Get ready for more than three hours of bawdy Bundy fun! MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, the brilliantly tasteless, daringly raunchy and devilishly clever series is available for the first time in a collectible two-disc DVD set containing a sidesplitting 5 episodes per disc with never-before-seen footage deemed too ghastly for television! Re-live all the hilariously offensive gags and the immoral yet loveable lifestyles led by working-class hero Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill from WAYNE'S WORLD, K-9), his housework-hating wife Peg (Katey Sagal) and their obnoxious offspring Kelly (Christina Applegate, from THE SWEETEST THING) and Bud (David Faustino). They're rude, they're crude and this collection of the funniest moments from the family that put the fun into dysfunctional will have you laughing for hours!
From the moment the first episode aired in 1987 the Bundy family painted a painfully funny picture of a not-so-typical middle-class American family. They introduced political incorrectness at every opportunity and developed a massive cult following as a result. So sit back with a beer and a slice of pizza and enjoy the ultimate in bad-taste fun and hilarity with the foulest family to hit TV.
Married with Children is available to buy on DVD from 23 July 2003 at retailers nationally.
Married...With Children: The Most Outrageous Episodes! Volume 1 includes 5 episodes - A Dump of my Own, I'll See You in Court, You Better Shop Around part 1), You Better Shop Around (part 2), No Chicken, No Check.
Married...With Children: The Most Outrageous Episodes! Volume 2 includes another 5 episodes - A Man's Castle, Raingirl,Have You Driven a Ford Lately, If Al Had a Hammer, Who'll Stop the Rain?
Both volumes are in English and in Dolby stereo 2.0. They feature a so-called Salute to Sinatra, which is only an ad for a collection of Sinatra CDs, plus some trailers for other shows on DVD and for Christina Applegate's movie The Sweetest Thing.
Here's the details of DVD Volume 1:
The Return of Wonder Woman - Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) convinces her mother, the Queen of the Amazons, that she must once again go into the outside world to help protect the free world from its enemies, and also to protect the secret of Paradise Island and its ancient culture.
Anschluss 77 - Wonder Woman is called upon to battle a new and more terrifying Nazi menace when Diana Prince and Steve Trevor are assigned to investigate a reunion of expatriate Nazis on a small tropical island.
The Man Who Could Move the World - Wonder Woman is pitted against the awesome telekinetic powers of a Japanese man who was interned during World War II and has been planning revenge for 35 years.
EXTRAS: Cast profiles. Wonder Woman memorabilia. Photo gallery. Duration: 164 mins, Mono: English, Aspect Ratio: 4:3, Release Date: June 2003
If this is the real script, I will say it sounds like big fun and a swell start. And it's festooned with major spoilers, so somebody better turn on the invisotext machine, pronto.
* The first characters we see are Buffy and Spike. It's a flashback to Spike's final moments over the Sunnydale hellmouth. Spike goes all bright and dusty, then the first new scene is set in Wolfram & Hart's "White Room." It's somebody's point of view. Somebody on his or her back. Winifred, Charles and Wesley are all peering down. None of the trio has ever seen this mystery-person before, but Wes seems to have a pretty good idea who it is. Angel arrives and eliminates any abmbiguity with a single-word : "Spike." No more POV. Spike naked save a familiar-looking amulet, turns groggily toward Angel and mutters, "Oh bloody hell." He hear a violin and the title credits roll.
* Actually, before the big reveal, the first thing we hear in the White Room POV shot is heavy breathing. But when we see Team Angel hovering, none of them seems to be breathing very hard.
* When Angel offers Spike a cup of blood in the law firm's examination room, Spike says he actually feels like a chocolate shake.
* The second Spike learns Buffy survived the big doings in what used to be Sunnydale, he starts off to find his true love. But Angel won't let him leave until he can figure out why Spike is still alive. "Oh reeaaly ?" asks Spike. "And are we sure that's the reason now ?" Angel also wants the amulet back, since it's technically Wolfram & Hart property. A big Spike-Angel fight ensues. * There is much shattering of law-firm glass. As the Spike-Angel fight grows more intense, Angel goes into vamp-face. Spike tries to do the same, but finds he can't!
* Angel manages to yank the Amulet away from Spike. Spike begins gasping and turning blue. "Angel, the amulet," cries Wesley. "I think he needs it. He's dying." Angel hesitates, but Fred reminds Angel that Spike just finished saving the world.
* Angel returns the amulet and Spike's complexion immediately turns rosier. "His breathing is returning to normal," advises Wes. "'Breathing?'" asks Fred.
* Angel rips a giant mirror from the wall. He can't see himself in it, but Spike casts a reflection!
* Lilah turns up with Spike's blood test. The DNA matches what the Initiative took out of Hostile 17 four years ago, but the amulet seems to have "cleansed" the vampire right out of Spike. He's all human now!
* Wes remembers the Shanshu prophecy. "When that a souled vampire fulfills his destiny - whatever that may be - he becomes human."
* But if Spike's human, why is so strong, and able to fight Angel so effectively ? Wes remembers speaking to Willow by phone about the "joining spell" that turned all the potentials into slayers. "So when the cleansing began," asks Lilah, "did you - I dunno - touch Buffy ?" Spike answers in the affirmative, flashing back to the fiery hand-holding.
* And then, at the end of this first act, Lilah and Wes come to the same conclusion - and reveal one last amazing thing about this new Spike - he's now the world's first male vampire slayer.
ENTERPRISE may only be in its second season on UPN, but Paramount Netherlands is currently preparing the fifth STAR TREK series for DVD Region 2 release. In an interview with the Netherlands STAR TREK Fan Club, Willem Goverde from Paramount Netherlands reported that the ENTERPRISE European VHS releases would be discontinued due to low sales. Instead, Paramount intends to release the series on DVD in season box sets like the recent DVD releases of THE NEXT GENERATION and DEEP SPACE NINE.
Plans are in the works, Goverde said, for the release of the complete first season in a Region 2 DVD box set at the end of 2003, though the release date has yet to be announced. There are no reports of a Region 1 DVD release in the United States or other parts of the world at this time.
Paramount Home Video, in the meantime, has already begun work on preparing VOYAGER for DVD release. No release dates have been announced at this time.
DEEP SPACE NINE was on top of its game from the very beginning of season three. Building on two years of intense character development and an intricately woven universe, the first TNG spin-off had developed a personality entirely different from its predecessor and strove to become even more distinct with competition from sister series VOYAGER on the horizon. Throwing caution to the wind, producers Ira Steven Behr and Michael Piller were now free to let their characters—by this point the most developed and unique of any TREK series—inhabit the universe and populate its stories naturally. Serialization became an integral part of the show and the ongoing drama enhanced our new heroes and made each story richer than the next.
No one is a placeholder in DS9’s third season. Sisko is nothing like Kirk or Picard. Kira is unlike any first officer we’ve ever met. The only similarity Odo shared to Data or Spock was alien makeup and his Other status. Quark is probably the most original TREK character, filling no traditional TREK role and imbuing the universe with a frivolity and humor lost since the original series. Even O’Brien, Bashir and Dax were characters unlike any previous series. The season begins with “The Search” and although we’re over two years in, the episode begins with a passionate shouting match over divided loyalties between Sisko and Odo, a conflict unimaginable on TNG, VOY or especially ENTERPRISE. The characters all have divided loyalties on DS9 and season three began to flesh them out for the better. Rather than homogenize the cast into a cooperative, happy family, the DS9 crew encounters more obstacles to its own existence with every installment.
It’s different from the start, as “The Search” makes it clear DS9’s mission is going to become that of peacemaker. This is accomplished most obviously by the addition of the Starship Defiant, the first Federation vessel to have as its primary mission not exploration, but war. The peculiarities of the show’s new mission bring out the characterizations brilliantly and what is an intense action/adventure show is also a very personal character drama, not least of which for Odo. The feature quality of special effects and action sequences is evident in part one’s final climactic battle, which is more gritty and visceral than anything glimpsed in TREK for years. Whether it’s the brief space battle with the Defiant or Sisko and Bashir taking up hand-to-hand combat against the Jem’Hadar, the camera seems to have a more realistic shake and the editing and cinematography deliver a pulse pounding experience that will make your excitement strangely audible, even if watching the episode by yourself.
Part two isn’t quite as effective, especially upon immediate viewing, as the rip-roaring excitement of the previous episode’s finish is dispensed with quickly for a very different type of story. While it’s an innovative twist to have the crew living through a hypothetical Dominion incursion as a sort of “truth test,” the notion that the Founders could so perfectly replicate the station and its ancillary characters (Garak, for one) perfect enough to fool our intrepid heroes is far-fetched and not quite satisfying. More interesting is the Odo story that culminates in the somewhat by-then obvious, but nonetheless compelling, conclusion that the Founders are a race of Changelings that live in a lake of goo.
There are spectacular character pieces like “Second Skin,” where Kira must face that she might actually be a surgically-altered Cardassian agent; “Distant Voices,” where Julian Bashir ages before our eyes in a very convincing makeup job by Michael Westmore and his team. There’s a particularly well-done TNG tie-in episode, “Defiant,” which features Jonathan Frakes as ‘Thomas Riker’, the transporter duplicate from “Second Chances.” This episode also features some more of the Sisko/Gul Dukat dynamic glimpsed in season two’s “The Maquis” and so present in the last years of the show. There are Ferengi comedy episodes galore, each showcasing the genius of Armin Shimerman and the ability of DS9 to do a type of story unseen on STAR TREK since “The Trouble With Tribbles” or “Mudd’s Women.” The political intrigue of the Dominion arc reverberates through “Improbable Cause” and “The Die Is Cast,” which also contains the spectacular duet between Andrew Robinson (‘Garak’) and Rene Auberjonois (‘Odo’). The finale, "The Adversary," continues DS9’s tradition of continuing storylines and ups the ante for the Dominion subplot, passing the point of no return on the serialization boat and providing some of the best suspense TREK has ever seen.
The Packaging and Menus
This season’s color is green and the same durable plastic CD flap case greets your anticipatory hand when you pull it out of the sleeve. Much like the impact DS9 made on fans (and critics), these sets will be here a long time owing to top-notch production and packaging. The U.S.S. Defiant graces the top of each CD and some superficial schematics reside on the front left fold of the set. The menus this time around replace the Starfleet runabout with the Defiant flying through the wormhole to begin with but the changes pretty much end there. Still no rectification of the lack of episode trailers for ease of selection between episodes and the main menus are identical in design to the previous two sets.
Season three comes with five all-new featurettes. The first, THE BIRTH OF THE DOMINION AND BEYOND, is the longest and most well produced. With ample new interview footage with all the major players—Piller, Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe--we’re led through the thought process of developing the Dominion as an antithesis to the Federation and a specific threat that would differentiate DS9 from TNG and then looming VOYAGER. Ira Behr makes a particularly salient point when he says that the idea of giving the Dominion three major villainous races—the Jem’Hadar, the Vorta, and the Founders—was to avoid the possibility of choosing just one and finding that it didn’t pan out: a strategy ENTERPRISE may seemingly be trying to reproduce with its Xindi humanoids, insectoids and other –oids lined up for the fall. Wolfe’s contribution is particularly noteworthy, as Piller gives him credit for the initial ideas behind all three foes, and the former TREK writer reveals the passion behind the development of the franchise’s best threat since the Borg.
Next up is the third edition of MICHAEL WESTMORE’S ALIENS, this time focusing extensively on Ferengi makeup for Quark, the Grand Nagus (Wallace Shawn) and Quark’s mother; Nana Visitor’s brief stint as a Cardassian for “Second Skin”; Bashir aging through several stages for “Distant Voices”; and then a concluding piece of Odo’s initial makeup construction and how it was adapted for various changes in the third season, like the flaking shapeshifter at the hands of a torturous Garak in “The Die is Cast.”
The focus on Odo continues with a CREW DOSSIER on the prickly Constable, featuring all new interview footage with a bearded Rene Auberjonois in what amounts to a pretty lengthy discussion of one of TREK’s best characters from start to finish. Particularly interesting is the actor’s retelling of his first audition and his uncertainty at revealing Odo’s origin earlier than he had expected. Rene also talks about taking up the director’s chair and is probably one of the most genuine STAR TREK actors you’ll ever hear from. If you love Odo (how could you not?), you’ll probably think this is the best of the DOSSIER programs yet.
TIME TRAVEL FILES highlights “Past Tense,” one of DS9’s most poignant and classically-minded episodes. Dealing with a 21st century Earth that imprisons homeless in concentration camps, “Past Tense” ranks up there as one of the best STAR TREK episodes of all time and it’s a two-parter to boot. The combination of old-new history, fleshing out the void of pre-23rd (and now 22nd) century STAR TREK history is irresistible and this featurette reveals Ira Behr’s inspiration for the story and the crew’s shock when California lawmakers actually began considering homeless “zones” while the episode was in production. Particularly pleasing here is the first brand new interview footage with Avery Brooks, who makes a brief but notable appearance, as well as 1999 footage of Colm Meaney, who touts the nobility of the episode and its following in the grand STAR TREK tradition of social commentary.
Finally, SAILING THROUGH THE STARS: A SPECIAL LOOK AT “EXPLORERS” is the set’s only production documentary (not counting makeup) and looks at the design for the Bajoran solar sailer ship featured in the father-son sci-fi story that tugs all the right strings—right down to the Cardassian space fireworks at the end. Herman Zimmerman talks in new footage about his design ideas for the interior set and illustrator Jim Miller recalls his delight at designing the “whimsical” flyer. The episode is another one of those STAR TREK classics in more ways than one, and it’s a story that manages to sum up the spirit of the entire franchise while putting its own unique, DS9-specific spin on the idea by enveloping it within the Cardassian/Bajoran political dynamic.
Finally, SECTION 31 hidden files populate both menu screens of the special features and include a whole gamut of mini-features. As with season two, these are definitely worth watching, even if some could’ve been combined into meatier main featurettes. There are a couple about “Second Skin,” one including new interview footage with Nana Visitor about her harrowing makeup experience, while the other has Robert Wolfe again extolling his enthusiasm for a script; Wolfe commentates a file on “Family Business,” one of the Ferengi episodes; David Livingston talks about directing “The Die Is Cast”; and two files feature visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel recalling the efforts to blow up the station for “Visionary” and the miniature constructed for the Founders’ homeworld’s surface in “The Search.” Topping it off is a shorty with Jim Miller about designing 60s-style wall posters for brief moments in “Past Tense.”
Despite the large platter of features, the glaring oversight is a focus of any kind on the design of the Defiant. The arrival of the ship was very important for the show and yet there is no featurette going through its visual design (certainly a first in STAR TREK ship design) or its interior set design. Is this being saved for a later? I don’t know why; season three is where it belongs. This omission, however, highlights a startling lack of any meaty production programs on the disc. There are hardly any design sketches this time around and the “Explorers” feature only minimally touches on this area of interest. The programs overall are stunningly lacking of cast interview footage and producer Rick Berman makes no appearance here, perhaps owing to the fact that Behr was beginning to diverge into the serialized territory the exec was forced to swallow.
Does that matter? Only inasmuch as the product could’ve been better and season two was. But the quality of the 26 episodes are the best yet for DS9 and there’s no denying the hours of enjoyment fans of the show or those just discovering it will get from this new third season treatment. Buying a package like this on DVD really comes down to repeat usage and if my own repeat viewings of the first two seasons are any indication, season three will fill this bill admirably in the months to come.
Episode listing: The Search I, The Search II, The House of Quark, Equilibrium, Second Skin, The Abandoned, Civil Defense, Meridian, Defiant, Fascination, Past Tense I, Past Tense II, Life Support, Heart of Stone, Destiny, Prophet Motive, Visionary, Distant Voices, Through the Looking Glass, Improbable Cause, The Die is Cast, Explorers, Family Business, Shakaar, Facets, The Adversary.
Summary: Voyager goes off the air with a finale that isn't quite a bang but is a fitting farewell in keeping with its themes and tone.
Despite heading for a fifth series, Star Trek has only done two series finales before Endgame. That means there really isn't a template enstablished for the series finale just yet. On the one hand, we have TNG's All Good Things..., which was a poignant look ahead at the future combined with a brillant celebration of Star Trek's ideals and a complex intellectual puzzle. On the other hand, we had DS9's What You Leave Behind choose to do a conventional episode, wrapping the messy arcs and plot threads it had accumulated. Voyager's finale Endgame on the other hand falls somewhere in between.
Unlike TNG, Voyager's writers know this is their show's last hurrah and that there will never be any further extension of the story. But unlike DS9, Voyager wasn't overloaded with arcs that had to be wrapped up or apocalyptic struggles to be fought. So Endgame is a combination of the two styles. On the one hand there is a time warping premise to Endgame and a poignant look ahead at what time and history will do to its charachters as on TNG. On the other hand the actual episode is less about time travel, than it is about using it as a vehicle to examine the characters and resolve the series and various character issues like DS9. The result is a finale that doesn't aim high like TNG's but also one that doesn't overshoot and crash and burn like DS9's. It's an average finale that encompasses all the good and bad that was Voyager and by doing so serves as a valid representation of what the show was all about.
Endgame's opening takes less of a page from TNG or DS9 than it does from the TOS films. Specifically Wrath of Khan. A scene of Voyager's joyous celebration cuts to a falsely cheerful retrospective on a TV monitor and a bitter-aged Captain Janeway pacing the room. These are scenes that call up the TOS Genesis trilogy both visually and emotionally. Janeway and the Doctor chat in her apartment in a scene strongly reminscent of Kirk and McCoy sans glasses. The Genesis comparisons only deepen as Janeway searches for a way to break Starfleet regulations to save former friends and crew members. Janeway herself no longer pilots a starship but has been bumped up to Admiral and looks forwards to teaching cadets. The crew has their reunions like an old group of Korean War vets who don't seem to have that much in common anymore and Voyager is a museum from whose ready room you can see Alcatraz. Tuvok is in a mental asylum raving to himself and Chakotay and Seven are dead. And it took Voyager nearly two decades to get home.
Fans and viewers might have expected a long journey home ending with Voyager's return, but the episode instead chooses to throw a splendid reunion at them and then turn it into ashes. It's a scene that takes a certain amount of guts. Voyager might have easily gone the conventional route, or at least closed with the return scene as a payoff. Instead the payoff shot shows Voyager returning to Earth in the company of the fleet. We've already seen the return home and we know it won't solve all the problems or too many problems for that matter. Janeway's real problem remains unspoken and it isn't Tuvok's disease or Seven's death. Her real problem is only stated openly by Paris, that she was only satisfied when she was on Voyager. Voyager was home. Time stood still on Voyager.
Janeway has always been obssessed with doing the best job possible of getting her crew home. And so she decides to go back in time and risk the past, not for any particularly compelling reasons, but because she wants to do a better job if it than she did last time. She wants to see if she can get the floor cleaner and the cabinets shininer and the crew home in seven years instead of twenty-something years. Janeway has always been a perfectionist and obsessed with her performance. She's lost plenty of crewmembers before, so why not prevent Voyager from entering the Delta Quadrant period? The device on her shuttle allows her to choose any point in space or time. Presumabely because it would eliminate important parts of history, which Voyager changed. Captain Braxton and Q have said as much. Janeway herself states that these sixteen years featured major confrontations with the Borg Queen which helped them develop weapons and tactics that in the future allows the Federation to hold the Borg at bay. Is she throwing all this way just to rescue some friends? So are we to really believe that Voyager's first seven years in the Delta Quadrant were important to galactic history but the succeeding sixteen years weren't?
And here is at once the greatest strength of Endgame and its greatest weakness. Its strength lies in its depiction of Voyager's future, but a future that is merely used to engineer a bit of time travel that occurs at this point in time for no particular reason, except that Voyager's seven years are up. Worse yet, Admiral Janeway seems to have no idea how to bring Voyager home except by taking them through the worst the Borg have to offer. Couldn't she have found an easier way to bring Voyager home? If Voyager could get home by breaking the rules, who not ask Q to do it? The entire Borg plot becomes tacked on as a means of resolving the Borg, even though they have little relation to the basic plot. Which means we're asked to swallow two gigantic whoppers. The first being Admiral Janeway's choice and the second being the involvement of the Borg.
Despite the All Good Things... "flashbacks" like Janeway's shuttle being pursued by Klingon warships, Janeway convincing aged crew members to let her go on one final mission, and Tuvok suffering from a degenerative mental disease, future Voyager worked. So does present day Voyager. Given plenty of time, Endgame showcases a "5 minutes from now" future of Voyager that has Tuvok realizing his disease is getting worse when he loses a game, Torres expecting her baby and Paris finally settling down and abandoning his last desire for adventure. Both the past and the future are rife with neat continuity referrences from Barclay missing a golf game with the EMH, Kim's desire to be Captain and Torres's daughter turning out to be a bigger Klingon than her mother and involved in Klingon politics to boot. The future isn't detailed but Janeway shopping around for technology with a renegade Klingon noble in exchange for a seat on the high council is plausible and rings true. So do the lecture halls and reunions, a Voyager version of Veterans of Foreign Wars. Or Veterans of Delta Quadrant Attritions.
The failure happens when Endgame does what All Good Things... and Voyager's own Timeless knew not to do, combine the past and the future. On board Voyager, Admiral Janeway is just a pest and her motivations are bizarre. Her claims that "family comes before strangers" is completely bizarre and un-Starfleet even if it's nice to see Janeway finally come out and admit the philosophy that's been behind criminal actions such as Tuvix and Scorpion. Her technology gifts make things too easy. Sure the Borg have become a bit too soft but the cheesy armor-all effect and super torpedoes that blow up entire cubes are just ridiculous. Meanwhile Present Janeway demonstrates that she can't even stand or work with herself, let alone anyone else. Her desire to blow up the Borg transwarp conduit is noble, but wouldn't it make more sense to escape first and get the technology back to Starfleet which can outfit a hundred ships with it and do the job better?
People may make noises about the Temporal Prime Directive, but I note the TPD hasn't kept the EMH from wearing a piece of 27th century technology and trying to donate it to the Daystrom Institute. Why is this any different? Janeway is ready to throw away the TPD when it's a question of Tuvok's well-being and when it's a question of the welfare of her crew, and this is a question of the survival of thousands of entire species. Essentially, then, both Janeways have irrational agendas that have more to do with their own personal psychological problems, than with Starfleet regulations and the greater good. Kirk in ST3 and Picard in All Good Things... broke the rules but Kirk didn't care about Genesis. He was simply trying to rescue Spock and that meant violating the No Trespassing sign. Picard had evidence that if he didn't act the universe would be destroyed. Janeway wanted to save 22 people and possibly doom billions and wipe out portions of galactic history doing it. It just doesn't add up.
And that is Voyager's legacy, pettiness. Even when taking on the Borg and challenging all space and time, Janeway seems petty. And she manages to make the Borg seem petty too. It's family versus family. Janeway's family on Voyager which has come to a fractured old age in the future and the Borg Queen's collapsing collective family. Both believe Seven of Nine is part of their family. And more than anything this episode seems to come down to Seven of Nine again. She dies. Her death devastates Chakotay. Her death is the unique thing that causes Janeway to go back. The other 22 crew members are nameless and Janeway has already lost quite a few people before this. But by choosing to develop the actual Chakotay/Seven romance only at this late date, the entire notion that Chakotay was so devastated by her loss that he pined away for longing is simply implausible. And fans who follow the inside news will note Beltran's attacks against the producers and that actors the producers don't like often meet unfortunate ends.
But then if the producers had decided to kill off the character they might have gotten some mileage from it by killing him off during the attempt to return to Earth. As it is there is little carnage and little real trial and risk. Future Janeway may die but that is to be expected. But to the crew, it is an episode that seems to carry less danger and risk than episodes like Dark Frontier or Year of Hell. You would think that the process of returning to Earth would be epic, but instead it seems very ordinary. It doesn't even compare to Borg Voyager episodes like Scorpion or Unimatrix Zero. Eliminate the time travel and return-to-Earth element and you simply have a fairly conventional Voyager two-parter. The Borg Queen even falls for a variation of the same trick Janeway used on her in Unimatrix Zero. The collective must have a really poor memory to keep making the same mistake over and over again.
So what we have in Endgame is the fusion of a strong future episode, a strong view of Voyager 5 minutes from now and their clumsy combination in a weak and hackeneyd plot that results in them getting home. But this is only fitting for a show that has suffered from poor plots and rushed resolutions throughout its run. Endgame has many of the same successes and failures as Voyager in general has had. With Endgame it attempts to produce a linear resolution and a character arc wrap-up and while it does a better job of this than the muddled DS9 series finale, it suffers from many of the same flaws. Confrontation for confrontation's sake, implausible actions and behaviors and a finale that feels rushed to complete an artificial schedule that wasn't properly planned for. But it also has gems that DS9's finale lacks and those gems, those character moments, are what link Voyager's past and present.
Warner Bros. Home Video will release a Superfriends DVD on Apr 22, 2003. It will contain five episodes from the Challenge of the Superfriends series (1978-1979) including: Wanted The Superfriends, Invasion of the Fearians, The World's Deadliest Game, The Time Trap and Trial of the Superfriends. I personally am looking forward to this release and just hope its better than the shitty DVD that Warner's made of the Justice League. I dont want to see any crappy aliasing on the picture at all! Still, given the age of the series (1979), I am not holding my breath, as it could very well be even worse.
Superhero Hype reports that Warners has purchased both BatmanTheFrightening.com and BatmanTheFrightening.net domain names, whilst an apparent review of the script has appeared online: "The fact that things are happening in his [Bruce Wayne's] head at the same time the story is actually taking place is done very well, and i really enjoyed the scenes when he is locked in Arkham and sees The Joker again.... it gave a good insight into Bruce's emotions as well when he thinks he has failed, and I love when he knows he is dying so he goes after The Scarecrow in more of a suicide mission. I liked the batsuit, and how it was almost a character in itself, and the Batmobile had a decent chase scene. I liked the quick little intro of Barbara Gordon. It fits Nolan's directing style like a black winged, leather glove".
James Marsters (Spike on TV's "Buffy") is being rumoured for the role of a young Grand Moff Tarkin (played by Peter Cushing in the 1977 original).
After seven years, the series will be over at the end of this season, said its star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. "'Buffy,' in this incarnation, is over," Gellar told Entertainment Weekly magazine for its March 7 issue, her eyes welling with tears. The series will wrap up with a five-part story, which will include the return of Faith, the bad-girl slayer, and Buffy's first love, Angel.
UPN look set to do a "Willow" series for the 2004 TV season. Alyson Hannigan is apparently attached to play the character again. The studio decided to look into the idea, once the "Faith" spin-off idea bit the dust. It won't be happening instantly but he's told by the Fall they'll be rolling on something.
Many fans were hoping that the DVD of the latest Trek film would have edited some 45 minutes of deleted scenes back into the movie. According to Star Trek's Official site, that isn't going to be the case.
NW Magazine reports that actress Reese Witherspoon is the lead candidate to takeover a role made famous by Marilyn Monroe. Witherspoon would play one of two lounge singers on a Trans-Atlantic cruise in a remake of the classic 1953 comedy "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" whilst names like Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts are all being tested for the two roles. Whether the famous "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" number performed again is not sure.
ITV reports that the film will go ahead with not only "a stunning soundtrack provided by the series' original composer - Joseph Lo Duca" but a special Xena and Gabriel relationship theme song called "When I Look at You" by Mariah Carey.
Zentertainment reports that Lara Flynn Boyle is the frontrunner to play Lois Lane in Brett Ratner's "Superman" movie - "As it stands right now, Boyle is the strongest candidate to get the part" says their contact who is ahead of the likes of Lucy Liu, Catherine Zeta Jones, Julianna Margulies and Cameron Diaz for the part. Also Ratner considered but has turned down the idea of Gene Hackman returning to play Lex Luthor: "While he respects Hackman as an actor, he feels that the film needs some fresh blood in order to rejuvenate the long dead franchise. Another idea was to go with an unknown. Ratner liked this as well but he did not want to face the same backlash George Lucas faced when he cast Hayden Christensen as the future Darth Vader in Attack of the Clones last year".
ToonZone caught up with Bruce Timm to discuss the second season of "Justice League" which is scheduled to debut in the U.S. some time in October 2003. Here's an excerpt from the interview - a lot of rumors have been spreading around the internet about potential storylines. With only little bits of information revealed about the second season so far, only assumptions can be made. But some facts have been revealed. Expect visits from Batman's supporting cast, as well as Superman's. "I'm not about to give anything away, especially if, in fact, we don't start airing until October," said Timm. " But here's a few things to look forward to; more character development, more secret identities, more continuity with our previous series - including the return of some of their supporting cast members, surprising villains - old and new, bigger, better, more intense action sequences, noticeably dramatic, slightly "edgier" storylines, crisp, cliche-free dialogue, even a construct or two. All in all, well worth waiting for, believe me."
First of all, before I start, I just have to say I am shocked and amazed that there are now ten movies in the Friday The 13th movie series. Who would have imagined that there would be so many? Its truly mind boggling and it seems there is no end in sight as a new Freddy Vs Jason movie is in the works right now! Anyways, with that out of the way, onto the review...
The film begins with composer Harry Manfredini's memorable ki-ki-ki ha-ha-ha-ing as the camera is taken inside the body of Jason Voorhees. It is learned that Jason has been captured and is now being studied at Crystal Lake's Research Facility by a team of researchers, of which include the pretty Rowan (Lexa Doig) and the sinister Dr. Wimmer (the legendary David Cronenberg). Rowan wants to freeze Jason once and for all (since it has been discovered he cannot be physically killed), but of course, greed subsides reason and Dr. Wimmer chooses to keep him alive to study. Jason of course, resumes his killing, but Rowan manages to contain him, and herself, in a cryogenic freezer where the two remain for over 400 years.
They are discovered by an excavation team of students well into the future, when Earth has become a wasteland and the hockey mask is a historical artifact. The team brings both Jason and Rowan onto the ship, and they begin to thaw. To the sensual sounds of sex, Jason is revitalized, and within seconds of consciousness he disposes of a beautiful young lady. The crew, including Rowan, learn of Jason's new life, and quickly send a military team to dispatch of him. Within minutes the entire team has been literally "screwed" by Jason, and he then heads for the beautiful young ladies.
One of the ladies is a cyborg (with detachable nipples no less!) and she takes it to Jason before he can cause anymore damage. He is literally blown to pieces, but that has never stopped him before, and thanks to a reconstruction chamber, he becomes encased in metal under the pseudonym "Uber-Jason". The ship meanwhile encounters problems when Jason menacingly disposes of the pilot, thus crashing the ship into a space bay. Because of this calamity, the crew must blow up part of the ship. They do, sending machete man into space, but he again returns to finish what he's started.
Jason X was finished right around when Mike Deluca, head of production at New Line, was fired, and the film was thus shelved for around a year and a half. After this shelving, the wait for this sequel became almost mind numbing, and when the film finally came out, the hype among fans had been so high, that this film could hardly have lived up to expectations. No Friday film could have lived up to the expectations the fans had coming into this movie. Now that all the hype has subsided, what remains is a decent entry into the series that has ended up much better than its synopsis would have one believe.
The movie tries to take the film in a new direction by blending the Friday the 13th formula with that of the Alien series, adding sci-fi and action to the particular slasher formula. What results is a film with a much more satisfying middle portion than many of the other Friday films, where the character exposition is ultimately replaced with sci-fi imagery and action sequences. The pace of this film is sustained admirably, and however slight the film may be, it ends up a quick and enjoyable 93 minutes.
Given that the series has been parodied countless times with the likes of Scream and Scary Movie, this film has its tongue placed firmly in cheek throughout. This is easily the film with the most humor, and this change may either please or distress fans of the series. There are some commendably cheesy dialogue here, some funny some not, but this change in direction works slightly better than the steps taken in Jason Goes To Hell. Jason X is also enjoyably post-modern in many scenes, which amount to perhaps the best moments of the film. Near the end of the film Jason is thrust back into Crystal Lake 1980 and he disposes of the virtual reality teenagers in a manner that honors the famous death in The New Blood. It is a great scene because it uses the technology of the future to evoke nostalgia for the past, a past when Jason was actually in good films.
This is the first major studio film to be rendered entirely in digital, and coupled with the imaginative set design this film easily has the highest production values of the series. This however, is both a blessing and a burden. The films of the past were effective because they were largely amateur. The Friday the 13th films have become camp classics over the years, and this film will ultimately never blend in with the Friday paradigm. This remains a film distanced from the series, one that kind of stands alone. The kills are there, Jason is there, but Crystal Lake is not, and this ends up more like Aliens than like Friday the 13th.
Sean S. Cunningham has always been saying how the series has run out of ideas and that they need to take it in new directions. My answer to this is why? The exact same formula did wonders at the box office for the first four films, and ever since the plot incorporated other gimmicks, the interest began to wane. All the producers seem to be so concerned with the gimmick of the film that they have forgotten what puts the people in the seats. Naïve campers, sin, and one angry drowning victim are all that this series needs. Jason X marginally works, but is ultimately a spaced-out disappointment that will leave Friday films ambivalent.
As mentioned previously, this is the first major studio film converted entirely onto the digital medium, and as a result, this 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen print looks flawless. The print looks unbelievably sharp, the colors undeniably beautiful, and the depth of the frame so pronounced, that one will have a hard time believing this is actually a Friday the 13th film. Even though this was produced on a meager budget, the finished product is ultimately a sight to behold, proving that the digital process is clearly the next step in filmmaking. You know New Line has done the film right when a Jason movies looks better than most other major studio product being released on DVD these days.
Presented in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Surround, this, like Jason Goes To Hell, is a stellar audio presentation. Again, the DTS has more punch than the Digital track, but both still sound extremely clear and pronounced. There are plenty of explosions and gunfire in this film, and they are rendered nicely through the surrounds, giving the track depth to match the visuals. The audio, be it the soundtrack or the dialogue, sounds perfectly clear (as all new studio films should) and will please those looking to work out their home theaters. There could have been more discrete surround effects, but this is still a stellar track by the fine folks at New Line.
This is easily the most packed Friday the 13th film on DVD, and fans of the film should eat up this stuff. First up is the feature-length commentary with Director Jim Issac, Writer Todd Farmer, and Producer Noel Cunningham. All three have a good time poking fun at each other and the film, while at the same time revealing several behind-the-scenes anecdotes. They talk about how they dealt with the various MPAA cuts, how the film faced many bootlegging problems and how they wanted to mix up the genres when dealing with Jason X. It is a good commentary, but not quite up to the level of entertainment as the one featured on Jason Goes To Hell.
Next up are two featurettes, "The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees" and "By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Jason X". The former runs nearly 30 minutes and contains interviews with many critics and historians like Joe Bob Briggs, as well as the director of the original film, Sean S. Cunningham, Jason Goes To Hell director Adam Marcus and Jason stalwart Kane Hodder. They talk about how the series has impacted the film industry and society, and how none of them were really prepared for the success of the original. They dissect the conventions of the film and even bring up Freddy vs. Jason (poor Kane sounded so excited). It is a good look into the first few films, although the exclusion of content from the original films does hamper the documentary. Overall though, for fans craving a window into the previous films this is a solid piece of entertainment.
The "Making of" documentary runs a little over 17 minutes, and looks at the film's groundbreaking digital film process, as well as the numerous special effects incorporated into the film. Participants here also talk about how Uber-Jason was created, how continuity is such a laboring process, and how happy they were to work with Davey Cronenberg. It isn't quite as interesting as the other documentary, but still a fun little feature.
Like Jason Goes To Hell, this disc also includes the original theatrical trailer ("Let the bodies hit the floor!"), a "Jump to a Death" option and some great animated menus. Also included on this disc are trailers for other New Line shockers like Blade II, A Nightmare On Elm Street and Final Destination.
Last off, there is actually some DVD-Rom content, with the entire original screenplay included on the disc with access to corresponding scenes in the film. There is also the film's original website, a link to New Line's "Hot Spot" portal and a neat-o custom interface.
Jason X is a film that ultimately seems distant from the others in the series. It blends horror with sci-fi, action and comedy, and ends up as a decent hybrid of genres, rather than a complete debacle like Leprechaun in Space. The added resolution of the digital transfer and the DTS track make this easily the best-looking and sounding Jason film yet. This disc has even more supplements than Jason Goes To Hell and will please fans left dry with Paramount's DVDs. While the film isn't entirely recommendable, the DVD certainly is, especially for Friday the 13th fans.