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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 INVASION

Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig star in the science fiction action thriller “The Invasion,” a nightmarish journey into a world where the only way to stay alive is to stay awake.

The mysterious crash of the space shuttle leads to the terrifying discovery that there is something alien within the wreckage. Those who come in contact with it are changing in ominous and inexplicable ways. Soon Washington, DC psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her friend, Dr. Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig), learn the shocking truth about the growing extraterrestrial epidemic: it attacks its victims while they sleep, leaving them physically unchanged but strangely unfeeling and inhuman. As the infection spreads, more and more people are altered and it becomes impossible to know who can be trusted. Now Carol’s only hope is to stay awake long enough to find her young son, who may hold the key to stopping the devastating invasion. There are three remakes of the classic film, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and frankly, that is three too many. The premise of the film isn’t believable from the onset. The writing is very poor and certainly not to the level you would expect in a Daniel Craig film. There is so much acting talent in this film that is simply under utilized. I don’t want to spoil the film, as I expect many of you will go to see it, however don’t expect much. An interesting sidebar concerns the soundtrack for this film. John Ottman’s score is very well done and really enhances the action in a very effective manner. I would highly encourage you to spend your money on the soundtrack as opposed to the film. You will be happier with your purchase.

The Invasion

Starring: Nicole Kidman

& Daniel Craig

Director: Oliver

Hirschbiegel

Company: Warner

Now Showing:

In area Theatres

MPAA Rating - PG-13

Grade: D+


DVD Picks

PUZZLEHEAD - Lifesize

In a post apocalyptic world where technology is outlawed, Walter, a reclusive scientist, secretly creates a self aware android, “Puzzlehead.” Jealousy erupts when Puzzlehead wins the affection of Julia, the beautiful shopgirl that Walter has longed for. The resulting Sci-Fi love triangle is a Frankensteinian fable that traps all three in a web of deception and ultimate betrayal.

THE LOOKOUT: Blu-Ray - Miramax

Equal parts psychological drama and heist movie, this film from screenwriter Scott Frank is a smart first feature with a strong cast. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Chris Pratt, a young man whose life changes after a car accident. Though Chris survived, he’s not the cocky high school athlete everyone remembers. Instead, a head injury leaves him with memory loss and the need to write everything down in a notebook. After leaving his late-night job as a bank janitor for the evening, Chris meets Gary (Matthew Goode) and Luvlee (Isla Fisher) at a neighborhood bar. Though they initially seem genuine, Gary reveals his intentions to rob the bank where Chris works. Eager for friendship and a return to the person he used to be, Chris is quickly in over his head.

BUBBO HO-TEP: Ltd. Ed. - MGM

Don Coscarelli’s Bubba Ho-Tep finds Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) alive but not so well, living in a small Texas nursing home. Although he’s preoccupied with his ailments and his memories, the elderly Elvis befriends another resident who thinks he’s John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis) when they both begin to suspect that their neighbors aren’t dying of natural causes. Their investigation leads to the discovery of an evil mummy with a fondness for cowboy gear and an appetite for the souls of senior citizens. Armed with little more than a walker and a wheelchair, the King and JFK must take on this ancient evil.

CARVED - Tartan

Legend holds that thirty years ago, a suburban town was terrorized by the spirit of a woman whose beatiful face had been grotesquely disgifured by a jealous husband. roaming the streets wearing a long coat and surgical mask, the spirit would apprach young victims and, while removing her mask, ask “Am I pretty?” The victim’s response would almost always lead to their violent death. Now, one by one, children are disappearing again.

JOURNEY INTO BUDDHISM - WGBH Boston

Yatra is the Sanskrit word for pilgrimage or spiritual journey. These visually stunning documentaries are cinematic pilgrimages to legendary places in Southeast Asia and Tibet, including the spiritual wonders of Laos, Thailand, Burma, Bali, Cambodia, Java, and Central Tibet. Journey into the living traditions and lost civilizations of this vibrant part of the world and explore the universal ideals of wisdom, compassion, and inner peace at the very heart of these ancient Buddhist cultures. The living presence of place is the primary focus of these three lyrical films which are meditations themselves. Their deliberate pacing, unobtrusive narration, indigenous music, and harmonic chants are designed to induce an inner journey while traveling to these legendary places. Viewers are invited to relax and let the experience wash over them, making the trilogy part of their own journey. The Journey into Buddhism set includes three films: Dharma River, Prajna Earth, and Vajra Sky over Tibet.

HALLOWEEN - Starz

Perhaps the most influential and successful independent film ever made, Halloween is the movie that put director John Carpenter on the map as a viable filmmaker. An exercise in simple, pure horror, Halloween takes us into the world of a mad killer, Michael Myers, who at a very young age stabbed his older sister to death. Locked away for many years in a mental hospital Michael escapes one night and returns to his hometown to continue his killing spree. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first role, plays the resourceful babysitter who is chased by the killer on Halloween night. Produced for very little money and a tight shooting schedule, Halloween was a stunning success when it was released. Written by John Carpenter and his longtime producer Debra Hill, the film set their careers on fire, with both of them working together many times over the next 25 years. The film also made a star out of Jamie Lee Curtis and turned the slasher movie into a viable, successful genre. Halloween has been copied, parodied and even turned into a franchise of its own, but the original is still considered the best of the bunch. Halloween was John Carpenter’s first foray into horror, and remains the standard to which all other modern horror films are measured.

COLLEGE ESSENTIALS GIFT SETS - MGM

No prerequisites required! No need to cram for exams, or to have a degree! MGM has graciously packaged the College Essentials Gift Sets, contaning hilarious comedies and beloved Academy Award winning films. Grouped by college course types such as Anatomy, Astronomy, History, Physical Education, and Romance, to name a few. Each set features three specially selected films that are appropriate for each major. Films in the History set include Platoon, Dances with Wolves and Wind Talkers. This is simply an example of the quality of films packaged in these sets. I heartily encourage you to get these sets for your college-bound child. They are simply not to be missed!

THE LAW OF UEKI: The Cold Survival Game - Geneon

Team ueki faces Team Marilyn in the second game. but just when the match starts, Rinko gets knocked unconscious and a point is taken right off the bat! Ueki decides to let the others escape and stays behind to fight the heartless soldier Marilyn alone. Unfortunately, she notices his plot and splits the team to chase down the others. Will Sano be able to fight them while protecting Ai and Hideyoshi who are inadequate for offensive battles?

KARIN: Infusion - Geneon

Karin Maaka leads an ordinary life in spite of the fact that she is from of a family of vampires. Unlike the rest of her family, she has no problem with bright lights, sleeps in a bed instead of a coffin and loves to eat garlic. She is such an abnormal vampire that she doesn’t even suck blood - she makes it! Everything begins to unravel when she gets uncontrollable urges every time she gets near her classmate, Kenta Usui. Will she hold back the urge to purge or give in to her need to bleed.

SAMURAI HORROR TALES: Goblin Cat - Geneon

Death has nine lives! In the Edo era of Japan, as cultural arts, modern science, and technology flourished, so too did the practice of mystical arts, as humanity faced the perils of the supernatural! In a village, at an old samurai residence, a young bride is mysteriously and brutally murdered before her wedding ceremony. An nigmatic medicine vendor determines that this is the work of the Goblin Cat, but more bizarre incidents follows. Only the medicine vendor knows how to stop the Goblin Cat, but in order to do so, he must uncover the connection between this creature and the samurai family’s deeply hidden and scandalous past!

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  September 27, 2007