My good friend over at Musings of a Sci-Fi Fanatic had a very relevant post on SciFiNow. Issue #44 explored what its readers came up with as The Greatest Sci-Fi Film. Since Gordon opened this up to his readers, I decided I'd post my list choices here since the genre has long been a favorite of mine.
Right off the bat, it was a hell of a lot more difficult than I'd imagined it would be just to select 10 films, let alone trying to put them into some semblance of priority. To help me with that, I had to decide what would qualify as science-fiction. So I fell back to my favorite reference. The dictionary:
Still, not easy. What about the films that seemed more action-oriented (like T2: Judgment Day) or more horror-like (Alien)? How would those films jibe (in my head) with that traditional sci-fi definition? Did it really matter? In the end, another blogger friend (J.D.) cut to the crux of the matter with his comment (and his list):
"With these kinds of lists I'm always wrestling with do I pick the film based on importance or on personal preference and figured I'll just go for a mix of both."So, I figure I'd do similar with mine. Here goes:
- Planet of the Apes (1968) - I'm with author John Kenneth Muir on this one.
- Blade Runner - Ridley Scott's masterpiece -- although Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men made the biggest leap for me this year in the genre (thanks to Rachel).
- The Lathe of Heaven (1980) - this television film has haunted me since I first saw it (and I avoid the remake like the plague).
- WALL●E - how can I not since I made an argument for it?
- 2001: A Space Odyssey - 1968 was a hell of a year for sci-fi.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) - yes, I'm one of those who adore this film by Robert Wise.
- Forbidden Planet (1956) - there's a reason it's been spotlighted by fans and other directors through the decades (like John Carpenter did in Halloween).
- Contact - no disrespect toward his marvelous Back to the Future trilogy, but this Carl Sagan adapted story was a more thoughtful film by Robert Zemeckis.
- Ghost in the Shell (original title Kōkaku Kidōtai) - I'll go with the Mamoru Oshii's anime film that helped to inspire the Wachowski Brothers' The Matrix. I'll admit I have an admiration for a similar low-budget copy, Albert Pyun's Nemesis, too.
- Stargate - this is the one I wrestled with the most on this list. I had to get a Kurt Russell film in here, and the story (and his anguished Jack O'Neil portrayal) swayed me.