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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  
STARGATE: SG1 - Fox

A team of explorers travel through an alien device called the Stargate taking them to other worlds where they encounter different races and amazing technology. Season nine basically puts the team against their greatest enemy*. The Ori. Ben Browder plays Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell leading the team into the pathway of the Ori as they are bent on Universal domination. With the help of Vala (Claudia Black) and the rest of the SG-1 team, a plan must be made to stop the Ori at all cost. This season has its ups and downs compared to previous seasons. The team is different with Browder and Black, not that this is a bad thing, it is just different. There is more slapstick humor than previous seasons and the overall stories are tending to ramble. It is obvious that the show is in its closing stages. Who can blame them seeing as this show is the longest surviving sci-fi in the history of Television. Some of the seasons highlights include the two-part opener titled *Avalon* where Jackson and Valla are joined by alien bracelets and transported to a world dominated by the Ori. We also have another two-part episode titled *The Fourth Horseman* dealing with a deadly Ori plague. The final episodes of this season bring the Arthur Grail Quest into the picture as Daniel and Mitchell race against time to find the ultimate weapon that will neutralize the Ori forever. The DVD contains all 20 episodes on five discs presented in Widescreen Format and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes, Photo Galleries and Commentary on selected episodes. The packaging is very colorful with an episode synopsis on the back of each volume. Complete your collection today with this sci-fi classic.

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND - Fox

The X-Men, mutant heroes sworn to defend a world that hates and fears them, are back! This time, with the help of new recruits The Beast and Angel, they must face evolution itself in the form of their former teammate, Jean Grey. Possessed with the cosmic power of the Dark Phoenix, the resurrected Jean Grey has become a danger to herself, her mutant comrades, and the entire planet. To stave off this imminent threat to humanity, a potential cure is discovered and processed to treat -- and ultimately eliminate -- genetic mutations, once and for all. This final installment of the X-Men series is absolutely amazing. The whole trilogy is stunning and really gives credit to the characters making for one of the finest superhero films of all time. The whole cast is back, led by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. In this installment, we see characters die and minor roles turning into major ones. The overall story is quite good but there is so much information in this film, I felt like I was being cramed with plot to the point of overkill up to the conclusion of the picture. The script wasn*t as strong as the second film, but still answered all of our questions about the show with a few surprises. The addition of Beast played by Kelsey Grammer made this film that much better adding much to the chemistry of the characters and the storyline. There were so many cameos of other mutants that I found myself having to watch this film twice to get them all pointed out. The music score by John Ottman is outstanding and adds much to the overall film. Effects and casting made this film great, but the overall script was weaker than the other two films. Maybe they should have made this film into two separate movies? In saying that, I still enjoyed this film very much and recommend the trilogy to anyone. The DVD presents this film in Widescreen format with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 6.1 surround. Extras in this set include Audio Commentary with Director Brett Ratner and Screenwriters Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg. There is also producer commentary, deleted scenes and three alternate endings with optional commentary.

G.I. JOE: SIGMA SIX FIRST STRIKE - Paramount

G.I. Joe has been the Real American Hero for over twenty years, and is now jumping into the 21st Century with both feet forwards. Showing in half hour blocks, the producers promise a solid continuity throughout the episodes, starting off with the ever-popular five-part miniseries much as the animated series of the 80’s used to do. I used to watch G.I. Joe when I was a kid everyday after school. All of us collected the toys and sang the theme song even if we don*t want to admit it. Sigma 6 is a step into the next generation of the G.I. Joe franchise with new stories and stellar animation. Everything is aiming towards *anime* and this is no exception. The overall tone of the show is more urban than the ones from the 80s and the plots are more sophisticated in this new show. I still enjoy the campy *YO JOE* from the old show as well as the older animation, but this new show has promise. The toy line is back up and running with old and new toys and kids are able to see the both sets of shows on DVD. What a treat for them and all of us. This DVD presents the entire 90 minute *First Strike* presented in Full Screen format with Dolby Digital sound. Extras include Art Galleries, Sigma Files and TV Episode Animatics. If you liked the older show, this one will be interesting to watch and compare.

CSI MIAMI: Season Four - Paramount

CSI: MIAMI introduces a new cast of crime fighters operating from a forensics lab unit in the tropical climes of southern Florida. David Caruso anchors the series as tortured homicide detective Horatio Caine, who leads an investigative team that includes a Southern-belle ballistics expert, Calleigh Duquesne (Emily Procter); an underwater recovery expert, Eric Delko (Adam Rodriguez); a no-nonsense coroner, Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander); and an idealistic cop, Ryan Wolfe (Jonathan Togo). While sharing its parent show’s penchant for grisly crime reenactments, the spinoff places more emphasis on police work than science, and boasts a flashier cinematographic style that befits its sun-kissed and stylish Miami locale. This collection presents all 25 episodes of the series’ fourth season. CSI is one of the most incredible series currently on television. If you aren’t currently a fan, check it out. I guarantee you will like this show.

OVER THE HEDGE - Dreamworks

Just whose backyard is it, anyway? Spring has sprung, and Verne and his woodland friends awaken from their long winter’s nap to discover that a tall, green “thing” has mysteriously cropped up right through the middle of their home. Enter RJ, an opportunistic raccoon, who explains that the world beyond the hedge is the “gateway to the good life” where peculiar creatures called humans live to eat, rather than eat to live. Suspicious and even a little jealous of RJ, the ever-cautious Verne wants to keep his blended family safely on their side of the hedge. But, proving the adage that one man’s garbage is another man’s*or rather animal’s*treasure, the manipulative RJ tries to convince the woodland band that there is little to fear and everything to gain from their over-indulgent new neighbors. Eventually, RJ and Verne form an unlikely friendship as they learn to co-exist with*and even exploit*this strange new world called suburbia. OVer the Hedge is one of the funniest films of the year and is definately a must own dvd.

Nick W. Nicholson

Creekside Intermediate School

Director of Bands

E-Mail: nnichols@ccisd.net

Phone: (281) 284-3589

Fax: (281) 284-3505

Creekside Intermediate School

4320 West Main

League City, TX 77573

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  November 29, 2006