What’s this? A movie update?? But sadly just a list and not a review – ’cause I’m too lazy to do the latter.
It’s November Sci-Fi Month!#SciFiMonth
“Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. …Science fiction is central to everything we’ve ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don’t know what they’re talking about.”
― Ray Bradbury
I have never actually been much of a sci-fi movie watcher – or more like I was never really aware of how much I actually really like the genre of sci-fi. Maybe it’s because I had never really been into the entire Robocop, Terminator and (don’t hate me) Star Wars kind of movies.
Lately it’s becoming more blatant, that among the comedies, action movies, cartoons and the like, a really good sci-fi can be the ultimate film indulgence, i.e. both a medium of serious contemplation and a form of escapism. And now that special effects are becoming more awe-inspiring, sci-fi movies are definitely pushing the boundaries of what can and cannot be done on screen.
So here are some of my favourites (in order of oldest to newest):
1. Alien (1979)
I think this is a cult favourite must-watch. I’d heard of this movie but it wasn’t until I had to actually watch it for a feminist theory class that I really got hooked into analysing it and appreciating how ahead of its time it was – and how bad-ass Ripley’s character is. Sigourney Weaver is honestly the pioneer female actress of science fiction and alien movies. And if anything, watch it for the chest ripping scene. Too many movies pay homage to it to not see the original.
2. Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Is it sad to say that I like this one more than the original film? And that I found the hybrid alien/human to be kind of adorable? I find this one so much more watchable and thrilling – if not more generic. The underwater scene, – Ripley kicking ass in basketball – it is all good. This movie is up there as one of my favourites.
3. Run Lola Run (1998)
Again, a film I only came to know because of one of my university courses. Lola lives out multiple possibilities, much like respawning in a video game – pushing the fabric of what is fated and what is still within an individual’s control – all just to get the money her boyfriend owes and to save his life.
4. Evolution (2001)
This one is definitely sci-fi with a humorous touch. I’ve watched this more than once and the aliens in here are just awesome. I mean, come on, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Orlando Jones and Seann William Scott and Julianne Moore all together with the periodic table and Head and Shoulders jokes (spoiler)?
5. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
“So long and thanks for all the fish!” This has definitely got to be another cult favourite. The plot follows Arthur Dent (i.e. Martin Freeman in another one of his typical roles as an English-tea-loving man with too many worries and fears of adventure) who is beamed up to space before earth is blown up to make way for a hyperspace motorway and he is thrown into (gasp) adventures beyond his wildest notions.
6. Cloverfield (2008)
Cause at this point in time I’m too lazy to create my own description of it (except just to say that this was *bleeping* awesome):
Cloverfield follows five New Yorkers from the perspective of a hand-held video camera. The movie is exactly the length of a DV Tape and a sub-plot is established by showing bits and pieces of video previously recorded on the tape that is being recorded over. The movie starts as a monster of unknown origin destroys a building. As they go to investigate, parts of the building and the head of the Statue of Liberty come raining down. The movie follows their adventure trying to escape and save a friend, a love interest of the main character.Written by Pip Carlson
7. District 9 (2009)
And again (and this time it’s kind of funny, ’cause I actually did write a good-length review/analysis of this film in my school paper):
In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed “The Prawns,” appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new ‘Prawn’ friends. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
8. Super 8 (2011)
Okay, for this one I have to say that J.J. Abrams did an amazing job. I really didn’t expect too much from this film when I first went in to watch it – I really had no idea what exactly it was about (’cause the way it was promoted went exactly like that) but I thought it delivered really well. And it premiered Elle Fanning really well – as well (note to self: other synonyms apart from ‘well’). Also, besides being heart-stopping and entertaining, there are definitely pieces of the movie that are worth analysing. If you plan to watch it, don’t look up the plot, just watch it with the mystery of the film still intact. It will make the entire thing far more enjoyable.
9. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
I will speak the honest truth: Star Trek (the first installment of the two) bored me to tears. Or more like I almost fell asleep within the first fifteen minutes. So when I went to watch the first one I was bracing for the ZZZs to attack me. But, remarkably, I loved it. I loved the action scene, I actually felt something for the bromance that is Kirk and Spock and (surprise, surprise) I loved Khan’s character. By the end of the movie I was thinking to myself: damn it, it may actually be one of my newest favourites.
10. Ender’s Game (2013)
And this is the latest one that I’ve watched. Once again, I didn’t expect much – ’cause it really advertises itself as a possible wannabe young teen’s film ala Speed Racer or Zathura or (God forbid) Spy Kids 3D. But I reminded myself that it was an Orson Scott Card novel – and by golly it had a good imdb rating (See How to Save Money on Movies – shameless self-advertising) so I was convinced that it would be a lot better than the cheesy poster proclaimed it to be. Solid answer is “yes it was” – otherwise it wouldn’t be on this list.
I think the reason why sci-fi movies are starting to grow on me is because they’re surprising. I go into them expecting something slightly boring, something far too ambitious and that just does not deliver on neither character development nor climax/revelation, but they do. Also, it’s amazing how nuanced some of them are. You can go back to the same movie later on and have a completely new take on it – see things you’ve never seen before about them.
So if you haven’t checked out the above movies, do take a look into some of them!
Till next time!
All movie synopsis credits are from the community of Imdb.com
- 25 Ways Sci-FI Movies Have Accurately Predicted the Future (complex.com)
- What The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Has Taught Me (booksandbeautifulworld.wordpress.com)
- Sci-fi Month: Introductory post (studentspyglass.com)
- The Possibilities in Sci-Fi. (avogtou.wordpress.com)
- Sci-Fi Month Introduction Post! (booksandbeautifulworld.wordpress.com)