Nick's Pics Nick
Nicholson Film & Home Entertainment Critic
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IRON MAN 2
Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster film reuniting director Jon Favreau and Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. In Iron Man 2, the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.
When Iron Man originally flew into theaters near you two years ago, it was akin to a rebirth in the super hero film genre. What Favreau was able to accomplish was pantamount to discovering plutonium. Could a super hero film actually be serious and, not to mention, a good movie, too? He proved with the original it could be done, even with the silly one liners that peppered the script. The selection of Downey Jr. as Tony Stark raised some eyebrows initially, however after having seen the first film, all trepidations were removed. When Robert Downey Jr. declared that he was Iron Man, he wasn't kidding. Downey plays the part with the exact combination of bravado and gusto necessary to keep such a narcissistic figure in check with the audience. Everything you loved about the first film has been included in the latest installment. The banter between Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow), the loving sidekick of James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and the new character of Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) all make this film go. Of special note, Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko is absolutely brilliant! Wonderful story, spot on casting and fantastic effects make this a powder keg of a summer blockbuster that is sure to please anyone with the gift of hearing and sight!
Iron Man 2
Starring: Robert Downey Jr.
and Don Cheadle
Director: Jon Favreau
Now Showing: in Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: PG-13
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES
Based on a novel by Eduardo Sacheri, Argentinean writer-director-editor Juan Jose Campanella has created a multi-layered and poignant thriller interweaving the personal lives of a state prosecution investigator and a judge, with a manhunt spanning twenty-five years. Recently retired criminal court investigator Benjamin (Ricardo Darin), decides to write a novel based on a twenty-five year old unresolved rape and murder case, which still haunts him. Sharing his plans with Irene (Soledad Villamil), the beautiful judge and former colleague he has secretly been in love with for years, Benjamin’s initial involvement with the case is shown through flashbacks, as he sets out to identify the murderer. But Benjamin’s search for the truth will put him at the center of a judicial nightmare, as the mystery of the heinous crime continues to unfold in the present, testing the limits of a man seeking justice and personal fulfillment at last.
This film represents an emotional tug of war that will keep you engaged and guessing until the end of the film. The sheer energy and power of this picture will leave you exhausted by the end. The characters play off each other remarkably well and the chemistry between their emotional attachments is very believable. The relationship between Benjamin and his client who happened to be the victim's husband, Ricardo (Pablo Rago) represents the parallel between love lost as well as love never known. There is plenty of comic relief as well as we constantly cheer for Benjamin's personal assistant and drunken partner, Sandoval, amiably portrayed by Guillermo Francella. The bottom line is this film is a brilliant story with developments that you will not see coming. This film is in Spanish with English subtitles so whether you like foreign films or not, if you are fan of cinema, you must see this movie. Without question, this is unequivocally one of the best films of the year.
The Secret in Their Eyes
Starring: Ricardo Darin & Soledad Villamil
Director: Juan Jose Campanella
Company: Sony Pictures Classics
Now Showing: in Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: R
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Legend of the Tsunami Warrior 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!
PULLING JOHN - Indie Pix
Pulling John, directed by Vassiliki Kohnsari and Sevan Mattossian, is a documentary that was shot over four years in Japan, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, Poland, and the U.S. The story concerns three athletes in the world of arm wrestling: All-American Champion John Brzenk and challengers Alexey Voevoda from Russia and Travis Bagent from West Virginia. John Brzenk started in arm wrestling at a very young age and after finally beating his father, he began competitions right after high school. The older footage of Brzenk around age 18 is very funny because of his haircut but what is astounding about his career in this sport is that he remained the undefeated world champion for twenty-five years. Even more impressive is that he competed in Heavy Weight class and was able to defeat Super Heavy Weights to become World Class Champion. After so much success, Brzenk was undecided on whether to retire while still on top of the game or to fade slowly into the dust. He ultimately decides to get back into the game and go up against these other two titans getting lots of buzz. He still works his job as an airline mechanic because of the free airplane trips it affords him. For any fan of sports DVDs.
18 KIDS AND COUNTING: Season Three - Discovery
The Duggar family may well be the best-known large family in history. Famous the world around for having 18 children all from one intrepid mother, this brood draws attention and questions wherever they go. And with mom Michelle and father Jim Bob barely in their forties, there's a good chance the family will grow even larger before their baby birthing days are done! With kids ranging in ages from less than a year up to age 20, there's never a shortage of interesting events around this place. In fact, even the simplest things are complex when your family's this big - laundry, dinners, home schooling, any trip out in public, it all takes brilliant organization and every individual pitching in for the good of the whole. I am not going to get on my soap box, but why would you have that many kids? There should be a law against it.
LEGEND OF THE TSUNAMI WARRIOR - Magnet
Thai film Legend of the Tsunami Warrior mixes fantasy, Thai-boxing, Hong Kong Cinema and a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean together for a far-fetched martial arts fantasy that is fun to watch when the action starts, but bogs down when the plot becomes the focus. It’s the 17th century and the port city of Langkasuka and its Princess are under attack by the pirate prince Black Raven. An arms race ensues to build the most devastating cannon based on the design of a Dutch master, but neither side is successful. The race shifts to trying to capture the great sunken cannon from the bottom of the sea. It will lead to decisive victory for the side that brings it up first. The only people capable of lifting the cannon from its watery bed, however, are those who practice “Dum-Lum,” an ancient form of magic that allows one to control the waters and the fishes in the sea.
SURVIVORS: Complete Original Series - BBC
Terry Nation's drama series Survivors, broadcast by the BBC between 1975 to 1977, was one of the most popular series of all time. Set in a post-apocalyptic, present day world ravaged by a devastating plague, Survivors explored how humanity would cope in a world stripped of modern technology and comforts. The disease struck quickly and with devastating effect - a global plague that, in Britain, spares just a few thousand people. This is the chilling story of some of those who survive -- Jenny, Greg, Abby and others -- determined to construct a new community from the surrounding wasteland where the technology and skills of the old life have become obsolete. Survivors is a thought-provoking and involving series that explores the aftermath of a man-made biological catastrophe that's even more plausible these days than it was back in the Seventies. Sound and broadcast quality of all the episodes is good and the accompanying booklet is especially informative and well-produced, with very useful background information and essays.
DOCTOR WHO: The Masque of Mandragora - BBC
The Mandragora Helix has hitched a ride via the TARDIS! The Doctor and Sarah land in Italy in the 14th Century, unaware of the evil they have brought with them. The design of the story is excellent, including the new(old?) TARDIS console room. But the story feels a little off kilter, it could have been an excellent three parter. Count Frederico isn't that bad of a character, the same with Heironymous. But at the end, the Doctor merely short circuits the Helix, and claiming that it would return in the latter half of the 20th Century (a sequel hunting ending with no sequel)! An atypical pseudo-historical adventure.
DOCTOR WHO: The Curse of Peladon - BBC
With its grown-up storyline, believable characters and interesting, well-thought-out alien society, this is Dr Who as it should be. The sets are great and the plot, which involves a primitive society's fear or technology, is filled with 'whodunnit' suspense. The Ice Warriors are at their best. Ice Lord Izlyr especially comes across as one of the strongest and most interesting alien characters the program has seen. A true classic.
DOCTOR WHO: The Monster of Peladon - BBC
In the penultimate Jon Pertwee story, this sequel to The Curse of Peladon takes place fifty years after the Doctor's first visit, only this time, he has Sarah Jane in tow. He was meaning to revisit Peladon (both the planet and king), but Thalira, Peladon's daughter, is the monarch. High Priest Hepesh's successor is Ortron, who is chancellor and high priest. And once again, they are in the middle of a crisis with many complications.
UNDEAD: The Vampire Collection - Mill Creek
Sink your fangs into this immortal collection of 20 frighteningly delicious films featuring some of the most legendary vampire flicks of all time. From Bela Lugosi to Paul Naschy, the most beloved bloodsuckers of yesterday and today are all together in one terrifying compilation. Just a few of the twenty films included are Atom Age Vampire: Euro-horror from 1960, this isn't strictly about vampires. It's about a mad scientist who needs to kill women in order to keep his disfigured girlfriend looking more like a model and less like a plate of pulled pork. In the so-bad it's-good category. Blood of Dracula's Castle: Dracula & Mrs. Dracula live in a castle in the Arizona desert (???) and drink the blood of their victims from martini glasses. John Carradine is their butler George and Ray Young is their brutal servant Mango. A hip young couple buys the castle and attempts to move in while moving the Draculas out. It's funny and weird and worth a watch. The Last Man on Earth: This classic horror film is Vincent Price's take on the also classic novel, "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson. It's well worth watching. Get out and pick this set up today!
HAMLET: Blu-ray - BBC
Hamlet doesn't need any introduction -- the tortured Dane, the ghost, meditations on suicide and a climax full of death. But while many adaptations of Shakespeare's classic play feel stuffy and distant, this version of Hamlet has it all -- sleek elegant sets, powerful acting, and clever modern twists on the age-old stuff. And the best part is the brilliant performances by David Tennant and Patrick Stewart. Prince Hamlet of Denmark (Tennant) is understandably upset when, only a short time after his father's death, his mother Gertrude (Penny Downie) marries his uncle Claudius (Stewart). But when Hamlet encounters the tormented ghost of his father (Stewart again), he learns that his dad was murdered by his uncle -- but he's plagued by indecision, since he's unsure if the spirit was truly his dad. Hamlet's behavior becomes more bizarre and erratic -- he dumps his girlfriend Ophelia (Mariah Gale), arranges a play that mimics real life a little too closely, and generally acts like a loon (yodeling with a fake crown?). But when an argument with his mother ends in tragedy, Hamlet's fate is sealed as Claudius begins plotting to get rid of him too.
LEGION: Blu-ray - Sony
God has lost faith in humanity, something that hasn't happened since the days of Noah. But instead of a flood, He has sent down a legion of angels, who possess the bodies of weak-minded people, turning them into - certainly not demons, but then again, there's nothing angelic about these people, so maybe there's no other way to describe them. Anyway, it seems the only one who has kept the faith is the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany), who directly disobeys God by protecting what he was sent to destroy: A pregnant young waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), whose child was prophesized to be humanity's salvation. Upon finding her in a middle-of-nowhere New Mexico diner - named, appropriately, Paradise Falls - Michael leads a stranded group of strangers in an apocalyptic battle against the angels, who descend in droves.
YESTERDAY WAS A LIE - E1 Entertainment
Yesterday Was a Lie is a love story for cerebral cineastes. It was a delight to watch after dinner with a philosophy professor friend and three glasses of wine, and it belongs right up there with your volumes of Wittgenstein. Upon more sober viewing, my analytic mind felt challenged. Actually, this reflects the film's purposeful plotting. The film exemplifies Godard's maxim that all it takes to make a movie is a girl and a gun. In this case the lead female character(s) are two lovely blondes (Chase Masterson and newcomer Kipleigh Brown). Each so cleverly resembles the other that one is reminded of Bunuel's That Discreet Object of Desire, the surrealist flick where two separate actresses played one character. This film is a handful and if you like suspense, this will definitely light your fire.