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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.
 
Free DVD giveaways by A&E and the Fort Bend Star

Nebraska Football - A & E

Who isn’t a fan of classic college football? The Fort Bend Star and the A&E Television Network have teamed up to provide free DVD’s to our loyal readers in this easy giveaway. We have DVD sets representing Tom Osborne’s Nebraska Cornhuskers. If you are interested in entering our DVD giveaway, all you need to do is send our film critic, Nick Nicholson, an email at Filmlords@gmail.com. The subject of the email should be DVD GIVEAWAY. In the body of the email, be sure to type your name and full mailing address. In addition, be sure to list the college DVD you would prefer to win. Keep in mind winners will be selected at random and when one school is gone, it’s gone. Winners will be chosen on November 28. Only one winner per address.

Treasury of 100 Storeybook Classics - Scholastic

All the special and treasured childrens classics of yesteryear are included here in the Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics by Scholastic. The Fort Bend Star and Scholastic Entertainment have teamed up to provide one free DVD set of this classic children’s stories for one of our loyal readers. If you are interested in entering our DVD giveaway, all you need to do is send our film critic, Nick Nicholson, an email at Filmlords@gmail.com. The subject of the email should be DVD GIVEAWAY. In the body of the email, be sure to type your name and full mailing address. Keep in mind winners will be selected at random and when one school is gone, it’s gone. Winners will be chosen on November 28th. Only one winner per address.


QUANTUM OF SOLACE

‘Quantum of Solace’ continues the high octane adventures of James Bond from ‘Casino Royale’. Picking up literally hours after the previous film left off, after being betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Having captured Mr. White, and in pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and ‘M’ interrogate Mr. White who reveals the organization which blackmailed Vesper to steal Bond’s casino winnings is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

Forensic intelligence links an MI6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille, a woman who has her own vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene, a ruthless businessman and major force within the mysterious criminal organization known only as ‘Quantum’.

On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world’s most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano. Using his associates in the organization, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in Bolivia, giving General Medrano control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land which is, however, a main source of the South American water supply. In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists, and even ‘M’ herself, to unravel Greene’s sinister plan and stop Quantum from getting its way.

Although I am a huge fan of the James Bond franchise, this particular installment does leave a little to be desired. The story is a bit disjunct and some performances are overacted. I admit it was nice to get to know M a bit more on a personal level. Daniel Craig is still arguably the best James Bond, however Quantum was hard pressed to equal the energy and enthusiasm of Casino Royale.

Quantum of Solace

Starring: Daniel Craig, Mathieu Amalric & Olga Kurylenko

Director: Marc Forster

Company: MGM

Now Showing: In area Theatres

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Grade: B


TOOTS - IndiePix

A friend to the famous, a crook to the feds, father, brother, gambler, bum: Toots Shor was many things. But above all, he was the owner of America’s greatest saloon. Sinatra and DiMaggio, Ruth and Costello, Eisenhower, Nixon and Warren: for 30 years, they all found their way to Toots’ eponymous saloon on New York’s West 51st Street. Directed by his granddaughter, “Toots” is a provocative, loving and unmistakably authentic portrait of the self-made, unapologetic and quintessentially American man who became the unlikely den-mother to the heroes of America’s golden age.

MIND OF MENCIA: Season Four - Paramount

Following in the tradition of Dave Chappelle, Carlos Mencia’s part-stand-up, part-sketch-comedy show pays no heed to political correctness as he skewers, pokes fun, and offends with his unique approach to humor. Blending sketches, standup, parodies, and man-on-the-street segments, the Latino funnyman brandishes his unique style of edgy comedy to take on privileged teenagers, Barack Obama, and the immigration system. This collection presents every episode of the series’ fourth season.

KIT KITTREDGE: Blu-ray - Warner

Aspiring reporter Kit Kittredge 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). When a crime spree sweeps Cincinnati, all signs point to the local “hobo jungle,” where Will and Countee live with a group of their impoverished companions. Kit, who always has her antennae out for a good news story, convinces her new friends to take her to see the hobo camp for herself and writes an article that creates a sympathetic portrait of the camp’s residents. But when Kit’s mother and their boarders become the latest victims in a string of robberies, Kit’s loyalties are tested.

SEVENTH HEAVEN: Season Seven - Paramount

The heartwarming television dramedy 7th Heaven blends sometimes outlandishly comic situations with dramatic plotlines about serious social issues into a positive affirmation of family values and Christian morality. Produced by Aaron Spelling, the series centers on an all-American family headed by Reverend Eric Camden (Stephen Collins) and his stay-at-home wife, Annie (Catherine Hicks), as they struggle with the daily stresses and joys of parenting. Meanwhile, the Camdens’ seven children--Lucy (Beverley Mitchell), Simon (David Gallagher), youngest daughter Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman), and twins Sam and David (real-life twins Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino)--navigate the trials and tribulations of growing up with wholesome aplomb. This collection presents every episode of the family drama’s seventh season.

DONNA REED SHOW: Season One - Arts Alliance

If Martha Stewart and Mother Theresa had a daughter, she might have been Donna Reed. A perennial fan favorite, The Donna Reed Show premiered in 1958 and highlighted the foibles and experiences of the Stone family, who lived in the fictional Midwestern small town of Hilldale. Whether hosting a dinner party, catering to her husband’s needs, or reveling in the activities of her children, Academy Award-winning actress Donna Reed as Donna Stone did it all with style and grace. This set features 37 classic episodes plus a bonus photo gallery of never-before-seen photos, the original TV commercial, and production notes.

GET SMART:

Blu-ray - Warner

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is on a mission to thwart the latest plot for world domination by the evil crime syndicate known as KAOS. When the headquarters of U.S. spy agency Control is attacked and the identities of its agents compromised, the Chief (Alan Arkin) has no choice but to promote his ever-eager analyst Maxwell Smart, who has always dreamt of working in the field alongside stalwart superstar Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson). Smart is partnered instead with the lovely-but-lethal veteran Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). Given little field experience and even less time, Smart-armed with nothing but a few spy-tech gadgets and his unbridled enthusiasm-must thwart the doomsday plans of KAOS head Siegfried (Terence Stamp).

PREHISTORIC MEGASTORMS - History

Did violent weather play a critical role in shaping the planet’s surface? Prehistoric Megastorms investigates the possible effects of ancient disasters, from a volcanic eruption that may have caused the ice age to a violent flood that potentially resulted in the English Channel. This collection features seven powerful episodes, including “Hypercane,” “Mega Tsunami,” and “Noah’s Great Flood.”

FRAGGLE ROCK: Complete Series - Lions Gate

Celebrate 25 years of the Fraggle Rock series with the music and memories that have kept fans rockin’ in the ultimate Fraggle Rock Complete Series Collection! Starring all your favorite Jim Henson characters - Red, Mokey, Wembley, Gobo, and Boober - joined by tiny diligent Doozers and giant Gorgs in one fantastical subterranean world that was awarded five International Emmy Awards and has continued to be adored by millions of fans worldwide! Dance your cares away with the fully loaded collectible set containing all 96 episodes and 100 original songs of the award-winning series, including Season 4 available for the first time ever on DVD! The Complete Series Collection is a fan favorite with over 47 hours of content on an impressive 20 discs, including over two hours of never-before-seen bonus features and an original Fraggle Rock illustration poster - all presented together in this exclusive 25th Anniversary Collectible Set! So save your worries for another day and let the Fraggles take you to a place far away!

CHILL - Lions Gate

In this horror feature, a writer named Sam takes a new job at the town market. But Sam’s new boss doesn’t just have a puzzling skin affliction, he’s also deceased and remarkably well-preserved. This is an interesting film, to say the least. I would encourage you to check it out if horror films are for you.

STAR WARS CLONE WARS - Warner

On the front lines of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil, fans young and old will join such favorite characters as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and PadmÈ Amidala, along with brand-new heroes like Anakin’s padawan learner, Ahsoka. Sinister villains – led by Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous – are poised to rule the galaxy. Stakes are high, and the fate of the Star Wars universe rests in the hands of the daring Jedi Knights.

GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS: Season Three - A&E

Gene Simmons isn’t just the frontman of Kiss; he’s also a dedicated family man, in his own decidedly offbeat way. The second season of this nutty reality series finds the family just as close and just as entertaining as ever. Highlights include appearances by crazy Aunt Tracy, some revelatory moments for Gene’s teenaged offspring, and matching his-and-hers facelifts for Gene and Shannon. All season three episodes are included in this release.

MIRROR MASK - Sony

The legendary caped crusader is back in the Emmy Award-winning Batman the Animated Series. During the day, mild-mannered millionaire Bruce Wayne seems like an average--albeit wealthy--Gotham City resident; but at night, when the criminal comes out, so does his alter-ego. With the help of his trusty sidekick Robin, Batman combats the evil forces that are constantly threatening to overpower Gotham City, including classic villains such as Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. Airing from 1992-1995, this animated Batman is acclaimed for remaining true to the original comic book’s dark tone while introducing new and exciting storylines and characters. This mammoth collection presents all four seasons of the complete series.

WU: The Story of the Wu Tang Clan - Paramount

The Wu-Tang Clan arose in 1993 to change hip-hop forever, with complex rhymes, dissonant soundscapes, and a personal mythology inspired by martial-arts flicks. The nine-person rap crew from Staten Island was an A-Team of verbal warfare--with GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and others contributing a unique flavor to the mix. And while some rappers become embarrassing by their second album, Wu-Tang continued to produce shockingly original music for a period unrivaled by other artists. Narrated by Gerald “Gee-Bee” Barclay, this documentary examines the history of the Wu, their rise and fall, and what the future may hold for one of the greatest teams in hip-hop.

THE HAPPENING - Fox

M. Night Shyamalan directs this thriller about a science teacher (Mark Wahlberg) who tries to escape with his wife and friend’s daughter after an apocalyptic event. THE HAPPENING costars Zooey Deschanel and John Leguizamo.

HAWAII FIVE-O: Season Five - Paramount

One of TV’s longest-running crime dramas, the 1970s television series Hawaii Five-O captivated audiences with its smart and stylish take on the standard policier formula. Filmed entirely on the Hawaiian Islands, the action-packed series followed the crime-fighting adventures of an elite state-police squad anchored by quintessential tough guy Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) and his detective team of Danny “Danno” Williams (James MacArthur), Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong), and Kono Kalakaua (Zulu). Almost single-handedly rewriting the book on police dramas, the series distinguished itself with intricate plotting, inventive cinematography, exotic locations, and, of course, an indelible theme song and timeless catchphrase (“Book ‘em, Danno!”). This collection presents the iconic series’ fifth season in its entirety.

 

Nick be reached at Filmlords@gmail.com

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   Last Update:  November 19, 2008