Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sci-Fi Films - My Favorites

  • 20 Favorite Sci-Fi Movies - a woman's choice.

    Okay, let me explain. In general, I believe most sci-fi lists are made by men. Because the myth exists that only men like and or/know and/or appreciate and/or even understand good sci-fi movies. To that I say: bah!!
    Okay, but now I've got to back up that bah!

    I've just been reading several male-oriented sci-fi lists here at the Guardian newspaper, and also, here, on Adrian McKinty's blog, so I thought hey, I love sci-fi films of a certain sort (not crazy about exploding stomachs), why not make my own list? I'm a woman - I've loved sci-fi films since I was a kid, so I thought I'd take a whack at it.

    Even though the lists appear to me to be male-oriented, I do wonder about the inclusion of The Wizard of Oz. Not the first film that springs to mind when you think sci-fi, even for a woman.
    If it were a fantasy list, then of course it's included, but sci-fi? Here I agree with Adrian.
    (Hmmm, I think I'll do a 10 Best Fantasy Films later.)

    Halloween Week is a good time to watch sci-fi films anyway, since most of them have the scary and wary Halloween vibe.

    This is not a written in stone list, just some favorite sci-fi films I've loved over the years. Unlike some list-makers I'm not inclined to fight to the death over my choices.

    In no particular order, just as the titles occurred to me:

    War of the Worlds - strictly the 'original' with Gene Barry. Despite Ann Robinsons 'lost little screechy girl - 1950's version', I still love the film and its garish use of color.

  • When Worlds Collide - I remember this being on a double-bill with WOTW at my local theater. 25 cents for two movies and ten cartoons. And I also remember thinking, even as a very young kid, that it was funny that there were no black or brown or yellow people among the 'saved'. I still loved the film. I forgave the film-makers their social sins.

  • Star Wars - When I first saw this in theater, I remember being dazzled. Can't ask for too much more than that. The first film in the trilogy is still my favorite. Though I love the first third of the third film a helluva lot.

  • Dark City - an unheralded film with Rufus Sewell and, oddly, William Hurt. A very noir and very creepy sci-fi experience.

  • E.T. - Adrian is simply wrong about this film. When that kid's bicycle suddenly soars up into the air, your heart goes with him. Again, I ask: how much more do you want from a film?

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Only because of the last half of the film and the amazing way music is used throughout and that beautifully odd little boy.

  • This Island Earth - Because of Jeff Morrow and the whole intriguing script. This is one film that could, I believe, be remade successfully. I'm surprised no one's tried it.

  • The Day the Earth Stood Still - the original, of course, with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. Michael Rennie, to me, was always the ideal man from space - he had 'the look'.

  • Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home - A wonderful, intelligent film that stands on its own though it is very much part of the Star Trek franchise. Captain, there be whales here. Love it.

  • Star Trek - the new one with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. Quinto, especially, is amazing as Spock.

  • Planet of the Apes - The original. The scene in the cornfield is still a nightmarish vision.

  • Starman - with Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen. It's all in Jeff Bridges' expressive face.

  • Independence Day - Will Smith, need I say more? The special effects are quite good, too.

  • The Day After Tomorrow - Climate run amok. Great special effects and Jake Gyllenhaal.

  • 2001 - A Space Odyssey - How many times have I seen this film and I still can't make any sense out of it. But that doesnt' stop me appreciating it. Plus I love Hal's oh-so-soothing voice.

  • The Thing - The original in b/w, with its not-so-hidden, anti-communist message. Love it. I must say too that I always thought the direction by a guy named Christian Nyby was very quirky and a bit ahead of its time.

  • Jurassic Park - This film still amazes, still has a kind of odd grandeur.

  • The Fifth Element - Love all the orange, the flying taxis, Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. Gary Oldman almost succeeds in ruining the film, but I overlook his scenes. I still ask: what is that plastic thing on his head?

  • Back to the Future - Christopher Lloyd is the iconic mad scientist. Michael J. Fox is pretty good too.

  • Galaxy Quest - I'm not a Tim Allen fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I loved this film anyway. Alan Rickman, as always, is wonderful. Enrico Colantoni as a gentle, yet tightly wound alien is superb.


  1. I can't find Galaxy Quest on DVD, one of my favorites. Star Wars, A New Hope is my favorite film of all time, LOTS of sentimental reasons. Jurassic Park, Starman, Close Encounters, ET, favorites all. Did you watch Roswell? Or Firefly on tv? If not, try them. Roswell, only the first season is worth it. But Firefly is amazing and the movie that followed, Serenity, is great, too. I don't want to work anymore, I just want to stay home and work on my blog and have more time for yours.

  2. Galaxy Quest, how could I have forgotten about Galaxy Quest. A total classic.

    You mean Dark City not Dark Star. Roger Ebert loves that film.

  3. Good choices. I love Galaxy Quest ... Star Wars.. BAck to the Future... Independence Day ... LOVE the new Star Trek (can't wait for the sequel)... Close Encounters - just watched that recently again and realized how great it was.

  4. OOPS! Of course I meant DARK CITY. Thanks for the clue, Adrian - I am hopeless when I do these things off the top of my head, more or less. Roger Ebert and I often agree on films. ;)

  5. Jean, I did try to watch SERENITY, the movie. But lost interest. Since you like it so much, I'll have to try again. ROSWELL, I never saw. I'm sure there are plenty of films I've forgotten. I was a sci-fi geek as a kid. I'm working on my 10 Best Fantasy List today. This is fun! :)

  6. Good films for sure, Skye. Thanks for dropping by. If you havent' seen DARK CITY, yet, I urge you to give it a try.

  7. Haven't seen most of these, although I TRIPLE-LOVED the new Star Trek, and of course I loved Independence Day and Jurassic Park, too.

    Have you seen "Moon"? Terrific film...got it recently from the library. Done by David Bowie's son.

    I LOVE Roger Ebert's writing. Love his blog.

  8. MOON is a new one on me, Cathy. I'll have to take a look. Ebert has always been one of my favorite critics, even when I don't agree with him which isn't often. He's got a lot of guts.

  9. Oh, look up Moon! My brother, who is a TOTAL movie snob (likes all those foreign films, dislikes most blockbusters, etc.) -- even he loved it.

    The critics loved it, too...including Ebert. :-)


  10. Just found it on Netflix, Cathy. I'll watch it later when I have some time and can really concentrate. Thanks for the tip! How come I never heard of this? Just goes to show you, even I can't know everything. HA!

  11. Great list though I'm not normally a big fan of Sci Fi, especially a lot of the newer ones coming out. I do like "The Last Starfighter", "Short Circut", and "Batteries Not Included". There is something so heart warming about those 80s movies.

  12. Oh, forgot THE LAST STARFIGHTER. I liked that movie!!! SHORT CIRCUIT was good, too.


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