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Blu-ray & DVD Reviews- 04/2006  Next Month / Last Month
by Charles Mohapel
Send your Shiny Disks to: c/o SFRevu, 16440 Baden Westwood Rd, Brandywine, MD 20613

Damn Aliens DVD by Steve Sawicki (as told to by the Damned Aliens) ( / ) - We were prepared to begin to tell you some of the secrets that our advanced species uses in the arena of biophysical regeneration but we forgot that Baseball begins today. Baseball, not counting the recent world playoffs or whatever you called it, is one of the best things you do. There is nothing better than hovering over a stadium with the bases loaded in the eight inning and the home team down by two. Well, perhaps slinging comets into gas giants is better but let's keep things on a singular planetary focus. We are somewhat confused that your national past time (even though it is not as well liked as your football, which has the same name as the other football sport even though they are completely different) actually is played in two different ways. The American League has rules that are different from the National League. And how do you explain those Canadian teams? Are they American teams or National teams? Well, I guess the one that was playing home games in Puerto Rico could be sort of considered an American team in a protectorate kind of way. But let's get to the meat of the matter. There is perhaps no greater predictor of a species potential for survival than what it does with leftovers. Hot dogs. We love them. We love them plain, we love them covered with mustard and relish (which we believe is really just another bunch of leftover stuff jammed into a jar), and we love them Chicago style. The only thing better than a hot dog on a hot afternoon at the ballpart is two hot dogs at a night game. Why, we remember with fondness the night we watched Barry Bonds stuff a fat...on second thought we had better not tell that story while the investigation is ongoing. And speaking of segues, let's talk about shiny discs.  Netflix / IMDB

Cyber Wars by (New Line Home Video 11 April, 2006 / $19.98) - Okay, you are falling back on old habits. In the near future, which could be tomorrow or could be next decade, everything has become computerized. This is best shown through the experiences of those who live in the Asian city-state of Sintawan. This should give you a big clue. In this city state, everyone's identity is recorded in a vast computer. Everyone except for those who aren't recorded there and who are using illegal simulated identity implants (sims). To track down these illegals (even though they are probably doing jobs that the legals don't want to do, a young babe bounty hunter combs the city state. Unfortunately, as is often the case in these city states, things are not what they seem and she finds herself the unlikely ally of a police detective. We're not sure why this is unlikely since it seemed to happen with no problem but who are we to say anything about that? Anyway, there is some suspicion that the computer is being perverted for an insidious and deadly purpose. As if this is news? Klaarg could have told them about robots but they probably would not have listened. The tables turn, there is danger around every corner and the city state is on the verge of collapse as unlikely things happen for no apparent reason. Everything resolves in a fairly depressing fashion so you Earthers are bound to love it. Go figure.  Netflix / IMDB

The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition) by (Walt Disney Video 04 April, 2006 / $34.99) - This is allegory. Or so we surmise. We actually think it's three or four allegories but we can't be sure. Four children slip through a wardrobe into a magical world taken over by evil and only if they can find a way to help a good lion win will things be put right. Well, we suppose there are worst things you could be doing with your time. Like, for instance, watching the ten plus hours of extra material that comes with these shiny discs, as if knowing what the Director had for breakfast is insightful into the human condition. It's not, by the way. But you'll watch it anyway since you really aren't that interested in the human condition. We know, because we just dropped in to see what condition your condition was in and it has nothing to do with breakfast. Well, Texas toast perhaps but none of that fruity stuff. In any case, if you like to watch big battles where animals get eviscerated then this ones for you.  Netflix / IMDB

Hostel (Unrated Widescreen Edition) by (Sony Pictures 18 April, 2006 / $28.95) - We don't know if this is a case of prescience or just coincidence but since we believe only in science it is irrelevant. This is the story of a couple of young American backpackers who are tripping through Europe, more or less, and staying at hostels. They are told of a great hostel in Slovakia where the women will have sex with anyone with an American accent. Well, you are supposed to believe two impossible things before breakfast, right? Turns out this is true--the hostel thing, not the impossible believing thing, and the two young men, along with an Icelandic pal, and when was the last time you even thought of seeing a movie about two Americans and an Icelander in Slovakia, are feeling pretty good. Not to last though or this wouldn't be much of a horror movie. Turns out that the hostel is merely a way point where young men are collected, after some hot sex, and turned over to rich individuals around the world who want to kill them in interesting ways. And here's the prescient part, Americans are the most highly prized because pretty much everyone hates them. Quentin Tarantino, who evidently had a number of bad experiences in Europe, is behind this DVD. We liked it although it never really got all that scary.  Netflix / IMDB

Aeon Flux (Widescreen Edition) by (Paramount Home Video 25 April, 2006 / $29.95) - Another day, another dystopian future. They fall like so many rotten fruit at the end of a short season where you are understaffed and losing the fight against the insects. See, we can do analogies too. This is a story about your future. It is not a happy future, but then we have been noticing that your present is rarely happy so maybe this makes a kind of linear sense. In this future the government is doing bad things. Hmmm, we are beginning to see patterns here. No one will speak up against the bad government. Need we say more? The bad government hires assassins and others to make things look better. The assassins soon learn that their bad government has been lying to them and that not everything is as the bad government says it is. In the end, who can you trust? The assassins who would just as soon kill you as pay for your lunch or the bad government who would just as soon you have no lunch at all and just shut up? We may have to watch this one again just to make sure it really is about your future and not a more contemporary offering. At least there we no robots in it.  Netflix / IMDB

Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children (2-Disc) by (Sony Pictures 25 April, 2006 / $26.96) - Ah, see, you have done it to us again. Explain how this can be Final Fantasy Seven? If it's a final fantasy then wouldn't that pretty much be it? How can there even be a two never mind a seven. It's a wonder you are able to produce anything given the way your minds work. And to make it worse, you have even carried your dystopian obsession into this game/comic/anime offering. Is it not bad enough that you, in your adult form, choose to wallow in negativity, never mind creating shiny discs that your species, in it's pre-adult form, will become addicted to? Take a generation off why don't you and see what happens? Perhaps you will rekindle your creativity so you can then move forward and not only get your titles right but do something interesting and cheerful. Not that it's not interesting watching the many ways you imagine yourself being destroyed but one does grow tired of seeing everything from the perspective of Earthers forced to live by their wits. And why is it that the first building you Earthers develop after a catastrophe is always a bar? Is it so your already depressed population will have somewhere to go and commisserate?  Netflix / IMDB

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