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Sci-Fi Savant Paperback – October 11, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Glenn Erickson is one of the most respected online film critics and the winner of the coveted Rondo award for his reviews under the alias DVD Savant. Glenn has been sought out as a commentator for DVDs and as a film noir specialist. He's also a rare film critic with inside Hollywood experience, having worked in editing, special effects and film restoration. SCI FI SAVANT's collection of review-essays examines the Classic Era of science fiction filmmaking.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Point Blank (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434433102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434433107
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By mwb on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been a regular reader of Glenn Erickson's "DVD Savant" column for ten years now. He's an astute film historian with an authoritative yet personable style, a relaxed and unforced sense of humor, and a way of making you think about -- not just react to -- movies and move-making in new ways.

His new book collects his thoughts on 116 science fiction movies. It presents an entertaining thumbnail history of the genre in chronological order, covering decades of science fiction milestones (e.g., "Things to Come," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "Forbidden Planet," "2001: A Space Odyssey"), not to mention some worthy millstones (rubber-monster and exploitation fare such as "Gorgo," "Attack of the Crab Monsters," "The Brain from Planet Arous," and "Teenage Caveman"). He gives fresh perspectives to big-deal classics that have been written about to death over the years. His scope ranges beyond Hollywood and British titles to also provide perhaps our first exposure to films such as Abel Gance's "delirious misfire" of 1930, the apocalyptic epic "La fin du monde" (The End of the World); the startlingly sophisticated and almost wholly undocumented early Soviet moon adventure "Kosmitcheskiy reys" (Cosmic Journey); the East German/Polish "Der Schweigende Stern" (First Spaceship on Venus); and the extraordinary Czech space odyssey "Ikarie XB 1."

Erickson also pokes around under a film's hood to see what sociological and ideological contexts, what themes and anxieties might be humming under the surface: anti-Communism, anti-Capitalism, religious revivalism, xenophobia, social paranoia.... Not surprisingly, the often boldly message-making films of the Atomic Age/Cold War 1950s receive hefty attention.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dave from Central CT on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An endlessly fascinating look at science fiction films from wonderful film expert and author Glenn Erickson (aka DVD Savant). Glenn not only covers the story behind the films, his critical appraisals are both entertaining and thoughtful--and his gives a welcome critique of the most recent DVD or Blu-ray release of the films. Both film and sci-fi buffs won't be able to put it down.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth R. Von Gunden on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've long read Glenn Erickson's "DVD Savant" column at Dvdtalk.Com His reviews are well thought out and even better written. Glenn's deep love of science fiction movies shows in the completeness and fairness of his reviews of these classic films. I am myself the author of five books on film and it pains me to say that Glenn is probably a better writer. You may not always agree with his every point, but he puts solid reasoning behind each opinion.

A must buy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great guide to the Sci Fi Classics! Not simply a compendium of Fanboy articles, these are well written and thought out overviews of most, if not all the best Sci Fi cinema has to offer. Even for a life time fan who has seen, and collected most of the over 300 films discussed, I have found this a great overview filled with insightful and enjoyable articles. Many include the authors own memories of first seeing said film and its impact on his youthful psyche. Even if I do not agree with the evaluations put on some of these films, the write ups still make enjoyable reading. One might have wished for more photographs or illustrations. But the book is so full of info that more art would have made this already respectable tome into a real monster. I cannot in good conscience detract stars from such an enjoyable read.
An added plus is the general format of the book. Each film / article is tagged with its poster art, and then given roughly a page of text. This is just enough for a casual reader to discover films they have never seen or have forgotten about.They can also use the art to quickly browse the contents looking for THAT film, or discovering some previously unknown treasure. Either way, this is a great way to skim through Sci Fi film history. Way to go, Glen.
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