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March 2013 Sci-fi Challenge


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#1 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted February 27 2013 - 02:08 PM

This is what a lot of you have been waiting for...A Sci-fi challenge! This is the time to watch those Sci-fi movies and TV shows. Anything straight out Sci-fi or that has a Sci-fi element to it. Same rules apply. PM Adam so you can edit our posts. No point system. Just have fun!!! COMING SOON... April will be Animation/Anime Challenge month.

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#2 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted February 27 2013 - 02:11 PM

Sci-fi Movies Airplane II The Sequel (1982) Cowboys & Aliens (2011) Explorers (1985) Spaceballs (1987) Star Trek (2009) Star Trek II Wrath of Khan (1982) Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (1986) Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country (1991) Thirteenth Floor (1999) Timelock (1996) Sci-fi TV Doctor Who (new) Season 3 #311 Blink Doctor Who (classic) Season 12 Ark in Space part 1 Ark in Space part 2 Ark in Space part 3 Ark in Space part 4 Season 14 Robots of Death part 1 Robots of Death part 2 Robots of Death part 3 Robots of Death part 4 Season 17 City of Death part 1 City of Death part 2 City of Death part 3 City of Death part 4 Season 18 Leisure Hive part 1 Sci-fi shorts Hardware Wars A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage Dans La Lune) (1902) Sci-fi audiobooks Doctor Who "Dead Air"

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#3 of 61 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted February 27 2013 - 03:31 PM

I'm going to try and make it through the STAR TREK movies for the first time in my life. If I've got time I'm going to go through THE MATRIX and PLANET OF THE APES films. I'm going to try and kill it since there are many sci-fi titles that I usually plan to watch during the horror month but they get pushed to the side. I'll probably be a little more kind around the rules as I'm going to let "scientists and their bad experiments" count.

#4 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted February 27 2013 - 09:16 PM

Here is just some of the stuff I plan on watching... Star Trek movies (even ones) Star Wars IV-VI Alien Collection Forbidden Planet Moon Thirteenth Floor Blade Runner Dark City Fifth Element Ghosts of Mars Serenity Metropolis (1927) TV stuff Firefly (revisit) Classic Doctor Who episodes. (Never seen a single one) Dollhouse Season 2 (still haven't finished it) I also have some Doctor Who audiobooks I may try and listen to.

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#5 of 61 OFFLINE   PatW

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Posted February 28 2013 - 12:38 AM

I've got so much that I want to watch. I'm going to try and finish Stargate SG1. I'm on Season 10 right now. I've also started watch Star Trek TOS so there is that to watch plus Stargate Atlantis. Firefly will also be on my list. I'll have to look back at the horror challenge and see what Sci-fi titles I watched so I won't watch them again. I have such a large Sci-fi library that it would be impossible to watch even a third of what I have. I do want to include some new titles as well so I'll be searching through Netflix and the Sony Ent. Site. My list of what I'd like to get through Stargate SG1 Season 10 Star Trek TOS Season 1 Star Trek TNG Season 1 Stargate Atlantis Season 2 Firefly Serenity 2001 & 2010 Time Machine War of the Worlds Another Earth The Adjustment Bureau Blade Runner Children of Men Forbidden Planet ET Maybe some Star Wars Green Lantern Outlander Pandorum Paul Some titles from my Nightmare Worlds collection When Worlds Collide Hope to get through most of this plus other titles I haven't listed.

#6 of 61 OFFLINE   PatW

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Posted February 28 2013 - 12:40 AM

Movies rated from 0- 5 :star: New watches in bold Science Fiction Challenge Movies 01 Screamers: The Hunted (2009) (Space) :star::star::half: 02 Super Cyclone (2012) (Netflix) zero stars 03 Phantoms (1998) (Netflix) :star::star::star::half: 04 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) (bluray) :star::star::star::star::star: 05 When Worlds Collide (1951) (dvd) :star::star::star::star: 06 The Adjustment Bureau (2011) (bluray) :star::star::star::star: 07 Fire Serpent (2007) (space) :half::star: 08 Terminator (1984) (dvd) :star::star::star::star::half: 09 War of the Worlds (1953) (dvd) :star::star::star::star::half: 10 Iron Sky (2012) (TMC) :star::star::star: 11 The Time Machine (2002) (KTLA) :star::star: 12 Invasion (2007) (peachtree) :star::star::half: 13 Phantom Planet (1961) (dvd) :star::star::half: 14 Skyline (2010) (bluray) :star::star::star::half: 15 The Darkest Hour (2011) (space) :star::star::star::half: 16 They (1974) (dvd) no stars 17 Forbidden Planet (1956) (bluray) :star::star::star::star::half: 18 Retrograde (2004) (Netflix) :star::half: 19 Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) (dvd) :star::star::star::star: 20 Star Trek: First Contact (1996) (bluray) :star::star::star::star::half: 21 The Blob (1958) (Netflix) :star::star::star::half: 22 Mandrake (2010) (Netflix) :star::star::half: 23 Outlander (2008) (bluray) :star::star::star::star::half: 24 Pandorum (2009) (bluray) :star::star::star::star: 25 Alien Species (1996) (dvd) :half::star: 26 A Fire in the Sky (1978) (Netflix) :star::star::star: 27 Event Horizon (1997) (Netflix) :star::star::star::half: TV Episodes 01 Star Trek Season 1: The Corbomite Maneuver (bluray) 02 Star Trek Season 1: The Menagerie pt. 1 (bluray) 03 Star Trek Season 1: The Menagerie pt. 2 (bluray) 04 Star Trek Season 1: The Conscience of the King (bluray) 05 Firefly: Safe (bluray) 06 Firefly: Our Mrs. Reynolds (bluray) 07 Firefly: Jaynestown (bluray) 08 Firefly: Out of Gas (bluray) 09 Firefly: Ariel (bluray) 10 Stargate SG1 Season 10: Company of Thieves (dvd) 11 Stargate SG1 Season 10: The Quest pt. 1 (dvd) 12 Stargate SG1 Season 10: The Quest pt. 2 (dvd) 13 Stargate SG1 Season 10: Line in the Sand (dvd) 14 Fringe Season 1: Bad Dreams (bluray) 15 Fringe Season 1: Midnight (bluray) 16 Fringe Season 1: The Road Not Taken (bluray) 17 Fringe Season 1: There's More Than One of Everything (bluray) 18 Stargate Atlantis Season 2: The Hive 19 Stargate Atlantis Season 2: Epiphany 20 Stargate Atlantis Season 2: Critical Mass 21 Stargate Atlantis Season 2: Grace Under Pressure 22 Stargate Atlantis Season 2: The Tower

#7 of 61 OFFLINE   John Stell

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Posted February 28 2013 - 03:42 AM

T - Theater Viewing
D - DVD Viewing
R - DVD-R Viewing
B - Blu Ray Viewing
H - HD DVD Viewing
L - Laserdisc Viewing
Bold - Denotes first ever viewing

Rating - Out of a possible 4.0

 

Theatrical Releases

 

01) 03/01/2013 Godzilla (1954) 3.5

02) 03/02/2013 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) 4.0

03) 03/03/2013 The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) 3.5

04) 03/04/2013 The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) 3.0

05) 03/05/2013 D 1984 (1956) 3.0

06) 03/06/2013 The Terminator (1984) 4.0

07) 03/07/2013 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 3.5

08) 03/08/2013 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) 3

09) 03/10/2013 Terminator: Salvation (2009) 2.5

10) 03/11/2013 Alien (1979) 4.0

11) 03/12/2013 Aliens (1986) 4.0

12) 03/13/2013 Alien 3 (1992) 2.5

13) 03/14/2013 Alien: Resurrection (1997) 2.5

14) 03/15/2013 Prometheus (2012) 3.0

 

Television

 

01) 03/02/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 17: EBE

02) 03/02/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 18: Miracle Man

03) 03/09/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 19: Shapes

04) 03/09/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 20: Darkness Falls

05) 03/16/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 21: Tooms

06) 03/16/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 22: Born Again

07) 03/23/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 23: Roland

08) 03/23/2013 The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 24: Erlenmeyer

09) 03/30/2013 The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 01: Little Green Men

10) 03/30/2013 The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 02: The Host


"...you would not understand...You do not...have...daughters."

#8 of 61 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted February 28 2013 - 05:28 AM

Here is just some of the stuff I plan on watching... Classic Doctor Who episodes. (Never seen a single one)

Oh man, I just statrted getting into these(Tom Baker). Thank you Netflix! You are in for a treat. I plan on watching all my sci-fi films on Blu/dvd. Maybe some more Netflix offerings.

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#9 of 61 OFFLINE   PatW

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Posted March 01 2013 - 07:15 AM

01 Screamers: The Hunted (2009) (Space) :star::star::half: A rescue crew is sent to Sirius 6-B in answer to an SOS that was sent out from a supposedly deserted planet. They find out that man made weapons called Screamers are responsible for the destruction. They have a limited amount of time to mount a rescue since a solar storm is headed their way which will likely destroy the planet. Once on the planet their discover that the screamers are able to use and combine with humans which make them a bigger threat especially if they get to earth. Entertaining enough but not terribly original with a predictable ending. Fairly decent though for a low budget film since I certainly seen worse. 02 Super Cyclone (2012) (Netflix) zero stars Now on to this masterpiece. I love a good disaster movie so I was gratified at the excellence of this film. I mean how much better can it get. A super cyclone threatens to destroy much of the Western seacoast and a plucky scientist and an engineer work together to save us all. The cause of all this is an oil rig that has managed to drill right into a super volcano. It's gratifying to know that the military feels this oil rig can survive an apocalypse. Remind me to pack my bags if danger threatens. Memorable moments: the flaming hail; the huge tornado that can pick up a SUV have it spin around with its occupants moving up and down and gently placing the truck on the road with neither a dent or scratch. Very thoughtful tornado. Then you have scenes of oil rig workers jumping into a magma hieated ocean flailing around while they are slowly being cooked. Or how about when all hell is breaking loose and everything inside and outside the ship is in violent motion except for the radio room where not even a page is ruffled or a hair out of place. Then we see the ship break apart and sink in the boiling ocean and lava with the engineer caught in the engine room. But never fear and with a page out of Indiana Jones, we see our hero floating in the ocean in what looks like a freezer or cooler of some sort. I also must comment on the incredible acting skills of the cast. That scene inside the SUV is method acting at its finest. All the cast were excellent and Ming Na the star has never been better. The script and dialogue---well lets just say it would put Shakespeare to shame. The special effects were also superb especially that sinkhole, the cyclone and the fire effects. All in all this film is a stellar piece of filmmaking and recommended to those with sophisticated tastes. TV Star Trek: Season 1: The Corbomite Maneuver

#10 of 61 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 01 2013 - 02:24 PM

I guess I'm getting old or there's something else wrong with me. People often ask me if I forget what movies I've seen since I watch so many and my answer has always been no. In 32 years there was only one times where I watched a movie thinking it was the first time I was watching it. Well, now this has happened in the past two challenges as last month I watched WEIRD SCIENCE thinking it was for the first time and now last night I watched CREEPOZOIDS. :rolleyes: Creepozoids (1987) :star::star: In the distant future (year 1998), a group of survivors find an abandoned building as they are trying to find safety. You see, the world was pretty much destroyed by monstrous creatures and this group just wants to live in peace but soon they realize that they're not alone. Director David DeCoteau has made over a hundred movies in his career but this one here stands out for several reasons. One is that it was his first film shot on 35mm and another reason is that it features Linnea Quigley in the shower. CREEPOZOIDS is often called one of the worst films of the decade but I think those comments are rather harsh when you consider this was shot in just 15-days with a $150,000 budget. The film isn't like most of its type as this here at least tries to do something big. I say that because usually these types of films just feature people walking around and getting killed one-by-one but off camera. People are constantly walking around here and getting killed but thankfully the film went the extra mile to come up with a monster and several gory scenes. The monster is obviously fake but this doesn't take away from the entertainment as he's constantly going after people. The end results includes all sorts of blood effects but also plenty of goo being thrown around. The death scenes aren't all that memorable but at least they're fun and just wait until you see the exploding eye. Even these effects aren't the greatest but they're at least fun and that's good enough. At just 68-minutes (without the end credits) the film really does feel like the type of "B" picture from the 1950s. The only difference is the gore and nudity. Fans of Quigley will enjoy her sequence in the shower and there's no question that she's quite charming here delivering some pretty bad lines. Most people aren't going to want to watch a low-budget film like this but if you enjoy campy "B" movies then there's plenty to enjoy here. Phantom from Space (1953) :star::star: W. Lee Wilder directed this well-made sci-fi flick about an invisible alien who lands on Earth wearing what looks like a diver's outfit. A few locals are trying to track down the creature but when he takes the outfit off it becomes nearly impossible to find him. PHANTOM FROM SPACE is basically The Invisible Man with an alien. The film runs 75-minutes, which at times feels long but there's also no question that this film tries to do a bit more than your typical drive-in fluff from this period. I thought the screenplay was actually decent as it tried to bring some real thought to the stuff going on. This includes the various ways they try to figure out what this creature is. I thought Wilder actually made a good looking film that at least looks very professional and it's even more impressive considering the budget and the no-name cast. As for the cast, the performances really aren't the greatest but I think for the most part they're good enough for this type of material. Another major plus is the look of the actual alien when we do finally get to see it. I'm not going to ruin how it's revealed but once you see it and the position he's in, it's certainly not something you'd expect to see from 1953. There are still many problems with the film including the pacing, which isn't all that strong. Another problem is some of the early stuff where stock footage and narration are used to tell the story. PHANTOM FROM SPACE certainly isn't a classic but fans of "B" films will know there's much worse out there.

#11 of 61 OFFLINE   PatW

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Posted March 01 2013 - 05:18 PM

Phantoms (1998) (Netflix) :star::star::star::half: Not a bad creature movie about two sisters who travel back to their home town only to discover the town deserted where the townsfolk have either disappeared or lay dead. They discover the name of a scientist written on the wall of a hotel room with the words "ancient enemy" beside his name. The ancient enemy of coarse is a creature probably immortal not an alien but an entity that dwells deep in the earth. The race is on to discover a way to kill it. This was quite a good little movie with decent acting from the cast and a good adaptation of a Dean Koontz book. While I was watching, the film looked familiar though I knew I had never seen it. I then realized I had read his book. The special effects were fairly good and I must admit to jumping in a few spots. Not a bad watch for a Friday afternoon. 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) (bluray) :star::star::star::star::star: I was in my early teens when Kubrick's visual masterpiece was released to the theatres. At that time I would have been too young to really appreciate it. I didn't watch it until the 70's when I attended a screening with my university science club. As expected this movie provided us with a lot of interesting conversations discussing the meaning of the images we had just seen. Memorable moments include the opening Dawn of Man scene and the discovery of tools and their various uses, good and bad. .Another memorable scene of course was the psychedelic trip through space and time culminating in the appearance of the star child. While many dislike this film because of its 'art film' status and it slow pace, for me it's a visual and auditory treat. I never get tired of watching it. TV episodes Star Trek Season 1: The Menagerie pt. 1 (bluray) Star Trek Season 1: The Menagerie pt. 2 (bluray) Star Trek Season 1: The Conscience of the King (bluray)

#12 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted March 02 2013 - 01:03 AM

Hardware Wars a short I haven't seen in years. Still funny to this day. Hulu+ has the hour long version with different versions of audio commentary and rough edits.

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#13 of 61 OFFLINE   Chuck Anstey

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Posted March 02 2013 - 08:04 AM

The Fifth Element (late Feb) Dark City : Theatrical cut (late Feb) I prefer the theatrical cut because the pacing is much more frantic. Tron Legacy Love this movie and the original Tron, which still holds up incredibly well and will be watching again soon. Tron

#14 of 61 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 02 2013 - 05:21 PM

Cyborg (1989) :star::star: Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a martial arts expert in the post apocalyptic future who must try and rescue a female cyborg from a group of murders in this cheap film from Cannon. You can tell you're watching a Cannon film early on because there's really nothing about the sets that make you feel like you're watching something set in the future. The film has a very cheap look to it and this certainly doesn't help making you believe what you're watching but at the same time it does add some campy appeal. It really does seem like the filmmakers just found some abandon buildings and run-down neighborhoods to film in. Outside of the look, the film also delivers on some rather generic looking action scenes with Van Damme doing his best during them. These scenes really aren't that special and at times they're poorly edited but they're good enough for this type of film. As far as the performances go, Van Damme is fairly stiff but this really doesn't take away from the fun of the character. The actor can certainly handle himself well during the action scenes and this here is the most important thing. None of the supporting players are terrific but they too fit their characters well enough. With such a low-budget and rather weak story, there really wasn't too much they could do here except deliver a cheap "B" movie. As long as you don't come in expecting too much you should be mildly entertained but there's no question that there are better films out there in the genre. Cyborg 2 (1993) :star: Really bad, direct-to-video "sequel" takes place in 2074 when two companies (an American and Japanese) are battling over creating cyborgs, which are now everywhere. PinWheel creates Cash Reese (Angelina Jolie) in hopes of taking out the competitor but she runs off with her instructor Elias Koteas) under the guidance of another cyborg (Jack Palance). CYBORG 2 actually got a pretty big budget for a direct-to-video sequel but I think it says quite a bit when Jean-Claude Van Damme refused to return. We actually get to see him in some flashback sequences but this here is just footage from the first movie. This here really isn't a sequel as it's basically just one of those movies that adds a number to a title hoping fans of the original will pick it up. There's really no point in watching this film unless you're a fan of Jolie and want to see her in her first starring role. The actress was just 18 when she made this and apparently she's fairly embarrassed by the picture today. I would say her performance is certainly weak and there's no question that you'd every have watched this in 1993 and thought you were seeing a future Oscar-winner. Thankfully she has a nude scene but this comes so far into the movie that most would have probably already turned the thing off. Palance actually is a blast here and just wait to you hear his narration at the start of the picture. That crispy old voice is just priceless and I think the film would have been a lot more entertaining had they just cut everything from the film except his narration. He does finally appear on screen but it's not for long. The special effects are slightly better than you'd typically see in a picture like this including the sequence over the opening credits. However, the story itself just drags way too much and there wasn't a single second where I was actually interested in what was going on. The boredom level is quite high from start to finish as the 99-minute running time really drags. Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) :star::star: Aliens land on Earth to find a new place to breed their deadly mutant creature but Derek (David Love) decides he doesn't want to hurt anyone. He heads off into town where he becomes friends with Betty (Dawn Bender) and soon the two are trying to fight off the evil Thor (Bryan Grant) who wants to kill Derek. TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE is certainly one of the dumbest movies ever made but I must admit that I get a laugh out of watching it ever so often. I think everything that can happen in a "so bad it's good" film in here including the bad acting, stupid story, awful special effects and of course the rather bland direction. However, some of these things are just so campy that I can't help but be entertained by some of them. This includes the rather bad performances with Love being way too laid back and boring to be able to carry the film. Bender isn't much better in her role but there's some laughs to be had and especially with her haircut, which I'm still trying to figure out what it is. The lovable Harvey B. Dunn plays Grandpa and you can't help but want to help him cross the road. The special effects are rather laughable with the silly ray guns but I must admit that I loved the skeletons that the victims turn into. Yes, they're obviously fake and they're quite silly but at the same time it's hard to think of another science fiction film from this era where the victims were so destroyed. This film could have been a lot more entertaining but sadly it runs way too long at 85-minutes with the final thirty really dragging. Another major problem is that the pacing is quite bad and there's way too much dialogue that just keeps the film going. Still, fans of bad cinema should find a few laughs to be had here

#15 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted March 02 2013 - 06:07 PM

Star Trek (2009) Not that big of a Star Trek fan, but I still watch the movies. And to me, there hasn't been a decent Star Trek film since Generations. I was very pleased at what J.J. Abrams do with this "rebooting" of Star Trek. It even gives me more confidence that he can handle Star Wars the correct way.

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#16 of 61 OFFLINE   PatW

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Posted March 02 2013 - 06:35 PM

When Worlds Collide (1951) (dvd) :star::star::star::star: I've got a lot of fond memories of this one. I do enjoy doomsday type scenarios. This one has quite a good story which holds your interest even as dated as it is. I love looking back at all these B movies from the 50's & 60's. It doesn't matter how high-tech or low-tech your movie or what the budget is, if the story is good than you'll stay captivated. Scientists discover that the earth is in collision with two planets heading out way. One will have a close pass with earth while the other will obliterate the planet. The plan is to build a rocket ship that will hold 40 people in order to escape, before the planet is crushed. They hope to land on the planet that passed close to earth, taking the chance that it have a life sustaining environment. This is a well-acted piece with an engrossing story and great cinematography. This is one of my favourites along with The Day the Earth Stood Still and War of the Worlds from that era. I'm hoping it will eventually come to bluray. The Adjustment Bureau (2011) (bluray) :star::star::star::star: It must be disconcerting for our hero to find out that his life is not left to random chance but follows a set path where deviation is frowned on unless it leads to a certain goal. You see, we had free will at various times in our history, but we botched those chances and wiser folk decided we needed to be guided along our life path. What exactly is the Adjustment Bureau? Is it the sisters of fate weaving their threads? Is it a race of aliens, guiding us along our path, present on earth since we crawled out of those primordial seas. Or is God and his angels guiding us along our path giving us chance after chance but then removing our free will when we fail? I found this movie, quite fascinating and thought provoking. The movie is a Philip K. Dick adaptation who has written some great stories which turned out some great movies. Blade Runner and Minority Report are two examples. Like those this one comes highly recommended.

#17 of 61 OFFLINE   PatW

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Posted March 02 2013 - 11:44 PM

Fire Serpent (2007) (space) :half::star: Not as bad as Super Cyclone but close. I give it 1/2 star for the fire effects. The rest was pure crap.

#18 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted March 03 2013 - 01:37 AM

Star Trek II Wrath of Khan (1982) My favorite Star Trek movie. I remember when my mom took me to see this when I was nine years old. I got so scared during the bug inside the ear canal. I loved revisiting this movie, having not seen it for more than five years. I had the bluray sitting on my shelf ever since it came out and not watching it.

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#19 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted March 03 2013 - 11:28 AM

Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (1986) Another great Star Trek movie. Anything to do with time travel I love. Plus with them going back in time into San Francisco was another plus for me. Doctor Who (classic) Season 12- Ark in Space part 1 My first classic Doctor Who episode. I'm a big Doctor Who fan of the current episodes. I decided to start with Tom Baker years, as I hear that it's a favorite among the fans. I really like what I've seen so far. It's perfect to watch late at night. I think this has been my second favorite challenge so far. Halloween one being my favorite.

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#20 of 61 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 03 2013 - 03:42 PM

Dark Skies (2013) :star::star: Lacy and Daniel Barrett (Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton) live with their two sons and soon strange things start to happen around the house. At first Daniel thinks it's just something unexplainable going on but the wife soon discovers that other people have shared similar stories and it led to an alien abduction. DARK SKIES is being advertised as being from the producers of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and INSIDIOUS but sadly this doesn't come close to either one of those films. Just like those two, this one here follows pretty much the same story structure as we're introduced to the family, witness the strange things, listen to them fight about what it really is, things get darker, they talk to an expert and then there's the final showdown. The story structure might be the same but what's missing here are scares. I guess you can say that aliens just aren't as scary as ghosts but DARK SKIES has some interesting ideas scattered around but sadly nothing every really comes together. I thought there were some interesting ideas that started to come to light in the final act but by the time this happens the film is almost over and what "happens" just isn't great enough to make up for the first ninety-minutes. Even worse is that we're given a pretty good final scene but it's wasted. The first half of the film just never really gets the viewer to care about the people we're watching and as I said it doesn't help that the film isn't scary. The performances are without question the best thing going for the film with both Russell and Hamilton turning in good, believable performances. Both Dakota Goyo and Kadam Rockett are good as the children and J.K. Simmons is good in his brief role. DARK SKIES wants to really, really wants to be the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (minus the "found footage") of alien movies but it comes up well short. Killers from Space (1954) :half: Peter Graves plays a scientist overlooking atomic tests when he is killed. His friends and family are shocked when he returns to them and it turns out that aliens have brought him back to life so that he can spy for them. KILLERS FROM SPACE is without question one of the worst and dumbest films to come from the drive-in era of the science fiction craze. There's really no brain to be found anywhere in this picture but thankfully it's bad enough in spots to where you can actually laugh at what you're watching. There are several awfully funny moments including a large scar on the chest of Graves, which was apparently put there by the aliens. Throughout the film you'll notice that this scar is sometimes there and sometimes not. Another hilarious thing is the ending, which includes a man pulling on gun on Graves and just wait till you see how easy it is for him to get a gun. This is followed by another very funny scene where a man tries to get the gun from Graves but fails. The look of the aliens is also something so silly that it will keep you entertained in them. They basically have ping pong balls glued to their faces and used as eyes. It's too bad these creations weren't used in THE COSMIC MAN since that film had alien John Carradine landing on Earth in a ping pong ball spaceship. The performances are also pretty bad, including Graves who clearly wasn't an actor yet. The film has some very bad special effects including a sequence where Graves keeps running into giant insects and lizards that the aliens have created. KILLERS FROM SPACE is a really bad movie but it's cult following is deserved due to how bad it is. Attack of the Puppet People (1958) :star::half: Lesser film from Bert I Gordon about a lonely old doll maker (John Hoyt) who comes up with something new to stay busy. Instead of making dolls he's going to take real people and shrink them down to a doll size. Two such people (including June Kenney) decide that they don't want to remain this size so they fight to become big again. ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE is a pretty disappointing film when you consider there's really no puppets and no attacks. This is a pretty screenplay that really doesn't offer up anything overly interesting and it appears that no one was really interested in coming up with a story that you could care about. The doll maker really isn't all that interesting and we really don't learn about him being lonely until the end of the picture. Perhaps if they had worked this in earlier we could have gained some sort of connection with him. The secretary role isn't any better as we never begin to care what happens to her. Gordon does a pretty good job with the special effects, which might be the only time in his career. I thought the rear projection was obviously horrible but there's a lot of stuff dealing with miniatures that actually work. The long sequence where a group of people try to escape the office was well-directed and a lot of credit goes to the special effects for actually looking real. The performances are another good thing as Hoyt manages to be good in his role as does John Agar as the woman's love interest. At 79-minutes the film seems a little long at times but I'm sure fans of the director will still want to check this out. Others should probably stay clear. Empire of the Ants (1977) :star::star: Mr. B.I.G. delivers another "big bug movie" with this one dealing with ants. Joan Collins plays a real estate con woman who takes a group of people to the future sight of a "great" beach front property. What they don't know is that a company has been pouring toxic waste in the ocean and unfortunately for them one barrel has found its way on shore and cute little ants have gotten into it. Soon these little creatures are now huge and eating humans. EMPIRE OF THE ANTS got the green light, I'm sure, because Gordon's previous film THE FOOD OF THE GODS turned out to be a decent hit. You really could have called this thing THE FOOD OF THE GODS PART II because they're quite similar but then again both are quite similar to the type of "big" movies Gordon was making in the previous two decades. There's certainly nothing new or original here but if you enjoy Gordon's films then I really see no reason why you won't enjoy this one. As you'd expect, the special effects are quite laughable with Gordon using the same technique in 1977 that he was much earlier in his career. Often times it seems as if the ants are walking in thin air and at other times you can obviously see the rear projection. Most films would be dead in the water with such bad effects but I think it adds some charm because of how serious Gordon treats them. Most directors would know these effects are bad and try to downplay them or hide them but not Gordon. He shows these bad effects with his head held high and it at least gives the viewer some entertainment. Collins and the rest of the cast do what they can with the material they're given but the humans certainly aren't the high point of the film. I think the film would have benefited from being at least ten-minutes shorter as things really start to drag during the final act.




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