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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.
 
MOVIE REVIEW  
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

Matt Damon returns as the trained assassin Jason Bourne for the latest showdown in The Bourne Ultimatum. In the follow-up to 2002ís The Bourne Identity and 2004ís The Bourne Supremacy, director Paul Greengrass joins returning cast members Julia Stiles and Joan Allen and new additions David Strathairn, Paddy Considine and Edgar Ramirez.

All he wanted was to disappear. Instead, Jason Bourne is now hunted by the people who made him what he is. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was.

Now, in the new chapter of this espionage series, Bourne will hunt down his past in order to find a future. He must travel from Moscow, Paris, Madrid and London to Tangier and New York City as he continues his quest to find the real Jason Bourne--all the while trying to outmaneuver the scores of cops, federal officers and Interpol agents with him in their crosshairs.

Wow! This film picks up right where the second left off. The action sequences are gripping, the acting is superb, and the film itself keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Unfortunately, the camera technique throughout the film will keep your head in your hands or your stomach in your throat. Mr. Greengrass, need I point out to you that it is 2007. The improvements in steady cams or image stabilizers have been made for a reason. What you have done is create a film that is tremendously well-done, but unbelievably unbearable to watch. One woman sitting three seats down from me actually vomited in her seat. I havenít seen camera work this poor since, well, Bourne Supremacy.

This particular installment is a bit unbelievable. I mean, is this Jason Bourne or Jason Voorhees? Is this guy invincible? The stunts he takes part in, yet he walks away unscathed? I like my movies to be off the chain, but this one is in outer space. This picture will do well, as everyone will turn out to see the final installment in the trilogy. This is a great popcorn feature that, aside from some violence, is good picture to take the teeners in the family to see. Just be sure to pack the drammamine before you go.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Starring: Matt Damon & Julia Stiles

Director: Paul Greengrass

Company: Universal

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - PG-13

Grade: B-


DVD PICKS

TAXI DRIVER - Sony

Martin Scorseseís intense film, a hallmark of 1970s filmmaking, graphically depicts the tragic consequences of urban alienation when a New York City taxi driver goes on a murderous rampage against the pitiable denizens inhabiting the cityís underbelly. For psychotic, pistol-packing Vietnam vet Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), New York City seems like a circle of hell. Driving his cab each night through the bleak Manhattan streets, Bickle observes with fanatical loathing the sleazy lowlifes who comprise most of his fares. By day he haunts the porno theaters of 42nd Street, taking his cues from the violent vision of life portrayed in these movies. As badly as Travis wants to connect with the people around him--including Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a lovely blonde campaign worker, and Iris (Jodie Foster), a prepubescent prostitute he tries to save--his attempts are thwarted and his pent-up rage grows, turning him into a Mohawk-wearing walking time bomb. Scorcese fills Paul Schraderís screenplay with a tragic realism, brilliantly capturing the muck and grime of New York City. De Niro, playing the fragile hero, steps so deep inside his role that the results are deeply frightening. Bernard Herrmannís haunting score--which turned out to be his last--completes the urban nightmare.

ROVING MARS - (Blu-Ray) - Disney

Follow the adventures of NASAís rovers Spirit and Opportunity as the robotic vehicles explore the surface of Mars and transmit images back to Earth. With a score by Philip Glass (THE HOURS, NOTES ON A SCANDAL) and an introduction by Paul Newman, ROVING MARS recounts the preparation behind the roversí seven months in space and its Mars landing in January 2004. The mission is illustrated in detail, with a mixture of actual footage, computer animation, and information provided by NASA scientists. The audio is absolutely superb and the video is stunning in the Blu-Ray presentation. This is the ultimate in High-Definition experiences in your home theater.

ROSEANNE: Season Eight - Starz

Season eight of ROSEANNE continues the legendary series with equal dashes of hilarity and the bizarre. Lecy Goranson returns as Becky, a pregnant Roseanne plays a pregnant Roseanne, and John Goodman (Dan) fills in for a grown up DJ (Michael Fishman). Along the way the loose meat saga continues, Darlene gets married, and Dan has a heart attack.

In some ways a foreshadowing of the complete turnaround of season nine, season eight is filled with inside jokes, nods to other historic TV shows, and plenty of self-referential humor. All 25 season eight episodes are included in the DVD set.

PERFECT STRANGER - Sony

Ace New York Courier reporter Rowena Price (Halle Berry) will do anything to get her story---even if it verges on the unethical. After her plans to out a U.S. senatorís homosexual relationship with an intern are thwarted, Priceís next chance at a big scoop falls right into her lap. When her friend Grace (Nicky Lynn Aycox) is found murdered, the main suspect is revealed to be Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), a philandering high-powered ad exec with a very jealous wife.

With some help from her right-hand tech guru, Miles (Giovanni Ribisi), Rowena goes undercover as a temp at Hillís agency, where her own good looks are bound to draw Hill closer to her, taking her to the facts behind Graceís murder. The sometimes watchable Berry makes us root for a character whose methods arenít always the most scrupulous, and Giovanni Ribisi does a lot with the ďsidekickĒ role.

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM - Starz

Revenge is served up like two scoops of bloody ice-cream from horror vet Tom Holland when a dead ice-cream delivery man and his truck return to settle a score. William Forsythe is Buster the Clown, who years back was the victim of a fatal prank and now wants dish out a frightful payback on his tormentors. Adapted from a John Farris story, this short film turns the happy images of childhood into a nightmare. Picture and sound quality are outstanding in this DVD presentation. Also included in the package are numerous DVD features.

IMAX: BLUE PLANET (Blu-Ray) - Warner

Filmed by astronauts from five space shuttle missions, this video gives the viewer an understanding of the forces affecting earthís fragile ecological balance through volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and ultimately, humankind. The picture is presented in 1080p High Definition and the audio is Double Digital 5.1. Also included on the DVD is a bonus movie titled, The Dream is Alive. This is arguably the finest presentation of actual footage from space. The picture quality is absolutely impeccable!

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  August 29, 2007