Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Century of Science Fiction - Hosted by Christopher Lee|
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Hosted by internationally acclaimed horror-meister Christopher Lee, this remarkable 5-DVD set features the very best of science fiction and fantasy from a century of cinematic magic, told in 26 haunting half-hour shows. T... more »
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Okay, But Not Great
Terry Sunday | El Paso, Texas United States | 10/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
""A Century of Science Fiction" is a nicely packaged set with five single-sided DVDs and a fold-out episode guide insert. The DVDs contain 26 individual episodes, each dealing with a separate topic of the history of science fiction cinema. Most of the episodes are theme-based, such as "Alien Life Forms," "Amazing Inventions," "Lost Worlds," "Powers of the Mind" and "The End of the World." Others have a narrower, more specific focus, such as the episodes on "H.G. Wells," "Jules Verne" and "Ray Harryhausen."
The blurb on the back of the DVD case touts that this is "the very best of science fiction and fantasy from a century of cinematic magic, told in 26 haunting half-hour shows." Well, yes and no. There's a little hyperbole in this breathless prose.
First, the shows are not a half hour long--each one is between 22 and 23 minutes, up to the closing credits. No big deal, that's still between 572 and 598 minutes, or nearly 10 hours, of "cinematic magic." It is, however, neither "over 666 minutes" as plastered on the front of the case, nor "approx. 676 minutes" as shown on the back. Even stranger, the label of each DVD says "running time approx. 203 minutes," which is 1,015 minutes total. This is so far off that it's ridiculous. How hard can it be for a DVD producer to figure out how long the feature is and print it consistently on the product?
Anyway, running time inaccuracies aside, the main thing you need to know if you're interested in this set is this: it consists largely of trailers. If you're looking for a thoughtful, insightful analysis of science fiction films that puts them into a historical context, or even relates them to each other within the genre, you won't find it here. The narrator does not do much more than verbalize the name of the film and maybe summarize a few plot points in conjunction with what the trailer shows. In fairness, there are some scenes that don't come from trailers, but not very many.
The other thing you need to know is that this is not exactly a "new" release. While the packaging shows a copyright date of 2006, the copyright date in the credits for each episode is 1998, so this is actually a re-packaged release of material that was first available eight years ago.
The image quality, of course, varies tremendously, but that's forgivable--it's a function of the age and storage conditions of the source material. Many old Technicolor films, for instance, without expensive professional restoration, are very red. Less forgivable is the fact that A LOT of the footage repeats from show-to-show. With 100 years of science fiction cinema to choose from, I would think the producers could find 572 minutes (or 666 minutes, or 676 or 1,015...) without having to repeat.
So, on balance, I rate "A Century of Science Fiction" with three stars. It was fun to see scenes (even trailers) from films that haven't seen the light of day in years, and there are plenty of them. The set has reasonably good production values, and it's pretty cheap. But, in my opinion, it could have been so much better."
Enjoyable review of sci-fi shows and movies
J. Winters | Oregon | 01/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very interesting, fun and a new way to view lots of movies/shows. My only complaint is that the same "clips" are used over and over in some parts...as if there weren't enough movies/shows to edit? Over all, I'd recommend for anyone who is a sci-fi addict."
I agree with everyone else...
Spike Redding | Albany, NY, USA | 02/28/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"...that this release is okay but not great. Yes, it's nice to see bits of films that I haven't watched in a long time, but, as others here have pointed out, a very limited number of clips are included across the breadth of the whole series. How many times do we have to see the trailer for "Predator"?!
This set is an almost complete waste in the respect that it's aimed neither at fans of SF nor those curious about BECOMING fans of SF. The fan will find virtually nothing new here, and the proto-fan will find nothing interesting or intriguing.
Chris Lee fans beware: Lee hosts but two of the 26 episodes in this set."
Century of Science Fiction
Fc Diantina | Pretoria, South Africa | 01/26/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Not what I was expecting.
Many famous movies, TV series and characters not included in this compilation