TV Preview: Lost, Season Finale

>Wednesday’s the big night—the finale for the second season of ABC’s Lost! The promos for the finale are promising to answer many questions, which will be a relief. But I think it’s safe to say that the network isn’t planning on taking this show off the air any time soon, so I’m expecting an excruciating cliff-hanger that introduces a whole new set of questions which will hopefully be more intriguing than the current mysteries.

On the surface Lost is a castaway show about a group of people who are stranded on a tropical island after their plane crashes. But this is no ordinary island, there are strange creatures and people in the jungle, a series of hatches scattered on the island by the scientific organization the Hanso Foundation for their Dharma Initiative.

This show also has great character development. We see how everyone is different as they interact on the island, but also through flashbacks we learn what has happened to these people to make them the way they are.

This is a very unique method of story telling that really provides something for people with all kinds of tastes. If you like episodic drama, you get it in the flashbacks—they usually have a story that wraps up at the end of the episode. If you like science fiction, there are all kinds of strange things happening on the island that very much fall into the science fiction category. If you like continuing stories with great mysterious cliffhangers, this show has more than it’s fair share.

In last week’s episode, they had just buried Ana-Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) and Libby (Cynthia Watros) when a sailboat appeared off the shore and they appeared to have hopes that finally they might be rescued.

What happens now? There are still many questions that have yet to be answered. What happens if the button isn’t pushed when the timer runs out in the Swan Hatch? What are the others going to do if Michael (Harold Perrineau) is able to bring Jack (Matthew Fox), Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), and Hurley (Jorge Garcia) back with him? Does Sayid (Naveen Andrews) have a plan to protect the main five from the others?

And if all this isn’t enough, for everyone who loves gathering clues to unravel the mysteries of the island, there is the Lost Experience. This is an official effort by ABC and it is made up of a series of web sites and even a book that is all made to add depth to the experience and to provide clues about what is really going on.

The book is Bad Twin, by Gary Troup (who’s name is an anagram for purgatory). Some of the sites include,, and a few others. It’s really fun to see how much detail and back information is being put into this show.

I only hope that everyone remembers that it is just a show and we do have to get on with our own lives sometime.

One more thing. If you just can’t wait until the show airs tomorrow night, there appears to be a rather complete synopsis of the finale on Wikipedia. But be warned, if it is correct, there are significant spoilers for this episode. The link to the site is here. If you get spoiled, don’t come crying to me… ’cause I’ll be sitting here, weeping silently.

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Available on iTunes: Firefly

>Exciting news for all Browncoats out there in the ‘verse: the extremely well written, but doomed to an early cancellation TV show, Firefly, is now available for download on iTunes.

Why is this news so exciting? Because now it’s easier than ever to share this great show with those currently unfamiliar with it. After a brief run of 11 episodes in 2002, Fox television cancelled Firefly without really giving it much of a chance. Those who were familiar with it were excited when it became available on DVD and began sharing it with others. DVD sales were so good that Universal Studios gave creator Joss Whedon the “go ahead” to make the movie Serenity, which ran in theaters in the Fall of 2005 and is now on DVD.

There are many high hopes from the fan community that if the DVD sales continue at a strong pace, that there might be a studio willing to fund a sequel to Serenity, or even a network that might revive the television series. I would imagine that sales through iTunes will be another way the success of the show will be measured.

From the opening narration:

“Here’s how it is: Earth got used up, so we terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths, some rich and flush with new technologies, some not so much. Central Planets, them was formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I’m Malcolm Reynolds, captain of the Serenity. Got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher, and a bona fide companion. There’s a doctor, too, rescued his genius sister from some Alliance camp, so they’re keeping a low profile. You got a job, we can do it, don’t much care what it is.”

Firefly is a unique science fiction series because it combines many elements of the Wild West—not only in the visual design, but also in the dialogue. The stories and characters are cleverly written and are often very funny and quite quotable.

Wash: “Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. What’ll she do next?”

Zoe: “Either blow us all up or rub soup in our hair. It’s a toss-up.”

Wash: “I hope she does the soup thing. It’s always a hoot, and we don’t all die from it.”

One of my favorite aspects of the show is the documentary style of cinematography which has become rather common in shows like the new Battlestar Galactica, but at the time Firefly was made, it was something that I had never seen before on a Science Fiction show.

So, if you’ve never seen Firefly, download the pilot episode, also named Serenity—you won’t regret it. If you have seen it, gift an episode or two to a friend and let them experience it for themselves… you’ll then have a great show to quote when you’re hanging out (like, “I wanna go to the crappy planet where I’m a hero!” Wash, from Jaynestown) and another reason to gripe about how networks like Fox don’t know a good thing when it’s playing on their own airwaves.

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News: Star Wars Trilogy Original Theatrical Release on DVD

“Where did you dig up that old fossil?”

Lucasfilm has announced that on September 12th, 2006, for a limited time, the Original Star Wars Trilogy will be available on DVD in its pre Special Edition state.

From the announcement: “In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film. That means you’ll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.”

It’s exciting to think of being able to view the version of Star Wars that I fell in love with when I was 7 years old and seeing it in the theater, before the “Episode IV” subtitle had been added to the opening crawl.

I’d like to be able to think that it was my recent article about Star Wars that prompted this event, but I know that many fans over the years have anguished over the desire to own a DVD where Han shoots Greedo first.

Other things that I’m excited to see are the original songs in Jabba’s palace and in the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi, as well as the excising of the CGI Jabba from A New Hope.

From what it sounds like, though, is that in these packages you get the 2004 versions that include the Extra Special Editions that I already own. Who knows, though, maybe I’ll be able to find someone who wants to buy my current copies, cheap.

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TV Review: ABC’s Invasion – Revisited

Well, I’ve stuck with ABC’s Invasion all season and now I can say that it’s starting to be worth it. I think you can tell from my previous review that I had mixed emotions about it. And while I think they could have done a better, more engaging job at unraveling the mystery, what they’ve built it up to is starting to pay off.

The series started out last fall in the aftermath of a hurricane both on the show and in real-life, so it probably suffered a bit from people being cautious of a show about a fictional hurricane ravaged community.

The tone was very quickly changed, though, to a slow paced mystery about people who are getting pulled into the water by these yellow, glowing water creatures and get changed into what they’re calling hybrids—people who believe they are the same people they used to be, but who are essentially clones who share their previous DNA with the creature that replaced them. The mystery is in finding out who has been changed and whether they are still the people they used to be.

The main character on Invasion is Russell Varon, played by Eddie Cibrian (Third Watch), who has to deal with the world once he learns that creatures from the waters are replacing people, and that his ex-wife, Mariel, played by Kari Matchett (Earth: Final Conflict), has become a hybrid as well. To complicate matters, they have kids from their previous marriage who’s step father, Sheriff Tom Underlay, played by William Fichtner (Contact, Armageddon), has been a hybrid for a number of years and may have purposely exposed his wife to them and who might also be well aware of the intensions of these creatures and could be helping them along.

It’s becoming apparent that Sheriff Underlay has been confused about the nature of the transformation that he went under, and also the intensions of the creatures in the water. At first he was serene about the change was making efforts to keep in secret. But now that he sees how ruthless the hybrids are becoming, and sees that they are ultimately building up to a war with the humans, he’s teaming up with Russell in an effort to thwart their plan.

Even though newcomers have missed all of the build-up and mystery, now is definitely a good time to start watching this show. The previews for this week’s episode promises to give us a rather exciting and it’ll be interesting to see what they’re building up to in the season finale.

My one big concern is that the season finale is destined to be a cliffhanger. As of now it’s not known whether or not this show will be renewed for a second season. If Invasion is cancelled, we may never know how it ends! Bummer. Well, I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

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Movie Review: Red Eye

>I’m really not a big horror movie buff. Actually I think the last time I watched one was back in my high school days, but I have seen A Nightmare on Elm Street and I do know that Wes Craven has become as synonymous with horror films as Alfred Hitchcock was with mysteries and thrillers. So when I saw that Wes Craven had directed Red Eye, an airplane thriller that seemed like a departure from his regular style of slasher films, I was intrigued.

Red Eye is about a young woman named Lisa Reisert, played by Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Wedding Crashers), who is a hotel manager flying home to attend her grandmother’s funeral. In the airport she meets the charming Jackson Rippner, played by Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Cold Mountain), who we quickly learn has orchestrated their meeting in order to leverage some assistance from her in carrying forward his dastardly plot by threatening to have someone kill her father, played by Brian Cox (X-Men 2, The Bourne Identity) if she doesn’t comply.

What I really liked about this movie was how well it portrayed the main character, Lisa, getting wrapped up in a terrible, at times heart-wrenching situation and we the viewers get to ride along to witness how or if she’ll get out of it unscathed. I really enjoyed how the bulk of the movie took place in their seating compartment on the plane. At times it was very claustrophobic which added to the trapped feeling that Lisa must have been experiencing, and I thought it amplified the tension.

I did have one problem with the movie, though, and this might be a result of Wes Craven’s movie making style, but at times it seemed that Rachel McAdams, Cilian Murphy, and Brian Cox were the only actors who took the movie seriously. Everyone else seemed to know they were in a Wes Craven movie and were giving the typical B horror movie campy performances that at times I thought were a little distracting. Sometimes the feel of the movie changed so drastically, that it seemed like I was watching two different movies at the same time. The performances of the three main actors were so strong that I wouldn’t say the movie was ruined by the random campiness, I just thought that it could have been so much stronger if everyone was as strong.

Overall I’d say this is a good movie for adults. it has brief strong language and a little violence, but mostly it’s a tense thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. If you’re up for a fun ride, this just might be the ticket for you… just make sure that you’re not on a plane when you decide to give this movie a shot.

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