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12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

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12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Old 07-10-19, 08:43 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Just thought Iíd let people know in case you can get them on demand, but it seems that yesterday and last night, TCM aired quite a few classic sci fi films. I think I remember seeing that the original The Day The Earth Stood Still was on at some point, and this morning before my family woke up and I had to turn the news on, Earth vs The Flying Saucers was on.
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Old 07-10-19, 09:11 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765 View Post
I saw the new Aladdin today. It was alright. Better than I thought it would be. Will Smith is alright as the Genie, but honestly, anyone not Robin Williams would get the same reaction from me. They had a couple songs, but the main ones were used as well. It was very visually beautiful. A taste of Bollywood was in it, and I wish they had embraced it a lot more. While I'm still on the fence of these live action remakes, at least Disney does try to honor the original without redoing them scene for scene. The ending is changed a fair amount, but the gist of it stays the same.

Overall, it's watchable, but not near as good as the original. Go see it for the pretty colors.
Hmmm.... that means I might actually like this version. I don't care for the animated one as I find Robin Williams absolutely distracting - in a negative way. His hyperactive genie annoys me no end. It's almost as bad as Gilbert Gottfried's performance (I don't like him in anything). Together they're a combo which makes the animated movie unwatchable for me.
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Old 07-10-19, 09:26 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

I watched the Twilight Time BR release of 1984 last night. Their release looks excellent. That scene with the rat cage is still chilling. I'd forgotten about the length and not payed attention to that (almost 2 hours) when I pulled it off the shelf. I was looking for a few ~90 minute movies but it worked anyway as I barely stayed away to finish:

The Green Slime... Another Warner Archive DVD-BOD release I held off purchasing and got BR instead. This one is of that "so bad it's good" class of "B" movies. It has such a late 60s vibe making it quite a fun trip back to that era. The local movie theater (in a town of ~3000 - we had our own theater!) had posters of that one up for over a month before it arrived. I don't know why I didn't go see it (I went fairly often as it was inexpensive - I think ~50 cents for a ticket - ~$3.70 in today's $$) but didn't and finally saw it a few years back for the first time. It's a hoot!

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Old 07-10-19, 12:08 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Iíve only seen The Green Slime ​​​​​​ once. I think it was in 2012, but anyway it was when I went to G-Fest one year. The hotel tv channel was playing Japanese monster movies and tv shows all weekend. That was actually what convinced me to order Super Robot Red Baron ​​​​​​.
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Old 07-10-19, 01:28 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Hmmm.... that means I might actually like this version. I don't care for the animated one as I find Robin Williams absolutely distracting - in a negative way. His hyperactive genie annoys me no end. It's almost as bad as Gilbert Gottfried's performance (I don't like him in anything). Together they're a combo which makes the animated movie unwatchable for me.
I like the original Aladdin, but Gottfried has basically made a career out of being annoying, and Robin Williams can be a bit much. I remember at the time people remarking how unusual it was that Williams was allowed to make current pop-culture references because Walt Disney never wanted to use things that would become outdated later.

Iíve seen the stage musical and will see the new movie at some point.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:10 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
The Green Slime... Another Warner Archive DVD-BOD release I held off purchasing and got BR instead. This one is of that "so bad it's good" class of "B" movies. It has such a late 60s vibe making it quite a fun trip back to that era. The local movie theater (in a town of ~3000 - we had our own theater!) had posters of that one up for over a month before it arrived. I don't know why I didn't go see it (I went fairly often as it was inexpensive - I think ~50 cents for a ticket - ~$3.70 in today's $$) but didn't and finally saw it a few years back for the first time. It's a hoot!
And it has an awesome theme song!

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Old 07-10-19, 05:29 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Flailing a bit today, as I thought I might attack my huge backlog of eligible TV shows, but I couldn’t really get into Netflix’s Lost in Space (though it looked great), and now I’m trying to catch up with the latest season of Supergirl but am not really feeling this either. I’ll see if I can just finish these last few episodes.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:41 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Currently watching:

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Old 07-10-19, 08:24 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post


I like the original Aladdin, but Gottfried has basically made a career out of being annoying, and Robin Williams can be a bit much. I remember at the time people remarking how unusual it was that Williams was allowed to make current pop-culture references because Walt Disney never wanted to use things that would become outdated later.

Iíve seen the stage musical and will see the new movie at some point.
Yeah, Disney would never use pop-culture references in his movies...
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Old 07-10-19, 10:20 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Hmmm.... that means I might actually like this version. I don't care for the animated one as I find Robin Williams absolutely distracting - in a negative way. His hyperactive genie annoys me no end. It's almost as bad as Gilbert Gottfried's performance (I don't like him in anything). Together they're a combo which makes the animated movie unwatchable for me.
I'm with you on Gottfried, he's not one of my favorites either. I'm pretty sure he got himself blackballed a few years ago for making some off color jokes/comments about something he shouldn't so not sure he's going to pop up anytime soon. I think Williams was very hyperactive in general. But, I liked that. Goes to show, takes all kinds to make the world go 'round!

Just finished Fantastic Voyage. I enjoyed it, but man, it was so slow paced. I get it, they wanted to showcase their special effects, but tonight, they just seemed dated. I think they could have tried a little harder to make that cotton batting hanging from everything look a little less like cotton batting (or like the spider web stuff you buy at Halloween). They also left a pretty big plot hole. The rest is under spoilers.

Spoiler:
They spend all movie telling us they couldn't leave anything behind because after 60 minutes, it all goes back to the big size. So...they left their submarine in his head? Why didn't it explode once the 60 minutes were over?
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Old 07-11-19, 09:17 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765 View Post
I'm with you on Gottfried, he's not one of my favorites either. I'm pretty sure he got himself blackballed a few years ago for making some off color jokes/comments about something he shouldn't so not sure he's going to pop up anytime soon. I think Williams was very hyperactive in general. But, I liked that. Goes to show, takes all kinds to make the world go 'round!

Just finished Fantastic Voyage. I enjoyed it, but man, it was so slow paced. I get it, they wanted to showcase their special effects, but tonight, they just seemed dated. I think they could have tried a little harder to make that cotton batting hanging from everything look a little less like cotton batting (or like the spider web stuff you buy at Halloween). They also left a pretty big plot hole. The rest is under spoilers.

Spoiler:
They spend all movie telling us they couldn't leave anything behind because after 60 minutes, it all goes back to the big size. So...they left their submarine in his head? Why didn't it explode once the 60 minutes were over?
Because:
Spoiler:

It was eaten/dissolved by the white blood cells. "Nothing left" to grow large. Other than the atoms, eh? It's always bothered me too. Then there are the tiny air molecules from their diving apparatus. I guess that'd expel itself before the time limit? I always wondered about the air they pulled in from the lungs - wouldn't the molecules be larger and thus not work for them in their miniaturized state?

FWIW Isaac Asimov, who wrote the novelization of the movie, pointed out that this was a serious logical flaw in the plot since the submarine, even if reduced to bits of debris, would also revert to normal size killing Benes in the process.



Sometimes with these types of movies it's just best to not think about the science too hard.

I have a new BR of that one waiting in the wings. It's been a favorite since I first saw it in the theater during the original release.

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Old 07-11-19, 05:58 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Last night's viewings was a good news/bad news thing...

I first watched an episode of Last Kingdom because I have 2 seasons, am debating S3, and haven't watched any of it before. I needed to fix that in spite of it not counting this month. I enjoyed the first episode so ordered S3.

That's the good... the rest is the "bad" and somewhat a rant. You've been warned...

Then I started to watch my spankin' new (purchased yesterday afternoon) S1 set of Stranger Things, a Target exclusive BR/DVD w/poster for $5 - a great deal - or so I thought. The packaging is horrible - a fake VHS thing that's larger than a VHS with foam spindles for each disc - blech. A huge space waster. It get's worse. I put in disc 1 and promos start. I'm on the computer so don't try to skip 'em until I realize it's a promo for the exact series I'm about to watch! How stupid! So I hit the skip button on the remote to find it doesn't work. OK... FF then. Nope won't do that either. I try "Disc Menu" - nope. "Home" - just stops the disc! I start it up again and am right back at the start of the promos! OK... maybe "Info/Menu" (which is a popup menu bar with options like "Disc menu" and more) and I hit "Disc menu" there - nope again. I try everything and nothing works to skip these **** promos! And they run 5 full minutes!?!?! So I just leave the room and do something else while they run. I start episode 1 and test to see if they do "resume" by pressing "stop" and then "eject." I start the disc and am asked "Resume" or "menu" so it looks like resume works.

I watched the first 2 episodes, got tired, started episode 3 and did my normal "press power" to turn off the unit as every other disc I own with resume will pick up where I powered off the unit when it's turned back on. Not this one. I started the disc this afternoon to watch the last 2 episodes on the disc to be greeted with the 5 minute unskippable promo block again! I hit eject. Those 2 episodes were interesting but weren't good enough to sit through/go off/ignore that 5 minute block of junk again. The set is either going back (not sure if it's worth the hassle) or in the trash.
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Old 07-11-19, 06:09 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Just got back from town. Watched Men in Black: International. It wasn't great but it was a fun, mindless summer flick. Enough action to keep you entertained. Plot was simple but it didn't really need a complicated one. It's only been out for 2-3 weeks, but already theaters around here seem to be phasing it out so I don't think it's pretty popular. I'd recommend it if you liked the series. No one from the first 3 was in it, though a few aliens did do cameos.

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Sometimes with these types of movies it's just best to not think about the science too hard.
Well, there was also that liquid/saline that was inserted at the same time as them too! but yeah, definitely a movie to ignore science! Though...I did read last night that many medical colleges used to show it to their students because it was better than anything they could show!

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
...I watched the first 2 episodes, got tired, started episode 3 and did my normal "press power" to turn off the unit as every other disc I own with resume will pick up where I powered off the unit when it's turned back on. Not this one. I started the disc this afternoon to watch the last 2 episodes on the disc to be greeted with the 5 minute unskippable promo block again! I hit eject. Those 2 episodes were interesting but weren't good enough to sit through/go off/ignore that 5 minute block of junk again. The set is either going back (not sure if it's worth the hassle) or in the trash.
Ouch! That would drive me nuts too. I watched s.1 through Netflix so didn't have the nonskippable commercials. I like quirky packaging but get needing the space. That just seems odd that you can't skip them. Weird. It's a shame you had such a negative experience with the discs because I think you'd like the show but I get it. I wouldn't want to have to deal with that either!
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Old 07-11-19, 08:06 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765 View Post
Well, there was also that liquid/saline that was inserted at the same time as them too! but yeah, definitely a movie to ignore science! Though...I did read last night that many medical colleges used to show it to their students because it was better than anything they could show!
The visual effects were somewhat groudbreaking at the time. It's the somewhat dodgy science that gets me the most. All kinds of cheats, irregularities, and just plain incorrect things. Asimov corrected many of the issues with his adaptation. Even so, there was still the issue with the shrunken saline solution and the process of filling the oxygen tanks from the lungs. In spite of all that I still love the movie. I have the BR waiting for a viewing, probably tomorrow but Saturday for sure. It looks very good on the DVD so I'm expecting really good things on the BR.
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Old 07-11-19, 08:26 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
The visual effects were somewhat groudbreaking at the time. It's the somewhat dodgy science that gets me the most. All kinds of cheats, irregularities, and just plain incorrect things. Asimov corrected many of the issues with his adaptation. Even so, there was still the issue with the shrunken saline solution and the process of filling the oxygen tanks from the lungs. In spite of all that I still love the movie. I have the BR waiting for a viewing, probably tomorrow but Saturday for sure. It looks very good on the DVD so I'm expecting really good things on the BR.
I feel like I'm reversing what I said at the beginning of the challenge about liking practical effects in older movies! Maybe because this was my first viewing or maybe even because of the high def quality of the film, but I kind of felt like you could figure out how they did stuff. It just didn't take me to the place they wanted me to go. It's not a bad film at all. I would watch again if someone asked, just would be multi-tasking through it. I did see also, that people thought Asimov created the book because it was released first but the opposite was true. They asked him to write it but because filming went over, the book was released before the movie. And, like you mentioned, he took the opportunity to fix most of the plot holes we were talking about. I hope you enjoy your viewing!

I'm about to pop something in. Not sure what I'm in the mood for, but leaning for either a BBC version of Alice in Wonderland or The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.
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Old 07-12-19, 09:23 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Watched the new Severin release of Robowar, a mashup / ripoff of Predator and Robocop. Very entertaining with loads of special features.
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Old 07-12-19, 10:07 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765 View Post
I feel like I'm reversing what I said at the beginning of the challenge about liking practical effects in older movies! Maybe because this was my first viewing or maybe even because of the high def quality of the film, but I kind of felt like you could figure out how they did stuff. It just didn't take me to the place they wanted me to go. It's not a bad film at all. I would watch again if someone asked, just would be multi-tasking through it. I did see also, that people thought Asimov created the book because it was released first but the opposite was true. They asked him to write it but because filming went over, the book was released before the movie. And, like you mentioned, he took the opportunity to fix most of the plot holes we were talking about. I hope you enjoy your viewing!
I've always, even as a kid, had an eye for how visual effects are done. Some are quite obvious, like many in Fantastic Voyage (the antibodies attacking, them "swimming" in the blood vessels, and more). That's rarely stopped me from enjoying the movies with those visuals. I know it's odd, but poorly done CGI takes me out faster than a guy in a rubber suit, or seeing the wires holding something in the air, or the color fringing of blue/green screen, or poorly realized mattes (static and travelling), or poorly done rear screen (looking at you, Hitch, for having some of the worst), and more.
Originally Posted by LJG765 View Post
I'm about to pop something in. Not sure what I'm in the mood for, but leaning for either a BBC version of Alice in Wonderland or The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.
Is that version of Alice... the 1966 production with Peter Sellers? It looks interesting - if for nothing else the actors in the cast.

Were it me, I'd go for Alice... simply because I've never seen it before and it has 2 enthusiastic reviews here on DVD Talk. That's in spite of really liking The Beast... which benefits from being based on a story by Ray Bradbury, a favorite SF author, with miniature work from Harryhausen.
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Old 07-12-19, 10:50 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Last night I went more "traditional" and watched The Fly 1958. That's another long time favorite and BR upgrade (as are most of what I'm watching this year). In spite of the rather sketchy science of a man's head on a fly and it can still speak I still find it rather chilling. the desperation of Helene (Patricia Owens) as she tries to find the "right" fly to save her husband (David Hedison) is done well as she'll snap at Emma (Kathleene Freeman) or Phillipe (Charles Herbert) and then realize they just don't understand why she's acting the way she is.

I followed that with a viewing of a new DVD copy of The Illustrated Man (1969). I've never been too fond of this one and only purchased a copy to see if I might like it better now than when it first appeared in the theaters. As a teenager I really liked Bradbury's book but felt the movie was a missed opportunity. The wrapping story is overly complex and long serving solely to get you into the individual stories. OK... so does the book but it's not as wordy and does it better. Rod Steiger, IMHO, is miscast both as "The Illustrated Man" and in the parts in the individual stories. He's too "theatrical" and pompous with his acting (I've read it called "bombastic" and that fits his style but doesn't work in this movie). That's in spite of Bradbury wanting him in the lead role. His other choices were Burt Lancaster and Paul Newman. I think Newman would have been the better choice. I rather like "The Veldt" segment but Steiger mostly ruins it for me, like in the rest of the movie. So... yeah... it's still a general "miss" for me.
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Old 07-12-19, 10:55 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

I was reading the IMDB trivia for The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and see this:

The elderly couple seen behind Tom and Lee in the opera sequence are actually very famous and the most prolific "Dress Extras" in the business. Franklyn Farnum had over 700 appearances in movies and TV. Bes Flowers, who was literally known as "Queen of the Extras" had over 1,000 appearances in movies and TV. Not only was she a favorite of many famous directors, she also appeared in a remarkable 33 movies of the 1,001 Movies you must see before you die, far more than any other actor or actress.
That alone makes me want to dig out my copy (it's in temporary storage and I'd have to go through several totes to locate it) of the movie and give it a viewing.

Then I read this:
The reference to 20,000 fathoms is sheer hyperbole. A fathom equals six feet, so it means 120,000 feet (22ĺ miles). The deepest ocean point on earth is in the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, at a little over 37,000 feet.
Hmmm... never gave the depth a second thought before...
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Old 07-12-19, 11:17 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Is that version of Alice... the 1966 production with Peter Sellers? It looks interesting - if for nothing else the actors in the cast.

Were it me, I'd go for Alice... simply because I've never seen it before and it has 2 enthusiastic reviews here on DVD Talk. That's in spite of really liking The Beast... which benefits from being based on a story by Ray Bradbury, a favorite SF author, with miniature work from Harryhausen.
I ended up watching The Beast first, then Alice. Both were enjoyable. Alice herself was very odd as half of her dialogue takes place in her head. The director didn't use costumes other than Victorian wear so that was different as well. I don't have a lot of older BBC films/shows under my belt so I didn't recognize most of the actors but from what IMDB says, the majority of them were popular British actors of the time, so that might be a draw too.

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
I was reading the IMDB trivia for The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and see this:
That alone makes me want to dig out my copy (it's in temporary storage and I'd have to go through several totes to locate it) of the movie and give it a viewing.
I read that too and made sure to keep an eye out for that scene. The couple are very easy to spot and are on the screen several seconds if you want to get a good glance at them.

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Old 07-12-19, 08:27 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

First movie tonight was Heavy Metal, another I purchased to see if my opinion was the same as when it came out. It is. I don't like this one. Maybe if I'd seen it when I was 16 but not when I was 26 and certainly not now. I've never been a fan of "adult" animated projects. Throw in animated "nudity," sex scenes, and rotoscoped bits (I'm not a fan of that process) and, for me, you have a recipe for failure. Even the soundtrack is lacking.
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Old 07-12-19, 08:53 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

After the earlier posts about Jonny Quest on BR, I decided to splurge and pick it up for myself. Original shipping date was not for another couple weeks, but they must have gotten their stock in sooner and I received it today. Haven't quite decided if I should save it for the end of the month for double credit or not. We'll see how long I last, I guess!

Decided to watch The Thing tonight. First time watch for me. I'm not a big horror fan, but it was on enough lists, I felt like I should watch it at least once. The opening scene sent two immediate thoughts into my head. 1) Don't kill the wolf! and 2) Man, they are bad shots!

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Old 07-12-19, 10:12 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Like I mentioned, I'm watching The Thing. I'm almost done, and I've only jumped once. I'll put the rest under spoilers.

Spoiler:
Right when he's testing all the blood in the petri dishes and it reacts. Not even that big of a deal but for some reason (I figured he'd have a hit) the dish and blood jumping around made me. Also, with all the flame throwers being used indoors, how the heck did they NOT burn down everything? I'm not even talking about suspension of belief here...I can handle the shape shifting aliens, but every time they use the flame throwers, they leave the aliens burning next to wood walls, piles of paper...and the place doesn't burn down around them.
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Old 07-12-19, 11:06 PM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Burned through 3Below: Tales of Arcadia season 2 tonight. I started intending to watch two episodes a night, but two episodes turned into four and then I figured well, why not. An occasional binge is fun (if exhausting).

If only we had had toons like this when I was a kid. Now I'll just have to bide my time until the first season of Wizards: Tales of Arcadia, which should be showing up about this time next Summer.

I did get all of the available episodes of Puppets Who Kill in a couple of days ago, so I'll put them into rotation with Slayers etc...there's too many episodes of that for me to be tempted to start binging.

For my movies tomorrow I'm debating A Chinese Odyssey Part 1: Pandora's Box (1995) and A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella (1995) or maybe Tomb Raider 1 & 2 or maybe I'll just wade into my collection and see what catches my eye.
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Old 07-13-19, 12:48 AM
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Re: 12th Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Last night's viewings was a good news/bad news thing...

I first watched an episode of Last Kingdom because I have 2 seasons, am debating S3, and haven't watched any of it before. I needed to fix that in spite of it not counting this month. I enjoyed the first episode so ordered S3.

That's the good... the rest is the "bad" and somewhat a rant. You've been warned...

Then I started to watch my spankin' new (purchased yesterday afternoon) S1 set of Stranger Things, a Target exclusive BR/DVD w/poster for $5 - a great deal - or so I thought. The packaging is horrible - a fake VHS thing that's larger than a VHS with foam spindles for each disc - blech. A huge space waster. It get's worse. I put in disc 1 and promos start. I'm on the computer so don't try to skip 'em until I realize it's a promo for the exact series I'm about to watch! How stupid! So I hit the skip button on the remote to find it doesn't work. OK... FF then. Nope won't do that either. I try "Disc Menu" - nope. "Home" - just stops the disc! I start it up again and am right back at the start of the promos! OK... maybe "Info/Menu" (which is a popup menu bar with options like "Disc menu" and more) and I hit "Disc menu" there - nope again. I try everything and nothing works to skip these **** promos! And they run 5 full minutes!?!?! So I just leave the room and do something else while they run. I start episode 1 and test to see if they do "resume" by pressing "stop" and then "eject." I start the disc and am asked "Resume" or "menu" so it looks like resume works.

I watched the first 2 episodes, got tired, started episode 3 and did my normal "press power" to turn off the unit as every other disc I own with resume will pick up where I powered off the unit when it's turned back on. Not this one. I started the disc this afternoon to watch the last 2 episodes on the disc to be greeted with the 5 minute unskippable promo block again! I hit eject. Those 2 episodes were interesting but weren't good enough to sit through/go off/ignore that 5 minute block of junk again. The set is either going back (not sure if it's worth the hassle) or in the trash.
That ST packaging looked very clever, but not something I wanted on my shelf. With good reason, I guess.
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