Nick's Pics Nick
Nicholson Film & Home Entertainment Critic
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COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY
Welcome to Paris in 1913. Coco Chanel is infatuated with the rich and handsome Boy Capel, but she is also compelled by her work. Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is about to be performed. The revolutionary dissonances of Igor's work parallel Coco's radical ideas. She wants to democratize women's fashion; he wants to redefine musical taste. Coco attends the scandalous first performance of The Rite in a chic white dress. The music and ballet are criticized as too modern, too foreign. Coco is moved but Igor is inconsolable. Paris 1920, Coco is newly wealthy and successful but grief-stricken after Boy's death in a car crash. Igor, following the Russian Revolution is now a penniless refugee living in exile in Paris. Coco is introduced to Igor by Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes. The attraction between them is instant and electric. Coco invites Igor along with his wife - now sick with consumption - together with his four children and a menagerie of birds to stay at her new villa, Bel Respiro, in Garches.
What Kounen had in her hands was a potential blockbuster. Both Chanel and Stravinsky represented the best of what the future could bring, yet fell drastically short during their lifetimes to truly realize the impact both had in their respective mediums. Anna Mouglalis shines as Chanel, albeit without much dialog. Perhaps that was simply the true nature of Chanel...? Regardless, the performance of Mads Mikkelsen as the emotionally repressed Stravinsky makes the film work. As someone who has studied both the works and the man, I can assure you that Mikkelsen's portrayal of the musician is spot on. Jan Kounen's directorial project here had the potential to soar, yet stays frighteningly close to ground after the tremendous performance of The Rite of Spring. All the power, electricity and warmth generated in the first thirty minutes of the film dissipate into somewhat of a sterile presentation.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Starring: Anna Mouglalis & Mads Mikkelsen
Director: Jan Kounen
Company: Sony Pictures Classics
Now Showing: in Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: R
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season Seven or True Blood: Season Two, it is really easy! All you have to do is send me an email at Filmlords@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!
NIP/TUCK: Season Six - Warner
Throughout this final season, our two doctors begin to see signs that they may be redundant in a financial world which crashed. Their success was largely dependent on lots of cash being available for elective cosmetic surgery. Also, Sean's and Christian's relationship becomes the pivotal aspect of the show, not any other relationship. This sets off the best episode in the entire five seasons when the two of them start going to couples psychotherapy with a psychiatrist. I have never laughed so hard as I did through that episode. That was pure five stars all the way.
THE A TEAM: Complete Series - Universal
This was one of the best shows of the 80's. I grew up watching this show as a kid, the cartoon style violence is exactly right for the time period, and the show worked because of the humor and lightheartedness of the show. It never quite took itself seriously, understanding that at the time, real violence couldn't be shown on TV. Be a part of The A-Team like never before as the complete series arrives on DVD in this action-packed, 25-disc set. The iconic Mr. T stars as B.A., who joins forces with Hannibal, Murdock and Face to take down the bad guys in five explosive seasons. Groundbreaking, exciting and always fun, The A-Team remains an indelible part of television history and is the adventure that we've all been waiting for!
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: Season Seven - HBO
Art continues to imitate life to squirm-inducing effect in Curb Your Enthusiasm's seventh season. Now divorced, Larry (creator Larry David) lets agent Jeff (Jeff Garlin) talk him into a Seinfeld reunion. He convinces the old gang to participate--Jerry, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards--but mostly he hopes to win back Cheryl (Cheryl Hines), who longs to play George's ex-wife (Jerry would prefer guest stars Meg Ryan or Elisabeth Shue). Seinfeld fans are in for a treat when George's mother, Mrs. Costanza (Estelle Harris), and neighbor Newman (Wayne Knight) drop by for rehearsals. In the show's boldest move, Richards's taped tirade at a comedy club in 2006, which set the Internet on fire, plays into the season's story arc.
STAR STRUCK: Extended Edition - Disney
Actor Sterling Knight stars in this movie playing a singer named Christopher Wilde who meets a girl who doesn't like him until she gets to know him. Her sister is a fan of him. The reason she doesn't like him at the beginning is because all she hears about is him because her sister keeps mentioning him in almost every sentence. It is not until she meets him herself that she realizes he is not what she read about him that he is a good young man who is in show biz. Sterling Knight brings something into the role that makes the movie good.
SING ALONG TRAVEL KIT: The Wheels on the Bus - Scholastic
The Wheels on the Bus Sing Along Travel Kit is designed to provide kids ages 3-9 with hours of immersive fun – whether on a plane, train or automobile. The kit features two musical DVDs featuring 15 animated literary classics, a CD with 13 sing-along songs, a 34-page activity booklet loaded with games and activities to support early math and reading skills, crayons, and helpful travel tips for parents. Everything is packaged in a colorful and portable travel case, turning the set into a fun-filled, go-anywhere mini-suitcase for kids!
THE REAL STORY: Escape from Alcatraz - Smithsonian
Three prisoners escaped Alcatraz ... or maybe not. Explore the fascinating true tale behind one of history s most infamous prison breaks in The Real Story: Escape From Alcatraz, available on DVD June 15 from Infinity Entertainment Group. Thought you knew the whole story? The Real Story breaks myths and challenges convention with first-hand facts, classified files, meticulous re-creations and little-known back-stories of legendary events. On the night of June 11, 1962, three prisoners convicted bank robbers Frank Lee Morris and brothers Clarence and John Anglin achieved the impossible, breaking out of Alcatraz, a.k.a. 'The Rock,' the world s most impregnable prison. Or did they? Their absence was discovered during a routine morning count. Strenuous efforts to track down the convicts proved futile. But were they actually free ... or lost in a doomed escape?
EVERWOOD: Season Three - Warner
Prepare to get hooked on Everwood, a family drama-comedy from the WB television network that looks and feels like a hybrid of Northern Exposure and Picket Fences--both shows, incidentally, being major influences on Everwood's talented creator, Greg Berlanti. A fish-out-of-water tale with unusually high stakes in the relationship arena, Everwood gets much of its charge from near-perfect performances by Treat Williams and Gregory Smith as a contentious father and son trying to keep their family going after a catastrophic loss. Williams plays Andy Brown, a world-class neurosurgeon whose Manhattan practice caters to the rich and famous; it also keeps him far removed from daily life and big events within his family. After Andy's wife (Brenda Strong) dies in a car accident, he finds himself raising a gifted 15-year-old boy, Ephram (Smith), who hates him because of years of neglect, and the much younger Delia (Vivien Cardone), who is scared and confused without her mom.
YO GABBA GABBA: Clubhouse - Nickelodeon
Get ready to dance and sing -- just say the magic words “Yo Gabba Gabba!” Come join Gabbaland characters (Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee, Plex and DJ Lance Rock) as they build an awesome clubhouse; travel through the jungle on a wild adventure; play with some silly animals and enjoy other fun outdoor activities! Featuring musical guests Erykah Badu, The Killers, Jimmy Eat World and more.
SHINJUKU INCIDENT - Sony
Unreleased in mainland China due to its excessive violence, Derek Yee's crime picture Shinjuku Incident is a rare attempt at serious drama for action star Jackie Chan. As Steelhead, a taciturn mechanic who endures the punishing life of illegal Chinese immigrants in Japan while looking for a missing sweetheart, Chan drops his trademark balletic martial arts and broad comic style, and for the most part he's successful at conveying the character's basic goodness and dismay (and finally, anger) at the situation faced by his compatriots. Daniel Wu is also fine as a hapless friend whose entanglement with gangsters forces Steelhead to team with the local yakuza for a gruesome showdown.
SHAUN THE SHEEP: One Giant Leap for Lambkind - Lionsgate
Unidentified Farm Objects and paranormal sightings are the norm with Shaun the Sheep and his barnyard buddies Bitzer, Shirley, and Timmy, as they encounter more madcap mischief along with those Naughty Pigs next door. Big laughs are evident, as the creators of the Academy Award-winning Wallace & Gromit are out to prove that sheepherding fun is universal. Perfect for the young kids and sure to put a smile on every face!
AMERICAN PICKERS: Season One - A&E
This show is mainly about two average guys, tall and lanky Mike Wolfe and short and stocky Frank Fritz, who go around the country to buy antiques and collectibles for a store in Iowa called Antique Archaeology. They go and buy everything from old movie posters to long forgotten gas station signs to worn out motorcycle frames, and in one case a painting of a nude woman. The only thing that matches the diversity of the antiques they buy is the people they buy them from. One of whom is a rather eccentric man who runs a Bigfoot museum in Alabama and another is a retired attorney who collects old cars among other things. What really pushes the show into the successful realm is the cameraderie between Frank and Mike. Give the show a shot and I am certain you will really enjoy what you see!
VENGEANCE TRILOGY - Palisades Tartan
Korean director Park Chan-Wook's three films all focus around the element of vengeance. Without a doubt, this series is a legacy for audiences of all kinds. These films have served a purpose in multiple arenas as they represent Park's style to a T. In addition, they have created a cult following for Park as well. The three films included in the set are Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. All three of these pictures are packed full of extras for everyone to enjoy!
YOU THE LIVING - Palisades Tartan
This film is made up of 55 shots, most of which represent a discrete narrative element. Connections do occur, the most evident of which is the dream recounted by the man in the first scene, which connects to the final five shots of the film. But there are stories, here, too--if the axiom that "character is story" holds true. There is Mia, who considers the withholding of alcohol a form a sadism, and who complains that nobody understands her; she recurs in four vignettes. Similarly, the film checks in occasionally with Anna, a groupie of a musician for "The Black Devils"; she extrapolates a single instance of kindness from the musician into an agony of unrequited love. There are other characters, in agonies of their own.
IMPORT EXPORT - Palisades Tartan
Import / Export is set in the frigid winter of the Ukraine and Austria. The story follows two main characters: a woman who leaves the Ukraine to find a better life in Austria, and a man who leaves Austria to escape debt and his failure to find a place in society. I don't want to say too much more because you really need to experience the film for yourself. You can be sure that Seidl is going to challenge your expectations, but I think we learn something about ourselves by how we experience this film. Some will become jade from the beginning (nothing can help these poor, sorry people), some will hold out hope for improvement longer than they would expect - when you understand that a director doesn't necessarily care about providing a happy viewing experience, anything is possible.
EX DRUMMER: Extreme Unrated - Palisades Tartan
Three drug-addled, dysfunctional and disabled punk rock misfits are looking for a drummer. They approach Dries, a well known writer and local celebrity, the only problem is that he can t play the drums - a fact that appeals to the band s anarchic sensibilities. Fascinated by these maladjusted miscreants, Dries joins the group. His arrival awakens the personal disputes and family feuds latent in the band. Dries will manipulate them until they are willing to drink each other s blood and their only future is the same one that has been written down in so many Punk lyrics - No Future .
9 SONGS - Palisades Tartan
Lisa is an American drifter in London who hooks up with Matt, a scientist who studies glaciers in Antarctica. They have sex and visit nine rock concerts including Franz Ferdinand and The Dandy Warhols. As advertised, you can't find these musical performances anywhere else, but we just see them from way back in the crowd. The film has an essence of how someone can find bliss in another person's body, and the emotional, magical weight that can hold over you. But that spell doesn't last. Since the sex is real, Winterbottom had to cast unknown actors, and they really don't make an impression, especially with the lack of story.