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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.
 
UNDERWORLD: Evolution  

It’s round two of the battle between vampires and werewolves in “Underworld: Evolution.” I won’t reveal who wins, but the audience certainly loses. The first movie in the series was silly and incomprehensible; the sequel matches it, and then some.

Underworld: Evolution

Starring: Kate Beckinsale & Scott Speedman

Director: Len Wiseman

Company: Screen Gems

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - R

Grade: D+


DVD Picks

YOUNG MR. LINCOLN - Criterion

Now on DVD for the first time, Young Mr Lincoln marked the first collaboration between Henry Fonda and legendary director John Ford; a relationship that was to see them working together on classics such as My Darling Clementine and The Grapes of Wrath.

A brilliant biopic focusing on the early years of Abraham Lincoln, Young Mr Lincoln stars Fonda as the man who would go on to become one of the key figures in American history, in a performance which many consider to be his finest. The film follows Lincoln as he leaves his small-town beginnings in a Kentucky cabin to start practicing law before eventually agreeing to go into politics.

Fonda claimed that playing Lincoln ‘was like playing Jesus Christ’, and he brings amazing depth to the role in a film that has gone on to take its place in Hollywood history.

The picture and sound are fantastic, particularly considering the age of the original film. There are numerous extras in the DVD package that include archival interviews and a 28 page booklet with an homage to John Ford. This is a must own for any retrospective fan or history buff.

DOCTOR WHO:

The Claws of Axos - BBC

An organic alien spacecraft lands on Earth, bringing with it the Axons, a race of golden-skinned humanoids. The Axons offer humanity the gift of Axonite, an inexhaustible source of energy, which they will give in exchange for help.

The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) is not fully convinced of their good intentions, and neither is Chinn (Peter Bathurst), a representative of the government. Obtaining special powers from the ministry, he has the UNIT personnel arrested so that he can keep the Axonite in Great Britain. Unbeknownst to him, the Doctor is conducting an analysis of the material and that’s when all hell breaks loose as the Axons reveal their true nature and objectives.

There are a few extras included on the DVD. Of particular interest is a segment on the making on this current episode. Doctor Who is a series only for the true science fiction fan. For those of us that fall into this category, this is a real winner!

CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER - MGM

Ted Wass plays a bumbling New York cop who is found through a computer by Dreyfus (Herbert Lom). Drefus hires him to finish the case of the missing Pink Panther diamond. This sleuth is as impenetrable to assassination attempts as the late great Inspector Clouseau.

There are some good slapstick sequences here, but everyone would be well served if this saga were retired now. Without Peter Sellers, the magic is gone. With MGM putting out all six films and related materials in the Pink Panther series, the set should adorn a welcome space within the confines of your comedic collection.

Although Curse of the Pink Panther is arguably the least worthy in the series, the set simply isn’t complete without it.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006