Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top Science Fiction Films?

Moviefone has posted their picks of the top 25 Science Fiction films of all time. Here's their list:

25. 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (1977)
24. 'Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan' (1982)
23. 'It Came From Outer Space' (1953)
22. 'Galaxy Quest' (1999)
21. 'Robocop' (1982)
20. 'Tron' (1982)
19. '12 Monkeys' (1995)
18. 'Soylent Green' (1973)
17. 'Brazil' (1985)
16. '2001: Space Odyssey' (1968)
15. 'Planet of the Apes' (1968)
14. 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' (1978)
13. 'E.T.' (1982)
12. 'Metropolis' (1927)
11. 'Terminator' (1984)
10. 'Forbidden Planet' (1956)
9. 'Alien' (1979)
8. 'The Thing' (1982)
7. 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' (1991)
6. 'The Matrix' (1999)
5. 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' (1951)
4. 'Star Wars - A New Hope' (1977)
3. 'Aliens' (1986)
2. 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' (1980)
1. 'Blade Runner' (1982)

Being a SciFi afficianado, I'm baffled at both the order and some of the picks. It Came From Outer Space before Wrath of Kahn? And that's the only showing for any of the many Star Trek films. A Voyage Home, et al getting bumped by the likes of Soylent Green and Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Puhlease! Blade Runner in the top spot? What was the basis for that? Added points for dark depressing futuristic noir films? (Yeah, I'm on a rant. Can you tell?) Well, at least they didn't include Plan 9 from Outer Space.

2001 was an excellent film right up until the acid trip what-the-hell-is-this-supposed-to-mean ending. But 2010? Awesome, sound science and a great story. (If you haven't seen it, run, don't walk to your nearest video rental store and grab a copy. Really has it all--science, politics, human emotion, a heart-stopping flaming slingshot maneuver around Jupiter and the ending-- though it might seem far-fetched is based on Jupiter's elemental makeup. This actually could have happened under certain circumstances. (No spoilers, but I'm tempted.)

I must confess I haven't seen Metropolis, which they describe as an early icon [*makes note to rent this one someday*] or Brazil, which sounds like Sci Fi in all its glorious weirdness. But 12 Monkeys I have seen and didn't care for the anticlimatic ending or the minimal sci fi elements.

And hello...where's Serenity? Somebody really missed the boat here...okay, the ship. The Firefly feature length film certainly was better than about twenty-one (not that I'm counting) of the these so-called "Top 25."

The Abyss? Another great that was completely overlooked. Not only did it have wonderful SF elements, it took place on an underwater deep sea oil rig and included a terrifying nuclear sub crash and absolutely wondrous underwater footage.

And Contact? Destined to be a classic. Not just because Carl Sagan wrote it, but because it dealt with some truly astronomical questions vs. the human political machine and the satirical spin on the aliens-among-us extremists. Not to mention gorgeous visuals and through-provoking questions about what we believe.

Not one of my favorites, but it seems Starship Troopers at least deserves a spot somewhere on that list.

What do you think? Did they get it right? Did they have it all wrong? Any other classics that were missed?

What does my list look like? I'll only pick my top fifteen, since I haven't seen all of these (just most of them).

15. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
14. E.T.
13. Star Trek: The Voyage Home
12. Star Trek: Wrath of Khan
11. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
10. Contact
9. Original Star Wars (A New Hope)
8. The Abyss
7. Terminator
6. Alien
5. Serenity (Firefly movie)
4. Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back
3. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
2. 2010: Space Odyssey Two
1. Aliens

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