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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.
 
CSI MIAMI: Season Six - Paramount

The heat moves from Miami to Rio de Janeiro in this action-packed, sizzling sixth season of CSI: MIAMI. Horatio (David Caruso) and Delko (Adam Rodriguez) are out for revenge on the streets of Rio, but what they’re about to discover will both shock them and lead to tragedy. Of course, these guys are too tough and smart to back down even as two drug lords, Riaz and Diago Matos stand in their path towards avenging the death of Horatio’s wife. But putting these thugs away will also reveal Horatio’s nephew’s involvement in a conspiracy to ship heroin back to the U.S. Police work and family life cross over in the show that keeps viewers enthralled by blazing guns, hot scenery, and cool characters. This release includes every episode of the drama’s sixth season.

MEDIUM: Season Four - Paramount

NBC’s popular television series Medium blends crime-drama with the supernatural for a smart and chilling spin on the detective genre. Patricia Arquette stars as a family woman and aspiring lawyer who has been haunted all her life by strange visions and dreams. When she realizes she has the capacity to communicate with the dead, Allison puts her unique skills to work for a sympathetic district attorney (Miguel Sandoval) while depending on her husband (Jake Weber) and two daughters (Sofia Vassilieva and Maria Lark) for moral support. Dark, moody, and creatively original, the series’ fourth season is presented in its entirety with this collection of episodes.

SUNDOWN VAMPIRE IN RETREAT - Lions Gate

Count Margulak, the leader of the vampires, has ended their tradition of human bloodletting and has placed his followers on a diet of synthetic, bottled blood. But when a new family moves into the town, the natives start to crave “the real thing.”

NOISE - Anchor Bay

Henry Bean returns to the big screen with a complete rarity in American movies today: a comedy of ideas. David (Tim Robbins) is a successful lawyer who can’t stand the fact that Manhattan is a place where it’s too noisy to get a good night’s sleep, listen to classical music, or even make love to his wife without disturbance. Every time David hears a car alarm going off, he swings into action. Adopting the guise of “The Rectifier,” he engages in acts of vandalism that satisfy him immensely but which generate no end of grief from his wife (Bridget Moynahan). They also make him politically controversial when he provokes the ire of the city’s arrogant mayor (William Hurt).

TWO AND A HALF MEN: Season Four - 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 fourth season of episodes.

SMALLVILLE: Season Seven Blu-ray - Warner

The town of Smallville is mostly inhabited by ordinary folk looking to live a peaceful life. But among their number is Clark Kent (Tom Welling), the future Superman who faces a daily struggle to control his special powers and keep his true identity a secret. This seventh season of Smallville offers plenty of surprises for the young Man of Steel, plumbing the vast store of Superman mythology to introduce two characters from the comic books: Clack’s cousin Kara (Laura Vandervoort), also known as Supergirl; and Bizarro, an evil Clark Kent look-alike. Meanwhile, as Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) becomes infatuated with Kara, Clark comes ever closer to the truth about his parents and his home planet Krypton. Included here are all 22 episodes of the seventh season, including a guest appearance by Dean Cain.

CHILD’S PLAY - MGM

The Lake Shore Strangler, a mass murderer who has plagued the Chicago area for months, meets his untimely end when he gets shot in a toy warehouse. Left for dead, the killer summons the strength to recite a voodoo chant which causes his soul to be “reincarnated” into one of the dolls resting on the shelves. The incantation also sparks an unnatural lightning storm, and when lightning hits the warehouse, it burns to the ground. Only one doll survives: the doll possessed by the killer’s soul. Later, a mother innocently buys this doll as a present for her son. At first, everything seems fine, but soon the doll starts communicating with the young boy. Then he slays the child’s babysitter. That’s only the first of his many gruesome exploits, however. So watch out... because just when you think Chucky’s gone -- he might be coming back.

SPEED RACER - Warner

Based on the 1960s Japanese-manga-derived animated TV series of the same name, Speed Racer follows the adventures of the title character (Emile Hirsch), a young race car driver who sits behind the wheel of the lightning-fast Mach 5 vehicle. Aided by his family, which includes Pops Racer (John Goodman) and Mom Racer (Susan Sarandon), and his devoted doe-eyed girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci), Speed racks up victory after victory, but still lives in the shadow of his late older brother, Rex (Scott Porter), who died in a race. When Speed garners the wrath of Royalton Industries, he must team up with the enigmatic Racer X (Matthew Fox) to defeat the ruthless corporation.

SNOW ANGELS - Warner

Director David Gordon Green adds another carefully sculpted drama to his resume with Snow Angels. Green deposits a strong cast in a snowbound Pennsylvania town for his fourth full-length feature, which revolves around the troubled teenage life of young Arthur (Michael Angarano). Arthur divides his time between working at a Chinese restaurant and dealing with the break up of his parents. His endearing lack of self-confidence is tempered when new-girl-in-town Lila (Olivia Thirlby) shows a romantic interest in him. Meanwhile, Arthur’s co-worker and former babysitter, Annie (Kate Beckinsale), is trying to raise her child alone after the failure of her marriage to the unhinged Glenn (Sam Rockwell). Annie also embarks on an unwise affair with Nate (Nicky Katt), who happens to be married to her best friend. Green’s central characters try to make the best of their modest lives until a major incident, dropped halfway through the movie, raises the tension between Annie and Glenn to breaking point.

FAERIE TALE THEATRE - Koch

Every episode of Faerie Tale Theatre, a children’s TV program created by Shelley Duvall, is included in this collector’s set, featuring lush, live-action adaptations of classic fairy tales. A Showtime staple from 1982 to 1987, the series consistently drew a vast array of prestigious collaborators, including directors Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola, award-winning actors Robin Williams, James Earl Jones, and Susan Sarandon, and even musicians such as Mick Jagger and Frank Zappa. This remarkable collection includes imaginative re-tellings of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Pinocchio,” and over 20 others.

WILL AND GRACE: Season Eight - Lions Gate

The popular sitcom Will and Grace explores the unique relationship between gay lawyer Will Truman and wacky interior designer Grace Adler, as well as their friendships with alcoholic socialite Karen Walker and struggling actor Jack McFarland. This set contains all episodes from the final season of the hit show.

THE GODFATHER: Coppola Edition - Paramount

Francis Ford Coppola’s stunning, three-part saga chronicling the Mafia exploits of Corleone family is here presented in its entirety in limited collector’s widescreen edition. This edition includes 25th anniversary interviews with Coppola, author Mario Puzo, Al Pacino and Talia Shire, as well as Harlan Lee’s behind-the scenes novel, “The Godfather Legacy.”

 

Nick be reached at Filmlords@gmail.com

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   Last Update:  September 24, 2008