty damn funny."

Sam WeisbergScreen Comment:

"Mazan gradually evolves, before our eyes, from a self-pitying clown into a fully mature, three-dimensional individual."

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader:

"Fascinating but upsetting."

Rob Nelson, Variety:

"Tonally upbeat, sometimes to a fault, 'Dying' will live, like Mazan, on the smallscreen."

Courtney Howard, Very Aware:

"The film has a lot of heart. Unfortunately the warmth filmmakers Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina have produced feels a bit manufactured."

"Dying to Do Letterman" is now available on VOD.

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