Sci-Fi Movies & Forum Reminder

Since Korg posted that visual history of science fiction the other day, I ran across a few other links that I found interesting relating to science fiction. Primarily Sci-Fi movies.  The first is a top 25 list of the best science fiction movies and the second is a list of 12 essential science fiction movies for newbies to the genre.

I think they did a pretty good job in compiling both lists, for the most part.  I would however have never picked 12 Monkeys as being both one of the best 25 Sci-Fi movies and an essential one to introduce people to the genre.  I would take this movie starring Bruce Willis off of both lists and replace it on the best 25 list with another Willis’ movie The Fifth Element.  I’d also replace Terminator 2 on the best 25 list with The Running Man.  Oh, and I never liked that remake of The Thing with Kurt Russell so I never would have placed it anywhere on the top 100 Sci-Fi movies list let alone the top 25.

I also would’ve placed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan much higher on the top 25 list.  And now that I think of it, why in the world isn’t The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the list of top 25 best?  It’s a travesty!!  Oh well, at least the two lists nailed it with Blade Runner.

What are your thoughts on the two lists?  Anything you would’ve added or left off?  What are some of your favorite Sci-Fi movies, whether they’re on the lists or not?

Another quick Sci-Fi link, the 2011 Hall of Fame finalists for the Prometheus Awards have been announced.  While I recognize all the authors on the list and have read various works by all of them, the only two finalist books I’ve read are The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster and Animal Farm by George Orwell. Frankly, I can’t see how this won’t be a slam dunk for Animal Farm.  I mean, all science fiction books are equal but some are more equal than others. 🙂

Finally, just a reminder that The Hogshead has a forum where members can take control of the discussion and comment on a wide variety of topics. Currently we’re stuck on 129 members.  Feel free to check it out as a guest and then sign up if you want to get involved.

26 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Movies & Forum Reminder

  1. Interesting lists. Thanks for posting them, RevGeorge.

    I absolutely think Terminator 2 belongs on the top 25. And I was very happy to see Galaxy Quest there. Close Encounters I’m not so sure of — it’s sort of a sprawling almost-there attempt when you look at it again, imho. I’d replace it with Gattaca, which I was happy to see on the newbie list.

    I also think 2001 and Tron do deserve to be on the top 25 list, but mostly because they’re historically important, not so much because they still hold up as movies.

    No idea why they put it there, but I was thrilled to see Buckaroo Banzai on the newbie list. How I loved that movie back in the day! I must have seen it 8 times. Seriously. I was incredibly relieved to watch it again about a year ago and confirm that I still liked it.

  2. ntertanedangel, I put in a hyperlink for the io9.com competition in your comment. I already voted on some of the match-ups. Looks interesting, although if it doesn’t end with Blade Runner as the champion… 🙂

  3. I”d throw in Back to the Future, Omega Man, and Wall-E into the mix, but can’t really disagree with any list that places my favorite sci-fi movie (and one of my favorite movies, period) at the top.

  4. I like the list – but I like the Time Machine (1960). It cracks me the heck up every time I watch it. I also like Close Encounters – I always watch it if it’s on tv. I have seen 19 of the 25 on the first list. And I do like Blade Runner – I just don’t love it like a lot of people do. I appreciate it’s cinematography and it’s complexity. But honestly, I find it slow. Also – I wish they would have had Clint Eastwood instead of Harrison Ford. I know, I know it’s a cult classic – but if it’s a great classic, why are there so many versions of it? Not reboots – different cuts. There seems to be eight or nine different cuts. The other thing about it (and this is only my take) – but it seems mostly men like that film, all my male friends, boyfriends, brother and father thought it was the best film ever – all my girlfriends and Mom, could take it or leave it. I think it’s a boy’s film. 😉 (Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure there are lots of women who love it. I just haven’t met a lot of them.)

  5. That’s probably your sample bias, Bennu.

    The thing about Blade Runner, at laeast for me, is the mood which is melancholy and bittersweet. I love the Vangelis soundtrack, which fits the mood to a T, the set design which is a perfect melange of film noir and dystopian sci-fi, and the lighting which is sheer chiaroscuro. Beyond all that, there is a profound exploration of what it means to be human. Roy Batty’s dying musings – his sheer awareness of what it means to die, of what will die with him – and his last, inexplicably generous gesture – it breaks my heart everytime I see it.

  6. Here’s a few more links on Sci-Fi things. Thought I’d add them here instead of doing a whole new post. First,

    Best Sci-Fi Comedies

    The two movies that absolutely, positively had to be on this list were on this list: Galaxy Quest and Spaceballs.

    and Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy movie friendships

    This list I thought more hit & miss. There were only a few on here that I thought absolutely had to be on this list. Primarily Kirk & Spock, the Harry Potter Trio, Han Solo & Chewbacca, & Frodo & Samwise.

  7. Agree with most of those, although I would have added McCoy to the Kirk’n Spock duo to make it a trio, like Harry and co. And I’m really glad to see Hogarth and the Iron Giant as well as Mike and Sully on the list. Those animated friendships show what friendship is really about as well as Harry, Ron and Hermione do. The Iron Giant’s last line “Superman”, which is a direct echo of his conversation with Hogarth, always brings a tear to my eye. And Mike’s attempt to heal Sully’s broken heart by gathering together all the broken splinters of the door, ditto.

    One minor cavil: Sam was certainly a good friend to Frodo. But was Frodo a good friend to Sam?

  8. Was Frodo a good friend to Sam?

    Short answer: Yes.

    Slightly longer answer with rant included: Technically, they had a master-servant relationship wherein each was faithful & devoted to the other within their vocations. Sam also sacrificially devoted himself to helping Frodo bear his great burden & accomplish his task.

    Of course, such a relationship & such actions are totally beyond the ken & understanding of post-modern entertainment writers so they had to go with “wink, wink, nudge, nudge, we know they’re really homosexuals but we’ll be nice & restrain ourselves by saying they simply had a really, really intense bromance going on.” Uggh. Talk about ignorant. Among other things. 🙁

  9. I wasn’t thinking about any possible sexual relationships – actually I never thought of the hobbits (or any of Tolkien’s characters) as sexual beings. And Tom, the link you posted sends me to a YouTube clip of Darth Vader yelling “No!”

    What I was really asking is, did Frodo ever show selfless concern or caring for Sam as a human (well, hobbit) being? Did he watch out for Sam? Did he even recognize that Sam might have needed an encouraging word?

    I truly can’t remember if this was a reciprocal friendship or a one-sided one. Part of the problem is it’s been a while since I read the books. But I also blame the movies which painted Frodo as the ever-suffering martyr and Sam as the strong, caring side-kick.

  10. Rocker, sorry about that. I wasn’t trying to imply that you were talking about possible sexual relationships between Frodo & Sam. I was focused on the article & its writers & their inability to see the relationship between Frodo & Sam in any other way but sexual or sexually charged.

    As for the Jackson movies, well, I blame them for many things… 🙂

    But yes, in the books, this was a reciprocal friendship & Frodo realizes how much Sam has done for him.

  11. That’s quite a sweeping generalization to make, that all women will like all 15 of those movies. Which having said, it did remind me of two great movies I’d forgotten about: Starman and The Truman Show. I love both these movies, although Truman would barely be considered sci-fi; more of a reality show taken to the nth degree. I’ve seen Starman quite a few times, and it continues to be good, to a great measure due to the performances, especially that of Jeff Bridges who is compellingly watchable no matter what he plays.

    I did see Dark City when it came out, and was impressed. But I can’t remember much about it.

    One thing: whoever made the list really missed the boat with Fifth Element, which is nothing more than a male menopausal fantasy (not surprising, given the director who has a penchant for pairing barely-pubescent girls with middle aged men).

  12. Yes, I thought they were somewhat generalizations too. And as much as I love Blade Runner, I wouldn’t recommend it as a first date movie.

    Regarding The Fifth Element, well, it was introduced to me by my wife who absolutely loved it. She may be menopausal but she is not male. 😉

    I too was surprised by The Truman Show being on there. Great, fantastic movie but Sci-Fi it’s not. More like satire of reality based shows.

  13. OK, I did the math. Jovovich was approximately 21 when the movie was made – she just looks barely pubescent – and Willis was approximately 41. So by Hollywood standards the casting wasn’t age-inappropriate. However, in the movie LeeLoo was a minor, seeing as how she’d been created hours or minutes (depending on the speed of the spacecraft) before she dropped into Dallas’ cab.

  14. So why haven’t I seen the excellent and cheesy Last Star-fighter and Flight of the Navigator on here? Or are those sci-fi light? All’s I know is, I watched it a bazillion times back in the day. So maybe they are not classic, per say, but they hit the mark with the under-10 set.

  15. Red Rocker, I agree that “The 5th Element” is mainly a male fantasy. I positively hated it when I first saw it at the movies. I have only watched it once since, and at least I could see that the actors seemed to have had fun with it. (Gary Oldman definitely didn’t take himself seriously and I might rewatch it one day for his sake.)

    I don’t care for “Blade Runner” either, it is even more tedious than “2001 – a Space Odyssey” (which I consider a movie for guys, too). I can only remember one female character in 2001 and she was a waitress on a Pan American (to boot!) plane. Hilarious.

    “12 Monkeys” on the contrary is my all time favorite time travel movie. I am in awe each time I watch it. If I had to pick a favorite Star Trek movie, I would pick either “First Contact” or “The Voyage Home”, but not “The Wrath of Khan”, maybe because they both have time travel which I am a sucker for.

    Star Wars is take or leave for me. I think the first two are decent, but I definitely don’t like the rest, with “Phantom Menace” being the worst in my opinion.

  16. Minerva, (slightly OT) I love time travel as well – last night I watched a show called Stephen Hawking’s Time Travel. It was facinating. The thing about time travel is that it’s entirely possible to travel forward in time. Amazing!

    Also – I never cared for 5th Element. I tried to like it – but just found it a waste of my time.

  17. Stephen Hawking isn’t *that* off-topic, when it comes to scifi. Anybody know that Star Trek episode where he is playing cards with Newton and da Vinci? It’s one of the Borg episodes if I remember well. Oh, and relativity theory makes my brain explode, but it is fascinating! There are authors more accessible than Hawking, though. If anyone is interested I would recommend Kip Thorne or Michio Kaku.

  18. Minerva, I’ve seen Dr. Kaku many times on tv. His series – I think it’s called Horizons and also another called Physics Impossible – is extremely interesting and I always watch it if I catch it flipping through the channels. But I’ve never read any of his books! Thanks for the heads up on him and Mr. Thorne. Any books in particular that you recommend?

  19. Bennu, I think that Dr. Kaku’s books are very accessible. I have listened to “Parallel Worlds” last summer and found it both fascinating and quite easy to follow, even in audio, without it being shallow. I have two more of his books on my TBR, “Physics of the Impossible” and “Hyperspace”.

    If you are interested in this kind of pop science books, I can also recommend a couple of titles by other authors, all dealing with wormholes and time travel:

    “Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe” by J. Richard Gott,
    “Black Holes and Time Warps – Einsteins outrageous legacy” by Kip Thorne,
    “Black Holes, Wormholes & Time Machines” by Jim Al-Khalili,
    and “How to Build a Time Machine” by Paul Davis.

    I enjoyed all of these books very much and they are similar in style to Dr. Kaku’s books. Sorry for being off-topic.

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