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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.
 
JAMES CAGNEY: Signature Collection - Warner  

James Cagney is definately the actor of the 1940's. The five films in the box include The Fighting 69th. Next is the comedy romance Torrid Zone. The third film is the screwball comedy The Bride Came C.O.D. which was made in 1941 and co-starring Bette Davis. The forth film is the patriotic World War II film Captains of the Clouds. The final film in the set is the musical The West Point Story and stars Virginia Mayo, Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, and Gene Nelson. Of the bunch, my favorites are Torrid Zone for its zippy patter and The Fighting 69th because I remember seeing it when I was very young. The 69th was a celebrated regiment of soldiers made up mostly of Irish Americans, who distinguished themselves from the Civil War onward, and in the case of this movie, World War I. During the War the regiment was part of the 165th Infantry A.E.F., itself a part of the newly formed Rainbow Division, which was sent to France in 1918, where some members of the 69th won Medals of Honor. Warner Bros. released the film just a year or so before America entered World War II, and they meant it to kindle some national pride and love of country as we again prepared for conflict. There is enough patriotism, chauvinism, and prayer in The Fighting 69th for a lifetime. The film has a great cast and some good action scenes going for it. If it seems too old fashioned, trite, or predictable, live with it. Millions of people have done so for the past seven decades and not found it half bad. Cagney is, and always will be, incredible!


DVD Picks

G.I. JANE: Blu-Ray - Buena Vista

G.I. Jane is Ridley Scott’s hard-hitting action film about the US Navy’s first female Seal (Demi Moore). This is one film you either like or hate, and I am in the like category. The film is a little predictable at times, but the action is great—as is Demi Moore’s acting. This is one for your collection. This Blu-Ray transfer looks incredibly film-like and the uncompressed Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is incredible. This DVD will give your subwoofer and surrounds a real workout! You will be right in the middle of the action with this fantastic package from Buena Vista. Highly recommended.

PLANET EARTH - BBC

With over five years in the making, this program is the ultimate portrait of our planet. David Attenborough narrated this stunning televsion experience that captures rare action, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet’s best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers, Planet Earth takes you to places you’ve never been and allows you to experience sights and sounds never before captured on film. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of Planet Earth.

TRUE CONFESSIONS - MGM

In Los Angeles, circa 1940, an embittered, once-corrupt cop named Tom Spellacy is investigating two murders: that of a priest found dead in a whorehouse, and that of a mutilated woman in a park. As he searches for the culprits, Spellacy uncovers an immense web of corruption, involving prostitutes, dirty cops and pornography. Even the Roman Catholic Church is implicated, particularly one Monsignor Des Spellacy, Tom’s brother. Although Des is innocent of any wrongdoing, his actions raise moral and religious issues that Tom must deal with, in order to solve these bizarre murders.

JANE EYRE - Fox

An all star cast breathes magnificent life into this captivating 1944 film version of Charlotte Brronte’s novel. This stirring film is the definitive version of the engrossing classic! After spending her childhoon in an orphanage, young Jane Eyre (Joan Fontaine) becomes governess to the ward of an imposing older man named Edward Rochester (Orson Welles). Ultimately, Jane’s gentle influence forces Rochester to drop his forbidding veneer, and he proposes to her, thus beginning a chain reaction of events that will keep you on the edge of your seat. There are numerous extra features included in this well-built set.

THE GUNS OF NAVARONE - Sony

One of the great war movies of all time, with an all start cast, and a gripping plot--based on the Alistair MacLean novel. A commando team is sent to a Greek Island to destroy the giant guns of World War II Germany which are controlling a strategic channel in the Aegean Sea. Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn star as a team of Allied military specialists recruited for the special mission. This special edition contains numerous special features including numerous original featurettes.

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND: Season Eight - HBO

Everybody Loves Raymond, with standup comedian Ray Romano in the title role, revolves around Ray Barone, a successful sportswriter living on Long Island with his wife, Debra (Patricia Heaton) and their three children – and that is the good news. What is the bad news? Ray’s meddling parents Frank (Peter Boyle) and Marie (Doris Roberts) live directly across the street and manage to infiltrate their son’s home to unparalleled extent. And then there is Ray’s older brother Robert (Brad Garrett). Robert is a divorced policeman who lives with his parents, and is a constant thorn in his brother Ray’s side. Everybody Loves Raymond, Season Eight is available in the atypical 16:9 ratio, Audio English 2.0, and is complete with subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. All 23 eighth season episodes are included, as well as numerous bloopers and deleted scenes from the series. The stories are original and the cast is absolutely brilliant! This series represents true comic genius and is highly recommended to all!

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  June 06, 2007