sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes)December 2002
© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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December 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

Itís Christmas and time for gift giving and, more importantly, gift getting.  While the folks in Hollywood are getting ready to begin filming all the lumps of coal youíll get for next year, even though weíre a science fiction oriented zine weíre going to stay grounded in the here and now.  What are some must haves?  The things you need to make sure your gift buying ones understand are so must-have that theyíll live to regret every minute of their lives if they donít get you one?  How about a decent DVD player.  One with an understandable remote, instead of one with simple pictograms that all look about the same.  How about a portable dvd player for those trips on the train or plane or those dinners with the boss or the in-laws?  How about a DVD burner for the computer so you can download movies direct instead of having to go to the video store and dealing the half-wits who usually work there?  How about a selection of fine DVDs?  And no, you canít expect to get the trash that those imbeciles in California continually want to foist off on you.  Well, since Iím in such a good mood I guess itís time to get to discussing some of the must haves and the must not haves available this month.  Hopefully this will reach you early enough for you to get your list to the fat man in red.   So, without further ado, hereís the twelve dvds of Christmas.

Recent Releases / Classics / SFTV / Anime

Recent Releases  - If, on the first day of Christmas, your true love gives to you The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, you should be amazed at their ability to get a copy of a flick that was in the theaters just a few, short weeks ago.  On the other hand you will want to strongly question the taste of your true love for giving you such a dog.  I mean, after all, this thing sat on the studio shelves for over two years before they finally decided to release it.   On the third hand, it is only the first day and tradition would have them simply giving you the bird.

If, on the second day of Christmas, your true love gives you Minority Report, then things are beginning to look up.  This Tom Cruise vehicle suffers from a couple of missteps, most notably in the writing and logic department.  Itís the holidays though and youíll probably be full of eggnog or some other drink full of alcohol so youíre likely not to notice.  I donít know if Phil Dick would be proud of this or not.  He was a bit of an eggnogger himself you know.  Still, itís an interesting, if dark, future to visit for a brief time so go ahead and chalk this on in the plus column.  And remember, the tradition on this requires getting the bird not once but twice.

If, on the third day of Christmas your true loves gives to you Lilo & Stitch, you had better hope youíre a lover of Disney animation, otherwise this is probably a comment on your mental ability or your comprehension level.  This new age cartoon features surfing, protagonist characters that are significantly non-white, and an alien that looks like a cross between a cat, a dog and a small koala.  Itís got warmth, a deep message about values and some humor, assuming you care about those kind of things this time of year.  And remember, tradition requires a triple on getting the bird, although granted itís the French bird so it uses different fingers.  (Iím sure there were other animals around then.  What would have been so bad about getting three little pigs instead?  Or bears, what about bears?)

If on the fourth day of Christmas, your true love gives you Halloween-The Resurrection, you had better do some soul searching.  Better do some house searching as well.  Look for acid, thick rubber gloves and sharp knives.  This reincarnation of the Halloween saga returns to the scene of the crime as six young adults are enticed back to the Myers house to spend the night there as part of a reality television show.  An interesting premise although treated a bit blandly by the director.  At least itís better than what tradition requires, which would be four birds.

Classics - If, on the fifth day of Christmas, your true love gives to you Attack of the Crab Monsters, itís time for some serious pondering concerning the relationship.  After all, tradition requires five gold rings, not some cheesy, grade B movie transferred to disk.  Sure itís got giant crabs roaming the beaches creating mayhem and eating the occasional surf bum but itís just not the same.  Still, I suppose you could do worse.  You could get more birds.

If, on the sixth day of Christmas, your true love gives you The Day Of The Triffids, you should consider yourself on the plus side of the equation.  Getting this SF classic, originally penned by John Wyndham, is excellent.  The story is interesting, itís well acted and the direction is quite good as well.  Comparable to War of the Worlds but done on a much cheaper budget.  Much better than getting six birds, even if they are laying.

If, on the seventh day of Christmas, your true love gives to you Bride of the Gorilla, youíre slipping back into the dog house.  Even with the strange hideous experiments being performed on this island, and the blonde bombshell who marries a murdering plantation foreman, and the maid who resorts to hoo doo for revenge, itís a toss up as to whether this is better or even comparable to those seven geese swimming about.

SFTV - If, on the eighth day Christmas, your true love gives to you Star Trek: The Next Generation-The Complete Sixth Season, then youíll forever be cursed with trying to figure out why STNG and not the original, or DS9, or Voyager or the new one?  And why the sixth season and not the third or fifth?  Weighty questions indeed.  If only you had Picard of Data along to help you figure it out.  On your own, however, youíll be hopelessly mired and wishing youíd gotten those maids instead.  At least youíd have milk, because, as you know, maids make it so.

If, on the ninth day of Christmas, your true love gives you Star Trek: The Next Generation-The Complete Seventh Season, you should either jump for joy because now your becoming a completist or just hang your head and cry because if you couldnít figure out why you got the sixth season, what hope is there for you now?  At least you wonít have to take those dancing lessons so that odd lady isnít left out.

If, on the tenth day of Christmas, your true love gives you Farscape, Vol 2, Season 4, youíll undoubtedly wonder why, if Star Trek can put an entire season together as one unit, Farscape must break it into parts.  Alien plot?  Government conspiracy?  Lack of adequate technology?  Youíll never know and youíll soon forget to even wonder as you get involved in one of the better television science fiction series made in recent times.  On the other hand one or two of those leaping lords would surely have been single which would have paved your way, one way or another, to the royal family and how many DVDs would you have been able to afford then?

If, on the eleventh day of Christmas, your true love gives you Starman, Vol 1, Attack From Space/Evil Brain From Outer Space, itís time for some serious analysis.  On the other hand you might become captivated by Starman who battles space fascists and evil brains in briefcases and who can fly between planets like a missile.  Unfortunately, if you do become captivated by this 1950ís Japanese television show youíll be a bit out of luck as there are very few surviving shows.  Perhaps you would have been better off with the Pipers.

Anime - If, on the twelfth day of  Christmas, your true love gives to you Cowboy Bebop Boxed Set, vol 1-6, youíll probably think your something special.  This is the entire series so you can seclude yourself from the family, the kids, the neighbors, heck, society itself, as you become immersed in this presentation of the wise cracking space bounty hunter done in the inimitable Japanese animation style.  You have to love any show that has as one of itís main characters a genetically altered Welsh Corgi.  Probably an acquired taste although a heck of a lot better than twelve drummers drumming which would become more annoying than an editor looking for a column thatís just a tad bit late.

If there were any justice thereíd be thirteen days of Christmas. Sure it would mean that your love would have to do a bit more shopping and, if they were going the traditional route it would probably mean trying to track down burping frogs or noble woodcutters or something similar.  On the other hand it could also mean youíd be getting a cope of  Patlabor: The Mobile Police, The TV Series, Vol 3. What could be better than following the miscreants that make up Special Vehicles Division #2 of the Tokyo police force?  Perhaps the fact that they are continuously battling renegade giant industrial robots?  Perhaps that these big boys mumble their way as they berserkly destroy whateverís in their way?

Happy Hollyworld Holidays, Merry dvd viewing, and donít let Santa watch Lord of the Rings unless you want to see some serious elf mayhem.

sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes)© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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