Nick’s Picks – August 20, 2014

FREE DVD GIVEAWAY

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We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Boardwalk Empire: Season 4, 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!

 

BOARDWALK EMPIRE: Season 4 – HBO

One of HBO’s breakthrough series, Boardwalk Empire chronicles the life and times of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), Atlantic City’s undisputed czar at a time when Prohibition proved to be a major catalyst in the rise of organized crime in America. Season 4 picks up eight months after the end of Season 3, in February 1924 – the year jazz “really came into being,” with fictional dancers/singers as well as the ubiquitous Charleston dance. Having barely survived an overthrow by Gyp Rossetti in Season 3, Nucky Thompson is laying low at the end of the Boardwalk as the season begins. Eventually he’ll butt heads with Mayor Bader, battle with his brother Eli about the fate of Eli’s college-aged son Willie, and set his sights on the lucrative drug and real-estate opportunities in Florida. Most of the drama in this season’s twelve episodes will take place in Atlantic City, and musical showpieces will be set in the Onyx Club (modeled after the Cotton Club), to be run by Chalky White.

 

ROSEMARY’S BABY – Lionsgate

Possibly the best horror film ever made, this brilliant adaptation of Ira Levin’s best-selling novel is the story of a loving young New York City couple who are expecting their first child. Like most first-time mothers, Rosemary (Mia Farrow) experiences confusion and fear. Her husband (John Cassavetes), an ambitious but unsuccessful actor, makes a pact with the devil that promises to send his career skyward. Director Roman Polanski elicits uniformly extraordinary performance from the all-star cast.

 

JARHEAD 2: Field of Fire – Universal

Battle-scarred and disillusioned by the war, Corporal Chris Merrimette is put in charge of a unit whose next mission is to resupply a remote outpost on the edge of Taliban-controlled territory. While driving through the hostile Helmand province, a Navy SEAL flags down their convoy and enlists the unit on an operation of international importance: they must help an Afghan woman famous for her defiance of the Taliban escape the country. Without tanks or air support, Merrimette and his team will need all the courage and firepower they can muster to fight their way across the war-torn country and shepherd the woman to safety.

 

THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 – Sony

It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than himself. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.

 

SACRAMENT – Magnolia

Two journalists set out to document their friend’s journey to reunite with his estranged sister. They track her to an undisclosed location where they are welcomed into the remote world of “Eden Parish,” a self-sustained rural utopia composed of nearly two hundred members and overseen by a mysterious leader known only as “Father.” It quickly becomes evident to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems. Eden Parish harbors a twisted secret. What started as just another documentary shoot soon becomes a fight for survival.

 

QUIET ONES – Lionsgate

Tucked away in an estate outside of London, Professor Coupland along with a team of university students conduct an “experiment” on Jane Harper, a young girl who harbors unspeakable secrets. What dark forces they uncover are more terrifying than any of them expected. Inspired by true events.

 

A BRONY TALE – Virgil Films

Canadian voice-over artist, Ashleigh Ball, has been the voice of numerous cartoon characters. However, when she was hired as the voice of Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash on the 4th generation installment of Hasbro’s ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ series, she had no idea she was about to become an internet phenomenon and voice celebrity among a very unique type of fan, the Bronies. Bronies, or ‘Bro’ Ponies’, are a subculture of adult men who are fans of the show ‘My Little Pony.’ It is a craze that has taken the United States by storm but how does this fit with a culture that has told these boys how to act since childhood: Lego, not Barbies! Play soldiers, not fairies! Why are so many men embracing this? Are these men just abnormal; or is there something more? ‘A Brony Tale’ is a documentary that follows Ashleigh into this unknown world and challenges some deep felt preconceptions.

 

KILMANJARO – Virgil Films

For years, Doug Collins has been working a soul-sucking job and coming home to an increasingly loveless relationship. After his girlfriend moves out, Doug pushes himself to live a more fulfilling life starting with a challenging trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This unconventional dramedy features performances by Brian Geraghty Abigail Spencer and comedian Jim Gaffigan.

 

HATESHIP LOVESHIP – MPI

Johanna Parry (Kristen Wiig) is a profoundly shy, unadorned woman who is hired by Mr. McCauley (Nick Nolte) as a housekeeper and a primary caregiver to his granddaughter Sabitha (Hailee Steinfeld). Despite her outgoing nature, Sabitha carries wounds from the death of her mother years before, complicated by the circumstances of that death for which her grandfather still blames her father, Ken (Guy Pearce), a hapless recovering drug addict with a certain ragged charm. In an act of mean-spirited rebellion, Sabitha uses technology to foster a pseudo-relationship between Johanna and her father, never dreaming of the potential harm to either party. Sabitha doesn’t understand that Johanna is not a demure cut-out, but rather a woman for whom the phrase “still waters run deep” could have been coined. The young girl’s interference provokes Johanna to indulge in something long missing from her life: the dream of a future and a home of her own.

 

THE WAR AROUND US – MPI

In 2008 two best friends found themselves trapped in one of the most dangerous places on earth the only western journalists in the Gaza Strip on what was supposed to be a 24-hour assignment. The War Around Us captures the collision of veteran war correspondent and one of TIME s most 100 influential people, Ayman Mohyeldin, with rookie reporter Sherine Tadros. As missiles shower the city and unspeakable atrocities emerge, the pair is torn by fierce professional rivalry, private terror and grim humor with no way out and the whole world watching.

 

THE MILLERS: Season 1 – CBS Paramount

Will Arnett stars as a newly divorced reporter whose single life is quickly upended when his feuding parents decide to follow his lead and separate. His mother (Margo Martindale) moves in with him, while his father (Beau Bridges) crashes with his sister (Jayma Mays). The comedy comes from Greg Garcia.

 

MAGNIFICENT DOLL – Olive Films

Director Frank Borzage and star Ginger Rogers both came acropper in the lavish but dull historical biopic Magnificent Doll. The usually ebullient Rogers seems encased in wax as Dolly Madison, first lady of the United States in the early 19th century. The story begins as young Washington socialite Dolly Payne, previously and unhappily wed to one John Todd (Horace McNally), can’t make up her mind romantically between idealistic politician James Madison (Burgess Meredith) and firebrand Aaron Burr (David Niven). Burr solves that problem when he flees the country after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, leaving the field clear for Madison. What should have been the film’s highlight, Dolly’s rescue of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution during the 1812 burning of Washington, is treated as a throwaway. Told in flashback, the film ends just before Madison’s ascendancy to the White House, with Dolly chastely charming the current chief executive Thomas Jefferson (Grandon Rhodes). Magnificent Doll is anything but.

 

THAT’S MY MAN – Olive Films

On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.

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