Nick’s Picks 04/11/12
WORLDFEST FILM FESTIVAL – April 13 – 22
BETRAYED – A Case of mistaken identity causes much mishap and various outcomes when three hit men break into a home and kidnap who they think is the owner of the domicile in question.
THE BLACK DOVE – Just released from 18 years in prison, Jake Williams (John Savage) must come to terms with his new life and recover his lost treasure, the rare black Gibson Dove guitar.
DREAMS AWAKE – A young woman while on vacation with her disconnected family is drawn to mystic Mt. Shasta where her true spiritual Journey begins. This film also stars Erin Gray.
ENEMY OF THE MIND – A hardened cop chases the shadow of a killer whose deadly trail he believes started with the murder of his wife, Abby, but each new victim adds more mystery.
GARBAGE – Garbage takes a poke at society’s growing obsession with celebrity life when Cuba Gooding Jr’s Oscar is found in the dump by one of the workers and his life goes topsy-turvy.
INSIDE OUT – In his freshman college year, Vietnamese student, discovers the lure of a new girlfriend involved in the occult arts who might derail his Christian faith.
JACOB – When Jacob’s little sister, Sissy, is murdered by her drunken step father, Otis, Jacob retaliates the only way he knows how. All hell breaks loose as the carnage begins to take hold.
JUST 45 MINUTES FROM BROADWAY – Many old family secrets come to light when a gathering to meet the fiancee of the older of two sisters ignites drama amidst this generational family.
POPULATION 2 – In a post-apocalyptic world, young Lilith wander the remains of civilization scavenging what she can to merely survive day by day without much hope for what the future holds.
SMITTY – A young boy is sent to stay with his Grandfather (Peter Fonda), who is a stranger to him and life of the ranch teaches him to mend his misbehavior and poor attitude through the help of the lovable canine, Smitty. Also starring Lou Gossett, Jr., Mira Sorvino and Boo Boo Stewart and introducing Brandon Tyler Russell.
THREE OF A KIND – An abusive drug lord finds that his wife is having an affair with the bodyguard he assigned to watch her and soon, the game of cat and mouse begins…who will win in the end?
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of The Divide or Ice Age: Death Trap, 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!
THE DIVIDE – Anchor Bay
Prepare yourself for the unrated movie experience that critics are calling one of the most graphic and extreme end-of-the-world shockers of our time: As nuclear warheads rain down on Manhattan, nine strangers — Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Courtney B. Vance, Ivan Gonzalez, Michael Eklund, Ashton Holmes and Rosanna Arquette — barricade themselves in their apartment building’s bunker-like basement controlled by the unhinged superintendent. But within days, supplies dwindle, tempers flare and the trapped survivors find themselves overcome by treachery, madness, sexual torment and savage violence. What follows is intense. It is raw. And it is all brutally, horrifyingly real. This is The Divide.
ICE AGE: Death Trap – PBS
During construction at a Colorado ski resort, a bulldozer dug up something strange: a tooth so huge it had to be held in two hands. Racing to the scene, scientists from the local Denver museum could scarcely believe what they found: a vast trove of fossils from the depths of the Ice Age 100,000 years ago, when North America teemed with incredible beasts: massive mastodons, saber tooth cats and camels, giant bison with six-foot horns, and ground sloths as big as elephants with huge claws. Packed with ingenious scientific work and spectacular fossils, NOVA’s Ice Age Death Trap reveals intimate secrets of the life and death of North America’s most exotic and extreme creatures. Most tantalizing of all, the team unearths startling and controversial evidence of what may be the earliest humans ever to venture into the untamed wilderness of Ice Age America.
THE TERROR EXPERIMENT – Anchor Bay
In a shocking act of domestic terrorism, a deranged veteran detonates a biological weapon inside a crowded Federal Building. His purpose: To expose the government’s secret development of a toxic gas that instantly affects the human adrenal system, causing men, women and children to become inhumanly aggressive and violent. Now the virus is spreading. The building is quarantined. And on the upper floors, a small group of uninfected survivors must band together to get out alive. But how do you escape a raging nightmare that cannot be stopped? Jason London, C. Thomas Howell, Alicia Leigh Willis, Lochlyn Munro, Alexander Mendeluk, Robert Carradine and Judd Nelson star in this explosive horror/action thriller where fear is the trigger when madmen unleash The Terror Experiment.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Set 10 – VIZ Media
Although he learned a lot of new skills from Jiraiya and might have matured a little, Naruto remains the irrepressible, ramen-slurping knucklehead audiences know and love. He and medical ninja Sakura join their former teacher Kakashi-sensei as a team to combat the Akatsuki, a confederation of outlaw ninja once associated with Orochimaru. The first target of the Akatsuki is the Village Hidden in the Sand. Gaara, who fights with clouds of magical sand, takes on Deidara, who fashions weapons from enchanted paper and clay; Sand Village lieutenant Kankuro duels the scorpionlike Sasori using complex, jointed puppets. Naruto Shippuden boasts more elaborate CG effects than Naruto, enabling director Hayato Date to pump up the action. But these battles also reveal how completely Naruto transformed an icy assassin into an admirable leader: Gaara allows himself to be captured to protect the people of his village.
HIDDEN – E1 Entertainment
A foreboding building, the ‘Divine Sanctuary of Hope’ formerly used as a secretive experimental addiction treatment center, stood abandoned for years, hiding its sinister secrets. Now that the scientist who created this treatment center is dead, the building caretaker, Haley Gable, writes to Brian Karter, son of the center’s malevolent previous owner, to invite him for a visit to the center informing him that the building he thought destroyed is still standing and is now his. Brian and a small team of friend and contractors meet with Haley. At the very beginning of the visit, they make a series of unsettling discoveries and they unearth a hidden machine: a revolutionary treatment contraption which cured people of their addictions, but, as a side effect, materialized those addictions in the form of subtly mutated babies, hungry for human life.
INTO THE ABYSS – IFC
In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog probes the human psyche to explore why people kill and why a state kills. Through intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (scheduled to die within eight days of appearing on-screen), Herzog achieves what he describes as a gaze into the abyss of the human soul. Herzog s inquiries also extend to the families of the victims and perpetrators as well as a state executioner and pastor who’ve been with death row prisoners as they’ve taken their final breaths. As he’s so often done before, Herzog s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.
THE IRON LADY – Anchor Bay
Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, takes a less exuberant tack in this unexpectedly poignant biopic. In the script, written by Shame’s Abi Morgan, Lloyd depicts the elderly Dame Thatcher (Meryl Streep) as a frail figure replaying key moments in her life while her mind still continues to function. Her trajectory begins with grocer Alfred Roberts (Iain Glen), who became the mayor of Grantham, instilling in his daughter, Margaret (Alexandra Roach), a passion for politics. After graduating from Oxford, she felt ready to enter the fray, at which point she met Denis Thatcher (Harry Lloyd), who cheered her along on the road from Parliament to 10 Downing Street, where they lived during her time as Britain’s first female prime minister (Jim Broadbent portrays the grey-haired and ghostly Denis). While closing mines, dodging IRA hits, and overseeing a war, the blue-clad titan built alliances with Airey Neave (Nicholas Farrell) and Geoffrey Howe (Anthony Head), but she would lose them both. If her will was strong, she had no time for feminine niceties like conciliation and forgiveness.
ROGER CORMAN: The Nurses Collection – Shout Factory
Marisa, Dianne and Sandy are three sexy teenagers who work as candy stripers at a local hospital. Marisa has been assigned her duties as a disciplinary action following a fight at school; Diane considers her work a first step toward becoming a doctor; and Sandy works at the hospital only to be near her intern boyfriend. You’ll fall in love with Candy Stripe Nurses as they get into all sorts of mischief with the doctors, patients and each other! Join three luscious nurses specializing in psychiatric therapy as they bend over backward to help the desperate, deviant and deranged. Deeply involved with their work, these dedicated women give intensive care to their aching patients! They do it gladly in the spirit of charity and in the name of love! If you feel out of sorts, the Night Call Nurses know just what to do . . . you’ll be off your feet in no time! They’re gorgeous . . . and oh, so helpful. They’re the Private Duty Nurses, calling on patients in need (medically and otherwise)! Get ready for Spring, Lynn and Lola, enrolled in an experimental pilot program at a major hospital where they must confront underground drug traffickers, racism and even murder. Kitty, Michelle and Joanne are lively young nurses who work at a large hospital and give the sexiest treatment you’ve ever seen in The Young Nurses. This is the story of the loves and lives of these beauties who must struggle to establish themselves as professionals in medicine at a hospital where sex, drugs and violence are rampant.
FROZEN PLANET – BBC
From the Emmy-winning team behind Planet Earth and The Blue Planet comes Frozen Planet, the epic tale of two disappearing wildernesses. The Arctic and Antarctic remain the greatest wildernesses on Earth. The scale and beauty of the scenery and the sheer power of the elements are unmatched anywhere else on our planet. And against all odds, these vast, frigid environments are teeming with life. Using the latest camera technology, Frozen Planet captures unimaginable imagery above and below the ice, and follows the extraordinary fluctuations that accompany the changes of seasons in this most extreme of environments, often for the first time. Frozen Planet takes you inside a polar bear’s den to witness a mother polar bear and her newborn cubs, showcases the thrilling hunting tactics employed by a pod of killer whales to launch a seal off an ice floe, uses time-lapse photography to allow you to witness the amazing underwater fauna thriving around Mr. Erebus, the world’s most southerly volcano, and much, much more. Using crystal clear high definition cinematography, Frozen Planet will open your eyes to the remarkable colors and variety of life in this frigid environment. With the Poles under grave threat from climate change, this extraordinary series provides a chance to explore these great wildernesses before they change forever. The Frozen Planet DVD and Blu-ray will feature the original BBC broadcast version, with narration by world-renowned naturalist David Attenborough.
ICE ROAD TRUCKERS: Season Five – History
One of television’s most beloved reality shows is back and with a vengeance! History continues its huge success story with Season 5 of Ice Road Truckers. For two months every year, truckers on the world’s most dangerous tundra make history by hauling vital equipment to remote outposts hundreds of miles north of civilization – over roads briefly built by frozen bodies of water. Hugh, Alex, Lisa and Jack race against time, the elements and each other to transport thousands of loads before the road literally disappears into the sea. This groundbreaking series continues to examine a time-honored profession that dates back almost a century, often through generations of families.
LAVERNE & SHIRLEY: Season Five – CBS Paramount
Getting its start as a spin-off from “Happy Days,” Laverne & Shirley takes place in Milwaukee in the 1950’s and features Laverne, an outspoken, hot-headed woman who would love more than anything to be rescued from her job by a nice man, and Shirley, a naïve young woman who worries about her reputation and often finds herself assuming the role of Laverne’s conscience in an effort to keep her best friend out of trouble. The two quirky friends have many fun times with Lenny and Squiggy, two greasers who share an apartment above Laverne and Shirley and always seem to have some kind of scheme up their sleeves.
A TRIP TO THE MOON – Flicker Ally
No original hand-colored copies of A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune – 1902), by Georges Méliès, had been known to survive until one was miraculously found in Spain in the mid-1990s, but in a fragmentary condition thought too fragile to handle for either viewing or restoration. In 2010, three experts in worldwide film restoration – Lobster Films, and two non-profit entities, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage – launched one of the most complex and ambitious film restoration projects ever to bring an original, colored version of Méliès masterpiece back 110 years after its first release. Using the most advanced digital technologies now available, the team reassembled and restored the fragments of the 13,375 frames. The two foundations, which carried out specifically the music part of this project, decided to approach AIR s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, to compose an original modern soundtrack to accompany this cinematic milestone. Packaged in a limited-edition, SteelBookTM case, this publication also features The Extraordinary Voyage, a fascinating new documentary, directed by Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange, which chronicles the journey of A Trip to the Moon from the fantastical Méliès production in 1902, to the astonishing rediscovery of a nitrate print in color in 1993, to the premiere of the new restoration on the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. The documentary includes interviews with contemporary filmmakers, including Costa Gavras, Michel Gondry, Michel Hazanavicius, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Méliès enduring significance to cinema.
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