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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  
MIAMI VICE: Seasons Three & Four - Universal

Detective James “Sonny” Crockett and detective Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs, of the Miami-Dade police department’s organized crime bureau vice unit, work deep undercover as seedy criminals to infiltrate and bring down the various criminal enterprises of southern Florida. This time you get two seasons released together for double the action and adventure. Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas heat up the screen as detectives Crockett and Tubbs going from one intense situation to another leaving you at the edge of your seat. This show was one of the most successful series’ of its time and still has “staying power” with all of us that grew up loving it. The recent film only helped the show regain its popularity with the younger generations. How many of you still have your white “Don Johnson” coat in the closet? You know who you are! All of the episodes from these seasons are classics combining intense action, suspense and thrills with comedy and great on-screen drama that only Johnson and Thomas could pull off. Season

three contains 24 episodes on five discs and season four containing 22 episodes on five discs. All the episodes are digitally restored with premium picture and sound. The packaging is attractive with lots of stills from the show and a detailed episode synopsis on the insert. Miami Vice fans will love reliving older memories of the show and younger generations will discover new ones. This is a set worth owning for your classic TV collection.

ROCKY BALBOA - Sony

Rocky is struggling to come to terms with his life after he retires. Adrian’s passing has left Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) a widower who lives more in the past than the now which strains the few relationships that he has namely his son Robert, Jr. (now played by ‘Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia and his nutty brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young). But when a computer simulation pits a in-his-prime Rocky vs. the current undefeated champion Mason Dixon (boxer Antonio Tarver) Rocky becomes focused on a return to the ring to let loose the ‘beast’ one final time. Stallone really puts his heart into this sequel to give full closure to the Rocky story. The fact that Stallone can look that good at his age and convince us that he still “has it” is nothing more that a miracle. The final fight was such a pleasant surprise and sent the message to the audience that you can’t let age and time inhibit your ability to lose faith or heart. Live each day to its fullest and let the past go. The DVD presents the film in Widescreen format with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Extras include Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending, Bloopers, “Making of “ feature, Audio commentary with Stallone, “Filming Rocky’s Final Fight” feature and “Virtual Champion: Creating the computer fight” featurette. This is a great final chapter to the Rocky story that everyone should own.

ERAGON - Fox

In his homeland of Alagaesia, a farm boy happens upon a dragon’s egg -- a discovery that leads him on a predestined journey where he realized he’s the one person who can defend his home against an evil king. Finally, a story about dragons that is worth seeing!! I thought when the “Dragonheart” films came out that they would be similar to this film. I was sorely disappointed with them in hopes that they could have been darker in nature. Disney’s “Dragonslayer” was quite entertaining but tended to lack in key areas including the characters themselves. We won’t even talk about “Reign of Fire”!! Eragon is based on a series of books that the younger generation can’t get enough of. The cast is a mixture of unknown faces including Edward Speleers and Chris Egan combined with familiar actors like Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich. This mix helps the pace of the film and provides substance in the overall tone of the picture. Having the voice of Rachel Weisz for the dragon brought this CGI character to

life helping the overall character development between Eragon and Saphira. The overall effects are stunning and the musical score provided by Patrick Doyle puts this film over the top. The DVD presents the film in Widescreen format with Dolby 5.1 DTS surround. Extras include audio commentary with Director Stefen Fangmeier, Extended and Deleted Scenes, “Magic of Eragon” documentary, featurettes on Alagaesia characters and visual effects. There are also unused storyboards, “Saphira’s Animation” feature with commentary and a teaser trailer. This is a great buy with loads of great extras to boot. I eagerly await the sequel!

THE STORY OF 1 - PBS

How old is One? A precise answer is impossible, but a nothed Ishango bone found in the Congo proves that it’s been around for at least 20,000 years. One’s modern identity began about 6,000 years ago, when the Sumerians turned it into a cone-shaped token and then into the first ever numeric character. The numeral traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, influencing science, mathmatics, astronomy and even tax collecting. Terry Jones goes on a humor filled journey to recount the amazing tale behind the world’s simplest number. The Story of 1 reveals how civilizations used One to develop their culture; wher our modern numbers came from; and how the invention of zero changed the world forever. This particular program is priceless, especially for people interested in mathematics. Not your ordinary mockumentary, this one will actually capture your attention and you might just learn something in the process!

CHILDREN OF MEN - Universal

Children of Men is not a popcorn movie. With its almost relentlessly bleak perspective on the future, Alfonso CuarÛn’s film doesn’t make for pleasant viewing. But it’s an exhilarating experience because the picture is an amazing dystopian drama that lacks all the typical trappings of the genre. Set uncomfortably close to the present, it paints a frighteningly realistic picture of the future. In 2027, every woman on earth is infertile. With the loss of the ability to have children, the world has also lost hope. Clive Owen plays Theo, an Englishman attempting to make a life in a hellish world. His estranged wife (Julianne Moore) convinces him to help transport a young woman to safety. When Theo learns that the woman is pregnant, their journey takes on a significance--and a danger--he never imagined.

THE MARIO BAVA COLLECTION: Vol. One - Anchor Bay

This collection presents five giallo classics from legendary Italian horror director Mario Bava: Black Sunday (1960), Black Sabbath (1963), The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), Knives of the Avenger (1965), and Kill Baby Kill (1966). More than a quarter of a century after his death, director Mario bava remains one of international cinema’s most controversial icons. Today his influence can still be seen in the works of modern day directors. This collection brings together five landmark movies from the first half of Bava’s career. This set is simply not to be missed!

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM - Fox

Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley, a down-on-his-luck divorced father in this family-friendly tale directed by Shawn Levy. Larry has lots of ideas and dreams, but none of them come to fruition. In an attempt to prove his stability to his ex-wife (Kim Raver) and his son, Nicky (Jake Cherry), Larry accepts a job as a night guard at the Museum of Natural History. But the elderly night guards who hire him, played by entertainment legends Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke, and Bill Cobbs, fail to mention one crucial detail: when the museum is closed, everything inside comes to life. From Attila the Hun to miniature Roman soldiers, African mammals to Neanderthal men, and Egyptian mummies to dinosaur skeletons, the museum teems with lively activity. Now it’s Larry’s job to control the mayhem and show his son that he is, indeed, a great man after all.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  May 02, 2007