Nick’s Picks 01/11/12
FEATURED FILM REVIEW
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
The threatening underside of domestic life that no one ever talks about comes to the fore in the gripping, provocative psychological suspense of We Need To Talk About Kevin, a film that tunnels beneath the skin of a mother and son on a dangerous collision course from birth. What emerges is an original portrait of parenthood’s uncertainty, guilt and most harrowing fears, all from within the deeply subjective POV of a mother’s most unsettling memories. As Eva Khatchadourian tries to come to grips with her past, her malevolent offspring and what he has wrought, she falls into the thin cracks between innocence and evil, nature and nurture, love and abject horror.
Based on Lionel Shriver’s bestselling novel and directed by visionary filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher), the story is brought to life by an ensemble cast headed by Oscar® winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) as Eva, in the most exposed and psychologically complex role of a career made up of bold choices. Joining Swinton are rising newcomer Ezra Miller (City Island) as the bone-chillingly unappeasable Kevin, who his mother knows like no one else; and Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly (Chicago) as Franklin, the light-hearted man Eva marries impulsively, only to find their son enlarging a rift between them.
Winner of Best Film at the London Film Festival, the story is told via an intense, time-bending style, flashing forwards and backwards, from Kevin’s birth to Kevin’s snowballing misdeeds to Eva’s acceptance of her current role stoically taking her licks as the town outcast and object of fury. It stays steadfastly in Eva’s inner world, through a maze of pop songs, hazy memories and indelibly shocking moments, engaging all the senses and a volatile mix of emotions. But all along, the tension keeps ratcheting tighter and tighter, building to a haunting climax that, no matter how you see it, no matter who or what you might think is to blame, leaves you thinking.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Starring: Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Company: Oscilloscope Pictures
Now Showing: In Local Area Theatres
MPAA Rating: R
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Lucy: A Legacy of Laughter, Bonanza: Adventures with the Cartwrights, Up From Slavery, Cowboys & Bandits, Borgias: Season One, The Simpsons: Season 14 or Futurama: Volume 6, it is really easy! All you have to do is send me an email at HoustonMovieGuy@gmail.com. The subject line of the email should read DVD GIVEAWAY. In the body of the email, be sure to put your name, full mailing address and which DVD or Blu-ray you would like. Winners will be selected by random drawing. Best of luck!
LUCY: A Legacy of Laughter – Mill Creek
In the hearts of millions of television viewers of the last 60 years, there is, and always be, only one Lucy. Lucille Ball is a TV icon like no other. Voted by TV Guide as The Greatest TV Star Of All Time her legacy on the small screen is unparalleled…a show business powerhouse and television pioneer. This unique 4-DVD collection features highlights from her highly successful follow-up to I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show. Follow the comedic misadventures of Lucille Ball as Lucy Carmichael with the aid of her friend Vivian (Vivian Vance) as the two struggle in raising children and dealing with tight finances all under one roof. Also included in this collection is a never-before-seen documentary chronicling the life and legacy of this beloved comedienne.
BONANZA: Adventures with the Cartwrights – Mill Creek
The Cartwright’s thousand-square-mile Ponderosa Ranch is located near Virginia City, Nevada, site of the Comstock Silver Lode, during and after the Civil War. Each of the sons was born to a different wife of Ben’s; with none of the mothers still alive. Join Ben (Lorne Greene), Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon) as they rewrite the book on the western genre. These were the days where family values and the fight for justice were backed up by six-guns that always had right on their side. Included in this set are 31 memorable episodes of this 14 season television phenomenon. Also included in this 4-DVD set is a brand new, never-before-seen documentary chronicling the fascinating legacy of this landmark TV show.
UP FROM SLAVERY – Mill Creek
The Dramatic story of Black Slavery in America from the first arrival of African slaves at Jamestown in 1619 to the Civil War and the ratification of the 15th Amendment in 1870 which prohibits the government from denying a citizen the vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (i.e., slavery) – the third of the Reconstruction Amendments which finally ended the legitimacy of Slavery in the United States.
COWBOYS AND BANDITS – Mill Creek
Its the ultimate showdown of good guys versus bad guys in this action-packed collection of classic Western films. Filled with holdups and shoot-outs, stampedes and stagecoaches, lawmen and landscapes, this outstanding collection of 50 feature films depicts Americas past while glorifying the values and aspirations of the mythical by-gone age of the Old West. Stars include Johnny Mack Brown, Bob Steele, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Hoot Gibson, Bob Livingston, Tim McCoy, Ray Crash Corrington, Harry Carey, Ken Maynard and more!
WUBBZY: The Wubb Club – Anchor Bay
Everybody’s favorite bendy-tailed buddy and his friends invite you to join Wuzzleburg’s most fun club ever! In these seven popular episodes, Wubbzy, Widget and Walden build a crazy clubhouse, meet their new neighbor Daizy, and start a band called The Wuzzles! Your club membership entitles you to laughter and learning along with slippy-slide floors, rubber bouncy rooms and flower-shaped houses! All of this and more is waiting for you in The Wubb Club!
I’M GLAD MY MOTHER IS ALIVE – Strand Releasing
Based on a true story, critically acclaimed French filmmaker Claude Miller and his son Nathan Miller explore childhood trauma and its consequences on adult life. Given up for adoption as a toddler, troubled teenager Thomas becomes obsessed with tracking down his birth mother. After years of searching Thomas finds her single, with a small child, living in a nearby suburb and introduces himself. Traumatized by years of emptiness and longing for his mother, he starts an ambiguous relationship with her (part courtship, part obsession) which slowly drives him to an act of madness. With striking performances and a shocking twist, I’m Glad My Mother is Alive is hard to get out of your mind.
I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT – Anchor Bay
Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) devotes her days to her job with a Boston-based financial management firm. At night she goes home to her adoring, recently-downsized architect husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) and their two young children. It’s a non-stop balancing act, the same one that Kate’s acerbic best friend and fellow working mother Allison (Christina Hendricks) performs on a daily basis, and that Kate’s super-brainy, child-phobic young junior associate Momo (Olivia Munn) fully intends to avoid. When Kate gets handed a major new account that will require frequent trips to New York, Richard also wins the new job he’s been hoping for and both will be spreading themselves even thinner. Complicating matters is Kate’s charming new business associate Jack Abelhammer (Brosnan), who begins to prove an unexpected source of temptation.
BOARDWALK EMPIRE: Season One – HBO
From Terence Winter and Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire is set in Atlantic City in 1920 at the dawn of Prohibition. The series chronicles the life and times of Enoch Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the city treasurer whose double role as politician and bootlegger makes him the city’s undisputed czar at a time when illegal alcohol has opened up highly lucrative opportunities for rumrunners and distributors. In a city defined by notorious backroom politics and vicious power struggles, Nucky must contend with ambitious underlings, relentless Feds, rival gangsters — including Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano and Al Capone — and his own appetite for women, profits, and power.
HAWAII FIVE-O: Season 12 – CBS Paramount
Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for twelve seasons from 1968 to 1980, and continues in reruns. The show featured a fictional state police unit run by Detective Steve McGarrett, portrayed by Jack Lord. The theme music composed by Morton Stevens became especially popular. Most episodes would end with McGarrett instructing his subordinate to “Book ‘em, Danno” sometimes specifying a charge such as “murder one.” For twelve seasons, McGarrett and his team hounded international secret agents, criminals, and organized crime syndicates plaguing the Hawaiian Islands. With the aid of District Attorney and later Hawaii’s Attorney General John Manicote (played by Glenn Cannon), McGarrett was successful in sending most of his enemies to prison. One such Mafia syndicate was led by crime family patriarch Honore Vashon (played by Harold Gould), a character introduced in the fifth season. Most episodes of Hawaii Five-O ended with the arrest of criminals and McGarrett snapping, “Book ‘em.” The offense occasionally was added after this phrase, for example, “Book ‘em, murder one.”
DIARY OF A SINGLE MOM – Image
In the center of a storm is Ocean (Monica Calhoun), a 27-year old highly-motivated mother who manages a neighborhood apartment building and all of the problems that come along with it. Managing the building is a dream come true for Ocean. Not only has she secured a job with a title, but also managed to escape her family’s problems and the closet-sized bedroom she and her two children used to share in her mother’s house. Now, Ocean is juggling a new job, a new home furnished with only cardboard boxes, a niece who hates everything, her own two children and the needs of all the other tenants. Diary of a Single Mom illuminates the challenges and triumphs of three women struggling to create lives that not only sustain them and their families, but also inspire others toward more action and compassion in their own lives.
BORGIAS: Season One – CBS Showtime
The Borgias is a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history’s most intriguing families. Oscar®-winner Jeremy Irons stars as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the Borgia family who ascends to the highest circles of power within Renaissance-era Italy. The series begins as Rodrigo (Irons), becomes Pope Alexander VI, propelling him, his two Machiavellian sons Cesare and Juan, and his scandalously beautiful daughter, Lucrezia, to become the most powerful and influential family of the Italian Renaissance.
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – Fox
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a revolution; an action-packed epic featuring stunning visual effects and creatures unlike anything ever seen before. At the story’s heart is Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug’s creator (James Franco), Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned. Seeking justice, Caesar assembles a simian army and escapes — putting man and primate on a collision course that could change the planet forever.
THE SIMPSONS: Season 14 – Fox
Kang and Kodos invite you to add this Emmy Award winning season to your collection filled with your favorite guest stars (Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz, Tony Hawk, Blink 182, and more) and exclusive features that will satisfy your hunger. The Simpsons Season 14 is available on Blu-ray and DVD.
FUTURAMA: Volume 6 – Fox
Blast off your inhibitions as The Simpsons creator Matt Groening brings you another far-out collection of FUTURAMA; fun! In addition to a full payload of outrageous extras not shown on TV, Volume Six delivers 13 mind-Bendering new episodes that involve time travel, self-replication, covert missions, alien eggs, and more robot roughhousing than you can shake a girder at. It’s a scream…the good kind!
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