Movies And Television

DARK CITY (1998) is an excellent SF film in which Rufus Sewell slowly discovers that rather than being an amnesiac murderer with a cheating wife, he’s part of a vast experiment by aliens seeking to determine what gives us individuality. Caught up in the experiment with him are mad scientist Kiefer Sutherland, pretty girl Jennifer Connelly and detective William Hurt while Ian Richardson (of the British House of Cards and Hogfather) plays one of the aliens. Although I like the story, the real strength of this tale is the visuals (still impressive though somewhat weakened in the full-screen version I have). “When was the last time you remember doing anything in the daylight?”

The second and last season of GREEN LANTERN has Hal, Kilowog and the Red Lantern Razer confronting a resurgent army of Manhunter androids ruled by the Anti-Monitor only to face an unexpected twist as the real Big Bad emerges mid-season. Very good, and well set-up for a third season, though we didn’t get one.
YOUNG JUSTICE: Invasion picks up five years after the end of the first season with several romances having gone kaput, Artemis and Wally retiring to normal life and several new super-heroes on-board. Unfortunately, the Light has formed an alliance with the alien Reach to work together for control of the planet, and they’ve already contrived to get the Justice League out of the way. Very good (a reminder once again that DC’s movies may be second to Marvels but not their TV shows), and with several in-jokes (one team of new heroes is loosely based on the SUPER FRIENDS Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, El Dorado and Samurai, for instance).
I stumbled across ADVENTURES OF PETE AND PETE back in the 1990s and became hooked by the extremely goofy tales of the title Wrigley Brothers coping with their somewhat off-kilter parents, crazy teachers and other strangeness. The first-season DVD set lives up to my memory as Big Pete realizes his girl friend Ellen may be More Than A Friend, a cursed bowling ball disrupts the family’s life, Pete hears the scariest words for any high-schooler come out of his mouth (“Test? What test?”) and in one typically oddball moment the family finds a Cadillac buried on the beach and drives it home. Delightfully insane.
The second season of MCMILLAN AND WIFE surprised me by how short it was until I remembered that it was part of an anthology series along with Columbo and McCloud. The adventures of San Francisco police commissioner Stuart McMillan (Rock Hudson) and his wife Sally (Susan St. James) are an uneven lot but the best are very good, the highlight being “Cop of the Year” in which Mac’s sidekick Sgt. Enright (John Shuck) apparently guns down his deranged ex-wife while locked up with her in an otherwise empty room. The second season tones down the sexual banter of the first (they really worked to make it clear that unlike previous TV couples, Sally and Mac didn’t sleep in twin beds) but Susan St. James remains tremendously charming (a huge crush of mine when I was a kid).
DEFIANCE was a new SyFy show this year, set in a ruined Earth a couple of centuries down the line in which St. Louis has been rechristened Defiance and mingles multiple alien cultures alongside the humans. The show follows the efforts of the mayor and the new sheriff to keep order, and various schemers and rival powers to disrupt things. In many ways close to a straight prime-time drama (a lot of the plots would work if you substituted a modern city with a lot of immigrants) but quite watchable; weak ending for the season though.

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  1. Pingback: Ghostbusters in the Twilight Zone: Films and TV watched (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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