Strange Horizons Store: Video & DVD


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Video/DVD

alphabetical by title

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

Abyss, The

DVD
VHS
An excellent sf thriller. A team of engineers working on an experimental deep-ocean oil exploration platform are enlisted to help investigate the downing of a military submarine. Between the unknown forces that sank the sub, the increasingly unstable Navy SEAL sent to lead the investigation, and tension between the crew's leader and the designer of the platform -- his ex-wife -- there's plenty of suspense. Add stunning f/x, and James Cameron's brilliant use of environment and ambience, and a gorgeous score, and you have quite a flick. Make sure to get the director's cut; although it was still a good film without them, the twenty-eight minutes cut from the theatrical release make the story more coherent, and add tremendously to the dramatic tension of the climax. - RMH

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

DVD
VHS
History will place an asterisk next to A.I. as the film Stanley Kubrick might have directed. But let the record also show that Kubrick--after developing this project for some 15 years--wanted Steven Spielberg to helm this astonishing sci-fi rendition of Pinocchio, claiming (with good reason) that it veered closer to Spielberg's kinder, gentler sensibilities. Spielberg inherited the project (based on the Brian Aldiss short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long") after Kubrick's death in 1999, and the result is an astounding directorial hybrid. A flawed masterpiece of sorts, in which Spielberg's gift for wondrous enchantment often clashes (and sometimes melds) with Kubrick's harsher vision of humanity, the film spans near and distant futures with the fairy-tale adventures of an artificial boy named David, a marvel of cybernetic progress who wants only to be a real boy, loved by his mother in that happy place called home.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Akira

DVD
VHS
An anime classic, Akira tells story of two orphans, Tetuso and Kaneda, and the changes about to take place in their lives in Neo-Tokyo. Biker gangs, children with extra-sensory powers, and a lot of violence, it's an entertaining and disturbing view of a futuristic world. - SP

Black Jack: A Surgeon With the Hands of God

VHS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

Season One DVD
Season Two DVD
Buffy Summers looks like your typical perky high-schooler, and like most, she has her secret fears and anxieties. However, while most teens are worrying about their next date, their next zit, or their next term paper, Buffy's angsting over the next vampire she has to slay. See, Buffy, a young woman with superhuman strength, is the "chosen one," and she must help rid the world of evil, namely by staking demons. - BO

Chronicles of Narnia, The

DVD
A number of years back, the BBC produced television versions of four of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. The books, of course, are Biblical allegory for children, but are beloved by many a non-Christian fantasy fan (including me). The BBC version captures both the innocence and the excitement of the books, and, much like Peter Jackson's new Lord of the Rings movies, replaces expository text with beautiful scenery and intricately designed props, keeping the plot advancing steadily. Though there are some groan-worthy bits of melodramatic line delivery, the acting is overall quite good, and there is a standout performance by Tom Baker (known to many SF fans as the fourth Doctor Who) as Puddleglum the Marshwiggle in The Silver Chair. The only thing to complain about is that they never got to make the other three books. - RMH

Dune (1984)

DVD
VHS
Based on Frank Herbert's sprawling classic about the intrigues of a galactic empire, and particularly the planet Arrakis, which provides the vital Spice which allows interstellar travel, this film was directed by David Lynch, who is notorious for telling stories that don't quite make sense. It should come as no surprise, then, that even the three-hour-long director's cut (which is apparently hard to come by, lately) is somewhat confusing, skipping or skimming significant stretches of the book's plot, while lingering (sometimes longer than necessary) on some of the strange, emotional, or impressive images. But for all its failings, this movie does a surprisingly good job of capturing the epic feeling of the book, and the regimented culture of Herbert's imperial nobility. - RMH

Dune TV Miniseries (2000)

DVD
VHS
John Harrison's three-part miniseries for the Sci Fi Channel is entertaining as a drama, and unquestionably it's Dune. The central story of Paul Atreides' transcendent quest for self-knowledge, his family's battles with House Harkonnen, and his abiding love for the Fremen girl, Chani, carries the miniseries, despite some flaws. While Harrison, who also adapted the book, is reasonably faithful to Frank Herbert's text, he's not particularly faithful to Herbert's characters, which will dismay purists. Still, he tells the story well.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Enemy Mine

DVD
VHS
Two pilots, from two species that are at war with each other, crash on a remote planet after a dogfight in which each has damaged the other's craft, and cooperate in order to survive. A thoughtful parable about war and peace, diversity and universality. - RMH

Escaflowne - The Movie

DVD
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Escaflowne - The Series

DVD
After psychic teenager Hitomi has a vision of a man battling a dragon, Prince Van of Fanelia and a dragon materialize. He slays the monster and transports Hitomi to the mysterious world of Gaea. An odd mixture of advanced technology and medieval culture, Gaea has links to ancient Atlantis.
Read a review in Strange Horizons.

Farscape
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

Season One DVD
American astronaut John Crichton is flung through a wormhole and comes out in the midst of an interstellar prison escape on the other side of the universe. When the galactic cops (called "Peacekeepers") mark him as the new public enemy number one, Crichton is forced to ally himself with the convicts: hulking warrior D'Argo, blue-skinned priest Zhaan, fugitive peacekeeper Aeryn, exiled king Rygel, and Pilot, the giant insectlike nerve center of their living ship, Moya. - BO

Final Fantasy

The Spirits Within DVD
The Spirits Within VHS
Earth is a desolate wasteland in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Humanity has been decimated by an invasion of Phantoms, insubstantial aliens that extract and devour the spirits of living things. The few remaining humans have retreated to a handful of cities that are protected by massive bio-energy shields. The beautiful Dr. Aki Ross and her mentor Dr. Sid have discovered that the energy signatures of eight key Earth spirits can cancel out and destroy the Phantoms. With the help of Captain Edwards and his band of marines, they must scour the globe for the last two remaining spirits before General Hein manipulates the refugee government into attacking the aliens with an orbital laser that may also destroy the Earth.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Galaxy Express 999

VHS (Subtitled)
VHS (Dubbed)

Irresponsible Captain Tylor Collection, The

DVD
VHS
Who is Justy Ueki Tylor? Is he a bumbling fool with the luck of the devil? A tactical genius with the wisdom of a Buddhist saint? Or perhaps a little of both? Whatever the answer to his riddle, this slim young man in the oversized trench coat, with his sleepy eyes, unruly mop of brown hair, and gentle, slightly goofy smile, has won the hearts of anime fans around the world. - AH
Read the review from Strange Horizons, posted on Epinions.

Kimba the White Lion

VHS (Dubbed)
The lion movie that started it all, and the source of some controversy for Lion King and Kimba fans alike. An offering from Japanese artist Osamu Tezuka, based on his Jungle Emperor comic strip, this movie also tells the story of a cub needing to overcome adversity with the help of his animal friends. - SP

Kiki's Delivery Service

VHS (Subtitled)

Krull

DVD
VHS
80's scifi/fantasy adventure. A prince must rescue his bride and save the world from invaders from outer space. Along the way, he enlists help from an old mystic, who helps him acquire a powerful weapon, the Glaive; an incompentent shape-shifting magician; a band of outlaws; and assorted seers, cyclopes, and really big horses. With f/x ahead of its time, beautiful cinematography and sets, a great original score, and some plot twists that are a surprise in what looks at first like a predictable story, this is a classic of the genre. - RMH

Ladyhawke

DVD
VHS
80's fantasy adventure. Philipe the Mouse, a young thief, having escaped the dungeons of a demented bishop, is rescued from a fight by a mysterious knight, Etienne Navarre. The plot thickens as, at night, Etienne and his pet hawk vanish, and Philipe encounters the beautiful Isabeau Dante, and the great black wolf that walks at her side. With the help of a drunken old monk (played by the incomparably curmudgeonly Leo McKern), Philipe tries to unravel the mystery around Etienne and Isabeau, and break a devilish curse. The film features the debuts of both Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick, and Rutger Hauer, as a good guy for once, turning in one of his finest performances. It's also beautifully filmed -- from scenery, to sets, to props and costumes -- and has a unique score with a mix of classical style and modern instruments. - RMH

Last Starfighter, The

DVD
VHS
80's scifi adventure. A high school senior's victory on a videogame turns out to be a passing grade on a test for aptitude as a warrior in the defense of interstellar civilization. Silly, but fun. Includes early use of computer graphics; it looks dated, but at the time, it was quite impressive. - RMH

Lion King, The

VHS
Another Disney classic, complete with Elton John numbers, and endearing, talking animals. Not a movie for very small children, due to some violence and death, but certainly entertaining for older children. There's even humor targetted at the adult audience, making the movie enjoyable for the entire family. - SP

Metropolis (1927)

DVD
VHS
Fritz Lang's 1927 movie, and the theoretical basis for many movies with a dark-seeming future and a stratified society. Love between the classes, impossible odds, and full of fantastic imagery, the movie is a must for fans of old-school films. - SP

Metropolis (2002)

DVD
VHS
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Minority Report (2002)

DVD
VHS

My Neighbor Totoro

DVD
VHS
While their mother is in the hospital, 10-year-old Satsuki and 4-year-old Mei move into an old-fashioned house in the country with their professor father. At the foot of an enormous camphor tree, Mei discovers the nest of King Totoro, a giant forest spirit who resembles an enormous bunny rabbit. Mei and Satsuki learn that Totoro makes the trees grow, and when he flies over the countryside or roars in his thunderous voice, the winds blow. Totoro becomes the protector of the two sisters, watching over them when they wait for their father, and carrying them over the forests on an enchanted journey. When the children worry about their mother, Totoro sends them to visit her via a Catbus, a magical, multilegged creature with a grin the Cheshire Cat might envy.

Nightwalker: Midnight Detective

DVD Disc One
Nightwalker: Midnight Detective is an animated series that the creators hope will excite fans of vampire stories. It is beautifully drawn with a dusky color palette, and well-accented with an ambient-jazz detective story soundtrack.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

DVD
VHS
Only Joel and Ethan Coen, the fraternal director and producer team behind art-house hits such as The Big Lebowski and Fargo and masters of quirky and ultra-stylish genre subversion, would dare nick the plot line of Homer's Odyssey for a comic picaresque saga about three cons on the run in 1930s Mississippi. Our wandering hero in this case is one Ulysses Everett McGill, a slick-tongued wise guy with a thing about hair pomade who talks his chain-gang buddies into lighting out after some buried loot he claims to know of. En route they come up against a prophetic blind man on a railroad truck, a burly, one-eyed baddie, a trio of sexy singing ladies, a blues guitarist who's sold his soul to the devil, a brace of crooked politicos on the stump, a manic-depressive bank robber, and--well, you get the idea. Into this, their most relaxed film yet, the Coens have tossed a beguiling ragbag of inconsequential situations, a wealth of looping, left-field dialogue, and a whole stash of gags both verbal and visual. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Princess Bride, The

DVD
VHS
My favorite movie, period. The star-studded cast includes two young, beautiful leads: Cary Elwes, and Robin Wright in her debut. Non-stop comedy, beautiful cinematography, a charming fairy-tale plot, and clever use of a shell story (a grandfather reading his sick grandson a book) to add humor or tension at all the right moments, make this a one-of-a-kind picture. A farm-boy turned adventurer must save his beloved from marriage, and possibly worse, at the hands of the charming prince. Along the way he gets help from an obsessed Spanish swordsman, a kind-hearted (though not very bright) giant, and an occasional miracle. The film deals with death, loss, revenge, friendship, and, of course, true love; all with tongue firmly in cheek. I watch it at least once a year, to remind myself how much fun movies can be. - RMH

Princess Mononoke

DVD
VHS
Ashitaka, a warrior from a remote clan, is drawn into a struggle between nature and technology, after a chance encounter with a god turned into a demon by the strength of human anger. The English dub is voiced by well-known television and movie talent, including Gillian Anderson, Claire Danes and Billy Bob Thornton. A very entertaining film for the anime fan, and even for those unfamiliar with anime as a genre. - SP

Red Planet

DVD
VHS
The year is 2025. Because humans have continuously poisoned the Earth, Mars was picked as a suitable place for colonization. For the past 20 years probes have been sent to Mars in an effort to grow algaes and by greenhouse effect to create breathable oxygen on the planet. Now a team has been sent to Mars to check how everything is going. Their mission can mean the life and death for the people of Earth. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Shadow of the Vampire

DVD
VHS
Shadow of the Vampire is the epic story of two towering men, each seeking his own immortality. One of them is the brilliant film director F. W. Murnau, whose career is peaking with the movie he is about to create, Nosferatu. He has assembled a world-class team of cameramen, actors, and financiers for a film he will speak only a few careful words about. The other is the character actor Max Schreck, who will play the vampire. His method of acting is immersive: he lives his role, moving into a dark castle deep in the woods where he can brood and terrify peasants. The director tends to stalk off and inject laudanum, disappearing for a day at a time. Schreck tends to eat live animals and wanders around only at night. - DF
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena

Adolescense Mokushiroku DVD
The Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) movie, expanding on the popular series. Utena duels her classmates to protect her friend Anthy, who is the key to a magical power that could make her dream - to become a prince - come true. But Anthy hides a terrible secret, and Utena must face the truth about herself and those she loves and learn what it means to be a true hero. - BO

Starman

DVD
VHS
An alien explorer, from a civilization that has transcended war, enlists the (at first reluctant) help of a widow in order to reach a rendezvous with his ship before the violent humans capture or kill him, or the temporary body he has created for himself -- from the DNA of the widow's dead husband -- ceases to function. - RMH

Unbreakable

DVD
VHS
The power explored in Unbreakable is that of the "superhero": the man who is impervious to almost all forms of harm. David Dunne is the sole survivor of a violent train wreck. He is shocked by his luck, but it doesn't seem to affect him very deeply at first -- he has been having trouble with his marriage, doesn't have any friends, and sleepwalks through his days on the job as a stadium security guard. Then he receives a note from an eccentric invalid named Elijah Price. Price, who has extremely weak bones and is prone to illness, seems to have spent a few too many days laid up in bed with his comic books, and he has become convinced that the myth of the man of steel must contain a kernel of truth. After all, if one person can be weaker than normal, why shouldn't another be stronger? In his search for a hero, Price has spent a great deal of time researching disasters, looking for a person who has lived through a situation where they should have died. Dunne is skeptical, naturally. His survival was obviously extraordinary, but things like that do happen now and then. However, the evidence begins to mount up. He never needs to call in sick. He has uncanny instincts as a guard. He can bench press your refrigerator. - RMH
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Vengeance of the Dead (Lunar Edition)

DVD
Eric (played with just the right amount of emotion by Michael Galvin) pays a visit to his grandfather (Mark Vollmers) in the small farming community of Harvest, Wisconsin. The visit goes from the mundane to the horrific after Eric discovers an old spoon half buried in the dirt outside his grandfather's farm. What follows involves ghosts, murders committed by a sleepwalking avenger, grave desecration, and a love story that verges on disturbing. - DB
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

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The Movie DVD
The Movie VHS (Dubbed)