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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  

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE - MVD

Now available for the first time, All you Need Is Love makes its DVD debut as a lavish boxed set which contains all 17 episodes of the series on 5 discs. Contained within those discs is the 'Story of Popular Music', encompassing Ragtime, Blues, Jazz, Vaudeville, The Musical, Folk, Swing, Country and Western, Rock 'n' Roll and beyond, and includes interviews with some of the major names of the past 50+ years including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Sondheim, Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, Mike Oldfield, The Beach Boys, Tina Turner, Sam Phillips, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Richard Rodgers, Roy Rogers, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Phil Spector, Bill Monroe, Bill Graham, Bill Wyman, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton and many many more. It has frequently been described as the "definitive music documentary", and is regarded just as highly today as 'cult viewing' as it was over 30 years ago when it was first broadcast. Award winning film maker Tony Palmer has created a gem of a dvd collection with this 17 part series about popular music. This is simply a must have for any fan of music, regardless of the genre.

TITANIC: Born in Belfast - White Star

The infamous ship Titanic was built at the shipyards of Belfast, and this program looks at the long and arduous process of building the magnificent ship, filmed on location in Belfast. Includes rare photographs and interviews with eyewitnesses of the ship’s construction and launch.

COVER - Fox

When Ryan Chambers is murdered on New Year’s Eve, the prime suspect is Valerie Maas, a church-going home-maker whose life unravels when she discovers that her husband of many years has been leading a double life. Her strength of character and faith keep her going as the revelation of her husband’s betrayal threatens to destroy all that they have known.

SQUARE PEGS: Complete Series - Sony

A young Sarah Jessica Parker starred in this early ‘80s sitcom about two teenage girls who are desperate to overcome their geeky nature and fit in with the cool kids. SQUARE PEGS originally aired on CBS in 1982 and ran for one season, which is presented here in full. Parker plays Patty Greene, who is based on the show’s creator, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE writer Anne Beatts. Patty fumbles through her time at Weemawee High School with her best friend, Lauren Hutchinson (Amy Linker), who has a similarly awkward disposition. Each episode usually finds Patty and Lauren dreaming up schemes to get the popular kids to like them, often with the aid of their nerdy male counterparts, Marshall Blechtman (John Femia) and Johnny Slash (Merritt Butrick). The show has gained a strong posthumous word-of-mouth reputation despite its brief lifespan, and the episodes have been endlessly re-run on multiple cable channels, exposing the loveable antics of Patty and Anne to many subsequent generations.

FIRST SUNDAY - Sony

David E. Talbert makes his directorial debut with this comedy about Durell (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan), childhood friends with a knack for getting into trouble. Despite his continual bad decisions, Durell gets one thing right: he’s a good father to his adolescent son. When he learns that the boy’s mother, his ex-girlfriend, Omunique (Regina Hall), needs $17,000 to buy her beauty shop or she’ll leave Baltimore and move to Atlanta, he’s determined to get her the money to keep his son in his life. Meanwhile, LeeJohn needs big money fast to pay off some bad guys. Durell and LeeJohn decide that the collection plate of their local church holds the answer to their money woes. But their attempt to rob the church is foiled in progress: the money is already missing, and the would-be burglars didn’t realize there would be people at the church. Finding themselves with a group of parishioners and choir members at their mercy, Durell and LeeJohn have to make some decisions about exactly what kind of men they want to be.

BARNEY: Hi I’m Riff - Fox/Hit

Join Barney and his new pal, neighborhood newbie Riff, as they form a “best friends club” as a way to get to know each other a little bit better. The Barney stories continue to develop and build a fan base amongst all youngsters. This is a tremendous dvd gift for the youngsters as well as those that are young at heart!

UNTRACEABLE - Sony

Untraceable follows F.B.I. cybercrimes specialist Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) as she attempts to track down a serial killer who brazenly displays his murderous deeds on the Internet. Aided by fellow agent Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks) and local detective Eric Box (Billy Burke), Marsh tenaciously hunts for the elusive criminal in rainy Pacific Northwest settings, but as she closes in on her target, he deviously finds ways to get closer to her, all the while killing his victims in increasingly faster fashion.

MAD MONEY - Anchor Bay

Bridget Cardigan (Diane Keaton) is shocked to learn that she is on the verge of losing her home and comfortable upper middle class lifestyle when her husband Don (Ted Danson) is downsized from his job. Armed only with a decades old English degree and years as a dedicated mother and corporate wife, Bridget is forced into the unfamiliar labor market with no job skills. Finally, she accepts the only position she can find— janitor at the Federal Reserve Bank. After a lifetime of playing by the rules, the three devise a plan to smuggle soon-to-be destroyed currency out of the supposedly airtight Reserve. As the unlikely crime syndicate amasses piles of cash, it looks like they have pulled off the perfect crime—until a minor misstep alerts the authorities. With more money than they know what to do with, the women are pushed to the limits of their ingenuity to stay one step ahead of the law!

TEETH - Genius

Dawn (Jess Weixler) lives the life of a normal suburban teenager, except for the two nuclear reactors looming over her house. A goody two-shoes by any measure, she leads the local chapter of a chastity group, lecturing younger children on saving themselves for marriage. She finds herself stirred in unexpected ways, however, by new member Tobey (Hale Appleman). Dawn lets herself get closer to him than she has to anyone else, but when he rapes her, she discovers---in the most grisly way---that she is a true incarnation of the vagina dentata myth. As Dawn attempts to come to terms with her emerging sexuality and her second set of choppers, more men with bad intentions fall victim to their worst nightmare. Lichtenstein, sometime actor and the son of artist Roy Lichtenstein, reportedly first heard of the vagina dentata myth while studying under Camille Paglia, and his take on it proves to be as frightening (and bloody) as one would expect.

BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID: Blu-ray - Fox

This 1969 Western encapsulates the genre, with dramatic chase scenes on horseback through breathtaking landscapes, daring robberies of banks and trains, true comradery between cowboys who would risk their lives for one another, and copious amounts of renegade charm. Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) is the smart, savvy leader of The Hole in the Wall Gang, and his sidekick the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) ranks among the best shooters the West has known. This combination of brains and menace allows the duo to roam unchallenged, staging petty robberies when needed and otherwise kicking back at the local brothel. But when a six-pack of the best cowboys in nearby states gather to bring down the rebels, using a Native American tracker to follow them across rivers, over mountains, and through deserts; Butch and Sundance decide to flee. Gathering Sundance’s girlfriend (Katherine Ross), they make their way to Bolivia via New York City. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and before they know it, the charismatic criminals find themselves in an all-too-familiar situation, this time facing South American enemies.

DARIO ARGENTO SET - Anchor Bay

Buckets of blood, suspicious suspects, and stylish visuals--they’re so abundant in Dario Argento’s films that they nearly rival their body count. Master of the Italian “giallo” thriller, Argento’s films are both innovative and influential, providing the bloodstained blueprint for later slasher films. Included here are Phenomena, Tenebre, The Card Player, Trauma, and Do You Like Hitchcock? Each of these films boasts a variety of DVD special features, including audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes retrospectives, trailers and more. Simply a brilliant set that is required in the library of any true film connoisseur.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  June 02, 2008