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Best Science Fiction Film of All Time?


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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 4:44:02 PM PST
Another problem with Alien--other than being the story of a scantily clad woman being chased by a slavering toothed phallus: Compare the alien spaceship with the ship on Planet of Vampires (great B movie!) It's the same thing! Then there's the comparison to It! and to the Voyage of the Space Beagle (A.E. Van Vogt) and it really isn't very original. I like the Geiger styles, though.
The Quatermass trilogy is very good--I remember it being better when I'd watch it on a snowy black and white TV at 1:00am, than on a crisp LCD widescreen. Still good, though.
I'm sticking with 2001, Forbidden Planet, & Brazil. (I need to watch 12 Monkeys again--I remember it being very good.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 7:05:54 PM PST
The premise of "Alien" is an old one-- monster loose in the house. What was original about the film was the look of the alien itself and its defense mechanisms. I remember when I came out of the theater after watching the film for the first time my stomach muscles were sore from being flexed for two hours. Not many films have that kind of impact on filmgoers. It was a unique film in that way. For me, however, the premise is more important than the execution, which is why I enjoyed "Five Million Years to Earth". The science in that film was as important to the story as any of the characters, just as it was in 2001. I might have ranked "Forbidden Planet" above "Alien" if it hadn't been so poorly produced. It appealed to me in a purely intellectual sense, but I didn't respond to it as viscerally as I did to "Alien". I never really considered "12 Monkeys" or "Brazil" to be science fiction. Too quirky. Like "The Fifth Element".

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 11:33:55 PM PST
Definitely Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I was eight years old when I first saw it on its release in 1968, and I saw it in a theater with a HUGE screen as big as a drive-in's. Blew me out of my seat. I still love to watch it, despite some dated effects.

Perhaps the main reason I chose this film is because of its long panoramic shots of deep silent space that just mesmerize you, like the scene with the alignment of the planets. Even today it's beautiful. It didn't need monsters or enemy aliens. Would have ruined it actually.

Anyway, 'nuff said.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 6:31:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2009 6:38:24 AM PST
Walter Five says:
Susan E. Hoerner says:
Lynch's Dune is too bloody.

Looking beyond the genre, it *is* a David Lynch film, but I see your point. It's not a Freddy Vs. Jason gore-fest, but it does get a little visceral... but on the other hand, I don't think it's as bloody as any of the "Alien" films.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 6:42:58 AM PST
Walter Five says:
Johnny Simpson says:
Definitely Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Perhaps the main reason I chose this film is because of its long panoramic shots of deep silent space that just mesmerize you, like the scene with the alignment of the planets. Even today it's beautiful. It didn't need monsters or enemy aliens. Would have ruined it actually.

--I don't think it's aged well. Today those panoramic views of space are boring, the classical music is passe' and I find myself using the fast-forward button a lot when I re-view this film (I have it in wide-screen Laserdisc). "A Clockwork Orange" (also sci-fi) has aged much better, and turned out to be a lot more prophetic...

On the subject of "Alien", I think that was the first film I ever saw in the six-channel surround sound, and that added a dimension to the film that I'd never experienced before...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 9:25:55 AM PST
Clarke's novelization of 2001 tells a better-- more thorough story than the film. Kubrick's lingering shots of planets and landscapes were designed to lull the audience into a fugue state, then he would whack it with a startling edit and a musical crescendo. He also wanted to depict the tedious nature of future space travel, making it appear routine to the point of being mundane. In that regard, he over-achieved. In my opinion, if you take all that cinematographic technique out of the movie, not much is left because of Kubrick's intentionally obscure approach to the story. What made 2001 a breakthrough film was its depiction of space, which was the most realistic audiences had ever seen. The movie was littered with striking visuals. 2001 went into pre-production just after Ed White's first "space walk" during the Gemini 4 flight, when the world got its first clear picture of a man in space. I rank 2001 high on my list because it was the first blockbuster science fiction film that showed studios the genre could indeed make a lot of money at the box office. For that reason, we owe a lot to Kubrick. I don't think the movie holds up well today because science fiction enthusiasts and filmgoers in general want more than just striking imagery. We have tons of that now days, but what we lack are good stories with plots that don't leave us wondering what the hell just happened. George Clooney's "Solaris" is an example of a movie that tried to borrow from Kubrick's textbook of obtuse filmmaking and it tanked at the box office.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 9:35:59 AM PST
Blade Runner
Andromeda Strain (the original, of course. I remember seeing the premier with my SF-addicted mom!)
2001:A Space Odyssey (SF Wagner?)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 10:26:08 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 2, 2010 8:27:02 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 10:32:12 AM PST
Soderbergh is a smart guy and I'm sure he fully understood the original film. But he and Clooney collaborated to make the movie more enigmatic. The lingering close ups and obscure plot were classic Kubrick techniques. The Russian version was a brilliant film. But, as usual, the American version got too caught up in its own style of filmmaking.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 10:37:09 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 1:47:09 PM PST
Erin Brockovich and Traffic were good films, and complicated directorial projects. Soderbergh is an Oscar-winning director and an eclectic talent who is always trying to be innovative. I just think he listened to George Clooney too much in their collaboration on Solaris. It's totally unlike any of Soderbergh's other films.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 3:03:00 PM PST
Raul Duke says:
Empire Strikes Back

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 3:22:39 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 2, 2010 8:27:01 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 6:23:17 PM PST
L. Nozari says:
Nobody has mentioned my favorite movie of all time "Aliens" the Alien sequel directed by James Cameron. Realistic action, interesting characters and good sub plots.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 7:12:22 PM PDT
J. Russell says:
The Forbidden Planet
Alien
Blade Runner
Star Trek Two The Wrath of Kauhn
2001 for realism, well sort of. You know what I mean.
Serinity, just for the fun of it.

Brazil, I always loved, I guess it is sort of science fiction. It is the only move I know of where going insane is considered a happy ending, you have to love that.

Posted on Mar 14, 2009 9:58:43 PM PDT
Dalton Wolf says:
Star Wars--this movie completely resurrected an entire movie genre and lit the fires of imagination in millions of people who would never have even considerred watching a 'space' movie or becoming sci-fi fans. Though there are certainly movies with better scripts and more accurate 'science models', there has never been another movie that grabbed the entire planet and slapped it upside the head the way this movie did. I was there; I saw it. To reach across all boundaries and grab such a large portion of the population of this planet simply cannot be ignored.

Runners up (Blade Runner, 2001, Silent Running, Serenity, Close Encounters)

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 8:14:00 AM PDT
Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood Still (original), The Time Machine, Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Star Wars trilogy (the original ones.) etc.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 10:29:25 AM PDT
Gattaca.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 12:07:37 PM PDT
D. Gilbert says:
Aliens is in in the running for me. "Game over, man, game over!"

But seriously "Forbidden Planet" and the original "Day the Earth Stood Still." I just rewatched them this weekend. I never get tired of them.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2009 1:54:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2009 1:55:41 PM PDT
Walter Five says:
I agree, they both have a rather "timeless" quality to them, despite the fact that they're cinemagraphically very dated. Rather less dated but equally timeless would be Kubrick's "2001" and "A Clockwork Orange", IMHO.

Brazil is *definitely* science-fiction at its dystopian strangest...

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 2:22:56 PM PDT
M. Carole says:
I agree with Dalton Wolf - Star Wars is not a work of genius, but it hooked a lot of people on Sci-fi, similiar to Harry Potter hooking kids on fantasy. So it's best for it's long term effect. But, best movie on it's own merit, Blade Runner. 2001? Puts my entire family to sleep.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 6:39:10 PM PDT
The Day the Earth Stood Still (original). It never gets old.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2009 8:35:15 PM PDT
Has to be "Night of the Comet" hands down.........

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 8:40:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2009 8:43:24 PM PDT
Great Thread! My favorites are:
1. Starship troopers
2. Star wars (the recent ones)
3. The Fifth Element
4. Gattaca
5. Matrix

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 9:59:37 PM PDT
Damon says:
1. The Fifth Element
2. Blade Runner
3. The Empire Strikes back
4. Aliens
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  263
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Initial post:  Dec 23, 2008
Latest post:  Nov 28, 2012

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