Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 1/28/13: Downton Abbey Season 3, Seven Psychopaths and More

New This Week

There's really only one release that matters this week and it's season 3 of Downton Abbey. Get your holds in for this one so you don't have to wait!

ENTERTAINMENT Seven Psychopaths has a scary name but a great cast of Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken in the story of a struggling screenwriter who ends up getting involved with a number of unsavory individuals. It was directed by Martin McDonagh who also directed cult favorite In Bruges. You might have not heard of Hello I Must Be Going but it was the opening film at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and features the wonderful Melanie Lynskey as a recent divorcee who begins an affair with a 19-year old. Fat Kid Rules the World is the adaptation of the young adult novel of the same name that follows a suicidal overweight boy who becomes friends with a punk rocker. It's edgy and definitely not a children's film, in spite of the fat kid in the title. We do have something for the kids though: the animated Hotel Transylvania features Adam Sandler as the voice of Count Dracula, who serves as the host of a resort for monsters and their families.

SERIES Besides the aforementioned Downton Abbey, we've also got everyone's favorite British werewolf, vampire and ghost series Being Human, which is up to series 4. Also, Twenty Twelve is a hilarious mockumentary series about the 2012 British preparations for the Olympic games that any fan of British comedy will not want to miss.

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Flick Picks 1/21/13

What's New This Week?

ENTERTAINMENT: David Ayer, the writer of Training Day, brings us the gritty End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as L.A. cops who get involved with a drug cartel following a routine traffic stop. Also out this week is the southern gothic melodrama The Paperboy, with Matthew McConaughey as a reporter trying to prove the innocence of a man accused of murder. The film also stars Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack.

SUBTITLED: Wim Wenders' Pina is a visually stunning hybrid of documentary and performance as dancers pay tribute to Pina Bausch, the great German choreographer. There's also a moving documentary about Palestine and Israel available this week, as 5 Broken Cameras provides footage from a Palestinian farmer's five cameras, each of which eventually became broken in violence. Eventually the footage was given to an Israeli documentarian who created this unique film. Takashi Miike, the director of the stunning 13 Assassins, brings us Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, which tells the story of an impoverished samurai searching for a place to commit an honorable suicide. The solemn Austrian film Breathing follows a young man who attempts to win parole from prison by working at a morgue.

DOCUMENTARY: The Imposter feels like a thriller as it traces the story of a 13 year old boy from San Antonio who disappears without a trace only to reappear in Spain 3 1/2 years later. We've also received season 2 of the fun Ricky Gervais travel series An Idiot Abroad.

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Flick Picks 1/14/13

New This Week!

ENTERTAINMENT: Liam Neeson is back and he's angry because this time it is he and his wife who have been...TAKEN. Taken 2 is the over-the-top sequel to the successful 2008 action flick and is sure to please those who enjoy seeing Liam take revenge.  A release that's a little more subdued but just as fun is Woody Allen's To Rome With Love. To Rome With Love interweaves various stories set in the title city and has a fantastic cast of Alec Baldwin, Roberto Begnini, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody himself.

SERIES: If you've been missing The Sopranos you should give Australia's Underbelly a try. Each of Underbelly's series are based on an individual true crime incident Down Under, most of which involved the gangland underworld. Or for something a little lighter, HBO's Life Too Short is its newest Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant series. It profiles a fictional version of Warwick Davis and follows his career as he attempts to become more than Hollywood's go-to "little man". Gervais and Merchant play his agents while there are cameos by Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, Sting and more.

SUBTITLED: If you're looking for a gorgeous piece of historical drama, the French production Farewell My Queen covers the end of Marie Antoinette's reign, from the perspective of one of her ladies-in-waiting. Much of the film was actually shot at Versailles. Another more contemporary French film out this week is 17 Girls, which takes the true story of a number of Massachusetts high school girls who made a pact to get pregnant, and sets it in Brittany. Found Memories is a quiet and surreal portrait of a fictional village in Brazil where time seems to stand still. A young photographer arrives and has an impact on an old woman and the rest of the residents of the town.

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Flick Picks 1/7/13

New This Week!
There's a treasure trove of cool and unique movies and series coming out this week. Start your new year off right with some (or all) of these!

ENTERTAINMENT: It's not exactly striking while the iron is hot but the HBO adaptation of Game Change, the story of the 2008 presidential campaign, finally comes to DVD this week. The film stars Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin and won 4 Emmy awards. Also out this week is Dredd, another dark comic book adaptation that did not perform as well as some of the other major comic book films this year but received surprisingly strong reviews (currently 78% at Rotten Tomatoes). It stars Karl Urban as the title character who attempts to rid his city of a drug epidemic.

Also out this week is the controversial and disturbing Compliance, a film that split audiences wherever it played. It's based on the true story of a teenage girl working at a fast food restaurant who was subject to abuse from supervisors due to a phone caller who claimed to be a police officer. It received fabulous reviews and is certain to provoke some sort of emotional reaction. Also sure to bring out emotions (from the kids) is Frankenweenie, the animated Tim Burton/Disney tale of a beloved dog brought back to life.

SERIES: Laura Dern won a Golden Globe award for her performance in Enlightened, an HBO series about an executive who tries to get her life back together following a nervous breakdown. Diane Ladd, her real-life mother, co-stars. Another highly anticipated series, NBC's Smash, arrives this week, bringing us the story of the creation of a Broadway musical. Also this week, Showtime gives us season 2 of Episodes, the entertaining tale of the American adaptation of a British tv show, starring Matt LeBlanc.

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