Nick's Pics Nick
Nicholson Film & Home Entertainment Critic
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TOY STORY 3
It has been 15 years since the lovable Woody graced our screens in the iconic original Toy Story. Seems like that was decades ago, particularly as the Summer season has gotten underway with a boatload of underachieving and mucked-up films that do nothing but make you wish you hadn't wasted your hard earned money. Toy Story 3 is sure to cure the doldrums that we are all experiencing because of our summer of promised blockbusters that have yet to arrive.
Returning with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen's loveable duo of Woody and Buzz are Jessie (Joan Cusack), Hamm (John Ratzenberger) and Mr and Mrs Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris). In addition, we add some new toys to the toy box with the strawberry scented bear Lotso (Ned Beatty), the Ken Doll (Michael Keaton) and the hilarious Mr Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton).
The latest film opens with an incredible action sequence that we discover all takes place within the mind and memory of little Andy (John Morris). We jump forward to discover that the adult Andy is leaving for college and mom demands that he first clean his room and bag up all his toys for storage. As luck has it, mom mistakes the bag of toys for garbage and the adventure soon begins at a preschool day care center!
There is no question this particular installment plays with much darker emotions, including old age and self esteem. Don't get me wrong, this film is still packed full of the laughs and jokes that make Pixar the number one animated film outlet in the world. The final act of the film will have you rolling on the floor gasping for oxygen. Kudos to Disney Pixar for another brilliant product!
Toy Story 3
Starring: Tom Hanks,
Tim Allen & Joan Cusack
Director: Lee Unkrich
Company: Buena Vista
Now Showing: in Local
Theaters this Friday
MPAA Rating: G
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season Seven or True Blood: Season Two, 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!
BOB THE BUILDER: Building from Scratch - HIT Entertainment
The Can-do team gets a new member as Scratch meets the gang in this entertaining DVD. Bob the Builder and his gang show kids all the little details involved in creating a soccer field. They start with the field itself then add floodlights. Viewers see all the details involved in making the field from designd on the computer to actual labor. They also learn the joy of playing when the work is complete. Meanwhile, Scratch is learning some very important life lessons such as team work and the benefits of sleeping when you’re supposed to.
BARNEY: Songs from the Park - HIT Entertainment
Your kids will roar with anticipation over this excellent installment in the Barney saga! Going to the park is always an adventure, especially if you are with Barney and friends. Celebrate the fun of swinging on swings, playing with all sorts of balls and blowing bubbles. Barney always knows how to have a great time through music and stories. Watch fables come alive as the kids act out the story of the lion and the mouse. What do you do if it starts to rain when you’re going to the park? No worries. Barney and the gang sing the rain away. One of the great strengths of this DVD is the way it shows elderly people and young people all enjoying the park together. Barney makes everyone feel loved when he talks about enjoying the day with all his family, which includes his friends. The DVD set also includes a CD of sing-along songs with favorite tunes from the DVD.
SUPERNATURAL: Season One - Warner
Supernatural delivers some of the most satisfying small-screen scares in recent memory. The premise is deceptively simple: brothers Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki from Gilmore Girls and Jensen Ackles, both appealing) travel the darker corners of the American landscape in search of their father, who's gone missing while hunting the malevolent forces that lead to the death of their mother. In the course of their search, the siblings encounter a host of otherworldly creatures, including vampires, ghosts, and witches.
TIMER - Phase 4 Films
The premise is simple -- what if a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate? But it isn't science fiction-y, and even though you feel for what the main character is going through (her timer is one of a handful that doesn't work correctly, and she keeps ending up with the wrong guys again and again), it isn't a "chick flick" either. It's sensitive, slightly dark at times (her sister works in a retirement community -- there are some great one-liners), but overall, a wonderful movie.
A STAR IS BORN: Blu-ray - Warner
"This is Mrs. Norman Maine": Could these be the most heartbreaking words Judy Garland ever uttered? George Cukor directed and Moss Hart wrote this film, a musical remake of the 1937 original. The story is a show-biz classic: He (James Mason) is a major movie star who is past his prime and on the way down; she (Garland) is an aspiring singer who, with his help, becomes a bigger star than he was. Their marriage becomes a seesaw of success and failure, as he slowly drinks himself to death out of bitterness at the fickleness of fame, until his bad behavior begins to threaten the career of his long-suffering and loving wife.
THE LONGEST DAY: Blu-ray - Fox
The Longest Day is Hollywood's definitive D-day movie. More modern accounts such as Saving Private Ryan are more vividly realistic, but producer Darryl F. Zanuck's epic 1962 account is the only one to attempt the daunting task of covering that fateful day from all perspectives. From the German high command and front-line officers to the French Resistance and all the key Allied participants, the screenplay by Cornelius Ryan, based on his own authoritative book, is as factually accurate as possible.
MAN IN THE IRON MASK: Blu-ray - MGM
Leonardo DiCaprio plays dual roles as the despotic King Louis XIV, who rules France with an iron fist, and the king's twin brother, Philippe, who languishes in prison under an iron mask, his identity concealed to prevent an overthrow of Louis' throne. But Louis' abuse of power ultimately enrages Athos (John Malkovich), one of the original Four Musketeers, who recruits his former partners (Gabriel Byrne, Gérard Depardieu, and Jeremy Irons) in a plot to liberate Philippe and install him as the king's identical replacement. Once this plot is set in motion and the Musketeers are each given moments in the spotlight, the film kicks into gear and offers plenty of entertainment in the grand style of vintage swashbucklers.
SANCTUARY: Season Two - E1 Entertainment
Sanctuary has always been a murky, shadowy series, but the second season makes everything much, much darker -- death, insanity, and the biggest baddest Abnormal since... well, ever. The handling of the Cabal and Ashley are pretty clumsy, though the stories that follow are more solid and intense than those of the first season. In the aftermath of the Cabal's worldwide attack, the gang encounters a young con artist named Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi), who has been hired by the Cabal. But when Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and Will (Robin Dunne) go hunting for the Cabal's headquarters, they encounter Ashley (Emilie Fullerup).. who is leading an all-out assault on the Sanctuary. A brilliant show for those that don't mind thinking while they watch television.
MY THREE SONS: Season Two, Volume Two - Paramount
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.
MAKOTO AIDA: A Cynic in the Playground - VIZ Media
This profile on innovative visual artist Makoto Aida takes a look at many of Aida's projects such as the "Human Project" and the legendary "Shinjuku Castle," chronicling his strange and fascinating creative process, and documenting the personal developments that surrounded the development of his ideas.
THE ILLUSIONIST: Blu-ray - Fox
Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, this stately, elegant period film benefited from a crossover release in mainstream cinemas, and showed considerable box-office staying power--granted, teenage mallrats and lusty males may have been drawn to the allure of Seventh Heaven alumna Jessica Biel, who rises to the occasion with a fine performance. But there's equal appeal in the casting of Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, who bring their formidable talents to bear on the intriguing tale of a celebrated magician named Eisenheim (Norton) whose stage performance offends the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), a vindictive lout who aims to marry Duchess Sophie (Biel), Eisenheim's childhood friend and now, 15 years later, his would-be lover.
HORROR HOSPITAL - Dark Sky Films
In swinging '70s London, Jason (Robin Askwith), a Brian Jones doppelgänger, grows weary of the rock scene and decides it's time for a vacation. He responds to a flyer for a "Hairy Holiday" and meets up with Judy (Vanessa Shaw) on the way, but they soon find that their resort is actually a Hippie-to-Zombie Conversion Center, complete with crazed researcher (Michael Gough), evil midget, and lobotomized longhairs. The doctor harvests human heads with a retractable blade attached to his limousine and runs his zombies via remote control. A monster who appears to be made of Silly Putty stalks the grounds and claims an unlucky victim or two, until the midget and heroes plan their escape from the goonatorium.
DON McKAY - Image
With Don McKay, Jake Goldberger puts his stamp on the latter, offering a sad-sack janitor (Thomas Haden Church), who returns to his East Coast hometown when he learns that his old girlfriend, Sonny (Elisabeth Shue), has a terminal illness. Sonny, who spends her days in shiny negligees, wants to get back together, which suits Don just fine, though he has his doubts about Dr. Pryce (James Rebhorn), and Marie (Melissa Leo), Sonny's live-in nurse, who both act more like jealous lovers than medical professionals. When Pryce tries to strangle Don, he kills the man in self-defense and hides the body, turning to his friend, Otis (Keith David), for help, since the police aren't likely to believe him due to the events of the past (Goldberger withholds the details until the end). In the meantime, Don puts up with Sonny's tempestuous seduction act until he can't take it anymore, but escaping her clutches proves unexpectedly difficult, especially once blackmailer Mel (Pruitt Taylor Vince) enters the scene.
YOUTH IN REVOLT: Blu-ray - Sony
Michael Cera adds to his collection of quick-witted young men with his portrayal of 16-year-old Nick Twisp. Born on the trashy side of the Oakland tracks, Nick hates his name almost as much as his life. Everyone he knows, including his divorced parents (Jean Smart and Steve Buscemi), gets more action than he does, but his luck changes when he meets junior femme fatale Sheeni (Portia Doubleday) during a trailer-park vacation. She may have overprotective parents (Mary Kay Place and M. Emmet Walsh) and a boyfriend back at school, but she also likes Jean-Paul Belmondo movies, Serge Gainsbourg records--and Nick. There's just one hitch--she prefers bad boys, so Nick creates cynical, cigarette-smoking alter ego François Dillinger to win her heart. Little does Nick know he's playing with fire--literally--since François gives him license to set his pent-up inhibitions free: he sneaks into Sheeni's private-school dorm, blows up his mother's boyfriend's car (Zach Galifianakis), and trips on magic mushrooms with Sheeni's burnout brother and a radical family friend (Justin Long and Fred Willard).
HUNG: Season One - HBO
High school basketball coach Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) lives in a Detroit devastated by the decline of the auto industry. After an electrical fire destroys his home, he loses custody of his kids to ex-wife Jessica (Anne Heche); joins forces with poet-turned-pimp Tanya (Jane Adams), with whom he once had a fling; and becomes a male escort. Though Drecker's life looks nothing like the one depicted in Boogie Nights, the anatomical anomaly he shares with porn star Dirk Diggler makes him well suited for his new line of work. To ensure that things look legit, Tanya markets Ray as a "happiness consultant." While she attempts to locate clients, he sleeps in a tent until he can inhabit his house again, tries to maintain a relationship with mopey twins Damon (Charlie Saxton) and Darby (Sianoa Smit-McPhee), and wages a stealth war against his image-obsessed neighbor, Howard (Loren Lester). Once Tanya reconnects with Lenore (Rebecca Kreskoff), a forceful fashion consultant, Ray hooks up with a controlling executive (Natalie Zea) and a married woman who could use some TLC (Margo Martindale).
ENTOURAGE: Season Six - HBO
This season really gets Entourage back on track where as the previous season was a downer for the boys while Vinnie wasn't that mega-star that he used to be. Everyone watches this show because they wish the story was about them and this season doesn't disappoint. Vinnie is back to being the star that he is with all the girls vying to be his arm candy. The boys are starting to do a lot more on their own in this season, almost making it appear as though Vinnie is bothered by being alone, but they still come together as a crew as usual to cap the season.
WHEN IN ROME - Disney
Kristen Bell, the growing darling of romantic comedies, crisply portrays the working gal whose life is super organized and rewarding--except for the pesky lack of a real boyfriend. What will it take to loosen her buttoned-down drive and open her heart to a chance at love? Well, when you're as tough a case as Bell's Beth, you're going to need the heavy artillery: Italy. When Beth visits Rome for the wedding of her sister, Joan (Alexis Dziena), she's suddenly awash in the city's romance. She visits the famous fountain d'amore and retrieves coins from it, hoping for magic. When in Rome succeeds because it allows reality to coexist happily with that magic--which brings forth several potential suitors for Beth. Bell is a delightful actress and brings nuance and depth to a role that's rather two-dimensional. Her suitors include Jon Heder, Danny DeVito, and Josh Duhamel, who plays Nick, a wiseacre hunk with a brain behind that self-effacing nature. When Beth suddenly has five men in love with her--one for each coin--she wonders if Nick's feelings are real, or just the fountain's crazy magic.
AIR BUD: Special Edition - Disney
Buddy, the sensational real-life hoop hound with 22,000 career baskets under his collar, stars in this hilarious and touching Disney comedy critics cheered as irresistible family entertainment! When Josh Framm, a 12-year-old boy, finds himself in a new city with no friends, he's too shy to try out for the basketball team. However, while practicing, he meets Buddy, a runaway golden retriever, who surprises him with his ability to score baskets. Josh and Buddy eventually make the school team, and the dog's extraordinary talents spark a media frenzy one that attracts Buddy's greedy former owner (Michael Jeter), who wants to cash in on the dog's notoriety. Boy and dog must keep one step ahead of the brute while at the same time rallying their school team to the state finals! Get ready to be delighted, moved and amazed by Air Bud, a timeless Disney favorite.
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEEN: Volume Four - Disney
In the wake of their breakup, Ben and Amy explore new relationships, though their attraction still lingers. Meanwhile, Ashley tests her parent’s limits, and Anne wants to remarry George on their next anniversary, but will he be able to wait that long? Relive every moment of televison’s celebrated drama – uninterrupted, plus enjoy fascinating bonus features, with The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Four.
SHOWGIRLS: Blu-ray - MGM
Seduction, passion and power struggles unfold when the creators of Basic Instinct, director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas blow the lid off the seemingly glamorous world of Las Vegas show dancing to create one of the most controversial and shocking films of all time. Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) has what it takes to make it as a Las Vegas show girl what she doesn't have is a way in. To survive, she accepts the only job available: lap dancing at a seedy club. And when she meets Cristal (Gina Gershon), Vegas' reigning show girl, Nomi wants everything she has including her boyfriend (Kyle MacLachlan). And as Nomi dives deeper into the world she so desperately desires, a rivalry between the two women heats up. The battle for the spotlight becomes so fiercely competitive that it drives Nomi to desperate lengths and devious heights for fame in Sin City.
THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY: Blu-ray - MGM
Sergio Leone's trilogy of operatic spaghetti Westerns with Clint Eastwood made the former TV star into an international sensation as the scraggly, silent Man with No Name, a wandering rogue with a scheming mind and a sense of humor drier than the dusty, wind-scoured desert. With A Fistful of Dollars, a blatant rip-off of Kurosawa's cynical samurai hit Yojimbo, Leone transforms the Western hero into a crafty mercenary. The follow-up, For a Few Dollars More, teams Eastwood up in an uneasy alliance with Lee Van Cleef in a tale of revenge, but the masterpiece of the set is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, an epic scramble for buried gold set against the violence of the Civil War. In this film good is a relative term as three criminals make a series of tenuous partnerships broken in double-crosses and betrayals in Leone's epic vision of the American southwest as endless deserts and clapboard towns infested with gunmen. This was a new kind of Western: cynical, violent, stylish, and austere. Eastwood's rough face and squinting eyes fill the wide screen frame in massive close-ups while Leone stages action in bold compositions on empty streets and stark landscapes.
LEAVE IT TO BEAVER: Season Three - Shout Factory
America’s quintessential family returns with all of the original, uncut episodes of Leave It to Beaver Season Three. Return to Mayfield for a warm welcome from its most charming family -- the Cleavers: wise pop Ward (Hugh Beaumont), resourceful mother June (Barbara Billingsley), curious older brother Wally (Tony Dow), and lovable, scruffy Theodore "Beaver" (Jerry Mathers). From building a boat to beating a bully to dealing with girls, there’s nothing the two Cleaver boys can’t handle with a little luck and a lot of wholesome, homespun advice. Digitally remastered for optimum picture and audio quality, this 1957-1963 sitcom is as enjoyable today for its ‘50s nostalgia as it was then for its modern, understated humor.
ELVIS: 75th Birthday Collection - Fox
Elvis Presley holds the throne as "The King" of rock n' roll. Music was his forte, but he did dabble in film for awhile and the results were a mixed bag. In honor of his 75th birthday which he won't be able to celebrate for himself, Fox has released the Elvis 75th Birthday Collection. If the set is good for anything it's for showing his progress as an actor from his first film ever, Love Me Tender, up to Clambake, made in the final three years of Elvis's acting profession.
TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY: Complete Series - Shout Factory
Action, adventure, international intrigue, and exotic ambiance combine in Tales Of The Gold Monkey. This 22-hour long series is set in a backwater corner of the South Pacific a young American adventurer, Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins), and his ragtag group of friends become involved in death-defying hi-jinx, transporting people-on-the-run in a well-worn Grumman Goose seaplane. Broadcast by ABC in early 80s, the series became a massive hit following in the wake of Raiders of The Lost Ark. Set in 1938, this series captures the ambiance and character of a mysterious romantic era.