Monday, January 26, 2009

Eight days of favorite films II: Science Fiction

This is a list guaranteed to disappoint my high-minded science fiction-loving friends who loan me their Vernor Vinge and speak breathlessly about Gattaca. I mean, I like Gattaca just fine, but...*sigh* on with my list:

  1. Serenity (2005)
  2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
  3. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
  4. Aliens (1986)
  5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
  6. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  7. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  8. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
  9. WALL-E (2008)
  10. 12 Monkeys (1995)

So if yesterday demonstrated that I like Batman, I guess today shows how much I like Star Trek. I don't consider myself a huge Star Trek fan now, but...I don't consider myself much of a science fiction movie fan currently either.

I felt that I should divide science fiction and fantasy into two genres, although the two are usually combined. Science fiction has plenty of well-known films to fill up the ranks of the greats, but (as we'll see) fantasy isn't as well-populated.

In many ways I could have merged this genre with yesterday's action/adventure. Although all of these films utilize science fiction trappings, I think 12 Monkeys is the sole film which explores an idea in a way only the sci-fi genre can. The rest are mainly action films (with WALL-E & Star Trek IV also serving as comedies). Top marks go to Serenity, the filmgoing experience of 2005 for me.

With the exception of the Empire Strikes Back I had to shut the Star Wars films out of this list, a notion that my 12 (or even 18) year old self would have found absurd. It's not that I don't still enjoy the old movies, nor do I feel that the new films have irreparably damaged the franchise's reputation, I simply fell out of love with the franchise more than a decade ago. I still like them fine.

Tomorrow: the comedy genre!

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