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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.


 

RUDO Y CURSI

Beto (Diego Luna) and Tato (Gael García Bernal) Verdusco are brothers who work at a banana plantation and also play soccer for the village team. Nicknamed “Tough” because of his personality and football style, Beto dreams of becoming a professional soccer player; Tato’s dream is to be a famous singer, and both share the dream of building a house for their mother, Elvira (Dolores Heredia). They have a change in luck when “Batuta,” a soccer talent scout, discovers them accidentally. Tato is the first to move to the big city where he becomes the star goal scorer for the prestigious Deportivo Amaranto (Amaranto Club). His baroque playing style earns him the nickname of “Corny”. Although Beto feels he has been betrayed and left behind, he soon travels to Mexico City to become the goalkeeper for Atlético Nopaleros (Nopaleros Team). At the peak of glory, they forget all animosity, although it does not last long. At the very real possibility of fulfilling all of their dreams, the siblings must face an innate rivalry as well as their own demons and limitations. Beto is a gambler and allows his addiction to drag him down; Tato is unable to recognize his true talents and squanders every opportunity by pursuing a false idea of celebrity and status. The dream seems to slip through their fingers. And it is at their worst moment that the brothers find forgiveness trying to help each other while casting headlong towards their individual destinies. Bottom line is this picture is entertaining. Not too much soccer, which really helps the story, however all film fans should enjoy this shining beacon of foreign film.

Rudo Y Cursi
Starring: Gael García Bernal & Diego Luna
Director: Carlos Cuarón
Company: Sony Pictures Classics
Now Showing: In area Theatres
MPAA Rating: R
Grade: B+


DVD REVIEWS

Epic battles, beefcake and beautiful babes await in this definitive sword and sandal film collection! See stars Gordon Scott, Richard Harrison and Howard Duff fight for justice in 1960s-style Ancient Rome; and delight in the fantastical sci-fi special effects of these amazing films, helmed by the likes of James Bond director Terence Young and Francis Ford Coppola.


Rocket to the outer limits of intergalactic exploration in the Discovery Channel’s most exciting and absorbing space programs. Travel to the explosive fireball Io, join researchers as they prepare for the 2018 mission to Mars and beyond, get a hands-on look at the first personal space vehicle that could jumpstart tourism into space and so much more in this special, otherworldly collection.


In a remote village, a shocking secret lives on with each and every baby born. It is said that all children are creatures of God...except here. Now for a group of lost tourists, every conception of family will soon be sliced to pieces. And for a doomed few, the ultimate terror is about to hit home. Get ready to experience the graphic shocker from director/co-writer David Gregory that DVD Savant hails as a bloody onslaught. Plague Town knows which buttons to push to extract the maximum in squeamish delirium!


Dark and sinister is the new sexy, thanks to Dexter, which in its second season has proven to be the most successful series Showtime has offered up yet. Remember how much you squirmed in your seat during the season one finale? Believe it or not, the premiere of season two felt like it could have been a season finale--because jaws were on the floor when the credits rolled. For being a supposed sociopath, Dex is pretty broken up about the gruesome events that concluded last season. The one and only person who could possibly understand him is six feet under, and it seems our unlikely hero is losing his homicidal grip. He’s even having a little trouble slicing up a few of his latest victims (from a murderous gang member to a chainsaw-wielding fiend from his past). Enter Lila (Jaime Murray, Hustle), a lady with a sweet British accent and a few dark secrets of her own. She seems to accept Dex for who he really is, and he finds himself feeling relaxed for the first time in his life.


Jon and Kate had a pair of twins. Then they had sextuplets. Now they have the oh-so-enviable task of cleaning up more messes than is humanly possible, dealing with unruly--yet surprisingly charming--toddlers, and just trying to keep their cool as they juggle eight little lives. This TLC reality series benefits from its firm hand on cutesy control. The kids feel real, and the young parents express their affection--for their spawn as well as for each other--primarily through refreshingly sarcastic humor and dry wit.


From the creators of Family Guy comes another outrageous and over-the-top take on the American nuclear family. With his doting wife, Francine, at his side, Stan Smith--CIA agent, anti-terror operative, and upstanding citizen--runs a household that includes his ultra-liberal daughter, Hayley; his dweeb son, Steve; a sarcastic alien named Roger; and a lascivious German goldfish, Klaus. In this fourth volume of episodes, the family Smith experience “The Most Adequate Christmas Ever,” go through a nasty “Spring Breakup,” celebrate a big birthday with “1600 Candles,” and ultimately “Escape from Pearl Bailey.” This collection includes the final eight episodes of season three (starting with “Christmas” and excluding “Frannie 911”) and the first six episodes of Season Four.


For four years, the crew of the NSEA Protector donned their uniforms and set off on thrilling and often dangerous missions in space--then their series was canceled. Twenty years later, the five get together for a reunion when a group of aliens who have mistaken intercepted television transmissions for “historical documents” arrive at a convention and whisk “Commander Peter Quincy Taggart” (Tim Allen) and his crew into space to help them in their all-too-real war against a deadly adversary. With no script, no director, and no clue about real interstellar travel, the make-believe crew of the Protector has to turn in the performances of their lives to become the heroes the aliens believe them to be.


Welcome to Star Trek - the most consummate of all science fiction television programs to grace the front of a television set. This set gives the newbie a taste of the original adventures of Captain Kirk, Commander Spock, Chief Medical Officer McCoy, Chief Engineer Scott, Lieutenants Uhura and Sulu, and Ensign Chekov. You get three excellent thought-provoking episodes, as well as the light-hearted “The Trouble with Tribbles.” This DVD is a must own for any fan of this series.


Set in the 24th century and decades after the adventures of the original crew of the starship Enterprise, this new series is the long-awaited successor to the original Star Trek (1966). Under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the all new Enterprise NCC 1701-D travels out to distant planets to seek out new life and to boldly go where no one has gone before.


Set in a rural, swampy Louisiana parrish, the show centers around Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her clan, sweet grandmother Adele (Lois Smith) and air-headed brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten). Illicit love is spawned early on, when Sookie saves vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) from having his blood stolen in the parking lot of Merlotte’s diner, owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) who completes what will form a complex love triangle. As tensions between Sookie’s suitors loosen or tighten, many side plots, such as her African American besT friend Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) struggle with an alcoholic, Bible-thumping mother and her brother’s dangerous crush on drug addicted hippie, Amy Burley (Lizzy Caplan), keep one wondering who will succeed in this podunk place. The main tension throughout, however, is a race war waged between vampires and humans. As murders of “fang bangers” occur (human girls who let vampires bite them) and dumb policeman Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) fails to find clues, one sees the metaphorical implications of vampirism and feels deeper resonance with what can be a downright trashy show. Gossip galore, especially about what kinds of babies interbreeding will produce, is rampant. One of the funniest characters is Tara’s flamboyant cousin, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), who deals drugs, works as a fry cook, and services the local white politicians, while making sure he’s always up in everyone’s business.


Pack your bags and embark on a dino-mite musical vacation discovering a whole new world of fun when Barney: Let’s Go On Vacation travels to Mexico. While in Mexico, Barney, Baby Bop, B.J. Riff and playground friend Emma meet new amigos Fernan and Amalita. Together they sample Mexican foods, have a lesson in Spanish and enjoy a piñata party. The trip ultimately turns into a singing and dancing celebration of the differences and similarities between cultures, and the group quickly learns that the things that matter most - family and friends - - are the same the world over.


You don’t throw a whole life away just ‘cause it’s banged up a little. It is a story that inspired a nation...and one that almost didn’t happen. It is the story of a country whose dreams had been shattered...and the people who found a hero in an average horse that could achieve the unthinkable. It is the story of three lost men-Johnny “Red” Pollard (Tobey Maguire), a young man whose spirit had been broken; Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), a millionaire who lost everything; and Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), a cowboy whose world was vanishing-who found each other and discovered hope in an unlikely place. The odds were incredible. The dream was impossible... And somehow, it actually happened. From Academy Award nominated filmmaker Gary Ross comes the motion picture adaptation of the story that transfixed a nation from one of the most beloved and widely-read non-fiction books of the past decade: Seabiscuit.


Children of Men is not a popcorn movie. With its almost relentlessly bleak perspective on the future, Alfonso Cuarón’s film doesn’t make for pleasant viewing. But it’s an exhilarating experience because the picture is an amazing dystopian drama that lacks all the typical trappings of the genre. Set uncomfortably close to the present, it paints a frighteningly realistic picture of the future. In 2027, every woman on earth is infertile. With the loss of the ability to have children, the world has also lost hope. Clive Owen plays Theo, an Englishman attempting to make a life in a hellish world. His estranged wife (Julianne Moore) convinces him to help transport a young woman to safety. When Theo learns that the woman is pregnant, their journey takes on a significance--and a danger--he never imagined.


Space. The Final Frontier. The U.S.S. Enterprise embarks on a five year mission to explore the galaxy. The Enterprise is under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. The First Officer is Mr. Spock, from the planet Vulcan. The Chief Medical Officer is Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy. With a determined crew, the Enterprise encounters Klingons, Romulans, time paradoxes, tribbles and genetic supermen lead by Khan Noonian Singh. Their mission is to explore strange new worlds, to seek new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Well, it should be said right off the bat that the HD transfers of these shows are absolutely sparkling. Detail is through the roof, making every smile line, button and dial, star, and ship detail just pop right off the screen. Black levels are rock solid, especially in space scenes. Color saturation is deeper than deep, and bright colors are radiant in a way that the previous DVDs just can’t replicate. The show is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio - thank goodness CBS/Paramount didn’t try to stretch these shows in a manner similar to many “HD” rebroadcasts of older shows on cable. For any fan of this program, this set is simply a must own.


Peter Hyams’ sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking “2001: A Space Odyssey” opens nine years later as an American team led by space agent Heywood Floyd sets out for Jupiter to find out what happened on the ‘Discovery’ space ship’s disastrous voyage. In order to accomplish their mission, the Americans join forces with a group of Soviet astronauts, even though on earth, the governments of the two super-powers are readying themselves for all-out nuclear war. The two crews try to overcome their differences as they seek answers to the central questions raised in “2001”: What is the meaning of the black monolith? Why did HAL 9000 mutiny and will it do so again if resurrected?

Contact Filmlords@gmail.com if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:
June 26, 2009