Nip/Tuck: The Sixth and Final
DVD Reviewed by
Frank J. Avella
WARNER HOME VIDEO
Nip/Tuck, love it or hate it
was certainly provocative. The Ryan Murphy brainchild
was filled with nudity, sex, violence, and perversion—all
the things that make for good shock television. You could
not take your eyes off the tube for fear of missing what
Kimber (the perpetually fascinating Kelly Carlson) would
do next or just how far Christian (Julian McMahon) would
go in pursuit of pussy. And let’s not forget Famke
Janssen’s tour de force portrayal in Season Two
(the best season) or Vanessa Redgrave’s much welcomed
scenes throughout the series—the airline crash episode
stands in my mind as the best of the series.
As a matter of fact, the star-powered
cameos kept Nip/Tuck interesting long after it’s
lurid moments began to turn viewers off.
Nip/Tuck transfixed more than
it repelled, but by the beginning of Season 6, the show
had become more of a trainwreck than a curio. It was increasingly
difficult to give a damn about Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh).
I actually began to despise his character and was hoping
he would die in some heinous way in the final episode.
And as far as Christian Troy, his vain, egocentric bit
became tiresome although I will always appreciate Murphy’s
staying true to who and what he is. McMahon is one of
the most underrated actors on TV.
Nothing too exciting really happens
in Season Six except for the unfortunate killing-off of
a major character and the return of Janssen’s character.
A major disappointment is the fact that the wonderful
Joely Richardson had very little to do (which may have
had everything to do with the horrific death of her sister
Natasha early last year). Matt (Jon Hensley) becomes a
homicidal mime, which provides some excitement but not
enough to sustain a season.
It’s as if the writers had run
out of shock. There is a wonderful episode (the 100th
episode) that takes place in a therapist’s office
but the very final episode is a crushing disappointment.
It’s simply predictable and saccharine, something
the series worked hard to never be. I hope there is a
reunion show one day were they up the ante and really
give us a finale worthy of the series.
The 19 episodes are presented on DVD
in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, and these transfers
look awesome. The 5.1 surround sound track is very effective.
There is only one extra: a flimsy plastic
surgery piece that has little to do with the show titled,
"Tell Me What You Don't Like About Yourself - The
Psychology Behind Plastic Surgery." Perhaps WB are
prepping a larger Series package. I sure hope so because
the fans of this show deserve more special feature and
a better end to a once astonishing, fearless and unpredictable
A Single Man
DVD Reviewed by Frank J. Avella
Based on the novel by Christopher
Isherwood, A Single Man is startling in it’s
presentation of a day in the life of a gay man in 1962
haunted by the death of his significant other. With the
Cuban missile crisis in full terror-loom, George (Colin
Firth), an English prof, has lost his life-partner Jim
(Matthew Goode), some months earlier. George has decided
he no longer wishes to remain alive without Jim so he
goes about his day, saying goodbye to his life and the
things he loves. These exquisite encounters and George
and Jim’s romance, told in non-linear fashion, make
up Tom Ford’s stunning directorial debut.
Along George’s journey he meets
up with a deliciously gorgeous Hispanic hustler (Ford
model Jon Kortajarena) and is pursued by one of his cute,
young students, Kenny (About a Boy’s Nicholas
Hoult, all grown up!).
Finally, George has quite a significant
encounter with his best friend, Charley (the dazzling
Julianne Moore) who in a few short moments and one fabulous
scene, shows us the many facets of this rich and complex
relationship. Moore embodies the 1960s everywoman who
follows what she is told to do by society to a T, drowning
in the quagmire of surface-living and getting through
each day with cigarettes, alcohol and regret. Moore was
robbed of an Oscar nomination.
Colin Firth is given the role of his
career and, had Jeff Bridges not been so long overdue,
would have won the Oscar last year. He is quite simply
subtle and brilliant. There is great supporting work by
the aforementioned Moore as well as Matthew Goode and
Nicholas Hoult, whose pretty features shouldn’t
take away from the fact that he’s a really good
I highly suggest seeing A Single
Man a second time. I loved it the first time I saw
it in a theatre but, knowing what I now know based on
my first viewing, I fell in love with it the second time.
It’s a rich and dense film that is simply breathtaking
On DVD the 2.40:1 anamorphic transfer
of A Single Man is perfection. The sharp resolution
and colors are preserved. The film is feast for the eyes
The English 5.1 audio mix is fantastic
and Abel Korzienowski’s lush and inviting score
enhances the viewing experience.
Extras include: a 16-minute Making
of documentary that isn’t just the usual puff
piece but has Ford and his magnificent cast actually discussing
craft as well as themes in the film. It’s too short
but worthwhile. There is also a fascinating audio commentary
by Tom Ford that is a must-listen for fans.
A newcomer to directing, Ford fearlessly
avoids the obvious and, instead, gives us a beautifully
sublime and richly satisfying meditation on the devastating
impact death can have on someone and how we should all
savor what life has to offer us each day because it can
end in a flash.