Nick's Pics Nick
Nicholson Film & Home Entertainment Critic
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FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Water Life on Blu-ray, Uncle Nino on Blu-ray, The First of May or Carnival Magic on Blu-ray, it is really easy! All you have to do is send me an email at HoustonMovieGuy@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!
THE TEMPTATION OF ST. TONY - Olive Films
The Temptation of St. Tony is the story of a manager reassessing is reason for living. The film with an old school look and conversation that accelerates and decelerates at the drop of a hat will keep you on the edge of your seat. The story is powerful, particularly in combination with the incredible soundtrack. The acting, story and direction are unbelievably powerful. Give this film a try. I am sure you will enjoy it!
EVERYDAY BLACK MAN - E1 Entertainment
Moses is a small-time shopkeeper of a fruit and vegetable store that might have seen better days, but also very well might have not. He does his best though, acting as a father figure to both Claire (Tessa Thompson), a young woman in his charge, and Sonny (Corey Jackson), who helps out in the store. When Malik (Omari Hardwick), a young, handsome representative from the local mosque, comes by with a promise of money in exchange for usage of his store, and a sharing of the profits from his sweets (previously unnecessary in a fruit stand), Moses is skeptical, but eventually accedes under the promise of new funds and community development. But Malik’s religiosity is actually a front for his drug business, a particularly sore sport for Moses, and his inroads in community development are part of his cynical grab for power. Moses figures this out long before anyone else does, and then takes it upon himself to halt Malik’s plan. The story is somewhat predictable however the film is well done and worth the purchase!
ULTIMATE JORDAN: Blu-ray - Image
This is an incredible bargain. I always said that if Air Time came out on DVD, I would get it, but boy did they outdo themselves!! All these pieces show why Jordan is not just the greatest baller on earth, but also why he is an incredible individual in every aspect of life. There is truth to the statement "I wanna be like Mike!". The highlights are incredible, the sound (5.1 decoding) is breath-taking, and the features are superb....This DVD set should be worth $50 easily, yet look at the deal. As an avid player also, I must say that even if you are not a Jordan fan (at least not until you see these pieces) you will greatly appreciate this set as you get to see the mental points that made Jordan the best ever.
CONFESSIONS OF AN AMERICAN BRIDE - A&E
First off, if you've ever had doubts about a current relationship, this movie is for you. I just got done watching it with a fine bottle of muscato wine. I must say this movie has exemplified almost all of my feelings I have when I'm in a serious relationship. What if there is someone else out there? What if I never sleep with another man again? What if the relationship does a complete 180? What if the man of my current dreams isn't what he seems? I felt that almost all of these issues were brought into perspective in this movie. The man she meets seems too good to be true, her crush from a previous life comes back to bring all of her feelings and or fears (any normal person's fears anyway) into the forefront less than 6 months before her wedding day! The movie is comically laid out, little tidbits that break into the movie of her in a perfectly pristine environment in all white explaining her doubts, fears and all of her desperate wantings which is good, it is as if you're brought into her mind after hitting a pause button as she narrates.
DOCTOR WHO: The Movie - BBC
Made to re-launch television's most famous time traveler, Doctor Who: The Movie is an expensive feature-length episode which attempts to continue the classic series and work as a stand-alone film. Transporting the remains of the Master, Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor is diverted to San Francisco in 1999. Regenerating in the form of Paul McGann, the Doctor gains a new companion in heart surgeon Dr. Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook) and must stop the Master from destroying the world. All of which might have been fine, had not the most eccentrically British of programs been almost entirely assimilated by the requirements of American network broadcasting. Matthew Jacobs' screenplay is literally nonsense, dependent on arbitrary, unexplained events while introducing numerous elements that contradict established Doctor Who mythology. The Tardis is re-imagined as a bizarre pre-Raphaelite/Gothic folly, while the Doctor, now half-human, becomes romantically involved with his lady companion.
DOCTOR WHO: The Mutants - BBC
Jon Pertwee's Doctor is sent by the Time Lords to deliver a mysterious sealed container to an unknown recipient. So begins "The Mutants," the penultimate adventure in the ninth series of Doctor Who (1972), a run that also included "The Sea Devils" and "The Day of the Daleks." The Doctor and Jo (Katy Manning), find themselves on a space station belonging to Earth's crumbling 30th-century empire, while below the planet Solos is on the verge of independence, a situation the corrupt Marshal (Paul Whitsun-Jones) is at pains to avert. What follows is a tale of opposing factions, assassination, genetic mutations, and running around in caves.
JOHN WAYNE: Bigger than Life - Synergy Entertainment
This special 3 disc Collector's Edition John Wayne box set includes the Bigger Than Life documentary, rare TV appearances, movie trailers, The American West documentary by John Ford, the feature McLintock, and much more! My brother is a lifelong John Wayne fan, so I got this for him for his birthday and we spent the last 2 nights (so far) watching it. What a total bonanza of rare footage, interviews with John Wayne (and many people who worked with him and knew him), and great documentary stuff. My dad was in cowboy heaven the whole time--and I have to say, I'm now a massive John Wayne fan myself! There's also a 3rd DVD with the movie McClintock on it that we haven't even got to yet. This is a total 'must' for fans The Duke.
STAG NIGHT - Lionsgate
A bachelor party goes from good night to nightmare when the groom to be (Kip Pardue), his troublemaker brother (Breckin Meyer), a stripper (Vinessa Shaw), and some others all run afoul of a crew of underground cannibals when they accidentally get off mid-stop on the subway. What follows is the usual brand of chasing around with blood flowing aplenty, and for what it is, Stag Night surprisingly works. The acting isn't bad, the bloody bits are satisfying, and there's even a bit of genuine surprises as well. Still, it isn't perfect, but Stag Night offers no more and no less than what it is, which is a not half bad horror/slasher flick that delivers most of what horror fans look for in the first place.
GREEN PARADISE - Questar
Nobody does better than Questar when it comes to programs on travel. Whether you are looking to visit the Americas, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, or Oceana, what Questar has put together with Green Paradise is a six DVD set that is a must own for anyone that enjoys travel. Each installment provides a long look into what each locale has to offer. The views will mesmerize you and, with the right television, you'll swear you are there yourself! Pick up Green Paradise and you will be in a viewers paradise.
LES MISERABLES - Universal
Wow! What an outstanding concert presentation of this opera-like musical adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel "Les Miserables", which has been a worldwide sensation for over 25 years. This 25th anniversary concert, taped on October 3, 2010 before a wildly enthusiastic audience of several thousand at the cavernous O2 Arena in London, was simply superb--the production values (state-of-the-art lighting, audio, and video), the fantastic talent assembled on the stage, including performers from several companies--all in costume--and a huge back-up chorus all contributed to an amazing performance. Notable among the cast were Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Katie Hall as Cosette, and Norm Lewis as Javert. Much unfair criticism has been heaped upon pop singer Nick Jonas, who plays the part of Marius, the young student who falls in love with, and eventually marries, Cosette. While his voice is not operatic, his voice is nonetheless fairly good and with his boyish good looks, he is very convincing as the young idealistic student who becomes the love interest of Cosette.
WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A Man Within - Oscilloscope
A tender, vibrant portrait of the life and work of a Beat Generation icon, A Man Within is an intimate documentary that breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time. Burroughs was one of the first writers to break the boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s. His novel Naked Lunch is one of the most recognized and respected literary works of the 20th century and has influenced generations of artists. William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is a probing yet loving look at the man whose works savaged conservative ideals, spawned counter cultural movements, and reconfigured 20th century culture.
48 HOURS: Blu-ray - Paramount
Before the action-oriented "buddy movie" formula settled into place in the 1980s and 1990s with the Lethal Weapon films, Walter Hill's 48 HRS. presented a much more irreverent and politically incorrect version of the genre. Eddie Murphy made an auspicious film debut alongside veteran Nick Nolte's consummate performance as a worn cop. Murphy plays a convict on a two-day furlough from prison to help capture his former partner (James Remar). The intense animosity between his character and Nolte's impatient detective is rude and violent--albeit in a comic way--and the film's racist and sexist banter is so ubiquitous that some viewers might be turned off. (This early, raw Murphy is not the Murphy of The Nutty Professor.) Then again, sometimes deliberate overkill is funny in itself, which is certainly closer to Hill's intention.
TOP GEAR: 14 - BBC
Season fourteen of Top Gear was cram packed with danger, laughs, and excitement, one of the best seasons thus far! Seven full length episodes (run time approximately 406 minutes for 7 episodes, special features run about 80 minutes), along with audio commentary from their South American Special (hilarious!), behind the scenes Celeb in the reasonably priced car, and many other extras.
TOP GEAR 15 - BBC
If you are a serious fan of Top Gear, getting the Blu-ray version definitely is a plus. This season of Top Gear starts off with James, driving a Toyota Toyota Hilux into a volcano to see how invincible the truck truly is. This is the same vehicle they used on their Polar Special. Then the team is sent out on a challenge to find used sport sedans for cheap, and you can only imagine all of their shenanigans and so call "challenges" they have to perform. The Blu-ray version also includes some behind the scenes with Celebs in the reasonably priced car, outtakes, and extended scenes.
GET LOW: Blu-ray - Sony
Comedies about death aren't exactly a novel proposition, but Get Low, which draws from a real 1930s incident, leaves the gallows humor behind for a lighter touch. After losing the love of his life 40 year before, Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) has lived like a hermit ever since. With death on the horizon and guilt weighing him down, the "crazy ol' nutter" decides to go out with a party. As he tells funeral director Frank Quinn (Bill Murray in top form), "Time for me to get low." Frank and his assistant, Buddy (Duvall's Sling Blade costar Lucas Black), find the request bizarre--since Felix plans to attend--but they can't afford to turn him down. Quips Quinn, "One thing about Chicago, people know how to die. People are dying in bunches, but not around here." So, they fit Felix for a suit, post invitations up around Caleb County, and set up a land raffle to encourage everyone to show.
DUE DATE - Warner
Due Date is such a broad comedy, it needs the width of the whole United States in which to play out. Director Todd Phillips lets the gross-out comedic charms of his frequent star Zach Galifianakis run wild, which is exactly what Galifianakis fans want. And Robert Downey Jr. reminds viewers of his appealing straight-man comic talents, too. Due Date is like Planes, Trains and Automobiles meets Nine Months with a little of The Odd Couple thrown in. The writing of Due Date is uneven--perhaps a result of its having had a minimum of six screenwriters working on it. And run time, at only 100 or so minutes, seems much longer. But Due Date gets its energy and charge from its two stars and from Phillips's slaphappy direction. Galifianakis plays Ethan, who's a version of every character Galifianakis has played to date--slovenly, irresponsible, and uncensored.
WEEDS: Season Six - Lionsgate
After the rather low key Seasons 4 and 5 (great in their own right, but vastly different from Seasons 1, 2 and 3), Weeds seemed like it was heading for it's end. In all honesty, where could this series possibly go? Well, the answer awaits in the immensely rewarding 6th Season. After the shocking events in the 5th Season's finale, Nancy and the gang (minus Celia, which is a blessing since the show didn't need her anymore), are off on the road. Sending the characters on the run was a risky but inspired move because it exhausts them dramatically, puts them in contact with some wacky people and locations (adding much of the humor missing from Season 5), adds a real sense of urgency and danger and keeps the pace brisk and engaging. What works best about sending Nancy and Co on the lam is that it also lets the show backtrack it's history, letting the characters come to terms with what they have done over the years. It's in that self reflective nature that the show brings in a wholly unexpected emotional level. The finale here is not necessarily shocking in terms of plot, but shocking for what Nancy does emotionally, when you see it, you will never think she had it in her. Season Six of Weeds is decidedly different in almost every aspect, but it also brings all of the shows past seasons into a greater light.
NURSE JACKIE: Season Two - Lionsgate
At the end of season one we are left with Jackie Peyton unconscious on the floor after swallowing enough meds to tranquilize an elephant. You would think that there *might* be a little bit of fallout from that in the beginning of season two - but you'd be wrong. Not only is Jackie back at work on episode 1 of season 2, but apparently no one noticed the two missing vials of narcotics - or it's attributed to "spillage". While some may argue that it was shown later on that Jackie had access to the other Nurses' PINs for the Pill-o-matic, at the season finale of season one, we clearly saw that she logged into the machine as herself. Continuing on the "zero resolution" train, Dr. O'Hara's loss of her mother is completely glossed over in a single episode, and Eddie has now become the resident creepy stalker type. Season two also lost Haaz Sleiman (Nurse MoMo) but gained Arjun Gupta (as the recovering drug addict, Nurse Sam); an unfortunate swap in my eyes, as MoMo was a much more interesting character than the one-dimensional Nurse Sam. Luckily Thor, Miss Akalitus, Dr. O'Hara, Dr. Cooper and Nurse Zoey have all stuck around. The plot and character development in Season Two is all over the place with no apparent focus or relation to Season One. For instance whereas Dr. Cooper in Season One was a bright-faced young rookie of a Doctor who was wanting to make friends with everyone on staff, suddenly in season two he is the snitch, the whiner, and a backstabber. Pharmacist Eddie went from being the nice guy who was suckered by Jackie into a pseudo-stalker/psychopath and 100% jerk. While you felt some twinge of emotion for Eddie being the sucker in season one, in season two he's willing to destroy not only Jackie's life, but her husband and children's lives as well - at which point you wonder if he has any redeeming characteristics left.
HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE:
Volume One & Two - Mill Creek
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a landmark in children s television history, being the first nationally syndicated television program based on a successful toy line. Originally produced from 1983-1985 by world renowned Filmation studios and syndicated until 1990, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has experienced consistent popularity over the years, demonstrated by its two subsequent animated series which aired in 1990 1991 and 2002 2004 as well as its multi-year run as an exceptionally successful toy and merchandising line for Mattel. Join forces with He-Man and the powerful Masters of the Universe and go up against the evil forces of Skeletor to save the planet Eternia and to protect the secrets of Castle Grayskull. To stop Skeletor s evil plot to conquer the universe, He-Man, under the guidance of the mystical Sorceress, must use his superhuman power to wage an epic battle against the evil warlord and his army of henchman. Now, you can experience the magic of hearing He-Man proclaim By the power of Grayskull! all over again, thanks to this collection of all 65 episodes from the first season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Join Prince Adam/He-Man as he mounts the fearless Battlecat and, aided by his loyal cohorts Man at Arms, Teela and Orko, clashes with Skeletor and his crew of devilish villains.
COOKIE JAR COPS: Volume One - Mill Creek
C.O.P.S. (Central Organization of Police Specialists) is an animated television series created by DiC Entertainment in the 1980s. The police officers fight crime in a future time against Big Boss and his gang of crooks. I still enjoy watching this series as much as I did back then. This DVD release features the first 32 episodes of C.O.P.S. This program is worth the purchase for any family that enjoy classic television cartoons!
JOHNNY QUEST: Season 1 & 2 - Mill Creek
Baby boomers of a certain age, and anyone fond of classic Hanna Barbera cartoons, might find the 40-year-old episodes in Jonny Quest an exciting blast from the past. Five years before Hanna Barbera made a comedy about amateur youths solving exotic mysteries in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, the animation giant captured a more serious spirit from a different era in Jonny Quest. The series played on prime time television--a very big deal for animation at the time--in 1964, and was infused with energy from sundry pop trends as well as cold war paranoia and a prevailing belief in limitless technology (largely inspired by America's race to the moon). Part intelligence thriller, part science fiction, Jonny Quest made a child's adventure out of thwarting international espionage and sabotage with super-computers, state-of-the-art transportation to every corner of the planet, an apparently bottomless budget for building fantastic weapons, martial arts, and more. The fact that schoolboy Jonny, as well as his best friend, Hadji, and canine companion Bandit, were having adventures akin to those of James Bond was terribly exciting.
TOP 100 NFL's GREATEST PLAYERS - Warner
NFL films made another masterpiece with their list of the top 100 greatest players of all time. Each player is presented by a significant sports figure(athlete, writer, coach, owner, etc.) and each segment is filled with the great NFL Films footage of that players greatest moments. The narration is perfected as is the NFL films music. If I had one complaint its that some players get ranked too low. Barry Sanders, Randy Moss, Brett Favre, Michael Strahan and many others were ranked somewhat low in my opinion but otherwise this is a great product for any football fan.