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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.
 
SLITHER  

Slither

Starring: Nathan Fillion

& Elizabeth Banks

Director: James Gunn

Company: Universal

Now Showing:

In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - R

Grade: C+


Nick’s DVD Picks

GIDGET - Sony

Oscar winner Sally Field stars as Frances “Gidget” Lawrence, a girl who spends most of her free time at the beach, hanging out with friends and surfing. Of course she has a knack for getting in and out of trouble in this break out role for Field. Gidget talks to you during her adventure to adulthood, letting you know what she is thinking and her plans for the future. The storey is a little hokey and the sets seem a little cheesy, but Gidget is fun to watch-a nice trip down memory lane (for those of us old enough to remember). There are a few extras on this 4 disc-32 episode set including the original pilot. The picture has been remastered in high definition and does not look as dated as you would expect. In fact, it looks great.

R-POINT - Tartan

R-Point is another excellent DVD from Tartan Asia Extreme. It has superb DTS sound and a great picture, but unfortunately this thriller/war film falls short. This movie is set during the Vietnam War at a South Korean army base. A soldier receives strange radio messages from a patrol that went missing six months earlier. The Base Commander (Gam Woo-Sung) and a ragtag group of soldiers are sent to the desolate stretch of land known as R-Point to hopefully find the missing soldiers. The hunt for the missing men turns the story into more of a thriller than a war movie. The plot is a little hard to believe, but it is an interesting movie to watch. There are several extra features that are worth seeing, especially the one about creating Vietnam. It was very informative and interesting.

SPEED RACER: Volume Four - Lion’s Gate

Teenager GÙ Mifune aspires to be the world’s best race-car champion with the help of his friends, family and his father’s high-tech race-car, the Mach 5. Rev up your engines for Speed Racer Volume 4. Join in on the adventures of Speed Racer, Sparky, Trixie, Spritle and Chim Chim as they face dangers at every turn. The animation is classic and the voices and scripts are hilarious. All of us enjoyed the high-tech race car, the Mach 5 with all of its speed and gadgets. The Main Title music was one of the highlights of each show and who could forget Chim Chim. As anime TV shows go, this one ranks high on my list. Volume four contains 8 episodes (# 37 - 44) digitally re-mastered with crisp picture and sound. The packaging is attractive and contains a collectable Mach 5 car. Don’t miss this incredible series.

KING KONG: Special Edition - Universal

Set in the 1930s, this is the story of a beautiful but down-and-out vaudeville actress named Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) whose luck changes when she meets an ambitious, impetuous filmmaker, Carl Denham ( Jack Black). She and he, and a cast and crew, head for a remote island location where she discovers horror and humanity in a murderous yet sympathetic ape called Kong (Andy Serkis). The beauty and the beast follow their fates back to a gloriously deco New York City, where death and destruction await. With a banana boatload of additional release materials, you could spend hours on end with Kong and the gang and still not be done with the DVD. Whether or not you saw King Kong in theaters, the 2-Disc Widescreen Special Edition is a must-have monster. There are tons of extras that will please even the most ardent of film buffs.

ANNA AND THE KING - Fox

Widowed early with a young son (Tom Felton), Anna (Jodie Foster) leaves Victorian England to take up a post as tutor to the 58 children of King Mongkut of Siam (Chow Yun-Fat). The contrast in cultures creates conflict as this strong and intelligent woman refuses to abandon her own principles while respecting the King’s enlightened view. Anna’s impact becomes more apparent as time goes on, while the King’s impact on her also grows, until there is something akin to a certain love between them. The relationships between Anna and the court also take on a life of their own, against the growing military threat to Siam. When betrayed, the King tries to save his family while his enemies aim to overthrow the throne; Anna is again instrumental in his life, and in altering the course of history.

Jodie Foster plays Anna with an impeccable British accent but her casting is problematic because she carries such a strong modern woman persona into this world where females are little more than ornaments. You can almost sense Jodie Foster holding her tongue while Anna Leonowens does the talking. Although miscast, Foster is such a fine actress she manages to get away with it, just. Much more successful is Chow Yun-Fat as the randy king - who better to play Mongkut than movie royalty whose charm makes Anna’s passion completely believable - even if he does keep a stable of sexual objects and allows the slaughter of innocents from time to time. Before the film is over Anna has opened Mongkut’s eyes to selected western sensibilities, fallen deeply in love with a man she cannot have and saved his life by foiling a dastardly plot to overthrow him. None of it is terribly believable but it’s done so lavishly (production design by Luciana Arrighi) and filmed so beautifully (photography by Caleb Deschanel) it’s easy to surrender to its seductions.” This is a great family film to add to your collection.

THE ANDY MILONAKIS SHOW: Season One - Paramount

The Andy Milonakis Show is about a 12 year old boy who takes you into his city, into his home, and unfortunately into his head. Actually, Andy is 30 years old -you cold have fooled me! Talk about a baby face! This season one DVD set includes eight episodes of somewhat funny skits, man-on-the-street interviews, and Andy hanging out with and harassing his neighbors. Andy does his exiting freestyle rapping for you rap lovers out there (not me) while being very irritating. I found this show a little hard to watch. Some things were funny (like the Jesus Kitty vs. Satan Kitty) but overall it was repetitive and boring to me-but then again I’m an old fart. So, I had my teenage kid watch it and she loved it. It comes from MTV so it has to be great. She has added it to her collection to treasure until she gets old like me. This is not for little kids-explicit language is used. The video and sound quality of this boxed set is good and there are quite a few extras included. There are guest appearances by Lil’ Jon, Snoop Dogg, Black Eyed Peas and others. If you are under 30, rush out and rent this disc.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006