Nick’s Picks – April 2

WORLDFEST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

01 WFHLOGO  WorldFest Poster-2014

Feature films from countless countries, several compelling documentaries, suspense stories, romances and a good number of comedies are on the slate at the 47th edition of WorldFest, the annual Houston 10-day festival that showcases independent films from the U.S., with local filmmakers highlighted.  This year’s dates are April 4-13, and film lovers should expect to take in some 50-plus features and 88 short films, all screening at the AMC Studio 30 Theatres.  WorldFest executive director Hunter Todd revealed the line-up during a reception at the Arcodoro restaurant that was attended by film critics, programmers, actors, directors, festival devotees, and representatives of various Houston consulates, including Italy, Mexico, Germany and Jamaica. Besides screenings, there’s the usual group of additional activities: six master classes in film/video production and distribution, an opening night champagne gala, the Remi Awards gala dinner, and a Regatta & Texas BBQ complete with Longhorn steers and a sailboat race at the Houston Yacht Club.  Shawn Welling’s internationally acclaimed urban dance troupe, Planet Funk, will provide the entertainment during the WorldFest Awards dinner.   If you have never had the opportunity to see Planet Funk perform, they alone are worth the price of admission! Festival headquarters have moved to the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Reliant Park 8686 Kirby Drive, so look for the master classes, seminars, and the Awards gala, all open to the public, at the new location. More information, ticketing, trailers and updates at www.worldfest.org.

 

The following is a breakdown of the not to be missed world premiere feature films that you must put on your calendar. As always, please consult the WorldFest program guide and/or website for the most accurate and up to date show times, as those below are subject to change.

 

WORLD PREMIERE FILMS:

 

AFRICAN GOTHIC, directed by Gabriel Bologna:  This film is based on a 1985 play penned by Reza de Wit. Set on a rural farm in South Africa, two lovers try to bury their traumatic past by constantly reenacting it. It takes them deeper into the nightmare. As their farm falls into ruin, a city lawyer pays a visit, he gets caught in their twisted game and they will stop at nothing to keep their secret safe.  Showtime: April 5th at 9:00 pm.

 

BEN’S AT HOME, directed by MARS HORODSKI:  After a breakup with a long term girlfriend and having recently turned 30, Ben (Dan Abramovici) is struggling emotionally. Early in our story, we find him reluctantly out with friends at their usual bar celebrating his birthday. While there, he tries to awkwardly chat up single women, inevitably running into his ex in the arms of another man. He then makes the decision to give up going out and dating, deciding upon working, playing and even dating – all from home. The decision sets in motion a hilarious and heartfelt tale of twisted relationships as Ben tries to balance his new life with the expectations of his old friends and finding love.  Showtime: April 11th at 7 pm.

 

BERLIN CALLING, directed by Nigel Dick:  A punk chick from Los Angeles traces her father’s roots back to pre-war Berlin and confronts her family’s dark past. Her journey takes her from Los Angeles to Houston, Paris, berlin, Parague and finally the concentration camp where her father spent two years of his life. During this voyage she discovers not only how she and her whole family were effected by Hitler’s Final Solution, but also that her family is larger than anyone could have imagined. She is finally able to leave a tribute to her family on the streets of Berlin and watch while her father is welcomed back to the city of his birth by the Mayor of Berlin.   Showtime: April 10 at 7:00 pm.

 

CASABLANCA, directed by Michael Curtiz:  One of the most beloved American films, this captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue defies standard categorization. Simply put, it is the story of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a world-weary ex-freedom fighter who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of WWII. Here in it’s 70th Anniversary Edition, CASABLANCA is a film for the ages and should not be missed. Showtime: April 5th at 7:00 pm and April 12th at 9 pm.

 

COURTING CHAOS, directed by Alan Clay:  A young woman whose mother is driven to help her succeed as a fashion model, rebels against her mother’s wishes by learning how to be a street clown in Venice, California. She finds that not only has she an innate talent and attraction for street performances but she also manages to discover love as well. Showtime: April 6th at 9:00 pm and April 8th at 9 pm.

 

DAWN OF THE CRESCENT MOON, directed by Kirk Loudon: Friday Lunch Productions presents a supernatural thriller about five college students who travel to a small Texas town with the hope of uncovering the truth behind an old Comanche legend. It’s not long before the students begin to realize that the legend is much more than local folklore when they come face to face with their own pasts and the legend itself.  Showtime: April 15th at 9:00 pm.

 

DAYDREAMING, directed by Patrizio Gioffredi:  Set in Prato, Tuscany, this is a comedic tale of two Julios…Julio #1 is a thirty year old on unemployment who is torn between his aunt, a fervent Catholic, who forces him to go to mass and his atheist friend who counsels him on getting ‘unbaptized.’ Julio #2 is a young Chinese man who lives in Italy and befriends Maurino, who teaches him how to play cards – as well as a few things about life.  Showtime: April 10th at 7:00 pm.

 

EVERYTHING IS FOREVER, directed by Victor Zimet:  Nenad Bach was a rock star in his native country of Croatia, but in 1984 he made the decision to expatriate in order to follow his dream of finding a U.S. market for his music, in an industry dominated by youth and pop culture. Most importantly, he remains committed to his work as a citizen of the world, a tireless antiwar activist, the driving passion whish infuses his life and the music he creates. Everything is Forever, delves deep into the soul of an artist, who to this day still has unfinished business. Showtime: April 11th at 9:00 pm.

 

FIND YOUR WAY: A BUSKER’S DOCUMENTARY, directed by Brian Nunes:  A fascinating peek into a world that most people know little about – the lives of full time street musicians. Filmed over the course of three years, 5 street performance artists tell their stories of ambition and heartache, challenging our definition of success as they attempt to find their own.  Showtime: April 12th at 5:00 pm.

 

HELEN ALONE, directed by Henrik Bech Poulsen:  Left alone by her parents for the first time, a teenager finds herself on a 24 hour journey through the dark and seamy side of suburbia where an odd cast of characters all battle to control her fate. What will happen to Helen through out this singular night?  Showtime: April 5th at 9:00 pm.

 

HELLO FOREVER, directed by Peter Kirk:  When a young expatriate American Das is found dead on the streets of Manila, a pair of detectives delve into the lives of four young prostitutes as they interview them. With one of the girls dead and one missing, the police interrogation unravels the girls stories and reveals all four of them had reasons to commit the murder. Showtimes: April 7th at 9:00 pm.

 

I PLAY WITH THE PHRASE EACH OTHER, directed by Jay Alvarez:  The story these phone calls shape begins with Jake, a young neurotic who is persuaded to leave his small home town and move to the city to live with his friend Sean, a fanatical poet who survives by swindling inexperienced Craigslist customers. When Jake arrives in the city, Sean has disappeared and as he struggles to secure a job and a place to stay, Jake discovers a nocturnal world of neon poverty in which his friend Sean seems to be thriving. Showtime: April 9th at 9:00 pm.

 

LAST CURTAIN CALL, directed by Jennifer Tadlock:  An aspiring rock star is diagnosed with dementia as he finally gets his big break in the music industry after having neglected everyone he loves and is now trying to make up for lost time. But is he too late? Showtime: April 9th at 9:00 pm and April 13th at 5 pm.

 

THE LAST MARK, directed by Bo Brinkman:  Harry (Bo Brinkman), an old time card shark and his sidekick, Bill (Morgan Sheppard) ran grand stings during the fifties but as times changed, they began to lose their edge though Harry never gave up on his grandiose schemes and he struggles mightily to claim that one final mark. Harry’s wayward ways leave a dark and challenging impression on his son, Hoppy (Jeremy London) who must come to terms with his father’s negative influence. Showtime: April 10th at 9:00 pm.

 

THE LEGEND OF DARKHORSE COUNTY, directed by Shawn Welling: Michael Biehn and Lee Majors tell the haunting story of a small Texas town serial killing that cause the locals to hunt down a monster. As Jon & Joy Ford (Shawn Welling & Tory Tompkins) move into the small town of DarkHorse, mysterious and supernatural incidents occur. Good old boy Sheriff McElroy (Lee Majors / Larry Wade Carrell), the town’s rugged sybol of justice, must come to terms with the evil threatening his family. After the nieces are kidnapped, their abductor must be found before it is too late. Evil has a face and this monster must be confronted. Showtime: April 4th at 8:00 pm and April 13th at 5:00 pm.

 

MAHOGANY SUNRISE, directed by R. Scott Leisk:  After being sent to a border town to work, Jackson – disheartened IT guy who longs to be a musician – stumbles upon a stash of loot. Thinking he has hit the jackpot, he takes it but soon finds the loot belongs to an organization of questionable integrity and they want it back. While on the lowdown, he becomes enmeshed with a woman that inspires him, but she has an ex with a background that may jeopardize their love.  Showtime: April 5th at 5:00 pm.

 

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, directed by Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly:  Nominated for 4 Oscars for the 1953 Academy Awards and winner of Golden Globes, BAFTA & DGA awards, Singin’ in the Rain remains an all-time classic musical and much beloved film with Gene Kelly joyously dancing and co-directing. The basic storyline is that in 1927 a famous silent star movie couple, Don & Lina, and their film company must face the difficult challenge of transitioning from the silent era to the talkies. Don has a beautiful voice but sadly, Lina, does not.  Showtime: April 5th at 7:00 pm.

 

STOP PEPPER PALMER, directed by Lonzo Liggins:  Stop Pepper Palmer is a comedy about three black guys from Utah, the only black people there, who discover that a black woman has newly arrived in town! They vie for her attention but feel they aren’t black enough to impress her so they hire someone from out of town, Cleveland, to teach them how to be “blacker.” But when Pepper arrives from Cleveland, they realize he’s not quite what he claims to be and the man they have hired to help them is now the very man they must stop.  Showtime: April 7th at 7:00 pm and April 11th at 9:00 pm.

 

TAKEN BY GRACE, directed by Roger Lindley:  On the night that he is released from prison, Lucas Blackstone (Angus MacFadyen) sets out for the town of Trinity to find the man who murdered his son. Armed with a pistol and past full of mistakes, Lucas kidnaps Shawn Everett (Bradley Dorsey) and his wife Carrie (Haylie Duff) and holds them hostage. As the trio travels to Trinity, Lucas learns of Shawn and Carrie’s troubled marriage and questions their ability to reconcile their love through their faith in God. But Lucas has no interest in their faith, that is, until he discovers the truth about his own son’s killer.  Showtime: April 10th at 7:00 pm.

 

 

 

 

An Interview with Henrik Bech Poulson

HelenAlone-postcard-HR

HELEN ALONE is Danish-born Writer/Director Henrik Bech Poulsen’s first feature film. Having attended film school in Denmark, Henrik moved to the USA where he soon got involved in the Houston film community. “Houston is a great city to shoot in” says Henrik, who thanks the Houston Film Commission for all of their help and support throughout the production. Henrik’s journey towards completing HELEN ALONE comes as a result of equal doses of creativity and determination. “It’s all about doing what you love and having as much fun as possible along the way,” Henrik says and he’s not afraid to let it be known that HELEN ALONE is far removed from the predictable Hollywood formula. “Movies are art and there should be no rules.” Henrik continues, “To me HELEN ALONE deals with something that everybody can relate to, which is the discovery that we all have growing up and realizing that the world is not the same when you’re alone without your parents. Whether you go to the park, go shopping or simply walk down the street, you find out the hard way that people treat you differently if you’re alone and your parents are not next to you.” HELEN ALONE tells the story of Helen, Left alone by her parents for the first time, a teenager finds herself on a 24-hour journey through the dark side of suburbia where an odd cast of characters all battle to control her fate. HELEN ALONE is premiering during the WorldFest International Film Festival on April 5th at 9:00 pm. For more information, please contact www.worldfest.org.

 

 

Houston Happenings

 

LOCAL BUSINESSMAN IS MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

 

By

 

Nick Nicholson, CNN Houston

 

Shawn Welling Director DARKHORSESimply put, Shawn Welling is an enigma. He is a dance instructor, photographer, filmmaker and visionary of the arts. The forty something year old doesn’t look his age at all. When you meet the man, the first things that come to mind are questions. You know, the kind of questions that bring you to a point of doubting the reality of his accomplishments. The questions are numerous such as “this guy is one of the best dance instructors in the world?” and continue with gems like “this guy is an award winning film maker?” It happens all the time because Shawn is such a humble and unimposing individual. Being grounded in reality is something Shawn takes great pride in and is something that was instilled in him by his wonderful parents, Fred and the late Judy Welling. After meeting his parents, I can assure you the apple didn’t fall far from the tree with their son.

 

Shawn decided ten plus years ago to open Planet Funk, which is simply the place to be if you are a dancer in Houston. With styles of dance education that run the gamut from old school to completely progressive, Welling and his staff work hard to educate the masses on the art of dance, regardless of age. Students within Planet Funk are as young as seven and as experienced in life as seventy. “Age is a state of mind, really,” Welling said. “If you want to learn something, nothing at all can or should stop you from enjoying yourself. That is the philosophy here at Planet Funk.” One of Welling’s pupils, Marissa Lee, had something to say about her dance surroundings. “Planet Funk has changed my life in so many ways. After the first month of classes, I found myself performing 8,000 miles away from home representing the United States in six different Middle Eastern countries. It was a life changing experience that I will never forget.”

 

Regarding the Planet Funk Dance Academy, let’s put some of this in perspective. Who are you going call if you are a mover and shaker in Houston and you need entertainment? That’s right, Shawn Welling. His cadre of performers are the first on call for the Rockets, the NFL & NHL leadership. Ever heard of Cirque du Soleil? I thought you had. Guess whom they called when they needed additional performers and some last minute choreography? Uh-huh, you guessed it – Shawn Welling. His teams have performed on The Oprah Winfrey show, Good Morning America, Deborah Duncan and Great Day Houston among many others. He has provided master classes for the Disney Lion King dancers, Broadway productions and even MTV programming. Bottom line is when the industry needs something regarding dance, regardless of where you are in the world, Shawn Welling and Planet Funk provide the answers with an exclamation point. But with all of the how-de-do about Welling and his dance troupe as well as his demand as still photographer, you might just be surprised to know that neither of those genres are his bread and butter.

 

The-Legend-Of-DarkHorse-County-2014-Movie-Poster-ShawnWelling (medium). JpegWhat should come as no surprise is that Shawn Welling is also an award-winning filmmaker. With four films under his belt, all shot in the Houston/Galveston area, Welling Films is a hot ticket. His films, House of Dreams, The Messenger, Project Aether and The Legend of Darkhorse County (premiering at WorldFest Houston on April 4th) have all gained critical acclaim and his films have won spots in film festivals from Tribecca, Telluride, Sundance and even WorldFest. The awards for his pictures are numerous and his most recently released film, Project Aether, won best picture, best actress (Joy Willard) and best young performer (Marissa Lee) from the Houston Film Critics Society. Welling has an eye for visual acuity and that’s putting it lightly.

 

LDHC Larry CarrellWelling’s latest foray into the film idiom tells a story that puts you square in the crosshairs of any town, USA. You see and feel everything and it could happen in your neighborhood, maybe even next door to your home. The Legend of Darkhorse County tells the story of Jon and Joy Ford (Shawn Welling & Tory Tompkins) as they relocate into a small Texas town in the middle of nowhere to serve as caretakers on a rather large estate. The town has a predisposition to violence and perhaps a slight overbearance of religion, but what small Texas towns don’t? The Fords quickly befriend the local Sheriff McElroy (Larry Carrell) and over the course of time a serial killer is on the loose, their nieces are kidnapped and Joy is coming to the realization they might be in Darkhorse County for more than just a job. No spoilers here…just go see the movie on Friday.

 

LDHC Lindsay Slott Brandon Itz & Larry CarrellWhat Welling does with his movies that set them apart from the rest of the local pack is that he knows how to capture a scene through a lens better than many filmmakers I know in Hollywood – and that is saying something. His work as a photographer provides the iconic image capturing knowledge and his work as a dancer provides the perfect background in how best to capture the flow of movement. See, that is what Welling does so well. His storytelling isn’t spoon-fed; he allows the story to unfold through the ebb and flow of visual images moreso than just about any director. Welling is akin to Stanley Kubrick – almost to the point that you would think he studied under him at some point in his career. It is actually quite frightening how similar they both are/were in regards to their image capturing techniques.

 

LDHC Tory Tompkins and Neice WaidhoferAt some point, we must recognize that originality is genius at its origin. Shawn and his movies aren’t providing a glimpse at something for the first time in history, but his films do provide a rather fresh look into an old idiom that sometimes is too stagnant for it’s own good. Whether we are talking about the compelling documentaries House of Dreams or The Messenger: 360 Days on Bolivar or maybe the paranormal film Project Aether or finally his latest work, The Legend of Darkhorse County, it just doesn’t matter. No matter the genre, no matter the subject matter or anything else thrown at Shawn from a cinematic perspective, he just doesn’t care. We can all be certain that the finished product will be a highly polished film with strong presentation and representation from his actors and something that the film community can watch and learn from should they so choose to do so. Oh, and did I mention he even has a web series that has a stronger audience base than many television shows? His AXI – Avengers of Xtreme Illusions – is a new series of short films that tell stories through the art of dance. The program follows in the mold of the Twilight Zone at times, but the series is so much more than that. While featuring some of the most talented dancers in the world, the program provides a fresh, new look into the exciting and creative world of dance. Again, it just seems that whatever project Welling undertakes, he provides a fresh spin on it and makes it work. Don’t take my word for it. Go check out Legend of Darkhorse County this Friday and see it for yourself.

 

 

DVD Reviews

 

FREE DVD GIVEAWAY

Middleton Veep Murdered Kings

We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of At Middleton, Veep: Season 2, or Ghosts of Murdered Kings, 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!

 

 

AT MIDDLETON – Anchor Bay

 

MiddletonAcademy Award nominees Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga star as straight-laced, George and eccentric Edith, two strangers who meet on their children’s college tour at the idyllic Middleton University. Despite their opposing temperaments, George and Edith play hooky together, ditching the textbook tour for a carefree afternoon reminiscent of their youth. But what begins as an afternoon of fun soon becomes a revealing and enlightening experience that will change their lives forever. A light-hearted romance for adults on the surface, At Middleton is a deeply moving and enlightening portrait of the timelessness of romance and youth.

 

 

VEEP: Season Two – HBO

 

VeepHBO delivers a new season of the Emmy-winning comedy series created by Armando Iannucci that takes a sharp, satirical look at the insular world of Washington politics. Veep follows the whirlwind day-to-day existence of Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as she juggles her busy public schedule, puts out political fires, and defends the president’s interests, even as she tries to improve her dysfunctional relationship with the chief executive. Over the course of ten Season 2 episodes, Veep hilariously skewers the nuances of everyday office politics – set against the backdrop of the second highest office in the land.

 

 

GHOSTS OF MURDERED KINGS – PBS

 

Murdered KingsIn the rolling hills of Ireland’s County Tipperary, a laborer harvesting peat from a dried-up bog spots the remnants of a corpse and stops his machine just in time, revealing a headless torso almost perfectly preserved and stained dark brown by the bog. Archeologists recognize the corpse as one of Europe’s rare bog bodies: prehistoric corpses flung into marshes with forensic clues often suggesting execution or human sacrifice. The corpse will eventually be dated to the Bronze Age, over 3,000 years ago. Many of these were victims of shocking violence, showing evidence of axe blows, hanging, and stab wounds. Like a crime thriller, NOVA follows archaeologists and forensic experts in their methodical hunt for clues to the identity and the circumstances of this and other violent deaths of bog body victims. A new theory emerges that they are those of ritually murdered kings, gruesomely slain to assure the fertility of land and people. NOVA’s ancient detective story opens a tantalizing window on the strange beliefs of Europe’s long vanished prehistoric peoples.

 

 

THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: Fully Roasted – StarVista

 

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts were a fixture on NBC s Thursday night lineup from 1973 to 1984. In those 11 years, Dean and his panel of pals successfully ridiculed, embarrassed and made fun of legendary stars like Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin himself, to name a few — and America loved it! Over the past 20 years the roast format has really become a kind of American folklore: set at a banquet table, in which the guest of honor was showered with insults from other celebrities. The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Fully Roasted 6-DVD set highlights Dean Martin as insults are being flung by the many guest stars who parade in front of the pulpit to lambaste the day’s biggest stars of Hollywood, Sports, TV and Politics!

 

 

47 RONIN – Universal

 

Keanu Reeves stars in the action-adventure epic, 47 Ronin. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. This band of ronin must seek help from Kai (Reeves)—an enslaved half-breed they once rejected—in their ultimate fight for redemption in a savage world of mythic and wondrous terrors. Kai becomes their most deadly weapon and the heroic inspiration for these outnumbered warriors to confront their enemy and seize eternity.

 

 

L’IMMORTELLE – Kino Lorber

 

In the wake of the success (and massive controversy) surrounding Ken Russell’s The Devils, numerous filmmakers rushed to create their own Inquisition horror films, most of them inspired by the true story of satanic possession and torture at the convent of Loudun. THE DEMONS (Les démons) is Jess Franco s stellar entry in the nunsploitation canon, with a degree of sadism and sexual explicitness that overshadows its competitors. The film begins with the torture and burning of an accused witch who, before the flames consume her, manages to curse the principal witchfinder and his minions. As a result, members of royalty and the religious establishment are caused to suffer (or, some might say, enjoy) a series of human depravities. Franco s camera lingers over these episodes of torture, sex, and demon possession, and captures them with a sense of tenderness that is both aesthetically pleasing and deeply unsettling.

 

 

MEET HIM AND DIE – Raro Video/Kino Lorber

 

Things go wrong for a hapless criminal knocking off a jewelry store. He is caught by the store’s security system, and then sent to jail. It doesn’t take long, however, for him to befriend a big time crime boss inside, and the two execute a successful escape. But do we really know the background of these criminals, and what is motivating them? Starring Ray Lovelock and Elke Sommer, Meet Him and Die has clever plot twists, fistfights, and motorcycle chases, making it an entertaining entry in the poliziotteschi genre.

 

 

THE LITTLE RASCALS SAVE THE DAY – Universal

 

The Little Rascals are back in an all-new movie! Join the fun with Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Buckwheat, Petey the dog and the whole gang as they are up to their usual mischief! The Rascals try anything to raise the money needed to save their grandma’s (Doris Roberts) bakery. The only trouble is – they just can’t seem to do anything right! From botched pet washes to terrible taxi service, they can’t raise a penny. Their only hope is to win prize money from the local talent show – but have you ever heard Alfalfa sing?

 

 

PSYCHE: Season Eight – Universal

 

Case-cracking “psychic” detective Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill) have their hands full getting to the bottom of crime-filled conundrums around Santa Barbara. From a prestigious paranormal police consultant convention to zombie nightmares, Shawn and Gus need all the help they can get as new hijinks and tests arise for your favorite sleuths in this eighth and final season of Psych. Witness every episode back-to-back and uninterrupted of the final hilarious season featuring a gaggle of guest stars.

 

 

THE PIRATE FAIRY – Disney

 

From the world of Peter Pan comes The Pirate Fairy, a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook, himself. Enjoy the laughter, heart, magic and thrills of The Pirate Fairy.

 

 

NATURE: Ireland’s Wild River – PBS

 

The Shannon is Ireland’s greatest geographical landmark and longest river. It is both a barrier and highway – a silver ribbon holding back the rugged landscapes of the west from the gentler plains to the east. On its journey south, the Shannon passes through a huge palette of rural landscapes, where on little-known backwaters, Ireland’s wild animals and plants still thrive as almost nowhere else. For a year, wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson lives on the river — camping on its banks, exploring its countless tributaries in a traditional canoe, following the river from dawn to dusk through the four seasons, on a quest to film the natural history of the Shannon as it has never been seen or heard or experienced before.

 

 

LOST KEATON: 1934-37 – Kino Lorber

 

For Buster Keaton, the era of the talkies was a tumultuous time. As a result of signing with MGM, the quality, the quality of his ambitious, eclectic comedies began to decline and in 1934, he signed a contract with Earle W. Hammons Educational Pictures which, despite its name, specialized in comedy short subjects. Keatons move to Educational was a return to his roots, crafting a stream of two reel comedies in rapid succession, as he had done in the early 1920s, when he first refined his cinematic craft. The films Buster Keaton made with Educational Pictures (ALL sixteen of which are collected here) pay homage to his earlier work, but at the same time incorporated the element of sound, all while exploring new possibilities for his recurring comic persona, Elmer. This FIVE HOUR+ collection features all 16 Educational Pictures shorts (14 of which have never been available on DVD until now) including: The Gold Ghost, Allez Oop, Palooka From Paducah, One Run Elmer, Hayseed Romance, Tars and Stripes, The E-Flat Man, The Timid Young Man, Three on a Limb, Grand Slam Opera, Blue Blazes, The Chemist, Mixed Magic, Jail Bait, Ditto and Love Nest on Wheels.

 

 

DRAGONS: Defenders of Berk Part One – Dreamworks/Fox

 

Join Hiccup and his brave Viking friends as they battle surprising new enemies in 10 fun-filled animated adventures based on the Academy Award-Nominated hit movie How to Train Your Dragon.

 

 

GREENLANTERN: The Animated Series – Warner

 

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night! Green Lantern shines bright in DC’s radiant, groundbreaking CGI animated series. The Green Lantern Corps patrols the galaxy, fighting evil. But in the farthest reaches of deep space where few Lanterns patrol, a new evil is rising – the Red Lanterns! Hal Jordan and fellow Lantern Kilowog defy The Guardians of the Universe and board a new experimental spacecraft, the Interceptor, and race to the Guardian Frontier to face the evil Red Lanterns head-on! But a menace lurks beyond the Red Lantern invasion and Hal, Kilowog and fellow Green Lanterns Tomar-Re and Aya discover an even greater evil that threatens to extinguish all life. It’s an interstellar race to destroy the mechanical Manhunters, aid Saint Walker and his Blue Lanterns and stop the planet-eating Anti-Monitor! Pick up this exciting double-disc complete series set to see if Green Lantern’s light can defeat these powerful new enemies! If not, the universe will fall into darkness!

 

 

SCOOBY DOO: WWE Wrestlemania Mystery – Warner

 

When Shaggy and Scooby win tickets to WrestleMania, the entire gang travels in the Mystery Machine to WWE City to attend the epic event. However, when a mysterious ghostly bear appears and threatens to ruin the show, Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred work with WWE Superstars to solve the case.

 

 

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE: Season One – Lionsgate

 

For the first time since their original TV broadcast, all 24 season one episodes are now presented complete and uncut, newly restored and remastered for optimal picture and sound quality! Plus, you’ll discover where the Little House on the Prarie TV legend began – with the original, full-length pilot movie that introduced the Ingalls family to millions of viewers around the world. Relive all the heartwarming adventures from season one – from the arrival of Charles Ingalls and his family in Walnut Grove, through the building of a new home and friendships, to battling for their lives against a vicious blizzard – in this ultimate collectible for Little House on the Prarie fans!

 

 

ANCHORMAN 2: The Legend Continues – Paramount

 

With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.’ Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy… while taking the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.

 

 

YU-GI-OH: Season Four – Cinedigm

 

After the conclusion of the Battle City Finals, chaos erupts once again! The three Egyptian God Cards are stolen! A terrifying new villain emerges! And as if things couldn t get any worse, real monsters begin to appear around the world, terrorizing the population! Are these strange events connected, and can they be resolved!? Yugi and the gang better find out… before the planet faces total destruction!

 

 

PSYCHOPATHS: 8 Movies – Echo Bridge

 

Crimes you can’t believe and psychotic killers you never expected. This eight-film collection of ripped-from-the-headlines true stories will chill you to the bone.

 

DC SNIPER’S WIFE: The true story of John Allen Muhammad, The D.C. Sniper, as told by his ex-wife Mildred.

WINTER OF FROZEN DREAMS: A bright student-turned-prostitute (Thora Birch) must outsmart the men who control her in this ripped-from-the-headlines thriller.

VIDEO VOYEUR: In this true story, Susan Wilson (Angie Harmon) discovers that her overly-friendly neighbor planted cameras in her home, capturing her most intimate moments on tape.

SNAP DECISION: A mother (Mare Winningham) finds herself on trial when her photographer friend (Felicity Huffman) takes partially-nude pictures of her young children.

ANN RULE PRESENTS: THE STRANGER BESIDE ME: A chilling adaptation of Ann Rule’s best-selling novel in which she recounts her friendship with one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Ted Bundy.

THE AMY FISHER STORY: Drew Barrymore stars as Amy Fisher in the scandalous true story of the Long Island Lolita.

THE ELIZABETH SMART STORY: With never-before-revealed details, The Elizabeth Smart Story unfolds as one of the most remarkable, emotional and bizarre true crime stories ever told. SPECK: The true story of Richard Speck, a serial killer who raped and murdered eight young nursing students in Chicago.

 

 

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