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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.
 
SOUTHPARK: The Cult of Cartman - Paramount

He’s a storm cloud of anger, an object of scorn, and a bomb waiting to explode--he’s Southpark’s Eric Cartman. He’s wreaked terror, hurled insults, and suffered countless humiliations in this quaint Colorado town. Collected here some of the fiery elementary schooler’s most appalling, grotesque, and hilarious moments.

CAPRICORN ONE - Lions Gate

In order to protect the reputation of the American space program, a team of scientists stages a phony Mars landing. Willingly participating in the deception are a trio of well-meaning astronauts, who become liabilities when their space capsule is reported lost on re-entry. Now, with the help of a crusading reporter, they must battle a sinister conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep the truth a secret.

STUCK - Image

Inspired by real events, this is a bloody and disturbing revenge film with a pitch-black sense of humor and a handful of fine performances. Tom Bardo (Stephen Rea) is having a bad Friday. He’s out of work and preparing for an interview at the employment agency when he is suddenly evicted from apartment. A computer glitch then causes him to spend the entire day waiting for his interview, then is turned away. With nowhere left to go, he finds himself sleeping on a park bench, only to be rousted by a cop. Enter Brandi (Mena Suvari), a corn-rowed nursing assistant heading home after a night of partying. Talking on the phone and driving under the influence, Brandi hits Tom, sending him crashing halfway through her windshield. Afraid of the consequences, she chooses to drive home, park the car in her garage, and not tell anyone. But Tom, despite this indignant end to a terrible day, still has some fight left in him.

THE NIGHT OF THE WHITE PANTS - Image

A bag full of drugs; an ex-trophy wife with a court order; a groupie searching for a judge; and an ex-CEO with nothing to call his own except the head of a deer. In a single summer night in Dallas, Texas, these things all come crashing together in a punk fable about letting go and learning how to say “F-*&% it all!” Max Hagan (Tom Wilkinson) has spent a lifetime pursuing success, and has achieved it in spades. But when we first meet him, this absentee father extraordinaire is lying in bed in his once-swanky Dallas home, quietly contemplating how he managed to sell his multi-million dollar company, lose his HTW (Dallas-speak for “Hot Trophy Wife”), and allow his drug-addled son Millian to move back in. Max’s daughter Beth (Selma Blair) owns a small record label and has just gotten a big offer to move to New York. But she is so obsessed with being normal that she can’t see the cracks opening up in her own life. Only Max’s disabled sister Lolly (Geri Jewell) seems to see what’s happening, but no one is listening. When Beth asks her father to finally meet her boyfriend, Raff (Nick Stahl) – a kinda punk musician with latent ambitions towards software design – she sets into motion a night for Max that sends his life on an enchanting turn for the worse.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: Holiday Dreams - Fox

This collection from the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake re-launch series features three 45-minute episodes originally aired on television as two-parters, including “Let’s Dance,” “Big Country Fun,” and “Berry Merry Christmas.”

SLACKER UPRISING - Disinformation

In the past, Michael Moore films like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko have grossed millions, but for his 2008 documentary, Moore made the radical move of offering his film online for free. Slacker Uprising chronicles Moore’s controversial efforts to bring out young voters, whom he affectionately calls “slackers,” on a 2004 tour through the battleground states. Though his first audience in his native state of Michigan numbered in the hundreds, soon the events were gathering up to 16,000 people. Slacker Uprising has a different feel than Moore’s previous efforts. It’s a little less polished, but there’s no less enthusiasm for the subject on Moore’s part.

CARE BEARS: Flurries of Fun - FOX

This collection from the revamped Care Bears: Adventures in Care-A-Lot series includes three installments: “Ups and Downs,” Grizze-ly Adventures,” and the feature-length pilot Oopsey Does It, in which the newest member of the gang, Oopsy Bear, is introduced.

BODY HEAT: Blu-ray - Warner

During one hot and sultry Florida summer, a shady lawyer launches into a torrid relationship with a lonely woman married to a rich businessman. As their relationship grows, she decides to enlist his help in killing her husband so that the two can live comfortably off his riches. After they’ve successfully completed the deed, the lovers’ relationship sours, and they both become principal suspects in the police investigation.

CSI: Season Eight - Paramount

A smash hit from the moment of its 2000 debut, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation remains one of the most popular, innovative, and critically acclaimed crime dramas in television history. Created by Anthony Zuiker and executive produced by movie maven Jerry Bruckheimer, the thrilling series centers on the Las Vegas Police Department’s night-shift forensics unit, which utilizes cutting-edge technology to solve the often grisly crimes of a glamorous city whose constant influx of visitors makes it rife with criminal elements. Quick-witted detective Gil Grissom (William Petersen) leads the highly skilled investigative team that includes his single-mother partner, Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger); hair and fiber expert Nick Stokes (George Eads); former gambling addict Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan); and fresh-faced newbie Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox), with the help of a tough-as-nails police captain, Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle), and an efficient lab coroner, Dr. Al Robbins (Robert David Hall). Heavy on science, creative camera work, and uncomfortably graphic depictions of violence, CSI is praised by fans and critics alike for its consistently gripping and well-written storylines, often inspired by real-life cases.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: Season Five - Paramount

The Impossible Mission Force head to the homefront in season five of Mission: Impossible. While previous seasons pitted these Cold War warriors against international goons, the show’s later seasons increasingly found the crack squad of saboteurs using their gadgets and cunning to foil more native threats: drug cartels hooking Americans on dope and mobsters using their collective power to evade justice. The result is more time spent by Jim (Peter Graves), Barney (Greg Morris), Willy (Peter Lupus), and Paris (Leonard Nimoy) in the good old U.S.A. stanching the flow of drugs and busting the Syndicate, bit by bit. All through their daredevil adventures, the team’s skills still prove razor-sharp--especially with the help of a foxy new member, Dana Lambert (Lesley Ann Warren). This collection presents all 23 episode of the show’s thrilling fifth season. The clock’s ticking.

YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN: Blu-ray - Sony

Dennis Dugan directs this comedy co-written by Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, and Robert Smigel. Disco- and hummus-loving Zohan (Sandler) is the Israeli army’s best weapon. He can single-handedly take out terrorists and swim like a dolphin, and still find time to charm the ladies. But this lethal weapon is tired of fighting Palestinian terrorists like the Phantom (John Turturro). He has bigger dreams: he wants to cut and style hair. Unfortunately, once Zohan arrives in New York City with a new look straight out of the 1980s and an assumed identity after faking his own death, his lack of experience gets him laughed out of salon after salon. Finally, Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui),a Palestinian salon owner, gives him a shot, and the older patrons

love him. But just as Zohan is hitting his stride, Salim, a Palestinian New York City cabbie (Rob Schneider) recognizes him, and suddenly the Zohan’s dream is in jeopardy.

 

Nick be reached at Filmlords@gmail.com

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   Last Update:  December 03, 2008