Monday, July 28, 2008

Battlestar Gallactica

This science fiction series produced by the SciFi Channel has got to be one of the most extraordinary series I have seen in a long while. I have to admit that I have not watched the series as it was originally shown, but I am catching up with the series by renting the DVDs through Netflix. The star of the show is Edward James Olmos, an actor who is able to portray strength and power with a very restrained manner. The series opens after a Cyborg rebellion on the plant of Caprica. Most of the human population is annihalated by nuclear weapons but there is still a large number of humans on various space ships, one of which is the Gallactica commanded by Commander Adama (Olmos). They manage to stay together through a series of "jumps" trying to evade the Cyborgs until they manage to shake them. The senior most government member, Colonial Secretary of Education, played by Mary McDonnell assumes the position of President and, together with Adama, begin the task of organizing the ships, inventoring supplies and personnel, and discuss finding a new home world. Complicating this is the fact that there are Cyborgs hidden among the crews. They have a number of models which look human.
I don't want to rehash the many twisting plot lines but I hope I can entice you to enjoy this series. I have been watching the episodes with my son and not one has gone by without an "OMG" or two. The twists and turns in this series make every episode exciting and leave me waiting for the next one to arrive.
I admit to being a big fan of all the Star Trek series and other scifi series such as Babylon 5 and Firefly but this show outshines other series like a nova. Rent the series at Blockbuster or another company, make up a bucket of popcorn, and strap yourself in for a ride!
My rating for this series: +++++

Friday, July 4, 2008

Charlie Bartlett (DVD, 2008)

Charlie (Anton Yelchin) is quite a character. He's rich, smart, bored, troubled, and imaginative. This is a classic recipe for disaster. When he is kicked out of yet another private school, his mother enrolls him in the local public high school. His first contact with the student body is on the school bus, sitting by a special needs student. It takes no time at all for him to attract the attention of the school bully, Murphey (Tyler Hilton), and Susan (Kat Dennings) who happens to be the daughter of the principal (Robert Downing Jr.). He uses the old saying, "If you can't beat them, join them" and goes into business with Murphey supplying advice and drugs to fellow students from his "office" in the boys' bathroom. What ensues is a real mixup for the school as well as the principal and Charlie's mother. Charlie has a gift of seeing into people and learns how to talk AND listen to them.
This was a fun movie with lots of new faces (new to me). Created for teens, this movie adresses many of the problems faced by many high schoolers. It would please me to learn that a teen watching might take a new view of his or her problems and gain a new perspective to help the difficult and painful high school years.
My rating for this movie: +++