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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.
THE MUMMY: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The blockbuster global Mummy franchise takes a spellbinding turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next chapter in the adventure series, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O’Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother,Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O’Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service. Doomed by a double-crossing sorceress (Michelle Yeoh) to spend eternity in suspended animation, China’s ruthless Dragon Emperor and his 10,000 warriors have laid forgotten for eons, entombed in clay as a vast, silent terra cotta army. But when dashing adventurer Alex O’Connell is tricked into awakening the ruler from eternal slumber, the reckless young archaeologist must seek the help of the only people who know more than he does about taking down the undead: his parents. As the monarch roars back to life, our heroes find his quest for world domination has only intensified over the millennia. Striding the Far East with unimaginable supernatural powers, the Emperor Mummy will rouse his legion as an unstoppable, otherworldly force...unless the O’Connells can stop him first. Now, in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the trademark thrills and visually spectacular action of the Mummy series will be redefined for a new generation.

Folks, I simply hate cliches but please allow me to cut to the chase. Why? Why make this film? Why spend the money on this project? Why cast Maria Bello in a role that is as wrong for her as having an elevator in an outhouse? The script is horrible and, if even possible, the acting is much worse. I would love to ask Jet Li if he lost a bet recently. He must have, as I can think of no other reason he would have selected this project. My diatribe on this subject is cutting and I am just getting started. Luke Ford as well as Maria Bello waiver back and for through accents in their performances giving the film an “around the world” quality that still leaves you feeling irritated when the ride is over. This simply adds stock to the saying, “like mother, like son.”

Simply put, I rarely get angry after having seen a film. As a member of the press, I see an inordinate number of films a year, all of them free. This may seem like a great job, but I assure you it has its moments, and this film being one of them. I saw this film for free and I still feel like I was robbed. I wonder if it would be possible to get the two hours of my life back I gave up watching this trash. This film is a train wreck and I advise you to stay away. There is a reason you don’t open mummy tombs and now we unequivocally understand why.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Starring: Brendan Fraser & Maria Bello

Director: Rob Cohen

Company: Universal

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Grade: F

SHUTTER: Blu-ray - FOX

Newlywed New Yorkers Ben (Joshua Jackson) and Jane Shaw (Rachael Taylor) have traveled to Tokyo, where photographer Ben is investigating a potentially lucrative job opportunity. While driving on a dark road at night, the couple runs over a mysterious woman who seems to appear out of nowhere and can’t be found after the accident. Over the next few days, Jane goes sightseeing while Ben works, only to see strange apparitions that also appear on the photos she takes. After Ben’s photos show the same ghostly forms, he confesses that he knows something about the woman they ran over, but it may be too late to stop her trail of terror.

THE NEW GET SMART: Complete Series - Sony

Maxwell Smart and 99 are back and in charge of CONTROL. Their son and new sexy partner take on the perils of KAOS. This show was a blind stab to re-start the franchise. The unfortunate thing is that it basically “tanked” before it could get started. Having Don Adams and Barbara Feldon on the show made it fun to watch as they took CONTROL to the next level. Andy Dick plays the Smart’s son doing an admirable job on the screen. The “sexy” eye candy in this series is his new partner played by Elaine Hendrix. While the show still retains some of the humor and comedic “one-liners”, we still miss the magic of the original series. The stories are just as outlandish as the original with a few new twists. The classic “Max Blunders” are now copied by the son in addition to the father. As spin-off shows go, this one is mediocre at best. I would buy this if I were a “Get Smart” fan. The DVD contains all seven episodes and is presented in Full Screen Format with Dolby Surround. Extras include minisodes titled News Radio”Super Karate Monkey Death Car” and TJ Hooker “Partners in Death”.

THE LOVE BOAT: Season One, Volume Two - Paramount

Life aboard a cruise ship with all of the drama and adventure as the ship sails to each destination. If you grew up in the eighties, you didn’t miss an episode of this series. Every Saturday night this show and Fantasy Island heated up the Prime Time for families to enjoy. Every episode had new guest stars and familiar faces to live adventures for one hour each week. The cast is led by Gavin Macleod with additional performances from Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Bernie Kopell and Lauren Tewes. The cast is what sold this show. The guest stars each week added to the excitement, but the chemistry of the crew is what made this show fun. The Overall stories are typical of the time period with lots of “Cheesy” drama and “Ultra Camp” that would make a billy-goat puke. The title song composed by Duane Tatro added to the cheese making it one of the most memorable themes in TV history. The DVD Contains 12 episodes on four discs presented in Full Screen Format with Digital Surround. Extras include the Movie of the Week: New Love Boat episode and episodic Promos. Set sail with this DVD set today.

CJ7 - Sony

Stephen Chow stars as Ti, a down-on-his luck widower who must funnel all of his wages into the private school education of his nine-year-old son, Dicky (Xu Jiao). The two are reduced to living in an abandoned building and scrounging for necessities, as well as playing nightly games of “clobber the cockroaches.” Ti tries to appease Dicky’s desire for a trendy new toy by bringing home a mysterious green orb found at a garbage dump. Dicky is soon shocked when the orb transforms into a perky doglike alien being, dubbed “CJ7.” When Dicky witnesses CJ7’s otherworldly powers he imagines CJ7 to be the answer to all of his school troubles: passing tests, excelling in gym class, and overcoming the school bully. But CJ7 is not as all-powerful as Dicky believes, and when tragedy strikes the family both Dicky and CJ7 must overcome doubt to reveal their true inner strength.


It’s the future, Earth is at war, and the kids are all going off to fight giant killer bugs on the remote planet of Klendathu. Casper Van Diem, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, and Patrick Muldoon play some of the blandly attractive young recruits who engage in soap-opera style love triangles as they toughen up and learn to fight (and die) like soldiers. Michael Ironside is their gung-ho, one-armed leader. The real stars though, are the superbly animated bugs.


Endowed with a great title, hordes of topless women wielding chainsaws, and starring Gunnar “Leatherface” Hansen, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is an often funny and genuinely entertaining horror/exploitation romp from Fred Olen Ray. The story follows Jack Chandler, a private detective on the trail of a missing girl named Samantha. Unfortunately, Samantha has been recruited by an ancient Egyptian chainsaw worshipping cult that is lead by The Master (Hansen) and consists entirely of buxom prostitutes. Soon, Jack finds himself in over his head with these hookers, and the prime candidate for a ritual sacrifice at the hands of the nubile Mercedes.

THE CARE BEARS: Care a Lot Collection - Fox

The Care Bears live in their sky dwelling of Care-A-Lot, spreading joy and light throughout the world. And they give special attention to those who particularly need affection, like orphans Kim and Jason. But Evil Spirit does not approve of all this sweetness and kindness, so with the help of a lost, lonely little boy named Nicholas, he launches a nefarious plot to rob the world of love. Down go the numbers on the Care-o-meter. And down to the Forest of Feelings go the Bears, ready to battle Evil Spirit and make the world safe for happiness and good feelings once again.

CAROLINE IN THE CITY: Season One - Paramount

Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson) has her professional life just the way she wants it. “Caroline in the City,” the comic strip she created, turned into merchandising gold with an array of greeting cards, books and calendars. Caroline1s personal life is not quite as golden, but it serves as an endless source of material for her strip. In this series premiere, Caroline breaks up with her boyfriend, greeting card company owner Del Cassidy (Eric Lutes), and is infuriated when she finds out that Del not only has a date so soon after the break-up, but plans to bring the date to “their” restaurant. In desperation, Caroline announces that she too has a date the same night, at the same restaurant. When her attempts at finding a date on short notice prove fruitless, she enlists the help of Richard Karinsky (Malcolm Gets), her new assistant/colorist. Also starring Amy Pietz.


Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced 6 Films to Keep You Awake which includes 6 chilling tales from the best horror directors from Spain. The 4-disc set includes The Baby’s Room, The Christmas Tale, A Real Friend, To Let, Spectre, and Blame. Special bonus features include a “Making Of” featurette for each of the six films. You’ll be able to own this one from the 19th August.

SOUTH PARK: Season Eleven - Paramount

What began as a construction-paper film short evolved into a veritable pop-culture phenomenon for Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s outrageous animated comedy series South Park. Centered on the hilarious misadventures of four potty-mouthed grade-schoolers in the perpetually wintry environs of South Park, Colorado, the series skewers the vagaries of the modern American cultural landscape with politically incorrect humor and satirical plotlines ranging from homophobia and terrorism to boy bands and talking poo. This collection presents all 14 episodes from the long-running series’ 11th season.


Nick be reached at Nick@filmlords.com

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   Last Update:  August 06, 2008