Amazon.com 100 Hot CDs
"Farscape #1: Premiere/I, E.T."
starring Ben Browder and Claudia Black;
written by Rockne S. O'Bannon
Wise-cracking astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) travels through a wormhole and finds himself in the midst of an interstellar prison escape on the other side of the universe. That unscheduled leap lands Crichton on the most wanted list, and he reluctantly partners with a rogue's gallery of extraterrestrial convicts in these introductory episodes of the hip new cable sci-fi series, which evokes a canny cross between "The Fugitive" and "Star Trek: Voyager."
"Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 20, Episodes 39 & 40: Mirror
Mirror/ The Deadly Years"
starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy;
directed by Robert Gist and Marc Daniels
Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and an away team find themselves detoured to a parallel universe where the Federation's leaders--including a goateed, evil Spock (Leonard Nimoy)--are as ruthless and warlike as Klingons. That's the nifty premise behind "Mirror, Mirror," a classic Trek plot that would be answered with a sequel decades later on "Deep Space Nine." Also included: "The Deadly Years," in which the crew of the Enterprise is infected with a disease that causes premature aging and can lead to death.
"Fiend without a Face - Criterion collection"
starring Marshall Thompson and Terry Kilburn;
directed by Arthur Crabtree
Clocking in at a gripping 74 minutes, this British sci-fi/horror sleeper achieves surprising impact in its depiction of invisible, brain-shaped monsters stalking an American military base. Even occasional bursts of portentous dialogue can't undercut the momentum or the no-frills effectiveness of its old school special effects, which culminate in the horrific climax. Criterion's blue-chip transfer gets the most out of this black and white cult favorite.
TOP CUSTOMER PICKS
"Highlander - Endgame"
starring Adrian Paul and Christopher Lambert;
directed by Douglas Aarniokoski
Fans of the original fantasy thriller continue to lose their heads over the immortals, welcoming this latest sequel teaming series star Adrian Paul with Christopher Lambert from the big-screen franchise. Raves a fan from Australia, "Here we have the two MacLeods, Duncan and Connor together, sharing so many aspects of their long lives with us. We watch, in superbly done flashbacks, their early years together, the humor, intense and passionate love, loyalty, passion, ethical conundrums, betrayal and tragedy."
"Space: 1999, Set 1"
starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain;
directed by Lee H. Katzin and Bob Kellett
Gerry Anderson's ambitious '70s series, which anticipates elements of later small-screen space operas, stirs powerful memories on DVD. A viewer from Georgia reports, "I still remember waiting for 7:00 p.m., Saturday night, so that I could tune (by hand) the TV to WUAB-43 (Cleveland, Ohio) to catch the latest episode of my favorite show. I now understand how my father feels about the "Flash Gordon" serials of the 1930s and 1940s."
starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman;
directed by Andrew Niccol
"This movie is completely mesmerizing, from its intelligent, thought-provoking script, to its eminently watchable cast and its profound humanity," asserts a viewer and theater professional from New York, impressed by Andrew Niccol's cautionary tale about genetic engineering. "The stylish look and feel of the movie, with its cool locations set in the not-too-distant future, nevertheless feel very real; indeed the whole premise feels entirely possible."
Chris Carter's singular, sci-fi-noir vision gathers new intricacy and even greater momentum in the third, feature-laden boxed set of "The X-Files: The Complete Third Season." Seven dual-layered discs, which reprise all 24 episodes, also include an all-new documentary, deleted scenes, promo spots, and a new CD-ROM game. The truth is still out there.
"Frank Herbert's Dune (TV Mini-Series)"
starring Alec Newman and Saskia Reeves;
directed by John Harrison
David Lynch's controversial 1984 version of the ecological space epic left its own mixed chorus of disgruntled purists, many of whom may find this Y2K alternative a better fit in terms of its extended narrative, closer to Frank Herbert's original. While aiming for the small screen, director John Harrison employs lavish sets and production design, as well as impressive special effects, in bringing the sprawling conflict and court intrigues of this parched world to life. Available March 20.
"The 6th Day"
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tony Goldwyn;
directed by Roger Spottiswoode
The super-sized Austrian action hero returns to familiar turf in this dystopian thriller that ponders the dark side of cloning. If the premise and Schwarzenegger's Everyman dilemma are teasingly close to "Total Recall," the script supplies some sly, satirical flourishes in its vision of a near future in which cloned pets and virtual girlfriends abound. A trio of tenacious, cloned assassins add to the mayhem. Available March 27.
starring Val Kilmer and Carrie-Anne Moss; directed by Antony Hoffman
A mission to Mars encounters an escalating series of catastrophes, as a strong cast (including Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, and Benjamin Bratt) is stalked by a service robot gone bad. If the plot conjures a flurry of earlier sci-fi classics, an intelligent script, provocative visions of technology in the mid-21st century, and impressive effects will win forgiveness from genre buffs. Available March 27.
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