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Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers (DVD)
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|Genre||Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure|
|Format||Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Multiple Formats|
|Contributor||Myriam Sirois, Jennie Rebecca Hogan, Ron McLeod, Douglas Netter, Michael Vejar, Andreas Katsulas, Dylan Neal, Alex Zahara, Dean Marshall, Warren T. Takeuchi, David Storch, Mackenzie Gray, Enid-Raye Adams, J. Michael Straczynski, Gus Lynch See more|
|Number Of Discs||1|
Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers (DVD) The Rangers, an order of warrior-priests, have wandered the darkness between the stars for over a thousand years, protecting a hundred worlds from invasion and destruction. But now a new alien threat appears on the event horizon of the Interstellar Alliance, a force more ancient and powerful than anything previously encountered. The only obstacle in the way of this new race: a single, broken-down Ranger ship, under the command of David Martel (Dylan Neal), whose sole orders were to escort Ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) to an interstellar conference. Alone, barely armed, they must defeat an enemy unlike anything they have seen before.
Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers (DVD)
The Rangers, an order of warrior-priests, have wandered the darkness between the stars for over a thousand years, protecting a hundred worlds from invasion and destruction. But now a new alien threat appears on the event horizon of the Interstellar Alliance, a force more ancient and powerful than anything previously encountered. The only obstacle in the way of this new race: a single, broken-down Ranger ship, under the command of David Martel (Dylan Neal), whose sole orders were to escort Ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) to an interstellar conference. Alone, barely armed, they must defeat an enemy unlike anything they have seen before.]]>
Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers is a two-hour television movie created by J. Michael Straczynski (original creator of the Babylon 5 series) for the Sci-Fi Channel. The telefilm takes place in 2264 after the wars are over and a new age of space exploration has begun. Science-fiction fans are notoriously hard to please, and few have anything good to say about The Legend of the Rangers, produced in 2002 to introduce a spinoff of the popular Babylon 5 TV series. The naysayers have a point. Few elements of this 90-minute pilot, subtitled "To Live and Die in Starlight," will likely be memorialized among the genre's golden moments; the dialogue is often clunky and on-the-nose, the acting is less than stellar, and the effects work, while pretty good, doesn't live up to the standard set by Stargate, Farscape, and others. Nevertheless, there's a reasonably compelling story here, involving the elite Rangers (made up of humans and aliens alike, including the Minbari, who sport "head bones" instead of hair and whose cute little ears are placed on the sides of their necks) and the threat posed to the universe by a mysterious new foe known as "the Hand" (these are some seriously bad dudes, a race that has lain dormant for many years but is now back with a vengeance). Front and center is human Ranger David Martell (played by Dylan Neal). Court-martialed for choosing to save his crew rather then lead them to certain death (in violation of a code mandating that "we do not retreat, whatever the reason"), he's put in command of the Liandra, a ship that's not only funkier than Han Solo's Millennium Falcon but haunted to boot. Of course, as events play out, Martell and his pals end up as the last line of defense against the Hand, not only pitted against these implacable enemies but also dealing with a traitor among the good guys. The themes (honor vs. expediency, dark forces arrayed against peace-seekers, human impetuousness tangling with ancient alien wisdom) are familiar, and the outcome is far from unpredictable. Still, there are a lot less entertaining ways to spend 90 minutes than with Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers. --Sam Graham
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.53 inches; 1.6 Ounces
- Director : Michael Vejar
- Media Format : Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Multiple Formats
- Run time : 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Release date : March 14, 2006
- Actors : Dylan Neal, Andreas Katsulas, Alex Zahara, Myriam Sirois, Dean Marshall
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Producers : Ron McLeod, J. Michael Straczynski, Douglas Netter
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Unqualified
- Studio : WarnerBrothers
- ASIN : B000CEXFYW
- Writers : J. Michael Straczynski
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #35,934 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2008
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A funny thing happens on the way to his court marshal. Saner heads prevail, and he is allowed to stay in the Rangers. He was in line to be given command of a new ship just coming off the assembly line. He does still get to command a ship, but he is given command of a 20-year-old Minbari ship rumored to be haunted.
His first assignment is to provide support for a larger ship taking a group of delegates to an undisclosed location. Even with all the secrecy, they still fly into an ambush, and David and his crew must use every trick up their sleeve if they are going to survive this encounter with an ancient race.
I had only watched this movie once, the day it first aired. I was less then impressed. I bought it mainly so I could complete my Babylon 5 collection. The movie was actually better then I remembered.
The story presented here is entertaining. It had been long enough since I had seen it that I couldn't remember much about it and was pulled into the action again. The acting by a group of unknowns is top notch, and the characters are interesting enough that I wish the series had been picked up so we could learn more about them. Fan favorite Andreas Katsulas (who unfortunately passed away recently) returns as G'Kar, the only character from the original series to appear. His performance, as always, is great. And the dialog is witty. I was laughing out loud at many of the lines. This is some of the sharpest writing series creator J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) has done. This is all supported by great special effects.
Unfortunately, the flaws I remembered were still here. If this had been the pilot for a new series, it would have worked well. It introduces us to a new danger and sets a potentially interesting story in motion. However, since this was all we got, it feels empty. Adding to this is the sense we've done this before in the original series. I'm sure a series would have gone in a new direction, but here "The Hand" just felt like a retreat of original series villains The Shadows.
The almost fatal flaw of this movie, however, is the weapons systems. I mean, seriously, what was JMS thinking. In order for this ship to fire, the ammunitions officer must go into a virtual reality chamber and use Kung Fu moves. I'm not kidding! She has to punch and kick at pictures of the ships in order to fire the weapons. While the visuals are unique and interesting, the idea that a ship would have a weapons system like that is laughable. It pulls me right out of the movie.
This movie was never popular with fans, and in keeping with that, this is a bare bones release. We get the movie in widescreen and surround sound with nothing in the way of extras. I'm a little disappointed. I would have loved to hear JMS attempt to explain the stupid weapons system.
This is not the place to get introduced to Babylon 5. If you are interested in a great science fiction show, start with the season sets. This is a movie only a fan will love, and even then, most fans don't.
It is pretty obvious that this was an attempt to create a spin-off from the original series, like Crusade. Unfortunately, Crusade and this show both suffered from some problems which held them back.
I like the Bab 5 universe, and feel that it is ripe for a run as good as the Star Trek franchise. The problem is writing. As much as I like MJS, I think the writing in his shows can be somewhat uneven.
For example, in this movie, there are some great lines, usually delivered by G'Kar (as noted, Andreas Katsulas was an incredible actor who could elevate a shopping list to high art). On the other hand, some of the lines were kind of "60s sitcom" in their style and sophistication level. I think they would have played just fine up against the original Star Trek series, which suffered similar unevenness. Audiences have evolved in sophistication since then, however.
While I, too think that the Ranger's attitude of "no retreat" is tactically insane, it is also just the kind of thing which could develop in an "inbred" elite, and similar short-sightedness has been witnessed in real cultures. I think that G'Kar deals with that whole issue nicely in one of the Council scenes, and it is a necessary plot device for the unfolding of the story.
I also agree that the "virtual reality" weapons system as shown is problematic. While technically not necessarily a bad idea, the execution was pretty unsophisticated, although we also have to remember that our understanding of such things as an audience have also moved forward since this was originally aired. Check out the Leap Motion device being used to play Fruit Ninja, and you will see that the concept could actually work quite well. People with highly trained reflexes (as in martial artists) can move exceptionally fast without conscious thought, and combining that with the independent limb action of a good drummer, the concept is quite reasonable for a manual weapons system. Also, such an interface would allow a wide variety of people to use the weapons, even with minimal training (as in an emergency).
On balance, I still liked the movie, and wish MJS had been able to take it to a full series like Bab 5. We will never know how well it would have turned out. It is unfortunate that so much of the future and quality of entertainment is in the hands of bankers and other such types. Yet another human system in need of reform.
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The knowledge of the ancient alien race the hand is given too quickly and we get no suspense as we did with b5 and the unfolding of the shadows. This comes across as being put together very quickly with very little thought to characterisation and overall arc let alone storytelling. Disappointing JMS!!!
Of course, that's just my personal opinion. I realise that Babylon 5 has a cult following, but this DVD isn't in the same league as the original series in my opinion.