We're Star Trek fans from way back, farther back than either of
us would care to admit!
Dave maintains the Ships Named
Enterprise FAQ. There's more naval history than Trek in it, but fans
seem to like it....
- We're hard core Babylon 5 fans. B-5
started slowly, but by the second season, it picked up speed, and before
long, it became a weekly event not to be missed. The series ended late
in 1998. (Yes, there was a final conclusion. The story of Babylon 5 has
ended.) The acting wasn't always the best, and early on the CGI special
effects looked a little phony, but the complex, arcing story line made
up for it all. Well done, JMS!!
The Lurker's Guide to
Babylon 5 has lots of useful information.
- We didn't get much of an opportunity to see Dr. Who, so don't have much
to say about it.
- We both liked Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"
books, TV shows, radio programs, etc. His "Dirk Gently's Holistic
Detective Agency" books are pretty good too. David liked the second
Dirk Gently book, "The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul" more
than Larry did.
- The Adventures of Buckaroo
Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
(filmed on location in New Brunswick, NJ and the surrounding area) is a
very weird flick, but lots of fun. It makes no sense at all until halfway
through, when the Black Lectroid from Planet Ten arrives and explains
everything. Then it only makes partial sense. Lots of good one-liners,
which seem to creep into our conversations a lot.
John Whorfin: Where are we going?!?
Evil Red Lectroids: PLANET TEN!!!
John Whorfin: When?!?
Evil Red Lectroids: REAL SOON!!!
New Jersey: Why is there a watermelon there?
Reno: I'll tell you later.
John Whorfin: History is-a made at night! Character is what you are in the dark!
The cast includes Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin,
and Christopher Lloyd. Well worth a video rental.
BTW: There really is a Yoyodyne.......
For more on Buckaroo Banzai, contact
World Watch Online.
Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
- Yeah, Star Wars is fun too. We saw the original Star Wars in the summer of '77, in a big, old theater with a 70mm projector. That was fun!
We finally saw The Phantom Menace on 6/19/99. Good, but not spectacular. We might not go quite so far as to say "Jar Jar Must DIE", but we would say "Jar Jar must be written out of the next movie".
We saw Attack of the Clones on 5/25/02. Better than Episode 1, but still
not quite up to the originals. Jar Jar didn't quite get written out, but he was
at least de-emphasized.
- So, how many people remember the old British Sci-Fi series
UFO? We do!
It was a pretty decent series. Yes, there were flaws, and we'll be the
first to admit them, but overall it was a reasonably well thought out
series. If only we'd really had regular space shuttles and moon bases in
- The Prisoner: a classic British TV series. Some have debated whether or
not this series really qualifies as sci-fi, or whether it more properly
belongs to the spy genre. While it does not include aliens or space travel,
it certainly involves interesting technologies and the ethical issues
surrounding them. The series was intentionally limited
to a fairly small number of episodes. It therefore includes a true series
ending, inexplicable though it may be.
Terry Gilliam's masterpiece. Larry likes to describe
this movie as "1984 meets The Time Bandits".
Gilliam was the animator for the cartoons in the old Monty Python
comedies. His sense of humor is quite evident, although in this case,
the humor is quite dark. Brazil tells a tale of people in a dystopia,
however, instead of a deliberately totalitarian dictatorship, the world of
Brazil is ruled by a bureaucracy gone mad. Watch for Robert
DiNiro and Bob Hoskins as the good and evil plumbers!
Be sure to get an uncut copy of Brazil; it has aired on
commerical television at least once without the original ending, which
dilutes the film's impact.
Also on the Wells Brothers' Recommended list:
- Things to Come
Certainly the best sci-fi film of the 1930s,
perhaps of the whole pre-war era. Uncle HG was directly involved in this
one. While history didn't work out quite as he thought, he does show
a remarkable vision.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still: One of the two best sci-fi flicks of the 1950s. Klaatu barrada nikto!!
- Forbidden Planet:
The other of the two best sci-fi flicks of
the 1950s. The plot is loosely based on Shakespeare's The
Tempest. The cast includes Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, Anne
Francis, and (in his screen debut) Robby the Robot. The special effects
were among the best of the era, especially the Monster from the Id.
- The Thing:
The 1951 sci-fi/horror classic, which doesn't let
the audience see the monster until the very end. Unfortunately when
the monster is finally revealed, it doesn't look very scary. Based
on the short story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell.
The best of the 1950s big bug flicks.
- War of the Worlds:
George Pal's attempt to move Uncle HG's classic
tale to 1950s Los Angeles didn't quite work, but the special effects were
probably the best of their day. Plus, who can't love that B-49 Flying Wing?
- 2001: A Space
Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick's 1968 classic, based on the short
story The Sentinal by the great Arthur C. Clarke. It would take a
long discussion to do justice to this film here.
Perhaps the scariest monster movie ever made. Directed by Ridley Scott,
co-written by Dan O'Bannon, of Dark Star infamy. Like
The Thing, the audience doesn't get a good look at the creature
until the end; unlike its predecessor, when the monster is finally
revealed it's still very scary! Viva Sigourney Weaver!
- Blade Runner:
A film-noir style sci-fi flick! Based on a novel called "Do Androids
Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick. Nicely handled.
Another Ridley Scott film.
Even bad sci-fi can be fun. Check out such movies such as
- Dark Star:
Dan O'Bannon (who went on to co-write Alien) and John Carpenter
(who later made all the Halloween movies) produced this wonderfully
silly low-budget flick in their foolish youth. The low-budget special
effects are intentionally cheesy. The alien is a beach ball with feet!
Still, some of the dialogue is remarkably clever. The extended conversation
with Bomb 20 (a smart bomb that got too smart) is hilarious.
- Galaxina: It
helps to be tired and "punchy" when you see this one.
Deliberately cheap and cheesy, its humor comes from its shameless
cheapness and lowbrow stupidity. The cast is composed of unknowns and
near-unknowns, and mostly they're unknowns for good reason. The acting
is delightfully bad, the writing is poor, the gags are cheap, and we
laughed the whole way through.