Nick's Pics Nick
Nicholson Film & Home Entertainment Critic
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THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE
Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of Millennium magazine, has made his living exposing the crooked and corrupt practices of establishment Swedish figures. So when a young journalist approaches him with a meticulously researched thesis about sex trafficking in Sweden and those in high office who abuse underage girls, Blomkvist immediately throws himself into the investigation.
The Girl Who Played with Fire is the middle installment in a trio of books by the impressive Stieg Larsson. This picture picks up a year after the conclusion of the first film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The main character, one Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), is returning from Stockholm to find her partner, Mikael Blomkvist (Miachael Nyqvist) knee deep in the middle of a story on the sex trade. Somehow the two are still connected after their time apart and as fate would also have it, a murder is committed shortly after her return and Salander is pegged as the killer. The story develops around the investigation done by the authorities, as well as the duo of Salander and Blomkvist, and the facts that soon come to light.
The chemistry between Rapace and Nykqvist is absolutely impeccable. Both represent the intrigue and confusion necessary to pull of these roles without seeming trite or confused. After reading the trio of books, I am convinced that the director (Daniel Alfredson) did a remarkable job coaxing the performances out of the actors. I simply couldn't imagine any other actors portraying these parts - which we may be forced to see soon enough. Plans are for an American version of the trio of films to be created soon. Why? Simply because this isn't an American series? Geez...but I digress.
Simply put, this isn't a film for everyone. The story could be difficult to follow if you don't pay strict attention to the film. Don't get me wrong, this is an outstanding film that deserves a nomination at the year's end. Don't bring the kids to the theater, go to the restroom before getting to your seat and keep your eyes wide open. You will be pleasantly intrigued by this dark gem of a film.
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Starring: Noomi Rapace & Michael Nyqvist
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Company: Music Box Films
Now Showing: in Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: NR
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of The Real McCoys: Season Four, Rem Kolhaas: A Kind of Architect, Bass Ackwards, or Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles, 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!
FILM NOIR CLASSIC COLLECTION: Volume 5 - Warner
Finally out of the vaults and into the light! This is a fascinating 4-Disc Set that showcases eight films that signify some of the best in film noir. Revenge is sweet for Dick Powell in Cornered and Steve Brodie in Desperate. The Phenix City Story and Dial 1119 present the gotcha and corruption perspectives on the second disc. Charles McGraw knocks the bad guys around in Armored Car Robbery, while social conscience is the focus of the John Cassavetes and Sal Mineo film, Crime in the Streets. The final installment in the set is Susan Hayward's performance in Deadline at Dawn and Virginia Mayo in Backfire. Noir lovers unite and pick this set up today!
GREENBERG: Blu-ray - Universal
Greenberg aims to recapture the raw flavor and psychological acuity of 1970s character portraits like Five Easy Pieces--but the character in question is completely of the moment. Neurotic and anxious Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) comes to L.A. to stay in his brother's house, where he reconnects with old band mates and falls, with painful awkwardness, into a relationship with his brother's personal assistant, Florence Marr (Greta Gerwig, sweetheart of the "mumblecore" movement). But this movie is not about plot--it's about human frailty and finding a moral or spiritual significance in caring for a dog or driving someone on an errand. Stiller sheds his usual bag of twitchy tricks and conveys the brittle spirit of a man defeated by his own intelligence.
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE - MGM
Seeking to bring some youthful optimism back to their failed, miserable lives, three middle-aged guys--Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Lou (Rob Corddry)--go to a mountain resort where they spent some of their wildest days (reluctantly dragging along Adam's nephew, Jacob, played by newcomer Clark Duke). A drunken accident in the titular hot tub sends them swirling back to 1986, where each of them decides to risk changing the future (and possibly erasing Jacob from existence) by doing things just a little differently. A plot summary doesn't capture the movie's rambunctious, daffy spirit as much as… well, the ridiculous title: this is a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine!
PARASOMNIA - E1 Entertainment
It's about time someone decided to release this film. I've been watching scenes and outtakes and previews from this film and was hoping someone would have enough sense to release this nightmare motion picture. From the weird visuals and creations to the love story between the girl with Parasomnia (Cherilyn Wilson) and the art student (Dylan Purcell) who falls for her and finds himself in a battle for the young lady by uber villain (Patrick Kilpatrick)who has been locked in the room next to hers. Bound with chains and shackles, he is known as, "the doctors say, "The only man they've ever met without a soul" Mr. Kilpatrick causes others to kill themselves with just a suggestion.A lot of this film is spent in Cherilyn's dream world as the hero and villain fight for her soul.
PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: The Lightning Thief - Fox
Mythology and the modern world collide in this epic quest for justice by Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), your basic below-average, misfit student whose family life is a mess and who's misunderstood by everyone except his best friend, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson). A voice warns that everything is about to change as Percy enters the New Roman and Greek Art Gallery on a school field trip, and, indeed, it does. Percy's substitute teacher morphs into a mythical beast and tries to attack him, and it's revealed that Percy is the son of Poseidon, and a true demigod. Percy also discovers that Grover is really a satyr--half-human, half-goat--and his sworn protector, and that one of his teachers is a centaur--half-horse, half-man--who's more committed to Percy's education than he could ever have imagined. On top of it all, Percy is the prime suspect in the recent theft of Zeus's lightning bolt and is being hunted by the gods. Following these shocking revelations, Percy is taken to a special training camp to learn to control and use his exceptional powers, and in the process, his mother is imprisoned by Hades. Against all advice, Percy, his protector Grover, and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), daughter of Athena, leave camp to rescue Percy's mother from the underworld. Their quest is extremely dangerous and puts them squarely in the path of Medusa (Uma Thurman), with her venomous hair and gaze that turns people to stone.
DIARY OF A NYMPHOMANIAC - IFC
The film that scandalized Europe now comes to America uncut and uncensored: Belén Fabra delivers a fearless performance as Val, an intelligent and attractive young executive who copes with a bad breakup by embracing her own insatiable pleasure. And the more she explores, the further she is willing to go. In a kinky journey that takes her from trysts with strangers to professional prostitution, when does a modern woman addicted to sexual adventure reach the point of no return? Leonardo Sbaraglia, Ángela Molina and the legendary Geraldine Chaplin co-star in this tale of female empowerment and sexual liberation from director Christian Molina and based on the notorious best-selling novel by Valérie Tasso.
ER: Season 13 - Warner
Another longtime cast member departs and another regular joins in ER's 13th season, as the Emmy-hoarding drama neared the end of its run. But first things first: tying up the sensational cliffhanger from the previous season, in which a pregnant Abby (Maura Tierney) was left bleeding on the ER floor and Sam (Linda Cardellini) and her annoying son, Alex (Dominic Janes), were abducted, leading to a deadly conclusion. Luka (Goran Visnjic) remains in limbo with the hospital board, and gets into even more trouble when a carpenter named Curtis Ames (Forest Whitaker in an Emmy-nominated guest appearance) has a stroke and sues him for malpractice. Tony Gates (John Stamos), after making a brief appearance in the previous season, joins the staff as an intern, Archie (Scott Grimes) returns, and Weaver (Laura Innes) is demoted and later hangs on the edge of Luka's budget cuts. Gates is easy on the eyes and attracts the attention of the staff, especially Neela (Parminder Nagra), but his life is complicated by a roommate who might be more than just a roommate, Meg (Paula Malcomson), and her daughter, Sarah (Chloe Greenfield).
JUNO BABY ORCHESTRA - Juno Baby
This Emmy Award winning CD is chocked full of great original music, performed by live musicians. Created by a mother and award winning composer Belinda Takahashi, this CD contains 26 tracks with over an hour of content that you and your kids are sure to love. Not only are their singing versions of the tracks, but instrumentals as well so your kids can sing along. Great times are ahead for this tremendously well done product from Juno Baby.
INDIE'S GREAT TEDDY BEAR HUNT - Juno Baby
Created by mom and Emmy-Award winning composer, Belinda Takahashi, Ph.D., Juno Baby's critically-acclaimed DVDs, CDs and books are built around your child's developing mind. Children laugh, sing and discover the magic of music on the fun-filled musical adventure of Juno and her lovable puppet friends. Help Indie find his teddy bear as he embarks on a musical adventure that invites children to interact with clues along the way. DVD Features: Language development, labeling objects, classical music appreciation, problem solving and English, Spanish and French languages Juno Baby One For All Program: For every Juno Baby product purchased, they donate an item to a needy child.
JUNO'S RHYTHM ADVENTURE - Juno Baby
Children laugh, sing and discover the magic of music on the fun-filled musical adventures of Juno and her lovable puppet friends. Juno and her friends learn that through friendship, they can conquer anything. Joyful original songs and classical music provide the backdrop for this energetic, sing-along DVD. DVD features: Conquering childhood fears, Classical music appreciation, Language and "A,B,C" flashcards, Educational contents and English, Spanish and French languages. For every Juno product purchased, an item is donated to a child in need. How can you beat that?
A SINGLE MAN - Sony
Colin Firth gives the performance of a lifetime in A Single Man, a drama directed and adapted for the screen by fashion designer Tom Ford, who clearly has a deft vision and ability in the world of film as well. A Single Man is based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood, and Ford's--and Firth's--gift is bringing the inner-turmoil world of the novel to believable, and devastating, life on the screen. Firth may be best known as a dashing romantic-comedy hero (Pride and Prejudice, the Bridget Jones films), but in A Single Man he demonstrates nuance and depth that will stay with the viewer long after the film is over. Firth plays George, a gay British professor, living a life of true, if closeted, bliss with his partner, Jim (Matthew Goode), in the straitlaced early '60s. When Jim dies suddenly at the beginning of the film, George wrestles with how to go on without his true love--and with never being able ever to express his grief openly. The film flashes back to scenes of George and Jim and their dogs, scenes awash in warm tones, and then forward to the present, shot in subtle sepia tones that show joy has disappeared from George's life.
POIROT THE MOVIE COLLECTION: Set Five - Acorn
Poirot Set 5 is just plain GOOD murder mystery. Agatha Christie suspense perfect. David Suchet acting excellence. Combined they make any British Mystery viewer salivate. Add top guest stars in each, Subtitles for the hearing and dialect challenged, and kick in some of the best filmed period mystery ever produced. It's what fans have come to expect with Poirot, Agatha Christie, Masterpiece Mystery, and the untouchable as Hercule Poirot--David Suchet. The best Poirot yet, of what I've seen.
ACCEPTANCE - Vivendi
Walking a fine line between self-destruction and self-discovery, Taylor Rockefeller is a bright, blue-haired young girl currently running the gauntlet of college applications, admissions essays, advanced placement exams, and an insanely overly ambitious mother. As a battle is waged on both sides of the application process, Taylor learns an invaluable lesson about the genuine meaning of acceptance.
THE RED SHOES - Criterion
Balletophiles often praise The Red Shoes, but one need not be a fan of ballet to be amazed by the film's emotional power and extraordinary staging. On the Criterion DVD, the saturated reds that represent the artist's blood sacrifice, and the cool aqua-blues that represent the (false) promise of life and romance outside of art, appear with unmatched vividness. Powell is a master of color, and has influenced a generation of filmmakers (through the advocacy of his admirer Martin Scorcese) with his theories about how color and music contribute to the thematic impact of a film. The Criterion DVD has the beautiful sound and picture we've come to expect from the Voyager Company. Interesting disc features include: an audio track of Jeremy Irons reading from the original Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, the complete text of Powell and Pressburger's novelization of the movie, an extensive collection of Scorcese's memorabilia, and a comparison of the Red Shoes Ballet with the filmed storyboard sketches the directors used as a guide.
ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL: Complete Series - BBC
Real-life British country veterinarian James Herriott's enormously popular books inspired this television series, featuring busybody villagers, verdant landscapes, and plenty of cute animals. First set in the 1930s on England's Yorkshire Dales, the hit show takes its cast of characters through the World War II era and into the 1950s. Together, James, his wife Helen, and hospital employees face their share of trials and tribulations on the farm, in the field, and in the veterinarian emergency room. A fond recollection of a bygone time, this collection includes every episode from all seven seasons of the show, as well as two TV specials.
THE PAGE TURNER - Palisades Tartan
Tight as a clenched fist ready to bloody someone's eye, intelligent, crystal clear in its intentions and actions, Denis Dercourt's terrific The Page Turner is wicked, perverse and anti-social in the very best sense. Like the best anti-heroes, Melanie Prouvost (a chilly, single-minded, Deborah Francois) knows what she wants, knows what/who her target is and knows how to achieve her goals. And in this case her target is the famous, though emotionally and professionally fragile classical pianist, Ariane Fouchecourt (Catherine Frot) and by extension Ariane's family: husband Jean (Pascal Greggory) and her son, also a pianist, Laurent. Melanie is out for total annihilation and her methods are as subtle as a Cobra ingesting defenseless small birds: there is no way that her prey can escape.
THE MISSING LYNX - Phase 4 Films
The film chronicles the misadventures of a rag tag group of animals as they avoid being kidnapped by an unruly hunter and a misguided millionaire. But even the most experienced hunter will face endless problems trying to capture Felix the jinxed lynx and his crazy collection of comrades. Brace yourself for this exciting game of survival and unlikely tale of friendship and heroism.
MATLOCK: Season Five - Paramount
Over the course of nine seasons, Andy Griffith's Ben Matlock became like one of the family. Much like Columbo, he was smarter than his rumpled demeanor suggested. Just an old country lawyer at heart, transplanted to the big city, his homespun humor and clever way of getting at the truth entertained us each week. While less serious or dramatic than the terrific Perry Mason, the stories centered around the cast and their interactions nearly as much as the cases. A comfort show by season five, viewers could look forward each week to kicking back with Ben and the gang, feet propped up and a snack close at hand. Fans always knew they'd have an enjoyable hour with Ben and the gang. The episodes in season five included three two-parters, keeping fans waiting a week to see how the transplanted Atlanta lawyer would spring his client. Season five includes the famous Man of the Year show in which Ben has a flat on his way to accept the honor, and before all is said and done, ends up in jail! All episodes from season five are listed below for those matching them up with what they already have.
LOVE CHRONICLES: Secrets Revealed - Melee
Love Chronicles, a romantic dramedy, is set at Los Angeles radio station KLUV, where callers air their dirty laundry over the airwaves for all to hear. Over the course of one crazy day, show host and relationship expert Darren (Rockmond Dunbar) and Janet (Vivica Fox) have had another one of their epic fights that threatens to end their marriage and make a joke of Darren's career. At the radio station, street author Thomas Black (Mike Epps) advises cougar Monique (Elise Neal) how to stay married while DJ Mike V (Ving Rhames) helps out the good girl who falls for bad boy from the other side of the tracks.
JERSEY SHORE: Season One - Paramount
On Jersey Shore, MTV follows eight young adults as they move into a summer house to indulge in everything Seaside Heights, New Jersey has to offer. Jersey Shore uncovers sometimes surprising, often hilarious and usually over-the-top personalities as they juggle work, love, nightlife, friendship and the drama that ensues. Includes all nine uncensored episodes!
THE GIRL BY THE LAKE - IFC
When a beautiful young girl is found murdered in an idyllic Northern Italy village, Inspector Giovanni Sanzio (Servillo) is called in from the capital to investigate. But in a small town where nobody is what they seem, anyone could be capable of homicide and everyone may be hiding a dark secret...including Inspector Sanzio. Valeria Golino, Fabrizio Gifuni and Omero Antonutti co-star in this startling drama the breakthrough debut from co-writer/director Andrea Molaioli based on the bestselling Inspector Sejer novel Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum.
THE NEW RECRUITS - PBS
This documentary profiles aspiring social entrepreneurs who journey to the world s most volatile and impoverished regions to effect change through business acumen. Is charging poor people for food, medicine, and shelter the key to ending world poverty? Find out with The New Recruits. This is a real eye-opening program that you are sure to think about days after your viewing.
SECRETS TO LOVE - PBS
It has always been a fact that the best way to learn is to ask questions and the best way to improve one self is through practice. In this program, Tracie Donahue puts both theories to work by asking real couples direct questions about what make a happy relationship last the test of time. No doubt this program will make you think.
THE WRONGED MAN - Sony
Based on a true story detailed in a magazine article by Andrew Corsello, writer Teena Booth has penned a compelling, multifaceted script that tells the saga of Janet "Prissy" Gregory (Julia Ormond), a Louisiana paralegal and single mom who worked for 22 years to free Calvin Willis, convicted of raping an 11-year-old special-needs girl. Although a Lifetime Original Movie, it certainly seems like so much more than that.
TIN MAN: Blu-ray - Vivendi
If you are expecting ruby slippers and a cackling green lady, you are in for an awakening of your own. There was always something missing from the story of Oz and SciFi seemed to realize it too. With a magnificent departure from the 1939 MGM film to a brilliant, futuristic, decadent, and sometimes apocalyptic telling. The reinventions of characters and fantastical sets soon transport you from the familiar to a place you find yourself hard to take your eyes off of-- from phosphorous-glowing trees, desolate paths, Metropolitan-like art deco palaces, and underworlds unlike anything and then again reminiscent of a certain alphabet city pre-Rudy. The story itself is not for the kids, but the grown up fairy tale is long overdue. The story actually has twists, turns, and menacing perspectives.