Nick’s Picks – June 18, 2014

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THE DIVERGENT SERIES:  INSURGENT

Daniel Dae Kim has joined the cast of THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT, the second installment of the blockbuster DIVERGENT action adventure franchise. He will portray “Jack Kang” in the film which is currently in production in Atlanta, GA. The film stars Golden Globe® nominated Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet.  Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer also joins returning cast members Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q and Mekhi Phifer.

Based on author Veronica Roth’s New York Times best seller, the film is being directed by Robert Schwentke from a screenplay by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman. Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing the film through their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman are executive producing through their Mandeville Films banner along with Neil Burger and Barry Waldman.   Lionsgate will release THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT theatrically in North America through its Summit Entertainment label on Friday, March 20, 2015.

 

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Lego

FREE DVD GIVEAWAY

We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of The Lego Movie, 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!

 

THE LEGO MOVIE – Warner

Chris Pratt and Will Ferrell lend their vocal talents to this wonderfully funny family film! An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together. Includes 3D blu-ray, 2D blu-ray, 2D DVD, digital HD ultraviolet and exclusive minifigurine.

 

HEARTS AND MINDS – Criterion

A courageous and startling film, Peter Davis’ landmark documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronts the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. Using a wealth of sources-from interviews to newsreels to documentary footage of the conflict at home and abroad-Davis constructs a powerfully affecting portrait of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and shocking, Hearts and Minds is an overwhelming emotional experience and the controversial winner of the 1974 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

 

THE GOOD WITCH’S GIFT – Cinedigm

Cassandra Nightingale always has a few tricks up her sleeve, but is surprised when her handsome sweetheart, Police Chief Jake Russell, proposes. Getting into the spirit of the season, they set their wedding date for Christmas Eve–only six days away!  As the two hurry to plan the wedding, trouble clouds their happiness when a mysterious man from Jake’s past returns to town.

 

JOE – Lionsgate

A gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary South in this adaptation of Larry Brown’s novel, celebrated at once for its grit and its deeply moving core. Directed by David Gordon Green, Joe film brings Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage back to his indie roots in the title role as the hard-living, hot-tempered, ex-con Joe Ransom, who is just trying to dodge his instincts for trouble – until he meets a hard-luck kid, (Tye Sheridan) who awakens in him a fierce and tender-hearted protector.

 

ALPHA ALERT – Lionsgate

When a terrorist attack on Washington D.C. leaves three war veterans who are suffering from PTSD trapped in an elevator together, the isolation and highly stressful situation brings previous wartime experiences to the surface, and while dark forces are at work outside the elevator, a battle for control and survival ensues inside.

 

PAUL BOWLES: The Cage Door is Always Open – First Run Features

When Paul Bowles moved to Tangiers, Morocco in 1949, it was a sanctuary for artists, writers and the wealthy to do as they pleased without fear of prosecution. Soon, his friends from America began visiting: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and many others. The Beats and the Hippies all searched him out, lured by the mysterious, exotic world he depicted in his books, notably The Sheltering Sky. But that was only one side of the story. Based on an exclusive series of interviews with Bowles shortly before his death and anecdotes provided by his friends and collaborators including Gore Vidal, Bernardo Bertolucci, John Waters, Ruth Fainlight, Edmund White, William Burroughs, Francis Bacon and many others, this fascinating documentary reveals a daring and visionary life that went way beyond sexuality.

 

PARTS PER BILLION – Millenium

Parts Per Billion tells the story of three couples which are forced to make life altering decisions in the face of a disastrous war that threatens to destroy the human race. Inspired and sometimes blinded by their love, Len, Mia, Andy, Esther, Anna and Erik are as flawed and beautiful as any of the billions who are facing this human-made biological disaster.

 

THE ATTORNEY – WellGo USA

This story is based on true events. SONG Woo-seok has no clients, connections, or a college degree, but his eye for business and appetite for money make him the most successful lawyer in town. But at the peak of his success, a local teenager is falsely accused of a crime, then beaten and tortured while waiting in jail. Shocked by these conditions, SONG takes the case no one else will, and changes the course of his life.

 

ERNEST & CELESTINE – Cinedigm

Featuring the voices of Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffrey Wright, Ernest & Celestine tells a unique and vibrant story.   Deep below snowy, cobblestone streets, tucked away in networks of winding tunnels, lives a tiny mouse named Celestine. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer, and has a hard time fitting in. When she nearly ends up as breakfast for a grumpy bear named Ernest, the two become fast friends and embark on an adventure that will put a smile on your face and make your heart glow.

 

TOP HAT AND TALES: Harold Ross – First Run Features

Narrated by Stanley Tucci, Top Hat and Tales chronicles the first 25 years of The New Yorker magazine, from its creation by Harold Ross in 1925 to his death in 1951. Interviews with current Editor-in-Chief David Remnick, former Cartoon Editor Lee Lorenz, and Senior Editor Roger Angell will inform about how The New Yorker’s signature style and content were shaped by its early contributors, including E.B White, James Thurber, J.D. Salinger, and more. Film clips, home movies, and images from the anthology of The New Yorker covers and cartoons illustrate this look at one of journalism’s most revered publication. Writers and artists including John Updike, Charles Schulz, Stuart Hemple and Roy Blount Jr. offer insight into The New Yorker’s role in American cultural history.

 

JIMMY P – IFC

At the end of World War II, Jimmy Picard (Benicio Del  Toro), a Native American Blackfoot, is admitted to a military hospital. Suffering from headaches, dizzy spells, hearing loss and bizarre dreams, Jimmy s unusual symptoms classify him as schizophrenic by the confused medical staff. Enter French anthropologist and Native American researcher Georges Devereux (Mathieu Amalric), who helps Jimmy navigate the labyrinth of his troubled memories and visions, leading to a compelling and surprising friendship. Featuring one of the most unexpected and inspiring movie pairings in recent memory Jimmy P is an intelligent and extraordinarily moving film from the director of A Christmas Tale.

 

ANGELA MAO YING COLLECTION – Shout Factory

Get ready for six action-packed martial-arts films featuring martial-arts sensation Angela Mao Ying, the Queen of kung fu (Hapkido, Lady Whirlwind, Enter The Dragon). Starring the talents of George Lazenby, Bolo Yueng, Jimmy Wang Yu, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, Yuen Biao and Carter Huang, The Angela Mao Ying Collection is a martial-arts treasure trove for any fan of the genre. This Six-Movie set includes: When Taekwondo Strikes (1973), The Tournament (1974), Stoner (1974), The Himalayan (1976), A Queen’s Ransom (1976) and Broken Oath (1977).

 

ALMOST HUMAN – IFC

Two years ago, Mark Fisher disappeared from his home in rural Maine in a brilliant flash of otherworldly blue light. His friend Seth Hampton was the last to see him alive. Now, Seth is having disturbing premonitions that Mark has returned as something other than human. When grisly, violent murders start taking place in the community, Seth and his girlfriend Jen soon discover that Mark is indeed back, and that there is something terribly evil inside of him. Unbearably tense, director Joe Begos s ALMOST HUMAN is a chilling, frenetic, and brutal story of survival in the face of unknown terror.

 

SON OF GOD – Fox

Now, the larger-than-life story of The New Testament gets a larger-than life treatment in the stand-alone feature Son of God. Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. It marks the first motion picture about Jesus’ life since Passion of the Christ, released ten years ago.

 

JAMES THURBER: The Life and Hard Times – First Run Features

James Thurber: The Life and Hard Times is the first major documentary on the life and work of one of America’s greatest humorists. Known for his classic short store, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Thurber was a legendary contributor of prose and cartoons to The New Yorker magazine where he worked for many years. Narrated by George Plimpton, this documentary includes interviews with Edward Albee, John Updike, Alistair Cooke, Fran Lebowitz, Roy Blount Jr. and others.

 

HOUSE OF CARDS: Season Two – Sony

Masterful, beguiling and charismatic, Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his equally ambitious wife Claire (Robin Wright) continue their ruthless rise to power in Season 2 of ‘. Behind the curtain of power, sex, ambition, love, greed and corruption in modern Washington D.C. the Underwoods must battle threats past and present to avoid losing everything. As new alliances form and old ones succumb to deception and betrayal, they will stop at nothing to ensure their ascendancy.

 

COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey – Fox

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is a 2014 American science documentary television series.The show is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was presented by Carl Sagan on the PBS and is considered a milestone for scientific documentaries. This series was developed to bring back the foundation of science to network television at the height of other scientific-based television series and films. The show is presented by astrophysicis Neil deGrasse Tyson, who, as a young college student, was inspired by Sagan. The series loosely follows the same thirteen-episode format and storytelling approach that the original Cosmos used, including elements such as the “Ship of the Imagination” and the “Cosmic Calendar,” but features information updated since the 1980 series along with extensive computer-generated graphics and animation footage augmenting the narration.

 

GRACELAND: Season 1 – Fox

“Graceland,” is a place where nothing is what it seems and everyone has a secret. From the outside, this idyllic beachfront property is inhabited by a group of young, diverse roommates. Inside, a vastly different world is exposed: one that sustains itself through a complex web of lies. USA’s new original series Graceland delves into the lives of an elusive group of undercover agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and US Customs, who live and operate under one roof (the house got its name because the drug lord from whom the authorities seized the property was known to be an obsessed Elvis Presley fan). When forced to give up any shred of normalcy and the question of trust is a matter of life or death, the house becomes their sanctuary, their “Graceland.” Graduating at the top of his class, FBI rookie, Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) anticipates a traditional DC desk job when he’s unexpectedly shipped to “Graceland.” Immediately thrown into his first undercover assignment, he relies heavily on the guidance of legendary FBI agent and mentor Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata). Briggs is an unusually Zen senior agent who notoriously hates the rule book and will go to any length to protect “Graceland” from the outside world.

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