Friday, June 27, 2008

Scalzi's New Sci-Fi Classics

He's a man of many hats. Besides being a great writer and pioneering blogger, John Scalzi is also now a weekly columnist for American Movie Classics' SciFi Scanner, a site dedicated to "science fiction movies, news, and discussion." His most recent column discusses the results of the American Film Institute's Top 10 Science Fiction Movies, noting that the choices stop after 1991.

Were there any great science fiction films after 1991? Scalzi thinks so, and has decided to make a Top 10 List comprised of films after '91. The catch? He'll list five of his - the rest are up to you.

Here's the link to his original post. My additions to the list are below:
  1. DARK CITY - Between this and THE CROW, Alex Proyas has done more for black leather outfits than a million S&M shops. Intelligent, great effects, and beautifully shot with the wackiest Kiefer Sutherland performance not captured by police video.
  2. PRIMER - Yeah, it doesn't really scream "Excitement" but the strength of PRIMER lies in its ability to treat time travel in a unique fashion and not simply use it as a crutch to keep a plot from crumbling.
  3. MINORITY REPORT - It's between this and BLADE RUNNER for Best Film Made of of a PKD story. Not as in "closest adaptation" but as "this is a great film that happens to have come from a PKD story." Does anyone do ideas and action combined better than Steven Spielberg?
  4. THE FOUNTAIN - One of the most visually stunning films to come out in the past 10 years. A wonderful love story stretched across time, I include this because visually it's something we hadn't seen in a long time.
  5. CITY OF LOST CHILDREN - It's a fairy tale stuck inside a rusty coating of steam punk SF. It's got Ron Perlman. It's got evil Siamese twins. It's got the cutest, most precocious kids you'll find outside of the Little Rascals. It's French. I adore this movie.

I left out superhero movies from my list, just because I feel like that's a genre unto itself (and I shudder for actually using "unto" in a sentence). So even though I love Scalzi's list, I'd replace THE INCREDIBLES (which WOULD make my top 5 superhero movies of all time) and replace it with Brad Bird's IRON GIANT. Best 1950's SF movie to be made after the 1950's.

Other films that could have easily made the list? SERENITY (though I prefer the show to the movie), CONTACT (thanks for the reminder, Jason), and as a lot of others mentioned in their comments, GALAXY QUEST. I can forgive Tim Allen a hundred SANTA CLAUS sequels on the basis of this movie.

Anyone got anything to add? Disagree? Access Scalzi's article and fire away.

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