Nick’s Picks – September 30, 2015

The Intern

THE INTERN

Most movies about ageism tend to poke fun about growing old and lack the honesty of dealing with our senior citizens as well as ignoring them. The Intern is a refreshing look at ageism and bringing an individual out of retirement can be a positive thing.

Nancy Meyers who wrote and directed (along with some of my favorite films; Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday) delivers another smart and funny comedy with The Intern. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Robert De Niro in a nice, likeable funny performance (Meet the Parents) but he shines here along with the chemistry between him and Anne Hathaway.

The Intern is a charming tale of retired businessman Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) and a widower who is bored because after retirement there’s just not enough to do to fill your days with. Ben decides to apply for a position in the Senior Intern program at an online web company called “About the Fit” run by entrepreneur business woman Jules Osten (Anne Hathaway) who started the business out of her kitchen and now has over 100 employees and has outgrown her modest beginning.

Of course the typical jokes about the challenges of being a successful retired businessman working for a young upstart woman are anticipated, but Meyers sprinkle them in here with such whimsy and intelligence that they appear fresh. This is where Meyers shines, her written dialogue and catchy phrases emits a clear, unmuddled humor into a touchy subject. De Niro shines as the strict, formal businessman adapting to the changing environment infused with new technology. His wisdom from years of experience helps him connect with Hathaway’s character and form a sort of father/daughter bond filled with genuine love and respect.

De Niro played the old guy looking for one last fling of fun in Last Vegas but that blunder does not compare to this witty film. Hathaway shines bright (reminiscence of The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada) playing Jules with an eager, bright and frantic ambition that is sweet and quirky. The one drawback is that it seems like Ben espouses words of wisdom as he comes to her rescue which hints at she’s needs rescuing. Coupled with the fact that she has a family at home with a stay at home husband, it’s questionable that she can’t succeed without ben’s wisdom and experience because she started this business from her kitchen. Do all businesswomen really need the advice of an old man?

Notwithstanding a few weak dogmas of the pitfalls of being a successful business woman with a family at home, The Intern is a film about having it all whether you’re young and successful or old and was successful. There’s a place for everyone in this vast universe, young or old.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Adam Devine, Rene Russo
Director: Nancy Meyers
Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Now Showing: In Theatres
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (suggestive humor, strong language)
Grade: B+

 

FREE DVD GIVEAWAY

ViciousEntourage

We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Entourage The Movie or Vicious 2, 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!

ENTOURAGE: The Movie – Warner

Entourage, the much-anticipated big-screen version of the award-winning hit HBO series, reunites the show’s original cast, led by Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven. Movie star Vincent Chase (Grenier), together with his boys, Eric (Connolly), Turtle (Ferrara) and Johnny (Dillon), are back…and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood.

VICIOUS: Season 2 – PBS

Season 2 of Vicious continues to follow the loving yet brutally barbed relationship between Freddie Thornhill (Ian McKellen) and Stuart Bixby (Derek Jacobi).Together for 50 years, Freddie and Stuart still live in the same flat and are surrounded by their long-term friends. As our characters return, so does their deadly, cutting humour. Vicious is back, and it s as raucous and hilarious as ever.

THE BEAR – Shout Factory!

The Bear is a sheer triumph of cinema in the wild! Notable for its stunning cinematography, minimal dialogue, and outstanding animal performances, director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s astonishing tale of wilderness survival has thrilled and charmed audiences and critics all over the world. Set in 19th-century British Columbia, The Bear follows the story of a young cub and an adult Grizzly as they join forces to survive the perils inherent in their mountain habitat. With each passing obstacle, the two bears further develop a friendship that can only make them stronger: but will it be enough for them to overcome their most deadly enemy? An adventure story with heart and humanity, The Bear remains a breathtaking and powerful experience decades after its original release. Presented here in a special 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory, The Bear proves itself a film to celebrate again and again.

9 FULL MOONS – MVD

A powerful, brooding love story about the seemingly implausible relationship of two radically different personalities somehow always meant for each other. Set against the hipster music scene of East LA. Frankie (Amy Seimetz) is an emotional train wreck, careening around the East Los Angeles music scene drinking and meeting strangers. Lev (Bret Roberts) is a taciturn and tormented soul. He drives a limo and wants to work in the music business. They begin a relationship after they connect with each other one night at a party. This dark romance explores what love is like for two quiet people who may be damaged beyond repair. Lev gets to explore his musical dreams working for star Charlie King Nash (Donal Logue) and learn about the practical realities that restrain talent to make artistic dreams so complicated and frustrating. Together Frankie and Lev explore the challenges of a serious relationship, trying to determine if it’s something either of them can handle. This moody piece goes beyond romantic movie cliches to explore the intricate interactions of two lovers who don’t fit into any neat categorizations.

A PLAGUE SO PLEASANT – MVD

A Plague So Pleasant takes place in a post apocalyptic world where society has grown accustomed to the fact that the undead only attack when provoked. It is a felony to shoot a zombie in the United States of America. The hordes of harmless corpses roam the streets like cattle. The state has built reserves to keep them contained but there are too many of them and they’re growing everyday because even if you die of natural causes, still… you become one of them. Clay Marshall struggles with this reality as he watches his sister Mia fail to accept the death of her boyfriend. She visits the wandering corpse of her lost lover constantly and acts as if he’s still alive. As his sister tumbles further into insanity, Clay begins to contemplate committing the forbidden and ominous act of shooting a zombie in the head.

UNEXPECTED – Alchemy

An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies.

DEATH’S DOOR – MVD

Tommy Tiny Lister stars with Obba Babatundé in this suspenseful tale of murder, magic, and revenge. It all begins with an anonymous text inviting a dozen people to a party. The young men and women gather, eat, drink, and have the time of their lives inside the doors of a dilapidated mansion. That is, until it’s time to go. The front door doesn’t open. The back door doesn’t open. Doors that once led to familiar rooms now lead to new ones. Some doors open to yet other doors, and some go straight to dead ends. Only one thing is constant: Every door is a trap, and there’s only one way out.

THE SLAP – Acorn

At a family barbecue in suburban Melbourne, a man loses his temper and slaps another guest’s unruly child. Tensions run high among family and friends when the boy’s mother presses assault charges. Based on the award-winning novel by Christos Tsiolkas, this riveting drama looks at the consequences of that one moment from eight viewpoints. Lies, secrets, and adultery come to light, and relationships are torn apart. This critically acclaimed miniseries won the Australian Film Institute’s AACTA Awards for best miniseries, screenplay, direction, lead actor, and supporting actress.

JANE THE VIRGIN: Season 1 – Warner

Set in Miami, Jane The Virgin details the surprising and unforeseen events that take place in the life of Jane Villanueva, a hard-working, religious young Latina woman whose family tradition and a vow to save her virginity until her marriage to a detective is shattered when a doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates her during a checkup. And to make matters worse, the biological donor is a married man, a former playboy and cancer survivor who is not only the new owner of the hotel where Jane works, but was also her former teenage crush. Release contains all 22 episodes of the first season plus never-before-seen featurettes and much more!

IZOMBIE: Season 1 – Warner

Izombie stars Rose McIver as Olivia “Liv” Moore, a medical resident on the fast track to a perfect life … until she’s turned into a zombie. Now stuck between half-alive and undead, Liv transfers to the city morgue to reluctantly access the only thing that allows her to maintain her humanity – human brains. But there are side effects to Liv’s new diet. With each brain she consumes, she experiences flashes of the corpse’s memories – including, at times, clues as to how they were killed. Her boss, a brilliant but eccentric conspiracy theorist, encourages her to embrace this gift and to work with an eager, unproven homicide detective to help solve these murders … and quiet the voices in her head.

OULANDER: Season 1, Volume 2 – Sony

British combat nurse Claire Randall is reunited with her husband after returning from the battlefields of World War II. While on their second honeymoon, she walks through one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles and is suddenly transported to 1743 Scotland, torn by war and rogue Highland clans. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigue and danger when she is accused of being a spy. Forced by circumstance to marry an outlawed Highlander, she finds herself falling in love and torn by her loyalties to two men in vastly different times, all of which may threaten her life and shatter her heart. Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling book series is stunningly realized by Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore. As Outlander continues, Claire and Jamie’s relationship is tested by ruthless Redcoats, volatile clan politics, and a brutal witch trial, which force Jamie and Claire to escape to a new home. Just when their life as a married couple begins to take shape, Jamie is once again drawn into Captain Randall’s darkness. Ultimately, Claire discovers there is a fate worse than death as she struggles to save Jamie’s heart, as well as his soul.

VERA: Set 5 – Acorn

Multi-award-winner Brenda Blethyn plays the maverick but brilliant Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in this mystery series based on Ann Cleeves’s bestselling crime fiction. From the streets of Newcastle to remote rural Northumberland, Stanhope tackles cases as diverse and wild as their settings: a deadly blaze at a vacation park on the windswept North Sea coast, the 30-year-old disappearance of a schoolgirl from a mining town, a corpse decomposing in a farm’s slurry tank, and the suspicious death of a family man in a multistory parking lot. As rumpled and caustic as ever, DCI Stanhope contends with a new assistant in Set 5. Detective Sergeant Aiden Healy is still recovering from an on-the-job trauma, but Vera shows little patience for his psychological scars. If their partnership is to work, Healy will quickly have to get accustomed to the sometimes unconventional methods his boss employs—to unearth the truth, crack a case, and catch a killer.

WHITE SHADOW – IndiePix Films

Noaz Deshe’s drama White Shadow follows an albino boy in Tanzania who is forced by his mother to live in the city with his uncle after the child witnessed his father’s death. However, the boy is under constant threat because gangs specialize in kidnapping and killing albinos and selling their body parts to unethical doctors who serve patients that believe having an albino body part imbues them with special powers. This look at a very real social problem screened at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

LYLE – Breaking Glass Pictures

Expecting couple Leah and June move into a Brooklyn brownstone apartment with their toddler daughter Lyle. Despite the strange baby-obsessed landlady downstairs and the group of female models who live above them, the two are happy with their new apartment until a bizarre accident happens. Months later, Leah is still grief-stricken and trying to make sense of it, as well as her landlady’s odd behaviors, and her attraction to one of the models upstairs. As Leah prepares for her home birth, she begins to suspect the neighbors are involved in a satanic pact and fears for her unborn baby.

GEORGE GENTLY: Series 7 – Acorn

For Detective Chief Inspector George Gently (Martin Shaw), the world is changing at a dizzying pace—economically, politically, socially, culturally. As the 1960s draw to a close and a new era beckons, he feels more and more estranged and ill-equipped to cope. But for Gently and his fellow officers, one thing remains constant in their northeast England beat: violent crime. In four all-new, feature-length episodes, Gently is again assisted in his crime-fighting duties by Detective Sergeant John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby), who is up for promotion to inspector, and Constable Rachel Coles (Lisa McGrillis), who is preparing to take her sergeants exam. While Gently and Bacchus collaborate as usual in their investigations, both are harboring secrets from each other that threaten to bring their professional careers to an end. Compelling mysteries and superb performances continue to make this one of the most successful detective dramas on British television.

COP CAR – Universal

A pair of ten-year-olds find an abandoned cop car in a field. When they take it for a joyride, it seems like they could kill themselves at any moment. But things only get worse when the small town sheriff goes looking for his missing car. The kids find themselves in the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse they don’t understand and the only way out is to go as fast as their cop car can take them.

 

Synopsis used with permission

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