Nick’s Picks 11/21/12
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Frozen Planet: Complete Series, Torchwood: Miracle Day, Last Call at the Oasis, Booker’s Place, They Call it Myanmar, Half the Sky, Old School Sesame Street: Vol. Three, The Raw and the Cooked, The Island President, Screwed or a miscellaneous assortment of Dora the Explorer DVDs, 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!
FROZEN PLANET: Complete Series – 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.
TORCHWOOD: Miracle Day – BBC
John Barrowman and Eve Myles are joined by stars Mekhi Phifer and Bill Pullman for a new heart-pounding season of Torchwood. When convicted child killer Oswald Danes (Pullman) miraculously survives his own execution, the footage holds America transfixed. And then everyone realizes that nobody is dying. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next. People keep aging — they get hurt and sick — but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight. With all the extra people, resources are finite. It’s said that in four month’s time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can’t be a natural event – someone’s got to be behind it. It’s a race against time as CIA agent Rex Matheson (Phifer) investigates a secret British institution named Torchwood that seems to hold the answers, and finds only two surviving members: Gwen Cooper (Myles), who has retreated to a remote Welsh hideaway with her new family, and the mysterious, brilliant Captain Jack Harkness (Barrowman). But soon they all find themselves in the same fight against the greatest threat humanity has ever known… humanity itself.
LAST CALL AT THE OASIS – Docurama
Water. It’s the earth’s most valuable resource. Our cities are powered by it, countless industries depend on it, and all living things need it to survive. But it’s very possible that in the near future, there won’t be enough to sustain life on our planet. From Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu and Academy Award-nominated producer Elise Pearlstein Last Call at the Oasis sheds light on the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill effects and introduces us to individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions, such as activist Erin Brockovich and distinguished experts Peter Gleick, Alex Prudhomme, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon.
BOOKER’S PLACE: A Mississippi Story – Cinedigm
Booker Wright was an African-American restaurant owner who also served double-duty as a waiter in a “whites-only” restaurant in Mississippi in the 1960s. He became an unlikely activist for the Civil Rights movement when he appeared on a network TV documentary reporting on the changing times in his small town. Exploding the myth of who he was and his experience serving the white community, Booker’s appearance set off a chain of events that eventually led to his untimely murder. Booker’s Place follows director Raymond De Felitta, whose father directed the original 1966 documentary, as he journeys through past and present-day Mississippi with Booker’s granddaughter, searching for details around Booker’s courageous life and shocking murder, while also exploring the impact the film had – not only on the local community, but also on Raymond’s father.
THEY CALL IT MYANMAR – Cinedigm
Shot clandestinely over a 2-year period, this film provides a rare look at the second-most isolated country on the planet, lifting the curtain to expose everyday life in a country that has been held in the iron grip of a brutal military regime for 48 years. Culled from over 120 hours of striking images, the film is an impressionistic journey.Â Interviews and interactions with more than 100 people throughout Burma, including an interview with the recently released Aung San Suu Kyi, are interwoven with spectacular footage of this little-seen nation and its people.
HALF THE SKY – Docurama
Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s groundbreaking book, Half the Sky: Turning Opression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide takes on the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide. Take an unforgettable journey with six actress/advocates and New York Times journalist Kristof to meet some of the most courageous individuals of our time, who are doing extraordinary work to empower women and girls everywhere. These are stories of heartbreaking challenge, dramatic transformation and enduring hope. You will be shocked, outraged, brought to tears. Most important, you will be inspired by the resilience of the human spirit and the capabilities of women and girls to realize their staggering potential. Half the Sky is a passionate call-to-arms, urging us not only to bear witness to the plight of the world’s women, but to help to transform their oppression into opportunity. Our future is in the hands of women, everywhere.
OLD SCHOOL SESAME STREET: Vol. Three – Warner
Back by popular demand, it’s our third installment in the Old School series, covering 1979 1984. In this set you’ll see your Sesame Street friends on and off the Street! Remember when everyone surprised Maria in Puerto Rico for her birthday? Or when Snuffy and Gordon ran the New York City marathon? Bonus DVD extras like never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage will prove that we’re still kicking it old school!
THE RAW AND THE COOKED – First Run Features
Taiwan is known around the world as having one of the most diverse cuisines in Asia, and food is the foremost passion of its 23 million inhabitants. The Raw and the Cooked is a sumptuous exploration of the island’s rich culinary traditions, and their relationship to the Taiwan’s unique mix of cultures. The film begins in Taipei, circles the island, and then heads inland. Along the way we enter the world-renowned restaurant Shin Yeh atop the city’s Taipei 101 skyscraper; are treated to a mathematically precise lesson on how to eat soup-filled xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung, Taiwan’s most celebrated dumpling house; and visit Shitiping, where aboriginal chef Ladibisse makes a bouillabaisse from inside a tree trunk, cooked by heated stones. The grande finale is set at Jindou Restaurant in Pulin, where fusion chef Liu Heng-hong offers spectacular edible objects such as roses, paper, bitter gourds, water bamboo and ailanthus prickly ash, leaving the viewer hungry for more!
THE ISLAND PRESIDENT – First Run Features
A film about one man’s mission to save his nation and perhaps the planet, The Island President is a riveting, uplifting story that is impossible to take your eye off of. President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives is confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced – the survival of his country and everyone in it. Nasheed, who brought democracy to the Maldives after decades of despotic rule, now faces an even greater challenge: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives and make them uninhabitable. A classic David and Goliath tale, THE ISLAND PRESIDENT captures Nasheed’s battle to stop global warming – and save his country.
SCREWED – Inception
When a soldier returns from Iraq and takes a job as a prison guard, he quickly realizes that the only thing distinguishing the prisoners from the screws (British slang for guard) is who holds the key. Based on the bestselling book and the real-life experiences of Ronnie Thompson who spent seven years working in some of England s toughest prisons Screwed is an eye-opening exposé of the corrupt underworld of prison guards. A dark realm where brutality, gang affiliations, drug trafficking and big pay-offs rule. But ultimately, being on the right side of the bars doesn’t always mean sticking to the rules.
THE ROLLING STONES: Under Review 1975-83 – MVD
After much tribulation, at the end of 1974 Ronnie Wood arrived to breath new life into the Rolling Stones. This documentary film covers the Stones’ career and music between 1975 and 1983 and includes exclusive interviews, contributions from the finest experts and writers, and rare and classic footage, all sound tracked by the music that, despite it all , remained ‘only rock ‘n’ roll.’
BOOSTER – Echo Bridge
After discovering his brother is facing conviction for armed robbery, Simon (Nico Stone) agrees to commit a series of similar heists in order to create reasonable doubt, and ensure an acquittal. But in preparing to carry out the crimes, he experiences an intense crisis of conscience.
EYEWITNESS – VCI
Donald Sinden portrays a very different kind of character role — a cold-blooded killer — in this taut British thriller. One night, Jay and Lucy, a young married couple quarrel and Lucy leaves to go to the cinema on her own. During the film, her anger cools but, as she leaves to return home, she unwittingly becomes a witness to a murder. The killers see her and chase her until she runs into the path of a bus and is critically injured. The two criminals wait to hear of her condition, but as she improves, one of them strikes on a plan to kill her.
YOU KNOW WHAT SAILORS ARE – VCI
The best of British humor is on display in this satirical cold war romp! Donald Sinden plays Lieutenant Green, a radar expert in the Royal Navy. One night, whilst under the influence of alcohol, he welds an old pram to the deck of a foreign destroyer for a joke. The next morning, British Intelligence is desperate to know what the enemy s new weapon is. To cover his tracks, Green calls it the 998 . When he is posted to the destroyer to explain about radar techniques, Green soon realizes that his prank has gone too far.
THE CAPTAIN’S TABLE – VCI
When the South Star liner Queen Adelaide sails from Tilbury bound for Australia, Captain Albert Ebbs is a happy man. After years in cargo vessels, he has finally been given command of a luxury liner. Unfortunately, for him, he has a First Officer more concerned with women than running the ship, and his Chief Purser is doing a roaring trade in smuggling the ship s supplies.
CHRISTMAS WITH DANNY KAYE – Inception
Wow! What a perfect DVD for the entire family! This collection brings together 2 memorable Christmas episodes of the Emmy winning, top-rated CBS variety show, The Danny Kaye Show. Featuring Nat King Cole’s iconic performance The Christmas Song (aka Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) , duets with Danny and Peggy Lee and Jingle Bell Rock by a young Wayne Newton.
ANCIENT ALIENS: Season Four – A&E
With this being 2012, most folks are thinking just a little bit about the Mayan calendar and whether they can expect the end of the world to take place next month. That, coupled with the natural disasters across the world, the question of aliens controlling our weather and other fascinating stories, is the focus of the most recent season of Ancient Aliens from A&E. Remember the giant tsunami that hit Japan? The media reported more than 1,000 UFO sighting over the inundated shore line. This begets the question of whether or not there were aliens that were involved in the disaster. Ancient Aliens presents for all to see the 25 thousand years of alien evidence from our planet Earth.
THE EXPENDABLES 2 – Lionsgate
The cast of The Expendables, with newest members Billy the Kid (Hemsworth) and Maggie (Nan) aboard, are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them.
DOCTOR WHO: Series Seven, Part One – BBC
Join the Doctor, his companions Amy and Rory (aka the Ponds) and numerous friends on their latest escapades through space and time where they puzzle an unexpected invasion of Earth, save a spaceship full of dinosaurs, don Stetsons in a Wild West adventure and are even kidnapped by the Doctor’s oldest foe. The explosive series concludes with Amy and Rory’s heart-breaking farewell a race against time through the streets of Manhattan. Will the Doctor really lose the Ponds forever? There’s only one way to find out.
THE DUST BOWL – PBS
The Dust Bowl chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, when a frenzied wheat boom on the southern Plains, followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s, nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Menacing black blizzards killed farmers’ crops and livestock, threatened the lives of their children, and forced thousands of desperate families to pick up and move somewhere else. Vivid interviews with more than two dozen survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance. The Dust Bowl, a four-hour, two-episode documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns, is also a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us—a lesson we ignore at our peril.
SANTA PAWS 2: The Santa Pups – Disney
An all-new Disney holiday classic is born – Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups. Starring a brand-new litter of the cutest talking pups ever – Hope, Jingle, Charity, and Noble – it’s perfect for the whole family. When Mrs. Claus travels to Pineville, the playful Santa Pups stow away on her sled. Taking mischief to a whole new level, they begin granting joyful wishes to Pineville’s boys and girls, but something goes terribly wrong – the Christmas spirit begins to disappear. Now the Santa Pups and Mrs. Claus must race to save Christmas around the world. From the creators of Disney Buddies, this magical, heartwarming tale is brimming with hope, cheer, and Christmas spirit.
OBJECTIFIED – Cinedigm
Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. In his second film, director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica) documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?
PARADISE LOST TRILOGY – Docurama
The landmark documentary that sparked an international movement to ‘Free the West Memphis Three’, Paradise Lost investigates the gruesome 1993 murder of three eight-year-old boys and the three teenagers accused of killing them as part of a Satanic ritual. From real-life courtroom drama and clandestine jailhouse interviews to behind-the-scenes strategy meetings and intimate moments with grief-stricken families, acclaimed filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were granted unprecedented access to all the players involved, capturing the events as they unfolded. Revelations delves deeply into the shocking aftermath of the trials, updating the story seven years after the murders. With Echols on death row and Baldwin and Misskelley serving life sentences, Purgatory picks up the story and reexamines the horrifying crime with fresh insights that only the passage of time can provide. Facts are reexamined, new evidence is revealed and new suspects are scrutinized. Together, these films tear the lid off a notorious murder case and create a portrait of the American justice system that is at turns terrifying, heartbreaking and mesmerizing, ultimately demonstrating the power of cinema to effect social change.
AIM HIGH: Season One – Warner
In this action web series secret agent Nick Green lives the ultimate double life – by day he is an average high school kid and by night he’s an operative for the US government. Keeping the two worlds from colliding is a full-time job. After accidentally letting a Russian mercenary escape Nick’s everyday teenage struggles become even more complicated now that he’s also a revenge target.
MARK OF THE BEAST – MVD
For the first time ever the famous horror story by Rudyard Kipling comes to the big screen. Starring Ellen Muth and New York Independent film legend Debbie Rochon. It is the tale of two heroes who lose their way fighting off a silver faceless leper in the woods. The film has strong female roles. This moral tale shows the repercussions for the use of torture and has deep political and religious themes all bundled into a horror film that runs a festival friendly 72 action packed minutes.
BARNEY: Let’s Go to the Doctor – Lionsgate
It’s check-up time! Barney teaches that doctors are our friends and shows how pediatricians, dentists and veterinarians keep people and animals healthy and strong! Through song, dance and play, Barney and his friends share the importance of brushing teeth, washing hands, eating healthy food, exercising and more! Join Barney, BJ, Baby Bop and Riff as they make learning about healthy habits fun for everyone. It’s just what the doctor ordered!
LET’S EXPLORE WITH THOMAS – Lionsgate
Thomas & Friends: Calling All Engines! Synopsis Summertime is always beautiful on the Island of Sodor. It is a busy time for all of the engines… but when the Steam engines and Diesels can’t get along, and no work is getting done, the engines are in a terrible mess! Will the new airport be ready in time? Will the bridge get built? Can the engines save the day? Find out in Calling All Engines! Thomas & Friends: Come Ride the Rails Synopsis Come ride the rails to fun and adventure with Thomas and the other Really Useful Engines as they make tracks to great destinations! Molly is the new engine on Sodor… will she find the perfect job? Gordon learns a lesson in respect and Emily wants to be Queen for a day. Will Thomas and Percy finish their work in time to see a very special bird? Join the fun and excitement in Come Ride the Rails! Thomas & Friends: Tales from the Tracks Synopsis Join Thomas for a birthday picnic, discover a ghost engine that’s not what it seems and learn the legend of a very special lamp with Peter Sam! Then try and keep up with James, listen to Rusty’s beautiful music and make tracks as Thomas tries his best. There’s excitement around every bend in Tales from the Tracks! Thomas & Friends: It’s Great to Be an Engine! Synopsis Every season on the Island of Sodor brings new opportunities for adventure and discovery. Will Emily get the timber to Farmer McColl in time to save the baby calves? Will Toby muster enough confidence to push Gordon up a hill? Share in these timeless stories, and you’ll see why It’s Great to Be an Engine!
HOT IN CLEVELAND: Season Three – Paramount
They’re back and hotter than ever! The Emmy Winning, highest-rated series in the history of TV Land is back with the third season. Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White return for more laughs, more loves, and more misadventures in the Midwest. Whether they’re taking a gay cruise, modeling tracksuits, or setting each other up on disastrous blind dates, these four fabulous women make Cleveland the hottest destination on DVD!
THE WATCH – Fox
There’s trouble brewing in peaceful Glenview, Ohio. That’s why four civic-minded citizens, armed with flashlights, walkie-talkies and spiffy new jackets, have teamed up to safeguard their community. But the guys find more than they bargained for when they uncover an alien plot to destroy Earth, and now these bumbling heroes are Glenview’s only chance to save the neighborhood – and the world – from annihilation!
BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE – MGM
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter star in this outrageous comedy about two ditzy dudes from San Dimas, California. Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) spent so much time forming their rock band, The Wyld Stallyns, that they’re flunking history. A guardian angel from the future, Rufus (Carlin) come to them with a bodacious solution: a time traveling phone booth to take them into the past to learn from history’s most influential people. Their journey turns out to be a blast…but will they learn enough to pass their class?
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