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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  
IDIOCRACY - Fox

Private Joe Bowers, the definition of “average American”, is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes 500 years in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed-down that he’s easily the most intelligent person alive. This isn’t Austin Powers, but it is still quite entertaining. Luke Wilson is an average guy... literally. This middle of the road Army Soldier has scored dead center of the Bell Curve in every IQ and aptitude test known to man. The Army, always a great source of comic relief, designs an experiment to cryo-freeze their best soldiers in times of peace, only to thaw them and enlist their services when the USA needs them most. They attempt a one year trial on one of their less valuable soldiers, but of course something goes wrong. Sgt. Is for forgotten about for 500 years. When he awakes we are laughing so hard our sides hurt at the terrible state of the Union. The spoken language has become a “valley girl/ghetto” slang hybrid, and the average IQ is below our mentally handicapped level. Sgt is revered as a genius and while I won’t give away the ending, it is quite funny, especially if you like slapstick comedy.

THE COVENANT - Sony

Four young men who belong to a supernatural legacy are charged with stopping the evil force they released into the world years earlier. Another great force they must contend with is the jealousy and suspicion that threatens to tear them apart. The Blair Witch Project this is not. However, if you invited Stan Lee and Bram Stoker to write a film together this would be close to the result. Here is the long list of pros why I enjoyed this film. First, there is a string of up and coming actors, list, that do an impressive job. The plot is not overly predictable and is easy to follow, unlike many other religious flicks. Its special effects are not overly spectacular but consistent with the current norm. A quite pleasing powerful metal soundtrack contrasts dramatic cinematography that captures beautiful fall scenery in New England. This landscape is where the story unfolds. Over 300 years ago the 1st settlers in America struggled with serious spiritual forces and resulted in the famous Salem Witch Trials. The film is based on 4 of the families of the original colony. Called the “Sons of Ipswich” these Warlocks, male witches, have kept their powers secret for ten generations... until now. The descendant of the 5th Son of Ipswich, thought to be long dead, shows up at their prep school. Power hungry, destructive and with a chip on his shoulder he vows to punish and expose the four others with whom he was never accepted. The Covenant is X-Men meets Harry Potter- worth seeing.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE - MGM

When a sick boy (Fred Savage) receives a visit from his doting grandfather (Peter Falk) who intends to read to him from his favorite book, he’s not exactly pleased to be extracted from his world of video games. However, his mood quickly changes as he, along with the viewer, is transported to a place out of time--to Florin, a kingdom in the ultimate imaginary land, complete with dashing heroes, cowardly princes, rhyming giants, shrieking eels, rodents of unusual size, fancy swordfights, and yes...even some kissing. The lovely Buttercup (Robin Wright) learns that “As you wish” really means “I love you” when she falls for her charming farmhand, Westley (Cary Elwes). While trying to seek his fortune, however, Westley disappears at sea, an apparent victim of the Dread Pirate Roberts, who takes no prisoners. A few years later, Buttercup, engaged to the oily Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is kidnapped by an oddball trio of rogues--brains, Vizzini (Wallace Shawn); brawn, Fezzik (AndrÈ the Giant); and sword, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin in a standout performance). As they sail away toward the Cliffs of Insanity, they notice the pursuit of a man in black...and the adventure begins. A clever fairy tale for all ages, The Princess Bride is arguably one of the funniest and most entertaining films of all time and simply a must own for any fan of the cinema.

ROBERT MITCHUM SIGNATURE COLLECTION - Warner

Warner Home Video celebrates the career of a classic Hollywood anti-hero with the Robert Mitchum: The Signature Collection featuring six new to DVD titles including Angel Face, Macao, Home from the Hill, The Sundowners, The Good Guys & the Bad Guys and The Yakuza. The Collection includes never-before-seen bonus footage, vintage featurettes and commentaries and includes such co-stars as Jane Russell, Jean Simmons, Deborah Kerr and David Carradine in films directed by Sydney Pollack, Fred Zinnemann and Vincente Minnelli among others. Mitchum was one of Hollywood’s most durable leading men, with a career that spanned more than 50 years and over 120 films. This set was put together by the folks at Warner with pride. This is a fine collection that is a must own.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: Collector’s Edition - MGM

Ukrainian milkman Tevye clings desperately to the old Jewish traditions while all around him the world changes, day by day. His three daughters marry men he considers more and more unacceptable, and the ruling Russian government’s anti-Semitism threatens to drive him from his home. As far as musicals go, there isn’t a better one that Fiddler on the Roof. This is an incredible story and has stood thetest of time. This two disc special edition contains numerous extra features. I cannot recommend this set more highly!

THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS: Expanded - FOX

Cora (Madeleine Stowe) and her younger sister, Alice (Jodhi May), both recent arrivals to the colonies, are being escorted to their father, Colonel Munro (Maurice Roeves), by a troop of British soldiers. Along the way they are ambushed by a Huron war party led by Magua (Wes Studi), a sinister warrior with a blood vendetta against Munro. Munro’s soldiers are wiped out and Cora herself is nearly killed by Magua but is saved at the last moment by Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), a white trapper raised by the Mohican tribe. Hawkeye promises to take Cora and her sister safely to their father, and along the way Cora and the intense Hawkeye fall in love. Together they must survive wilderness, war, and the relentless pursuit of Magua. In this package, the picture is presented in 2.35:1 Widescreen and the sound is in 5.1 surround. This film was originally distributed in 1992 and is just as good today. This digitally enhanced version is clearer than the original. Check it out today!

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  February 08, 2007