Nick's Pics Nick
Nicholson Film & Home Entertainment Critic
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Becca and Howie Corbett (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) are returning to their everyday existence in the wake of a shocking, sudden loss. Just eight months ago, they were a happy suburban family with everything they wanted. Now, they are caught in a maze of memory, longing, guilt, recrimination, sarcasm and tightly controlled rage from which they cannot escape. While Becca finds pain in the familiar, Howie finds comfort. The shifts come in abrupt, unforeseen moments. Becca hesitantly opens up to her opinionated, loving mother (DIanne Wiest) and secretly reaches out to the teenager involved in the accident that changed everything (Miles Teller); while Howie lashes out and imagines solace with another woman (Sandra Oh). Yet, as off track as they are, the couple keeps trying to find their way back to a life that still holds the potential for beauty, laughter and happiness. The resulting journey is an intimate glimpse into two people learning to re-engage with each other and a world that has been tilted off its axis.
Rabbit Hole is a vivid, hopeful, honest and unexpectedly witty portrait of a family searching for what remains possible in the most impossible of all situations. The story is unbelievably touching and will tug at your heartstrings. The film has somewhat of a cloud over it from beginning to end. The emotional attachment to the loss in the film is quite palpable, however the directing and chemistry between the primary characters help take the film to the next level. Both Eckhart and Kidman are quite believable as grieving parents. Quite notably, Kidman's performance should be enough to get her over the proverbial hump and back into critics good graces with worthy films with strong performances. Not for the faint of heart, the journey theatergoers will take with Rabbit Hole is very worthwhile.
Starring: Nicole Kidman & Aaron Eckhart
Director: John Cameron
Now Showing: in Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: PG-13
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Treasures of America's National Parks: Yellowstone and Disney Parks: Where Dreams Come True, 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!
ARMY WIVES: Season Four - ABC
Relive the heart-warming drama of one of America's most beloved series with Army Wives: The Complete Fourth Season. Experience the inspirational stories of four women and one man who are married to those serving in the military as they try to balance family life with the all-encompassing call of duty. Our tribe takes great pride in the Army while they experience many challenges. Friendships are tested as Denise receives unexpected news. Roxy grapples with her pregnancy and the anxiety of where Trevor's promotion will take them. Meanwhile, Pamela's marriage becomes more complicated, and she deals with the many changes that arise when she jumps into a whole new career. Claudia Joy pursues a new dream of her own, and Roland balances his role as a parent to Sarah Elizabeth with his demanding career and his relationship with Joan, a Lt. Colonel affected by the war.
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN
TEENAGER: Volume Five - ABC
Arguably the greatest show for teenagers in the history of television, The Secret Life of the American Teenager provides a down to earth program for everyone. Relive the emotional drama of The Secret Life of the American Teenager as the critically acclaimed series reaches new heights in its unforgettable Fifth Volume. Amy and Ben try to rekindle their romance, but things get complicated when Ben discovers Adrian is pregnant with his child. As Adrian agonizes whether to keep the baby, Ben struggles to tell Amy the truth. Relationships are pushed to the limit and life-changing decisions are made in this 3-disc DVD set, complete with exciting bonus features. It's a must-have for any Secret Life Of the American Teenager fan.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND: 3D - Disney
Inviting and magical, Alice In Wonderland is an imaginative new twist on one of the most beloved stories of all time. Alice (Mia Wasikowska), now 19 years old, returns to the whimsical world she first entered as a child and embarks on a journey to discover her true destiny. It's a Wonderland beyond your imagination, where the extraordinary characters you've loved come to life richer and more colorful than ever. There's the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen) and more. A triumphant cinematic experience - Alice In Wonderland is an incredible feast for your eyes, ears and heart that will captivate audiences of all sizes, especially in Disney 3D - Magic In A New Dimension. Tumble down the rabbit hole with Alice and see all your favorite characters leap off the screen and into your living room with this ultimate Combo Pack. It's the only way to experience the fantastical new adventure from Walt Disney Pictures and Tim Burton in full topsy-turvy 1080p Blu-ray 3D.
LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - Warner
Soren (voice by Jim Sturgess), a young owl, has grown up listening to his father's stories about the Guardians, a legendary band of heroes who fought to keep owldom free. But when he and his jealous older brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) are kidnapped, Soren learns the evil Pure Ones are once again plotting to enslave owlkind. Escaping from their clutches, he and a typically mismatched group of friends set out to find the Guardians, the only owls capable of defeating the Pure Ones. The first feature from the Animal Logic studio since the Oscar-winning Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians quickly degenerates into an unsatisfying muddle of elements borrowed from Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and The Lion King. The storytelling borders on the inept: The Pure Ones are using bats to create some sort of blue electricity that paralyzes owls, but no one ever explains what it is, how it works, or why the bats created it. The first battle between the Pure Ones and Guardians is presented as an ancient myth, yet many of the participants are still alive. Soren and his friends look up at the stars to navigate their way to the Guardians' island, but when the camera pans down to them flying, the sky is the blue of a summer afternoon.
Wii HELLO KITTY SEASONS - Zoo
Get ready to visit Sanrio Town in the first ever Hello Kitty game for the Nintendo Wii! In Hello Kitty Seasons, you'll get to manage and grow the whimsical, colorful SanrioTown and participate in new challenges as the seasons change. From hosting a springtime tea party, to playing summer carnival games or dishing up ice cream to friends, celebrating the harvest by picking fall fruit and pumpkins, or keeping warm with hot cocoa or building snowmen in the chilly winter - each season brings new fun and challenging games with all your Sanrio friends. You'll encounter characters such as My Melody, Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, Little Twin Stars, Chococat and others as you unlock mini-games, new clothing, accessories and more during your magical Hello Kitty adventure!
MAMA FLORA'S FAMILY - Vivendi
This is a great movie about a strong lady who has survived so many upheavals in her life as a poor black woman who never loses her sense of self worth or the importance of integrity. Cicely Tyson is wonderful as always, and Erika Alexander has the ability to act well without saying a word as the young Flora. It takes a great actress to speak with her eyes the way Alexander did! A wonderful mixture of heartbreak, warmth, and hope fuel this story along, and Queen Latifah also proves herself to be one heck of an actress. I dare you to sit down and watch this wonderful movie that approaches individual accountability the right way without crying and smiling a lot. It's a rich story anybody can learn a lot from about making mistakes and taking steps to correct them.
THE TOWN - Warner
Ben Affleck's Doug MacRay comes from a line of Boston bank robbers. With his father (Chris Cooper) behind bars, he spent most of his childhood in Charlestown with loyal hothead Jem (Jeremy Renner). Doug had a chance to go legit as a pro hockey player, but he threw it away on drugs and bad behavior. After the armed robbery that opens the film, Jem becomes convinced that bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall) saw something, so Doug, who wore a disguise at the time, sets out to make sure she doesn't tell FBI agent Frawley (Mad Men's Jon Hamm) anything incriminating (Titus Welliver plays Frawley's partner). Doug starts by asking Claire out, and finds she's more shaken than stirred--and that he likes her better than Jem's oxy-addicted sister, Krista (Blake Lively), his sometime girlfriend. Unfortunately, neither Jem nor vicious enforcer Fergie (Pete Postlethwaite) will cut him loose until he orchestrates two more scores--the last to take place at Fenway Park.
AND SOON THE DARKNESS - Anchor Bay
Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie’s (Odette Yustman) vacation to an exotic village in Argentina is a perfect ‘girl’s getaway’ to bask in the sun, shop and flirt with the handsome locals. After a long night of bar-hopping, the girls get into an argument, and Stephanie heads out alone in the morning to cool off. But when she returns, Ellie has disappeared. Finding signs of a struggle, Stephanie fears the worst, and turns to the police for help. But the local authorities have their hands full already - with a string of unsolved kidnappings targeting young female tourists. Skeptical of the sheriff’s competency, she enlists help from Michael (Karl Urban), an American ex-pat staying at their hotel. Together they go on a frantic search for Ellie, but Stephanie soon realizes that trusting his seemingly good intentions may drag her farther from the truth. With danger mounting, and time running out, Stephanie must find her friend before darkness falls.
FIREMAN SAM: Ready for Action - Lionsgate
Fireman Sam is ready for action in five exciting episodes! The alarm has sounded and the Pontypandy crew is off to rescue their friends and others in need. From engine sparks and wild fireworks to water rescue and more, you won’t want to miss these adventures with your favorite hero, Fireman Sam!
BOB THE BUILDER: The Golden Hammer - The Movie - Lionsgate
Shiver me timbers! Bob the Builder and his Top Team have moved to Fixham Harbor for a swashbuckling new adventure. Spud and Scrambler learn about the legend of Pirate Brickbeard's Golden Hammer, a treasure that he has hidden in their new town. The team must follow the clues to find its location. Can they find it? Yes, they can! All hands on deck for a treasure trove of mystery and fun!
TREASURES OF AMERICA'S
Yellowstone - Questar
What Questar has done is provided everyone within reach of a DVD player an excellent introduction to Yellowstone, its major features, and what you can expect to see on a first visit. The variety of geological features, wildlife, etc., is mind-boggling! In stunning high definition cinematography, the sweeping beauty and extraordinary national wonders are right before your very eyes! Also some great background on the Park's origins, pioneers, etc. Go Inside Grand Teton National Park to saddle up for a working dude ranch, feel the rush of whitewater rafting and witness a staggering array of wildlife in America's Eden. For any fan of nature or just those that want to get away and see the country the way it used to be, pick up your Treasures Yellowstone copy today!
PRAYERS FOR BOBBY - A&E
In this affecting cable movie about the consequences of intolerance, Sigourney Weaver plays Mary Griffith, a California woman who paid dearly for her beliefs. In the late 1970s, she and her close-knit Christian family, including husband Bob (Henry Czerny), live in comfortable Walnut Creek. Her son Bobby (Ryan Kelley), a high-school student, has a secret he hides well until it becomes too hard to bear, so he tells his older brother. Out of concern for his welfare, Ed (Austin Nichols) tells Mary, who considers homosexuality "an abomination." She believes Bobby can change if he sets his mind to it, so she fixes him up on dates and sends him to a therapist. Wanting to please his mother, he goes along with her plans. When they fail, he drops out of school to live with a sympathetic cousin in Portland, where he works and dates another young man, but years of guilt and shame drive him to seek a permanent solution to his problem. At this point, the story shifts to Mary, who meets Reverend Whitsell (Frasier's Dan Butler). With his help, she learns to reconcile her religious faith with her son's orientation.
ALTIPLANO - First Run Features
War photographer Grace, devastated by a violent incident in Iraq, renounces her profession. Her Belgian husband, Max, is a cataract surgeon working at an eye- clinic in the high Andes of Peru. Nearby, the villagers of Turubamba succumb to illnesses caused by a mercury spill from a local mine. War photographer Grace, devastated by a violent incident in Iraq, renounces her profession. Her Belgian husband, Max, is a cataract surgeon working at an eye-clinic in the high Andes of Peru. Nearby, the villagers of Turubamba succumb to illnesses caused by a mercury spill from a local mine.
MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN - First Run Features
Short-listed as one of the 15 best documentaries of the year, Mugabe and the White African is the story of one family's astonishing bravery as they fight to protect their property, their livelihood and their country. Mike Campbell is one of the few white farmers left in Zimbabwe since its leader, Robert Mugabe, enacted his disastrous land redistribution program. Previously the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe has since spiraled into chaos, the economy decimated as farms given to Mugabe cronies are run into ruin. After enduring years of intimidation, threats and, finally, physical violence, Campbell decides to take action. Unable to call upon help from his country's authorities, he challenges Mugabe before an international court.
HOME BY CHRISTMAS - Lifetime/New Video
Julia Bedford is a dedicated homemaker living in a modestly affluent neighborhood with her successful husband and sixteen-year-old daughter. When Julia discovers that her husband is cheating on her, her world is rocked. In their pending divorce, with most of her husbands assets carefully hidden, Julia is left with nothing except her car and her barely realistic child support checks. After moving into a small apartment, Julia tries to make do while working a minimum wage job. Her daughter hates their new scaled-down life and convinces her father and his new girlfriend to let her live with him. When Julia finally hits rock bottom and finds herself living in their car, she decides to begin her comeback--and ultimately discovers whats really valuable in life.
THE ROAD TO CHRISTMAS - Lifetime/New Video
Claire (Jennifer Grey) has it all: a thriving career as a fashion photographer and a handsome Italian fiancé, Lorenzo. Her wedding is set to happen in five days, on Christmas Eve, when she decides to fly from Chicago to Aspen to surprise Lorenzo--but nothing goes right and Claire finds herself stranded at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, she gets picked up by Tom (Clark Gregg) and his daughter Hilly (Megan Park, The Secret Life of the American Teenager), who are having their own troubles getting to Grandma's house in time for Christmas. Tom and Claire can't stand each other at first sight… which only means that they're destined for each other in the end. The Road to Christmas doesn't hold many surprises; this is comfort entertainment, pure and simple. The contrast between pampered princess Claire and rough-hewn Tom (who holds some secrets, however) is standard stuff, and the obstacles to their romance are obvious and obviously dispatched.
HOLIDAY SWITCH - Lifetime/New Video
Its a week before Christmas, and Paula (Nicole Eggert) is struggling with bills, life with her blue-collar husband Gary and her two daughters. So when Nick, her high school boyfriend, returns to town a wealthy art gallery owner, Paula begins to wonder where she would be if she had stayed with him and not Gary. When Paula makes a holiday wish to see what life would have been like had she made another choice, she is magically transported through her washer/dryer to a parallel life where she is Nicks wife. At first, this other life seems the answer to her dreams, as she shops and dines out with her new found wealth. But she soon realizes that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side. Her relationship with Nick is in shambles, and she misses her real husband Gary and her two girls. When she sees Gary and her kids living a happy life with another woman, she wishes for just one more Christmas gift--to have back the life she didn't appreciate.
RECIPE FOR A PERFECT CHRISTMAS - Lifetime/New Video
A charming holiday story about relationships, Lifetime's Recipe for a Perfect Christmas stars the incomparable Christine Baranski, paired with Carly Pope and Bobby Cannavale. For food critic J.J. Jenner, "Christmas is nothing but high expectation and big disappointment," so getting a big promotion that will mean lots of extra work right at holiday time is nothing but good news. But when J.J.'s mother shows up unexpectedly and moves in for the holidays, J.J. is unable to get anything done and quickly becomes desperate to find something to occupy her mother and get her out of the apartment. Setting her mother up on date with a struggling restaurateur who will literally do anything to get J.J. to review his restaurant seems like the perfect solution, but things don't work out quite like she's planned. J.J. eventually finds herself not only completely distracted, but reexamining her attitude toward the holiday season, her rocky relationship with her mother, and even the extent of her dedication to her profession. Each character grows and changes through their interactions with one another, and in the end, all three find that they definitely have something unexpected to be thankful for this holiday season.
ROBERT KLEIN: Unfair & Unbalanced - HBO
This review is based on the HBO special from which the DVD is taken. I am a hard-core Robert Klein fan. I have his audio CDs (not always easy to find) and own the HBO Specials 1975-2005. I've been a fan since I saw his third HBO special, "Robert Klein at Yale" when it first came out in 1982 (most of which I've committed to memory). Since then, I've seen/heard pretty much everything he's done. I consider him one of the top five stand-ups of all time; a true pioneer.
A DOG YEAR - HBO
When we meet Katz (Jeff Bridges), he's at the airport, having agreed (for reasons not very well illuminated, as is the case with a number of story elements) to add Devon to a brood that already includes two lovely golden retrievers, Stanley and Julius. The dog instantly escapes and runs amok through the terminal--a sure sign of things to come, as he was apparently abused by his previous owner and Katz, whose daughter is away at school and whose wife has temporarily left home, is afflicted with severe writer's block and is too angry and stubborn to train the dog properly. After "the dog from hell," as Jon calls him, proceeds to tear up the house, chase cars, and such, Katz threatens to send him back. But we know that won't happen, especially when the aging Stanley's heart starts to let him down. Soon Katz has relocated to a squalid farmhouse in the country, where he eats butter and processed cheese sandwiches, sleeps on a bare mattress, stares at a blank computer screen, and finally connects with a trainer (Lois Blair) who points out that it's Jon, not Devon, who really needs fixing.
RESTREPO - Virgil Films
Ninety minutes of the Afghan Korengal Valley, with no talking heads, no interviews, just the soldiers there in the valley. Named after an output named after a medic killed in the line of duty. This ties in rather strongly with war (Junger's War) which is also coverage of the same area of Afghanistan. It's an emotional film that tells the story of the soldiers posted there but leaves any and all interpretations to the viewer. It's one small, but very dangerous, piece of the war and needs no additional plot, or subplots, other than the daily life in the field. I left the movie saying, "oh my, fifteen months." It's nearly inconceivable to me, fifteen months in such a place. A place few Americans could find on a map, and far fewer could explain the importance of. It's a must-see movie regardless of your politics.
DEAR MR GACY - Anchor Bay
A young psychology student begins corresponding with John Wayne Gacy, the famed serial killer, posing as a potential victim in order to write a groundbreaking thesis paper on the case. After exchanging letters and speaking on the phone, Jason thinks he has the upper hand in the situation, but Gacy quickly proves that he is more cunning than he appears as he infiltrates every aspect of Jason's life and infects his mind. Intense, nauseating, terrifying. Dear Mr Gacy details the true-life experiences shared between Jason Moss and his subject of study, John Wayne Gacy, as adapted from his memoirs, The Last Victim.
GOD IN AMERICA - PBS
God in America examines the potent and complex interaction between religion and democracy, the origins of the American concept of religious liberty, and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the nation's courts and political arena. The series considers the role religious ideas and institutions have played in social reform movements from abolition to civil rights, examining the impact of religious faith on conflicts from the American Revolution to the Cold War, and how guarantees of religious freedom created a competitive American religious marketplace. It also explores the intersection of political struggle and spiritual experience in the lives of key American historical figures including Franciscan Friars and the Pueblo leader Po'pay, Puritan leader John Winthrop and dissident Anne Hutchinson, Catholic Bishop John Hughes, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, reform Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, Scopes trial combatants William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, evangelist Billy Graham, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Moral Majority's Jerry Falwell.
BEAUTIFUL KATE - E1 Entertainment
Ben Mendelsohn stars as Ned, the son who hasn't been home in over twenty years. The reason he stayed away so long had more to do with his inability to face the mysterious deaths of his brother and sister. With his father (Bryan Brown) near dying and still estranged from his son, the visit offers the both of them a chance to resolve their conflict and deal with the fractures in the family. The film is chock full of emotion, particularly when dealing with his late sister, Kate. The flashbacks are unnerving and are sure to bring tears to your eyes.
GENERATOR REX: Volume One - Cartoon Network
What went down five years ago was this crazy experiment in nanotechnology; things went horribly, horribly awry, resulting in nanites released unto the world, these microscopic machine parasites that mutate their biological hosts into mindless, rampaging monsters dubbed E.V.O.s (Exponentially Variegated Organism). Five years later, we run into Rex, a fifteen year old kid and himself an E.V.O. Except that, for some unfathomable reason, Rex has full control over his infection. He demonstrates the ability to manifest mechanical gadgets and weaponry from his limbs. Or he does at least until his biometrics get depleted (basically, this happens when he's stressing out). Rex fights the good fight against the out-of-control monster Evos. Rex can communicate with nanites to some extent, can even absorb nanites from other Evos, thus converting these Evos back to humanity, in effect, curing them.
STEP UP 3: Blu-ray 3D - Disney
Step Up 3D capitalizes both on the compelling dance moves of the first two films in the series, as well as on the trend toward using 3D in full-length feature films. And the idea to present a high-energy dance film in 3D turns out to be a brilliant use of the technology. Viewers feel as though they're right in the midst of the competitive moves, the sweaty, almost frenzied choreography practically palpable on the screen. Step Up 3D follows a plot arc similar to the first two Step Up films, with urban kids kicking around in the streets, at loose ends but dying to express themselves artistically and physically. The dance numbers are the climaxes worth waiting for and are sprinkled throughout the movie, holding together a thin plot that nevertheless works just fine to get viewers from Dance Point A to B and beyond. Standouts in the young, hip, incredibly talented cast are Rick Malambri as Luke, the Australian hot-body Sharni Vinson as Natalie, and Keith Stallworth as Jacob--but the entire cast is eye-popping eye candy when they do their gravity-defying hip-hop moves. Luke and Natalie and Adam Savani as Moose take on a world-ranked dance group where the competition is heightened, tensions erupt, and the stakes couldn't be higher.