January 26, 2008

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The 30th Annual Science Fiction Marathon

Featuring special shorts, fun activities, special refreshments, and a variety of sci-fi films. Admission at 7pm is $7, and drops to $4 after The Host.

Also featuring SPECIAL PRIZE GIVEAWAYS, including Star Wars DVDs autographed by Hayden Christensen, and a signed Jumper "onesheet" movie poster!

The marathon features five full length films and several short features.

7:00pm - Galaxy Quest
9:30pm - Sunshine
11:30pm - pizza break, SURPRISE sci-fi episode
12:00am - The Host
3:00am - Gattaca
5:00am - Starship Troopers

Rated PG
102 minutes

Galaxy Quest (1999)

January 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm in 26-100

For four years, the crew of the NSEA Protector donned their uniforms and set off on thrilling and often dangerous missions in space--then their series was canceled. Twenty years later, the five stars of the classic '70s TV series Galaxy Quest are still in costume, making appearances at science fiction conventions for their legions of die-hard fans. But some of those fans are a little more far out than the actors could ever have imagined.

A group of aliens who have mistaken intercepted television transmissions for "historical documents" arrive at a convention and whisk "Commander Peter Quincy Taggart" (Tim Allen) and his crew into space to help them in their all-too-real war against a deadly adversary. With no script, no director, and no clue about real interstellar travel, the make-believe crew of the Protector has to turn in the performances of their lives to become the heroes the aliens believe them to be. []

A cleverly written spoof-adventure that more than rises to the occasion. Not only are the jokes dead-on, but the story and characters actually work as a decent sci-fi movie, complete with superior special effects, a grisly villain and even romance.
      -- Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall. Read this review.

Rated R
107 minutes

Sunshine (2007)

January 26, 2008 at 9:30 pm in 26-100
REPLAY January 27, 2008 at 7:00 pm in 26-100

Danny Boyle has excelled in nearly every genre heís touched from the family film (Millions) to the zombie movie (28 Days Later) to the drug-fuelled drama (Trainspotting). With Sunshine, he brings his style and verve to the futuristic world of science fiction to great success. In a mere five decades in the future, the sun is dying, and Earth is running out of time. After the failure of a previous mission, itís up to the crew of the Icarus II to reignite the star with a stellar bomb. But the crew faces more than just the blistering heat of the sun and the freezing cold of space as they grapple with the limits of the human mind and heart.

As in Boyleís previous work, the visuals in Sunshine are stunning. Itís a beautifully shot film filled with contrasts, juxtaposing light and dark, sound and silence, and life and death. Sunshine resides in the respected realm of smart science fiction films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris. Alex Garlandís fine script never dwells on the specifics of the technology, but instead spends its time on the characters. For these roles, Boyle has assembled an excellent cast that includes Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeoh, and Cliff Curtis. Like the classic 2001, Sunshine's appeal extends beyond its genre. Though itís packed with special effects and heart-stopping action, itís an intelligent film that should be enjoyed by everyone who loves movies, not just those who like science fiction. [] fans will like it, and also brainiacs, and those who sometimes look at the sky and think, man, there's a lot going on up there, and we can't even define precisely what a soliton is.
      -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times. Read this review.

Rated R
119 minutes

The Host (Gwoemul) (2006)

January 27, 2008 at 12:00 am in 26-100
REPLAY January 27, 2008 at 10:00 pm in 26-100

The talk of the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival, The Host, the latest film from critically acclaimed visionary director Bong Joon-ho, has already garnered a substantial amount of international buzz. Utilizing state-of-the-art special effects courtesy of a creative partnership between Weta Workshop (King Kong, The Lord of the Rings) and The Orphanage (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Sin City), The Host is equal parts creature-feature thrill ride and poignant human drama.

Gang-du (Song Kang-ho) works at a food-stand on the banks of the Han River. Dozing on the job, he is awakened by his daughter, Hyun-seo ( Ko A-sung), who is angry with him for missing a teacher-parent meeting at school. As Gang-du walks out to the riverbank with a delivery, he notices that a large crowd of people has gathered, taking pictures and talking about something hanging from the Han River Bridge. The otherwise idyllic landscape turns suddenly to bedlam when a terrifying creature climbs up onto the riverbank and begins to crush and eat people. Gang-du and his daughter run for their lives but suddenly the thing grabs Hyun-seo and disappears back into the river. The government announces that the thing apparently is the Host of an unidentified virus. Having feared the worst, Gang-du receives a phone call from his daughter who is frightened, but very much alive. Gang-du makes plans to infiltrate the forbidden zone near the Han River to rescue his daughter from the clutches of the horrifying Host... []

The Host is a loopy, feverishly imaginative genre hybrid about the demons that haunt us from without and within.
      -- Manohla Dargis, New York Times. Read this review.

Rated PG-13
106 minutes

Gattaca (1997)

January 27, 2008 at 3:00 am in 26-100

In the 21st century, genetic engineering makes possible the creation of biologically superior human specimens ("valids"), who then grow to positions of power and prestige. Would-be astronaut Vincent (Ethan Hawke) born the old-fashioned way, can only hope for a janitorial position at the elite Gattaca Corporation--until he buys the blood, urine, and identity of a perfect but paralyzed athlete. But a murder in the company's ranks attracts the attention of a detective who threatens to sniff Vincent out. []

This stately, stunningly beautiful picture evokes a future in which present-day prejudices and neuroses have been taken to new, insidious scientifically rationalized heights.
      -- Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide. Read this review.

Rated R
129 minutes

Starship Troopers (1997)

January 27, 2008 at 5:00 am in 26-100

Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Robocop) mixes big budget bug bashing with twisted satire of old Hollywood movies in this adaptation of Robert Heinlein's classic sci-fi novel. It's the future, Earth is at war, and the kids are all going off to fight giant killer bugs on the remote planet of Klendathu. Casper Van Diem, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, and Patrick Muldoon play some of the blandly attractive young recruits who engage in soap-opera style love triangles as they toughen up and learn to fight (and die) like soldiers. Michael Ironside is their gung-ho, one-armed leader. The real stars though, are the superbly animated bugs. Packed to the rafters with jaw-dropping special effects and insane violence, the film managed to be a box office hit though it undoubtedly left some audiences confused at Verhoeven's slyly deadpan humor. By the time Neil Patrick Harris (TV's Doogie Howser) starts marching around in a Gestapo-style uniform, for example, it will be apparent this isn't Star Wars. What it is however, is a rousing experience for mature viewers in the properly ironic frame of mind. []

It is pure Verhoeven -- broad, brash and ultraviolent, and all up there on the screen.
      -- Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine. Read this review.

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