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Top Ten Cool Gadgets on DVD in 2003
By Jeffrey Robinson

The year 2003 gave birth to some pretty cool action films on DVD. I use the term cool very loosely as a few of the titles on this list weren’t really great movies, but they were exciting. (or at least some parts of the feature were...) So what can make an action feature exciting? Secret agents and their cool gadgets? Crazy riveting car chases? Extraordinary technologies that accomplish tasks never dreamed of? Well actually all of them. This top ten list is comprised of DVDs that were released in the year 2003 that fall into at least one of the following categories of cool gadgets, cars, and other technologies. The category of cool gadgets pretty much spans anything that James Bond would use or any kind of common device used in a film like Star Trek’s tricorder. The category of cars is more or less vehicles as spaceships and other modes of transportation are included. The category of other technologies simply focuses on vast sci-fi technologies feature that most likely doesn’t exist in the real world. Pretty much this list gives a gimmicky approach to some really cool content found in 2003 DVD releases.

X2: X-Men United
This was probably my favorite movie of 2003. It was packed with a bunch of action and had some really really cool stuff. In X2 the world was exposed to the Mazda RX8. Wolverine drives this car to lead a group of young mutants to escape Colonel William Stryker. The X-Men team also has a very special stealth plane that is essentially a modified SR-71 Blackbird with the offensive capability of the YF-12A Interceptor. This plane is called the RS-150 and it happens to be the only one left in existence. We first glimpsed this magnificent piece of technology in X-Men, now it returns to assist the team in their battle against Colonel William Stryker. There are other bits of noticeable technology, like what was needed to graft adamantine into the very structure of Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Seasons 1 - 7
In seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine there was a lot of very cool high tech gadgets. Some of this stuff we’ve seen before like the tricoder, tractor beam, palm beacons, replicator, combadges, etc. and some stuff was new like the subspace transponder, MK-12 scanner, directional sonic generator, and so on. This series also grants one of the coolest starships in the sci-fi community, the U.S.S. Defiant (NX-74205). This ship is the only in the Federation to house cloaking technology. It was designed to be a heavily armed escort ship for the space station Deep Space 9. Be sure to check out all seven seasons (from start to finish) of this exhilarating Star Trek series and see the crew of Deep Space 9 utilize all sorts of cool Trekkie technology.

Alias Seasons 1 and 2
In this television series Jennifer Garner stars as Sydney Bristow, a graduate student who unravels the truth about the organization she works for, SD-6, while she has spent the last seven years believing that she was working for a covert branch of the CIA attempting to stop the bad guys, it turns out she’s been working for the bad guys. She becomes a double agent for the CIA in an effort to stop SD-6. What kind of secret agent could Sydney be without cool James Bondish gadgets? A horrible spy! Sydney’s arsenal of gadgets include a cigarette lighter that radio frequency scrambler (disrupts all electronic devices within its proximity), a lipstick that doubles as a spy camera, a Spanish coin that acts as a sonic wave emitter, a cell phone like device that scans a fingerprint off of a smooth surface and produces a latex copy. Be sure to check out this television series as double agent Bristow uses these cool gadgets and many others to unravel the truth and stop the bad guys.

Die Another Day
What would James Bond be like without the double O gadgets and cars? It wouldn't be much of a Bond movie, that's for sure. In this latest Bond flick James Bond drives around in an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and a Ford Chevrolet Bel-Air. He gets some cool toys like the Omega watch which emits a laser beam and an underwater breathing device (similar to the one in Thunderball) amongst other things. Watch James Bond utilize the gadgets and the cars to stop angry North Korean Colonel Tan-Gun Moon from using Icarus, a secret satellite laser-emitting weapon, from destroying the minefield that prevents North Korea from invading South Korea.

Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Angelina Jolie is back as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider sequel dubbed The Cradle of Life. In this feature Croft must obtain the Cradle of Life before her nemesis Jonathan Reiss does and uses it to possibly destroy the world. To accomplish this task Croft uses a highly detailed assortment of gadgets like the Panasonic SV-AV20, a portable device that can record and playback MPEG4 video, capture still shots, and record audio, a full on body suit glider, very high tech satellite audio/video communication devices, Panasonic camera phone, amongst other things.

Star Trek: Nemesis
More Star Trek? Yes more Star Trek. In the tenth installment in the Star Trek feature series, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew from Star Trek: The Next Generation return to battle a Romulan clone of Picard who threatens to destroy Earth. This film features some pretty cool stuff. We are presented with the U.S.S. Enterprise-E, a shuttle craft called the Argo, which houses a dune buggy. This dune buggy features a remote control for piloting the Argo. The good guys aren’t the only ones with the cool toys, as Picard’s evil clone is privy to a huge warship called the Scimitar. This ship houses cloaking technology and the ability to ruin the federation. Not only that, it’s pretty bad ass looking. This film also comes equipped with all the other cool tech gadgets associated with the Star Trek television series.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
This highly overrated film contained some of the coolest vehicles in films for the year 2003. In this film Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain and his crew of extraordinary gentlemen are working to stop The Fantom from obtaining world domination. The Fantom is responsible for creating various “high tech” weapons and gadgets that he intends to use to fuel a world war. Quatermain and his crew rely on a submarine provided by Captain Nemo, the Nautilus to travel the world in their pursuit. Along with the Nautilus, Nemo provides an automobile called the Nemomobile to thwart the efforts of The Fantom.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
When Arnold Schwa-how-do-you-spell-my-last-name in Terminator 2: Judgment Day said "I'll be Back", he meant it. In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines we are presented with some pretty cool gadgets and technologies, which happen to be Terminators. Once again Arnold resumes his role as a not-so-up-to-date Terminator, the T-850. In comparison to other Terminators he's an ancient block of metal. However, Arnold proves that the T-850 can still kick some ass. Co-starring in this film is Kristanna Loken who plays Arnold's adversary as a more advanced Terminator, the T-X. Using nanoprobes, the T-X has the ability to control machines. The two robots aren't alone as the military has been developing the prototypes for future artificial intelligence driven machines. There's a great amount of cool technologies used in this film, though I can't say much for the actual film itself...

The Italian Job (2003)
In this film Mark Wahlberg as Charlie Croker and his team of highly skilled and highly tech’d criminals seek revenge on an old acquaintance who double crossed them. This film features a pretty intense and cool car scene powered by three BMW Mini Coopers. Seth Green also stars in this film as Lyle “The Napster,” a true computer genius who uses his computer skills to cover all technology related tasks to the master plan. Lyle is also responsible for using generic algorithms to take control of the state of California’s traffic control system.

xXx: Superbit
Not quite James Bond, but not quite bad either. In xXx (triple x) Vin Diesel stars as Xander Cage, a hardcore sports extremist has made three too many mistakes. He is arrested by an NSA agent and eventually gets recruited to go on assignment to stop a terrorist group called Anarchy 99. One of the gadgets he’s given a multipurpose multifunction field revolver that comes equipped to use Datura knockout darts, tranquilizer and blood-splatter darts, exploding darts, surveillance darts, and standard .44-caliber bullets. He’s also given “Eagle Eyes” binoculars with nine enhanced-vision modes like the “penetrator” which gives the user the ability to see through clothing and explosives that look like bandages. In conjunction with these gadgets Xander Cage uses a 1967 GTO to stop Anarchy 99 from deploying a biological weapon known as Ahab and saves the world.

DVD Talk's Top Ten Lists for 2003
DVD Talk's Top Twenty DVDs of 2003
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