Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 16 Battlestar Gallactca (Original)

Number 16  Battlestar Gallactica    1978-1979

After Star Wars hit the theaters everything changed.  Battlestar Gallactica was  made to cash in on the Star Wars craze.   It was basically a Wagon Train in space that followed a group of humans that were forced to leave their planet in a "ragtag group of ships" lead by the Battlestar Gallactica while being pursued by deadly robots called Cylons.   The coolest things about the show (aside from the special effects of the  spaceships) was the mythology behind the show as this lost band of humans searched for Earth.  Battlestar Gallactica was a landmark sci-fi TV show with Lorne Greene of Bonanza at the helm.  The show was really popular at the time and was a much watch in for my family.  Unfortunately the show cost too much to produce --which quickly lead to ship in the bottle type episodes and the constant re-use of the same special effects over and over again.  I only wish the show had lasted long enough to actually make it to earth with its full cast and do it right.....instead of the blasphemous   Battlestar 1980 which like the Star Wars Holiday special will not be mentioned.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 17 Starship Troopers Roughnecks Chronicles

Number 17  Starship Troopers Roughneck Chronicles   1999

Coming in at number 17 is something you may not even know exists.  There was a cool CGI Animated Starship Troopers TV series that followed the adventures of the Roughnecks as they went on missions to take out the bug menace.  I had to seek this series out.  Some episodes aired early in the mornings on some random channel back in the day and I literally had to wait until the whole thing hit DVD in a set to see the series.   It was a whole lot of bug killing CGI action packed fun.  Usually presented in 4 episode story arcs.    Good fun for any Starship Trooper fans.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 18 Fringe


Number 18   Fringe  2008 -2013

The closest thing to X-Files that the TV world has given us.  With an interesting mythology and bizarre cases this sci-fi series from J.J. Abrams  is basically a modern day X-files as we follow the adventures of the Fringe unit of the FBI.  Where it differs from X-Files is that there is an alternate parallel universe that is at the heart of this drama that drives the mythology.  At times the show was as good as X-Files and at others the main story line or mystery of the week failed to meet the that level.    The series  like LOST  seemed to drift off focus for awhile before finding its stride again.   I still haven't seen the final 13 episodes (waiting for the final season on Netflix)  once I have I'll see if that changes where this cool series falls on the list, but for now it comes in for me at  number 18.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 19 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Number 19   Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1979-1981

Coming in at number 19 is Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.  I hold this one dear to my heart since along with the original Battlestar this was one of my first introductions to Sci-Fi TV in the  post Star Wars era that cashed in on space battles.  Buck Rogers follows a 20th Century astronaut that is revived after 500 years into the future.  Buck ends up becoming a hero in this future Earth with the help of his football tackling skills which he uses pretty much every episode.    This was campy fun sci-fi..a throwback to Flash Gordon.  It was silly sci-fi with talking robots that are trying to be like R2D2, but look more like Tattoo from Fantasy Island.
Gil Gerad was perfect as Buck and Erin Gray was totally sexy in those skin tight flight outfights (one of my first celebrity crushes).  Buck Rogers was just good clean silly fun.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 20 Caprica

Number 20   Caprica 2009-2010

This Prequel series to Battlestar Gallactica - got off to an amazing start.  The premiere episode was a great look into a world of virtual reality.  The series itself was too much of a departure from Battlestar Gallactica for most of its fans.  I personally thought it tried to much too much to be too many things.  It was part soap opera, part sci-fi and part gangster show.   I loved the main story line about how the Cylons came to be and the virtual world that existed side by side with the world of Caprica.  I wasn't that into the story of the Adama family and their Tauron roots.   Even though it wasn't enough like Battlestar Gallactica I wish it had lasted a little longer because many of the elements of the show were excellent.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 21 LOST

Number # 21   LOST   2004-2010

Coming in at number 21 comes a TV  show that could have been so much higher on my list.  I was totally hooked by LOST.  The show that followed the adventures of plane crash survivors on a very mysterious island.  Polar bears, smoke monsters and the Dharma group?  Each episode would give us a glimpse into the stranded survivors past lives before the accident while slowly moving the mythology along and keeps us wondering what was next.  It took us an entire year just to find the hatch and then wait until next year to find out what it was all about.  At one point it was one of my favorite TV shows and I anxiously  waited each week for another hint or twist in its weird story.   Unfortunately it got convoluted -they kept adding to many new characters and then wanting to tell us there back stories.  The mysteries that kept us sticking around rarely paid off or took weird turns that left me unsatisfied.  By the final season some of them had already left the island and returned home and needed to go back.  The mythology kind of got well LOST just like Twin Peaks or for that matter X-Files (see this show higher on the list).   By the final season I had checked out completely....The lack of answers or pay offs for all the mysteries they teased and set up left me frustrated.     For this reason this show that was once one of my favorite shows  ends up at number 21 instead of someplace in the top 10 where it could have ended up if it hadn't lost me along the journey.

Here is a blog of pictures of a bunch of LOST props I did for my Disney Blog awhile back at d 23 Expo


Here is trailer for show

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 22 Seaquest DSV

Number # 22   Seaquest DSV  1993-1996

Seaquest DSV was basically Star Trek under the water.  A voyage to the bottom of the sea with a talking dolphin and a really cool underwater vessel .  The series lasted 3 years and endured quite a bit of tinkering   in an effort to widen the audience for the show.  The show was created by Rockne S. O'Bannon ( Farscape, Defiance) and produced by Steven Spielberg.   The biggest strength of the show was having Roy Scheider as the captain of the SeaQuest back when movie actors didn't really do TV (which is much more common now).
Without Roy Scheider as the captain this probably wouldn't have been nearly as good as it was.  He was the perfect casting choice as the captain.   SeaQuest was a fun adventurous sci-fi series with good solid story telling and characters.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 23 Star Trek Next Generation

  # 23 Star Trek Next Generation  1987-1994

Trekkies will probably right me hate letters for placing this show so low on my list......but it is my list and I'm not a Trekkie.   I never watched this show on a regular basis--too many of the episodes were just boring to me with characters talking ad naseum about recalibrating crystals in order to save the day or getting stuck on the Holodeck.   I grew up with the original Star Trek which though campy was far more entertaining to me.  I loved the humor and character interactions  of the original cast,  something I felt was missing for this version of Trek.    That being said this show did have some really good moments such as whenever the Borg were involved or Q episodes  (which was a throw back to some of the older Trek where they encountered races far beyond our own.)   This series is a landmark series in Sci-Fi TV and needs to be on the list even if I prefer my Trek with Kirk kissing Green Slave girls and fighting Lizard man or getting out of situations with double handed karate chops instead of scientific discussions.

Look for the original Trek further up the list.

For more Trek related articles.

Aside from Wrath of Khan (which was great) Why do so many of the Star Trek movies suck?

Star Trek the Exhibit

Why I hated the Star Trek Movie

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 24 Terra Nova

# 24  Terra Nova    2011

13 Episodes is all we got of this interesting Time Travel Dinosaur series that had an interesting mythology that we only got to see hints of.  I was worried when it first aired on the networks that its budget would not be able to be sustained unless it had blockbuster ratings.  Alas what we did get was good and if there would have been a second season it may have gotten really interesting.  The strength of this series  which had a great big budget premiere and then of course had to scale down a bit for the typical sci-fi  (ship in a bottle cost reduction episodes) was the cast.   With Jason O' Mara in the lead role  (Currently starring with Dennis Quaid on Vegas) and  Stephan Lang as the hardened commander of Terra Nova this series could have easily entertained for years if it could have found the audience it needed to keep its budget.   What would have happened in Season 2 we can only speculate on now unfortunately.  The 13 solid episodes of this series were enough to get in  spot number #24 on my list.

My Thoughts on Terra Nova after the premiere episode

The trailer for the show is below

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Weird Science Remake???? A look back at the Original Weird Science

Weird Science 1985 9 out of 10

A couple of nerds with a magical computer and bras on their heads create a women with science....Weird Science that is......This modern take on the Frankenstein story shows what would happen if Dr. Frankenstein was a couple of horny, nerdy virgins as created by John Hughes.    Sounds like a good idea to me.... Back in 1985 I personally would have made Heather Locklear...but to each his own.  This film gave us the kick ass Oingo Boingo song.  This movie also gave us one of the best minor character performances of Bill Paxton as the older brother Chet that picks on his younger brother and his nerdy friend.  This movie was another near perfect John Hughes film that again captured that awkward stage of teens this time in a funny magically setting.

When I first saw the article  below on the Weird Science possibly getting a remake I got excited.  (HERE is link to article on Yahoo movies)


Weird Science is a perfect movie for a remake.   The magical aspects of the movie are ripe for modern special effects to up the ante of the supernatural elements from the original movie. The timing is right since it has been over 25 years since the original and if Hollywood is going to remake movies anyway I'd rather see things like Tron and Weird Science that had great concepts and can now be done better as a result of the leap in Special Effects.   Questions arise as to who should be cast?   Who would the new Weird Science girl be??   That was the one thing I didn't like in the first movie.....because Kelly Lebrock was definitely not my personal idea of the ideal girl back in the 1990's.   So who would Hollywood pick as the ideal girl today?   Angeline Jolie probably would have been the selection if this movie had been made about 6 years ago even though again not who I would pick.  Is she could act I'd love to see Kate Upton as the choice.    What girl would you like to see in this role?    And who would play Chet,  the classic character played so perfectly by Bill Paxton before his even more amazing character in Aliens?    Again if this movie had been done 6 years ago Sean Scott Williams would have been perfect for the role, but is a little too old now.

Let's hope that this news is true and that Hollwood gets this remake right.

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Shows Countdown: # 25 Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Show Countdown  # 25

Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles 2008-2009

The series was set in the Terminator universe in the time frame after T-2.  It followed the adventures of Sarah Connors and her son John as they tried to stay hidden from the Terminators while trying to destroy Skynet before it was created.....A task we all know is hopeless.    At first I thought the show would be very repetitive and that every episode would be the same thin, but the series actual was able to develop beyond what seemed like a limited story and grew to be interesting.  The series starred Lena Headley,  Summer Glau (Firefly) and Brian Austin Green

For the Love of Scooby Doo: (Part 4) Scooby Doo and the Mask of the Blue Falcon 2013 8 out of 10

For the Love of Scooby Doo: (Part 4) Scooby Doo and the Mask of the Blue Falcon 2013 8 out of 10

Scooby and the gang head off to Comic Con for a fun action packed adventure in the latest direct to DVD movie Scooby Doo movie .  The gang must solve a mystery that  surrounds the convention and the release of an new updated and much darker  Blue Falcon movie . Scooby has to find his inner Dog Wonder and help solve the mystery An old nemesis of the Blue Falcon from the original TV show is terrorizing the convention and trying to put a stop to the new movies release.   This story did a great job of paying homage to many old Hanna Barbara characters by using the Comic Con as a setting.  It was and action packed story that played on the updating of the old Batman TV series starring Adam West with  the newer darker films.   Blue Falcon was a silly cartoon version of Batman with a robot dog as a sidekick.  The new and improved  Blue Falcon movie with was an obvious evolution.   The funny thing about watching this movie is that it really isn't that far fetched.  I can totally see The Blue Falcon getting made into a big screen live action movie someday,  after all Hollywood is all about.  I mean the Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks have all been made into movies,  why not  the Blue Falcon.   The character has recently made appearances on Mystery Inc Scooby Doo series in an episode that featured the character and now was the focus of a Scooby Doo as well.   Bring the Blue Falcon to the big screen with a CGI  Dynomutt.  All in all this was a very solid Direct to DVD Scooby Doo movie.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Guliver's Travel 2010 1 out of 10

Gulliver's Travels   2010  1 out of 10

Is Jack Black funny???   NOT SO MUCH.....I just don't get it (unless he is a cartoon panda).     In human form I just can't seem to tolerate his presence on the screen.   I honestly have no idea why I even recorded Gulliver's Travels on the DVR and I certainly have no idea what then made me want to watch it....but I did.   Maybe I wanted to see how this classic story would be done with modern special effect?  Well Gulliver's Travels was just a lame stage for Jack Black to dance around like a buffoon on and fail again to prove that he is funny in any way shape or form.   Some people  must think he is great ....I guess otherwise he wouldn't keep showing up in movies....I'm not one of those people.
Everything he does seems to forced.  He is like the grown man that dresses up in a diaper and dances around saying "look at me ...Look at me"  because he wants attention.  This so called family film lost me the second  Jack Black  (a giant in Lilliputian)  pees on the castle in order to put out a fire......Not funny and neither is this movie.....This Gulliver's Travels was a travel into boredom that literally put me to sleep.

Skip it and read the book.

Tasmanian Devils 2013 5 out of 10

Tasmanian Devils  2013  5 out of 10

A group of base jumpers doing an illegal base jump in Tasmania literally fall out of the sky and into a whole lot of trouble.  In one of the most implausible scenes ever put on screen,    one of the unlucky base jumpers played by Olympic speed skater Apollo Ohno, falls into a cave landing on a sacrificial spike that awakens some evil Tamanian Devil creatures that are out for blood. These Tasmanian Devils are definitely not the furry whirling crazy Warner Brothers character that we all love.  These Devils are digital man eaters.

  There are some decent horror scenes in this flick which focuses on the group of jumpers and the park rangers  that bump into them as  they  try to escape from  these creatures .  Unfortunately the plot is very, very thin and poorly written.   It feels like they had some set horror scenes that they wanted to do and just wrote the plot as an after thought around that. The characters in the story make clueless stupid decision after clueless stupid decision leading to them to their deaths.  

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The Invasion 2007 6 out of 10

The Invasion 2007   6 out of 10

 We should really stop sending space ships into outer space because they always end up bringing something back that doesn't like us.  It is like these alien viruses are just sitting out in space waiting to hitch hike their way to earth so that they can try and take over the world.   The Invasion is a decent updated version of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers story.  It stars  Nicole Kidman as a psychiatrist that uncovers an alien plot to take over the world.  The alien virus spreads from person to person like some zombie plague.  The only way to fool the aliens once they have taken over their human hosts is to show no emotion.   A pair of the sunglasses from my favorite version of this re thread story  They Live would have really come in handy for the characters in this story.  The movie itself is a decent watch, but there is nothing here that you haven't already seen in previous telling of this story and the resolution at the end of the movie was just way easy.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wraith of the Titans 2012 6 out 10

Wraith of the Titans 2012.  6  out 10

"Feel the Wraith" the advertising says......Well I saw the Wraith on the screen,  but felt it NOT SO MUCH.....  The visuals in Wraith of the Titans were good, but the story was just extremely lazy.   This sequel to the updated epic big screen Clash of the Titans  (which ditched the  Golden Owl R2D2 wannabe)  was just underwhelming while at the same time looking grand on the screen.   The story follows a reluctant Perseus into the underworld on a quest to save his father Zeus and prevent the elder gods the Titans upon the Earth.  This results in a grand special effects filled finale in which Cronos battles against Perseus, Zeus and Hades.   The movie really should be called Wraith of the Titan---because none of the other Titans seemed to show up to the fight.....It could have been really epic on the level of the Avengers if the other Gods and Titans were around .    The writing is lazy,  borrowing elements from other Greek myths that featured other different demi-gods.  Perseus battles the Minotaur, and the Cyclops and journeys into hell.   The Minotaur scene was especially weak and not even up to level of  some lower budget stories I've seen involving the MinotaurThere was really no originality to the story at all.  It was basically just visual popcorn with little or no substance.