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Old 06-24-13, 10:27 PM   #32
DVD Talk Limited Edition
SterlingBen's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 6,692
Re: 6th Annual Sci Fi/Fantasy Challenge List Thread

Goal: 100
First Time Views *
Watched With Wife *
- June 30th -
The Thing From Another World! (1951) (DVD)
My Thoughts: The vegetable-Frankenstien Thing pales in comparison to it's remake but is still a great 50's monster movie. But I guess all reviews post 82 are pretty much comparisons of the two so I will try to diverge a little. Holy cat was that guy really saying 'Holy Cat'? There was a lot of interesting concepts in this movie but they seemed noticeably hampered by budgetary concerns. Still the dialog was interesting and snappy and overlapped in a way that was most unusual for the time (I must admit to having that little nugget pointed out for me by a retrospective documentary). An enjoyable if not ultimately by the numbers 50's horror movie (although without context for the time period this may be what started the 50's standard...).
(4 out of 5)
The Thing (1982) (Blu-Ray)
My Thoughts: It was last years challenge viewing of this title of my old dvd on my new tv that made this upgrade to blu-ray a necessity, god I hate picture boxing! Looked great this time though, lots of new detail, my number 2 movie has never looked so good. Watching this reminds me that I have 3 awesome Thing related pieces to get framed still, I think I shale make that a priority.
(5 out of 5)
- July 1st -
The Thing (2011) (Blu-Ray)
My Thoughts: Still rings a bit too much like Nemesis than The Thing, even so it is an ultimately satisfying experience for fans of the original. And we got to go inside the space ship, something my adolescent mind had pondered for years. A solid movie if you can get over the hollywood conceits.
(3.5 out of 5)
Commentary For The Thing (1982) (Blu-Ray)
My Thoughts: An interesting commentary with Russell and Carpenter, what I really liked about it is you can tell they had fun doing it. Those little bits always make me regret not following that passion when I was young. Recorded in '95, I would love to have something more updated, perhaps with Russell and a moderator or someone who deconstructs and analyzes the film. They missed the ball on the 30th anniversary, maybe on the 40th.
(4 out of 5)
- July 2nd -
Commentary For The Thing (2011) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: Bit of an average track, I did like the 'we are recording this prior to the film being released' aside where they speculate how it will be received. More informative than entertaining.
(3 out of 5)
Tom and Jerry Blast Off to Mars! (2005) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: This movie was a pretty big disappointment, when I saw the Blu-Ray I though there might be an actual decent movie here. Not so much, it was poorly acted, scripted and the scientific inaccuracies boggled the mind. I know it is a cartoon but still, I would have even accepted a Looney Toons degree of accuracy. Pure mindless kids fodder.
(1.5 out of 5)
Class Of Nuke 'Em High (1986) (Blu-Ray)
My Thoughts: Needed a trashy pallet cleanser after the previous overly family friendly hack job. I grew up with this movie and have quite a soft spot for it and the lead actresses breasts in my heart. Also the title song is so catchy, I miss movie specific songs. The blu-ray leave a little something to be desired with it's washed out picture and it's shitty sound quality but it still is the best the movie has ever looked. Also there is a bonus feature that is just chicks working out naked, for an hour? It cut into overall challenge viewing time but I allowed it.
(4 out of 5)
- July 3rd -
Commentary For Class Of Nuke 'Em High (1986) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: There is something I dig about Lloyd Kaufman and his ascetic choices. He is Troma Entertainment and as such is fascinating to listen too. Also as I have said before, low budget pictures almost always make for better commentaries. Getting an actor in on the track couldn't have hurt though, especially if it was Chrissy.
(4 out of 5)
Mutant Hunt (1987) (DVD) *
My Thoughts: There is actually about 5 minutes of awesome here, unfortunately it is surrounded by 70 minutes of awful. This is one I should have saved more a more alcohol fueled Drive-In challenge entry. And hey one of the Cretins from Class Of Nuke 'Em High is in this movie! Someone was coasting on their hair in the late 80's. If you are planning on watching this one you should also plan to start while already inebriated, those 5 minutes are pretty deep in there.
(2 out of 5)
- July 4th -
10 - 11.5)
Firefly S01E01-05 (2002) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: For whatever reason I missed this the first time around, I think I had it confused with Brisco County at the time. I, like the sweaty masses before me, quite enjoyed this show. It is a bit depressing to know it is only one season and a movie but I am looking forward to the rest.
(4 out of 5)
The Darkest Hour (2011) (Blu-Ray) **
My Thoughts: I loved the abandoned Moscow setting and the idea of energy based aliens. The final form of said aliens was a bit of a let down and the writing a bit unimaginative (lots of lifting from other movies). But it was enjoyable enough scifi faire. Also I m always a fan of crazy Russians.
(3.5 out of 5)
My Wife's Thoughts: It is pretty good but I was very disappointed that creepy monster. I thought more like natural disaster related or something... And ending is not that great good challenge so i can give them 3.5. Oshimai.
(3.5 out of 5)
- July 5th -
13 - 16.)
Firefly S01E06-12 (2002 - 2003) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: It is a really good series, I am not getting Lost or Battlestar involved in it but highly enjoyable all the same. And hey the voluptuous redhead from Mad Men! We seem to be in a lull of good Sci-Fi shows right now, or maybe I just am in the dark, but it's nice catching up with some of these gems from the past. This whole series is really making me want to revisit Dollhouse.
(4 out of 5)
- July 6th -
16.5 - 17.)
Firefly S01E13-14 (2002 - 2003) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: It was a good show, if I had been on board at the time I would have also lamented it's passing. I am jazzed about the movie however, there are lots of plot points I would like to see explored further. Like the Reavers, the captain's 'wife', the demented bounty hunter and of course what' up with River. Based on what I remember of the trailers back in the day I imagine it will mostly focus on the latter but one can hope.
(4 out of 5)
Serenity (2005) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: That was fucking awesome. Usually movies that continue TV properties are just kind of meh. The best one I can think of would be the Farscape miniseries and this blew that out of the water. It was a fantastic movie that I probably would have enjoyed even without seeing the series. You can count me as one of those Whedon freaks from now on.
(5 out of 5)
Commentary For Serenity (2005) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: A fun commentary with a fun group of people, excellent chemistry in this group. And there is just something so intriguing about that soft spoken Summer Glau. A must listen for any fan, it is making me regret not listening to the show commentaries but it did seem there was a lack of cast participation in those.
(4 out of 5)
X-Men (2000) (DVD)
My Thoughts: An interesting set of circumstances, the first really successful super hero movie and one of the last made pre 9/11. The mentality of the movie is quite different than most of the newer breed Marvel movies, more... innocent. It was the coolest film of that summer, even with the bad CG. And there is no question why they keep making more Wolverine movies as he is by far the most intriguing character.
(4 out of 5)
- July 7th -
X2: X-Men United (2003) (DVD)
My Thoughts: A nice step up from the original, darker, more mutants, plastics, Mystique this time as the sexual aggressor, and of course more Adamantium. I wonder if we will ever get a full marvel universe property with everyone, although it would probably cost more than Avatar just in actors.
(4.5 out of 5)
X-Men: Last Stand (2006) (DVD)
My Thoughts: I'm The Juggernaut, bitch! This one wasn't as well received as the other two but still as enjoyable in my book. The Wolverine/Magnito rift got a little stale, and I am still kind of pissed about Rogue. Loved the Centurion tease and wish that could be X4, but I guess the myriad of prequels will have to suffice. Oh and hey, first X-Men movie with an post-credits scene!
(4 out of 5)
Capitan America (1990) (DVD)
My Thoughts: Wow, should have watched this one before the X-Men trilogy, I knew it was campy but damn. I remember really liking this as a kid but everything here is just wrong. The mask makes him look deformed, the music is wildly inappropriate and then there is the acting, plot and effects, yikes. I am going to have to make a point one day to watch the new Captain America and this back to back with a few brews. It does make the leap into so bad it's good territory frequently enough though to make it at least a bearable experience.
(2.5 out of 5)
District 9 (2009) (Blu-Ray)
My Thoughts: I love hard R sci-fi movies, they could have relatively easily gone PG-13 with this and I am so glad they didn't. This is basically Alien Nation if the aliens were a little more stupid and a lot less inter-breedable. A fun out of the ordinary picture, lots of dark comedy and I think there may be an apartheid allegory here?
(4 out of 5)
Despicable Me (2010) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: This came out as one of those weird movie parring (where separate studios make similar movies and release them at the same time) with Megamind. I liked them both but Megamind was far and away the better movie, too bad it was marketed so so poorly. Getting back to Despicable Me, not quite up to Pixar level of quality but still really good and I look forward to Despicable Me 2 (although Megamind 2 would have been preferable).
(4 out of 5)
My Wife's Thoughts: I like this movie, so cute so cute, I want to see Despicable Me 2. I liked Dr. Guru. And I think all that kitty movies almost similar story, that bad guy or mean become very good the ending. Up... ato.... that green guy no that blue guy.
(4 out of 5)
- July 8th -
Alien Raiders (2008) (DVD) *
My Thoughts: I must admit to having inflated expectations after comments on this board and seeing that this was made by the same team that made Otis (one of my top rated titles for the 2011 OHMC). I liked the premiss of the movie but found the execution lacking. It just felt a little flat and boring and the actors were a bit subpar. It is suppose to be The Thing in a grocery but don't judge it up to those standards.
(3 out of 5)
The Storyteller: Greek Myths S01E01-04 (1990) (DVD) *
My Thoughts: I love Henson projects, there is not nearly enough of them and the original Storyteller was a great series. This 4 episode Greek Myths version was not nearly as good as the first one but still an enjoyable watch. Also we get the dog with Hoggle's voice again! And maybe I just grew up with the whitewashed Greek Myths but these were a lot darker than I remember them being (in a good way).
(3.5 out of 5)
- July 9th -
Enemy Mine (1985) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: It might have been the effects of alcohol but this movie was kind of beautiful. This is one of those movies I have only ever seen snippets of over the years and finally getting to take in the whole thing in was a surprisingly cathartic experience. There was lots of miniatures and sometimes plasticy effects to be sure but it just added to the appeal of this one. It was like Cast Away, if it had been on another planet and there had been an alien. The racial undertones were really weird but I thought this movie was great. And the limited edition blu-ray looked amazing (wish there had been some special features though).
(4.5 out of 5)
Virus (1999) (DVD)
My Thoughts: I saw this in the theater when it first came out and I remember really hating it, I think mostly due to CG switchover backlash. But every few years I watch it again and each time I like it just a little bit more. This was the first time I was completely on board, lots and lots of cheese here. And I think this one fairs better than it's doppelgänger, released at the same time ship salvage turned awry movie, Deep Rising. Also it has a way better cast and more energy based aliens.
(3.5 out of 5)
Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012) (Blu-Ray)
My Thoughts: What is up with all these CG movies lately? It's not a bad thing I just am not sure if the audience is really there for these. This felt a lot like Halo Legends but with more CG boobies, which was not unwelcome. I found it to be an enjoyable experience, not nearly as good as the first of course but easily better than 2 & 3. The movie is mostly ship based so there is a few missed opportunities here, I still wonder how the bugs would do in a snowy or jungle environment. If you liked the first one but thought it had way too much down time then this is a movie for you.
(4 out of 5)
- July 10th -
Warning Sign (1985) (DVD)
My Thoughts: The soft eighties prequel to 28 Days Later. I love disease movies and protocol movies even more so this was a treat. And to think I never would have even know about this movie if Anchor Bay haddn't been throwing old previews in front of their catalog releases.
(3.5 out of 5)
Dr Black, Mr Hyde (1976) (DVD) *
My Thoughts: I had this one lined up for the B movie challenge but for whatever reason it didn't make the draft. It's your basic Jekyll/Hyde story except this time Jekyll is an inner city black doctor and Hyde is a evil black prostitute killing white guy. Boobs, white face, murders and that chick from The Omega Man, a must for Blaxploitation fans.
(3.5 out of 5)
Hulk (2003) (Blu-Ray) **
My Thoughts: So yeah it took me a decade to see this one, if I recall correctly my then bff saw it opening weekend and told me it was lame and then America told me it was lame. So at that I must admit to lowered expectations but I kinda liked it. I dug the comic book art style and thought the whole initial setup and origin story were great. The actual hulk and end ending were just kind of meh but it was still an enjoyable experience. It is hard to do an effective Hulk movie, how can you really make it seem like the hulk is in peril? I liked it though, not as bad as I was lead to believe.
(3.5 out of 5)
My Wife's Thoughts: Ending choto unexpected ga cute-o. Good movie, I didn't expect that ending but I like that he still alive. And some things like mixing the current move ne? Like Avatars, Lost, Spiderman everything seems together some scenes.
(4 out of 5)

- July 11th -
Commentary For Hulk (2003) (Blu-Ray) *
My Thoughts: Ang Lee was interesting to listen to but this track didn't quite do it for me. It seemed more technical and less behind the scenes driven. Should have had him pair up with Jennifer Connelly. I did at least learn one thing from this track about how white people's eyes are more sensitive to light. Not a track that most people will ever listen to...
(3 out of 5)
Kraa!: The Sea Monster (1998) (DVD) *
My Thoughts: I have literally seen better Power Ranger episodes. This movie is a mess of bad/unfinished effects, shitty dialog/acting, a horrible script and is unfortunately family friendly too. $30 more in the effects budjet, some blue dialog and about 9 breasts would have gone a long way here. As it sits it is shaping up to be my worst of challenge. I did give it half a point for the alien with the Italian accent though.
(1.5 out of 5)
- July 12th -
Terminator: Salvation (2009) (Blu-Ray)
My Thoughts: I thought this movie was great and I don't care what anyone says. After the slap in the face that was T3, I really enjoyed both this and The Sarah Conner Chronicles. They really did a good job with the post consciousness future and Batman fighting Terminators? Whats not to like?
(4 out of 5)
Marooned (1969) (DVD) *
My Thoughts: What was once considered science fiction is now much more just fiction. This movie came out just after the first moon landing (Apollo 11) and tells a very similar story to what would eventually happen to Apollo 13. The movie is really slow by todays standards or perhaps I was just really tired. There were a couple of great scenes, like Gregory Peck being patched through to the president on a squad car radio but otherwise this one was decent but hasn't aged all that well.
(3 out of 5)
- July 13th -
38 - 39.25)
Invader Zim S01E01-09 (2001) (DVD)
My Thoughts: Every now and then I have a friend that introduces me to something that I would have never otherwise got around to watching. And this is one of those times were it turned out awesome. A surprisingly hard, dark sci-fi offering from Nickelodeon that centers around an insane invading alien who was sent to earth for the sole purpose to get him away from his own kind. It's hilarious, discussing and a uniquely intriguing experience. I can't wait to show this to my kids someday.
(4.5 out of 5)
- July 14th -
Invader Zim S01E10-S02E07 (2001-2002) (DVD)
My Thoughts: I know what you are thinking, you're thinking that I cheated the numbers by a quarter point. And I will have you know that in addition to the listed information I listened to not one but 2 episode commentaries. The second half of the series isn't quite as strong as the first but it is still top quality sci-fi comedy, I would rank this series right up there with Fururama.
(4 out of 5)
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Last edited by SterlingBen; 08-01-13 at 11:42 PM.
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