Even though you guys will probably be busy with the Pacific Rim Blu-ray that came out today, there are a few things popping up online that just might make you want to Cross the Streams when you’re done with all those giant freakin’ robots. (But please don’t be done with this Giant Freakin’ Robot, as we have bills to pay and DVDs to buy.)
The Tomorrow People (Hulu Plus)
As the second revival of the 1970s children’s sci-fi series, The CW’s The Tomorrow People really needed to do something different to distinguish itself from its predecessors, as well as the “young beautiful people having out-of-this-world problems” that can easily describe every other series currently airing on the CW. Does it succeed? Well, it definitely doesn’t look or play different from similar genre shows, given its a group of people with special powers who are being chased by an evil organization, but that doesn’t make it inherently uninteresting. It’ll take some time for me to get used to Robbie Arnell as a lead character, but I do enjoy Mark Pellegrino as the ethically challenged bad guy in almost anything. Hulu will be hosting the entire series, so if you’ve got too much going on during Wednesday night primetime, you’ll never have to miss an episode.
The Fountain (Amazon Prime)
Visionary director Darren Aronofsky will be releasing the Biblical epic Noah next year, but I’d bet money that it’s nowhere near as polarizing to moviegoers than his 2006 era-spanning mindboggler. Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play star-crossed lovers across time and space, from the days of Mayan conquistadors to the future of space bubbles. It is at once challenging, beautiful, saddening, and uplifting. And also pretty boring if you’re not watching with an open mind. I’d explain to you guys what it all means, but I’m really not certain. Sure is purdy, though.
Contact (Amazon Prime)
Speaking of polarizing films, Robert Zemeckis’ brainy-but-empty adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact is one of those movies that is probably pretty excellent to anyone who isn’t an everyday fan of Sagan’s or this subject matter. But for many others, it’s a big and bloated mess that puts far too much “faith” into a science-based universe. I’m firmly in between both parties. I love watching Jodie Foster’s Eleanor and her quest for communication with alien intelligence, and I like how human politics impede her progress. But it could easily use a re-edit to chop off a half-hour or so. David Morse FTW though.
The Blue Planet (Hulu Plus)
Instead of wanting to go up into outer space to communicate with aliens, why not get yourself more familiar with the planet you live on, with this ocean-centric BBC-produced documentary series narrated by the venerable David Attenborough. Even if the later episodes get into subjects that we don’t really cover on this website, the beauty of “The Deep” and “Open Ocean” reveal a wealth of creatures that make movie E.T.s look like junk.
Unaware (Redbox Instant Streaming)
You knew the indie flicks were coming, right? Here is Sean Bardin and Robert Cooley’s 2010 found-footage thriller Unaware, in which a couple on vacation attempt to record some of the strange goings-on around a rural Texas ranch. It’s hard to find much positivity for this movie out there, other than the barrage of fringe festival accolades, and I’ve admittedly never watched it to form my own opinion. I feel like I’ve come out ahead.
Alien Opponent (Hulu Plus)
And now for a film that also doesn’t have many positive reviews out there, but undoubtedly works on an entirely different level from the previous film. This over-the-top B movie extraordinaire stars Roddy Piper as an ass-kicking priest and…well, you probably don’t even need to hear anything else about it, right? Well, there is a murderous alien who crash lands in a junk yard and terrorizes all the trashy people who come around. It ain’t They Live, but it’s got some great “Are you kidding me?” moments, as well as a bunch of other awesome/terrible moments that make this a must for large groups of schlock lovers.
And if you’re into “young beautiful superheroes having out-of-this-world problems,” the CW’s Arrow also hit Netflix this past week. Here’s hoping you guys have a fletching good time watching all this. See you next time!