sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes)September 2002
© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
columns - events - features - booksmedia                                 home - subscribe

September 2002 Damnaliens DVD Review by Steve Sawicki
Note: order the films from Amazon by following the hyperlinks to buy  junk food for the aliens and keep them away from the dog.) Want a second opinion? We suggest www.imdb.com - Ernest

Recent Releases / Classics / SFTV / Anime

It has been pointed out to me that I have been recalcitrant in not including some form of ratings along with my comments.  A reader, the father of twin teenage boys, pointed out that he had no idea whether the breasts mentioned in my review of Beach Blanket Bimbos from Betelgeuse were R or PG-13.  Since the person I often go to the movies with is Editor Ern I usually pay no attention to ratings.  I realize that this is a family ezine however and that ratings might come in handy.  So, beginning with this column Iíll tag each review with my rating so youíll know whatís safe for you to watch by yourself and what things you may need to invite your parents to.

Recent Releases  - If this is September then it must be vampire month.

I know, I know, October is really vampire month but the idiots in Hollowworld donít think you can handle releases of horror videos just before Halloween so they let them loose to coincide with school starting.  In any case, weíre knee deep in vampires and wondering what happened to all our steak.  And speaking of steak, be sure not to eat before you pop Blade II into the disk player.  Snipes replays his role as the vampire who hunts vampires.  They must have figured that there werenít enough vampires in the first film because this time Snipes is hired by vampires to kill vampires.  What with all the teeth baring it can be hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.  Rated EG for evisceration and gagging.

Every year thereís a flick that makes all this worthwhile.  The problem is that you never know which one it is until youíve watched enough turkeys for a dozen Thanksgivings.  Monsters, Inc. is this yearís winner.  Great animation, great writing, incredibly funny both in dialogue and in visuals, and the story is fabulous.  Rated AI for astoundingly incredible that the idiots in Hollyweird actually got something right for a change.

Classics -

Lotís of times the classics in this column are worse than leftover blood.  This time though there are a couple of real winners.  Earth Vs The Flying Saucers is perhaps one of the best SF films ever.  It was made before the wack jobs stumbled their way to Hollynudge and ruined everything.  Itís got great storylines, decent acting, some fabulous miniature work by Harryhausen and it was done in the late 50ís.  Sure itís in black and white but the world was in black and white back then too.  Itís a bit eerie now to watch flying saucers attack Washington after 9/11 but not eerie enough to keep you from watching it.  Rated BU for bea utiful.

And speaking of cities getting attacked thereís a monster on the loose.  No, not that producer looking for the next old idea to refilm, but a real, honest monster.  Actually thereís a bunch of monsters on the loose. Thankfully theyíre all attacking Japan, although a monster or two ripping through Hollywould might not be a bad thing.  The Japanese are used to this kind of thing though and have developed the capacity to rebuild a city just in time for the next monster attack.  Godzilla - The Ultimate Collection (Godzilla, King of the Monsters/Godzilla vs. Mothra/Godzilla's Revenge/Terror of Mechagodzilla/Rodan),  is a package deal you canít afford to pass up.  Sure you can buy these separately but why would you want to?  Rated BG for big and green.

SFTV -

I try not to watch a lot of television as it takes time away from my dvd watching.  Every once in a while though Iíll be flipping through the 500 channels I get on cable and Iíll wander into something that seems interesting.  I must have watched most of Stargate SG 1 that way.  Well, no more.  Stargate SG1: Season 2, is just out and itís the complete season.  This is a show that almost didnít make it.  Produced by Showtime to follow the Outer Limits it ultimately developed much more of a fan following with itís fairly convoluted plots, unstereotypical aliens and wise cracking commander of SG 1.  Rated SG for still good.

There are seminal shows that exist in each genre.  Wagon Train, Bonanza, I love Lucy, and, of course, The Outer Limits, The Original Series (1963). It should be noted though that this is not the complete series but only 32 of the 48 episodes.  I donít know how they decided what shows to include and what to drop.  Again, this show is in black and white which actually adds to the creepiness.  This is a must have.  Rated WC for we control the vertical.

Star Trek movies are fairly easy to figure out using the odd/even system.  Star Trek television shows and seasons so far defy any such logical categorization.  Thus we end up with Star Trek, The Next Generation: The Complete Fourth Season, being a mixed bag of pretty decent episodes mixed in with drek and a few real bangers.  Mostly on the good side, taken as a whole.  At least they got rid of the kid.  Of course the show still suffers from the lets showcase the character of the week problem.  Watch these one at a time or else.  Rated BM for beam me up Scotty, I canna take it anymore.

Anime -

I should know better than to return to places Iíve not liked being before.  But Iím attracted by pretty boxes and taken in by cheap blurbs and classy advertising.  Hellsing, Blood Brothers 2, continues the vampire saga with another group of poorly drawn, garishly colored, ill plotted episodes.  Who watches this stuff?  Who decides that itís even good enough to be transferred to DVD?  This is the price we pay for having cheap technology.  And now you know what happens to all those excess AOL discs.  Rated MF for mini frisbee because thatís about all itís good for.

Gosh, it gets so a boy just misses the big mumbling lugs so I end up grabbing anything with a huge robot on the cover.  Dai-Guard, Hostile Takeover (Vol I), is sort of like the Gundhams although it takes more weird people to drive them and the surrounding society is not so accepting of the big lugs as they tend to wreak havoc just getting from one place to another. Still, they do manage to save the world again so I guess they have their good points.  Now, if only they could mumble occasionally, Iíd be happy.  Rated LV for leave at video store.

-- Steve Sawicki

sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes)© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
columns - events - features - booksmedia     home - subscribe