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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 Reviews  

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR - Anchor Bay

Jack Ketchumís disturbing novel moves to the screen with this horror film. A young boy develops a crush on his new neighbor, but he soon realizes that she is being tortured by the woman who was entrusted with her care.

RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL - Warner

Sarah Wolfe, the only remaining survivor of the horrific Vanacutt Mansion massacre, has recently committed suicide--or so it seems. Now itís up to her sister to find out whatís really going on in this gruesome, ghost-filled horror flick.

TEEN TITANS: Season Four - Warner

The Teen Titans join forces in this complete collection of episodes from the third season of the popular animated series. With no need for aliases like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, these adolescent superheroes live together in Titan Towers and fight evil together.

KILLER OF SHEEP: Charles Burnett Collection - Milestone

In addition to his neorealistic classic, Killer of Sheep, Charles Burnett directed a number of stark and gritty portraits of inner-city life. This collection includes many of these works in addition to the title film which he has been most often associated with since its re-discovery. Chronicling the life of a slaughterhouse worker, Killer of Sheep is a masterpiece of understated and devastating American filmmaking. The other titles in this collection, such as My Brothers Wedding, The Horse, and When it Rains mirror Burnettís eye for the nuances of lives trapped between the pressures of poverty, race, and urbanization. This is a compilation of one of Americaís true auteurs.

SUPERBAD: Blu-Ray - Columbia

Superbad is the story of two horny teenage geeks looking to lose their virginity before college. Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are hoping to end high school on a high note, and when one of their crushes (Emma Hill) invites them to a graduation party, the boys are ecstatic. That is, until they become responsible for supplying the party with alcohol. They hurriedly concoct a scheme to use their friend Fogellís (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) horrendously fake ID, but trouble soon arises when Fogell becomes the victim of a liquor store robbery. The cops (Rogen and Bill Hader) show up, and the evening quickly disintegrates into a hilarious mess of misunderstandings, crackhead sing-alongs, and beer mixed with laundry detergent.

BRAVEHEART: Special Collectors Edition - Paramount

Mel Gibson directs and stars in this Academy Award-winning epic based on the life of legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero William Wallace. Returning to his homeland following the death of an heirless king, Wallace (Mel Gibson) finds the political landscape precarious. Edward the Longshanks, King of England (Patrick McGoohan), has captured Scotlandís throne and threatens the freedom of all Scottish people, as tyrannical policies instituted by the English plague the Scots. Initially, Wallace is content to stand by the wayside, yearning for the simple life of building a home and raising a family. However, when the woman he loves (Catherine McCormack) suffers a cruel fate at the hands of English soldiers, Wallace takes a stand against the new rule. With his fierce patriotism and determination, he gathers an amateur but passionately rebellious army. Although this makeshift force may be outnumbered by the English troops, their desperation and love for their land surpass any military maneuvers, as evidenced in the filmís breathtaking battle sequences.

HATCHET - Anchor Bay

Hatchetís killer is Victor Crowley, a grossly misshapen New Orleans bayou boogeyman who suffered an accidental hatchet to the face when his father tried to rescue him from a fire. When brokenhearted college boy Ben (Joel Moore) ditches his friends during a pre-Katrina Mardi Gras in favor of a cheesy Haunted Swamp tour, he finds himself on a boat full of misfits with an inexperienced tour guide (Perry Shen) just in from Detroit. Soon, the boat is sinking, and the passengers who also include an aspiring porn director and his two stars, a middle-aged couple, and a young woman with a vendetta against Crowley--come face-to-face with the monstrous killer.

HANDS ACROSS THE SEA - Kultur

A stirring rendition of musical performances by a British band. This DVD confirms the status of John Phillip Sousa as the true King and genius behind the march. I heartily encourage anyone who is a fan of the marching band or just a fan of music in general to give this DVD a try. You will like what you hear!

NEW STREET LAW: Season One - Koch

New Street Law is a gritty British drama about two competing law firms. One of the firms is run by a young upstart named Jack Roper (John Hannah), while the other is managed by his former mentor, Laurence Scammel QC (Paul Freeman). Jackís up-and-coming firm begins to win cases and they steadily build an impressive reputation for themselves, much to the chagrin of the embittered Laurence. The complete first season of episodes is included here.

UNDEAD OR ALIVE - Image

Chris Kattan and James Denton are two cowboys on the run from Sheriff Zombie and his posse of undead minions in this zombified old west comedy. This DVD is actually quite funny. Watch it for some easy laughs!

STARDUST - Paramount

Stardust begins in the sleepy English village of Wall, so named for the cobblestone wall that has, for hundreds of years, kept the villagers safely apart form the strange, supernatural realm that lies just on the other side. It is here that young Tristan Thorne (CHARLIE COX) makes a wild-eyed promise to the prettiest girl in the village (SIENNA MILLER), whose heart he hopes to win: that he will bring her back a fallen star. But in order to make good on his promise, Tristan will have to cross the forbidden wall, and enter a mysterious kingdom lit by unending magic and unfolding legends of which he will quickly become a part.

FIRST SNOW - Sony

Jimmy (Guy Pearce) is a smooth-talking salesman who finds himself making a detour after his car breaks down on a desert highway. To pass the time, he pays a visit to a local palm reader, Vacaro (J.K. Simmons). Vacaro makes a few positive predictions for him, but then appears deeply disturbed by a vision. Jimmy demands to know what he saw, but Vacaro refuses to tell him, and wonít even accept payment for the reading. A few days later, Jimmy becomes uneasy when various predictions begin to come true. He returns to Vacaro and begs to know what is in store for him. Vacaro admits that, yes, Jimmyís days are numbered, and he is to meet his fate--whatever it may be-- upon the first snowfall. The news causes Jimmy to descend into paranoia and fear, and he begins to behave irrationally--endangering both his job and his relationship with his girlfriend (Piper Perabo).What tragedy is about to befall him? Should he worry about his heart murmur? The threats from a disgruntled ex-employee? Or his ex-best friend, a convicted felon, who has recently come back to town? He turns his life inside out, racing to alter his destiny before the first snow.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  January 09, 2008