‘Border’ is not afraid to cross into bizarre territory

“Border” – Tina (Eva Melander) is a border agent, and to say, “She is effective at her job,” is an understatement!  Thousands of travelers pass by Tina and her coworkers, but she can sniff out those few troublemakers who attempt to smuggle alcohol, drugs and/or much worse.   Literally sniff them out.  She possesses an uncanny sense to pinpoint one’s “shame, guilt or rage” and, along with those emotions, specific items in which he or she is attached. Tina has an extraordinary gift, and she does not fit a standard profile…

10 Classic ’80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

#1 – “The Empire Strikes Back” – Darth Vader’s reveal – June 20, 1980 is a day that shook the world.  On this day, the much anticipated sequel to “Star Wars” (1977) hit the big screen, and in the film’s third act, Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) reveals that he is Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) father. What?? Absolutely no one saw this coming, and this seminal moment forever-altered fans perception of the series and its characters, and it became the fulcrum for every “Star Wars” film afterwards, except for…

10 Classic 80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’

#2 – “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ – Spock’s sacrifice – After the dull and obtuse Star Trek feature film debut “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979) reached the silver screen three years earlier, fans might have been skeptical walking into “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” in 1982.  Oh, one would be hard-pressed to find any disappointed faces.  This swashbuckling adventure peppered with Shakespeare is arguably the best of the series, and the dual between Kirk (William Shatner) and Khan (Ricardo Montalban) is nothing short of…

10 Classic ’80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘The Terminator’

#3 – “The Terminator” (1984) – “I’ll be back.” – If one is compiling any type of Top 10 List involving science fiction films from the 1980s, James Cameron’s seminal picture “The Terminator” has, has, has to be included on the list.  Have no fear, we are following the “rules”, and it just so happens that this is Cameron’s second feature on our Top 10, back-to-back actually. Well, time travel, cybernetic beings, gunplay, violence, and hair-raising chase scenes are all thrown together into a bastion of action-packed thrills, concepts and…

10 Classic ’80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘The Abyss’

#4 – “The Abyss” (1989) – Bud desperately attempts to revive Lindsey – Ed Harris seems to always bring an intensity to every role, whether he’s a mobster in “State of Grace” (1990) and “A History of Violence” (2005), an astronaut in “Apollo 13” (1995) or a legendary painter in “Pollock” (2000).  Intensity might as well be Bud Brigman’s middle name in James Cameron’s dramatic sci-fi masterwork “The Abyss”. In a scene that will trigger tears in the most hardened of hearts, Bud desperately tries to revive his wife Lindsey…

10 Classic ’80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘Blade Runner’

#5 – “Blade Runner” (1982) – Roy Batty’s “Tears in the Rain” speech – To some (including us), Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” felt five hours long, even though its runtime is less than two.  One hour and 57 minutes, actually.  It’s true! Still, there is absolutely no denying the movie’s impact on science fiction cinema that still can be felt 36 years later. Speaking of feeling, our #5 ’80s sci-fi moment comes from a replicant, an artificial being named Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer).  He knows that his “life” is ending…

10 Classic ’80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘RoboCop’

#6 – “RoboCop” (1987) – Clarence and his gang kill Murphy – Lathered with ultraviolence, wild special effects, outright terrific action set pieces, and some humor along the way, Paul Verhoeven’s “RoboCop” proudly holds up 31 years later and still towers over its sequels and one remake. One of the many reasons is the old adage that an action film is only as strong as its villain, and whoa, does this movie have its lion’s share!  A gang, in fact, led by Clarence Boddicker played by the grumpy dad in…

10 Classic ’80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘WarGames’

#7 – “WarGames” (1983) – Tic Tac Toe with Joshua – With PC sales starting to light up during the early 1980s, the nation’s fascination with computers began brightening as well.   Although “Return of the Jedi” (1983) was the big box office winner that year, “WarGames” became the surprise hit! A high school hacker, David (Matthew Broderick), believes that he hit the jackpot, when he easily finds his way into the U.S. Military.  The problem?  David accidentally ignites a supercomputer “named” Joshua who begins a countdown towards global thermal nuclear…

10 Classic ’80s Sci-fi Moments: ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’

“Twilight Zone: The Movie” (1983) – Rod Serling’s sci-fi television show “The Twilight Zone” burst with waves of ironic and sometimes sinister pomp and circumstance as well as ingenious writing for five magical seasons on CBS, so directors Joe Dante, John Landis, Steven Spielberg, and George Miller had enormous shoes to fill by taking this legendary program to the big screen.  Even though Warner Bros. made a healthy profit with 29 million dollars of box office receipts, critically, the film suffered with mixed reactions. The movie contained four episodes, and…

‘At Eternity’s Gate’ paints a memorable Van Gogh portrait

“At Eternity’s Gate” – “When facing a flat landscape, I see nothing but eternity.” – Vincent Van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) Director Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007) – the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s struggle with nearly-total paralysis – floats into a dream-like state, as the film delivers a sensitive portrayal of the man’s limited physical capabilities and deeply resonant firsthand experiences.  Bauby’s left eye was not paralyzed, as Schnabel attempts to capture the former “Elle” magazine editor’s rich viewpoint through this unique lens. The director takes a…