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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.
 
ALL THE KINGS MEN  

Based on Robert Penn Warren’s 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, All the King’s Men tells the story of an idealist’s rise to power in the world of Louisiana politics and the corruption that leads to his ultimate downfall. Written for the screen, directed and produced by Steven Zaillian, who won an Academy Award for his adaptation of Schindler’s List, All the King’s Men features an all-star cast, including Oscar winner Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson and Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins.

All the King’s Men is a complex saga of human nature, power, corruption, idealism, romance and betrayal. Using politics as a framework to delve into the more profound dilemmas of human existence * sin, guilt and redemption * it explores the nature of corruption in a way that is timely and relevant today.† Warren’s acclaimed exploration of morality was inspired by the career Louisiana governor Huey P. Long and other political demagogues, and has profound effect on contemporary literature. Zaillian’s stylized treatment captures the essence of Warren’s novel, infusing it with classic noir elements.

The acting in this film is absolutely superb, particularly that of Sean Penn.† Although the pacing of this particular film is slow during the first hour, it picks up as the story moves into its penultimate hour.† Sean Penn provides the role with angst and verve.†† He may be headed for another Oscar nomination with this realistic and well done picture.† I definately recommend you check this picture out.† You won’t regret it.

All the Kings Men

Starring: Sean Penn & Jude Law

Director: James Carville

Company: Columbia

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - PG:13

Grade: B


Nicks DVD’s

THE CLARK GABLE COLLECTION - Fox

Clark Gable made three movies for the Fox studios and they are now available in this wonderful boxed set. They are performances that you should not miss.† Get this set for your collection today-- you won’t be disappointed.† The Tall Men is another classic Western from the fifties. The Tall Men is the story of two brothers who go on a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. They rescue a woman from the Indians, and she decides to ride with them. Of course the usual love triangle ensues and she will have to choose the right guy. Who will it be and will the cattle make it to Montana?† Watch this great flick and find out.

The cinematography in this film features those wonderful western vistas that are so fun to look at and the music of Victor Young sets the western mood. The Call of the Wild as directed by William “Wild Bill” Wellman brings Jack London’s classic novel to the screen. Produced by the legendary Darryl F. Zanuck, The Call of the Wild has a superb screenplay by Gene Fowler and Leonard Praskins that tells the story of Alaska gold rush greed. There is more drama than you can imagine taking place in the Yukon.

The original music by Alfred Newman ads perfectly to the story and is a delight to listen to.† 1955’s Soldier of Fortune was written by the incredible Earnest K Gann and is a great action film to watch. Filmed in color, this film looks stunning with its new restoration.†

Gable plays mercenary soldier Hank Lee, a Rambo kind of guy who is sent to Asia to rescue a fellow American who is held captive by Chinese Communists. Lee ‘s exciting adventure to the Orient is a non-stop action ride. And yes, he gets the guy, and wins over the girl in the end.

8th AND OCEAN - MTV

Want to know what the high-stakes; competitive world of modeling is really like? You’re invited to drop by 8th & Ocean. Deep in the heart of Miami’s hot South Beach, ten professional models live together in a beachfront apartment complex, each trying to make their way in a glamorous yet very demanding industry. From the fading star afraid her time has passed to the naÔve newbie testing her moral limits to the party boy searching for true love, 8th & Ocean shows you the hard work and human drama behind the glossy fashion spreads.† Welcome to Beverly Hills 90210: The Next Generation!!† Want to know what the life of a model is like behind the scenes?† Well, here it is in a nutshell.† The whole show is pretty “trendy” with all the drama of a bad daytime soap.† I found the stories to be mundane and the drama very “campy” to the point of ridiculous.† The cast even has the “soap opera stare” down perfectly.† I watched 90210 and Melrose Place when they were in their prime and this show is not even close.† Other than the intense “eye candy” shown every five minutes, this show would disappear in one or two episodes.† I guess the younger generation and simple-minded folks will think this is the greatest show on TV.† The DVD box set contains 10 episodes and a bonus disc with Cast bios, Deleted Scenes and featurettes on modeling.† Needless to say, this one was a dud for me.

GANG WARS - HBO

This DVD looks at life of a gang member in the Little Rock, Arkansas.† Both films center in on life in a gang and the culture behind the different groups.† The second film titled “Back in the Hood: Gang War 2” I found to be the more interesting of the two as we follow the life of a former gang member released from prison trying to lead a normal life.† The information provided in this DVD is staggering and scary leaving you uneasy at best.† I found it hard to believe that the homicide rate was higher in Little Rock than in New York or Los Angeles.† Just when you thought it was a safe place to live*† The DVD is presented in Standard Format with Dolby Surround.† Extras here include Audio commentary with Producer/Director Marc Levin, producer Daphne Pinkerson and former county coroner Steve Nawojczyk.† There are also interviews with Taz, Kool-Aid and Misty not to mention an interview with coroner Steve Nawojczyk.† I’ll bet you will be surprised when you hear what he has to say.† Needless to say, this was an enlightening and interesting documentary that I highly recommend especially if you work in the educational system.

ROSEANNE: Season Five - Anchor Bay

One of the major family sitcoms of the late 1980s/early 1990s, Roseanne became popular for its no-nonsense attitude and its humorously honest portrayal of American life. With a set resembling the living room of countless family homes across the United States, the show concerned itself the with the antics of its main star, Roseanne Barr (later roseanne Arnold), her husband Dan (John Goodman), and their kids. More like a regular working-class family than any other characters previously seen on television, the Illinois-bred Conners use brutal honesty and acerbic wit to raise their three children: rapidly maturing Becky, sarcastic Darlene, and precocious DJ. Meanwhile, they have to deal with the typical problems of an American family, such as annoying relatives, worries about jobs and money, and the struggle to find time for themselves. Roseanne was among the first shows on television to deal in a truthful and deglamorized way with everyday issues that average viewers could relate to--and it managed to remain funny and touching while doing so. All 25 uncut episodes from the show’s fifth season are included here.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  November 01, 2006