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Nick's Pics
Nick Nicholson
Film & Home Entertainment Critic
 

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


 

DVD REVIEWS

We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Bikini Royale 2, Wallace & Gromit A Matter of Loaf and Death, Wallace and Gromit The Complete Collection (Blu-ray) and/or the Preschool Prep Series on DVD, 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!

My Three Sons is a delightful slice-of-life comedy about the American family. The series chronicles the life of the Douglas family; a seemingly simple premise that was a huge hit with audiences and a keystone of the TV family lineup in the ‘60s. Fred MacMurray delivers a standout portrayal as Steve Douglas, an aeronautical engineer and widower raising his three sons alone.

Let us begin with two words: "Nazi zombies." Let us add two more: "Hitler's gold." Yes, it's true. These are the elements of Dead Snow, a Norwegian horror picture that unleashes an undead blitzkrieg across an otherwise inviting winter landscape. The five vacationing med students who have blundered into this back country in search of fun have no idea that their actions will draw the attention of the aforesaid zombies of the Third Reich (what these reanimated corpses are doing in the mountains of Norway will be explained in good time). It would be nice to report that Dead Snow lives up to the outrageousness of its concept, but far too much of this thing is taken up with standard-issue slasher tropes: self-conscious dialogue about the plot's resemblance to an Evil Dead scenario, gross-out moments for their own sake (a sequence in an outhouse is especially regrettable), and decidedly uneven acting.

12th Century England: It is a deadly time of dark tyranny, black magic and the outlaw archer known as Robin Hood. But when the Sheriff of Nottingham unleashes a winged monster upon the nearby town and woods to massacre Robin’s men and capture Maid Marian, hearts run cold with fear and streets red with blood. Before he can rob from the rich or give to the poor, can The Prince Of Thieves survive the demonic onslaught of a winged beast from another world? Katharine Isabelle co-stars in this chilling new take on the infamous hero from director Peter DeLuise, filled with valor, vengeance and nightmare creatures that take you behind the legend and Beyond Sherwood Forest.

It's hard to say bad things about the boys in Canada's beloved pseudo-reality TV series, which ran 7 seasons, not counting the one-off "Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys" episode, which preceded this movie chronologically and plot-wise. There was also an Ivan Reitman-produced Trailer Park Boys Movie in 2008. Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles get out of prison and attempt once again, to stay out of prison. To their dismay, times have changed, and Sunnyvale has pretty much been abandoned. Bubbles's kitties are missing, and Lahey is now really off the bottle, swindling his ex-wife Barb out of property and using that deal to create the Lahey Luxury Estates. Unfortunately, the new property's main sewer runs underneath Julian's old trailer, so Lahey now has to plot to obtain Julian's land to complete his new utopia. This show is a bit different and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Based on the series of best selling books by Ian Falconer, your kids can enjoy this DVD everyday. Olivia's escapades continue all the while teaching your kids positive messages around friendship, confidence, being a responsible child and all through demonstration and imagination. What a reliable tool tool particularly in today's society. The program is adult friendly as well and provides both creative and easy follow up opportunities for the learning scenarios. I cannot recommend this DVD more highly for anyone with young children.

Here TV recently announced that it has acquired the rights to "Eleven Minutes", a documentary about Jay McCarroll the first winner of "Project Runway". The team of Michael Selditch and Rob Tate, co-producers and co-directors looks at his year's journey while getting ready for his first independent runway show during New York's fashion week and then we watch the selling of his line to stores. This is no gloss over show but rather an in-depth look and exploration of the creative processes as well as the balance between commerce and art, fame, talent and reality. It is interesting to look at McCarroll away from the "Project Runway" frame. Instead we see what he goes through on a daily basis. It has been a while since McCarroll was named "the next great American designer" and the goal of this documentary was to look beyond the pretenses of reality TV and focus on McCarroll's work instead. We see the daily trials of mot only designing a line, putting a fashion show together and then selling the line to stores. Seeing this through McCarroll's eyes shows us the underbelly of the fashion industry and how McCarroll has a love/hate relationship with it.

Nice to see Scooby-Doo alive and well in this 2010 new movie. The major change is that Matthew Lillard from the Scooby live action movies, fills in as the voice of Shaggy. I always thought Matthew was the best of the characters of those somewhat bizarre movies, and here, he's more than adequate but no Casey Kasem. The mystery: a flying half-lion, half-bird monster terrorizes a school for magicians where Velma's sister, who's got a crush on the Shagmeister, elicits the gang's help. A little tension develops between Daphne and Fred over his goo-goo eyes for Whirlen Merlin the Magician's assistant. Scooby Doo rocks for kids of all ages!

Bugs Bunny was, and still is, the epitome of cartoon excellence. This particular package is great for kids to enjoy and is chock full of snippets of cartoons from yesteryear that focus on the Easter holiday. Kids of all ages will learn about the mayhem that can derive from Easter. Both funny and educational, this DVD is not to be missed.

The Collector's Edition offers seven new featurettes (the previous Special Edition only had one documentary), beginning with a sit-down between director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron waxing nostalgic on how the movie originated: He, recently divorced from Penny Marshall, was a miserable single man, while she was the screenwriter who rejected his initial pitch over lunch ("It was a shame," she remembers, "because we hadn't even eaten yet."). It's easy to see that Reiner is clearly Harry, and Ephron is clearly Sally: He's the squawking chatterbox and she's constantly corrects his memory (Sally's meticulous method of ordering food is also a direct rip-off of Ephron herself). Other featurettes show Billy Crystal's attempts to play Harry (or Reiner, as it were); location filming in New York; the love stories that served as interludes between scenes (again, the counselors-at-camp story is from Ephron's parents); the significance of the film over time; and more discussion on the film's famous question: "Can men and women really be friends?" Most of the stories from the featurettes are recycled in the new film commentary by Reiner, Ephron, and Crystal (Reiner mentions that the "I'll have what she's having" line, spoken by his mother, is in the top 10 of AFI's top 100 movie lines no less than five times overall), but the inclusion of Crystal, who contributed many improvised lines in the movie, makes for a nice easygoing repartee.

 

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Contact Filmlords@gmail.com if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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