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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.
 

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 - Shout

Another company took over the production of MST3K DVD sets, and this one sounds great. From what I could gather, you will get the following: Episode #211- Joel hosts the movie, First Spaceship on Venus: Episode #706- Mike hosts, Laserblast: Episode #904- Mike hosts, Werewolf ....this is one of my absolute favorites where lots of Europeans act like they’re normal citizens of Flagstaff AZ. The woman keeps saying Vere Volf, instead of Werewolf. Martin Sheen’s brother is one of the stars. I love the jokes and skits from Mike and the Bots. Last there’s Episode #1004- Future War. A cheesy little SciFi flick about a nun who used to be a prostitute, getting her former gang together to battle cardboard dinosaur cutouts. Yep, it’s good stuff. I also learned that this set will include a Crow figure, some Collector Cards, and a segment of the MST3K reunion on July 2008.

ZOMBIE STRIPPERS - Sony

Worldwide media sensation Jenna Jameson and Nightmare on Elm Street’s Robert Englund star in Zombie Strippers. When a secret government agency lets out a deadly chemo virus causing the reanimation of the dead, the first place to get hit is Rhino’s, a hot underground strip club. As one of the strippers gets the virus, she turns into a supernatural, flesh-eating zombie stripper, making her the hit of the club. Do the rest of the girls fight the temptation to be like the star stripper, even if there is no turning back?

HELL RIDE - Genius

Written and directed by Larry Bishop, who also stars, Hell Ride is a tribute to the biker flicks of the late 1960s and early ‘70s. The movie follows Pistolero (Bishop) and his two captains, the Gent (Michael Madsen) and Comanche (Eric Balfour), as they booze and brawl their way across the Arizona desert, with the ultimate goal of exacting revenge on a rival gang that murdered one of their members. A healthy mix of throat slitting, coke-sniffing, and naked female oil wrestling makes Hell Ride one of the more gratuitously sensational films of recent memory; yet if one is able to get past the almost laughably blatant tastelessness on which the movie is built, there is a fairly good time to be had. As the dapper Gent, Madsen proves once again that he could read from the phonebook and still sound like one bad dude, and tip-of-the-cap cameos from Dennis Hopper and David Carradine solidify the film’s enjoyably retro/po-mo vibe.

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH: Blu-ray - New Line

This 2008 movie update of Jules Verne’s classic sci-fi/fantasy novel uses the 1864 tale as a template, with its hero, scientist Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser), referring to his missing brother’s notes on the novel. His nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) in tow, Anderson travels to Iceland to investigate his sibling’s theories, enlisting a fellow scientist’s daughter, Hannah (Anita Briem), as a guide. Soon the trio’s Icelandic mountain trek descends into a cave and, then deeper still to, naturally, the center of the earth, where dinosaurs and other strange prehistoric creatures still dwell. After many dangerous encounters with the native flora and fauna, Trevor, Sean, and Hannah must find a way back to the surface or face being stranded miles below the earth’s crust.

KIT KITTREDGE: An American Girl - New Line

Aspiring reporter Kit Kittredge (Abigail Breslin) can’t resist bringing home strays, whether it’s Grace, an abandoned basset hound or Will and Countee, a pair of young hobos willing to trade work for meals. Bright, inquisitive and generous, Kit is a natural born leader. But her happy childhood is abruptly interrupted when her father (Chris O’Donnell) loses his car dealership and must leave Cincinnati to look for work. Kit and her mother Margaret (Julia Ormond) are left to manage on their own, growing vegetables, selling eggs and even taking in an assortment of boarders including an itinerant magician (Stanley Tucci), a vivacious dance instructor on the prowl for a husband (Jane Krakowski) and a zany mobile librarian (Joan Cusack).

SISTER SISTER: Season One - Paramount

It’s the year 2222 and, while he may be no Kirk, Captain Adam Quark has a pretty darn good space crew. There’s Ficcus the Vegeton, the freakishly intelligent plant humanoid; an entirely too boxy android named Andy; Gene/Jean, the androgynous “transmute;” and Betty and Betty, of whom no one is sure is the original. Throughout the course of this space opera series’ eight episodes, Quark and his wonderful cadre of winners sometimes battles space villains and sometimes don’t. This Emmy-nominated spoof sprung from the mind of Buck Henry, the co-creator of Get Smart and the screen adapter of Catch-22 and The Graduate. Before there was Lone Starr, before there was Barf, there was Quark.

LUDWIG - Koch

A lush, atmospheric dramatization of tormented Bavarian King Ludwig’s brief but colorful reign, from his loves for Elisabeth of Austria and composer Richard Wagner to his ever-growing madness.

MONDAY’S IN THE SUN - Lions Gate

A northern Spanish coastal town suffers from its own isolationism as shipyards close down, leaving the labor force scouring the streets for temp jobs with only their stubborn pride to show for it. Among the disillusioned is Santa (Javier Bardem), a cocksure, angry rebel who refuses to admit his own failures. Santa is the ring leader of a group of rapidly aging friends whose unemployed status causes them mounting grief. They drown their sorrows in an otherwise empty bar owned by Rico (Joaquin Climent), one of their coworkers from what now seems another life. While Santa tries to clumsily seduce women and pay for a lamp post he vandalized in anger, his companions battle serious alcoholism, loan denials, and marriage troubles, as they all face their own insignificance. Javier Bardem perfectly embodies the defiant loser that is Santa. Letting himself go and carrying a hefty gut, Bardem manages to exude the false charm of a bitter sad sack who has remained a lady’s man.

 

Nick be reached at Filmlords@gmail.com

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   Last Update:  December 03, 2008