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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.
Mission: Impossible III  

Mission: Impossible III

Starring: Tom Cruise

& Philip S. Hoffman

Director: J. J. Abrams

Company: Paramount

Now Showing:

In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - R

Grade: A

Nick’s DVD Picks

Aeon Flux - Paramount

The sci-fi thriller is set 400 years in the future, when disease has wiped out the majority of the earth’s population except for one walled, protected city-state, Bregna, ruled by a congress of scientists. The story centers on Aeon Flux (Theron), the top operative in the underground ‘Monican’ rebellion, led by The Handler (Frances McDormand). When Aeon is sent on a mission to kill a government leader, she uncovers a world of secrets...

This film was much better than I thought. Whenever you have a sci-fi that combines a hot female lead and lots of outrageous special effects, you tend to be cautious. This film delivered more than what it led on in the trailers. Charlize Theron is excellent and really played the part of Aeon well. Based on a comic character, there were tons of jumping, fighting and shooting scenes similar to “Spiderman” and “Fantastic Four”. Many of the jumping scenes reminded me of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. It was nice to see Pete Postlethwaite as “The Keeper”. He has come along way since “Alien 3”. The overall story was very entertaining and stayed true to the characters. If you want to just sit back and be entertained, this is a good film for that. The DVD presents the movie in Widescreen format with Dolby 5.1 Digital Sound. Extras include commentary with Charlize Theron and Producer Gale Anne Hurd. There is also commentary with Co-Screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Five featurettes and the Theatrical Trailer round out this great Sci-fi Action film.

Casualties Of War - Sony

During the Vietnam War, a girl is taken from her village by five American soldiers. Four of the soldiers rape her, but the fifth refuses. The young girl is killed. The fifth soldier is determined that justice will be done. The film is more about the realities of war, rather than this single event.

As War films go, this is among the top. Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn are dynamic on-screen with their performances, putting this film on a higher level than the standard War film. This is not your usual “shoot and kill” movie. Based on true events, this film centers on the characters ability to deal with what is morally wrong and making the right decisions in the worst conditions. This is a thinker film, not a mindless action movie. I would have to say that this movie takes you to the next step where “Platoon” let you off. Ennio Morricone’s score for the film is awesome and really enhances the movie’s message. Special Effects, Sets and locations are all top-notch. “Hats-off “go to Director Brian De Palma for another amazing film. This extended DVD puts several deleted scenes back into the film making for a more complete story. If you already own the first DVD, it is not necessary to own this one too. The extra footage is good, but not for another purchase.

Extras here include a feature “Eriksson’s War” entailing a conversation with Michael J. Fox and a making-of feature. The film is presented in Widescreen Format with Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround. The print is Remastered in High Definition.

Natural City - Tartan

Cyborgs emerge from the ashes of a devastating war. These Cyborgs are created with superior intelligence and strength to serve their masters for a lifecycle. One man falls in love with one and will stop at nothing to find a way of extending the life of the one he loves.

I liked the ideas and story for this film, but when watching it, tended to get bored. There is lots of character development and plot, but it seems like there is something missing in the overall story. The action scenes are great and the sets and effects are top-notch. Even the performances from the lead roles are quite good. It just missed the mark at being a great sci-fi. The overtones of the film were very dismal, leaving you feeling empty and sad. If they had followed the format of “Bladerunner” and kept the pace running faster, this might have been a great sequel. I hope that an American version emerges from this film. Maybe if we cut out some of the drawn out scenes and dubbed this dialogue in English, this would increase the popularity of the film. Again, the film wasn’t bad; it just missed the mark in some crucial spots for me. The DVD is presented in Widescreen Format with DTS Digital Sound. Extras include the Story of Natural City, Deleted Scenes, Cast Interviews and the Theatrical Trailer.

Mrs Henderson Presents - Genius

Set in London starting in 1937, Laura Henderson (Judi Dench) becomes a widow when her prominent and wealthy husband dies. This leaves her with lots of money and little to do, so she decides to buy and refurbish a rundown old theater. She hires Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) to manage the place and stages musical theater performances. Van Damm’s production becomes a smash hit and inspires many imitators – so many, in fact, that the Windmill Theater quickly loses its audience. To stir things up, Laura proposes that they feature nude women in their shows. The authorities reject her idea unless she agrees to take an unusual circumstance: the naked performers must remain stationary. The DVD is presented in Widescreen Format with 5.1 Digital Sound. This is an extremely entertaining film and should not be missed.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006