Home Page

Digital Issue

Business Journal

Columns

Letters

School/Sports

Social

Starrings

Obituaries

Crime

Classifieds

Food/movies

Important #s

Other News

Add an event

 

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

Dr. Richard Kimble is accused to be the murder of his wife. The night before his execution, he escapes. The only chance to prove his innocence is to find the man who killed hi wife. Kimble, persecuted by the Lt. Gerard, risks his life several times when he shows his identity to help other people out of trouble. A brilliant show that set the stage for an even better film, this show is a must own.

Peanuts specials are timeless classics with wonderful moral lessons and clean/clever humor that you can’t find presented the same way nowadays. The peanuts will always have a more adult sense of awareness but still never lose their innocence. This 1970’s Volume 1 Collection is being released October 20th and will contain the following remastered six specials, two of which have never seen DVD before.

It’s the fall of 1969 and winds of a change are blowing across America. But on a remote family farm in the hills of Virginia, a storm of evil has been brewing for years. Now for a group of young people hitchhiking to a rally in D.C., a detour to the nightmare homestead of Staunton’s will rip apart their young lives forever. A grisly secret is waiting. The raw terror is growing. And the clan’s brutal harvest is about to begin. Kathy Lampkin (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Kiko Ellsworth (Dexter), Cooper Huckabee (The Funhouse), Cristen Coppen and David Rountree star in this extreme shocker from Pittsburgh filmmaker Cameron Robero - son of legendary Night of the Living Dead director Geroge A. Romero - that unleashes a new generation of graphic horror.

Join Nickelback as they take the stage in front of 35,000 screaming fans at the world-famous Sturgis Rockin The Rally show. Nickelback s first live DVD release since 2002, Live at Sturgis 2006 captures an explosive show from one of the world s greatest recording and touring artists. Filmed with 15 High Definition cameras, this definitive concert performance presents the band pounding out 12 hard rockin fan favorites from their multi-million selling albums Silver Side Up, The Long Road and All The Right Reasons. This state-of-the-art release offers four distortion-free, full range sound options including SRS Circle Surround, DTS, 5.1 Dolby Digital and Stereo. Bonus features include a special behind-the-scenes documentary featurette incorporating backstage interviews with the band, the music video for Rockstar, a Sturgis 101 primer and a photo gallery. Also included is a 12-page booklet featuring liner notes and photography from the show.

Four of the greatest voices in the world return in a beautiful performance in the breathtaking Roman Coliseum of Pula, Croatia. Additionally, catch Il Divo in conversation, discussing the rollercoaster ride of the past 5 years, their latest album The Promise, and the excitement of their upcoming world tour. A very well done package, this is a must own for any fan of music.

The opening and closing moments of Robert Zemeckis’s Contact astonish viewers with the sort of breathtaking conceptual imagery one hardly ever sees in movies these days--each is an expression of the heroine’s lifelong quest (both spiritual and scientific) to explore the meaning of human existence through contact with extraterrestrial life. The movie begins by soaring far out into space, then returns dizzyingly to earth until all the stars in the heavens condense into the sparkle in one little girl’s eye. It ends with that same girl as an adult (Jodie Foster)--her search having taken her to places beyond her imagination--turning her gaze inward and seeing the universe in a handful of sand. Contact traces the journey between those two visual epiphanies. Based on Carl Sagan’s novel, Contact is exceptionally thoughtful and provocative for a big-budget Hollywood science fiction picture, with elements that recall everything from 2001 to The Right Stuff.

Jim Carrey as a schizophrenic murderer isn’t convincing, in this melodramatic film about a man obsessed by the Number 23. Joel Schumacher has unintentionally managed to make a comedy of horrors that really is quite humorous in parts. Walter Sparrow (Carrey) becomes engrossed in a homespun novel about Detective Fingerling, whose life degrades into mayhem because of his obsession with 23’s esoteric numerical puzzles. Sparrow’s preoccupation with the book follows his botched attempt to catch a nasty dog that bites him, leading one to believe that Sparrow’s contraction of rabies might be the cause for his mental degradation. As the story progresses, Sparrow retreats further into Fingerling’s world, rife with suicidal sexpots and hardboiled detective sleuthing. His wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen), also plays Fingerling’s girlfriend, sex-crazed Fabrizia, who taunts Fingerling until he stabs her.

According to official statistics, more than 210,000 missing persons reports are filed every year. Some cases are never solved. Now six friends head off to a country estate for a weekend of bonding, bed hopping and home-cooked feasts. But their good times go very bad when they encounter a clan of slaughter-happy psychopaths with expert skills in butchery and a ravenous hunger for teen-meat pies. What follows is a brutal battle for survival, complete with shocking carnage, killer twists, and graphic reasons to avoid UK cuisine forever. It s THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE in the English countryside in this grisly debut from director Gregory Mandry that walks a knife s edge between tongue-in-cheek humor and teeth-in-flesh terror. Bring a strong stomach and a hearty appetite: British horror is back with a vengeance!

If Buffy the Vampire Slayer represents the lighter side of high school as a macabre experience, here’s a movie that asks the burning question, “What happens when angst-ridden teenagers develop supernatural powers?” More to the point, how do four outcast teenaged witches handle their ability to cast wicked spells on the taunting classmates who’ve nicknamed them “The Bitches of Eastwick”? The answer, of course, is “don’t get mad, get even.” That’s about all there is to this terminally silly movie, which makes up for its ludicrous plot by letting its young female cast have a field day as they indulge their dark fantasies. Fairuza Balk is enjoyable as the most wicked of the witches, and is therefore the focus of the film’s most dazzling special effects.

Explore the science and cutting-edge technology that goes into making the latest weapons and military equipment. From smart missiles to futuristic lasers, this collection Includes: Size it Up: Artillery and Subs, Tank Overhaul: The Hellcat, Future Weapons: Top Guns and Smart Destroyers, and first 2 episodes from G.I. Factory. Definitely for those that like action and big guns, this DVD will be of interest to you.

Kong hits the big screen in this creature feature! Years later, Jason and his friend Eric are living in New York City when the great adventurer and philanthropist Hunter Stag announces plans to fill his new enormous zoo with fantastical creatures. Jason and Eric helicopter to Kong Island to protect Kong and the other inhabitants, confident that with the island’s high-tech radar devices, no one could follow them...but they’re wrong. All Kong connoisseurs will enjoy this latest edition to the lore of the king!

Oliver Stone would like to have the last word on America’s media culture of voyeurism and violence, but whatever he’s trying to say in this grisly, unconventional movie comes across terribly garbled. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play traveling serial killers who become television celebrities when a Geraldo-like personality (Robert Downey Jr.) turns their madness into the biggest story in the country. Stone extensively rewrote an original script by Quentin Tarantino, and he employs a mosaic of different film stocks, video, and pop pastiches to create a sense of blurred lines between visual phenomena. A disturbing film that grips you from beginning to end, this is a must own for anyone who enjoys suspense!

The classic spy series Mission: Impossible returns for Season Seven, the most exciting one yet! The action drama about the activities of the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) was a sensation from the beginning. The inspired cast, fast-moving plots, neat gadgets, pre-recorded tapes that self-destruct – all these elements mad this brilliant show one of television’s crowning achievements. For the final season, Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) continues to focus on targets outside the reach of conventional law enforcement, as he and special effects whiz Barney (Greg Morris), muscle man Willy (Peter Lupus), and the gorgeous Casey (Lynda Day George) help smash organized crime rings.

Nick Fallin is a hotshot lawyer working at his father’s ultrasuccessful Pittsburgh law firm. Unfortunately, the high life has gotten the best of Nick. Arrested for drug use, he’s sentenced to do 1,500 hours of community service, somehow to be squeezed into his 24/7 cutthroat world of mergers, acquisitions and board meetings. Reluctantly, he’s now The Guardian - a part-time child advocate at Legal Aid Services, where one case after another is an eye-opening instance of kids caught up in difficult circumstances. A wonderful series here that is sure to provide Simon Baker with awards.

It may seem like an odd pairing: a trumpet virtuoso best known for his work in jazz and a septuagenarian singer-songwriter whose roots are deepest in the soil of country music. But the title, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis Play the Music of Ray Charles, explains it. The late Ray Charles, though perhaps best known as the de facto creator of soul music, was genuinely beyond category, combining gospel, blues, jazz, and country to form one of the most original styles in 20th-century music. Joined by Norah Jones on several of the 15 tunes in this 90-minute show (recorded in 2009 at New York’s Lincoln Center), Marsalis and Nelson use Charles’s songs to tell the tale of love that’s found, then lost, and then found again. For any true fan of a musical genius, you simply can’t live without this DVD.

Foodies and budding chefs love the reality show Top Chef, but so do millions of other viewers, as evidenced by Top Chef’s position as the number one food show on cable. Season 5 of Top Chef takes place in the food city of New York as well as in New Orleans and pits 17 chefs against each other in a test of culinary skill, creativity, flexibility, and performance under pressure. While the show is all about food, it’s also about personalities, and this 14-episode season is full of strong personalities. There’s the brashly confident Stefan, hyper Carla, ladies’ man Fabio, overachiever Jeff, gay and lesbian “team rainbow,” and many others, and everyone’s antics in the kitchen, the stew room where they await judgment, and their shared apartment translate into some great entertainment. Host Padma Lakshmi is joined by head judge Chef Tom Colicchio, judges Gail Simmons and Toby Young, and an array of guest judges, including celebrities like Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, Jean-Georges, and Wylie Dufresne. The judges are demanding, exacting, and sometimes downright harsh, but they push each chef to deliver the very best food that he or she can--all in hopes of escaping Padma’s dreaded words “please pack your knives and go.”

Classy, smart, funny, and confident? Mary Richards is the very embodiment of the independent career woman of the 1970s. As news producer for WJM-TV, Mary, along with her eclectic and hilarious cast of friends and co-workers, confronts some of life’s biggest challenges head on: career advancement, dating, marriage, death and divorce? All with varying degrees of success, but always with a sense of humor and an optimistic outlook. Season Five of The Mary Tyler Moore Show shows why this endearing and enduring TV classic was the inspiration for a young generation who discovered that they, too, were “gonna make it after all.”

Chick P, KO Joe and Chuckie Chan are three heroes protecting the citizens of Wasabi World, a shopping mall type city that is ruled by the evil Dr. Wasabi. Each have spy technology, masterful martial arts skills and their own sense of style! These are some chickens you don’t want to cross. A new cartoon from a completely unique perspective that should definitely be checked out. Your kids will love it!

Let’s be honest: this 1995 epic isn’t nearly as bad as its negative publicity led us to expect. At the time it was the most expensive Hollywood production in history, and the film arrived in theaters with so much controversy and negative gossip that it was an easy target for ridicule. The movie itself, a flawed but enjoyable post-apocalypse thriller, deserves better. Waterworld stars Kevin Costner as the Mariner, a lone maverick with gills and webbed feet who navigates the endless seas of Earth after the complete melting of the polar ice caps. The Mariner has been caged like a criminal when he’s freed by Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and enlisted to help her and a young girl (Tina Majorino) escape from the Smokers, a group of renegade terrorists led by Dennis Hopper in yet another memorably villainous role. It is too bad the predictable script isn’t more intelligent, but as a companion piece to The Road Warrior, this seafaring stunt-fest is adequately impressive.

Whether it’s a banana-loving gorilla, Magilla’s the name, stirring up lots of ape roarious trouble, a tiny ant providing colossal size heroics, or a horse short on horse sense that enforces the law, these must the classic cartoons from the ‘60s. Have a blast with Volume 2 of the blasts from the past that made Saturday your favorite day of the week. From do you remember rarities (The Space Kidettes) to time honored favorites (The Bugs Bunny Show), from a pig (Porky!) to a Potamus (Peter!), hours and hours of up-and-at-’em, cereal-crunching, don’t-touch-that-dial fun await you on these two discs. These classic Saturday morning wake up calls were perfect for kids of all ages then and now. Get your copy today!

No school bus. No teacher. No long division. But lots and lots of cartoons. It was Saturday! And that meant Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Tom and Jerry, Shazzan, the Hair Bear Bunch, and more. You came back every Saturday for them. Now in Vol. 2, they’re back-to-back-back-to.. well, you get the idea. They and many of their friends are here for you in two glorious discs loaded with hours of back-in-the-day fun and nostalgia from the ‘70s. Watch ‘em. Share ‘em with your family. Wake up and smell the cereal. Enjoy Saturday morning any day of the week. This set rocks and is a must own!

Wubbzy and his friends Widgit and Walden love to have fun, try new things, and help others. And in their first movie, the gang realizes just how important friendship can be. Wubbzy, Walden, and Widgit are getting ready to have their annual picture taken, but Wubbzy just can’t seem to stay clean. Whether it’s the lure of playing in a mud puddle, helping a woman retrieve her lost parrot, or a flaw in one of Widgit’s inventions, Wubbzy seems destined to get dirty before picture time. Will Wubbzy and his friends ever manage to get their picture taken? Once the picture dilemma is resolved, Wubbzy trips, hits his head, and gets a bad case of “knockety noggin.” The doctor suggests that Widgit and Walden describe some past experiences to help Wubbzy regain his memory and the pair embarks on a retelling of past adventures that’s really a stringing together of previously seen episodes. It’s very disappointing that this “new” movie is largely a conglomeration of previously seen episodes. Nevertheless, it’s entertaining fun for children ages 3 to 7 with wholesome messages about friendship, helping others, and believing in oneself.

The holidays are coming, and everyone in Wuzzleburg is getting ready for Winter Wonder Wubb Club fun! In this all-new Wubbzy collection, everyone’s favorite bendy-tailed buddy pitches in to decorate The Figgity-Fig Tree, fix Walden’s snow sculpture and even solve the mystery of the Snow Shoo-Shoo! There s plenty of singing, dancing, hoopty-horns and slippery-sledding too, all in the DVD that celebrates the ultimate Wow! Wow! season of caring, sharing and friendship! Perfect for the little ones, Wubbzy is as entertaining as ever!

Wuzzleburg welcomes the Wubb Girlz! And when the most awesome girl group hosts the Wuzzleburg Idol talent show, everybody in town wants to win the contest. If Wubbzy can wow the judges, he'll get the chance to perform with Sparkle, Shimmer and Shine at their big concert in Wuzzlewood and maybe become a movie star. But will he remember the importance of just being himself? Join Wubb-Z, Walden, Widget and Daizy - and two special guest stars on the coolest road trip ever! Filled with singing, dancing, best friends and more!

Forget the pie charts, color-coded maps and hyperventilating pundits. What s the street-level experience of voters in today s America? In a triumph of documentary storytelling, Election Day combines eleven stories all shot simultaneously on November 2, 2004, from dawn until long past midnight into one. Factory workers, ex-felons, harried moms, Native American activists and diligent poll watchers, from South Dakota to Florida, take the process of democracy into their own hands. The result: an entertaining, inspiring and sometimes unsettling tapestry of citizens determined on one fateful day to make their votes count.

In the era of nuclear confrontation, John F. Kennedy attempted to prevent war six times during his short tenure as president. He didn’t live to face a seventh. Virtual JFK: Vietnam if JFK had Lived takes up one of America’s controversial what-if scenarios, examining the question: Would the U.S. have escalated the war in Vietnam if Kennedy was not assassinated in 1963? With insight and erudition, the film traces JFK’s presidency a 1,000-day term plagued with tense political stand-offs through rare and previously-unseen archival footage, offering nuanced accounts of the former president’s political decisions and, by extension, his probable response to the escalating conflict in Vietnam. Featuring unprecedented access into the leadership style of one of the nation’s most important leaders, Virtual JFK sheds new light on the man who helped avoid war in six crises and did not live to save America from the devastating war in Vietnam.

The Cylons began as humanity’s robot servants. They rebelled and evolved and now they look like us. Their plan is simple: destroy the race that enslaved them. But when their devastating attack leaves human survivors, the Cylons have to improvise. Battlestar Galactica: The Plan tells the story of two powerful Cylon leaders, working separately, and their determination to finish the task. Another tremendous addition to the Battlestar franchise, The Plan picks up with the story and take everything to an entirely new level.

If a top-level spy decided he didn’t want to be a spy anymore, could he just walk into HQ and hand in his resignation? With all that classified knowledge in his head, would he be allowed to become a civilian again, free to go about his life? The answer, according to the stylish, brilliantly conceived 1960s British TV series The Prisoner, is a resounding no. In fact, instead of receiving a gold watch for his years of faithful service, our hero (played by Patrick McGoohan) is followed home to his London flat and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a picturesque village where everyone is known by a number. Where is it? Why was he brought here? And, most important, how does he leave? As we learn in Episode 1, Number 6 can’t leave. The Village’s “citizens” might dress colorfully and stroll around its manicured gardens while a band plays bouncy Strauss marches, but the place is actually a prison. Surveillance is near total, and if all else fails, there’s always the large, mysterious white ball that subdues potential escapees by temporarily smothering them. Who runs the Village? An ever-changing Number 2, who wants to know why Number 6 resigned. If he’d only cooperate, he’s told, life can be made very pleasant. “I’ve resigned,” he fumes. “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.” So sets the stage for the ultimate battle of wills: Number 6’s struggle to retain his privacy, sanity, and individuality against the array of psychological and physical methods the Village uses to break him.

UFC100 is a solid product and the prelims are on the 2nd disc again along with the Countdown show, bonus behind the scenes, and sadly no weigh-ins. All the pre fight montages and post fight Rogan interviews are included as well, though the post fight antics with Brock are slightly edited with him flicking the crowd off and him saying he only drinks Coors Light instead of Bud Light are taken out but other than that its all there. This DVD has great fights on both cards and is a must have for all fans of UFC/MMA.

David’s acerbic misanthropy, it’s a wonder they haven’t worked together before. But no matter: fans of Allen, David, and especially David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm will delight in the ability of Whatever Works to find humor in the darkest and most abrasive of life’s corners. The crux of this odd love story involves the unlikely friendship between David’s character (Boris) and the Southern beauty queen with a heart of gold and a brain of wide-open spaces, Melodie (the always-surprising Evan Rachel Wood). Boris takes on Melodie as a tutorial project, showing her the bleak ways of the world, and Melodie takes care of Boris with crayfish and Fred Astaire movies. There are other memorable performances by Patricia Clarkson, as Melodie’s deeply religious and tightly wound mama, and Ed Harris, as her husband, a Southerner slightly to the right of George Wallace. The parents come to the big city to reclaim their wayward lamb, and when the Southerners meet the New Yorkers, sparks fly--in ways both good and slightly scary.

Tinkerbell has always been one of the most underrated of the Disney characters in my opinion. I am quite pleased that she has been featured more and more in her own programs, such as this one. Pixie Hollow is all abuzz with preparations for autumn and Tinkerbell is hard at work on her latest invention when she is unexpectedly summoned by Queen Clarion and the Minister of autumn. Tinkerbell fears that she’s in trouble again, but is instead delighted to find out that Fairy Mary has recommended her for the important job of creating a one-of-a-kind scepter that will focus the light of an unusual blue harvest moon through a rare moonstone in order to replenish the pixie dust tree’s supply of pixie dust. Tinkerbell gladly rises to the challenge, accepting her dust-keeper friend Terrence’s offers of help, but as the days fly rapidly by, pressure begins to build and Tinkerbell becomes annoyed by Terrence’s constant attention. Sending Terrence away on an errand seems like a good idea, but what he brings back inadvertently causes the almost finished scepter and the incredibly rare moonstone to break into pieces. Tinkerbell lashes out at Terrence and then departs alone on a desperate quest to fix the moonstone. What Tinkerbell learns on her journey is that she must take responsibility for her own actions and that the power and value of true friendship is much greater than she’d ever imagined. A must own for any Disney fan, get your copy now before they all disappear!

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.

Ad Rates

Feedback

Corrections

User Agreement

Privacy Stmt

About Us

   Copyright © 2009 by FortBendstar.com.  All rights reserved. 
   Last Update:
October 28, 2009