Is it horror? Is it sci-fi? Who cares? It's Whedon.
The Cabin in the Woods
In Theaters Friday
To be honest, I don’t have a clue what The Cabin in the Woods is about, or even whether it could be considered science fiction at all. Some of the shots in the trailers definitely seem to hint at SF realities underpinning the classic horror premise, but those could be interpreted in different ways. I’m content with my ignorance, because I want to go into Cabin in the Woods as unspoiled as possible, and quite frankly even the tiny amount I know is too much for my liking. Either way, I am massively excited for this flick for a couple of reasons: 1) a trusted friend who saw an early screening has come away describing it in terms bordering on the evangelical, and 2) it’s a collaboration between geek icon Joss Whedon and TV/comics scribe Drew Goddard. And it doesn’t hurt that the early reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Steer clear of spoilers, stay away from Facebook and Twitter, and go into the theater ready for anything. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a group of friends gather at a remote, spooky cabin in the woods. What happens next…we’ll just have to see.
“Angels of Vengeance” by John Birmingham
Concluding the series begun in Without Warning and After America, Birmingham’s latest is set in an alternate world where North America was struck by a wave of mysterious energy. In the aftermath, the world is in chaos, with borders shifting or falling and wars breaking out in all corners. Angels of Vengeance tracks the stories of three women trying to make their way amidst the tumult.
The Darkest Hour (Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand)
Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov produced this alien-invasion flick set in Russia. Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and Olivia Thirlby (The Wackness) try to survive attacks by invisible energy beings. Might be worth a rental, but the reviews were not kind.
“Immobility” by Brian Evenson
I honestly can’t sum this one up any better than the official product description:
When you open your eyes things already seem to be happening without you. You don’t know who you are and you don’t remember where you’ve been. You know the world has changed, that a catastrophe has destroyed what used to exist before, but you can’t remember exactly what did exist before. And you’re paralyzed from the waist down apparently, but you don’t remember that either.
A man claiming to be your friend tells you your services are required. Something crucial has been stolen, but what he tells you about it doesn’t quite add up. You’ve got to get it back or something bad is going to happen. And you’ve got to get it back fast, so they can freeze you again before your own time runs out.
Before you know it, you’re being carried through a ruined landscape on the backs of two men in hazard suits who don’t seem anything like you at all, heading toward something you don’t understand that may well end up being the death of you.
Welcome to the life of Josef Horkai…
Logan’s Run: The Complete Series (DVD)
Another relic long relegated to bootlegger tables at cons finally gets an official DVD release. The short-lived spinoff series aired from 1977 – 1978 and followed Logan (Gregory Harrison) and Jessica (Heather Menzies) on a trek across post-apocalyptic America in search of Sanctuary. Many noteworthy writers contributed to the series, including William F. Nolan, D.C. Fontana, David Gerrold, and Harlan Ellison.
“Lost Everything” by Brian Francis Slattery
With a title like that, you might expect a light-hearted and cheerful affair, and you certainly won’t be disappointed by Slattery’s post-apocalyptic road trip. Set in that most popular of eras, the “not-too-distant future,” Lost Everything follows a man on a boat trip up the Susquehanna River, in hopes of reuniting with his son. Unfortunately, he’s got an army and the demons of his own past hot on his heels.
“A Song Called Youth” by John Shirley
This omnibus volume collects revised versions of all three of Shirley’s classic cyberpunk novels, Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra, and Eclipse Corona.
“Starters” by Lissa Price
Starters is set in a future where everyone but the very old and the very young has been wiped out, and now the elderly “rent out” the bodies of the youngsters in order to enjoy the halcyon days when their hips didn’t hurt and they could maintain an erection. Unfortunately for protagonist Callie, the latest to rent out her body plans to use it to commit murder.
A Trip to the Moon Restored (Blu-ray)
George Melies’ iconic masterpiece has been digitally restored and is accompanied by a new original soundtrack. The set also includes a new documentary examining the film’s long history and what was involved in its restoration.
Nova (PBS, 10/9c) — “Deadliest Tornadoes”
This one seems mighty timely here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. Last week we had a total of 14 tornadoes touch down in the same afternoon. That would be impressive even without footage like this.
Awake (NBC, 10/9c) — “Ricky’s Tacos”
A tip leads Britten to a warehouse seemingly tied to a case he investigated before his reality-skewing car accident. Will Britten eat tacos in both universes? Tune in to find out!
Touch (Fox, 9/8c) — “Entanglement”
“Martin’s laptop is stolen on the day of an important evaluation for Jake, leading to the elder Bohm getting involved in a Salvadoran woman’s mission to avenge her family’s death. Meanwhile, Teller reaches out to his estranged daughter; a Saudi Arabian girl fights for her independence; and a Montreal doctor tries to connect with a stranger on a train.” Plus, whoever stole his laptop keeps posting rude Facebook statuses in Martin’s name.
Fringe (Fox, 9/8c) — “The Consultant”
Walter visits the other reality to help with a case that threatens both universes. Meanwhile, David Robert Jones sets his sights on a new target.
Lockout (In theaters)
This new SF thriller looks a lot like somebody remade Escape from New York and relocated the prison into outer space. Fortunately, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Guy Pearce looks to be having fun chewing the scenery as a wrongly convicted man offered clemency if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an orbiting penal colony. It’ll either suck or be a cheesy good time, and I’m hoping for the latter.
MythBusters (Discovery, 9/8c) — “Swinging Pirates”
Adam and Jamie test out a pirate-related movie myth, while the rest of the ‘busters built a turbo-charged go-kart. Personally, I hope they finally determine whether one’s timbers can, indeed, be shivered, and if so, to what degree.