Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies
















1) Alien ; The greatest sci-fi movie of all time. Still great to watch today. This set the standard for all films to follow.


2) The Thing ; A truly scary movie with great sci-fi effects.


3) The Terminator ; superb movie. A classic that just does not age.


4) The Matrix ; excellent action sci-fi movie. Brilliant film.


5) War Of The Worlds (1953) ; real classic


6) Forbidden Planet ; The film that began the modern sci-fi genre and still a classic. Everything from the music, the sound of the doors opening, laser guns, robots etc etc are all part of modern films. Superb movie.



7) Star Wars ; classic.


8) Bladerunner ; adult sci-fi movie. A film to remember.


9) Close Encounters of The Third Kind - can be watchd time after time.


10) The Day The Earth Stood Still - classic sci-fi movie. Even the remake with Keanu Reeves looks good.



The best sci-fi series on TV was Serenity.

Other great movies are ;

The Blob 1958 and 1988 versions

2001 a space odyssey

The Mist

Serenity

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The Quatermass Experiment

Alien 2








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8 comments:

alanorei said...

The Phantom from Space, 1950s, was pretty good, b/w, with an invisible alien that only the dog could see, also dim, deserted corridors and vacated picnic places at night.

He eventually died, poisoned by Earth's oxygen-rich atmosphere but it was scary while it lasted, with 1950s-style scary music etc.

Them (about 1958) was pretty good - giant, man-eating ants produced by A-Bomb tests in the SW US.

Mr Potter said...

All highly rated films Lee.

2001 - A Space Odyssey remains a classic both in content and ideas as well as the overall film itself.

The Phantom from Space sounds interesting Alanorei, and I'm glad that Them! has been mentioned. It was a real classic and was the model that led to similar films being made but few could rival Them!

The Day the Earth Stood Still is brill also. It taps into the fears and anxeities of mankind, particularly during the hot days of the Cold War. The arrival of a messiah figure from space offering salvation and peace to mankind was very powerful and remains so today (by the ay, what was that bloody code word that Mr Carpenter used (note the religious connations) to activate Gort the robot??).

The film also stimulated (through the collective unconsciousness) the typical car stop cases where a UFo would short-circuit the electrical systems of a car, causing it to stall. After this fil such car-stop cases behagnto be reported.

PS I'm surprised the Termninaor hasn't been included although glad to see the British film Quatermass included!

alanorei said...

Thanks, Mr Potter, re Them! agree entirely

The 1950s was of course an era with its own 'ambience,' if that's the word; post-WW2 (Korea thrown in), development of the nuclear age and the Cold War, high hopes for space travel (not realised) and of course considerable public interest in UFOs with many reported sightings, 1954 being noted by UFOlogists as a 'flap year' - and there were hints of gov't cover-ups in the wake of Roswell and through the researches of the late Major Donald Keyhoe, USMC Retired.

All of which fired the public imagination and in on which Hollywood cashed heavily, with its usual astuteness in such matters.

One good thing about those films, UFOnauts were portrayed negatively, not like in the later genres, e.g. Close Encounters.

Although TPFS ended up more of a victim than a 'vader, as my earlier comments indicated.

I think in all movies under this umbrella, I prefer a level of mystery but also the fairly sanitised plots of the 1950s (and a romantic line if possible - in Them! the lead guy* 'n gal hit it off pretty well, I recall).

*I think he was also the plant alien in another 1950s Sci-Fi epic about some beseiged USAF researchers in Alaska who find a crashed UFO entombed in ice and bring the alien out, preserved in a block of ice, which later thaws and thus results in mayhem until the alien gets electrocuted and incinerated.

There's also some 'mad scientists' trying to grow more aliens from spores collected from the crash site - sort of vegetarian Frankensteins* (fortunately they get trashed before they can become Body Snatchers).

*Interesting the veg-alien gets terminated by electricity, i.e. Frankenstein in reverse.

The movie ends with the exhortation "Keep watching the skies!"

Which may be the wrong direction, if the intra-terrestrial hypothesis has any merit.

(There was a re-make in the 1980s which was mainly a gore-plot and I didn't like it.)

I remember another movie where aliens crash-land their saucer underground and proceed to abduct folk whom they then programme via implants. The US Army gets involved in seeing them off (I think) but it turns out to be a young boy's dream, though with a twist in the tail where he sees the same saucer crash-land, apparently for real.

Anyone remember the title?

Re: The Wicker Man, I recall I watched this (video loaned from a friend) after seeing Sink The Bismark on TV.

I found Dana Wynter in a WRNS uniform much more appealing than Britt Ekland naked. Probably an illustration of what was later described as 'thinking man's crumpet.'

Aim to see X-Files 2 tomorrow night (with the missus). Interesting to see what my reaction will be (and hers).

Mr Potter said...

Superb summing up Alanorei of the 50s social scene which lay behind the UFO hype of the time -

"The 1950s was of course an era with its own 'ambience,' if that's the word; post-WW2 (Korea thrown in), development of the nuclear age and the Cold War, high hopes for space travel (not realised) and of course considerable public interest in UFOs with many reported sightings, 1954 being noted by UFOlogists as a 'flap year' - and there were hints of gov't cover-ups in the wake of Roswell and through the researches of the late Major Donald Keyhoe, USMC Retired.

All of which fired the public imagination and in on which Hollywood cashed heavily, with its usual astuteness in such matters."

You are spot on here Alanorei.

"I think he was also the plant alien in another 1950s Sci-Fi epic..."

Are you thinking of James Whitmore here who played the cop in Them!?

If it was the actor you're referring to then the film you mention about a crashed flying sauver being found in the Antartic was The Thing.

"The movie ends with the exhortation "Keep watching the skies!" "

This last sentence in the fim was used by the Scottish rock group CE IV whose UFO-inspired music used that same sentence "The skies are clear tonight!"

"I remember another movie where aliens crash-land their saucer underground and proceed to abduct folk whom they then programme via implants. The US Army gets involved in seeing them off (I think) but it turns out to be a young boy's dream, though with a twist in the tail where he sees the same saucer crash-land, apparently for real."

This was the fim Invaders from Mars (1954) and was noted for its refernce to alien implants, which again found literal reference within some later UFo accounts from witnesses and abductees who claimed to have been given implants by the aliens (we call this "psychic parallelism").

"The movie ends with the exhortation "Keep watching the skies!"

Which may be the wrong direction, if the intra-terrestrial hypothesis has any merit."

You are right here Alanorei - we should perhaps be watching humanity rather than the skies, and exploring inner consciousness rather than outer space.

alanorei said...

Thanks again, Mr Potter, and for the film titles.

Re: actor, it was James Arness on each occasion, as a google search reveals. He later starred in the TV series Gunsmoke as Marshall Matt Dillon of Dodge City.

I recall James Whitmore as the surviving cop from the first encounter with the giant ants - not revealed until later.

Re: watching 'inner space,' agreed, that too.

Mr Peepers said...

Good list, I have just a couple notes. The 2006 film "Sunshine" by Danny Boyle is the best pure sci-fi film I have seen in years. For those with too much time on their hands, hunt down "The Quiet Earth" and "Dark Star", both terrific in their own ways. Also "Silent Running" remains a great sci-fi cult classic. "THX1138" is a terrific film too, made by George Lucas pre Star Wars, when he remembered story is a required element for ANY film. One correction, there was no TV Series called "Serenity", it was called "Firefly"

Anonymous said...

Right, lets just get this straight, your Number One, Alien, was not a patch on the sequal Aliens. Which was of course based on Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Which itself was made into a film of the same name.

These film's were the epitome of Sc-Fi in that they not only delt with philosophical and political debates (Sc fi can do this without raising the emotional preconditioned responses which would occur if the issues were explored in a contempory context)but unlike most Sc Fi they actually got a grip on the critical moral problems of geo politics.

I have no doubt that you censored both of these films Lee, for shame!

BTW You know what Freud said about lists don't you Lee?

Defender of Liberty said...

Mr.Peepers,

Sunshine is a great film.

Anonymous,

Alien is vastly superior film to aliens - simply because of the work put into making it look so good from H.R geigers art, the alien and the effects.

Aliens is good but as you point out it is derivative of Heinlein- whilst alien was the first of the truly great sci-fi movies and the proof of that is that it is just as good when watched today as when it came out. It is ageless, the sign of a great film.

Starship troopers was ok but it was let down by the actors -they used dud actors in the film as opposed to the superb actors in alien.

Alien was almost shakesperean in its quality - whilst troopers was like a video game.

Verhovens ' Black Book ' is vastly superior to his starship troopers.

Aliens is great as an action movie, but Alien 3 is better as a memorable film as Finchers direction and imagery is beautiful, it is like a work of art even though the aliens are dud in that film and the script was duff.

P.S you spell Freud as 'FRAUD'.

That should give you an idea of what I think of fraud, as I am a Jungian.