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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  
STARDUST: HD - 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. In this fantastical realm known as Stormhold, Tristan discovers that the fallen star is not the meteorite he expected, but a beautiful, spirited young woman (Claire Danes) injured by her cosmic tumble. Now, she is in terrible danger - sought after by the King’s (Peter O’Toole) scheming sons for whom only her secret powers can secure the throne; and hunted by a chillingly powerful witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) desperate to use the star to achieve eternal youth and beauty.


Springing from Fox’s hit series, the movie expands the adventures of the Springfield residents into a feature-length film. Here Homer’s selfish antics (and a hankering for free donuts) are responsible for a horrific ecological disaster that could spell the end for Springfield. So it’s up to the paunchy patriarch to save his family and the town from the mess that he has created.


Ben Stiller plays Eddie Cantrow, a 40-year-old bachelor who is tired of having his foulmouthed father (Jerry Stiller) and henpecked friend (Rob Corddry) give him a hard time for not being married. So when he meets the seemingly perfect Lila (Malin Ackerman), he decides to marry her--despite knowing her for only six weeks. On their honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, he realizes his mistake when Lila reveals her true colors, which turn out to be quite ugly. While Lila recovers from a sunburn, Eddie meets fellow vacationer Miranda (Michelle Monaghan) and falls in love. He must break the news to both women before they find out the truth.


To save the day, here comes Underdog, a 1970s Saturday morning cartoon transformed to glorious, semi-CGI animated life; it’s a talking animal live-action film--‡ la BABE--with wisecracks aplenty. Voiced by Jason Lee, Underdog is the joke of the K-9 police force after his weakness for ham disrupts a public ceremony. Dejectedly, he lets himself get abducted for an animal experiment by a mad scientist, Dr. Simon Barsinister (Peter Dinklage). He escapes, doused in experimental chemicals, to become a dog with 80 times his normal strength. Jim Belushi embodies the sad-sack security guard at the laboratory who finds Underdog and takes him home as a playmate for his alienated tweener son (Alex Neuberger). The fact that chaos follows will come as no surprise, but what may is the genial tone the film maintains throughout. Underdog blends its CGI animation and live action with finesse, and with performances that are breezy and in-on-the-same-joke.

WIERD SCIENCE: Seasons One & Two - A&E

Based on the classic John Hughes film, Weird Science: The Complete Seasons 1&2 compiles every hilarious minute from the first two seasons of the hilarious hit science-fiction series which ran on the USA network. Following high school nerds Wyatt and Gary as they struggle with unpopularity, a dating drought, and the endless torment of Wyatt’s older brother, Chett, they eventually use their computer skills to build Lisa, whose supermodel good looks and super-genius brain is trumped only by her power to grant wishes. Unfortunately, for the duo, Lisa often takes the boys’ wishes a bit too literally, and things don’t always turn out quite as planned. Extras include Interactive trivia and cast commentaries!


In 1857, Mormon settlers, in an area near Cedar City, massacred 120 people bound for California. Jon Voight plays Jacob Samuelson, a paranoid religious zealot whose initial hostility to the settlers is inspired partly by women wearing pants, and the fact that some of them come from Missouri (a state that drove the Mormons out). From this snowballs a fury of religion-based intolerance that leads to the historic Mountain Meadows Massacre of, prophetically enough, September 11th.

ROB & BIG: Season One & Two - MTV

Parents need to know that this reality show revolves around the exploits of skateboarding phenomenon Rob Dyrdek and his live-in bodyguard, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin. Both clearly perform for the cameras, and while most of their scenes are more goofy than gross, some might be too much for sensitive young viewers (for example, when Rob finds Big swimming in the pool in an athletic supporter, the cameras blur Big’s butt as he exits the water). Impressionable teens may need a reminder not to copy anything they watch on TV at home.

POV: 20th Anniversary Collection - Docurama

It is with great anticipation that I reviewed the fifteen-disc P.O.V.: 20th Anniversary Collection box set, because films such as these tend to make me grow as a film connoisseur. This selection of fifteen films from the celebrated Public Broadcasting System’s series P.O.V., which showcases independent documentaries, also makes the viewer think about a variety of subjects. These films all make for valuable viewing, whether their subject matter is preaching, or just trying to reach out to the viewing audience. The individual films included in this set are American Tongues, Best Boy, The Chances of the World Changing, Dark Circle, Farmingville, Leona’s Sister Gerri, Licensed to Kill, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, Of Civil Wrongs and Rights, Passin’ it On, Regret to Inform, Silverlake Life, Tongues Untied, Taking on the Kennedys, and Well-Founded Fear. There is certainly something in this set that will be of value to you. Check this out today!

THE AWARDS COLLECTION: Volume One - Docurama

Docurama - the only all-documentary film label in the marketplace and owner of the largest catalog of documentary Oscar winners and nominees - presents The Docurama Awards Collection, a limited-edition compilation highlighting 12 of our favorites. From the uniquely poignant Oscar classics “Best Boy” and “Scared Straight!” to the throat singing crowd-pleaser “Genghis Blues,” and last year’s overwhelmingly praised portrait of extremist revolutionaries, “The Weather Underground,” The Docurama Awards Collection promises an exciting, diverse selection of must-see, critically acclaimed non-fiction film. The Set includes such films as Best Boy, Children Underground, From Mao to Mozart, Genghis Blues, Maya Lin, Murder on a Sunday Morning, Speaking in Strings, Dancemaker, Regret to Inform, Scared Straight, Sound and Fury, and The Weather Underground. This set would make a tremendous Holiday Gift for the film fan in your family!

THE AWARDS COLLECTION: Volume Two - Docurama

Docurama - the only all-documentary film label in the marketplace and owner of the largest catalog of documentary Oscar winners and nominees - presents The Docurama Awards Collection, a limited-edition compilation highlighting 12 of our favorites. Docurama is pleased to offer a second complete DVD box set of Academy Award-winning and nominated titles in The Docurama Awards Collection: Volume 2, a limited edition set featuring 12 more of our favorites. From the immensely popular Who are the DeBolts? to the magnetic characters of Majoe and Thoth to the poignant and inspiring Sister Rose’s Passion this collection is filled with a diverse and unparalleled selection of critically acclaimed, dynamic non-fiction film. The films in this set include I am a Promise, Colors Straight Up, Balseros, In the Shadow of the Stars, Who are the DeBolts, Doing Time, A Time for Burning, Unfinished Business, Legacy, Broken Rainbow, Marjoe and Thoth, and Sister Rose’s Passion. This set would make a tremendous Holiday Gift for the film fan in your family!

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  January 28, 2008