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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  

Dave, nineteen, has just graduated high school, with his 3 friends, The comical Cyril, the warm hearted but short-tempered Moocher, and the athletic, spiteful but good-hearted Mike. Now, Dave enjoys racing bikes and hopes to race the Italians one day, and even takes up the Italian culture, much to his friends and parents annoyance. While meanwhile, the 4 friends try to break away from their townie, Indiana reputation while fighting with nearby college snobs. What a cool film! I really enjoyed watching this “feel good” movie about teenage boys’ adolescence and the love of bike racing. You just can’t help but get a kick out of seeing young Dennis Quaid. The cast is brilliantly selected and the story was very moving. I especially liked the footage of the races. Lance Armstrong would be proud to watch this film.

The scenes flow nicely and the script keeps you entertained for the duration of the film. Patrick Williams provides a nice score to the film. As a whole, this is a great film to pick you up if you are feeling down. One can put this in the category of “forgotten

treasures” for films. The DVD presents the film in Anamorphic Widescreen with Dolby Digital sound. Extras include TV spots and the Theatrical Trailer.

MOSAIC - Starz

A young girl gains powers during a storm giving her the power of the chameleon. As superhero shows go, this one is average. Anna Paquin portrays a young girl named Maggie who inherits powers overnight from a freak storm. She meets up with a man called Mosaic played by Kirby Morrow who has similar powers and helps her find her father’s enemies. The overall story has been told time and time again leaving little to the imagination. I found the plot to be average with a few brief moments of “cool” infused with several minutes of boredom. Stan Lee is so talented in many areas, but this show could have been so much better. I was looking for something in the neighborhood of “Batman: Animated” or “X-Men Animated” as a template. The animation for the film is not bad, but could have been so much better. I guess this is what the budget called for. The DVD presents the show in Widescreen with Dolby Digital sound. Extras include an introduction by Stan Lee, Still Galleries and two features on the film.


Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons star in Elizabeth I, a two-part HBO Films miniseries event that explores the intersection of the private and public life of Elizabeth I (Mirren) in the latter half of her reign, offering a personal look at her allies, her enemies and her suitors as she struggles to survive in a male-dominated world. Part 1 explores Elizabeth’s tempestuous relationship with the Earl of Leicester (Irons) as it survives a French suitor, war, treason, and illness. Part 2 follows Elizabeth through her later years, during which she had an equally passionate affair with the young, ambitious Earl of Essex (Hugh Dancy), who had been raised, ironically, by his stepfather Leicester. In the end, Elizabeth I sheds light on one of the most popular members of the monarchy who held absolute power over everything... except her heart. The acting in this miniseries is superb and fascinating to watch. This is some of Mirren and Irons finest work. This DVD has a couple of extras and is in 16.9 ratio for your widescreen television. The Dolby 2.0 sound is adequate, but could be better. The picture is a good transfer and is pleasing to watch.


Two piano-playing brothers, one a cynic with serious artistic leanings, and the other a perpetually optimistic, but workmanlike player, audition a number of vocalists in order to spice up their stale lounge act. When they find a beautiful and talented young singer, their career starts to pick up again. But jealousies, both romantic and professional, begin to appear and threaten their newfound success. Nearly two decades since its original release, this is still an incredible film. The picture and sound quality are both outstanding. There are no extra features included in this release.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: Collector’s Edition -- MGM

Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins will likely be forever associated with their roles in this bone-chilling masterpiece, based on the novel by Thomas Harris and directed by Jonathan Demme. FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Foster) is sent by her supervisor (Scott Glenn) to interview ferociously intelligent serial killer Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lechter (Hopkins) at his cell in a Maryland mental hospital. The FBI hopes Lechter can provide insight into the mind of killer-at-large, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), whose current abductee happens to be the daughter of a senator. Intrigued by Clairice, Lechter demands information about her personal life and in exchange for clues, and the two begin to form a strangely intimate connection, with a girl’s life hanging in the balance. This two disc collector’s edition comes with numerous extras and is simply too good to pass up. Pick your up today!

THE THREE STOOGES: Hapless Half-Wits - Sony

The Three Stooges represent the true definition of comic genius. The troup which began in the early 20th century has found new life in this Hapless Half-Wits edition put together by Sony. This package is available with the ChromaChoice color technology which enables the viewer to toggle back and forth between the original black and white and new colorized versions. There are four episodes included in this package. Come check out Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp!


Based on the bestselling memoir by Augusten Burroughs, Running With Scissors features an all-star cast. As a child, Augusten (Joseph Cross) completely adores his narcissistic mother Deirdre (Annette Bening). Her biggest fan, he encourages her goal of becoming a published poet when no one else will. But while these dreams of grandeur seem innocent through Augusten’s young eyes, they grow more delusional with time, slowly wearing on the family and contributing to its demise. While a teenage Augusten skips school and his father Norman (Alec Baldwin) uses alcohol to escape, Deirdre calls in an eccentric psychiatrist for an outside opinion. Dr. Finch’s advice ends up being anything but professional, however, as his looseness with prescriptions and wacko theories end Deirdre’s dysfunctional marriage and prompt her to abandon Augusten. Left to spend his teenage years as part of Dr. Finch’s outlandish family, Augusten struggles to find

himself while surrounded by a series of tormented and over-analyzed individuals. This is simply one of the best movies of the year. You don’t want to miss it.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  March 07, 2007