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    Science Editor SHAMAS's Avatar
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    My favourite science fiction films

    MY FAVOURITE SCIENCE FICTION FILMS


    This is my list of favourite films and you might notice certain ones like Matrix, Star Wars, 2010, Close Encounters, Independence Day, etc are missing. They are missing from the list because I didn't enjoy them, they were fairly ordinary, they were poorly scripted or made, or just didn't have engaging stories as far as i am concerned!

    If you have differing views, here's your chance to say so.


    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Stanley Kubrick
    Kubrick, cinema's chilliest genius, abandons conventional narrative and presents a succession of beautifully-composed sketches on the theme of evolution, death and rebirth linked by the mystical presence of a large black monolith. We know what the year 2001 looks like now, and it doesn't look much like Kubrick's vision. But 2001: A Space Odyssey itself still looks immaculate. Spectacular, trailblazing and philosophical, it's an undisputed masterpiece.


    Blade Runner (1982) Ridley Scott
    Reviled on release, who would have thought that Ridley Scott's sci-fi noir would go on to become so influential and retrospectively acclaimed? Adapted from science fiction genius Philip K ****'s novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', Harrison Ford stars as the detective who retires synthetic humans until an encounter with a beautiful android leaves him calling his own identity into question. One of the seminal sci-fi movies of the 1980s.


    The Thing (1982) John Carpenter
    Influential horror sci-fi starring Kurt Russell as a whiskey-swigging pilot who unwittingly becomes defender of the planet when his Antarctic research team comes in contact with a body-invading alien. John Carpenter revamped the already-chilling 1951 B-movie The Thing From Another World to deliver this superbly frosty and tense exercise in being careful who you trust.


    The Terminator (1984) James Cameron
    The sci-fi action-thriller that launched the careers of James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger into the stratosphere. Still endlessly entertaining, the secret of its success is certainly not in its originality, but lies in its relentless energy, tough-as-nails heroine (Linda Hamilton) and Schwarzenegger himself as the taciturn killer robot, who in the course of the action delivers fewer than 100 words of dialogue.


    Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) James Cameron
    Arnold Schwarzenegger reteams with James Cameron to reprise his career-defining role as the near-indestructible robot in this sequel that is as spectacular as it is thought-provoking, heavy in both special effects and subtexts. Despite the special effects distracting somewhat from the narrative (not a problem in the first film), this remains one of the greatest and most adored action movies of the 1990s.


    The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) Robert Wise
    A reasoned plea for peace in the face of the escalating Cold War, Robert Wiseís sci-fi classic is a potent parable that remains as chillingly relevant for the 21st century as it was for the last. It also acts as a reminder that the best sci-fi is always a fusion of spectacle and strong ideas, and that purposeful direction and a literate script can more than compensate for limited resources. The high-water mark of 50s science fiction cinema. The modern remake with Keannu Reeves is poor in comparison!

    Back To The Future (1985) Robert Zemeckis
    Gleeful, thoroughly entertaining 80s time travel yarn that stars Michael J Fox as a teen who heads back in time, only to muddle his own parents' courtship. The De Lorean time machine-cum-car and special effects date it slightly, but this is a film almost unique for 1980s Hollywood, one that is charming, clever and genuinely weird (check Crispin Glover's discomforting turn and the undisguised Freudian plot).


    Alien (1979) Ridley Scott
    The film that gave us the action heroine, in the shape of Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley, and presented space travel as just another job. Superb performances add to Scott's stylish direction and, if a film can be judged by the amount of rip-offs it generates, Alien must rank as one of the most influential movies ever. A must-see tour-de-force of suspense, slasher antics and good old-fashioned sci-fi.


    Aliens (1986) James Cameron
    James Cameron's follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi shocker is that rare thing - a sequel that's actually as good as (or even better than?) its predecessor. Sigourney Weaver reprises the role of intergalactic extra-terrestrial basher Ellen Ripley.


    Akira (1988) Katsuhiro Otomo
    Katsuhiro Otomo's film is still the benchmark movie in anime. Based on manga characters created by Otomo in 1982, the film is set in a chaotic future version of Tokyo, where secret government experiments on the telepathic powers of children go disastrously awry. The complex plot may get a bit boggling for Western minds at times, but Akira is rightfully considered one of the greatest ever accomplishments in sci-fi storytelling.


    Twelve Monkeys (1995) Terry Gilliam
    Richly detailed, deliriously realised time-travel thriller from Terry Gilliam, starring Bruce Willis as time-hopping convict James Cole, who is sent from his futuristic prison back to the 1990s to prevent mankind from being destroyed by a virus.


    Jurassic Park (1993) Steven Spielberg
    Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern visit the island theme-park of Richard Attenborough, who has been breeding dinosaurs. What could possibly go wrong? Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, spectacle tends to triumph over sense, but with effects this effective resistance is futile. The latest movie of this type unfortunately didn't take account of what scientists have learned since the original film, which is a pity since it might have marked out the latest movie, but it is essential a repeat of the old stuff.


    Forbidden Planet (1956) Fred M. Wilcox
    Fun, superior sci-fi that sets Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' in outer space. Headed by handsome young commander Leslie Nielsen, a crew of US space farers arrive on the colourful planet Altair to rescue a missing expedition with humorously camp results. A smart script and-ahead-of their-time effects elevate this one from a cult classic to a landmark of the genre.


    The War Of The Worlds (1953) Byron Haskin
    Fifties Hollywood gets its teeth into HG Wells' classic of Victorian sci-fi, transposing the alien attack to contemporary America. HG Wells' classic novel set in the London area in 1890 is updated to contemporary California and brought vividly to the screen by special-effects wizard turned director Byron Haskin. In spite of the characteristic and predictable influence of the Cold War, its tightly structured, extremely tense and, oddly, believable.


    Westworld
    (1973) Michael Crichton
    Michael Crichton makes his feature film writer-director debut with this tale of technology gone mad (what else?) set in a futuristic holiday park where punters get to play out their fantasies with lifelike androids. Yul Brynner's remorseless cowboy robot anticipates The Terminator in his determinedness to destroy. The subtexts are considerably more adult than the similarly-themed Jurassic Park, also penned by Crichton, and the overall result is a prescient and efficient thriller, if a little short on directive flair in the filmís final acts.


    Silent Running (1971) Douglas Trumbull
    The elegiac directorial debut of FX man Douglas Trumbull, Silent Running is a virtuous science-fiction classic in which Bruce Dern's lone astronaut champions the last remnants of Earth's plant life. Itís among the most intelligent and entertaining sci-fi films of the 1970.


    Men in Black
    (1997)
    Few movies have captured the fun, zany spirit of 1950s pulp while also managing to be so, well, good. The ground-breaking effects, sharp script, and solid performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith made Men in Black an instant classic.


    Evolution
    (2001)
    A fire-fighting cadet, two college professors and a geeky but sexy government scientist work against an alien organism that has been rapidly evolving ever since its arrival on Earth inside a meteor. A funny film that pokes fun at sci-fi movies.
    Director: Ivan Reitman


    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    (1956)
    A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates. The film was released at the height of the McCarthyte hysteria about communists in the US. Some have argued that the alien duplicates represent the communist threat.
    Director: Don Siegel


    Predator (1987)
    What looks like a typical CIA in Latin America adventure gets derailed when everyone starts dying. Then what looks like a typical survival film gets all heat-visiony and translucent until we learn this is actually a film about an interstellar hunter collecting a new roomful of trophies, and the humans are going to end up as the trophies.


    Predator 2
    A 1990 American science fiction action film written by Jim and John Thomas, directed by Stephen Hopkins, and starring Danny Glover and Kevin Peter Hall. The film is a sequel to 1987's Predator. Despite receiving negative reviews, the film has since become a cult film among fans.


    The Fly
    A 1958 American science fiction-horror film produced and directed by Kurt Neumann. Much better than the later versions of the film that were produced.

    In Montreal, Quebec, scientist is found dead with his head and arm crushed in a hydraulic press. Although his wife confesses to the crime, she refuses to provide a motive and exhibits a number of strange behaviours. In particular, she is obsessed with flies, including a supposedly white-headed fly. Andre's brother, Francois lies and says he caught the white-headed fly; and, thinking he knows the truth, Helene explains the circumstances surrounding Andre's death.


    The Abyss

    A 1989 American science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron.
    When an American submarine sinks in the Caribbean, the US search and recovery team works with an oil platform crew, racing against Russian vessels to recover the boat. Deep in the ocean, they encounter something unexpected. Very unusual aliens and obsessive military personnel keen on using nuclear weapons make it a great film.
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    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quite a comprehensive list sir.

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    Science Editor SHAMAS's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Quite a comprehensive list sir.
    So which are your favourites?

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    Member Latif's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Original Star Trek for me

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    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by SHAMAS View Post
    So which are your favourites?
    My favourite is Independence day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by SHAMAS View Post
    So which are your favourites?
    I am with [MENTION=9549]Latif[/MENTION] sir. I enjoy Star Treking.

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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    I am with [MENTION=9549]Latif[/MENTION] sir. I enjoy Star Treking.
    I first watched the original star trek as a uni student. The Next Gen is inmo much better with better stories and characters. Don't get me wrong: While I dislike the star trek films, I have read and continue to read the star trek books of which there are many. The books are of much better quality than the TV series or films.

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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Hope View Post
    My favourite is Independence day.
    I thought it fairly ordinary. Essentially a cowboys and Indians type of story. Nothing special about it caught my eyes as far as scifi goes. I thins Star Wars is pretty much the same, with little or know science in it. That's why Star Trek wins over Star Wars. There's plenty of action films around but in my scifi ones I like some interesting science ideas. That might help explain my choices on the list I posted.

  9. #9
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by SHAMAS View Post
    I thought it fairly ordinary. Essentially a cowboys and Indians type of story. Nothing special about it caught my eyes as far as scifi goes. I thins Star Wars is pretty much the same, with little or know science in it. That's why Star Trek wins over Star Wars. There's plenty of action films around but in my scifi ones I like some interesting science ideas. That might help explain my choices on the list I posted.
    My all time favorite has got to be Pacific Rim.

    I have seen it many times. And never tire of it.

    Now that's a movie!

    Cheers, Doc
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by vsdoc View Post
    My all time favorite has got to be Pacific Rim.

    I have seen it many times. And never tire of it.

    Now that's a movie!

    Cheers, Doc
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Cant beat Captain Kirk....

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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
    Cant beat Captain Kirk....

    He was a maverick. All the subsequent captains of Star Trek and offshoots like DS9, e.g. Captains Sisko, Picard, Janeway were imo much better captains and less schizophrenic. Interesting that in the Star Trek universe (both in the tv programmes that came after Captain Kirk, or in the books) pointed out that Kirk was an anomaly and that his behaviour was often not captain-like!

  13. #13
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
    Cant beat Captain Kirk....

    Him and Spock made the show
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Latif View Post
    Him and Spock made the show
    Spock is altogether a marvellous character. Kirk, not so much!

    In the NG Star Trek, Spock was replaced by Data and the amorous dimension of Kirk taken on by William Riker. Picard is a more thoughtful and less gungo character who is cultured and well read.
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    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Latif View Post
    Him and Spock made the show
    They had a good clicking together.
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by Latif View Post
    Original Star Trek for me

    If we're branching into tv series, how come no one has mentioned Dr Who, particularly the recent regenerations beginning with Eccleston, followed by David Tennant, Mat Smith and now Capaldi?

    Personally, I liked the new doctors but I'm not so sure about the Capaldi take on Dr Who.

  17. #17
    Member Ironman's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
    They had a good clicking together.
    Yep they worked for me too

  18. #18
    Member NazamKhan's Avatar
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Men In Black.... Will Smith awesome.
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  19. #19
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    Re: My favourite science fiction films

    Quote Originally Posted by NazamKhan View Post
    Men In Black.... Will Smith awesome.
    He was good in Independence Day too

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