Nick’s Picks 06/13/12
Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. The new documentary film Bully, directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families.
Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, Bully opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy “kids will be kids” clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.
Alex, 12 — For 12-year-old Alex of Sioux City, Iowa, the slurs, curses and threats begin before he even boards the school bus. A sweet-natured kid just starting middle school and wanting more than anything to fit in, Alex assures his worried parents that the kids who taunt and hit him are only “messing with him.” But bullying has trailed Alex thorough life like a shadow, and as his seventh grade year unfolds, the bullying only escalates.
Kelby, 16 — Since 16-year-old Kelby came out as a lesbian, she and her family have been treated as pariahs in their small town of Tuttle, Oklahoma. The onetime all-star athlete, Kelby has faced an outpouring of hatred from classmates as well as teachers, and has been forced to leave her sports teams by attacks. Refusing her parents’ offers to leave Tuttle, the gutsy teenager is bolstered by her adoring girlfriend and a few staunch friends, resolving to stay in her town and change a few minds.
Ja’Meya, 14 — In Yazoo County, Mississippi, 14-year-old Ja’Meya was picked on every morning and afternoon of the hour-long bus ride between home and school. On the morning of September 1st, the quiet, unassuming girl had had enough and brandished a loaded handgun she’d taken from her mother’s closet to scare off her tormentors. Incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility and charged with multiple felony counts, Ja’Meya fearfully awaits the outcome of her case, supported by her loving mother.
David and Tina Long — In October 2009, 17-year-old Tyler Long of Murray County, Georgia, hanged himself after years of abuse at the hands of his classmates and indifference from school officials. As his parents, David and Tina Long, mourn the loss of the son they tried to protect, and demand accountability from the school that failed him so miserably, his death has sparked a war in a community forced to face its bullying demons.
Kirk and Laura Smalley — Following the bullying-related suicide of their 11 year-old son, Kirk and Laura Smalley are determined to prevent other children from suffering Ty’s fate. As schools around the country prepare for the start of a new academic year, Kirk launches an anti-bullying organization, Stand for the Silent, coordinating a series of vigils that underscore the high stakes of America’s bullying crisis.
Starring: Ja’Meya Jackson, Londa Johnson & Alex Libby
Director: Lee Hirsch
Company: The Weinstein Co.
Now Showing: In Local Area Theatres
MPAA Rating: PG-13
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at wnning a free copy of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows or Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 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!
SHERLOCK HOMES: A Game of Shadows – Warner
Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room… until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large – Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) – and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective. Around the globe, headlines break the news: a scandal takes down an Indian cotton tycoon; a Chinese opium trader dies of an apparent overdose; bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna; the death of an American steel magnate… No one sees the connective thread between these seemingly random events – no one, that is, except the great Sherlock Holmes, who has discerned a deliberate web of death and destruction. At its center sits a singularly sinister spider: Moriarty. Holmes’ investigation into Moriarty’s plot becomes more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London to France, Germany and finally Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead, and moving perilously close to completing his ominous plan. If he succeeds, it will not only bring him immense wealth and power but alter the course of history.
GHOST RIDER: Spirit of Vengeance – Sony
Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance – Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze – still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter – is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy – and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
DEMOTED – Anchor Bay
What goes around comes around for a pair of prank-playing tire salesmen (Sean Astin and Michael Vartan) who find themselves placed in secretarial jobs by their put-upon boss (David Cross). Now the two pranksters will have to climb their way back to the top.
EPISODES: Season One – Paramount
Husband and wife writing team Sean and Beverly can’t wait to bring their successful British television series across the pond to make it big in America. But in true Hollywood fashion, it quickly becomes a laughable, clich‚d sitcom – starring none other than Matt LeBlanc. Matt not only messes with their beloved show, he rocks the foundation of their relationship. So now, even if they survive the absurdity of show business, will their marriage survive Matt LeBlanc?
AWESOME ADVENTIURES 2: Races, Chases & Fun – Lionsgate
Racing engines, runaway go-carts and monster chases lead to thrills, spills and rescues! Thomas and Hiro discover there’s no need for speed when trying to be a Really Useful engine; Fireman Sam is rescue-ready when Norman and James forget to put safety first; Bob the Builder’s Machine Team keep their eyes open to big adventure and big fun, putting the TEAM in teamwork and getting the job done. Get set and go with favorite, fast friends in these six exciting adventures!
DOCTOR WHO: The Seeds of Death – BBC
By the late 21st century, mankind has become totally dependent on T-Mat to transport people, food and medicines around the world. When the system breaks down, Earth is soon crippled by global shortages. Traveling to the relay station on the moon, the Doctor and his companions discover the horrific truth: the Ice Warriors have hijacked T-Mat, and intend to claim the planet for themselves. Can the Doctor defeat the Martians before Earth is smothered in deadly fungus, and the human race is condemned to extinction?
TOP GEAR: Season 18 – BBC
In season 18 of the world’s most extreme car show, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May visit India as they attempt to promote British trade armed only with three old cars, a badly behaved lawnmower and a trouser press. They also drive supercars across Italy, make a movie car chase, re-invent the mobility scooter, get soaking wet in track day cars, go motor racing for less than the cost of playing golf, investigate the Chinese car industry, immerse themselves in the world of NASCAR, and drive a brand new Ferrari through a snow field. Plus, The Stig hits the test track in the Mercedes SLS Roadster, BMW M5, Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale, and an insane pre-war Bentley powered by a 27-litre Spitfire engine, and the Reasonably Priced Car feels the raw driving power of stars including will.i.am, Ryan Reynolds, Slash, Matt LeBlanc, Michael Fassbender and Matt Smith.
IN DARKNESS – Sony
It is 1943, the Polish town of Lvov is occupied by the Nazis. One day a sewer maintenance worker named Leopold Socha encounters a group of Jewish refugees – and hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town’s sewers. At first only interested in lucrative business, the whole thing reaches more and more Socha’s conscience. The Polish small-town crook makes up his mind and finally risks his own life for the refugees.
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