Nick’s Picks – April15, 2015

FREE DVD GIVEAWAY

Lights OutWe are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Lights Out, 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!

LIGHTS OUT! – PBS

Our planet is lit up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re addicted to light of all kinds, and like anything else that’s addictive, is too much a bad thing? Lights Out! joins leading scientists in the lab and in the field to discover how much harm light at night may be causing people and to learn about the ground-breaking steps being taken to protect us. The filmmakers follow nightshift workers, truck drivers on a continental run, and a scientist who fights cancer by day and plays trumpet by night, discovering that danger hot spots are everywhere from the illumination in the hospital ICU to the tiny screens of our mobile devices. What can we do about this environmental hazard that is so necessary in our everyday life?

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE: Season Five – Lionsgate

Almanzo Wilder comes to Walnut Grove with his sister Eliza-Jane, the new schoolteacher – The Ingalls decide to adopt Albert but run into resistance from the boy’s father – Nels Oleson is reunited with his estranged sister when the circus comes to town – A faith healer convinces the citizens of Walnut Grove to trust him, with tragic results – Caroline’s father discovers a talent as a storyteller while grieving after the loss of his wife – Laura and Mary are held captive by escaped convicts until Charles, impersonating a doctor, disarms the criminals – Albert and a friend accidentally set fire to the blind school – Almanzo asks Charles for Laura’s hand in marriage but is not overjoyed when he gets his answer.

DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: Hall of Famers – 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! This special sports edition features baseball legends Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Stan Musial. Taped only 10 days before Aaron broke Babe Ruth s longstanding major league career home-run record, a monumental achievement of power and consistency that moved roaster Norm Crosby to laud him as a great human being he s virile, he s stagnant, he s a man of depth and perversion. Includes Dean Martin, Red Buttons, Orson Wells, Milton Berle, Ernest Borgnine, Glen Campbell, Gabe Kaplan, Don Rickles, McLean Stevenson, Lou Rawls, William Conrad and many more.

WALKER TEXAS RANGER: Flashback – CBS Paramount

A geologist is killed after he claims to have found the lost treasure of Hayes Cooper, a Wild West Texas Ranger. Walker tells Trivette the story of the treasure as they investigate.

ENTER THE DANGEROUS MIND – WellGo USA

Music makes the voices stop. That s what Jim (Jake Hoffman) wants most to hide away in his apartment, mixing original dubstep beats as a soundtrack to the insanity of daily life. But it s not working too well lately. His brother (Thomas Dekker) bullies him into pursuing social worker Wendy (Nikki Reed), and their intimate encounter sparks an obsession that turns Jim into a human time bomb. Also starring Scott Bakula, Jason Priestley, and Gina Rodriguez, Enter the Dangerous Mind is a terrifying study of mental illness, and the destruction unleashed when you finally SNAP.

CARRIE & THE RAGE CARRIE 2: Double Feature – Scream Factory

Carrie: Angela Bettis stars in this 2002 adaptation of Stephen King’s classic tale of horror and retribution, featuring eye-popping special effects and a shocking, all-new twist ending! Carrie White (Bettis) is a lonely, awkward teenage girl who just doesn’t fit in. At school, she endures her classmates’ constant ridicule, and at home she suffers endless psychological torture at the hands of her fanatically religious mother (Patricia Clarkson, Six Feet Under). But Carrie has a secret. She’s been cursed with the terrifying power of telekinesis. And when her tormenters commit an act of unforgivably cruel humiliation at the prom, they’’ll soon learn a deadly lesson. CARRIE 2: The Rage – In this horrifying 1999 sequel, Rachel (Emily Bergl, The Knick) is a high school misfit who gets caught in the middle of a vicious prank orchestrated by a group of jocks that turns deadly. Once the police bring one of the boys in for questioning, his teammates target Rachel for squealing, and hatch a devious scheme to publicity humiliate her. But messing with Rachel is worse than playing with fire, for when her temper’s crossed, it triggers a powder-keg of anger and unleashes horrifying powers that turn a wild teen house party into a wilder mad-house inferno!

CLASS OF 1984 – Scream Factory

They’re all part of a typical day for the students of Lincoln High. Into this academic abyss arrives Andy Norris (Perry King), an idealistic and naïve music teacher who has moved into the community with his pregnant wife Diane. Appalled by the crime-infested school, Norris soon crosses sabers with its teenage kingpin, the shrewd and sadistic Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten). With Norris setting his sights on reforming Stegman, and the young miscreant declaring war on his teacher, the duo sets a fateful showdown into motion on the night of an important school orchestra performance. Directed and co-written by Mark L. Lester, Class of 1984 is one of the seminal cult movies of the early 1980s. While its vision of a decaying, violence-plagued inner city school seemed over-the-top in 1982, it sadly prophesized the future of American education. Lester’s film – which caused a stir at Cannes and reputedly offended one of its own screenwriters – is also notable for its cast, which includes Van Patten, Roddy McDowall and a very young Michael J. Fox.

BARK RANGER – Lionsgate

Two kids and a trusty dog, Ranger, set out on the adventure of a lifetime in search of a forgotten gold mine.

THE KING OF MASKS – First Run Features

Winner of more than 25 top honors at international film festivals, revered Chinese director Wu Tianming’s The King of Masks is a poignant tale about how a lonely old magician and a luckless child are bound together by fate and suffering, and redeemed by the power of love. The King of Masks is an elderly street performer, a master of the Sichuan opera art of changing silk masks so quickly that it appears to be magic. Bereft from the loss of his son many years ago, he searches for an heir to impart his talents and skills upon. But tradition dictates that this secret art can only be passed to a direct male heir. Living in the 1930’s in a time of famine and social disruption, The King of Masks adopts an impoverished street urchin, “Doggie,” and sets out to train him in the art, at great personal costs. After Doggie’s secret identity is revealed, the pair embarks on a journey to find a new heir, to disastrous consequences.

HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT – First Run Features

Talented art student Angélique (Audrey Tautou) is madly in love with Loïc (Samuel Le Bihan of Brotherhood of the Wolf), a married cardiologist whose wife, Rachel (Isabelle Carré) is expecting their first child. Things take a dangerous turn as Angelique grows less discrete in her affections and her attempts to separate the couple fail. Halfway through, this black comedy takes a dramatic turn and the film reverses perspective, showing the preceding events from Loïc’s (wildly different) point-of-view.

POPULATION BOOM – First Run Features

In Population Boom, acclaimed director Werner Boote traverses the globe armed with a World Bank umbrella to examine the myths and facts about overpopulation. Like a contemporary Socrates with a wry sense of humor, Boote questions the conventional wisdom. From Kenya’s slums to Dhaka in Bangladesh to New York City, China, Japan and elsewhere, Boote speaks with everyone from demographic researchers to environmental activists, and comes to a surprising conclusion. It isn’t overpopulation that threatens humanity’s existence. Rather, it is the developed world’s patterns of over-consumption and constant pursuit of immediate profit that looms over our future.

STOP PEPPER PALMER – Level 33

Stop Pepper Palmer is a unique comedy about the only three black guys in Utah. When they discover that a new black woman has just moved to town, they begin to vie for her affections. The only problem is, she’s not from Utah and they fear that having grown up around so many white people has made them seem “too white.” That’s when they hire supposed dating expert Pepper Palmer from Cleveland to help them become more “black.” Only Pepper isn’t exactly who he claims to be and trouble soon ensues.

LIFE PARTNERS – Magnolia

At 29, the most long-term relationship Sasha (LEIGHTON MEESTER) and Paige (GILLIAN JACOBS) have ever been in is with each other, using their co-dependent friendship as an excuse not to venture out into the dating world alone. But when Paige meets Tim (ADAM BRODY) and starts to get serious for the first time, the nature of their friendship begins to shift. Fearing she’s being cast aside, Sasha tries to
keep their relationship the same, but does growing up also mean growing apart?

ILYA & EMILIA KABAKOV: Enter Here – First Run Features

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here is a double portrait in film of the lives and work of Russia’s most celebrated international artists, now American citizens, as they come to terms with their global lives and the new Russia. Two decades after he fled the Soviet Union, Ilya Kabakov overcomes his fears to install six walk-through installations in venues throughout Moscow, where he was once forbidden to exhibit his art. Amidst the cacophony of a city and a country in dizzying transition, he comes face to face with the memories that have made him who he is. Through the eyes, work, and lives of artists who experienced Stalin’s tyranny, through the rich underground art life during Brezhnev’s stagnation and the rootlessness of immigration, the film bridges much of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. Its emotional heart is a letter which Ilya’s mother wrote him when she was 80, detailing the everyday horrors of her life in the Russia of revolution and after. With unparalleled access to the artists and to a global community of their friends and observers, Enter Here explores the ways in which art can outwit oppression, illuminate what comes next, and transcend time — a beacon of light for repressed societies today. keep their relationship the same, but does growing up also mean growing apart?

LONGMIRE: Season Three – Warner

Longmire has a few things going for it even before you slip the discs into the player: good source material (Craig Johnson’s popular Walt Longmire Mystery series), a beautiful setting (the wide-open spaces of the American West), and a genre that’s inherently pretty cool (the cowboy detective). Australian actor Robert Taylor is convincing as the title character, the sheriff of Wyoming’s Absaroka County and the archetypal strong, silent type. Recently widowed and still in pain, he’s left his wife’s voice on the answering machine and her ashes in a wooden tea box; exactly what happened to her, and how Walt plans to tell their daughter (Cassidy Freeman), a local attorney, looms over the series until the final episode. But while he’s a tough guy (real men don’t have cell phones, at least in this world), Walt also abides by a strong moral code–he’ll drive five hours to personally tell a woman that her husband has been killed, and will doggedly track down a killer whose victim was a loathsome low-life whom everybody else is glad to see dead.

ANTARCTICA: A Year on Ice – Music Box Films

A visually stunning chronicle of what it is like to live in Antarctica for a full year, including winters isolated from the rest of the world, and enduring months of darkness in the coldest place on Earth.

BATMAN & ROBIN: Limited Edition – Warner

The shadows of Gotham City are no place for a child, but Damian Wayne is no ordinary child. Now bearing the mantle of Robin, he blazes a headstrong and sometimes reckless trail alongside his father, the Batman. While investigating a crime scene, Robin encounters a mysterious figure, Talon, who leads him on a life-altering course through the depths of Gotham’s secret society known as the Court of Owls. It’s a dangerous journey that will force Batman and Robin to face their most dangerous adversary, each other! Witness the epic battle that will shape a destiny and forge the future of Robin forever.

MOMS DAY AWAY – Cinedigm

Stay-at-home mom Laura Miller (Bonnie Somerville) chose family life over a glamorous career. Her husband Michael (James Tupper), a workaholic realtor, eternally conducts business on his cell phone while her 17-year-old son (Iain Belcher) and 12-year-old daughter (Kaitlyn Bernard) are absorbed in their young life dramas. It’s Mother’s Day weekend and still nobody is paying attention to Laura’s needs. Excitement is injected into Laura’s life when her dazzling and affluent BFF Trish (Ona Grauer) shows up and whisks her off on an adventure-filled trip to a lavish resort. Over this Mother’s Day weekend, Laura has an awakening, making up for lost time by overindulging in the resort’s luxurious offerings and rekindling her career aspirations. As Trish begins to reassess her own life choices during their time away, Laura considers that living her dreams won’t bring true happiness unless her family is along for the adventure.

BESIDE STILL WATERS – Cinedigm

When Daniel (Ryan Eggold) invites his oldest friends to spend one last weekend at his parents’ lake house, secrets are confessed, romances are rekindled, and a particularly epic game of Whiskey Slaps is played.

MAP TO THE STARS – Universal

Julianne Moore stars with Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson in this unforgettable, darkly comic thriller from acclaimed director David Cronenberg. Hollywood actress Havana Segrand (Moore) is unraveling as her career flounders. Her therapist (Cusack) and his wife are busy managing the career of their child-star son. But when a mysterious young woman named Agatha (Wasikowska) befriends a limo driver (Pattinson) and ties all their lives together, nothing will ever be the same as they try to survive a world of money, fame, envy and relentless hauntings.

THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS 2 – Universal

Thaddeus (RZA) is back in this explosive action adventure inspired by kung fu classics. A reluctant villager joins forces with a mysterious outsider to fight off powerful evil forces, both earthly and otherworldly, in a 19th century Chinese mining town. When a stranger, Thaddeus, is found badly wounded near the village, miner Li Kung (Dustin Nguyen) and his wife Ah Ni (Eugenia Kang) offer him refuge. As he heals, he becomes entrenched in a conflict that pits the townsfolk against the evil Master Ho (Carl Ng), his nefarious Beetle Clan and the terrifying Lord Pi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). With Thaddeus at his side, the mild-mannered Kung transforms into a deadly warrior in this martial arts epic.

FROM THE DARK – Dark Sky Films

When a young couple embark on a road trip through the Irish countryside, car trouble lands them in a place that few people would choose to visit. When something sinister is awakened from a thousand year slumber, deep within the dark bog, the couple is faced with an unimaginable evil. They soon realize that light is their only protector, but as the sun sets and light sources dwindle, the creature becomes more powerful, and they are in a fight for their lives There is nothing to prepare you for the terror that will emerge from the dark.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: Angel of Death – Fox

40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House, a group of children evacuated from WWII London arrive, awakening the house’s darkest inhabitant. This film will scare the crap out of you. Get the vacuum ready or don’t eat popcorn while you watch it.

All synopses used with permission.

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