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Science Fiction Film Greats

Posted June. 04, 2003 22:40,   


Since The Matrix Reloaded was released in theaters on June 23, the Matrix on DVD, released three years ago, has been selling like hot cakes in every Internet shopping mall. In addition, The Animatrix, the nine short animation films, was also released around the world on June 3. The Wachowski brothers commissioned some of the best anime directors to contribute to this anthology, including Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll), Koji Morimoto (Robot Carnival), and Shinchiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop). The animation is related to the original film both directly and indirectly. It contains a philosophical message on the co-existence of humans and machines in dealing with the first Matrix film`s philosophy and history.

With the popularity of the Matrix, other Sci-fi film DVDs are selling very well. SF films are the most popular with an innovative imagination of future, sounds, and unique stories.

The Terminator DVD series is also enjoying popularity even before Terminator 3 is released in July. The series based on war between humans and futuristic cyborgs and time travel opened a new genre called `Tech-Noir` with killer cyborgs and non-stop action.

In the original and second Terminator DVDs, the explanations of Director James Cameron and other crew, interviews, and production process were recorded. In particular, the second Terminator also has a special version called The Ultimate Edition of which ending is different from the one on-screen. Moreover, the steel DVD case goes well with the image of The Terminator. At the end of this year when The Terminator 3 DVD will be released, it will fiercely compete with Matrix Reloaded on the market.

The Star Wars series, photographed with the latest computer graphics technology and HD cameras, was one of the most popular SF films at year`s end for the last two years. Following Episode 1 and 2, the third Star Wars episode that sums up all six series will be released in 2005. In an online survey by Amazon.com, the DVD movie that the viewers want to see most is always Star Wars 4, 5, and 6.

Director George Lucas plans to introduce Star Wars 4, 5, and 6 produced about 20 years ago after making the third one into DVD. This means viewers can have all series after several years. In Episode 1 and 2, released at home, there are additional scenes produced only for DVD versions and the explanations of digital characters and special effects by the director and crew.

Steven Spielberg also has a variety of SF films. The DVDs of the special 2002 version of E.T, A.I., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Minority Report are always great buys. In particular, the Jurassic Park series boasts stereo surround sound as if best suited for speakers in a home theater system. Spielberg`s DVD series does not have voice introductions but it is good to buy them because he provides the explanations of the filming process and special effects in detail.

The DVD version of Brazil will be introduced at home at the end of this month. The film, directed by Terry Gilliam, is one of the greatest SF movies set in the dark future. The DVD version contains Rob Hedden`s on-set documentary features the director, the key members of the cast and crew. However, a question arises why the title of the DVD is after the weird title of the video version, `Woman`s Conspiracy` in Korean. Gilliam`s unique visual effects can be seen in 12 Monkeys as well.

Among the most favorite SF DVD titles are Ridley Scott`s Blade Runner and Stanley Kubrick`s 2001 Space Odyssey. The latter, a 1968 SF classic, describes outer space and artificial intelligence in the most incredible way. `Blade Runner,` released on DVD three years ago, is often sold out in shops thanks to ongoing popularity.

The lure of SF movies is that they are comedic sometimes and action or animation other times. Fans are still crazy about such comic action as Back to the Future, Men in Black and Martian Invasion. Movies about super heroes like Bat Man, Spider Man, X-Men, Daredevil (due out in August) and Hulk (set in November) are also fun to watch. They are like SF fairy tales, in which good men always beat the villains.

Viewers can also compare originals with remakes. You can get both the original and the remake works of Time Machine, Solaris and Planet Apes. V, a hit TV series about an invasion of reptile aliens, is now available as a package and `X-Files` is also due out soon. SF animation such as Final Fantasy, Metropolis, Titan A.E are also best-selling titles.

For Korean fans enjoying watching SF DVDs, however, it is sorry that there are few Korean SF movies to watch. And good news is that Save the Earth, the latest Korean comic SF, will be out this coming July with a lot more to see.

Kim Jong-rae, President of PaPa DVD