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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.

When a young man (Nathan Phillips) witnesses a brutal mob murder, it falls to FBI agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) to escort his charge safely from Hawaii to Los Angeles to testify. But in an act of self-preservation, the crime boss facing prison smuggles hundreds of poisonous snakes onto the commercial aircraft in a crate timed to release its deadly cargo halfway over the Pacific. Flynn, along with a frightened flight crew and passengers, must then band together in a desperate attempt to survive.

New Line Cinema’s action thriller SNAKES ON A PLANE stars Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies and Nathan Phillips, is directed by David R. Ellis and produced by Gary M. Levinsohn, Don Granger and Craig Berenson. The film’s screenplay is by John Heffernan. The film’s ensemble cast also includes Rachel Blanchard, Flex Alexander, Kenan Thompson, Sunny Mabrey, Elsa Pataky, Lin Shaye, Bobby Cannavale and David Koechner.

What this film lacks in originality, it makes up for in suspense. I am not about to suggest that we have an over abundance of movies that star a multitude of slithery, reptillian stars; that is simply not the case. The premise of numerous people, stuck with no way to escape, all the while banding together to fight for the common cause of survival? Been there, seen that. However, let me emphatically state, you have never seen this tried and true picture making like THIS! This movie will make you think twice about walking past a bush, or even a plane for that matter.

The cast is amazing - with all the characters playing off each other at different tempos. The realism is quite incredible. Now, I don’t want to spoil anything about the picture, but I highly encourage you to check this film out. With the movies from this Summer, as well as last Summer, stinking up the movie houses, this one will definately hit a home run. Get out and see it - you won’t be sorry.

Snakes on a Plane

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson

Director: David R. Ellis

Company: New Line

Now Showing: In area


MPAA Rating - R

Grade: A-

DVD Picks

REMINGTON STEELE: Season 4 & 5 - Fox

Private eye Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) grudgingly accepts a new partner when a mystery man (Pierce Brosnan) assumes the identity of her fictitious boss, Remington Steele. Together, the two battle crime as as their feelings for each other. We finally get to the final two seasons of one of TVs most popular detective shows. Brosnan and Zimbalist are back for their final roles as Laura Holt and Remington Steele as they go from one adventure to another barely escaping death and falling more in love with one another with each episode.

The stories in these final seasons are among the best in the series showcasing the chemistry of the characters and creativity of the writers. Some of my favorite ones include “Steele Identity” taking Steele to England to find out his past, “Suburban Steele” involving Laura’s sister finding a dead man in her kitchen and “Steeled With a Kiss” showing the two together for one last adventure.

The show was fun to watch and provided great entertainment for the whole family.This DVD set includes the final 27 episodes of season four and five completely restored picture and sound. Extras include commentary on selected episodes, the 2-hour season five premiere and four featurettes. An episode synopsis is printed on the back of each volume for reference.

SURFACE - Universal

What do naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, a family in Wilmington, N.C., the oceanographic institute in Monterey, and fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico all have in common? They’re all about to be the first to meet a new form of sea life -- it’s beautiful, the kids may even want to play with it, and it likes to make the water warm. But what they don’t know yet is that they are on the verge of a world disaster.

This is one of those shows that I was so excited to see and left disappointed. The premise was great and the overall story made sense. The characters were believable and entertaining with little twists as the episodes progressed. Where the show missed the mark was in the pacing of the episodes. It took more than three episodes to figure out what was really going on and then it began to speed up. As an attention grabber, I felt like there were moments of WOW and many moments of “boring”.

The cast worked well together with newcomers Leighton Meester and Carter Jenkins. Lake Bell and Jay R. Ferguson really kept the show alive during the slow parts. The last three episodes were better than the whole show leading up to one hell of a cliffhanger that will probably never get resolved. Welcome to another “short-lived” sci-fi that took the “deep six”.

The DVD presents the entire series on four discs. Each volume has an episode synopsis on the back. The packaging is very colorful and the extras include a short feature on the making of the series and some commentary on selected episodes. There are also some deleted scenes spread out through the episodes. The show is presented in Widescreen format with Dolby 5.1 Digital sound. My advice is to pass on this one

unless you are addicted to “sea monster” movies.


Jon Pertwee was the third actor to play Doctor Who, and stars here in an episode that first aired in 1970. The Doctor and his fellow travellers aboard the Tardis have been thrown into a parallel universe where familiar characters emerge with different personality traits--a fascinating premise for one of the best ever episodes of the show. In this episode, a top secret drilling project headed by Professor Sahlman is attempting to penetrate the Earth’s crust, and the Doctor and Liz Shaw are on hand to observe. While tensions and jealousies plague the project, disaster nearly strikes and throws everything out of balance. This is one of the best episodes of this series.

Definately recommended!

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006