December 2005

Serenity Soars on DVD

by Alan Rapp on December 21, 2005

in Home Video

  • Title: Serenity
  • IMDB: link

serenity-dvdA TV show made into a movie; a movie made into a DVD.  Although a hit with a small and vocal fan base (and a fair amount critical support), Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western never found a home and was cancelled after only twelve episodes.  Whedon’s drive and the fans furvor wouldn’t allow the series to die and Universal Pictures stepped in to provide the opportunity to continue to explore these characters in a feature film now available on DVD.

In a year that brought us Episode III of the Star Wars saga, Speilberg’s re-interpretation of War of the Worlds, the clones of The Island the best movie of the genre by far is Joss Whedon‘s Serenity.  The well designed and lived in ‘verse of the television show is recreated and retold as a cinematic event that still stays true to the original tale while adding layers and depth to the original story.

[click to continue…]


by Alan Rapp on December 20, 2005

in Uncategorized

Stephen Lawhead has written one of the best King Arthur series in recent memory and the wonderful Song of Albion trilogy.  His latest historical novel examines the early life of the man who would grow up to be the Irish saint Patrick.

Patrick: Son of Ireland
3 Stars

I’ve been a fan of Stephen Lawhead since I read his Pendragon Trilogy (which has had three books added to it and is now referred to as the Pendragon Cycle) years ago.  Lawhead understands how to fit events into a specific time period and describe them in a way in which you are really there.  His latest Patrick examines the early life of a young Briton sold into slavery in Ireland who would eventually become the Irish saint Patrick.

Succat is a spoiled young noble who enjoys spending his father’s money, drinking, gambling and whoring with his three good friends at the local tavern, and avoiding any responsibility.  When the town is sacked by Irish raiders Succat is taken prisoner and sold overseas to an Irish King.  From noble man to slave, Succat is given the job shepherding the sheep.  For seven years he fights to survive.  Two unsuccessful escape attempt leave him bloodied and near death.  Only through the friendship of a Druid does Succat realize a chance to find his freedom by becoming a bard.

The book chronicles Succat’s tale through his time as a slave, his training by the druid priests and his eventual freedom and travel to Gaul and Rome and his own internal struggle and trying to find his place in the world.  His journey leads him through the life of a slave, a soldier, a trader, a husband and father, and a druid.  Lawhead’s main character is complex in his selfish needs, plotting, and deviousness and betrayal as a slave who wants nothing more than to escape to a home that no longer exists. 

As with Lawhead later works there are strong religious themes though the book is more accessible than his Celtic Crusades.  An interesting and winding tale that spans many years and locations all described in exacting detail by the author.


Lawhead’s ability to recreate the historic time period and specific locations is very much in evidence here as Succat’s travels take him around the known world.  Though not his best work, I would love to see him return to the more mythical books like the Song of Albion trilogy, it’s a good read for fans of historical novels and of Lawhead’s work.

A Look Ahead…

by Aaron on December 19, 2005

in Uncategorized

Once January 1st rolls around, the offical window for Oscar consideration is officially closed.  What’s that mean for you, the faithful audience member?  Well, traditionally it means that you can look forward to four months of crap, throwaway films, and the other miscellaneous niche stuff that the studios couldn’t find a place for, but maybe it’ll be different this time around.  Let’s take a look…


January 6th sees the release of Eli Roth’s (of Cabin Fever fame) film, Hostel.  The advance word is that this vacation-from-hell horror romp is chock full of blood, gore, torture, and nudity.  Fun!  The plot revolves around three backpackers who head to a Slovakian city in search of not-so-wholesome fun and instead find some pretty harsh horror.  Personally, I kinda hated Cabin Fever so I’m up in the air on this one. 

Also on the 6th is the latest droppings from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company, called Grandma’s Boy.  Starring Sandler film staple Allen Covert, this one is about an aging video game tester who lives with his grandmother and her two pals.  My cup overrunneth.

On the 13th Terrace Malick (Days of Heaven, Thin Red Line) delivers The New World, a more reality based retelling of the story of Pocahontas and her lover, John Smith, but told more from Smith’s perspective.  Starring Colin Farrell, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer, and more people who’s first name start with ‘C’, if nothing else this should prove to be a ridiculously well shot film.  Malick has what may well be one of the best eyes for cinematography in the business, but I may be one of four people who still think Thin Red Line was a brilliant look at war.  I’ve seen some extended footage from this already, and I’m ready to see more, but I’ll still admit this one could go either way.

The Weinstein Company lets loose Hoodwinked on the 13th as well.  They picked this up at the Cannes earlier in ‘05 (with great fanfare), but an early January release seems to indicate that perhaps it’s not going to be the Shrek killer they thought it was.  Some of us will be seeing this one later this week (as it’s being pimped for ‘Best Animated’ consideration), so I’ll let you know what we find out.

Having decided that between Hoosiers, Coach Carter, Blue Chips, He Got Game, and that episode of Scooby Doo with the Harlem Globetrotters that there’s still some basketball stories needing to be told, Buena Vista Pictures is putting out Glory Road, starring Josh “Don’t Call me Matt” Lucas as Texas Western coach Don Haskins, who led the first all black team to the NCAA tournaments in 1966.  I think collectively the basketball film should have ended with the excellent Hoosiers, but hey….what do I know.  I’m a football guy.

And lastly we have Last Holiday, starring Queen Latifah as a woman who decides that terminal illness is a good excuse for a wonderful vacation, in which many life lessons will be learned.  Latifah has charm to spare, but she’s often thrown it away on forgettable projects.  I’m none to excited about this one, myself.

We’ll finish up with the last two weeks of January releases next week, so check back.

Star Wars 3, It’s Free

by December Lambeth on December 19, 2005

in Contests 

Enter to win your very own copy of Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith.

At this point all other contests on Razorfine are over. I have one more winner to track down on the last contest, but the rest have been sent out.

This contest ends January 1st 2006. Contest winners will be contacted shortly after and prizes sent out.

To enter the contest please post comments below on your opinions on which is better, the first 3 Star Wars or the last 3 Star Wars.

Thanks and good luck!

Star Wars III Revenge Of The Sith
Custom Rating

Arrested Development to go Showtime?

by Aaron on December 15, 2005

in Uncategorized

Showtime has announced they’re in talks to pick up the now cancelled Arrested Development, but Imagine TV (who produces the series) has refused comment.  It’d be an interesting pickup for Showtime, though I’m curious if the pay cable channel can afford the production cost of the show.  HBO seems like it would be a better fit (and in my opinion more in line with HBO’s type of programming), but some sources say Home Box Office isn’t interested in anyone’s sloppy seconds.

Picking up A.D. might be a good move for Showtime, which has critical accolades but low viewership.  Then again, that’s exactly what killed A.D. in the first place.  I still hold that it’s the best show currently on television (well, until it’s last episode airs in the Spring), but I personally would much rather it wind up on FX or HBO.  My guess?  Showtime will eventually balk at the cost and we’ll be left with no more hilarity from the Bluth family.

Arrested Development