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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  
MOLIERE - Sony

It is 1644, Paris. 22-year-old Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known as MoliËre, is not yet the writer that history recognizes as the father & true master of comic satire, author of “the Misanthrope and Tartuffe, and a dramatist to rank alongside Shakespeare & Sophocles. Far from it. He is in fact, a failed actor. His Illustrious Theatre Troupe, founded the previous year, is bankrupt. Hounded by creditors, MoliËre is thrown into jail, released, then swiftly imprisoned again. When the jailors finally let him go, he disappears. The combined efforts of historians have unearthed no trace of him before his reappearance, several months later, when his troupe begins touring the provinces - a tour that will last for thirteen years, and culminate in MoliËre’s triumphant return to Paris in 1658. But what happened to MoliËre during these mysterious lost months?

ALREADY DEAD - Sony

Ron Eldard stars with Christopher Plummer in this story of revenge. Thomas Archer (Eldard) is living the good life as a star architect and happily married family man until a tragic night robs him of what he loves most. Suddenly transformed by the pain and need for vengeance, he embarks on a solo mission to make someone pay.

LOVE LIES BLEEDING - Sony

Christian Slater stars in this thriller about a corrupt government agent’s attempt to get back stolen money from a young couple. After they witnessed a shootout in their apartment complex, the pair runs away with their newfound riches. Unfortunately for them, Slater’s DEA agent is not willing to let his fortune go and embarks on an action-packed chase.

GOOD LUCK CHUCK - Lions Gate

Standup comedian Dane Cook stars in this romantic comedy as Charlie Logan, a successful dentist cursed with the affliction of having the women he dates fall in love with the next guy they meet. After a 1985 flashback reveals how, as a child, Charlie came to be hexed, the film finds the grown bachelor taking advantage of his predicament. Because he’s never really loved any of the women he’s dated, it doesn’t hurt much when they leave. But when rumors start circulating that sleeping with Charlie is a lucky love charm, Charlie’s popularity reaches new heights that even he, an experienced ladies’ man, cannot keep up with. And this luck couldn’t come at a worse time, as Charlie’s just met his dream girl, penguin zookeeper Cam (Jessica Alba). Perhaps in Charlie’s favor is the fact that Cam, despite her beauty and brains, happens to have a hex of her own--extreme clumsiness. Everywhere she goes, minor disaster quickly follows. Will Charlie be the next casualty of her accident-prone charm?

3:10 to Yuma:

Blu-Ray - Lions Gate

Based on the Elmore Leonard story, 3:10 to Yuma is a riveting remake of the 1957 classic Western. It’s the story of Dan Evans (Christian Bale), a down-and-out rancher who lost his leg in the Civil War. With a wife and two sons, he is struggling to put food on the table, and unable to make payments on his land. When the notorious gunman Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) is apprehended nearby, a few local men are needed to escort him to the town of Contention so he can be put on the 3:10 train to Yuma Prison. Few will volunteer for the job, as they know that Wade’s ruthless gang will follow them, but Evans sees an opportunity to make some fast cash, and offers to go in exchange for $200. The small team of men set off, and are later joined by Evans’s young son William (Logan Lerman), who has run away from home to join them. What follows is a race against time, as the group tries to get to Yuma without the clever and dangerous Wade outsmarting them.

TWO AND A HALF MEN: Season Two - Warner

Charlie Sheen takes a starring role in Two and a Half Men, a genial CBS comedy about a dysfunctional family. Sheen plays Charlie Harper, who enjoys the bachelor life in his Malibu beach house. His existence consists of an endless stream of partying and dating until his brother, Alan (Jon Cryer), moves in with him. Alan’s life has fallen apart after a separation from his wife, but he still has custody of his 10-year-old son, Jake (Angus T. Jones), who also moves into Charlie’s Malibu home. Supporting characters include Alan’s crazy ex-wife, and Charlie and Alan’s overbearing mother. The makeshift family formed by Charlie, Alan, and Jake provides plenty of laughs and a few poignant moments in this complete second season of episodes.

HE WAS A QUIET MAN - Anchor Bay

Bob Maconel (Christian Slater) is about to have a bad day. Another eight hours of sitting in a dull grey cubicle, ignored by his co-workers, existing in a world where he feels completely out of sync. On this particular bad day Bob crosses the line from potential killer to inadvertent hero and in the process saves Vanessa’s (Elisha Cuthbert) life. This invisible nobody saves the object of his desire only to have her ask him to end her life. This is truly a powerful film and is not to be missed.

SUNSHINE - Fox

In a mere five decades in the future, the sun is dying, and Earth is running out of time. After the failure of a previous mission, it’s up to the crew of the Icarus II to reignite the star with a stellar bomb. But the crew faces more than just the blistering heat of the sun and the freezing cold of space as they grapple with the limits of the human mind and heart.

TERRY JONES’ BARBARIANS - Koch

Former Monty Python member Terry Jones has carved out an accomplished career as a noted historian following his comedic triumphs. This entry on Jones’s resume is a four-part BBC production from 2006 that takes a close look at Roman history. This show is particularly concerned with debunking the many myths that surrounded the activities of the barbarians, with Jones deftly illustrating how they were far from the brainless thugs of legend. All four parts of the show are included on this program.

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER - Fox

In this legendary tearjerker, the world’s most eligible bachelor (Cary Grant) is set to marry an heiress. But unfortunately for his bride-to-be, while he’s traveling alone on a luxury liner he meets Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) and realizes he’s engaged to the wrong woman--and she’s engaged to the wrong man. They finally agree to spend six months apart; if they still love each other at the end of that time, they will reunite at the top of the Empire State Building. But the path of true love does not always run smooth, and tragedy threatens to tear the couple apart. Leo McCarey directed both the original and this remake, and viewers often amiably battle over which film is the more touching. This much-loved film features the Academy Award-nominated title song and a splendid supporting cast.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  February 27, 2008