Nick’s Picks 07/18/12
Ten New Yorkers are connected by a summer heat wave and a series of steamy sexual encounters in 30 Beats, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Lee Pace, Condola Rashad, Justin Kirk and Jennifer Tilly. Written, produced and directed by Alexis Lloyd, the film is a light-hearted exploration of seduction, spontaneity and self-discovery that’s as sultry and vibrant as the city it is set in.
When the doe-eyed Julie (Condola Rashad) seeks out worldly anthropologist Adam (Justin Kirk) in a determined effort to lose her virginity, the stage is set for a delightful dive into a world of sensual singlehood in New York City. The encounter triggers a chain reaction that connects 10 city-dwellers over a period of three sweltering days. After de-flowering Julie, an out-of-sorts Adam looks up seductive psychic Erika (Jennifer Tilly), who in turn frolics with bike messenger Diego (Day), who later declares his love for the scarred beauty Laura (Paz de la Huerta), who subsequently tries to seduce her chiropractor Matt (Lee Pace).
The shifting locations, professions and emotions paint a multi-faceted picture of passionate, and often unrequited, love in the city. Matt’s lust for switchboard operator Kim (Vahina Giocante) is complicated by a lesbian fling, which also indirectly complicates Kim’s interest in speechwriter Julian (Thomas Sadoski), who in turn is enthralled by Alice (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), a call girl on the verge of a career change. Taking on one last job, Alice pays off a debt by dutifully seducing the virgin Sean (Ben Levin), who it turns out is the best friend of Julie, the virgin whose first encounter opens the film. The tryst brings the round of random-seeming encounters full-circle as Sean and Julie debate the risks and rewards of introducing sex into their platonic relationship. Will they or won’t they? It’s just another thrum of the city’s heartbeat of love. Although limited somewhat in the context of worthyness for the entire family, 30 Beats is without question one of the best films of the year thus far.
Starring: Lee Pace, Justin Kirk & Jennifer Tilly
Director: Alexs Lloyd
Company: Roadside Attractions
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 MLK: The Assassination Tapes, Hiding, Superman vs The Elite, Last of the Summer Wine: 1992, Madame Bovary, Midsomer Murders: Set 20, Black Butterflies, The Untouchables: Season 4, Touched by an Angel: Season 5, We Are Here, George Gently: Series 4 or Ironman Armored Adventures: Season 2 Volume 1, 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!
MLK: The Assassination Tapes – Inception
It was April 4, 1968. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. It was all caught on film, tape and audio. So why have we seen so little of it? The well-known photograph of Dr. King’s aides pointing toward the direction of the gunfire is iconic, but tells only part of the story. For the first time, a remarkable collection of recently rediscovered footage has been chronologically reassembled. The resulting documentary allows us to revisit the tumultuous events surrounding one of the most shocking assassinations in America and relive history through the voices of the era.
HIDING – Anchor Bay
When Jo (Ana Villafane) witnesses the gruesome murder of her parents, she becomes a key witness against a notorious crime boss. She is placed into the Witness Protection Program and is relocated thousands of miles away from her big inner city home to the rural countryside of Montana. Now she has a new name, a new look and a new “family.” Jo slowly begins to make new friends and build a new life when her past comes catching up to her and the fight of her life has begun.
SUPERMAN VS THE ELITE – Warner
Superman vs. the Elite finds Superman in the unusual position of being saved rather than doing the saving. His helpers are a newly fashioned group of freelance superheroes known as the Elite, and at first glance, it looks like there might be a chance for Superman to combine forces with the telepathic Manchester Black and his fellow superheroes in the war against crime. But any hopes of partnership quickly turn into rivalry. The ruthless quartet’s have-no-mercy attitude raises the question of whether the world has moved on to replace Superman and his idealistic beliefs with a new breed of heroes, ones who don’t just stop wrongdoers, but deliver the ultimate judgment.
LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE: Vintage 1992 – BBC
Clegg, Compo and Foggy are back for another season of hilarious jokes, tricks, and mix ups! Compo outfits himself in biker’s leathers after he overhears that Nora likes a man in riding gear. Unfortunately, she meant horse riding… Wesley has plans to convert a lawnmower into a window cleaning machine, but, as always for this trio, the invention doesn’t work as smoothly as expected. Clegg attempts to prove Foggy a liar with what he calls the classic Ordeal By Trousers, which entails dropping a beetle down the front of his pants to see if Foggy flinches. If he does, he’s lying. Hoping to get rich quick, Compo becomes a one-man band. Later, when Foggy buys a camcorder and practices filming in the hills, he catches more than just nature on his film…Foggy also invents a new form of transport with a giant wheel and Compo finds himself volunteered as its first test driver. In the Christmas Special, the trio hires an inflatable castle for the seasonal parade, but not without a few hilarious mishaps along the way.
MADAME BOVARY – BBC
Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Frances O’Connor (Mansfield Park, The Importance of Being Earnest) star in this splendid adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s dramatic masterpiece. With dreams of escaping her provincial upbringing, Emma Rouault marries local doctor Charles Bovary. But it is not long before she feels constrained and frustrated by married life. Ignoring her devoted husband and immersing herself in romantic fantasies, Emma begins a string of affairs. First, a young student, L‚on, captures her imagination, but when the dashing aristocrat, Rodolphe, shows Emma the alternatives to married life, she enters into the affair with body and soul. Romantic and tragic, Flaubert’s story of a woman’s quest for fulfillment in love is an enduring classic not to be missed.
MIDSOMER MURDERS: Set 20 – Acorn
The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these contemporary British television mysteries inspired by the novels of Caroline Graham, modern master of the English village mystery. Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) has policed the murderous county for decades, and now he’s ready to retire. In these four episodes, Barnaby investigates his final cases before leaving the denizens of Midsomer in the capable hands of his cousin, DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon). Also starring Jason Hughes as Detective Sergeant Ben Jones.
BLACK BUTTERFLIES – New Video
Poetry, politics, madness, and desire collide in the true story of the woman hailed as South Africa’s finest poet. In 1960s Cape Town, as Apartheid steals the expressive rights of blacks and whites alike, young Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten) finds her freedom scrawling verse while frittering through a series of stormy affairs. Amid escalating quarrels with her lovers and her rigid father, a parliament censorship minister (Rutger Hauer, Batman Begins), the poet witnesses an unconscionable event that will alter the course of both her artistic and personal lives.
THE UNTOUCHABLES: Season Four – CBS Paramount
The Untouchables chronicles the campaign of Eliot Ness (Robert Stack), the young U.S. Prohibition Bureau agent determined to smash the beer and booze empire of Al Capone in 1920s Chicago.
TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: Season Five – CBS Paramount
A trio of angels Monica (Roma Downey), Tess (Della Reese), and Andrew (John Dye) are dispatched from heaven with a special mission: to inspire people facing sometimes unseen crossroads in their lives. Monica, an angel who at times still needs some guidance with her earthly assignments, reports to Tess, her tough, wise and always loving supervisor. Also on hand is Andrew, who, in addition to his duties as the Angel of Death, now helps out as a caseworker on various assignments. Gloria, an angel for the 21st century, continues to seek guidance from Monica performing her angelic duties. While the angels may not bring solutions to every problem, they always deliver a message of hope.
WE ARE HERE – Docurama
David Weissman s critically-acclaimed 2012 Independent Spirit Award nominee, We Were Here is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. It explores how the City s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic. Though a San Francisco-based story, We Were Here extends beyond San Francisco and beyond AIDS itself. It speaks to our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination. Offering an intensely personal account of five individuals whose lives were forever transformed by the tragedy of AIDS, We Were Here offers a hauntingly beautiful tribute to an era of tremendous suffering, loss and resilience.
GEORGE GENTLY: Series 4 – Acorn
Martin Shaw is back as Inspector George Gently, a by-the-book cop from London now working in the North East of England. This corner of the country is just starting to experience the social changes sweeping the rest of 1960s Britain, but the former Scotland Yard detective finds that crime occurs here the same as anywhere else. In his meticulous manner, Gently examines the passions and planning that lead to murder, his methods more often than not offset by those of his cocky young sidekick, Sergeant John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby). In these two feature-length mysteries, Gently and Bacchus investigate the suspicious death of an ex-informant facing a seemingly hopeless future, as well as the murder of a young woman poised on the brink of an exciting new chapter in her life.
IRONMAN ARMORED ADVENTURES: Season 2 Volume 1 – Vivendi
Join Tony Stark and his friends as they battle it out to keep control of his father`s company, Stark Enterprises, and protect the original Iron Man armor! Watch as he fights villains to save his position as the original Iron Man all while being a normal teenager. Will he be able to help a fellow super-hero regain his power? Or will he turn his back on him in an effort to protect himself? Anything can happen in the superhero world of Iron Man Armored Adventures! Includes the first 6 episodes of Season 2.
SANCTUARY: Season 4 – E1 Entertainment
Amanda Tapping returns as Dr. Helen Magnus in the amazing fourth season of the hit Syfy series, promising bigger myths and greater surprises than ever before.
STORAGE WARS: Volume 3 – A&E
The gang is back once again to pillage and loot all of the storage lockers up for auction. Dan and Laura Dotson are the auctioneers that keep everything running smoothly in the latest edition of Storage Wars. Potential bidders get a few minutes to take a look at the contents within a storage unit, all from outside the unit as they cannot touch anything. Once the bidding starts, it’s all based on what you see, what you think you see and gut instinct. The antics of Barry Weiss, Darrell and Brandon Sheets, Jarrod Schultz and Dave Hester are hilarious and should not be missed! All seeking fortune and the latest treasure, these guys duke it out, auction style!
IRT DEADLIEST ROADS: Season 2 – History
Rick, Lisa and Hugh are three of the most unassuming and fearless truck drivers in North America. They take their jobs seriously! They go from one extreme to the next as they navigate the roads of the world, whether on cliffs, bad bridges, or in the Andes. This group of truck drivers use their combined experiences in order to traverse the dangerous roads in order to reach their destinations. Their skill, ingenuity and bravado have no fears in IRT’s Deadliest Roads!
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS – Olive Films
One of the greatest and most influential Sci-Fi films of all time stars Kevin McCarthy as a doctor in a small California town whose patients are becoming hysterical and accuse their loved ones as emotionless imposters. Plant-like extra-terrestrials have invaded Earth, replicating the villagers in giant seed “pods” and taking position of their souls while they sleep. Realizing that the epidemic is out of control, in a terrifying race for his life, he escapes to warn the world of the deadly invasion of the pod people! Directed by the great Don Siegel and co-starring Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones, Larry Gates and King Donovan.
BONANZA: Season 3 – Paramount
One of the longest running and most popular of all television programs, Bonanza has become a part of American mythology. For fourteen seasons, audiences enthusiastically tuned in to see the High-Sierra adventures of the Cartwright clan. Nestled amongst the pines above the shores of Lake Tahoe is the Ponderosa, the thousand-square mile home of Ben Cartwright and his sons, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe. Guest players were a veritable Who’s Who of classic Hollywood and upcoming superstars, and timeless stories continue to appeal to contemporary audiences of all ages.
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS – Echo Bridge
The luminous Audrey Tautou stars in Dirty Pretty Things, a riveting thriller about an illegal immigrant in London named Okwe (Chiwetal Ejiofor, a doctor in his homeland who now works days as a taxi driver and nights as a hotel desk clerk. When a hooker tells him there’s a mess in one of the hotel’s bathrooms, Okwe finds a human heart in the toilet. He soon discovers a snare of desperation, poverty, and black-market body organs–and finds that his only friend, a Turkish hotel maid (Tautou), may be the next to be caught.
THE INBETWEENERS: Complete Series – E1 Entertainment
Marooned in suburbia, four adolescent boys navigate the minefields of life with their hormones at full blast. Though the young lads try to convince the world they are sophisticated, sexy human beings, their obsession with girls and cheap booze is a cringe-inducing look at the humiliations of teenage life. Enormously popular British comedy series.
ROCKO’S MODERN LIFE: Season 3 – Shout Factory
Rocko, Spunky, Heffer and Filburt return for another season of bizarre trips down the many twisted paths of Modern Life. Season Three highlights include a murder investigation involving the Bigheads, Heffer unearthing a rare talent for belching, Filburt popping the question, the exposure of Rocko’s spinach tooth and more! At long last, the complete third season is now on DVD!
GOON – Magnolia
Not content with his job as a bouncer, Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) dreams of a more rewarding job and gaining his parents respect. When a chance encounter with an on-ice thug leads to a fistfight that Doug easily wins, the on-looking coach sees Doug’s potential, in spite of his lack of any hockey playing ability. Joining the team and with the encouragement of his best friend (Jay Baruchel), Doug quickly becomes a rising star. Soon he’ll have the opportunity to face-off against the infamous league thug, Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber), perhaps finally land a girlfriend and stick to a job he enjoys. Now all he needs to do is learn to skate.
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