Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Top 10 Sci-Fi films and more

This is in response to an Entertainment Weekly article which identified the top 25 sci-fi TV and movie phenomenoms over the last 25 years.

I have a very detailed version of this I intend to expand upon as I improve on this, but here's what I would say are the ten most definitive sci-fi films of all time and when I get the time, I will expand upon this more. So consider this incomplete without explanations:
1. Star Wars, George Lucas, 1977
2. Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968
4. A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick, 1971
5. Close Encounters of a Third Kind, Stephen Spielberg, 1977
6. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, 1982
7. Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1986
8. Matrix, Wolchowski Bros., 1999
9. Alien, Ridley Scott, 1979
10. Back to the Future, Rob Zemeckis, 1985

10 other films of note: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds (original), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, Aliens, Minority Report, X-Men, E.T.

10 great Sci-Fi TV Shows I recommend: Lost in Space, Star Trek, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Seaquest DSV, Futurama, Sliders, Quantum Leap, Firefly, Andromeda, Heroes

10 sci-fi books: Dune; I, Robot, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ender's Game, The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Farenheight 411, and hmmm, can't think of any other ones.


Squish said...

Yo critic,

I understand the blog-a-thon bug's got you for John Huston. Is that true?
If so send me a note so I can add it to my calendar of events

Livingsword said...

I am a HUGE DS9 fan (I own all 7 seasons on DVD)but I have to say the new Battlestar Galactica has to make the list as a top ten success in si-fi TV. It may be the best.

Livingsword said...

Hi Okenheim;

I don’t get the channel that Battlestar comes on but I had an opportunity to see a few episodes and was hooked, I purchased the first 2 seasons on DVD and I will get season 3 when it goes on sale in the fall.

On my blog you said:
I'm a huuuge DS9 fan as well. That is the one show on the list and one of the few shows that I've really formed a close attachment to. I love movies and TV shows that have a rich tapestry of characters and a distinct sense of place.

I agree with you 100%, these are some of the same reasons that I love Battlestar! Although I am a fan of si-fi there are things that can transcend a genre, such as what you listed above.

Let me suggest some other good things about Battlestar:

There is a rather constant tension between the characters, with unpredictable results yet still within the parameters of the characters.

There is a complexity within the plotline that intermingles with many subplots, they fade in and out of focus and become a reservoir of intrigue, yet it stays true to its “rules”.

There is a sense of an overarching struggle between good and evil but uncertainty of who or what falls into each category. They delve into a religious component that is lacking in most programs, this creates depth of “culture” and interpersonal relationships.

The effects are outstanding, si-fi with a retro twist. They use phones on cords on the ship; they are in fact from submarines, excellent integration. They set up good reasons for the way things are which is needed in good si-fi as believability is an essential factor for success.

The acting is very good, believable and not cliché hollywood, it is filled in the Vancouver area (which is where I live so even better).

The end result is in question; you are not even sure what you would like the end result to be!

There is more but that should give you a taste, it is not the old Battlestar, it is bold with shadows, retro with future, clean and dirty, unpredictable but plays within its rules, has a faith element or is that an illusion, there can appear to be a “moral of the story” or it can be just a great story with a gritty look at immorality, strong relationships with mystery and uncertainty, a unique look but it “feels” like you may have seen it before, great effects but the story, community, characters, and tension are the fulcrum.