Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 3/26/13: Lincoln, Les Miserables, Parental Guidance

New This Week:

ENTERTAINMENT: He's not just one of our most exceptional presidents, he's a movie star as well! Steven Spielberg's Lincoln focuses on one particular time period in Abraham Lincoln's presidency, as he tries to pass the 13th Amendment while the Civil War rages. Daniel Day-Lewis won his third Oscar for his remarkable turn as our 16th President and the supporting cast of Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Spader also shines. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Another slice of history, albeit one with a lot more singing, is covered in Les Miserables, the latest adaptation of the Broadway musical. Russell Crowe is Inspector Javert, hunting down former thief Hugh Jackman, while Anne Hathaway plays poor unwed mother Fantine. Les Mis was nominated for two Oscars, features a new song and is available on both DVD and Blu-ray.

Also this week, Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star in the wacky family comedy Parental Guidance, playing old-fashioned grandparents who get to babysit the grandkids that they barely know. Also, the gritty Killing Them Softly features Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer who is brought in to restore order after a criminal-protected card game is robbed.

SERIES: If you found the most recent Papal conclave a little boring then pick up season 2 of Showtime's The Borgias for some back-stabbing and manipulation. Jeremy Irons is brilliant as the controversial Rodrigo Borgia. For something a little lighter, check out Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her Emmy-winning role as the US Vice-President in Veep.

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Flick Picks 3/19/13: The Hobbit, Zero Dark 30, This is 40

New This Week!

ENTERTAINMENT: Zero Dark Thirty was shut out at the Oscars (though it had 5 nominations) but was certainly one of the more buzzed-about and controversial movies of the year. It tells the story of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, focusing on one CIA officer's (played by Jessica Chastain) persistence. It's available on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, everybody's favorite hairy-footed protagonist Bilbo Baggins get his own adventure in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part of Peter Jackson's most recent attempt at adapting the J.R.R. Tolkien oeuvre. Martin Freeman is the title character and Ian McKellen reprises his Lord of the Rings role of Gandalf. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. The other big release this week is This is 40, Judd Apatow's latest comedic look at adulthood. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's Knocked Up characters turn 40 while balancing their careers, children and relationship. It too is available on both DVD and Blu-ray.

A couple movies that you might not have heard of also come out this week. The comedy Bachelorette has a great cast of Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher as bridesmaids looking for fun on the night before their friend's wedding. Also this week, the always delightful Parker Posey stars in Price Check as the new boss who pulls one of her executives into her crazy life.

SERIES: A Mind to Kill is a gritty Welsh import about a brilliant detective who seeks to protect his daughter from the criminal world that he knows all too well.

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Flick Picks 3/12/13: Life of Pi, Hitchcock, Rise of the Guardians,

New This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: Which film won four Oscars and costars a computer generated Bengal tiger? Life of Pi, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee, Life of Pi is mysterious, metaphorical and visually stunning. It's based on the Yann Martel novel and wowed audiences worldwide. In our other major release this week, Anthony Hopkins plays Alfred Hitchcock in the film of the same last name. Helen Mirren stars as his wife Alma and the film is centered on their relationship during the filming of Psycho. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray.

There are other interesting options this week as well. Smashed has Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul in the story of a woman who joins Alcoholics Anonymous and is forced to reevaluate her life and relationships after she becomes sober. This Must be the Place provides an unusual role for Sean Penn as a heavy eyeliner-wearing former glam rocker who launches on a road trip following his father's death. Finally, the kids won't want to miss Rise of the Guardians, the animated tale of a group of characters well-known to children (Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy) who battle the boogeyman.

SERIES: New from the BBC is Ripper Street, in which the toughest group of policemen in Victorian England   try to maintain order in post-Jack the Ripper London and keep organized crime under control. Also new is Thorne, a British import starring David Morrissey as detective Tom Thorne, an out-of-the-box thinker who investigates murders while dealing with his own personal demons. It's based on two novels by Mark Billingham.

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Flick Picks 3/5/13: Wreck-It Ralph, The Intouchables

New This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: Wreck-It Ralph, the newest animated hit from Disney, is possibly even more fun for adults than for kids due to its affectionate take on old-school videogames like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. John C. Reilly stars as the voice of Ralph, who wishes to escape the confines of his videogame where he has been cast as the villain. We own this on DVD and Blu-ray. Also this week, California Solo stars the entertaining Robert Carlyle as a former rock star living a quiet life in California who must confront his past and his family relationships when he is threatened with deportation. Finally, the intellectual thriller Collaborator stars Martin Donovan (who also wrote and directed the film) as a playwright whose ex-con former neighbor (David Morse) holds him hostage.

SUBTITLED: The Intouchables is the feel-good French import about the relationship between a wealthy quadriplegic and his Senegalese caretaker. It was a huge hit in France and eventually became a major word-of-mouth success in the United States as well. If you're interested in something well-reviewed but surreal and bizarrre, the French Holy Motors follows a few hours in the life of a man whose identity is unclear.

SERIES: Season 5 of the Canadian police procedural Murdoch Mysteries crosses the border this week.

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