Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekly Top Ten- 10 Favorite Science Fiction Films



I was so heavily inspired by my review of “Oblivion” on Friday night that I decided to base my first weekly top ten list upon my favorite sci/fi movies. Like I explained in my review, I love the genre. I have always been absolutely fascinated by it. I am open-minded about every genre, but sci/fi is one of my personal favorites. Why do I like the genre so much? Well, that’s a hard question to answer. I guess I have always been curious about the unknown in this world. Growing up I remember looking up into the stars and wondering if we REALLY were alone in the universe. I used to fantasize about what the future would look like and all the things that we would be able to do then that we aren't able to do now.
Science Fiction intensely works my brain and gets me thinking about futuristic possibilities. So why not make my first ever weekly top ten honoring the genre? Be aware...a group of movies you won’t find on the list is Star Wars. Yes, I love Star Wars as much as the next person, but Star Wars technically isn’t sci/fi, its space opera. It's fantasy. So it doesn’t count for me on this list. I would like to note that I obviously haven’t had a chance to see every sci/fi movie to-date, so films like “Brazil” and “Blade Runner” will not appear on my list. All of that being said, I hope you will enjoy my list! Maybe this will inspire you to think of your favorites???

10. Alien (1979)

I think what Ridley Scott did in the late 70’s was blend two genres together with ease. The end result is an instant classic. A wonderful tale of suspense and wonderment. I know there are many fans of the franchise who say the second one is better, however, in my mind the sequel is more mindless action and a less tense story. I enjoyed the first more because it is smaller and feels more closed off. This causes the audience to feel a higher level of intensity. I love Sigourney Weaver and really enjoyed her work here. This is one of my favorite movie franchises.

9. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Another type of movie I can't get enough of? A movie that gives you something to think about after you watch it. A movie with something real to say. Such is the case with the original Day the Earth Stood Still. It is a movie filled with interesting sci/fi, intriguing aliens and a comment on the times based upon our society. One of the very reasons I am so into history has a lot to do with the movies I like. Filmmakers in all decades reacted to the world around them. You see it loud and clear in this movie. Aliens are judging humans because of their actions, because human beings can’t get along. It’s a scary concept brought to life very well, and still holds up today.

8. Metropolis (1927)

I watched this classic for the first time last summer and it floored me. I still can’t believe that so much detail and eloquence was on display in the late 1920’s. Metropolis to me is definitely a movie that can be categorized as before its time. It is a movie about social issues and uprisings. This film actually influenced the story for “The Dark Knight Rises” when Christopher Nolan wrote it. I definitely see some parallels. The design of the robots is very intricate and instantly more iconic compared to some other movie robots. This is a one of kind movie that everyone must check out!

7. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Yes, yes. I also love to have a lot of fun with the sci/fi genre! This is honestly and easily the most fun of all the Star Trek films (yes even including the 2009 reboot). The original cast never seems more alive! Khan is a great character who is superbly brought to life. After the very lifeless first film, they really needed to up the ante. And all I have to say is...mission accomplished.

6. The Matrix (1999)

Kung-fu, machine guns, robots, and bullet time...honestly what is there not to like? Sure, Keanu Reeves maybe one of the dullest actors alive, but he brought a charm that I don’t think any other actor could bring to the table. In an odd way he was kind of perfect for Neo and he makes the film work in unexpected ways. The rest of the film is a landmark. I feel it has really stood the test of time. In a world that is dominated by computers and machinery, this stands as a warning to us to never lose our humanity. This film is truly a painful reminder. With epic visuals, great action scenes and unique story, “The Matrix” is easily one of the coolest movies of all time.

5. Independence Day (1996)

This pick is all about nostalgia for me. I remember seeing this movie in the theaters with my family on July 4th 1996, and it still one of my fondest movie memories. I specifically remember the big jump sequence in the middle of the film that terrified me as a child. I also remember getting every ID4 toy that I could get my hands on. Independence Day was my every Saturday routine. I watched it without fail every weekend. Why did you need cartoons when you had huge alien ships? This film had the best marketing campaign in film history, bar none.  It is iconic for many reasons. I love the characters and the acting. I love the crude alien ship design; I love the scenes of great emotionalism and other great humorous moments. But most of all, the movie just makes me feel good. I am surely glad that Roland Emmerich and Dean Devin have finally decided to make sequels.

4. Back to the Future (1985)

One thing that attracts me to sci/fi is its sense of wonder. As I mentioned above, I grew up wondering whether or not life existed on other planets. Someday, when I have kids I hope to intrigue them with that conversation (if they choose to have it.) This movie also makes me wonder about time travel and if it could ever be possible. I love that this is fun for the whole family! The duo between Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd is classic.

3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992)

And of course there’s AH-NOLD! But in all seriousness, this is one of the best pure action movies ever made. It is easily one of Arnold Schwarzenegger better movies. What really connects me to the movie isn’t the cool action or robots, but the relationship between boy and machine. One of the appeals of the Terminator saga is just how much is at stake. That one boy will grow up to lead our people to salvation (NO PUN INTENDED) and that evil, scary-looking robots are coming to kill him. It is very powerful, and that asset of the movie shines bright in this installment.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

This one has it all. A blending of cool design and intellectual philosophy. It features a huge array of neat visuals and great acting from all involved. The eerie computer in the spaceship is just one of the many most memorable images. But still after all these years, there is still so much to be debated, theorized, and discussed. That is why I hold such a powerful reaction to a movie made by one of the most brilliant filmmakers of all time, Stanley Kuberick.

`.          1. Gattaca

Why does this movie get the top spot? Because I feel like it is deeply underrated and I have the biggest reaction to it every time I watch it. It is unique in the way that it involves cloning and how it could possibly be misused one day. Cloning is a neat concept which is debated still today all the time. When used right it can create a compelling, very investing film. This is the finest example. The acting is great across the board, featuring performances by Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, Uma Thurman, and Alan Arkin. I also like that it blends other genres like mystery and film noir into the equation. The movie has a unique feel and mood to it. There aren’t too many movies similar in tone and feeling compared to Gattaca. That is is my major appeal to it!

There are lots of other great sci/fi pictures that I am leaving off. Like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 12 Monkeys, Road Warrior, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, District 9, Children of Men, Moon, Avatar, Planet of the Apes, War of the Worlds, The Thing, Them!, Godzilla, Logan’s Run, RoboCop, Dark City, Minority Report and a lot of others. The list goes on and on! I would love to see your lists. Post/comment if you can! Thank you for reading.

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