13 March 2008

SF: 10 Science Fiction Films That Never Make the List

Inspired by Vimes' fantastic post over on his Here and Back Again blog I was inspired to make this list. Whenever you see "favourite films" lists the same movies always appear. When narrowing down to genre the lists become even more predictable. There are so many bad science fiction turkeys out there that I thought I'd do something different.

My favourite sf films seem to be on all the top ten list (see Vimes' entry, To space and back again the Sci-Fi list for the usual suspects and a few additions of his own): Blade Runner, Alien (also in the horror top tens), Close Encounters, Back to the Future trilogy and Star Wars classic trilogy would all be in my top favourites. Here is a list of some favourites that never seem to make the grade:

  • The Fifth Element: Despite the cod-philosophy and Chris Rock's second most annoying character in sf (after Jar-Jar) this is a still sumptuous movie, with some of the most sunning visuals in the CGI age. When the Earth is in peril who would you want there to save the day, Bruce Willis of course. This is fun science fiction. And with the amazingly beautiful Milla Jovovich in (and out) of some amazing costumes and speaking a very sexy child-like alien language (and kicking ass with the best of them) it's not just the computer imagery that is a feast for the eyes. (Plus it's an excuse to show a picture of her so had to goon this list).
  • Logan's Run: Michael York and Jenny Agutter on the run from the authorities after discovering a disturbing secret about the ceremony the inhabitants of the leisure-city of the future goes through when they reach the age of 30. Hardly Fahrenheit 451 but a great 70's romp, all white plastic and tight costumes. Ripping stuff.
  • Silent Running: The other side of the 70's view of the future. An environmental movie about a greenhouse spaceship sent from a dying Earth to preserve the natural fauna, sending it's loner crew member insane despite the company of three cute robots.
  • Brazil: Terry Gilliam's masterpiece and take on the 1984 dystopia of a bureaucratically retro future. Jonathan Price escapes his pen pushing life by dreaming as the authorities descend after a bug in the system and fantasy and reality merge. Brilliant.
  • Twelve Monkeys: Gilliam again brings us this brilliant movie about time travel and madness where nothing is at it seems. Like all his movies the attention to detail and weird humour make draw out some superb performances from Brad Pitt and Bruce (again).
  • Demon Seed: A truly horrific film. A scientist working on a new computer develops a sentient machine which grows into a abomination that rapes his wife. Plays on all the fears on technology over taking it's creator in the most graphic way.
  • Scanners: Probably he most commercial of Cronenberg's science fiction about a group of humans with special powers with the ability to control and read the thoughts others and even kill. The hidden enemy amongst us. And who can forget the exploding heads!
  • Battle Beyond the Stars: Post Star Wars cash in, a trash movies that I loved from my childhood. Expanding on Star War's western plotting, BBtS is essentially The Magnificent Seven with rubber aliens.
  • Robocop: A biting satire masquerading as a glossy action movie. Of the 80's big budget sf's this is my favourite. there's more depth than The Terminator and is clever and funny too. It was a toss up between this and Total Recall.
  • The Day of the Dolphin: Scientist teach dolphins to talk but those pesky military types kidnap them to use for their nefarious ways. Humans should leave well alone, whatever they do is always turned around and used for warfare. This film make me cry like a fish when I was a kid.

1 comment:

Vimes said...

Aaargh forgot Fith Element always the risk of making lists is something gets missed. Interesting ones their Scanners, Robocop, Logans Run, Silent Running and Total Recal missed out as they don't quite make my top ten although very good

Completely forgotten battle beyond the stars but again not top ten material
Not seen Brazil, The Day of the Dolphin and need to rewatch Twelve monkeys as I've forgotten if it was any good.

The Fifth Element featuring the future Mrs Vimes belongs on a totally diffrent list