DVD & Video File (Starburst Reviews) DVD File and VideoFile by Ian Atkins
From Starburst's monthly Reviews section
selected from Starburst #266

Selected this month:
The Astronaut's Wife and The Sixth Sense on VHS, plus another superb Bond DVD, You Only Live Twice

In every issue of Starburst – a major Reviews section of the latest sci-fi and fantasy media, including:

A TV View on the latest Sci-Fi, Mystery And Fantasy shows from the US: Alan Jones' comprehensive Movie Reviews; our popular Bookshelf section on the latest Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels and writers, new Soundtracks releases; games and websites in Cybertech; and John Brosnan's It's Only A Movie column

  • Alan Jones' movie reviews in this issue:
  • Dinosaur • Hollow Man • What Lies Beneath
  • Scary Movie • Space Cowboys

Home entertainment releases reviewed in Starburst's Videofile and DVD File, every month – with a score of videos and DVDs to rent or buy!

Go to Bookshelf review section here

The Astronaut's Wife
25th September • Cert 18 • PAL VHS
Entertainment in Video

The Astronaut's Wife - order it from BlackStar

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I Don't Want a Mutant Baby

Starring:
Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron

Following a disaster during a routine shuttle mission, two astronauts return to Earth with two minutes unaccounted for. Initially, Jillian (Charlize Theron) is unconcerned, happy simply to have husband Spencer (Johnny Depp) back safe. But when Spencer's colleague mysteriously dies and his widow commits suicide, Jillian begins to wonder what happened up in orbit...

Described as a 'Rosemary's Baby in Space' [and also reminiscent of The Quatermass Experiment - Ed], this is an intriguing film, unremittingly tense almost from the start, and leading to a surprising finale. It feels like an extended Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode at times, and the only real disappointment is a reliance on that conspiracy-film favourite: the madman nobody believes who explains everything before dying horribly.

While Depp feels too young for the experienced astronaut he's cast as, Theron is perfect with her Mia Farrow haircut as someone terrified of what she's discovering. It's a shame they quickly resolve whether Jillian is going mad or if there are some alien goings-on, as it's far more interesting when you're not sure. Director and writer Rand Ravich does a superb job, keeping the film claustrophobic through virtually no external scenes and Space sequences which happen mostly off-camera, concentrating instead on Theron's strong performance and Jillian's eventual discovery.

Starburst rating: 8

You Only Live Twice
DVD R2 • MGM Home Entertainment
Screen format 2.35:1 • Out September 25

Yoy Only Live Twice on DVD - order from BlackStar today!

Order it from Black Star today!

The Movie

With American and Russian spacecraft mysteriously disappearing in orbit causing tension between the superpowers, can James Bond recover from his unfortunate early demise whilst on the job and save the day? Well yes, all right, that's a rhetorical question.

With its scarred, bald villain, volcano-base finale and bizarre pre-title sequence, this has to be one of the most famous Bond films: it's been pastiched by The Simpsons (You Only Move Twice), Robbie Williams lifted its theme for a big hit with 'Millennium', and let's be honest, without it Mike Myers would still be trying to get Wayne's World III off the ground: Donald Pleasance's Blofeld is not only Dr Evil's father figure, but also one of the most memorable screen villains ever.

It should also be said that the film is a dry-run for The Spy Who Loved Me with its hardware-stealing central gizmo and machine-gun finale. The last great Connery Bond film, this would be a must-have purchase even without its Extras.

Starburst rating: 10

The Extras

The slick extra-features front-end provides access to a number of items: Inside You Only Live Twice is the usual involving, Patrick MacNee-narrated documentary about the background to filming: most intriguing are the number of near-death escapes during production for various cast and crew. Silhouettes: The James Bond Titles discusses the work of Maurice Binder in shaping the look of the Bond films. There are also film, TV and radio trailers, the storyboards of a sequence not used as was planned (The Plane Crash), and a superb commentary: as with the previous releases, it's a very well chosen compilation of the words of a large number of cast and crew: normally something this informative would only be found in a bookshop…

Starburst rating: 10

The Sixth Sense
25th September • Cert 15 • PAL VHS • Buena Vista

Sixth Sense

Order it from Black Star today - get a free poster!

Who You Gonna Call?

Starring:
Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment

A welcome sell-through release for the surprise (though deserved) mega-hit from last year. If you've not already heard about the twist then you're probably living in a cave somewhere, but if you can still avoid it, then do so until watching this release.

Willis is a child psychologist still troubled by a past failure, an obsession which is ruining his marriage bu> avoid it, then do so until watching this release.

Willis is a child psychologist still troubled by a past failure, an obsession which is ruining his marriage but which he has a chance to redeem when meeting a boy who claims he can see ghosts. It's a subtle work, made up of hints and whispers rather than guts and garters, with Willis on form and young Haley Joel Osment probably the acting discovery of 1999.

Starburst rating: 10

Reviews © Visual Imagination 2000. Not for reproduction