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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  

MOD SQUAD: Season Two, Volume 1 - Paramount

Cops and hippies never get along. That is, until the Mod Squad came along. Debuting in 1968, the hit series offered a countercultural spin on the conventional police drama. Able to go places normal cops can’t, the Mod Squad includes a diverse group of young adults who have had their share of trouble with the law: rich kid turned car thief Peter (Michael Cole); Watts rioter Linc (Clarence Williams III); and free-spirited runaway Julie (Peggy Lipton). Together, they form a tenuous alliance with the fuzz, going undercover to nab lowlifes who prey on the young, while also grappling with the moral dilemmas presented by selling out to “the man.” Though the premise may seem far-fetched, the series is actually based on the experiences of series creator Bud Ruskin, who worked in an L.A. narcotics squad.

101 Dalmations - Disney

When the wicked Cruella de Vil and her henchmen kidnap dalmatian puppies for their cherished spotted fur, it is up to the puppies’ parents, Pongo and Perdita, and some brave farm animals, to free the caged canines. A Walt Disney animated classic that spawned the 1996 live-action remake. Classic Disney at its finest!

SLEUTH - Sony

In 1972, Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine starred in the screen adaptation of Sleuth, based on Anthony Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Olivier played Andrew Wyke, a droll old writer whose wife is having an affair with the young, ambitious Milo Tindle, played by Caine. Thirty-five years later, Caine is starring as Wyke in an updated version of Sleuth, completely rewritten by Nobel Prizewinner Harold Pinter and directed by multiple Oscar nominee Kenneth Branagh. Jude Law, who played the Michael Caine role in the 2004 remake of Alfie, now takes over as Tindle, a hairdresser-actor who has shown up at Wyke’s estate to demand that Wyke divorce his wife so Tindle can marry her. But the extremely successful and wealthy Wyke is not about to give up his wife without a very determined and well-calculated battle of wits. Wyke lives by himself in a home that features dozens of electronic gadgets and odd contraptions, forcing Tindle to always be on the lookout for something strange to happen.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: Blu-Ray - Miramax

With No Country for Old Men, the Coen Brothers have found a perfect match in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy. Their adaptation of McCarthy’s praised novel is a staggering masterpiece. In this almost impossibly faithful adaptation, the film takes place in a small Texas border town in 1980. Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) has ruled the land for years without the use of a gun, but a new brand of reckless lawlessness has taken over his town. Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is an innocent Everyman with a devoted wife, Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald), but when he stumbles across a drug deal gone deadly and finds two million dollars, he’s determined to keep it for himself. There’s only one problem. He’s being pursued by one of the most amoral, evil psychopaths that the big screen has ever seen. Wearing an absurd haircut and brandishing a pressurized weapon that’s used to murder cattle, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) creeps forward on his mission to track Moss down and return the money to its rightful owners to save his own skin. As the tension mounts, the body count begins to rise, confirming Sheriff Bell’s inability to battle this new wave of modern brutality. The most striking thing about the Coen Brothers’ thriller is their masterly use of silence to create an almost unbearable level of tension.

REVOLVER - Sony

Director Guy Ritchie’s fourth feature film is about a hard-bitten gambler named Jake Green (Jason Statham). Green has just spent a lengthy stretch in jail and is seeking revenge on the man who put him behind bars--crime overlord Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta). Macha’s thirst for gambling is his weak spot, and Green exploits it by soundly beating him on a visit to the crime boss’s own casino. A hit is subsequently ordered on Green, and he teams up with two tough guys.

Avi (Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000 from Atlanta-based hip-hop outfit Outkast) and Zack (Vincent Pastore) who offer to protect him. Green must give all his money to Avi and Zack, and work for them, if he values his life, so he agrees to the deal despite simultaneously discovering that he suffers from a rare blood disease that will kill him within three days.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  April 02, 2008