Nick's Pics Nick
Nicholson Film & Home Entertainment Critic
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HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART ONE
The end is near for Harry Potter and the final film adaptation is here this Friday...in a manner of speaking. This is the first installment (the last segment is due out in July) of the seventh and final installment of the beloved Harry Potter series. As fate would have it, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) faces new troubles; he must collect all of the Horcruxes that the evil Lord Voldemort has left behind. He has no idea where these are and, with the help of Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), he has to destroy them all, even without the faintest idea how to do so.
The opening scenes of the film provide a glimpse into the darkness the viewer will have surrounding them over the two and a half hour running time. As Nagini the giant snake slithers across the table and Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) hisses about how he must "be the one to kill Harry Potter," it is painfully obvious the seventh film will be the darkest and most violent since the Prisoner of Azkaban. Part one is definitely going to whet the appetites of those anxious for the battle that we all know is coming, however this film does have it's flaws. As Harry, Ron and Hermione traverse the wilds to locate and destroy the horcruxes they seek, the film drags...a lot. It isn't bad in the least, but the film really should have been editor more tightly, as that would have helped the pacing. The films director, David Yates, does allow a number of adult themes (no, not those kind of themes) into the film. None the less, the film does end on low note with the death of a beloved character. Big surprise, right? However, this film will definitely reach the Potter crowd and will excite them into a lather for the final installment.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part One
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint & Emma Watson
Director: David Yates
Now Showing: in Local Theaters
MPAA Rating: PG-13
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of They Came to Play or Hunt to Kill, 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!
Anyone and everyone born in the 1960's should remember the "Krofft Supershow", along with other classics as The Shazam/Isis Hour, Land of the Lost, Dr. Shrinker and the Shrinkees, along with the notables, my all time favorite, "Electra Woman and Dyna Girl" and yes, even good ole' HR PuffnStuff, with the hilarious episode of 'Witchypoo' getting pummeled with an industrial sized powder puff, upon being tricked into appearing on TV, with the director, yelling, Makeup! Yup, all those should jar your memory, and even though I fondly remember them, beware. Remember, this was the mid 1970's, and the shows are cheezy as heck!
VENGEANCE - IFC
As Vengeance opens, a family of four is gunned down at their residence in Macau. As the wife clings to life, her father (French rock star Johnny Hallyday) arrives to provide comfort. With his craggy face and sullen demeanor, Hallyday recalls a Death Wish Charles Bronson and, indeed, it does appear that the film is headed in that direction. Hallyday, a chef by profession, knows his way around a gun but needs help identifying the culprits responsible. He conveniently runs across a team of hit men. Promising them everything he owns, including his restaurant, they join forces and are soon off to Hong Kong to settle the score. But tracking the killers down is just the first stage as the team on Hallyday's payroll unravel some unexpected connections.
LIE TO ME: Season Two - Fox
Lie to Me continues to be one of the most unique and intriguing shows on TV. It's intriguing psychological twists not only keep you on your toes but also subtly develops the inner layers of the characters. The acting is fabulous, which I suppose it has to be since the show teaches us to spot the signs of lying, ie acting. Tim Roth continues to steal the show but everyone in the supporting cast does an amazing job. The writers make each episode a mix of something totally fresh while building the underlying subplots and relationships. If a shows major plot isn't a subject that appeals to me I still get caught up in the psychological back stories and the continuing character development.It's nice to have a show that wraps a meaningful story around a wide variety of scenario's.
DOCTOR WHO: Silver Nemesis - BBC
Earth, 1988: While the Doctor and Ace flee from emotionless men wielding futuristic pistols, neo-Nazi Herr de Flores is intent on heralding the Fourth Reich. Meanwhile, the villainous Lady Peinforte uses black magic to propel herself forward from 1638 for a final confrontation with her sworn enemy – the Doctor. And, at the same time, a spacecraft full of Cybermen sets down on Earth. As the Doctor desperately evades multiple enemies, a meteor containing a Gallifreyan super-weapon is hurtling ever nearer to the planet. Whoever is able to unite the validium statue with its bow and arrow will hold power of life or death over the entire universe.
DOCTOR WHO: Revenge of the Cybermen - BBC
Revenge of the Cybermen is Tom Baker's only tangle with this staple villain of the Dr. Who series; the clanking, droning, mechanical men bent on conquest of the universe. He twice battled both the Daleks and the Sontarans, and crossed swords with the Master at least three or four times, but for the tin men, this his is his sole contribution. Apparently, fans of previous doctors found the Cybermen as they are portrayed in this episode to be extremely lame and toothless, and felt a good villain had been wronged with a weak portrayal. I have admittedly little interest in the other doctors, being a Baker freak, so I can't really say, though I admit the more mobile (and combustible!) versions I saw in The Five Doctors were more threatening.
STEEL GAZE: An Unauthorized Story on Clint Eastwood - Infinity
With his steely gaze, enigmatic aura and tough-guy persona, five-time Academy Award- and five-time Golden Globe-winner Clint Eastwood has been a Hollywood superstar for nearly six decades. Actor, director, producer, writer and composer, Eastwood has mesmerized audiences with his anti-hero performances beginning in 1959 with a lead role in TV's Rawhide and in dozens of hit films, including the 'Dirty Harry' series and 'The Man With No Name,' to name a few. As the director of such box office hits as 'Gran Torino,' 'Million Dollar Baby' and 'Unforgiven' (in all of which he also starred), 'Letters From Iwo Jima' and 'Mystic River,' he is an equal powerhouse behind the lens. Eastwood made one foray into politics in the mid '80s as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. (pop. 4,000), a wealthy artists' community. Upon being elected, President Ronald Reagan called to ask, 'What's an actor who once appeared with a monkey in a movie doing in politics?' a reference to Eastwood's role in 'Any Which Way But Loose' and Reagan's in 'Bedtime for Bonzo'. As tight-lipped off set as his macho screen personas... meet the real man behind the mask.
RAMONA & BEEZUS - Fox
Beverly Cleary fans will love Ramona and Beezus, a peppy, affectionately directed film based on the series of Cleary's children's books, starring the adorable, awkward Ramona Quimby. Ramona and Beezus manages to appeal to three distinctly different audiences--tweens, because of its heroine, played with winsome agility by the adorable Joey King; teens, because of the presence of actress-singer Selena Gomez as Beezus (short for Beatrice), the hapless Ramona's older sister; and adults, because of the great casting of the girls' parents, Bridget Moynahan and especially John Corbett. There's also a romantic sub-story involving Ramona's Aunt Bea, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, and a neighbor, Hobart (Josh Duhamel). But the star of this film, as with the Cleary books, is Ramona, the imaginative, active, creative, and sometimes lost-in-her-own-world 9-year-old, whose best intentions have a funny way of nearly always going awry.
THE BEST WORST MOVIE - Docurama
Sometimes the past can come back to haunt you. In 1989, budding child actor Michael Paul Stephenson got a leading role in a movie. Unfortunately, that movie was Troll 2, an ultra-low-budget filmed-in-three-weeks-in-Utah schlocker that went direct to video. Nearly two decades later, thanks in part to broadcasts on HBO, Troll 2 developed a maniacal cult following that continues to pack theaters across the country for midnight screenings. Who were these people? Why had they embraced this particular bad movie? And what impact did the film's new found cult status have on the people who made it, some of whom do not include it on their résumés? "This is my movie about that movie," Stephenson states, and it is by turns an affectionate, funny, and heartrending exploration of the Troll 2 phenomenon. Stephenson wisely focuses on George Hardy, the film's "star" and most prominent goodwill ambassador. The glad-handing Hardy is now a well-liked dentist in a small Alabama town. His life is upended when he begins to be recognized ("Stop watching right now," he urges a friend who calls mid-broadcast, "It only gets worse") and he hits the road to join his reunited cast members to reminisce, re-create the film's most ludicrous scenes, and meet and greet wildly enthusiastic fans. Best Worst Movie takes an unexpectedly poignant turn during a visit with Margo Prey, who portrays the mother in the film, and now lives reclusively and cannot bring herself to take part in Troll 2-mania.
DEADWOOD: Complete Series - HBO
Set in an ungoverned stretch of South Dakota soon after the 1876 Custer massacre, Deadwood concerns a lawless, evolving town attracting fortune-seekers, drifters, tyrants, and burned-out adventurers searching for a card game and a place to die. Others, particularly women trapped in prostitution, sundry do-gooders, and hangers-on have nowhere else to go. Into this pool of aspiration and nightmare arrive former Montana lawman Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and his friend Sol Starr (John Hawkes), determined to open a lucrative hardware business. Over time, their paths cross with a weary but still formidable Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and his doting companion, the coarse angel Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert); an aristocratic, drug-addicted widow (Molly Parker) trying to salvage a gold mining claim; and a despondent hooker (Paula Malcomson) who cares, briefly, for an orphaned girl. Casting a giant shadow over all is a blood-soaked king, Gem Saloon owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), possibly the best, most complex, and mesmerizing villain seen on TV in years.
ANCIENT ALIENS: Season One - History
Over five episodes, it explores phenomena throughout the ages that defy explanation. The first, "Evidence," looks at Indian aeronautical texts, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Saqqara Bird, an Egyptian carving that anticipates the airplane. Legendary Times publisher and consulting producer Giorgio A. Tsoukalos feels that items like the figurine "have nothing in common with anything similar in nature." That's a matter of opinion, though other authors, engineers, and investigators tend to agree, which isn't a problem in and of itself, except there are few dissenting voices. In "The Visitors," "The Mission," and "Closer Encounters," the show travels to Peru, Mali, Iraq, and other locations to discuss elongated skulls, cattle mutilation, and primitive stargazing (the theory that King Tut might have been part-alien seems pretty far-fetched). Further references to the Knights Templar and the Ark of the Covenant, which some believe lies beneath an island in Nova Scotia, bring Spielberg blockbusters, like Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, to mind. The series concludes with "The Return," a look at sightings and attempts to communicate with aliens by NASA and SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).
HUMAN WEAPON: Season one - History
Human Weapon is a show that aired late last year on the History Channel and is hosted by martial arts fighter Jason Chambers and former football pro Bill Duff. They put their bodies on the line in every episode of this show and it was entertaining and informative on every style of fighting they learned. The best part of each episode was the end where one of the two hosts would take on a master in the martial art they just learned. Certain episodes feature such MMA stars as Cung Le, Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko!
THE TUDORS: Final Season - Showtime
The Tudors presents the rarely dramatized, tumultuous early years of King Henry VIII’s nearly 40 year, omnipotent reign (1509-1547). In addition to his famous female consorts and 20+ year marriage to Catherine of Aragon to the infamous dalliance with Anne Boleyn, the series delves in to Henry’s most notable political relationship and the deconstruction of the Roman Catholic Church in England.
MEDIUM: Season Six - CBS Paramount
Allison Dubois (Arquette) is a strong-willed, devoted young wife and mother of three girls, who has gradually come to grips with her extraordinary ability to talk to dead people, see the future in her dreams and read people's thoughts. This season, Allison and her family's world is turned upside down after her abilities are publicly exposed, resulting in sweeping changes both professionally and personally.