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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  
WALKER, TEXAS RANGER: Season Three - Paramount

Texas Ranger Cordell walker, one of the last old-fashioned heroes of the West, is a protective friend but a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to bring a criminal to justice. Walker works on instinct, often drawing on the traditions of his Native American ancestors. His partner, James Trivette, has a more modern approach to crime-solving.

C.D. Parker, a retired ranger, and Alex Cahill, the county assistant district attorney who shares a mutual attraction with walker, support the rangers in their battle to serve justice. Continue the adventures with Texas Ranger Cordell in season three of Walker, Texas Ranger.

Chuck Norris really fits the build as Cordell and with a supporting cast including Sheree J. Wilson, Clarence Gilyard Jr, and Noble Willingham, you can’t possibly go wrong. Season three expands on the character development giving the cast more depth and substance.

Several episodes from season three really support this including “Blown Apart” involving a mad bomber that threatens Alex and Walker, “Flashpoint” where Walker tangles with the IRA and “Miracle at Middle Creek” where Walker faces certain death as he struggles to free a six-year old boy from a drainpipe resulting in a cave-in. The overall stories are getting better and the chemistry of the cast fuels the show making for great entertainment. Season three presents all 25 episodes in airdate order complete and uncut on seven discs. All of the episodes are presented in Full Screen Format with 2.0 Surround.

The packaging is attractive with an episode synopsis on the back of each volume.

HOGAN’S HEROES: Season Six - Paramount

The inmates of a German World War II prisoner of war camp conduct an espionage and sabotage campaign right under the noses of their warders. Well, we finally made it to the final season. Hogan and his crew are at it again putting Colonel Klink and Sergeant Shultz through hell while staying one step ahead of the German army. This final season has some of the funniest stories in the series including “To Russia with Love” where Hogan convinces Klink that he should go to the Russian Front, “Klink’s Masterpiece” involving smuggled maps and Klink’s artwork? There is also a two-part episode titled “Lady Chitterly’s Lover involving a plot to fool Hitler into thinking that Colonel Crittendon (Bernard Fox) is Sir Charles. This is also the season where we say goodbye to Ivan Dixon who portrayed Kinchloe to be replaced by Kenneth Washington playing the part of Sgt. Richard Baker.

The final set contains all 24 episodes on four discs with digital picture and sound presented in Full Screen format. Complete your collection today!

NORBIT: BluRay - Paramount

Eddie Murphy’s shtick from Coming to America and The Nutty Professor was funny then, but not now. Norbit has a few funny spots, but overall it is a boring film that drags on and on. On the bright side, this Blu-Ray edition looks great. This is an excellent disc to demo your HDTV’s color reproduction capabilities. The film was short with very bright colors and backgrounds and this is one of the best color demo discs I have seen since Jingle All The Way.

SILVER SPOONS: Season One - Sony

The first season of Silver Spoons was the exploratory year. Here we meet Edward Stratton III (Joel Higgins), a man-child millionaire shepherding his own toy company with the help of his lawyer, Leonard (Leonard Lightfoot), and secretary Kate (Erin Gray). Into Edward’s life comes Ricky (Ricky Schroder), the 12-year-old son he never knew about. Fresh from military school, Ricky needs a home, forcing Edward to confront his childlike ways to become a father while Ricky finally gets to feel domestic stability for the first time in his life.

Together, they hop into a corvette and travel across America solving mysteries. If Silver Spoons isn’t the quintessential 1980s show, I can’t imagine what would top it.

GHOST RIDER - Sony

In Columbia Pictures’ action adventure Ghost Rider superstar motorcycle stunt rider Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) strikes a deal with the vile Mephistopheles for the most precious of commodities, his immortal soul. Now Johnny Blaze is forever destined to ride night after night as the host to the powerful supernatural entity known as the Ghost Rider.

LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA - Warner

Sixty-one years ago, US and Japanese armies met on Iwo Jima. Decades later, several hundred letters are unearthed from that stark island’s soil. The letters give faces and voices to the men who fought there, as well as the extraordinary general who led them. The Japanese soldiers are sent to Iwo Jima knowing that in all probability they will not come back. Among them are Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya), a baker who wants only to live to see the face of his newborn daughter; Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), an Olympic equestrian champion known around the world for his skill and his honor; Shimizu (Ryo Kase), a young former military policeman whose idealism has not yet been tested by war; and Lieutenant Ito (Shidou Nakamura), a strict military man who would rather accept suicide than surrender. Leading the defense is Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe), whose travels in America have revealed to him the hopeless nature of the war but also given him strategic insight into how to take on the vast American armada streaming in from across the Pacific.

THE GOOD GERMAN - Warner

One of mainstream cinema’s most tirelessly inventive directors, Steven Soderbergh delivers another big-budget stylistic experiment with THE GOOD GERMAN. This time around, Soderbergh’s target is 1940s film noir.

Set in postwar Berlin, the atmospheric thriller is based on the acclaimed novel by Joseph Kanon. Frequent Soderbergh collaborator George Clooney plays Jake Geismer, an American military journalist who has returned to Berlin for the Potsdam Peace Conference. Jake’s driver, Tully (Tobey Maguire), appears innocent upon first glance, but is in fact a major player in the corrupt Berlin underworld. He’s also dating Jake’s former flame, Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), whose beauty continues to torment Jake. When Tully’s cadaver washes ashore one day,

Jake is shocked to discover that nobody wants to go public with the news. As much as he’d like to forget about Lena, he can’t. Pretty soon, he’s risking his life to help her flee the country.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW! - Sony

Raj, Dwayne, Rerun, Shirley and Dee reunite. A little bit older, but not necessarily all that much wiser. Aspriring writer Raj is now a married man, and he and his wife Nadine return to the old neighborhood to start their life together. Dwayne is studying computers and living with Rerun, a TV commerical pitchman. Meanwhile Shirley convinces Raj to help renovate and reopen the gang’s old hangout, Rob’s Place. The original show had a spark, but this spinoff is just missing the energy of the original series.

IWO JIMA: 50 Years of Memories - Image

It was one of the last major battles of WWII, fought on a tiny Pacific island only eight miles square. And when it was over, nearly 30,000 American and Japanese men were dead. This is the story of Iwo Jima, told entirely through the voices of American servicemen who surived the hell that was Operation Detachment. This is a must own for any fan of American history.

DOCTOR WHO: Logopolis - BBC

The Doctor takes Adric and a young air hostess named Tegan Jovanka, who has come aboard the Tardis by accident, to the planet Logopolis, home of a race of mathematicians whose help he hopes to enlist in reconfiguring the outer shell of the Tardis. The mysterious, wraith-like Watcher brings Nyssa from Traken to join them and warns of impending danger - something that is borne out as the Master arrives and kills a number of the Logopolitans. The Logopolitans’ leader, the Monitor, reveals that the universe passed its normal point of heat death long ago and has been preserved only by his people’s calculations, which - by way of a signal beamed from a perfect copy of the Pharos Project radio telescope on Earth - have kept open numerous CVEs through which the excess entropy can drain. This process has now been halted by the Master’s interference, and the Doctor is forced to join forces with his arch-enemy in order to save the universe. Their plan is to use the real Pharos Project to transmit a copy of the Logopolitan program and thus keep open the CVEs, but the Master seizes the opportunity to blackmail the peoples of the universe by threatening them with destruction unless they agree to his demands.

In foiling this scheme the Doctor falls from the gantry of the radio telescope. As he lies injured on the ground the Watcher appears again and merges with the Doctor as he regenerates.

BLOOD & CHOCOLATE - Sony

A good-looking pack of werewolves that has ruled Bucharest for 5,000 years becomes threatened when one among them begins to question the traditions they have adhered to over the centuries. Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) is a teenage werewolf whose destiny has been tied to her pack since she was orphaned at a young age. The pack’s menacing leader, Gabriel (Olivier Martinez), has designs on Vivian, and hopes to make her his next wife, while the rest of Vivian’s family keeps a close watch on her every move. This makes things difficult when Vivian, against her better judgment, begins a tentative relationship with Aiden (Hugh Dancy), a graphic artist who has come to the city to study the mythical loup-garou for his next book. Vivian tries to keep her growing love a secret, but when Gabriel discovers that she has feelings for a human, he sets off a chain of events that threaten to destroy the pack--or change its bloodthirsty ways. Vivian and the extraordinary Aiden, who manages to outwit the loup-garou in ways they never thought possible, are forced to go on the run, but they must eventually face Vivian’s pack in a confrontation that forces all to examine what keeps man and beast constantly at war.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  July 04, 2007