Lynn, a newish foldedspace reader, is proving herself full of good information. She provided the tip about the library book sale (albeit via Denise’s weblog), and yesterday she mentioned The Oregonian‘s list of the fifty greatest science fiction films of all time (as selected by fifteen science fiction authors and “hardcore buffs”)..
Being a science fiction fan, I couldn’t resist tracking down the list. Follow the link to read expanded commentary on each of the selections, or just take a gander at the summary below.
- Alien (1979), which Dave and I just saw in the theater on Halloween night. This is a reasonable choice for the top spot.
- Blade Runner (1982), giving Ridley Scott the two top spots. Is this really the second-best science fiction film ever made? Pam would disagree. I would, too.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which Dana loves. I only saw it once, long long ago.
- Metropolis (1927), which I’ve never seen.
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- Star Wars (1977), which captured the imagination of a generation.
- The Matrix (1999), a film I enjoy more each time I watch it.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), which has always bored me.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which I recently saw on the big screen; I love the first half, don’t like the second half.
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Ugh.
- Terminator 2 (1991), say what?
- Alphaville (1965), which I’ve never seen.
- Aliens (1986), which is okay, but a little over-the-top sometimes.
- A Clockwork Orange (1971), which is very disturbing.
- Brazil (1985), a fine film dystopia.
- Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), which is fun, but number sixteen?
- The Thing From Another World (1951), which I’ve never seen.
- Solaris (1972) — uh, no. This film is t-e-d-i-o-u-s.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), which I’ve never seen.
- The Terminator (1984) — I’ve never been a fan of the Terminator films.
- Testuro: The Iron Man (1988) — hm, a film of which I’ve not ever heard�
- Things to Come (1936), which I’ve not seen.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), a good Star Trek film, and one of my most-watched movies of all time.
- Mad Max (1978), which I loved when I was in high school.
- Forbidden Planet (1956) — how can you not love Shakespeare in space?
- Back to the Future (1985), which I haven’t seen in a long time, so I just added it to my Netflix queue.
- The City of Lost Children (1995), which Joel and Aimee love, but which seems too artificial for me.
- The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), now this gave me nightmares when I was a kid. The giant spider was just too much.
- Them! (1954), which I’ve never seen.
- Akira (1988), which I’ve never seen.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), which I’ve never seen.
- Farenheit 451 (1966), which I saw once long ago but no longer remember.
- Repo Man (1984) — Can you believe I’ve never seen it? It’s at number 46 on the Netflix queue.
- Planet of the Apes (1968), which has some good scenes, but also looks like a TV movie-of-the-week in most spots. Read the book.
- 12 Monkeys (1995) — Boo-yah! I love this film.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), which I’ve never seen straight through.
- Delicatessen (1991), which I have not seen, but want to.
- Fantastic Planet (1971), of which I’ve never heard.
- The Fly (1986) — come again?
- Jurassic Park (1992), one of my favorite thrill-ride films, I love the T-Rex sequence.
- Silent Running (1971), which I cannot sit through, so I’ve never seen the entire thing. Boring.
- Return of the Jedi (1983), which should not be on this list — George Lucas beginning to lose restraint.
- The Brother From Another Planet (1984) — I’ve never heard of this, either.
- The Fifth Element (1997), while agree that elements of this film are visionary, other pieces are utterly annoying.
- The Thing (1982), which I’ve only seen once, while drunk in college.
- Dark City (1998), which I didn’t like as much as Roger Ebert (who loved it), but it’s on my Netflix queue anyhow.
- Pitch Black (2000), which I’ve not seen.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), an indication that this list has degenerated into silliness.
- The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), which I have not seen.
- Starship Troopers (1997), which received poor reviews but which I rather liked.
I’m pleased to see that neither of the recent Star Wars films made the list. I may watch them from time-to-time, but it’s simply out of nostalgia, because I’m part of the Star Wars generation. I skip whole scenes (thank you, DVD!). The Oregonian also has a list of the five worst science fiction films of all time, and local celebrities listing their favorite science fiction films.
There are some science fiction films that I particularly like that didn’t make the list. They may not be particularly good, in an objective sense, but I always enjoy:
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), which I feel is the second best film in the franchise, much better than the over-rated Star Trek IV (which is just painful to watch now): “Double dumbass on you!”
- When Worlds Collide (1951), a cheesy 1950s science fiction film that I first saw in the theater — it frightened me!
- Outland (1981), with Sean Connery. This film fits perfectly with the Alien/Blade Runner-type dystopic near future.
- Buckaroo Banzai (1984), which is pure goofy fun.
- Logan’s Run (1976), which has a fascinating story poorly brought to screen. A remake might be good, eh?
- The Black Hole (1979), which is dreadful really, but for which I have a soft spot in my heart.
What science fiction films do you love, and why?
On 08 November 2003 (11:57 AM),
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Carson Gilmore said:
On 20 March 2004 (05:44 PM),
On 16 September 2005 (08:41 PM),