First, a bit of news that depresses the heck out of me: my main computer died. I developed some kind of hardware issue that locked it up to the point where I had to unplug it to turn it off, and nothing I have done since will turn it back on again, or even allow BIOS to run. I was in the middle of Second Life, which none of my other computers are powerful enough to support… my Avatar may be dancing there still. Nor can I watch anything on Streaming Netflix (or streaming anything else), I have lost all my iPhone apps, email is evaporated, and worst of all, all the blog entries I was building in advance are gone. I commit initial surgery to the box to try to get it back tomorrow and am already exploring replacement choices, but in the meantime bare with me if these entries are not up to my usual standard.
I am happy to report that Tremors the Complete Series is finally being released on disk. The four movies in the franchise have been available forever, but until now your only option for the TV series was to watch full episodes online. This quirky little TV show was politically incorrect and better for it, and I am looking forward to adding it to the permanent collection.
Justin Time is a direct-to-video release targeted at tweens that could be enjoyable for the right age group. At least I hope it is targeted at tweens. Another direct contender is the Second Best Science Fiction Movie Ever Made, for obvious reasons.
Of the American animations coming out this week, Planet 51 is a very fun film. It didn’t do well with the critics, mostly because we have all seen it before (except the other times humans were the ones living in the 1950s with serious paranoia), but it has quality 3D animation, first class voiceover work, and enough of a twist on the type to be worth your time.
On the Anime front, the total rebuild Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone takes the first six episodes of the original series and retells them in feature film format. All of the classic Mecha goodness is here; if you don’t know NERV, this is a great place to start.
Another favorite Anime series, Your Under Arrest, has one more volume available in the US: You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious Collection 1. There has never been anything subtle about this series, and they are not starting now. And while a cop show might not be what you expected to hear about from a Sci-Fi site, like Tank Police this one has some serious science fiction aspects (although more like James Bond movies rather than the more obvious genre forms).
Then there is the classic GaoGaiGar for all the Giant Robo fans; it predates many of the series that helped create the modern concept of mechanized warcraft worshiped as gods, and had a formative effect on a lot of them.
I rarely post about documentaries here, but one worth mentioning is Hisashi Tenmyouya: Samurai Nouveau. It tells the story of a graphics designer turned full-tilt artist, and is part of the Viz New People Artist series of documentaries. To get an idea of just how well he can mix the traditional with the modern, visit his home page and see what he has done.
I would have to include Something unknown is doing we don’t know what, another documentary, for the fantasy they pursue if nothing else. And then include it again because there are very few films based on a quote by Sir Arthur Eddington, even if the movie has nothing to do with anything the world-class scientist was referring to. Remember, this was the man who said We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about ‘and’. While he got a lot of things wrong, and some of his best quotes have been stolen by mystics and charlatans (not at all the same thing), his best work was explaining subtle differences in the nature of reality. For a physicist, there is no higher calling.