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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

The series’ brilliant first season is built around what Tony learns when, whipsawed between those two worlds, he finds himself plunged into depression and seeks psychotherapy, which is a gesture at odds with his midlevel capo’s machismo, yet instantly recognizable as a modern emotional test. With analysis built into the very spine of the show’s elaborate episodic structure, creator Chase and his formidable corps of directors, writers, and actors weave an unpredictable series of parallel and intersecting plot arcs that twist from tragedy to farce to social realism. While creating for a smaller screen, they enjoy a far larger canvas than a single movie would afford, and the results, like the very best episodic television, attain a richness and scope far closer to a novel than movies normally get. The Sopranos is a show that is simply brilliant, but made even better on Blu-ray. I heartily encourage you to upgrade to the Blu-ray edition.

If you want to introduce your kids to a lot of varied musical styles, this is a great recording. This product puts a varied spin on all of your yuletide favorites with a number of varied artists you are sure to recognize! The CD begins with a Caribbean flavor on “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and ends with New Orleans jazz and “Frosty the Snowman.” What is better than Christmas music during the holidays? Classic favorites with spices galore, this is definitely worth the purchase! For more information on this CD, please visit www.putumayo.com.

An ambitious reporter takes an extraordinary risk to bring down a corrupt district attorney in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, a modern-day remake of Fritz Lang’s final feature. On occasion, Shreveport newsman C.J. (Jesse Metcalfe) receives confidential tips from assistant D.A. Ella (Amber Tamblyn), but Ella hesitates to go out with him due to the conflict of interest. It doesn’t help that he considers her boss, gubernatorial candidate Martin Hunter (Michael Douglas) too smooth, adding, I’m not sure he’s honest, but she eventually yields to C.J.’s charms. Little does she realize that he plans to expose Hunter as a fraud--by framing himself for an unsolved murder. Reasonable Doubt will keep you on the edge of your seat and is a thriller to match them all.

Into the Storm follows British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Brendan Gleeson) as he launches ferociously into World War II. The movie’s greatest strength comes from a shifting back and forth in time, portraying Churchill’s post-war life as well, when the very qualities that made him so effective as a military leader threaten both his career and his marriage. Anyone seeking a detailed analysis of the war will be disappointed; Into the Storm skips through history, less interested in the ebb and flow of combat than the weighing of decisions and the composition of speeches. Although this may sound uncinematic, Gleeson does a remarkable job articulating Churchill’s creative thoughts as he walks to and fro in his bedclothes, mulling over the right phrase to sustain his country’s morale, or facing FDR and Stalin across a table, working to shape an effective alliance. Into the storm is clearly for any fan of history. Get yours today!

This DVD takes you on an incredible journey to discover the amazing 1200-year global history of the cowboy. Rope wild bulls on one of the most famous American ranches. Swim with horses through the watery Argentine backcountry. Stage an attack on the casbah with Moroccan mounted warriors. Gallop over mountaintops in spectacular British Columbia. Journey on horseback through these exotic landscapes and many more as you Ride Around the World! The cinematography on this DVD is absolutely breathtakingly captured on Blu-ray. Totally captivating from beginning to end - check it out!

Ben Stiller wrestles with extinct beasts, historical figures, and meddling monkeys in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the sequel to the popular 2006 special-effects extravaganza. This time, the ancient Egyptian tablet, which happens to bring all the exhibits at New York’s Museum of Natural History to life at night, is being shipped off to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Former museum guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) heads down to rescue it. He ends up fighting with a nasty pharaoh who talks like Boris Karloff (Hank Azaria) and falling in love with Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams). All the old gang are along for the ride. A popcorn film if there ever was one, this is sure to put a smile on your face!

The screen’s sexiest bombshell, Brigitte Bardot, sizzles in three of her most unforgettable roles! First she teams up with director Roger Vadim (Barbarella) as a virginal temptress running amok in rural Spain on The Night Heaven Fell then she’s a comic nymphet who takes Paris by storm as an amateur striptease artist in Plucking the Daisy. Finally, a grown-up Brigitte scorches up the screen as a female Don Juan, a proud destroyer of men and women who even drives a priest mad with her wicked misadventures! This trio of tantalizing tales of love, scandal, and betrayal will titillate seasoned Bardot fans and newcomers alike!

A strange phone call and a password-protected file on her computer alert traumatised husband Peter (Liam Neeson) to the possibility he wasn’t the only person in his missing wife’s life. Doubt becomes obsession as Peter tracks down Lisa’s lover Ralph (Antonio Banderas), uncovering the double life she led in Milan. Slowly Peter insinuates his way into Ralph’s life, discovering a man only too happy to open up his heart about the woman he too has lost. This film was very inspiring, eye opening, and yet created a very uncomfortable sensation for some reason. Definitely worth the purchase, this is an all star cast and very intriguing film.

Mental is a new show that is trying to jump on the coattails of the show House. This show devolves into caricature and shows a complete and total lack of understanding of what makes House so wonderful and unique. Especially horrible are some of the scantily clad women working with children and psychotherapy patients. Like a ship that lacks a rudder, this one just saunters along. Honestly, I am not sold on this show yet. Let’s see how season two works.

Veridian Dynamics is a large corporatation that invents, tests and markets everything from deadly pumpkins to beef that tastes like despair. Ted works there as a manager. He’s a good and sane man in a heartless, and often insane, corporate environment. The comedy in this series comes from seeing just how insane work at Veridian can be and the hoops Ted jumps through to keep the insanity in check. Better off Ted is simply a hilarious show that will keep you in stitches. If you want to laugh at something funny, get your copy today.

Coraline is based on the haunting book Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The first stop-motion feature shot in stereoscopic 3-D, Coraline features big-headed, stick-bodied animated characters with huge eyes and demonic grins set against menacing backgrounds and an undercurrent of spooky music. Coraline is a teenager who has just moved to an old house in the middle of nowhere with her writer parents and she is bored, bored, bored. Her only companions are an annoyingly talkative boy Wybie (short for Why Born), some eccentric neighbors from the theater and circus, and a strange, button-eyed doll with a marked resemblance to Coraline which Wybie found in an old trunk of his grandmother’s. When Coraline finds an old door hidden behind an armoire and papered over with wallpaper, she convinces her mother to unlock it, only to find a wall of bricks. When Coraline revisits the door later that night, the bricks magically disappear and she discovers a strange pathway to another world where everything is just what she wishes for.

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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.

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   Last Update:
December 16 , 2009