Star Trek TOS is receiving the George Lucas treatment, as the series will re-issued on DVD with cleaned up CG special effects. These will be syndicated to TV, too. If that’s your bag, you may want to wait until the new shows are released on high def. On the other hand, purists (and collectors) may want to grab the original versions, in case those are written out of history ala Lucas.
Another veteran dies as Glenn Ford, star of Happy Birthday to Me (like all veteran Canadian actors--Bill Shatner, Leslie Nielsen, etc.--he appeared in a slasher film because a certain Canadian presence afforded producers Canadian government funding back then) passes away at the age of 90. RIP, sir.
Joseph Stephano, who wrote the screenplay for Hitchcock’s Psycho and also was the creator of the original TV show The Outer Limits, has also passed on. Both seasons of The Outer Limits are available on DVD, and at pretty cheap prices, too. Pick them up or put them on your Christmas list.
By the way, while it was an intelligent and generally well put together show, I just could never get into the new The Outer Limits. Pretty consistently, the endings of the stories were just incredibly dark. That might not have been a problem in itself, but the original OL was such a conversely optimistic and humanistic (in the good sense) program that this tact always seemed like a betrayal.
While I’m on that topic, one episode of the new show in particular drove me up the wall. It [Trial By Fire from the 2nd Season] featured an alien armada incursion approaching Earth, and the pressure on the newly sworn-in President of the United States to either launch an attack on it or not. (Pressure from saintly wife was for no, pressure from HOTHEADED MILITARY TYPES was yes.) The plot cheats were incredible, as the aliens kept doing suspicious things, like knocking out defense satellites, but always in ways that could, possibly, have just been accidents. The annoying thing was (again given the show’s general prevalence for dark endings) that it was obvious that no matter what the President decided, it would be the wrong answer. Since we’re talking Hollywood here, I predicted the wrong decision would be to fire the missiles, and of course I was right. Only two countries at last fire on them, us and the Soviets—that’s the show biz idea of being politically ‘evenhanded’—and at exactly that moment an alien communiqué is finally decoded and we learn that (surprise) the aliens are peaceful. However, despite stopping the missiles without harm, they still retaliate, and the President has several minutes to appreciate the fact that his actions have doomed Washington DC (Moscow gets the same treatment) and its population to complete obliteration. What a suckfest. Later, Cinefanfastique did their yearly series rundown for the show, and I was appalled that this insanely manipulative episode was given their highest rating, four stars. Apparently the author liked the ‘message’ about ‘MILITARY BAD.’ I don’t know, maybe if the episode pandered to my politics I would have liked it, too. I don’t think so, though.
Boy, does that The Covenant movie look like it sucks, or what?
This is most probably going to be the last week you can see Snakes on a Plane in a theater. What’ya waiting for?
A lot of formerly lost footage (alternate cuts, etc.) from John Carpenter’s original Halloween have shown up. Get ready for the upteenth Special Edition DVD for that movie, although at least this one will have some new stuff to show us.