Nick’s Picks 03/06/13
FEATURE FILM REVIEW
When India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) loses her beloved father and best friend Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in a tragic auto accident on her 18th birthday, her quiet life on the family’s secluded estate is suddenly shattered. Exquisitely sensitive, India’s exhibits an impassive demeanor which masks the deep feelings and heightened senses that only her father understood. Thus acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook’s first English language psychological thriller Stoker comes to life. (Chan-Wook’s prior works include Oldboy and Lady Vengeance.) India finds herself drawn to her father’s long-lost brother, Charlie (Matthew Goode), who unexpectedly arrives for the funeral and decides to stay on with her and her emotionally unstable mother, Evie (Nicole Kidman). While India initially mistrusts her charming but mysterious uncle, he fascinates her as well, and she begins to realize how much they have in common. As Charlie reveals himself to her little by little, India becomes increasingly infatuated with her charismatic relative and comes to realize that his arrival is no coincidence. With her uncle to guide her, she is about to fulfill her unusual destiny.
Beginning with the script’s opening image of a young girl playing a piano as a spider creeps up her leg, the audience will be riveted, shocked and enthralled by the story as it unfoldeds to its inexorable conclusion. The audience will find themselves lost in the eerie, improbable and self-contained world of the Stoker family. The family is completely pure to the core. They can’t experience any emotion without fully following it through to fruition. The interesting spin on this concerns the families complete lack of understanding regarding the ramifications of their actions. Each family member, brilliant in their own ways, are incredibly perceptive and often see things that others cannot. Complete obsessed with their own self-preservation, they take their emotions in their own hands as they take whatever course necessary to protect themselves, their needs and their family values.
Eerie and creepy at the same time, Stoker provides enough twists and turns to keep you engaged. Mia Wasikowska provides a performance for the ages in her portrayal as India. The emotion she emotes is palpable, as is the chemistry between she and the rest of her family. What Chan-Wook has done is put together the brilliant actors with an incredibly strong script and given them all the ability to simply be…the evolution of this story and the characters has the wow factor on every level. Although not for younger kids, Stoker is most definitely going to keep you in suspense and provide tension all the way to the bitter end.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Dermot Mulroney & Nicole Kidman
Director: Park Chan-Wook
Company: Fox Searchlight
Now Showing: in Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: R
Another feature film is about to shoot in the great city of Houston! Be on the lookout for Urban Shakedown! This is the story of Cliff and Lyle, two clueless dimwits from Houston, who start off on the ultimate road trip to L.A. Those plans are quickly thwarted by disaster when their car bottoms out and their U-haul goes up in flames. This starts the ball rolling on a non-stop, wild ride of laughter when they are picked up by Rosa, the daughter of a former mafia don, who preys on their lack of smarts in order to frame them for the murder of warring mafia family members.
Urban Shakedown is from Warped Bros. and Executive Producer Nick Nicholson, is a comedy Feature Film to be shot in Houston in 2013 for release in 2014. Producers: Todd McCammon, Courtney Lomelo, and Larry Carrell. Director: Larry McKee. Script: Todd McCammon. Story Consultant: Molly Vernon. Director of Photography: Larry McKee.
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Muay Thai Warrior, Game of Thrones: Season Two, Barney Loves You, Thomas and Friends: Full Steam Ahead or Dalziel & Pascoe: Season Seven, 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!
MUAY THAI WARRIOR – Well Go USA
Betrayed and left for dead by treacherous Japanese forces, young samurai Yamada Nagamasa (Seigi Ozeki) is rescued to a remote village in Siam and nursed back to health among the acolytes in the monastery. Working tirelessly to master the art of Muay Boran (Thai boxing), fearless and brutal Yamada is selected to become a royal bodyguard to King Naresuan The Great. His greatest challenge comes on the day he s forced to fight back against the elite Japanese warriors who left him behind. Based on actual events from the 17th century’s Ayutthaya period
GAME OF THRONES: Season Two – HBO
Based on the best-selling book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is an epic drama set in the grounded fantasy continent of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land where summers and winters can last years. Season 2 plays out against the backdrop of a fast-approaching winter – the season of the white raven. In King’s Landing, the coveted Iron Throne is occupied by cruel young Joffrey, counseled by his conniving mother Cersei and uncle Tyrion, who has been appointed Hand of the King. But the Lannister hold on the Throne is under assault on many fronts. There’s Robb Stark, son of the slain Lord of Winterfell, Ned Stark, who seeks autonomy in the North and has taken Cersei’s brother Jaime prisoner in battle; Daenerys Targaryen, who looks to shore up her depleted power in the east through three newborn dragons; Stannis Baratheon, eldest brother of the late King Robert, who rejects Joffrey’s legitimacy and aligns with a powerful priestess to raise a naval attack; and Stannis’ brother Renly, who has maintained his own claim since fleeing King’s Landing. In the meantime, a new leader is rising among the wildlings North of the Wall, adding new perils for Jon Snow and the order of the Night’s Watch. With tensions and treaties, animosity and alliances, Season 2 of Game of Thrones is a thrilling journey through a riveting, unforgettable fictional landscape.
BARNEY LOVES YOU – Lionsgate
All we need is love from our family and friends – and of course Barney! Discover the joys and laughter that moms, grandparents and cousins can bring in this unforgettable and heartwarming collection that the whole family will cherish! BARNEY: YOU CAN BE ANYTHING – What do you want to be when you grow up? Join Barney and his friends as they look through Barney’s costume shop and try on a few jobs for size. Just imagine and you can be anything! BARNEY: I LOVE MY FRIENDS – Come join in the fun as Barney takes his friends on a super-dee-duper adventure that shows just what it means to be a friend. Princess Baby Bopr has a royally good time when she sees that a key to being a friend is keeping promises. Riff goes to great lengths to make up for a big mistake and prove he’s a friend who sees things through to the end. BJr feels left out when he’s not included in a drawing, and learns the importance of being honest and expressing his feelings. With singing, dancing and lots of monkey-ing around, Barney brings kids on a friend-tastic adventure and shows that everything is more fun with friends
THOMAS AND FRIENDS: Full Steam Ahead – Lionsgate
Everyone’s favorite true blue engine, Thomas, is back with friends old and new in four fun adventures on the Island of Sodor in Thomas & Friends: Team Up With Thomas. This DVD is enhanced with CG animation and a live-action host, Mr. Arkwright, who welcomes viewers with a smile and a fun project for Lady Hatt’s grandchildren. Thomas, Edward, Toby, James and the rest of the engines introduce young engineers to Hank, a big, strong, new engine, and Flora, a lovely new lady steam engine. Together, they take us along on their tasks around the island. Be careful: trouble may lie around the next bend. But one thing’s for certain – you’ll always come home with a brand new friend! THOMAS & FRIENDS: WOBBLY WHEELS & WHISTLES: Travel along with Thomas for a wonderfully wobbly and wheel-spinning good time! The No. 1 blue engine has bridges to cross and tracks to uncover in these exciting adventures. When Victor gets overloaded with too many tasks, can Thomas help him let out steam? And while trying to get Scruff as clean as a whistle, will Thomas have to get his own wheels dirty? Just when things seem to be rolling along, will Ol’ Wheezy make a wobbly mess of Thomas’ special delivery? Hold on for exciting surprises waiting to be delivered just for you! THOMAS & FRIENDS: RAILWAY FRIENDS: All aboard for six all new adventures with Thomas and his engine friends in Thomas & Friends: Railway Friends. Meet Thomas’ best friend Percy, attend a festive winter party at the wharf, take a wrong turn on a mistaken shortcut, and see Thomas worry about his squeaky brakes and strive to become a `Really Useful Engine.’ Filled with charming characters and heroic displays of loyalty, responsibility and friendship, this DVD will be a treasured addition to any home entertainment library.
DALZIEL & PASCOE: Season Seven – BBC
Andy Dalziel and his sidekick Peter Pascoe are back to solve more murder mysteries in this thrilling new season of Dalziel and Pascoe. Warren Clarke is the witty down-to-earth Andy Dalziel and Colin Buchanan is his university-educated sidekick DI Peter Pascoe. The riveting combination of Dalziel’s old-style policing and Pascoe’s university-educated new man approach has made them a worldwide hit. Dalziel & Pascoe is based on the award-winning novels of top crime-writer Reginald Hill.
REGULAR SHOW: Party Pack – Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network’s hit animated comedy series Regular Show is anything but regular and fans keep asking for more. Regular Show: Party Pack DVD features 16 episodes from 3 hilarious seasons. The Emmy nominated hit comedy (Outstanding Animated Program) is part of the popular Monday night line-up on Cartoon Network along with the hit show Adventure Time. Regular Show: Party Pack features Mordecai and Rigby along with their friends Pops Muscle man Skips and Benson laughing having fun and even singing karaoke. Make your next party a party to remember with the Regular Show: Party Pack DVD.
H2O JUST ADD WATER: Season One – Flatiron
Watch what happens when three normal teenage girls growing up on the sun-drenched beaches of the Gold Coast stumble upon an ancient cavern that transforms their lives forever. Sure, they face typical teenage problems, but with an added twist: they’re mermaids with magical powers. Clearly one of the most wholesome and valued shows for kids from recent times, H2O – Just Add Water is educational, exciting and perfect for the entire family!
THE INTOUCHABLES – Sony
When Driss an ex-con from the projects is hired to take care of an eccentric French aristocrat named Philippe his newfound job quickly becomes an unpredictable adventure. Speeding a Maserati through Paris seducing women and paragliding over the Alps is just the beginning as Driss turns the often humorous world of upper-class Parisian society upside-down. As this unlikely duo overcome adversity of every flavor in this true story they also shatter their preconceptions of love life and each other. Based on the #1 international best-selling book You Changed My Life.
THE BAY – Lionsgate
Two million fish washed ashore. One thousand blackbirds dropped from the sky. On July 4, 2009 a deadly menace swept through the quaint seaside town of Claridge, Maryland, but the harrowing story of what happened that Independence Day has never been told – until now. From Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson comes this nerve- shredding tale of a small town plunged into absolute terror. The authorities believed they had buried the truth about the tragedy that claimed over 700 human lives. Now, three years later, a reporter has emerged with footage revealing both the cover-up and an unimaginable killer: a mysterious parasitic outbreak. Told from the perspective of those who were there and saw what happened, The Bay unfolds over 24 hours though people’s iPhones, Androids, 911 calls, webcams, and whatever else could be used to document the nightmare in Claridge.
DUCK DYNASTY: Season Two – Lionsgate
In Season 2, Volume 1, of the hit series “Duck Dynasty” on A&E, Louisiana’s bearded, camouflage-clad millionaires continue to live out the American dream while staying true to their rugged outdoorsman lifestyle and Southern roots. Ask anyone in Louisiana and they’ll tell you that the bayou state’s favorite first family doesn’t live in the governor’s mansion but in the backwoods, where the Robertsons’ rags -to-riches story is still unfolding. A homegrown mom-and-pop operation, Duck Commander has become a sporting empire by fabricating top-of-the- line duck calls and decoys out of salvaged swamp wood. This newly-minted multimillionaire family is kept in line by business-savvy Willie, who runs Duck Commander with the help of his brother Jase, their respective wives Korie and Missy, patriarch and founder of the company, Phil, and uncle Si. Together they run a booming business that employs half their neighborhood, but at the end of the day you can find the whole family around matriarch Miss Kay’s dinner table. Each episode brings a new set of challenges, met with a special brand of Southern know-how and a down-home sense of humor.
INTERVIEW WITH A HITMAN – Well Go USA
Silent. Relentless. No attachments. This is Viktor s code. The mantra that took him from the slums of Romania to the pinnacle of his profession as a murderer for hire. Viktor knows the value of life more than most, which makes him the perfect killer. But after a ruthless betrayal by his bosses, he escapes to London, joins a new family, and finds himself caught in a vicious underworld power struggle. Viktor is now better, faster and more ruthless than ever before, but an encounter with a dark beauty offers him a chance at new life. But can he ever hope to escape the ghosts- and buried secrets of his past?
PLAYING FOR KEEPS – Sony
Gabriele Muccino’s Playing for Keeps, an awkward mix of sports and suds, exists primarily to keep the Gerard Butler contingent happy. Fortunately, the Scottish actor gives a likable performance, speaks in his native brogue, and boasts the kind of lean physique that comes from back-to-back athletic pictures. Though he once enjoyed a successful soccer career, Butler’s George now struggles to make ends meet. The action begins after he moves to Virginia to reconnect with his son, Lewis (appealing newcomer Noah Lomax), though he’s ultimately hoping to reunite with his ex-wife, Stacie (Jessica Biel), except she’s engaged–and still bitter about his past infidelities. When George catches sight of Lewis’s soccer coach slacking off, he steps in and wins over players and parents alike.
MIDNIGHT STALLION – Vivendi
Fifteen-year-old Megan Shephard and her parents will do anything to save their struggling farm. When the family discovers a wild stallion in a nearby forest they begin to wonder if this could be the answer to their prayers. Kris Kristofferson and Jodelle Ferland star in this heartwarming and inspiring tale that celebrates the spirit of family and the amazing courage and determination it takes to defeat all odds.
WWE: The Best of Monday Nitro Volume Two – WWE
For six years WCW Monday Nitro went head-to-head with WWE Raw pulling out all the stops to gain the upper hand in the escalating Monday Night War. The place “where the big boys play” produced such a wealth of non-stop thrills action drama and controversy that we could not possibly scratch the surface in one volume. Host Diamond Dallas Page returns to present Volume 2 of the wildly successful Best of WCW Nitro series. Sports entertainment fans will relive eight more hours of the poisonous n.W.o electrifying cruiserweights and unparalleled star power that delivered an endless supply of timeless matches and moments. All the greatest WCW stars are included such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Sting Kevin.
THE REAGAN PRESIDENCY – PBS
One of America’s most dynamic leaders, Reagan remains a guiding light for the Republican Party. Some historians and scholars believe Reagan re-shaped not just the political landscape, but the way many Americans view government – and each other. In this three-hour series, titled The Reagan Presidency, the producers will focus on the eight years of the Reagan presidency. In addition to interviews with those who’ve spent years analyzing his policies and legacy, the producers will also interview key members of the Reagan team, as well as foreign leaders with whom the president interacted.
THE MAYO CLINIC DIET – PBS
The Mayo Clinic Diet puts you in charge of making simple, changes that will result in a weight you can maintain for the rest of your life. Join the experts at Mayo Clinic as they debunk the various weight-loss programs and give a real plan for lifelong weight management, and weight-loss success. Not a fad diet, just the facts, and tools to help you lose weight the healthy way. Experts share the information from years of research, and real people share their experiences from dieting to help guide the viewer.
HURRICANE SANDY: Inside the Megastorm – PBS
Was Hurricane Sandy a freak combination of weather systems? Or are hurricanes increasing in intensity due to a warming climate? How did this perfect storm make search and rescue so dangerous? Inside the Megastorm takes viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy, its impacts and the future of storm protection. Through first person accounts from those who survived, and from experts and scientists, Inside the Megastorm gives scientific context to a new breed of storms.
CHASING MAVERICKS – Fox
Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue and Hollywood newcomer Jonny Weston star in this inspiring true story of courage and friendship the whole family will love. When 15-year-old Jay Moriarty (Weston) discovers that the mythical Mavericks surf break is real, he reaches out to local surfing legend Frosty Hesson (Butler) to train him to ride it. What begins as a mentorship turns into an extraordinary bond that transforms both their lives, as Jay and Frosty learn valuable lessons about conquering fear in pursuit of your dreams. Featuring the most spectacular wave footage ever captured on film, Chasing Mavericks is packed with action and drenched with excitement!
CALIFORNIA SOLO – Strand Releasing
Former Britpop rocker Lachlan MacAldonich (Robert Carlyle) has settled into a comfortably numb existence working on an organic farm just outside Los Angeles. By day he travels to the city’s farmers’ markets to sell produce to people like Beau (Alexia Rasmussen, Our Idiot Brother, Listen to Your Heart, Tanner Hall), a lovely struggling actress. By night he drinks himself into a stupor until he retires to his shabby apartment where he records a podcast about great musicians. After being pulled over one night for drunk driving, he is threatened with deportation and is forced to confront his past and current demons. California Solo is a touching, human story about post-fame life and personal redemption.
MUDHONEY: I’m Now – MVD
This documentary tells the story of Mudhoney from their very beginnings, to following them on their recent world tour and everything in between. Complete with testimonials from friends, music industry veterans, and musicians such as Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard & Jeff Ament, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, and Mudhoney themselves.
MICHAEL JACKSON: Moscow Case 1993 – MVD
The Moscow Case is a 52 minute documentary with never-before-seen footage of Michael Jackson in Moscow during the “”Dangerous”" tour. This film tells the behind the scenes story of Jackson’s ill fated concert in September 1993. It includes unique archival footage showing Michael close up and personal while meeting fans and playing with orphan children. This documentary is valuable to anyone seeking insight into Jackson’s personality as well as anyone interested in doing business in Russia after the end of communism.
COLLABORATOR – E1 Entertainment
Robert Longfellow (Martin Donovan) is a famous playwright who can t seem to catch a break. Retreating to his childhood home, he crosses paths with his former neighbor, Gus (David Morse), a right-wing ex-con who is Robert s polar opposite in every possible way. At a drunken reunion gone terribly wrong, Gus holds Robert hostage at gunpoint, leading to a shattering climax as status, celebrity and the imminent threat of violence converge.
BREAKING DAWN: Part One – Summit
In the highly anticipated fourth installment of The Twilight Saga, a marriage, honeymoon and the birth of a child bring unforeseen and shocking developments for Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) and those they love, including new complications with werewolf Jacob Black (Lautner). Includes eight additional minutes of never-before-seen film footage and comes in beautiful, collectible packaging with pearlized finish and embossing.
BREAKING DAWN: Part Two – Summit
In the final chapter of the Twilight Saga phenomenon, the birth of Bella and Edward’s child brings conflict between Bella and her lifelong friend, Jacob, and an all-out war between the Cullens and the Volturi.
POWER RANGERS: Clash of the Red Rangers the Movie – Lionsgate
The Samurai Rangers team up with the mysterious RPM Ranger Red to fight off dual threats from Master Xandred’s Mooger army and a robotic supervillain from the RPM Ranger’s dimension, but when both Red Rangers get struck with hypnobolts they turn against one another, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
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