Tuesday, July 29, 2008

For Your Convenience!!!

Dewey from The Hidden Side of A Leaf suggested that I post a few questionnaire type forms that people could copy/paste to use in their "reviewing" process. This could be used to give structure to your reviews. Though reviews aren't strictly necessary. Though I would *love* to read them. The only thing that is necessary, is required, is that each participant keeps a list of their 42. One post numbered 1-42 to be filled and edited as your time permits. This post needs to have your name "Becky's 42" for example. Also tag or label your post with your name. Use if you want.


For books (novels, novellas)

Name:
Author:
Publisher:
Pages:
Part of a series? Y/N?
My rating:
Why I would or would not recommend it:

For short stories, articles, essays, poetry

Name:
Author:
Source (name of the collection or name of the magazine or name of the website):
Pages:
My rating:
Why I would or would not recommend it:

For TV shows & Films

Name:
Length:
Starring:
Part of a series? Y/N?
My rating:
Why I would or would not recommend it:

For radio shows:

Name:
Length:
Part of a series? Y/N?
My rating:
Why I would or would not recommend it:

Optional questions to add to any of the above:

First sentence:
Last sentence:
Favorite quotes:
Favorite character:
Favorite scenes:

War of the Worlds - film 2005



Name: War of the Worlds (2005)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning
Part of a series? Y/N? N- but remake of earlier films - based on the novel by H.G. Wells
My rating: *** OK




Summary:
Opening with Morgan Freeman's voice over from the novel 'Who would have believed..' the film starts in New Jersey with Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) looking after his two children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie, while his ex-wife goes to Boston.

Shortly after their arrival a lightening storm descends on the city. Going outside to find his son and investigate, Ray and others witness the ground beginning to shake and split open as machines, which they speculate have been down there for eons, rise from below. Realising these are not from this earth, Ray races back to his children as the machines begin to evaporate people behind him.


The rest of the film centres around these characters as they attempt to escape the machines and reach the rest of the family in Boston. It's the usual survival story, beating all odds against people who are panicked and these Martians whoes intention is destroying all life on earth, .

The relationship between Ray and his children changes and develops throughout the film as they fight for survival.

Some of the most memorable moments are when Rachel sees bodies floating down the river, when they are hiding with Harlan Ogilvy (Tim Robbins) and you see the Martians close up, and the red weed covering everything.

Overall an OK remake of the story, but nothing new...I much prefer the novel.

Why I would or would not recommend it:
Watch this film for good graphics of Martians / Martian machines, and if you haven't read the book.
Don't watch it expecting anything new.
Tom Cruise is OK in the film but is not really compelling (I'll bet a lot of you will disagree with that), and Dakota Fanning has made much better films, as had Tim Robbins.

Read more about the film here

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lost In Space (film 1998)

Watched Lost In Space on DVD last night.

Name: Lost In Space (1998)
Length:
Starring: William Hurt, Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Matt LeBlanc
Part of a series? N - although remake of the original 1956 film 'Forbidden Planet' and a later TV series Lost In Space
My rating: *** Good

Why I would or would not recommend it:

This is an enjoyable film...full of adventure and fun.

In the year 2058, the Earth is becoming uninhabitable due to pollution and global warming! (Take note people!!!)Professor John Robinson has designed a hyperdrive that will enable the Jupiter 2 to travel faster-than-light and eventually enable the evacuation of Earth's citizens to new planets.

Professor Robinson (the talented William Hurt pictured left) aims to lead the first mission with a crew made up of his family to the habitable planet Alpha Prime to prepare it for colonization.

However there are saboteurs determined to prevent the mission succeeding. Doctor Smith (the very talented Gary Oldman pictured left) has reprogrammed the missions robot to destroy the ship and family after take off. Unfortunately he gets left on the ship too, and once the mission begins the robot comes on line and begins to wreck havoc on the ship....

Saved by Will Robinson, the young son (pictured above), who reprogrammes the robot, they manage to save the ship but find themselves in a new part of the galaxy which they don't recognise. They are now 'lost in space'.

After dealing with killer spiders they find on a deserted ship, aided by pilot Major Don West (Matt LeBlanc pictured left) and the reprogrammed robot, they end up crash landing on an alien planet.

The plot thickens as they realise they are being affected by time and space anomalies...

Add in the consequences of Dr. Smith being bitten by a spider, Will Robinson desperately seeking his fathers affection and approval, love interest between Major West and Dr. Judy Robinson (Heather Graham), and you've got an interesting film.

I won't spoil the ending for you...but it's definitely worth a watch.

Read more about it here

Friday, July 25, 2008

Star Begotten by HG Wells

Star Begotten: A Biological Fantasia (Early Classics of Science Fiction): A Biological Fantasia (Early Classics of Science Fiction) by H.G. Wells

First published in 1937 it's an interesting novel, in which nothing really happens...instead the novel revolves around the concept that the world is changing and we can do nothing to stop it.

The main character Joseph Davis, is a writer of popular histories, brought up in a traditional conservative and religious way. Over hearing a conversation at his club one day, the concept of cosmic rays arises and with it the possibility of genetic mutations. This leads onto speculation about where these rays come from and what their purpose is.
"Suppose these cosmic rays come from Mars"
the one from
"a book called The War of the Worlds—I forget who wrote it—Jules Verne, Conan Doyle, one of those fellows".
"Suppose they say up there 'Let's start varying and modifying life on earth. Let's get at the human character and the human brain and make it Martian-minded' D'you see? Martian minds in seasoned terrestrial bodies."

This idea begins to obsess Davis, who begins to suspect his wife and unborn son are affected by these Martian rays. He begins to imagine what the Martians ultimate purpose is and what they would look like.

HG Wells makes it perfectly clear as the novel progresses that there are no cosmic rays or Martians, rather the spread of new ideas and attitudes.
Published in the pre-war years , it can also be read as a satire the changing world, with it's new ideas and unfolding political dramas and dangers.

I enjoyed this book...well worth a read.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Samsara's 42 List

Here is my 42 list:
1. Stargate Ark of Truth

2. Mutant Chronicles
3. Doomsday
4. Iron Man
5. The Terminal Man
6. The Dark Knight
7. Timeline
8. Battlestar Galactica Series 4
9. Only Human
10. City of Ember
11. Babylon A.D.
12. Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
13. Star Trek
14. Dollhouse - the series
15. Chuck - the series
16. Red Dwarf special - Return to Earth
17. Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds
18. Torchwood - series three: episodes one and two
19. The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Attwood
20. Warehouse 13
21. I am Legend
22. Stargate Universe - Pilot Episode
23. Journey to the Centre of the Earth - Jules Verne
24. Avatar
25. Fringe
26. Doctor Who - The End of Time
27. Flashback
28. Sanctuary - Season Two
29. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
30. 2010 Supernova


Stargate Ark of Truth!

This is my first posting for this challenge: I've decided that my 42 will be new to me Sci-fi; things that I haven't read or watched before. That'll be the real challenge for me because I read and watch science-fiction probably more than anything else. I'm enjoying seeing what everyone's coming up with so far.



Name: Stargate Ark of Truth

Length: 98 minutes


Part of a series? Yes

My rating: 9/10

Why I would or would not recommend it: I think if you've watched the later series of Stargate SG1, you should definately see this. If you haven't, then you may get a little lost as many of the characters and adversaries are ones that the Stargate team have faced before. I always enjoyed the first few series of SG1 and was a little disappointed when Jack O'Neil left the team, but I love the introduction of Cam and Vala as characters. I think they had a brilliant chemistry together in Farscape and they've continued to work well together in SG1. Vala has brought a good comic element to the show which works well with Teal'c's subtle physical humour (how he can convey so much with a glance or a raised eyebrow I'll never know). The whole team works well together which is just as well, since in this feature length film, they fight not one, but two of their old enemies; the Ori and the Replicators, as well as having to deal with the questionable policies of their own government. The film centres around the quest to find an ancient artifact - the Ark of Truth, which the team hopes will help them to defeat the Ori, whom they learn are just about to launch an all out attack on Earth. I would have like to have seen Julian Sands character the Dosi, (the leader of the Priors) get a little more screen time, because he plays a baddy so well, but Adria returns as an Ori who's reached Ascension and gives a few chills. I still think that the Replicators are the most fearful enemy though, there's something about a voracious, unemotional, technological adversary that will stop at nothing (the Borg, the Daleks, the War of the Worlds Martian Walkers, to name a few ). Overall it was an enjoyable film to watch, a few 'moral' messages thrown in, (such as Teal'c's speech about killing in the name of false gods,) a few battles, a few chills and thrills, and of course, the good guys always win in the end!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Invasion Of the Bodysnatchers (film 1956)

This is the first film I've watched for this challenge.

Name: Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1956)
Length:
Starring: Kevin McCarthy & Dana Wynter
Part of a series? N - although lots of remakes ...the latest being 'The Invasion' starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig
My rating: ****** Excellent
Why I would or would not recommend it:
Released in 1956 it is the original and still the best version of this now familiar story:
'A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.'

Directed by Don Siegel, and starring Kevin McCarthy & Dana Wynter this is a MUST SEE sci-fi film.
In the 50'S postwar era speculation about 'invaders from out of space' was reflected in the boom of classic sci-fi films, of which this is one of the best.
The USA's thinly disguised fear of communism is also reflected throughout...

The film opens with Dr. Miles Bennell trying to convince doctors in another town that he is not mad: "Doctor, will you tell these fools? I'm not crazy. Make them listen to me before it's too late."


He then begins to tell his story: "It started - for me, it started - last Thursday, in response to an urgent message from my nurse, I hurried home from a medical convention I'd been attending. At first glance, everything looked the same. It wasn't. Something evil had taken possession of the town."

Atmospheric and full of paranoid feeling, this film keeps you in suspense until you see the first 'blank body' ...

...and then the 'pods'.








One of my favourite quotes from the film is :
"In my practice, I've seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away. Only it happened slowly instead of all at once. They didn't seem to mind...All of us - a little bit - we harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us, how dear. "

Learn more about the film here and remember "You're Next!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lynda's 42 List

My list:

1. Invasion of the body Snatchers (film 1956) /07/08
2. Star Begotten 25/07/08 (novel)
3. Lost In Space (film 1998) 25/07/08
4. War of the Worlds (film 2005) 27/07/08
5. Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies 7/8/08
6. The Hunt for the Meteor (novel) 14/8/08
7. Code 46 (film) 15/9/08
8. Sunshine (film) 20/9/08
9. The Forgotten (flm) 22/9/08
10. Contact (film) 26/9/08
11. Timecop (film) 25/10/08
12. Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (film) 26/10/08
13. Doom (film) 31/10/08
14. Doomsday (film) 1/11/08
15. Iron Man (film) 4/11/08
16. Stargate: The Ark of Truth (film) 11/11/08
17: Stargate: continum (film) 11/11/08
18: The Man from Earth (film) 11/11/08
19. Mutant Chronicles [2008] (film) 20/11/08
20. The Cronicles of Riddick (film) 28/11/08
21. Autumn (book) 3/12/08
22. Starship Troopers 2 (film) 8/12/08
23. Galaxy Quest (film) 12/11/08
24. Close Encounters of the third kind (film) 13/12/08
25. Plague Year (novel) 13/12/08
26. Resident Evil: 3 (film) 16/12/08
27. Fire In The Sky (film) 17/12/08
28. Autumn: the city (novel) 18/12/08
29. Autumn: purification (novel) 18/12/08
30. The Island (film) 21/12/08
31. Jumper (film) 27/12/08
32 Day of the Triffids (film) 1/1/09
33. The Fantastic Four (film) 1/1/09
34 Babylon AD (film) 7/1/09
35 Mission to Mars (film) 10/1/09
36 Equilibrium (film) 11/1/09
37 The day the earth Stood Still (film 2008) 17/1/09
38 Of Time and Stars (book) 18/1/09
39 2012: war for souls (book) 2/2/09
40 Total recall (film) 9/2/09
41 Red Planet (film) 16/2/09
42