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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.


What are the odds of getting even? Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and the gang would have only one reason to pull off their most ambitious and riskiest casino heis in order to defend one of their own. But they’re going to need more than luck on their side to break The Bank.

Ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino) never imagined that the odds were against him when he double-crossed Danny Ocean’s friend and mentor Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), putting the distraught Reuben in a hospital bed in critical condition. But Bank miscalculated...badly. He may have taken down one of the original Ocean’s eleven, but he left the others standing and, worse for him, gave them a shared purpose: to take Bank down on the night of what should be his greatest triumph—the grand opening of his new casino, appropriately named The Bank. Their strategy is twofold. First they will ruin him financially by turning the tables on the precept that the house always wins. But that’s just money. The knockout punch will be to Bank’s personal pride and joy: his reputation as the only hotelier who has earned the Royal Review Board’s Five Diamond Award on every single one of his hotels.

The plan is elaborate, dangerous and damn near impossible...but there are no limits when it comes to one of their own. “Ocean’s Thirteen” reunites stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Eddie Jemison, and Shaobo Qin, with Carl Reiner and Elliott Gould. Al Pacino joins the cast as Willy Bank, with Ellen Barkin starring as his right-hand woman, Abigail Sponder. It turns out, Thirteen is definately a lucky number as this film is far superior to the second installment we were forced to watch. Give this one a shot, as it captures a great deal of the charm and wit of the first installment.

Ocean’s Thirteen

Starring: George Clooney & Brad Pitt

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Company: Warner

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - PG-13

Grade: A-

DVD Picks

HELLBOY: Blood & Iron Starz

Hellboy, Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman set out to investigate a hauntedmansion belonging to an important billionaire stumbling onto a plot to release a deadly vampire. These animated stories are quite good.

Having the original voices helps the characters greatly and the possibilities are endless when you are dealing with animation. This story was especially entertaining with all of the various creatures that the team encountered. The action is top-notch and the dialogue between the characters is smooth and believable. If you enjoyed the original Hellboy film and the first animated feature, this one will knock your socks off. The DVD is presented in Widescreen format with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. The picture is very crisp and looks great on HDTV’s. Extras in this set include audio commentary with Mike Mignola, Tad Stones and Vic Cook. There are also four featurettes surrounding the animation and the story itself. I highly recommend this one if you like Hellboy.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: Season Two - Paramount

For your viewing pleasure here are 25 digitally remastered episodesfrom the 1967-1968 season of Mission: Impossible. Join the team from IMF as they go on missions that no one else dares to do. This is 1960’s TV at its best—great scripts, cool plots, and great actors.

This seven-disc set is worth the money as these digitally remastered discs look great! The Dolby 5.1 sound remix is awesome too. The only negative thing I can say about this set is that there are no extra features.

HIGHLANDER: Search for Vengeance - Starz

The lone warrior Colin travels with the wise-cracking ghost Amerganthrough the ages searching for the immortal despot Marcus Octavius, who killed his lover on the Celtic plains tens of centuries ago. On his quest, he discovers New York is submerged, and one dominant monolith fortress towers over the seas. Colin can save the survivors, but his sword only hungers for the blood of one man. Despite many lifetimes of training, Colin has failed to vanquish Marcus on the great battlefields of history. Can he finish what he started and stop Marcus? Will Colin lead the people to freedom or become consumed by hate? There can be only one. I thought that this Highlander feature was better than the films with the exception of the original. The story is right up there with the Highlander legends and makes for great entertainment. The overall animation is excellent similar to the modern Anime drawings. I thought the characters were strong with the exception of Colin’s ghost. He reminded me of a tall Yoda and did very little for the overall story. The villain was your typical super-being that is always stronger than the hero of the story. The “chick” of the film played her part like all of the other women in the Highlanders shows. Basically, she warmed up to McCloud, made love to him and died. Sound familiar? Hmmm... the music and overall animated effects are average. I was surprised with all the violence and sex in the feature. Extras on the DVD include East meets West Part One, an interview with Director Kawajiri, a photo montage and teaser.

GOMER PYLE: Season Two - Paramount

Gomer Pyle was a sweet but not too smart Marine from Mayberry, North Carolina who was stationed at Camp Henderson near Los Angeles, California. Gomer’s innocence, naivete and low-key demeanor often got him into trouble, most frequently at the hands of his loud-mouthed superior, Sgt. Carter. Duke, Frankie, Lester and Larry were some of Gomer’s pals and fellow enlisted men at Camp Henderson, and Lou Anne Poovie was his sometimes girlfriend who worked as a singer at the Blue Bird Cafe, where Gomer and the boys often hung out. This has to be one of the funniest shows on TV! Jim Nabors reprises his role as Gomer Pyle with all of his country charm and limited intelligence. If it weren’t his innocent behavior and honesty, Sgt. Carter would have chewed him up and spit him out. The laughs never stop as we see Gomer becoming a Marine for the whole world to see. Think of this show as the further adventures of Forrest Gump. Some of this seasons highlights include “Gomer Minds His Sergeant’s Car”, “Cat Overboard”, “Duke Slater, Night Club Comic” and “Opie Joins the Marines” starring Ron Howard. The DVD set contains all 30 episodes on five discs presented in Full Screen format with restored picture and sound. The packaging is attractive with lots of funny shots from the show and an episode synopsis on the inside cover.

CHIPS: Season One - Warner

Follow the adventures of two highway patrolmen as they rid the streets from crime in sunny California. You can’t help but like this show.

“Chips” ran from 1977 – 1983 entertaining audiences worldwide. We all grew up with this program riding our bikes around the neighborhood pretending to be motorcycle cops. You can’t deny it!! The show was new and innovative gearing towards the family rather than for adults only. Some of the more violent shows during this time were SWAT and

The Rookies which weren’t suitable for small children. Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox are both a fixture in our culture and represent the finest in law enforcement TV. Many people were influenced by this show and went into law enforcement as a result. The show is campy at best with lots of drama within the characters. The series follows the same formula as Emergency or Adam-12 with at least four or five accidents surrounded by campy drama with a humorous ending. We all loved the music from the show with the disco-style themes and who can forget the various stunts and high-speed chases on motorcycles. The DVD contains all 22 episodes on six discs with restored picture and sound. Extras include Erik Estrada commentary on various episodes and an Erik Estrada featurette. The artwork is very attractive with lots of photos from the show and an episode synopsis on the back of each volume. Start your summer with this 70s hit.

ROBIN HOOD: Season One - BBC

Share the adventures of Robin Hood and his merry men as they help the poor while thwarting the plans of Gisborne and the Sheriff. We have seen several movies and TV shows about this legend and read countless books telling us of the adventures of Robin Hood. Now, BBC presents a new twist on an old legend with Robin Hood: Season 1. The series starts out with Robin returning from the Holy Land with his sidekick

Much only to find that the lands have been taken over by Sir Guy of Gisborne and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. Jonas Armstrong plays the part of Robin and Lucy Griffiths portrays Marian. It is obvious that we are gearing towards a younger crowd seeing as how most of the cast looks like they should be in “Melrose Place” or “Friends”. The stories are pretty good and follow the usual formula for action TV. I like the fact that the story develops from episode to episode adding in characters slowly. This helps with the development of the series and allows for expansion on the plot. The sets and locations are stunning and the music is catchy from newcomer Andy Price. If you like Robin Hood programs, you should give this one a chance. The DVD presents the entire first season on five discs with superior picture and sound. The discs have attractive art printed on them with an equally attractive case and slipcase cover.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  July 04, 2007