Nick’s Picks – May 27, 2015

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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 Hello Ladies, 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!

HELLO LADIES – HBO

HBO premieres Hello Ladies, an all-new comedy series executive produced by Stephen Merchant, Lee Eisenberg, and Gene Stupnitsky about a gawky Englishman searching for the woman of his dreams in Los Angeles. In his first starring series role, Stephen Merchant portrays Stuart, a web designer who relocated to LA from England in hopes of finding excitement, romance, and maybe even a soul mate. Working out of his home office, Stuart has an easy rapport with his attractive roommate Jessica (Christine Woods), though it is clear she’s not romantically interested in him. Half as charming as he thinks he is – and twice as desperate – Stuart is obsessed with infiltrating the glamorous world of beautiful people. Seduced by the promise of the best restaurants and hottest nightclubs, Stuart’s cheapness and pettiness often finds him just outside the door of LA’s most desirable locales. In eight episodes this season, Stuart doggedly hits the LA social scene in search of beautiful women, often in the company of pals Wade (Nate Torrence), who’s in the throes of a divorce, and Kives (Kevin Weisman), a charismatic paraplegic who fares far better with the ladies than either Stuart or Wade.

SONS OF LIBERTY – Lionsgate

Sons of Liberty is a dramatic interpretation of events that sparked a revolution. It is historical fiction, not a documentary. The goal of our miniseries is to capture the spirit of the time, convey the personalities of the main characters, and focus on real events that have shaped our past. For historical information about the Sons of Liberty and the dawning of the American Revolution, please read the Historian’s View section on history.com.

CUT BANK – Lionsgate

Dwayne McLaren (Liam Hemsworth) dreams about escaping small town life in Cut Bank, Montana, “the coldest spot in the nation,” with his vivacious girlfriend Cassandra (Teresa Palmer). When Dwayne witnesses an awful crime, he tries to leverage a bad situation into a scheme to get rich quickly but he finds that fate and an unruly accomplice are working against him. Thrust into the middle of a police investigation spearheaded by the local sheriff (John Malkovich), everything goes from bad to worse in this all-American thriller.

WELCOME BACK KOTTER: Season Three – Shout Factory

Class is back in session! It’s time to say ’Hi there’ once again to the Sweathogs as a new year at James Buchanan High School begins in Season Three of Welcome Back, Kotter. Among the highlights of this beloved comedy’s hilarious third season: the lovable misfits of Kotter’s class are about to start the eleventh grade, but their teacher (Gabe Kaplan) has other things on his mind: his loving wife Julie (Marcia Strassman) is about to give birth to twins! Barbarino (Oscar nominee John Travolta) jeopardizes the Sweathogs’ chances in a talent show when he falls in love with a competitor. Kotter’s students encourage him to pursue his dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian. And former classmate ’Hotsy’’Totsy (Debralee Scott, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) gets help from the gang in her hour of need. Season Three of Welcome Back, Kotter’s 27 episodes also feature your favorite Sweathogs including Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), Epstein (Robert Hegyes) and Horshack (Ron Palillo) in stories filled with humor, hi-jinx, and heart.

HILL STREET BLUES: Season Five – Shout Factory

Ride along with the men and women of the Hill Street precinct in the fantastic fifth season of Hill Street Blues, the groundbreaking series created by Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll that revolutionized the television cop genre and is universally hailed as one of the greatest programs in the history of television. Combining gritty realism and surprising humor to document both the personal and professional challenges of the officers and detectives who protect and serve, the fifth season of Hill Street Blues continued the series’ tradition of high-quality, compelling television. With top-notch writing, directing, and ensemble acting (from cast veterans Daniel J. Travanti, Veronica Hamel, Bruce Weitz, Barbara Bosson, Joe Spano, Betty Thomas as well as new arrivals Robert Prosky and Mimi Kuzyk), the fifth season of Hill Street Blues maintained the program’s dominance as one of the greatest television series of its time, and further solidified its place as one of the all-time finest.

MAN, PRIDE AND VENGEANCE – Blue Underground

When stalwart Spanish soldier Don Jose (Franco Nero) meets the stunningly beautiful Carmen (Tina Aumont), he becomes instantly obsessed with the mysterious gypsy woman. After discovering she has cheated on him with his Lieutenant, Jose kills the officer during a brawl and flees the city. Forced to become a bandit, Jose partners with Carmen’s villainous husband Garcia (Klaus Kinski) to rob a stagecoach and prove his love for the seductive femme fatale.

THE CONFESSION – Criterion

The master of the political thriller, Costa-Gavras, became an instant phenomenon after the mammoth success of Z, and he quickly followed it with the perhaps even more riveting The Confession. Based on a harrowing true story, the film stars Yves Montand as an influential Czechoslovak dignitary who, in the early fifties, was abducted, imprisoned, and interrogated by fellow members of his country’s Communist ruling party—their intentions vague, their methods terrifying. Also starring Simone Signoret and Gabriele Ferzetti, Costa-Gavras’s film is an unflinching depiction of a troubled historical period and the miasma of twentieth-century politics.

HEART OF AMERICA – Olive Films

A murder/suicide pact between two high school students is laid out in the shocking feature film Heart of America. On the last day of school, the duo load up on weapons, and arrive at the school to carry out their grim revenge against the students and administration that has made their lives hell. Heart of America mirrors Gus Van Sant’s Elephant in subject matter, but carves out a stylistic niche of its own as the action plays out in real time.

THE WONDER YEARS: Season Three – StarVista

In this season, Kevin confronts the day-to-day pressures of junior high school life. Kevin’s older brother Wayne (Jason Hervey) continues his bullying ways, but Kevin fights back and grows some backbone. His inner strength is tested when he participates in a class walkout to protest the Vietnam War, and joins his pals Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) to stop developers from destroying Harper’s Woods, the site of many happy childhood memories. Re-pave paradise and put up a…mall?

RAY DONOVAN: Season Two – CBS Paramount

Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber), Boston bouncer turned Hollywood crisis fixer, can protect just about anything except the unity of his family. As his estranged ex-con father (Jon Voight) dodges the law, Ray’s lonely wife Abby finds herself drawn to a cop. Son Conor may be too close to home while daughter Bridget is slipping away. Can he hold the pieces of his family together while going to bat for celebrities in crisis? In this sharp, edgy second season, Ray finds that what he wants the most is the hardest thing to fix.

SO BRIGHT IS THE VIEW – IndiePix Films

Present day Romania. Estera, a middle class Jewish girl in Bucharest, has to make a choice between pursuing a job in Atlanta, working for one of the nouveau riche thugs, or joining her mother in Israel. She is expecting a baby, and trying hard to work out some sort of future with her boyfriend, Vlad. Her father is in prison for unspecified crimes and her mother is about to be evicted. Her one hope is a “friend-interview” with Mike, the Romanian-American, who reveals himself to be an uncouth bully.

NIGHTLIGHT – Lionsgate

For years, the Covington forest has been shrouded in mystery, with a dark past as a final destination for troubled youths. Undeterred by the news of a classmate who recently took his life in those woods, five teens journey into the forest for an evening of flashlight games and ghost stories. But their plans go awry when the friends awaken a demonic presence, an unseen evil that will seize upon their deepest fears-and plunge them into a nightmare of absolute terror.

SEVENTH SON – Universal

In a time of enchantments when legends and magic collide, the sole remaining warrior of a mystical order (Jeff Bridges) travels to find a prophesized hero born with incredible powers, the last Seventh Son (Ben Barnes). Torn from his quiet life as a farmhand, the unlikely young hero embarks on a daring adventure with his battle-hardened mentor to vanquish a dark queen (Julianne Moore) and the army of supernatural assassins she has dispatched against their kingdom.

THE LOFT – Universal

Karl Urban and James Marsden star in the tense psychological thriller The Loft, the story of five friends who conspire to share a secret penthouse loft in the city—a place where they can indulge in their deepest fantasies. But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft, and they realize one of the group must be involved. Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned and relationships crumble as the group is consumed by fear, suspicion and murder in this relentless thriller.

STATE OF SIEGE – Criterion

Costa-Gavras puts the United States’ involvement in South American politics under the microscope in this arresting thriller. An urban guerilla group, outraged at the counterinsurgency and torture training clandestinely organized by the CIA in their country (unnamed in the film), abducts a U.S. official (Yves Montand) to bargain for the release of political prisoners; soon the kidnapping becomes a media sensation, leading to violence. Cowritten by Franco Solinas, the electrifying State of Siege piercingly critiques the American government for helping institute foreign dictatorships while also asking difficult questions about the efficacy of radical violent acts to oppose such regimes.

 

All synopses used with permission

Posted under: Home Entertainment