Actress Daryl Hannah has played a ton of roles over the course of her career, including Kill Bill’s one-eyed Elle Driver and Splash’s mermaid Madison. To me, however, she’ll always be Pris from Blade Runner. Part of that may be the fact that Blade Runner is one of the best movies of all time, but Hannah’s performance, which ranges from childlike innocence to calculated manipulation to acrobatic homicidal rage, is easily one of her most memorable. Hannah celebrates her 53rd birthday today. Let’s hope there are no Blade Runners on their way over to enforce her “retirement.”
The rest of the science fiction landscape is pretty bare today. There are a couple of noteworthy DVD releases, including one that isn’t technically science fiction, but which does have a bit of science fiction history at the center of its storyline. The Ben Affleck-directed Argo follows the real-life story of a CIA operation to rescue American embassy workers from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. The CIA’s solution was to enter the country in the guise of filmmakers scouting locations for an upcoming science fiction film, the Argo of the title. While the details aren’t included in the movie, the background of that fake science fiction movie is almost as interesting as the movie itself, involving comics legend Jack Kirby, Planet of the Apes makeup/effects wizard John Chambers, scientist/futurist Buckminster Fuller, and SF writers Roger Zelazny and Ray Bradbury. The new Argo: Declassified Extended Edition hits shelves today.
Today in Home Video
Argo: The Declassified Extended Edition (Blu-ray/DVD)
This new release is packed with bonus features. We’ve got the rundown below, courtesy of Blu-ray.com:
u>Brand New Special Features/u>
- Argo Declassified: Tony Mendez’s daring operation gets honored as part of the CIA’s 50th anniversary.
- Ben Affleck’s Balancing Act: Balancing humor, politics, Hollywood and international intrigue as only Affleck and his team could do.
- Argo F*ck Yourself: Ben Affleck leads an all-star review of Argo‘s classic line.
Additional Special Features
- Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account: Relive the takeover of the US Embassy in November of 1979 and the daring rescue mission in January of 1980 through the eyes of those that lived it.
- Feature length audio commentary with director Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio
- Rescued from Tehran: We Were There — President Jimmy Carter, Tony Mendez and the actual houseguests recount the real-life harrowing experience they endured.
- Argo: Absolute Authenticity — From characters to heart-stopping action, Ben Affleck’s eye and ear for hard-hitting realism and attention to exacting detail has become his signature as an A-list filmmaker.
- Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection — Director Ben Affleck and former CIA agent Tony Mendez give a firsthand view of the actual documents and cover story used to create the phony movie Argo that had all of Hollywood believing in.
- Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option – Escape from Iran commemorates the 25th anniversary of the “Canadian Caper,” taking us back to this startling affair through the direct testimony of the Americans who found sanctuary at the Canadian embassy in Tehran, and the Canadians who risked their own safety to shelter their closest neighbors.
- Argo Files:
- A Discussion with the Cast of Argo – Ben Affleck joins Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Clea Duvall and Rory Cochran for a live conversation about their experiences while making Argo.
- Tony Mendez on Tony Mendez – Former CIA agent Tony Mendez shares additional details and stories from the mission.
- The Istanbul Journey – Ben Affleck shows us why Istanbul was the ideal place to shoot Argo.
Collector’s Set Contents
- 64-Page In-Depth Book with Behind-the-Scenes Argo Photographs
- Argo: A Cosmic Conflagration Movie Poster Reproduction (14″ x 20″)
- Map of “Argo” Movie Locations (14″ x 20″)
- ID Card Prop Replica
In this triumphant 50th Anniversary year for Doctor Who, we complete our celebration of the extraordinary actors who have starred as the Doctor with this look at three exceptionally gifted performers, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith. The year 2005 was an historic year in the world of Doctor Who. After a 17-year hiatus broken up only by 1996’s one-off Doctor Who television movie, the series made a glorious return to television screens worldwide. The newly launched Doctor Who features impressive special effects, powerful stories, monsters new and newly conceived, and most important of all, a trio of engaging actors who each brought their own unique individuality to this iconic hero. Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat leads this exceptional review of each actor’s tenure as the Doctor followed by a thrilling 2-part story for each Doctor. Celebrate the glory that is Doctor Who with The Doctors Revisited.
Saturn 3 (Blu-ray/DVD)
Adam (Kirk Douglas) and Alex (Farrah Fawcett) are two scientists stationed deep beneath the barren surface of Saturn’s third moon, Titan. They live together in idyllic isolation in a space-age Eden, seeking new forms of food for an exhausted planet Earth. Their perfect world is interrupted when Benson (Harvey Keitel) arrives as Saturn goes into eclipse and cuts off communication with the rest of the solar system. Aided by his ‘helper robot’ Hector, James reduces life to one single purpose…survival. The robot becomes violently unmanageable. For Adam and Alex, their only hope is to flee, but the homicidal robot stands in their way. Produced and directed by legendary filmmaker Stanley Donen (Singin’ in the Rain, Charade and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), Saturn 3 is a pulse-pounding study in sci-fi suspense! Feel that pulse pound!
Today in Television
Black Mirror (DirecTV, 9/8c) — “Be Right Back”
Synopsis via IMDb:
Martha is devastated when her partner Ash is killed in a road accident on the day they move to a country cottage. At his funeral Martha’s friend Sarah tells her of a new service that allows people to communicate with their deceased loved ones by using all their online communications and contributions. Martha is appalled but decides to stay in the cottage despite her sister’s view that she is isolating herself. One day Martha gets a message from Ash and she realizes that Sarah has signed her up for the service. She is displeased but,on finding she is pregnant,relents and relishes their conversations.