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The last good SF film I saw was:

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Showing 1-25 of 530 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 25, 2012 12:23:58 PM PDT
The Thing sequel. I thought it kept the mythos and atmosphere from the John Carpenter film pretty well, and the CG meshed pretty well with the film too.

John Carter--this film didn't fare well at the box office, but it was a pretty fun film and shot very well too. I really don't have anything bad to say about it other than when it comes out on DVD give it a try. It stayed pretty true in flavor to the book.

Thor--I didn't have high hopes for this comic book adaptation, but it turned out way better than my expectations. The story was pretty close to the comic book mythos, Portman played another good SF role, good action, neat scenes and costumes. Good movie, check it out.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 12:51:25 PM PDT
D. J. Bowler says:
District Nine: The plot was engaging, it was shot in an actual South African shanty-town, the acting was on or above par, and the art + f/x were from Weta Workshop... That is money hard to beat.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 12:52:23 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
If we can include comic/graphic novels in this definition of SF films, then the last really good one I saw was the Watchmen. Not just as a superhero story, but the alternate history aspect was spot on. Plus, it had a rarity for modern big budget movies: It was smart and thoughtful.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 2:09:03 PM PDT
me FPA says:
I so agree about The Thing! Have said the same thing about it staying true to the Carpenter version. I like all three Thing movies; the original is a very weird film and was one of my favorites as a kid and lover of old sci-fi movies. I've heard that the Carpenter version is supposedly more faithful to the book than the original movie, but I haven't read the book so have no idea what's what there.

Except for The Thing, I've had such bad luck lately with new sci-fi movies. But, off the top of my head, Hardwired from back in 2009 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine are more recent movies I think are really good, though Wolverine probably only has sci-fi elements.

I've yet to see Thor but will try it.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 2:33:01 PM PDT
Apropos of nothing, this would fit in well in a Lovecraftian tale--looks like someone has found a fossilized shoggoth!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 3:14:15 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
My money's on the "Old Ones" (as in "At the Mountains of Madness").

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 5:01:53 PM PDT
I'll throw my vote behind District Nine, also.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 8:52:20 AM PDT
If you want to read the original short story that "The Thing" was based on, here it is. It's interesting to compare it to the movies. The ending is NOT what the various versions depict and was unexpected, at least to me. ->

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:18:02 AM PDT
D.J.--I've seen District 9 and enjoyed it for what it was. I thought the protagonist was a bit weak and silly in character in the beginning, but exhibited growth thru the film, so perhaps that's what the film was partly saying. Pretty good effects too.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:19:29 AM PDT
I enjoyed The Watchman too, and read the graphic novel story as well. The comics I thought were excellent, and the film adaptation was a good translation, and fun to watch. I own a copy on DVD ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:22:43 AM PDT
I enjoyed the 50's The Thing From Another World as well. I need to read the story it's from as well. I think it's around the house somewhere. James Arness, Marshall Dillon played the monster :) I also enjoyed Wolverine, and own a copy of that on DVD. It's not a super great movie, but I like some of the scenes in it a lot, like when he's on top of the nuclear reactors fighting the other mutants. Awesome :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:23:23 AM PDT
Gilbert that's cool, I hope they don't let it melt ;) like in The Thing movies.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:27:37 AM PDT
I'm not familiar with the "Old Ones" movie. I did see a budget movie on At the Mountains of Madness, I think. There was also a bio on H. P. Lovecraft I enjoy quite a bit. I also enjoyed the movies: The Dunwich Horror with Dean Stockwell & Sandra Lee, and Die Monster Die, with Boris Karloff taken from the HPL story, The Colour Out of Space, as well as, From Beyond & Re-Animator (more horror though).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:28:44 AM PDT
Thanks for the link, CivWar64, I'm sure some will enjoy reading it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:32:06 AM PDT
Jeff Walther says:
D. J. Bowler says: "District Nine: "

I can't get past the shakey cam. I hate that self-absorbed technique of filmography. It ruins my enjoyment of the film, no matter what the quality otherwise.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:35:20 AM PDT
Jeff Walther says:
me FPA says:
"I so agree about The Thing! ...snip...I've heard that the Carpenter version is supposedly more faithful to the book than the original movie, but I haven't read the book so have no idea what's what there."

The original story "Who Goes There" by John W. Campbell, jr. was a novella, which is considerably shorter than a novel. It is well worth the read. The original movie with James Arness as the monster was faithful enough to the story, and probably as faithful as it could be. It would have been very difficult to literally translate the original story to film with the technology available at the time of the original film.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:46:22 AM PDT
D.J. shakey cameras: I tend to agree with you about that. I avoid movies and TV series that employ that technique. That's one of the reasons I never watch Battlestar Galactica, plus just never got into the story--I prefer the classic/original series however.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:50:54 AM PDT
Jeff: I agree about about your comment about older movie effects. I find it funny when a young person comments that they didn't enjoy the film due to lousy effects or whatever. I want to tell them the same thing; that's all they had back then. But that said, sometimes what they did do was very effective, and I find some of those old monster/SF movies pretty charming even though they're lower in budget.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 11:10:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 11:16:11 AM PDT
me FPA says:
Thanks a bunch for the link--I'm going to read it! That ending issue you've mentioned sounds particularly intriguing.

About special effects: I actually love the special effects in older movies. As I rewatch many, especially from the 60s and 70s, I'm consistently impressed with how real everything seemed when filmmakers had a lot fewer resources (the original Star Trek movie--I'd forgotten how incredible the space scenes look, and I don't even care how long they are). I've recently made my way through all the Twilight Zone episodes--had never seen them all, had always been a bigger Outer Limits fan than a Twilight Zone fan. Now, after having rewatched them both, I like both shows pretty equally. But I am so in love with certain TZ ones ("On Thursday We Leave for Home"--just superb!). I can't believe how real they look and "feel," and these are black and white and done-for-TV backdrops.

I've said here before that I think special effects done with actual physical objects (real sets, real people, tiny models, etc.) are generally better. With all- or nearly-all digital the way that's done today, it's like the proper shadows can't easily be duplicated. Everything's too fake, both the shadows are fake AND the objects. All-digital too often winds up looking too cartoonish, to me at least. I can't remember which movie, but in recent times I found out one of them was noted among filmmakers for all-computerized special effects, yet I had spent the supposed best SE scene of the movie feeling annoyed that I could make out the fake parts....

Threedollar, the fantastic montage through important moments in time near Wolverine's beginning is what really hooked me. I've watched that movie three times in one day. Don't think I'll ever tire of it....

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 12:59:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 1:48:04 PM PDT
D. J. Bowler says:
RE District Nine's weak main character: I liked the character's development arc. He's a stereotypical Boss's son-in-law: 'juiced in' to a cushy job at his wife's-dad's corporation that he's ridiculously unprepared for. He's insecure in every way... This complements the real-life backstory of the unknown actor, who managed to get a look at the part in the script, jump in front of a decision-maker and say: I know this character! Just gimme a shot! I got this! Then make it work.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 1:25:57 PM PDT

re: how closely the 'Thing' movies followed the original story, my feeling was that the 1951 version is closer to the first part of the short story, the Carpenter version was closer to the second part of the story, and neither had the same ending.

I didn't see the 2011 version -- I guess I'll have to rent it here on Amazon video, unless Netflix streaming has it. How did this version compare to the others?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 1:35:02 PM PDT
Jeff Walther says:
CivWar64 (Bob) says:
"I didn't see the 2011 version -- . How did this version compare to the others?"

I haven't seen it yet. Someone else will have to field that question.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 1:58:21 PM PDT
The Thing 2011 version was closer to Carpenter's version in tone, style, atmosphere, and so forth. Some might complain it didn't show us anything new--just being a rehash, but for me, I really think Carpenter's version hit on something spooky, and I enjoyed it a lot, so was more than happy to see where the prequel dealing with the Norwegian camp went, what went on there and what happened to them? I say if you enjoyed the Carpenter version, you'll enjoy watching the 2011 version as well.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 2:15:03 PM PDT
Personally, I didn't much like the 2011 thing--it lacked the suspense and paranoia of Carpenter's version--it jumped right into the action and didn't establish the mood and atmosphere of the 1982 version, which I've seen 4+ times. It was clever that the 2011 version at the end segued into the beginning of the 1982 version--I'll give them that.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012 12:02:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 28, 2012 1:21:11 PM PDT
Star Wars Episode III: I first saw that film in the theater with my dad. That was the BEST film I've ever seen on the big screen and I had more respect for George Lucas and his Star Wars saga (I loved the first 3 films, watched them endlessly as a child).

Aliens VS Predator: that film was the first time I ever saw anything related to Aliens. I loved the acid-bleeding buggers and their egg-producing Queen, and I always thought it was their King. Because of that film I explored the Aliens saga, from Alien. Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. I even began buying the rare single-issue comics and books. I love those bugs!

Battle: Los Angles (2011): I was only interested in that movie because it was connected to Resistance 3 (a game from the best FPS series: Resistance). I thought I was going to hate it, but it had good character development and although it was a little cliche, I loved the desperation and near-devastation that the characters were feeling.

District 9: that film was so different. I watched it with my Ma and she thought she wouldn't like it. I loved the whole "aliens in Africa" premise, which reminded me of DearS. The ending was a bit sad and from what I can remember, the story did have it's funny points.

Ergo Proxy: This movie works on a philosophical level. The mystery of the Proxies, the excellent character development and references to philosophy and mythology was a wet dream for me. I enjoyed the "home away from utopia" concept and...good lord the characters were downright fantastic! I can't put into words about how good it is. You'll have to see for yourself.

Left 4 Dead the Movie (fan film) & Zombieland: do these count as Sci Fi? I loved the comedy and character development in Zombieland, and I wasn't expecting it to hold so many surprises. I also applaud the Left 4 Dead short films for the action and impact of the storyline. For a series of short films, it had good characters.

Gunslinger Girl: as an Italophile, GG was a surprising twist and opened my eyes to the "true" nature of Italy and it's politics. Little girls are used as cyborgs for the Italian government! An interesting premise with good characters and it was VERY slow at the start. It sure did pick up towards the end.

I hope this helps!
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  52
Total posts:  530
Initial post:  Apr 25, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 4, 2012

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