Nick’s Picks – August 27, 2014

FREE DVD GIVEAWAY

Blended

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

 

BLENDED – Warner

After a disastrous blind date, single parents Lauren and Jim agree on only one thing: they never want to see each other again. But when they each sign up separately for a fabulous family vacation with their kids, they are all stuck sharing a suite at a luxurious African safari resort for a week in “Blended,” the third comedy collaboration between stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

 

75 YEARS OF WWII – Lionsgate

In this special collection, 75 Years Of WWII, History examines the deadliest conflict in human history. D-DAY In HD presents the most critical military operation of WWII and the largest amphibious assault in history in newly transferred color HD. Through the personal accounts of soldiers on both sides, this special tells the story in the first person, in the words of those who lived it, from famous leaders like Eisenhower to unknown foot soldiers. BLOODY SANTA CRUZ recounts the vicious combat in the South Pacific in which the USS HORNET was lost, while ENTERPRISE Versus Japan takes us to November 1942, as the USS ENTERPRISE sends the Japanese Imperial Navy to a watery grave. Ultimate WWII Weapons reveals the weapons and inventions that shaped and decided WWII, from the humble Studebaker truck to the shock and awe of the atomic bomb.

 

A RIVER OF SKULLS – Lionsgate

Left to fend for herself after the tragic death of her mother, Eula is forced to take action in order to survive. In the midst of the 1870s gold rush, there are few she can trust, and she soon finds herself tagging along with an outcast on a mission to find his bandit father. Far from the comforts of home, Eula begins to realize that there is a whole world out there, and it’s far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

 

HELL OF THE LIVING & RATS NIGHT OF TERROR – Blue Underground

Includes two jaw dropping Italian shockers now available as a Double Feature bluray: Hell of the Living Dead and Rats Night of Terror. Extras include interviews with the co writer and co directors, trailers and still galleries.

 

THE NORMAL HEART – HBO

Directed by Emmy Award winner Ryan Murphy and written by Academy Award nominee Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Based on Kramer’s Tony Award winning play of the same name, it takes an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.

 

YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL – MPI

Acclaimed director François Ozon helms this erotic tale of sexual awakening, featuring a luminous, star-making performance (David Rooney) from its young lead actress, Marine Vacth. Isabelle (Vacth) takes up a secret life as a call girl, meeting older gentlemen clients for erotic hotel room trysts. But throughout her sexual escapades Isabelle remains curiously aloof, showing little interest in the encounters themselves or the money she makes from them. What then does Isabelle hope to gain by offering her body up to the whims of strangers? A sleek and sexy coming-of-age drama, Young & Beautiful heralds the coming of a new talent as guided by the masterful hand of one of cinema s most assured artists.

 

HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL – Olive Films

Delivering a superb performance under the circumstances, Russ Tamblyn heads the cast as “typical” high schooler Tony Baker. Usually seen in the company of his voluptuous “aunt” Gwen Dulaine (the truly impressive Mamie Van Doren), Tony convinces one and all that he’s looking for kicks of the controlled-substance kind. In truth, however, our hero is really an undercover narcotics agent named Mike Wilson, bound and determined to smash the operation of drug lord Mr. A. (Jackie Coogan).

 

THE STREAM: Join the Dork Side – New Video

It s summer 1981, and Ernest Terry (Jacob M. Williams) like most boys his age is obsessing over George Lucas s Star Wars saga. In the woods outside Ernest s neighborhood, capture-the-flag contests escalate into sprawling Jedi battles, with bright yellow Wiffle ball bats substituting for lightsabers. But when a bully snaps Ernest s already-damaged weapon in half, our hero and his friends accept a mission: Follow a nearby stream to the town mall, buy a new bat and return home before their parents realize they re missing. Awkward pre-teen characters wrestle with small crushes, big imaginations and equivalent coming-of-age obstacles on a lazy summer afternoon.

 

I’VE ALWAYS LOVED YOU – Olive Films

As its fortunes grew in the mid-1940s, Republic Pictures occasionally strayed from its usual manifest of westerns and serials, hoping to produce something of “class.” Filmed on a lavish budget in glorious Technicolor, Republic’s I’ve Always Loved You stars Philip Dorn as a tyrannical symphony conductor and Catherine McLeod as his gifted young pianist protegee. In his own way, Dorn loves McLeod, but it is he who destroys her career by browbeating her mercilessly during her Carnegie Hall debut. Effortlessly stealing the film from the leads are Maria Ouspenskaya as one “Mme. Goronoff” and comedy relief Fritz Feld.

 

MAD ABOUT YOU: Seasons 1 & 2 – Mill Creek

This 2-disc set contains the entire first and second season of episodes including the pilot! Get ready for romance and hilarious bickering in the Big Apple. Join Jamie and Paul Buchman (Academy Award winner Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser) as they navigate marriage in this 6 time Emmy Award winning series.

 

THE NANNY: Seasons 1 & 2 – Mill Creek

Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis, Lauren Lane, Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury, Madeline Zima, and Renee Taylor star in this hilarious sitcom about the nanny with the face from Vogue and the voice from Queens. This DVD collection includes all episodes from the first and second season of this hilarious show. Fran Drescher stars in her defining role as street-smart Fran Fine, a diva down-on-her-luck who finds herself hired for a job she never even applied for! Now, she’s the nanny for a rich, sophisticated family in Manhattan, and when this blue-collar girl from the block moves in with the blue blood, widowed Broadway producer and his three children, comedy is red hot!

 

PAUL HEYMAN – WWF

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman is a biography on Heyman s entire life and career. Paul began as a photographer taking ringside pictures at MSG and worked his way into WCW becoming a manager (a.k.a. Paul E. Dangerously). Paul then went to ECW and became the figurehead for the company. His unique brand of over the top, in your face entertainment developed a cult-like following. Includes great behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, as a host of past and present talent talk about Paul s contributions to the business. Interviews include Paul Heyman, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Joey Styles, Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam, Stephanie McMahon and others.

 

THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS SPACE ADVENTURE – Cinedigm

The Magic School Bus heads for the sky and Ms. Frizzle’s elementary school students learn all about flying and outer space in this trio of episodes. In “Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space,” a class field trip to the planetarium goes awry, so Ms. Frizzle heads the bus toward outer space for a tour of the planets in our solar system. Arnold’s cousin Janet quickly exchanges skepticism for awe and becomes obsessed with gathering proof of her space travels–a quest that ultimately sets Ms. Frizzle floating loose in outer space. The gang returns to space to destroy an asteroid headed for their school in “Out of This World,” learning all about orbits, comets, and asteroids along the way. Finally, the class discovers how air movement and wing design affect flight when they take a ride in Wanda and Tim’s experimental remote-controlled airplane in “Taking Flight.”

 

PARKS AND RECREATION: Season 6 – NBC Universal

Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler returns as Leslie Knope in the hilarious sixth season of Parks and Recreation. The citizens of Pawnee loathe their merger with the neighboring town of Eagleton, and blame all their troubles—both real and imagined—on Councilwoman Knope. The personal lives of those in City Hall are equally as tumultuous: Andy (Chris Pratt) must temporarily say “cheerio” to his wife, April (Aubrey Plaza), when he takes a dream job in London; Ron (Nick Offerman) adjusts to his new domestic roles; and Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) eagerly await the birth of their child… if they can survive the woes of pregnancy. From Primetime Emmy Award-winning executive producers Greg Daniels and Michael Schur comes this three-disc set featuring a sensational ensemble cast and iconic guest stars such as Lucy Lawless, Henry Winkler, Heidi Klum, Kristen Bell and Sam Elliot. Take a trip to the small town with the big heart as you watch all 22 episodes back-to-back and commercial free!

 

THE MINDY PROJECT: Season 2 – NBC Universal

The optimistic Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is about to learn that fantasy doesn’t always mesh with reality. After a stint in Haiti with her pastor boyfriend, Mindy returns to New York City, only to find that her relationship with Dr. Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) is more complicated than ever before. In this surprising second season, Mindy struggles to get in shape, fast-track her career, and find love in the most unexpected places.

 

14 WAR STORIES – BBC

Fourteen Vivid, true stories help you experience love and loss, happiness and grief on both sides of World War I through the words of those that actually lived it. What was it like for a French child to watch German battalions march through town? for a British homemaker to volunteer as a war nurse and comfort dying soldiers far from home? for a blood-soaked German soldier to cower in his muddy trench before an enemy he had never seen? Written 100 years ago in diaries, letters, postcards and telegrams, the exact words of real people plus riveting dramatizations and archival footage catapult you into the past.

 

Y TU’ MAMA’ TAMBIEN’ – Criterion

Alfonso Cuarón directed this Mexican box-office smash hit about a pair of randy upper-class buddies that sparked some controversy for its frank depiction of drug use and sexual exploration. With their respective girlfriends away in Europe, Julio (Gael García Bernal) and his upper-class friend Tenoch (Diego Luna) are looking forward to a summer full of drink, drugs, and cheap meaningless sex. During a wedding, they meet Luisa (Maribel Verdú) — the 28-year-old wife of Tenoch’s scholarly cousin — and try to convince her to go on a road trip to Heaven’s Mouth, a made-up beach paradise the two claim is on the Oaxacan coast. To their surprise, Luisa — who is looking to escape her troubled life for a spell — agrees to go along. Two days into the trip, tension starts to build between the two friends: Luisa has had sex with each, and now both lads are not-so-quietly vying for her affection. Soon simmering jealousies boil over into savage arguments, threatening to completely destroy their friendship.

 

MY BOY JACK – BBC

Must the son of a great British patriot prove himself a hero in World War I? Join English literary giant Rudyard Kipling and his American wife, Carrie, on a heartbreaking journey no parent wants to make. When the Royal Navy and British Army reject their only son, Jack, because hes underage and hopelessly nearsighted, Kipling a passionate patriot pulls strings to get Jack a commission in the Irish Guards. How, then, will Kipling deal with the news that his boy is missing in action on the Western Front?

 

CHURCHILL’S FIRST WORLD WAR – BBC

At the outbreak of war, Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty – 39-year-old Winston Churchill – dreams of winning fame and glory. But when the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli leads to his disgrace and eventual resignation, he dreams of redepmtion, instead. Join the future statesman in this dramatic documentary as Churchill tries to rehabilitate his reputation by taking up active service in the British Army, at the risk of getting killed. You’ll be fascinated by the revealing story, told through Churchill’s own words in intimate letters to Clementine, his young wife and trusted confident.

 

A GOOD MAN – Lionsgate

After an illustrious special ops career ends in disaster, Alexander (Steven Seagal) goes off the grid and attempts to lead a quiet life as a handyman at an apartment complex. But when one of his tenants and her family fall under the thumb of a Russian gangster, Alexander is dragged into an all-out war between rival Chinese and Russian gangs forcing him to not only defend the family, but bringing him face to face with an old foe, and giving him one more chance to reconcile his past.

 

BATTLEGROUND – WWE

Following the excitement of the inaugural edition of Battleground in 2013, get ready for more action-packed matches in the 2nd ever Battleground!  Memorable matches from the 2013 event included a WWE Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, as well as an Intercontinental Championship match between Curtis Axel and R-Truth.  In addition, there was a Battleground Hardcore Rules match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Alberto Del Rio and Rob Van Dam.  This year s event promises to be even more exciting!

 

REDEMPTION TRAIL – Breaking Glass

Two powerful, yet deeply troubled women — refugees from political and personal trauma — flee a past that haunts them. The daughter of a murdered Black Panther revolutionary, Tess, (LisaGay Hamilton) lives off the grid on a Sonoma vineyard, fiercely detached from all connections. Her hermetic life cracks when she gives reluctant shelter to a desperate young woman, Anna (Lily Rabe) who has attempted suicide in a nearby forest. An unlikely alliance forms between the two, where other close relationships have failed — David, Anna’s husband, (Hamish Linklater) and John, Tess’ employer (Jake Weber), cannot break through their walls. But the very difference between the two women opens them up to a new vision of themselves, as not only survivors, but as heroes capable even of a thrilling shoot-out in the name of outlaw justice. Reclaiming freedom, and life, they plunge forward, towards an unknown, transformative horizon.

 

NCIS LOS ANGELES: Season 5 – CBS Paramount

This show is a drama about the high stakes world of the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation’s security. By assuming false identities and utilizing the most advanced technology, this team of highly trained agents goes deep undercover, putting their lives on the line in the field to bring down their targets.

 

THE GOOD WIFE: Season 5 – CBS Paramount

The Good Wife is a gripping blend of courtroom drama, politics and steamy personal relationships that stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a wife and mother who reclaims control of her personal and professional lives after her husband, Peter, is embroiled in a sex and political corruption scandal. As Alicia adapts to changes at home and at work as a defense attorney, she continues to redefine and rediscover the woman she wishes to be.

 

NCIS: Season 11 – CBS Paramount

NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is more than just an action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it’s a show that focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a team of special agents forced to work together in high-stress situations. From murder and espionage to terrorism and stolen submarines, these special agents travel the globe to investigate all crimes with Navy or Marine Corps ties.

 

REVELATION TRAIL – E1 Entertainment

In late nineteenth century America, a frontier holy mans life is destroyed as a gruesome power consumes the land. Standing between ruin and salvation, the man, known only as The Preacher, must find his purpose in the fight against the mysterious undead. Joined by the town Marshal, a man with his own set of demons, he faces the risen dead and the evils of the living on a journey to nowhere.

 

HAVEN: Season 4 – E1 Entertainment

When FBI Agent Audrey Parker arrives in Haven, Maine on a routine case, she quickly finds herself involved in the return of the Troubles, a series of supernatural afflictions that have long cursed the seaside town and its residents. Joining the Haven Police Department, Audrey begins to realize that it was fate not luck that brought her to this place and that she is inexplicably linked to the mysteries of Haven. Based on The Colorado Kid and the universe of Stephen King. This complete Season Four collection includes over 2 ½ hours of bonus features and an exclusive 16 page comic book

 

CLOSED CIRCUIT EXTREME – MVD

After their friend goes missing, a young couple break into the house of a suspected serial killer and plant hidden cameras but when they attempt to retrieve the evidence they are trapped and are forced to fight for their lives.

 

THE WALKING DEAD: Season 4 – Anchor Bay

In this highly anticipated new season, we see Rick and the group of survivors fostering a thriving community in the safe haven of the prison. Sadly, in this brutal world, happiness is short-lived and walkers and outside threats are no match for danger brewing inside the fences. The group’s home and new way of life will be thoroughly tested, and their struggle to survive has never been so perilous. Season 4 also introduces several new characters including Bob Stookey.

 

ELEMENTARY: Season 2 – CBS Paramount

Elementary is a contemporary take on the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes who investigates crimes in modern-day New York City as a consultant to the NYPD and is assisted by Joan Watson, a former surgeon, who is hired by Holmes’ wealthy father to help keep the eccentric detective sober.

 

CRIMINAL MINDS: Season 9 – CBS Paramount

Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. The Behavioral Analysis Unit’s most prominent agent is David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), a founding member of the BAU, who returns to help the team solve new cases, while pursuing some unfinished business of his own. Each member brings his or her own area of expertise to the table as they pinpoint predators’ motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them.

 

PORTLANDIA: Season 4 – VSC

Portlandia is IFC’s hit sketch comedy series created, written by, and starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. The show is driven by a series of hilarious character-based shorts all of which take place in “Portlandia”, the creators’ dreamy and absurd rendering of Portland, Oregon where 90s culture reigns supreme and political correctness is all the rage.

 

JACKPOT – Doppelganger

Based on a story by Norway’s leading crime novelist Jo Nesbø, Jackpot is a Coen Brothers inspired take on homicidal greed and betrayal, Scandinavian-style. When Christmas tree factory supervisor Oscar Svendsen wakes up terrified and bloody in a strip joint, with a shotgun in his hand and eight corpses surrounding him, he s clearly going to have a lot of explaining to do. Under the intense interrogation of hard-boiled detective Solør, Oscar begins piecing together the unbelievable story of how he won the top prize in a soccer pool with his 3 dangerous ex-con colleagues. With a pile of cash at stake, the trio enters into a vicious battle over how to divide the money, dragging unwitting Oscar along for the violent ride. This rollicking gory romp racks up an impressive body count and will keep you guessing until the very end.

 

AGE OF UPRISING: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas – Music Box

An arresting medieval epic starring Mads Mikkelsen Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas explores the high cost of vengeance. With the age of feudalism in decline, Europe rests at a tense crossroads between the old world and the new. Respected, well-to-do horse merchant Michael Kohlhaas is a loving husband and family man leading a peaceful existence, until a ruthless nobleman steals his horses, setting off a chain of irreversible events. Kohlhaas resorts to extremes after these crimes destroy his livelihood and trust in the law, igniting a rampage through the countryside in his quest for justice.

 

ALL THAT JAZZ – Criterion

Choreographer-turned-director Bob Fosse turns the camera on himself in this nervy, sometimes unnerving 1979 feature, a nakedly autobiographical piece that veers from gritty drama to razzle-dazzle musical, allegory to satire. It’s an indication of his bravura, and possibly his self-absorption, that Fosse (who also cowrote the script) literally opens alter ego Joe Gideon’s heart in a key scene–an unflinching glimpse of cardiac surgery, shot during an actual open-heart procedure. Roy Scheider makes a brave and largely successful leap out of his usual romantic lead roles to step into Gideon’s dancing pumps, and supplies a plausible sketch of an extravagant, self-destructive, self-loathing creative dynamo, while Jessica Lange serves as a largely allegorical Muse, one of the various women that the philandering Gideon pursues (and usually abandons). Gideon’s other romantic partners include Fosse’s own protégé (and a major keeper of his choreographic style since his death), Ann Reinking, whose leggy grace is seductive both “onstage” and off. Fosse/Gideon’s collision course with mortality, as well as his priapic obsession with the opposite sex, may offer clues into the libidinal core of the choreographer’s dynamic, sexualized style of dance, but musical aficionados will be forgiven for fast-forwarding to cut out the self-analysis and focus on the music, period.

 

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