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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 Picks  
“Edison Force” - Sony

Upon discovering a den of corrupt policemen, a fresh-faced journalist makes shaky allies in a jaded reporter and investigator for a powerful district attorney. With a stellar cast like this, I expected a better film. The overall script was weak and tended to meander throughout the film. Pacing was fragmented leaving you with an agitated feeling and the climax of the story was nothing short of boring. The only redeeming quality of this film is the fact that I didn’t have to pay for the DVD.

I thought that this was a waste of time for the actors to work in this film. I hope they got paid well. Even Justin Timberlake deserves better than his role in the film. The action sequences tended to drag and the suspense was too predictable.

The DVD is presented in Widescreen Format and re-mastered in High Definition. Extras include the feature “Absolute Power: Behind the Scenes of Edison Force”. If it is action you are looking for with a good story, bypass this film. This one severely missed the mark. Article by Richard Maher.

“Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea:” Volume 1, Season 2 - FOX

“Voyage” chronicled the adventures of the world’s first privately owned nuclear submarine, the SSRN Seaview. Designed by Admiral Harriman Nelson, she was a tool of oceanographic research for the Nelson Institute of Marine Research. Join Admiral Nelson and Commander Crane for more amazing adventures aboard the Seaview as they explore the unknown depths of the oceans.

Season one, volume 2 finishes out the first season of the show with lots of stories ranging from attacking sea monsters to Nazis. Irwin Allen was one of the most creative minds of the time. He could make any story entertaining and make the most of what he had in terms of budgets and sets. We see more development with the crew and a stronger bond between Nelson and Crane with each episode.

Some of the more interesting episodes include “The Last Battle,” where Nelson is kidnapped by Nazis, “Doomsday,” involving a Nuclear Missile launch by a foreign power, and “The Traitor,” involving terrorists kidnapping Nelson’s sister testing the Admiral’s loyalty. The sets are imaginative with great footage of the sub in each episode.

It is probably the best underwater TV series to date. Seaquest DSV used many ideas from this show making it a more modern version of the classic. The DVD presents all 16 episodes in airdate order on three discs. Each episode is presented in Full Frame format with Dolby Digital sound. All three discs have an episode summary on the back. Extras include interviews with David Hedison, blooper reels and still galleries.

“Three’s Company:” Season Seven - Anchor Bay

This show is about the misadventures of two women and their roommate who just happens to be a man, as well as their neighbors. The opening of Jack’s Bistro is just the beginning of the non stop hilarity in this top rated season. The set is well done and all the episodes are unedited (which is all that really counts) and in great quality. The extras were good, but the quality was down. All fans should buy this set and continue to buy this series on DVD. Season 8 is slated for the fall of 2006.

“Hogan’s Heroes:” Season Four - Paramount

Colonel Hogan leads a ragtag band of POW’s caught behind German lines in this popular television comedy. The bumbling Germans give Hogan and his crew plenty of opportunities to sabotage their war efforts. Colonel Klink is more concerned with having everything run smoothly and avoiding any trouble with his superiors (especially anything that might result in his being reassigned and sent to the front) than with being tough on Hogan and his fellow prisoners.

Join them for another explosive season with Hogan and all the gang as they encounter new obstacles and adventures while evading the Germans and Colonel Klink. The cast for this show is what made it last so long. Bob Crane and Werner Klemperer were dynamite on the screen and John Banner portraying Schultz put the “icing on the cake.” From barracks to guard tower to underground tunnel, the battalion of laughs unleashed in this top rated TV sitcom will keep you chuckling through all 26 season four episodes.

“Norma Rae” - Fox

Norma Rae is a lively, but dependable, wife and mother in an Alabama mill town. Like her father, her mother and most of her friends, she works at the Henley mill, spinning and weaving cloth as the days go by without much apparent purpose. Her “nothing special” life changes when she and her coworkers meet Reuben, a dedicated, smart-mouthed labor organizer down from New York to teach the Henley crew about solidarity in a place where workers and owners alike think “union” and “trouble” are synonymous.

The DVD is presented in Anamorphic widescreen, contains a number of extra features, including a 20 minute backstory on “Norma Rae,” and has subtitle options. This is a tremendous picture that won Sally Field an Oscar for Best Actress - don’t miss it!

"Olivier’s Shakespeare” - Criterion

Dubbed the greatest actor of the twentieth century, Sir Laurence Olivier first transplanted his passion for Shakespeare to the big screen in the 1940’s, and in so doing, allowed Elizabethan verse to break free of its stage bound origins. Olivier directed only five films in his sixty year career, yet his three Shakespeare adaptions are still widely considered the definitive screen versions.

His directorial debut, Henry V, stunned the 1944 audiences with its vivid Technicolor and full tilt battle scenes. Hamlet, which won Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars in 1948, brought to gripping life literature’s greatest protagonist. Finally, Richard III is thought by many to feature Olivier’s most magnetic performance. This set of films put together by the Criterion Collection is a tribute to the genius of both Shakespeare and Olivier and is a definate must own.

“Laguna Beach:” Season Two - MTV/Paramount

It’s one of the welathiest, most beautiful beachside communities in the world and MTV has unlimited access to the tight-knit power clique of eight rich, beautiful teenagers that live there. Their lives intertwine in ways you won’t believe, until you drop in for a visit. The best friends share experiences through parties, relationships, love and small town injustice.

Laguna Beach is a modern day soap opera for teens. Although the show prides itself on not being scripted, the theme of each episode is known in advance. This really isn’t my cup of tea so to speak, however it is an enjoyable show with some good acting qualities. Check it out.

“The Pirates Of Penzance” - Kulture

Gilbert and Sullivan’s hilarious comic operetta tells the story of the orphan Frederic. He is the son of a weaalthy 19th century man whose fate takes a sudden twist when, after his father’s death, his hard of hearing nursemaid finds him an apprentice as a pirate instead of a pilot. He fulfils his apprenticeship with not just any old pirate, but the Pirate King himself, leader of the not so fierce “Pirates of Penzance.”

This version stars Jon English as the Pirate King and simon Gallaher as Frederic. Picture and sound are outstanding in this edition. If you are a fan of comedy and operatic tendencies, check this out - you will like it.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006