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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 THIEF OF BAGDAD - Criterion

Legendary producer Alexander Korda’s marvel The Thief of Bagdad, inspired by The Arabian Nights, is one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made, an eye-popping effects pioneer brimming with imagination and technical wizardry. When Prince Ahmad (John Justin) is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu (the incomparable Sabu, in his definitive role) to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess (June Duprez). With its luscious Technicolor, vivid sets, and unprecedented visual wonders, The Thief of Bagdad has charmed viewers of all ages for decades.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - Genius

George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a low-budget, homegrown classic that had great difficulty finding a distributor at the time of its release in 1968, and has since become one of the most influential horror films of all time. (Aside from its visceral impact years before realistic gore became the fashion, the film is also important for its portrayal of a black man as the protagonist during a time when race was an extremely sensitive issue in the United States.) The plot is simple: seven people secluded in a Pennsylvania farmhouse face relentless attacks by reanimated corpses seeking to eat their flesh. The group, which includes a married couple and their daughter, a pair of young lovers, and an African-American man, try to keep their sanity as the living dead keep trying to enter the house. Radio news reports tell of the plague taking over the eastern United States, while the ever-decreasing band of survivors rapidly loses ground in the battle to both keep peace with one another and stay alive.

ANGER MANAGEMENT: Blu-ray - Columbia

After a misunderstanding aboard an airplane that escalates out of control, the mild-mannered Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler) is ordered by Judge Daniels (Lynne Thigpen) to attend anger management sessions run by Doctor Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), which are filled with highly eccentric and volatile men and women. Buddy’s unorthodox approach to therapy is confrontational and abrasive and Dave is bewildered by it. Then, after yet another mishap, Judge Daniels orders Dave to step up his therapy or wind up in jail. So, Buddy moves in with Dave to help him battle his inner demons. Buddy himself has no inner demons since he acts out at every opportunity and that includes making lewd comments about Dave’s girlfriend Linda (Marisa Tomei) and goading Dave into confronting every slight, past or present, head-on. But Buddy finally goes too far and Dave must decide whether to crawl back into his shell or stand up for himself.

THE THREE STOOGES: Volume Two - Sony

Enjoy the zany, madcap antics of The Three Stooges in this collection. Moe, Larry and Curly are one of the most popular comedic teams of all times. This collection contains all of the episodes made between 1937 and 1939. The Stooges were true comedic geniuses that have never had an equal. Check this set out as the Stooges have survived the test of time!

PATTON: Blu-ray - MGM

Patton is a three-dimensional bronze bust of World War II field general George S. Patton (George C. Scott) who wrote poetry, fired pistols at strafing fighter planes, and loved America with a lofty and historical zeal. Tracing his personal rivalries with such generals as Rommel and Montgomery, his problematic treatment of his own men, and his nearly runaway contempt for diplomacy, the film triumphs as an enduring portrait of a complex and larger-than-life figure.

BATTLE OF BRITAIN: Blu-ray - MGM

A powerful and colorful portrayal of an understaffed, technically inferior royal air-crew who valiantly holds off the superior forces of the German Luftwaffe. This pivotal battle of World War II could have led to the Germans winning the war.

TWO AND A HALF MEN: Season Three - 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 young son, Jake (Angus T. Jones), who also moves into Charlie’s Malibu home. Supporting characters include Alan’s crazy ex-wife, Charlie and Alan’s overbearing mother, and their sharp-tongued housekeeper Berta. The makeshift family formed by Charlie, Alan, and Jake provides plenty of laughs and a few poignant moments in this complete third season of episodes.

CHIPS: Season Two - Warner

Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Erik Estrada) were two Los Angeles-based Highway Patrol officers who rode into the imaginations of millions of TV viewers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Each episode saw the boys straddling their magnificent machines and riding off to solve some crimes--and the sight of Ponch and Baker riding through California on their bikes has become an iconic image in television history. Equal parts comedy and crime drama, the series offered plenty of outrageous moments and spectacular freeway stunts. This collection presents the complete second season.

SEMI-PRO:

Blu-ray - New Line

Semi-Pro, Ferrell’s homage to the wild, afro-picked splendor of the short-lived American Basketball Association, continues this trend, and finds him embodying yet another larger-than-life hunk a burnin’ love in the form of Jackie Moon, R&B singer-turned-owner/player/coach of the hapless Flint, Michigan Tropics. As sports movies go, SEMI-PRO’s story should be more than familiar to even the most casual fan. The Tropics are a lackluster franchise that place good times and flash over winning. However, when the league announces that they will be merging with the NBA and only taking the top four teams along, the Tropics buckle down and give true ballin’ a shot. SEMI-PRO follows the comedic formula of other Ferrell movies and contains an equal amount of satire (tame-but-effective ‘70s goofs), slapstick (on-court brawls, zany stunts), and surreal non-sequiturs (an improvised poker game provides one of the film’s most deliciously bizarre scenes), but it’s not exactly interchangeable with Ferrell’s other movies. Though the actor cuts loose as Jackie Moon, the film is decidedly an ensemble picture, with Woody Harrelson providing the movie’s true protagonist, in washed up former NBA player Monix, and Andre Benjamin offering a charming turn as flashy NBA wannabe Clarence “Coffee” Black.

MONSTER QUEST: Season One - A&E

Each episode of Monster Quest is a mini-expedition to a remote far-flung corner of the world. Science and technology come together to give viewers a greater understanding of these mysterious monsters bones and key pieces of proof are analyzed and submitted to a battery of tests. Instead of relying on the clich grainy archival footage usually associated with these monsters the series goes on-location with high-tech gadgetry (special cameras listening posts even underwater lures) to further the quest for answers. While the monsters may not necessarily be real each episode does feature real scientists.The 13 50-minute episodes cover a multitude of fascinating subject matter.

Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  August 06, 2008