Posts Tagged ‘Morena Baccarin’

This is by no means a definitive science fiction film collection, but it offers a well-rounded sampling of the genre from the 1980’s and 2000’s. The 12 films gathered by Anchor Bay Entertainment comes in standardized, shiny packaging that makes a bold statement about your good taste when displayed together.

Android, directed by Aaron Lipstadt (1982)
In the outskirts of deep space orbits ULZ-53, a forgotten research station manned only by intense scientist Dr. Daniel (Klaus Kinski) and his lonely android assistant Max 404 (Don Keith Opper). But when three escaped convicts, including a beautiful woman, arrive aboard, Dr. Daniel finds the missing element to his outlawed experiments while Max discovers his own forbidden urges.
Special features: commentary by Lipstadt and writer/actor Opper

Astro Boy: Greatest Astro Adventures
When a brilliant robot engineer named Dr. Boynton loses his son Toby in a tragic accident, the dedicated but heartbroken scientist uses his technical skills to construct a robot in the boy’s image. This is the first Astro Boy series created in full colour, showcasing the importance of kindness, compassion and selflessness in the face of life’s obstacles.

Black Moon Rising, directed by Harley Cokliss (1986)
When master thief Sam Quint (Tommy Lee Jones) is hired by the government to steal top-secret data from a crime organization, he hides the stolen data in The Black Moon, an experimental supercar. But when the car is stolen by high-tech car thief Nina (Linda Hamilton), Quint must steal it back from an impenetrable skyscraper.

Chrysalis, directed by Julien Leclercq (2009)
Paris 2025: a tough cop (Albert Dupontel) is haunted by a murder he could not stop; a young woman (Marthe Keller) is scarred by a dark secret from her past; and a killer with a taste for sadism is on the loose. All of this takes place in a city where sleek technology is stained with a conspiracy of violence and corruption. The visuals are eye-popping with shocking twists and explosive action scenes, merging to create a unique futuristic crime thriller.
Special features: a making of featurette

Cyclops, directed by Roger Corman (2009)
A terrifying Cyclops is terrorizing the Roman countryside, so the corrupt emperor Tiberius sends in his strongest general, Marcus. Soon the Cyclops is captured and brought to the great city to fight as a gladiator, but the tables are quickly turned on Marcus when he has to fight as well. Bitter enemies become allies to overthrow the tyrannical power.

Dead Space: Downfall (2007)
The story follows a select group of miner and crewmembers as they are confronted with an evil like none ever encountered by man. When a deep space mining operation discovers a mysterious alien marker, they believe they have finally found evidence of our creators. However, the removal of the marker unleashes a horrific alien species that was entombed within the remote planet. The feature-length animated movie is a prequel to the EA game.
Special features: deleted scenes and cheat codes

Lightspeed, from executive producer Stan Lee (2007)
The covert world of government ‘Ghost Squad’ agent Daniel Leight (Jason Connery) comes crashing down when he is critically injured in a building collapse triggered by the genetically mutated terrorist Python (Daniel Goddard). But when Leight’s radiation treatments are sabotaged, he discovers that he has the ability to move at hyper speeds only by risking potentially fatal metabolic damage.

The Man from Earth, written by Jerome Bixby (2007)
On a cold night in a remote cabin, Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith) gathers his most trusted colleagues for an extraordinary announcement: he is an immortal who has migrated through 140 centuries of evolution and must now move on. These scientists and scholars are now forced to confront their notions of history, religion and humanity, all leading to a final revelation that may shatter their world forever.
Special features: commentary with director Richard Schenkman and actor John Billingsley; commentary with executive producer Emerson Bixby and author/sci-fi scholar Gary Westfahl; and four original behind the scenes featurette

Masters of Science Fiction (2007)
From the beginning, we have struggled to understand time, matter and the infinite universe: who we are, where we are headed, and if we are alone. Professor Stephen Hawking hosts expeditions into the outer realms of scientific imagination as the genre’s most legendary writers and directors provide wonderful and terrifying answers to these questions. The collection features all six episodes of the acclaimed series, including two ‘lost’ episodes never broadcast during its original network run.

Philadelphia Experiment, executive producer John Carpenter (1984)
The experiment that should never have happened 41 years ago is still going on. Philadelphia, 1943: a top-secret experiment is underway to make U.S. Navy ships invisible to enemy radar, but something goes horribly wrong and the Battleship Eldridge disappears. Two sailors jump overboard and are mysteriously transported 41 year into the future.

Recon 2020 & 2022, directed by Christian Viel (2004 & 2007)
Galactic Marine Infantry is the most highly trained, highly honoured and most decorated fighting force in the galaxy. They have gone up against the worst of the worst. They’re “the first to go, last to know.”

Recon 2020: the Caprini Massacre follows the squad on a recon mission to a remote planet, investigating recent reports that defy rational explanation. Once deployed on the planet surface, they begin to experience bizarre nightmares, from vampires to three-headed Hydras. But these are no ordinary bad dreams – these nightmares can kill.

Recon 2022: the Mezzo Incident chronicles a mission to an ice planet whose perils are more dangerous than just the blinding snow and constant cold. The squad encounters a city of cyborgs, while contending with giant snow worms and other bloodthirsty alien entities.

Sands of Oblivion, directed by David Flores (2008)
In 1923, legendary director Cecil B. DeMille constructed a replica of ancient Egypt in the California desert for his epic movie The Ten Commandments. When filming was completed, he mysteriously ordered the entire set buried. Now a soon-to-be-divorced archaeologist couple (Victor Webster and Adam Baldwin) and an Iraq War combat veteran (Victor Webster) have uncovered the secret DeMille could not keep hidden and unleashed a horror that cannot be stopped.

It’s unfortunate when a quality show is not given a fair shake by networks despite loyal interest. This was the hand Firefly was dealt.

Set in a world that is both past and future, a mismatched group travel the universe avoiding government capture and seeking safe passage to the next big score. Mal (Nathan Fillion) is captain of the ship. A former soldier, he uses his knowledge to complete complicated jobs. His second-in-command is Zoe (Gina Torres), who is tough as nails, obedient and the only other surviving member of his battalion. Her husband, Wash (Alan Tudyk) is the sarcastic but skilled pilot of Serenity. Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is sweet as pie and the most knowledgeable mechanic this side of the ‘verse. Inara (Morena Baccarin) is a companion; i.e. a very beautiful, well-trained, high-class prostitute with a heart of gold. And Jayne (Adam Baldwin) is a hired gun that mostly sticks around until a better offer comes up. New to the crew are Shepherd Book (Ron Glass), a religious man out to see the world; Simon (Sean Maher), a highly skilled doctor; and Simon’s sister River (Summer Glau), a girl suffering a lot of confusion post-governmental experiments on her genius brain.

Originally, all the episodes were not aired on television nor were they aired in their intended order. Happily, the DVD release of the complete series has rectified this. The first is a two-part episode that introduces audiences to the characters, illustrating how they came to be together on the ship. A later episode, “Out of Gas,” delves further into the crew’s history but the opening episodes are a good introduction. Subsequent episodes follow the ragtag gang as they steal, disagree, fight for their lives and band together as combined members of a family. The series is a smart mix of science fiction and the western. Set in 2517, the only superpowers to survive the wars are United States and China, so the show also incorporates Mandarin in the dialogue.

Joss Whedon fans will not be disappointed. The same wit and humour he provided characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel is one of the key likeable elements of the show. Furthermore, his passion for the story is evident as each character and the situations they find themselves in are well thought-out and in perfect unison with the spirit of the show. The CGI is high quality, responsible for not only the speeding ships but also many of the surroundings on various planets.

It is unfortunate Firefly’s life was cut so short; thankfully, Whedon was able to complete the story in the feature film Serenity and has expanded the tale in graphic novels.

Most of the original bonus features from the DVD release are carried over to the Blu-ray collection. This includes audio commentary on the seven episodes; a 30-minute look into the cast and crew’s experience in producing Firefly, including their last days on the set; an in-depth look at Serenity, “the 10th character;” a tour of the set by Whedon; and four deleted scenes with short descriptions. In addition, special features include a gag real, Whedon singing the Firefly theme song and Tudyk’s audition tape. New to this release are an additional audio commentary and an entertaining 30-minute reunion between Whedon, Fillion, Tudyk and Glass in high-def (everything else is standard-definition full frame).