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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 young Eric O’Neill (Phillippe) is promoted out of his low-level surveillance job and into the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his dream of becoming a full-fledged agent is on the verge of becoming reality. Even more impressive, O’Neill is hand picked to work for renowned operative Robert Hanssen (Cooper) within information assurance, a new division created to protect all classified FBI intelligence.

But O’Neill is quickly confronted with the true reason behind his hire: Hanssen is the sole subject of a long term, top secret investigation, a suspected mole made all the more dangerous by the sheer global import of the information he is charged with protecting. The Bureau asks O’Neill to use Hanssen’s growing trust and slowly draw the traitor out of deep cover. Engaged in a lethal game of spy versus spy without the benefit of a cover story or backup, O’Neill finds himself fighting to bring down Hanssen before the trecherous double agent can destroy O’Neill, his family and the nation they are both sworn to serve.

Ryan Phillippe shines in this drama that is based on a true story. Simply put, this is a definate must see. Get out and see this one. You don’t want to miss it!


Starring: Chris Cooper & Ryan Phillippe

Director: Billy Ray

Company: Universal

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - PG-13

Grade: B

DVD Picks

THE BIG VALLEY: Season Two - Fox

Victoria Barkley heads her adult brood on the Barkley Ranch in California’s San Joaquin Valley, near Stockton, in the 1870s. Heath is the illegitimate son of Victoria’s husband Tom (who is dead at the time of the series). Bank robbers, horse thieves, revolutionaries and land grabbers keep the Barkley’s hopping.The Big Valley ran from 1965 – 1969 and was rated as one of the top prime time Western dramas in TV history. Barbara Stanwyck leads a stellar cast including Lee Majors, Richard Long, Peter Beck and the lovely Linda Evans. The story surrounds the Barkley family settling in the San Joaquin Valley in California during the 1870’s. There is danger at every turn from renegade Indians and outlaws to crooked lawmen and politicians eagerly trying to dominate the land. As TV dramas go, this one was quite entertaining to say the least. I grew up on Bonanza and Gunsmoke and I have to say that this show ranks with them. There was more drama

with this particular series complete with love, greed, revenge and sorrow making for a serious “soap-opera” of the West. The stories were average and the scenery was gorgeous. This show also reflected on the time period for which it was written. I would recommend this series if you enjoyed Bonanza. The box set contains 15 episodes on three discs. No extras are provided in this set.

DOCTOR WHO: Complete Second Series - BBC

The BBC continues in its successful quest to rebrand the iconic DOCTOR WHO franchise with this second series of 21st-century episodes. The kitschy sets of old have been discarded and David Tennant takes over from Christopher Eccleston as the 10th incarnation of the Doctor. Former pop star Billie Piper remains at the Doctor’s side, playing his assistant, Rose, and a vast array of villains and intergalactic troublemakers face them as they zip through the galaxy in the Tardis. This time out, Queen Victoria and the Cybermen come face to face with Tennant’s Doctor, and longstanding fans of the show will be delighted to see the robotic dog K9 returning. The complete second series is included on this release.

HAWAII FIVE-O: Season One - Paramount

With its groundbreaking mix of crackling dialogue, suspenseful plots, Hawaiian locales and irresistible them music, Hawaii Five-O ushered in a thrilling new era of TV police action dramas. Starring Jack Lord as the tough as nails Detective Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur as his second in command, Danny Williams, this landmark TV series followed the Five-O team as they cracked down on crime while relentlessly pusruing the enemies of the State. Relive all of the Five-O excitement with the original pilot movie and all of the season one adventures. There are a couple of special features that include “Memories of Hawaii Five-O.” This set is simply not to miss for any fan of the show.

I LOVE LUCY: Final Seasons - Paramount

A television show like “I Love Lucy” really does not need an IntroductIon. Who doesn’t know about the redhead wIth the famous plea, “RIcky, why can’t I be in the show?”, and who isn’t famIliar wIth RIcky’s exasperated “Ai-yi-yi!”? Ever sInce 1951, the Ricardos have been a staple of American television, and the show is one of the few genuine gems of the medium. It’s I Love Lucy’s sixth hilarious season, as Lucy manages to find trouble all over the world. This set includes all original season seven, eight, and nine episodes, fully restored and remastered. This is arguably the best television show of all time that set the standard for comedic television. A must for all!

EMERGENCY: Season Three - Universal

Los Angeles in the 1970s was a little bit safer thanks to the crew from Emergency! From the mind of Jack Webb this series gave a realistic look into the daily struggles of paramedics, firemen, and hospital staff. EMTs Roy DeSoto (Kevin Tighe) and John Gage (Randolph Mantooth) speed through L.A. to bring people to Rampart Hospital, and Nurse Dixie McCall (Julie London) is there waiting to help the incoming patients. With the paramedic profession still young, this show provided the general public a look into the lives of these heroes. Guest stars like Kathleen Quinlan, Nick Nolte, and Deidre Hall bring even more excitement to this third season set, which includes all 22 heart-pounding episodes.


When Mr. Moto, the no nonsense marial arts savvy Japanese detective inspired by J.P. Marquand’s best selling books hit the big screen, he infused the genre with a new exotic flare. This outstanding second edition includes four favorite Mr. Moto hits starring the inimitable Peter Lorre. This set includes Mr. Moto in Danger Island, Mr. Moto’s Gamble, Mr. Moto’s Last Warning, and Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation. This set includes numerous special features and interviews. Also included is a restoration comparison. Don’t miss this irreverent set!

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  March 07, 2007