Monday, April 02, 2007

Serenity best? Joss say no!

The British movie magazine SFX has released the results of its recent poll to determine the best science fiction film in cinema history.

In a stunning upset (I've always wanted an opportunity to use that phrase), SFX readers chose Serenity as the all-time greatest sci-fi flick.


I mean, Serenity was indeed pretty darned good. I even wrote as much in this very space a while back. But the best science fiction film ever? Hmm.

In case you're curious, here's SFX's complete Top Ten:
  1. Serenity. Again, you can check out my previous post to see what I thought of this one.

  2. Star Wars. I've never been a fan, either of the original or its increasingly tedious sequels and prequels. When Star Wars debuted back in the day, I actually paid to see it twice, not because I was enamored with it, but because everyone I knew was so ecstatic about it that I figured I must have missed something the first time. I didn't.

  3. Blade Runner. I didn't care much for Blade Runner the first time I saw it, but it's grown on me through subsequent viewings over the years. Certainly, it's as influential a film, visually speaking, as has ever been made in the genre. More than Star Wars, even.

  4. Planet of the Apes. A sentimental fave. I was a huge Planet of the Apes fan as a kid. On at least two occasions that I can recall, I sat in a theater through marathon showings of all five of the original Apes films. The Tim Burton remake, however, stank on ice. Banana-flavored ice.

  5. The Matrix. Like Blade Runner, The Matrix influenced almost every genre film that followed it. The sequels got a little bit outré and self-indulgent for my taste, but the original still rocks.

  6. Alien. This would probably be number one on my personal list, even though it's really more of a horror film in a sci-fi setting than pure sci-fi. Sigourney Weaver's Ripley remains one of the most awe-inspiring heroines in the history of the movies, genre or no genre.

  7. Forbidden Planet. Incredibly influential for its time — there would have been no Star Trek without it — but it's embarrassingly dated if you watch it today. Still, this futuristic retooling of Shakespeare's The Tempest has earned its place among the classics.

  8. 2001: A Space Odyssey. I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I find 2001 — like the entirety of Stanley Kubrick's cinematic oeuvre — pretentious, ponderous, and worst of all, boring. I remember walking out of the theater as a kid and asking myself, "That was it?"

  9. The Terminator. James Cameron's breakout film isn't high art, but it's wicked cool nonetheless. Strictly in terms of quality, however, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a much better movie. Who'da thunk that hulking mass of humanity with the undecipherable accent would someday be running my home state?

  10. Back to the Future. Shouldn't really count, in my opinion. Back to the Future is a comedy with a fantasy (not science fiction) premise. It's a fun movie, but it doesn't belong on a list of great sci-fi films.
Now the important question: Why isn't Heavy Metal on this list?

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1 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Donna offered these pearls of wisdom...

Recall if you will a time or two spent at the local franchise of Straw Hat Pizza during the late spring of 1980. We often frequented the local establishment for pizza and soda following baseball games during that first season of the Redwood Pioneers. You were with your girlfriend at the time. "Cro" joined us Key Clubbers at another table for hands of poker.

Straw Hut Pizza had a large projection screen for viewing movies. One weekend, they were showing the movie "Alien". Your girlfriend could predict exactly when it was safe to look at the screen again while "Alien" was being shown because yours truly would inevitibaly glance up at the screen at the wrong time and shriek. I was not then, and am not now a fan of scary sci-fi movies. To this day, I don't think that I've ever seen "Alien" in its entirety.

Thanks for the good read today because it brought back many a fond memory of that spring of 1980; chicken excluded!

3:59 PM  

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