Blog: Flick Picks

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Flick Picks 7/23/13: Trance, Ginger and Rosa

New This Week

ENTERTAINMENT: A thief (James McAvoy) receives a blow to his head during a robbery and cannot remember what happened to the $27 million dollar painting that he had stolen in the exciting Trance. The wonderful French actor Vincent Cassel is his partner and Rosario Dawson is the sexy hypnotist who tries to uncover the secret. Director Danny Boyle brought us Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours so he knows his way around tension and action. Our indie pick this week is Director Sally Potter's Ginger and Rosa, the story of two best friends growing up in London who are affected by the potential of nuclear war in different ways. The movie has a fantastic cast that includes Elle Fanning, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt and Annette Bening.

SERIES: From Canada, the drama The Border follows the Canadian Immigration and Customs Security Squad as it deals with a post-9/11 Toronto.

DOCUMENTARIES: Defiant Requiem tells of a group of Jews in a concentration camp who were recruited by an imprisoned Czech conductor to sing Verdi's Requiem for fellow prisoners and eventually for high-ranking SS officers. The Terezin concentration camp is also the site where years later a performance of the concert drama The Defiant Requiem would be presented in memory of those original performers.

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Flick Picks 7/16/13: 42, Evil Dead, Solomon Kane

New This Week!

ENTERTAINMENT: Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers' team executive who decided to integrate baseball, in 42. Rickey would carefully select Jackie Robinson from the world of talented African-American baseball candidates based on both skill and Robinson's perceived ability to deal with the challenges of playing in a segregated and often racist environment. Little known Chadwick Boseman does an excellent job as Robinson in this powerful drama. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray. Also out this week is the horror remake Evil Dead, in which an unseen power makes bloody things happen in a cabin in the woods. If you enjoy swords and sorcery flicks then Solomon Kane, which features James Purefoy and Max Von Sydow, might be your cup of tea. Based on a character by Conan creator Robert E. Howard and set in 1600s England, this film follows the title character - a formerly ruthless killer who has changed his ways - who is brought of retirement out to fight demons. Our indie pick for the week is Wild Bill, a working class British drama with plenty of comedic splashes that follows a recently paroled drug dealer who reluctantly agrees to play dad to his two children.

SERIES: The United Kingdom comes through once again with two very worthy new titles. If you were curious about what Inspector Morse was as a young man then you'll want to check out Endeavor, which follows him soon after he joins the Oxford police force. Orphan Black is a sci-fi mystery series in which a woman assumes another woman's identity, which turns out to be a poor decision. The series is full of twists and turns so the less said here, the better. Not to ignore American tv as we now have the fifth and final season of the Glenn Close legal drama Damages as well as the second season of AMC's western series Hell on Wheels.

DOCUMENTARIES: One of the great pleasures of the series Mad Men is its concern for period accuracy, so why not check out Bert Stern: Original Mad Man and see where this is all coming from? Bert Stern was a photographer on Madison Avenue who was not only a great influence on advertising but also produced many iconic photos.

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Flick Picks 7/9/13: Admission, The Host, Dead Man Down

New This Week!

ENTERTAINMENT:  It's hard to imagine a better comedic couple than Tina Fey and Paul Rudd and Admission teams them up and lets them do what they do best. The film is about a Princeton admissions officer (Fey) who reconnects with a former college acquaintance (Rudd) who is a teacher who feels that one of his unconventional students is Princeton material. It was directed by Paul Weitz who also brought us About a Boy and Being Flynn. Also this week, the Stephenie Meyer book that's not part of the Twilight series comes to your home entertainment system. The Host stars Saoirse Ronan in the sci-fi tale of humans who must resist alien invaders that want to invade their bodies. We've got it on DVD and Blu-ray.

Colin Farrell is the man looking for revenge against the mob and Noomi Rapace is also looking for her own brand of vengeance in Dead Man Down, the first American film for the director of the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The controversial Spring Breakers, which features young stars Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson in more mature roles, brings us the story of four girls who become involved with a rapper (James Franco) while on vacation in Florida. Debauchery, decadence and violence ensue. Our indie pick this week is the feel-good comedy Boy, a film set in rural New Zealand about a kid who idolizes Michael Jackson and his soon-to-be released from prison father. It's both hilarious and insightful about Kiwi culture.

SERIES: This week brings us a third season of the hipster comedy Portlandia.

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Flick Picks 7/2/13: 56 Up, The Girl

It's a slow week this week due to the 4th of July holiday but there are still a few new releases that you won't want to miss.

ENTERTAINMENT: Abbie Cornish stars in the heartfelt drama The Girl, the story of a Texas mother who begins smuggling illegal immigrants over the border after losing her daughter to foster care.

DOCUMENTARIES: The (mostly) Michael Apted-helmed series that began in 1964 with Seven Up! reaches its latest installment  (the 8th in the series) 56 Up. Every 7 years, Apted revisits a number of British men and women to see how their lives have changed since they were 7 years old. The pleasure of this film series comes from seeing how these people change over the years, so be sure to pick up the previous installments if you haven't seen them.

SERIES: The critically acclaimed Sundance series Rectify arrives this week. This drama follows a man whose death sentence is vacated due to new DNA evidence as he attempts to reenter society after 19 years.

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