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Need Good SciFi's

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 9 years ago

Sci-Fi 34

My wife and I finished watching "Red Planet" which she thoroughly enjoyed, and we saw a bit of "Mission to Mars" yesterday. I haven't seen either of them because of the bad press they got (wasn't particularly thrilled with Red Planet). But that got her kinda in the mood to watch SciFi, which I'm going to take full advantage of. Now I need some suggestions on good SciFi movies.My wife and I finished watching "Red Planet" which she thoroughly enjoyed, and we saw a bit of "Mission to Mars" yesterday. I haven't seen either of them because of the bad press they got (wasn't particularly thrilled with Red Planet). But that got her kinda in the mood to watch SciFi, which I'm going to take full advantage of. Now I need some suggestions on good SciFi movies.

She's "alright" with wars, hates the horror/bloody slimy stuff, loves the drama stuff.
Didn't really enjoy any of the aliens, like Star Wars (though didn't like any of the prequels), liked Red Planet, got bored with Blade Runner, has watched a couple of the modern Star Treks (loved the last one which I refused to watch).

So, things that came to my mind:
Enemy Mine
Wrath of Khan

And then I kinda drew a blank. What are some good, classic, nerd introducing SciFi movies (sorry, movies, not books... I'm working on her to read "Dune" but her mother(!) is reading my copy right now. Then again, she is in the middle of the second Hitchikers book...). Oh, and she liked the Hitchikers movie, too.

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Some Other Ideas... (1)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730478)

I have personally enjoyed the following:

I, Robot
The Fifth Element (though there are aliens in it)
Alien / Aliens (which might be more horror than Sci-Fi)
2001: A Space Odyssey
Time Bandits
Terminator / Terminator 2 (3 was kind of a dud)

I don't know how she feels about Anime (my wife doesn't like it) but there's a lot of good Sci-Fi from across the west pond...

Re:Some Other Ideas... (1)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733149)

The fifth Element is really good.

Some (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730535)

Red dwarf is great , Its a tv show all the seasons are out on DVD though sci-fi/comedy
quatermass naturaly.
Futurama is a gentle intro to sci-fi .
Brazil , well its not realy sci-fi but its great non the less and kind of fits into the genre as it does not fit well elsewhere
i am sure i could think of thousands but i keep drawing blanks

Re:Some (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730590)

Bringing up Brazil reminds me that 12 Monkeys is a pretty good flick. Gattaca should count. On the sillier front, hmmm... Buckaroo Bonzai? Ice Pirates? Space Balls?

Re:Some (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730624)

Spaceballs rules .
Hm westworld and futureworld if your in the mood for something semi crap whatch the simpsons itchy and scartcy land eppisode first to see a few of the references (that and jurassic park).
I enjoyed johnny neumonic, but then i do like cyper punk

Re:Some (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12736681)

If you liked spacebals, you might also like The Tick!

Then again, you might not.

Re:Some (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12739246)

Is it out on DVD yet i did enjoy the show

Re:Some (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12742055)

A friend of mine bought it a few years ago - 2 dvds.

Its not something for everyone, but I found it a real hoot. Of course, I also like Red Dwarf, so there's no accounting ...

Contact! (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730686)

That is all.

Obscure older stuff (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730700)

I agree that everything on RailGunner's and Fidel's list is great, except for "I, Robot" which I have read but not seen. (Fift Element is especially excellent, and if you like either Brazil or 12 Monkeys you'll probably like the other, too.)

So I'll have to delve into obscurity here.

I remember seeing parts of Silent Running [imdb.com] on TV many years ago, and it looked interesting. I've never seen the whole thing, though.

A friend highly recommended A Boy and His Dog [imdb.com] but this too I have never seen. Considering that it was written by Harlan Ellison, it's probably really strange and twisted.

There's always Solyent Green, of course, and the stuff on this list. [imdb.com]

What I'd show... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730791)

... to non-scifi fans:
  • Blade Runner (not directors cut. Yeah, for non-scifi buffs the horrible narration does wonders)
  • Minority Report
  • Brazil
  • 12 Monkeys
  • Equilibrium
  • Gattaca
  • Alien & Aliens (not a good fit with these but still great movies)

etc etc. Basically most non-fans think scifi is just a bunch of nerds wearing Vulcan ears and watching spaceships in battle. If you can introduce them to something with depth and some social issues that should be enough to get them into the story and genre. Save the "Kirk vs Piccard" arguments for later. :)

Re:What I'd show... (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12739209)

Hm....I love Brazil, but I don't know that I'd recommend it to anyone but a proven Gilliam fan. Everyone I've shown it to has rolled their eyes back in their head, even those who WERE sci-fi fans.

Divorce your wife, pronto (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730852)

If BoE ever tells me Blade Runner is boring, that's grounds for annulment.

Otherwise, I second the nomination of Time Bandits. However, if she thought Blade Runner was boring, 2001 will bore her to tears (and I liked 2001).

I also liked Total Recall a lot -- not terribly intelligent, but still a lot of fun to watch. Ditto The Running Man, though that might be a touch violent for her.

If you want to see a forerunner of Total Recall with a more psycho twist, I recommend The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a German Expressionist silent movie. Metropolis is also excellent old German sci-fi.

If you want an absolutely awful (so-bad-it's-good) movie, I recommend Yor, The Hunter From The Future.

As for anime, you gotta start with Akira.

For God's sake, don't show her the David Lynch Dune movie before she reads the book. The Sci-Fi Channel's miniseries is passable, but the Lynch movie will ruin it for her. (I've often said the cast of the Lynch movie was awesome while the rest sucked, while the Sci-Fi production was great while the rest was not so hot -- too bad best of the two can't be combined.)

Lastly, for a bit of fun 1970s kitsch mixed with sci-fi, try Logan's Run.

And I agree with the others who mentioned The Fifth Element. I loved the movie -- gorgeous camerawork and effects, great story, and good acting. The Frogs should do big budget sci-fi more often. ;-)

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Divorce your wife, pronto (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12731020)


Lastly, for a bit of fun 1970s kitsch mixed with sci-fi, try Logan's Run.

Ha! Funny you should mention that. It almost made my list based on the fact that about 6 months ago Kim couldn't sleep so she got up and grabbed a movie from the shelves: Logan's Run. She said it was pretty good and she's not a sci-fi buff. The books were much better (remember the TV series from the 70's or am I the only one old enough around there? :))

Re:Divorce your wife, pronto (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12731105)

The books were much better

Isn't it always like that? ;-)

(remember the TV series from the 70's or am I the only one old enough around there? :))

I very dimly remember the series (I was still pretty small when it was out on TV), but I also remember the books pretty well, and I have to agree -- the books are much richer and more interesting. Still, the movie makes for a good flick, too... *g*

Logan-5, do you identify this object?

Cheers,

Ethelred

Well, personally (1)

HokieSeas (560745) | more than 9 years ago | (#12730962)

I always liked big story arcs, which is why on the most part Star Trek never really interested me. Never seemed to be enough continuity between episodes for my tastes. I mean, how many space-time distortions can you come across in deep space that can be fixed by various configurations of the deflector dish and not remember what you did the last season to solve the problem?

So, in that case, Babylon 5 always interested me, so if you have 110 hours of free time, you can watch the big story arc of 5 seasons, or maybe test out the waters on two of the movies, "The Gathering" which was the two hour pilot, or "In The Beginning" which was a two hour movie that covered a early war from before the season takes place.

Other than that, most of the suggestions in previous replies I would definitely agree with.

Re:Well, personally (1)

ces (119879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733300)

I feel the same way about Trek as you do and love Babylon 5 as well.

That is probably why my favorite Trek is Deep Space 9 which has a story arc running over all 7 seasons. Unfortunately I felt the wrap-up of the arcs was all too rushed at the end. The pay-off seemed a bit weak. I also sometimes don't mind ST: Voyager which had some episode to episode and season to season continuity though without as tight a story arc as B% or DS9. Unfortunately Voyager also suffers from some painfully bad scripts and acting which can make it difficult to watch at times. Also Kate Mulgrew's third-rate Katherine Hepburn imitation grates on the nerves after a while.

Re:Well, personally (1)

HokieSeas (560745) | more than 9 years ago | (#12735146)

I have been watching the Babylon 5 dvds this weekend. Since there was little baseball to watch, no other plans, and nothing as usual on weekend tv, I got through 14 episodes of season 5 this weekend. It is the season I remember the least in between the TNT shift and finishing up college. I can finish up this season then get into the couple of the movies out of the Bab5 movie collection I missed for various reasons.

And as to your comment down below about Firefly, that was one I missed somehow when it was on. But, I sat down last weekend and watched the entire season. I enjoyed it. Looking forward to the movie this fall.

Stuff *not* to watch (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12731606)

Barbarella
Zardoz
Soylent Green
Planet of the Apes :)

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

ces (119879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12731842)

Those are fun if you take them in the right MST3K frame of mind.

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733207)

Those are fun if you take them in the right MST3K frame of mind.


Oh, I love them, I just wouldn't subject someone else to them without strong vetting. :)

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

ces (119879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733908)

Ah yes one must make sure the audience is prepared to appricated them.

That said "Planet of the Apes" isn't that bad a SF flick, it even made the top 50 best rated SF films on IMDB. Still some people never get past Heston's scenery chewing.

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12744568)

Yes, the old Planet of the Apes did... people forgot they made a remake of it :)

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

ces (119879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12744761)

Ah yes ... you do wonder which version people were voting for.

I still think the old version was better though. And would probably make my top 50 SF films. (or at least the 'must see' list due to all of the other films that reference it)

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12732802)

Barbarella is totally fun & kitschy. Zardoz...sucks.

I'm down with Time Bandits, too. There were a couple of other good rec's...Terminator & T2 - My wife loves those.

My recommendation - The Last Starfighter [imdb.com]

This [imdb.com] is a good list of movies, and one on there that I'd forgotten (although it's not really sci-fi, but more horror/suspense) is The Thing, from 1982, not the original.

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733259)

Zardoz is fun to watch in a double header with Incubus. Sort of. If watching in a crowd of friends. Barbarella... I must be too analytical, but I imagine that furry spaceship interior smells pretty bad after a couple weeks of space travel :) Is it just me, or was the doll's head frankentoy in Toy Story a sort of tribute to the creatures in this movie? Duran Duran, of course, inspired a whole generation of musicians.

Actually, I like the movies I mentioned, I just really wouldn't want to spring them on someone until I knew how they'd take them. :)

I guess others on the list are Spacehunter and Solarbabies, Buckaroo Banzai, Tank Girl, Battlestar Galactica original series second season...

Time Bandits, like Neverending Story, is a classic from my childhood. I can't imagine anyone I know hating either. The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey was sad, and Flight of the Navigator silly, but I still have a copy just in case I have a kid that age someday.

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733412)

Buckaroo is great and I had forgotten about Tank Girl. And BG is classic sci-fi from the Star Wars aftermath.

There was another I remembered as I read your post, but I've forgotten it now. :)

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12739125)

How can you have Tank Girl in there without Mad Max and Beyond Thunderdome?

Re:Stuff *not* to watch (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12737869)

How could I forget The Last Starfighter?! A truly great comic space opera.

alternate worlds and fantasy plus some bizarro (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12731802)

These are all pretty dark/claustrophibic. Some of them happen to be poster children for post-modernism.

13th Floor
Existenz
Dark City
Naked Lunch
City of the Lost Children
Gattaca
Donnie Darko
Big Fish
Brazil

That whole list is a bit darkish, Blade Runner goes on it. I'm no help, am I? For straight-up fun there's always the Firefly DVD set.

The classic: Highlander. Avoid the sequels.

Of course, if you say "nerd introducing" you've got to see Sneakers and Hackers.

My list (1)

ces (119879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733078)

In no particular order:

Movies:
Star Wars (Empire is the best, A New Hope next, and Jedi the worst though it is way better than any of the newer 3)
The Matrix
The Manchurian Canidate (the 1962 version not the Denzel Washington one though the more recent one isn't bade either)
Metropolis
Alien / Aliens
Dr. Strangelove
2001
A Clockwork Orange
Donnie Darko
Blade Runner
Terminator / Terminator 2
Back to the Future
Frankenstein (1931 version) / Bride of Frankenstein / Young Frankenstein (Watch the Frankensteins in this order)
The Day the Earth Stood Still
12 Monkeys
Brazil
Time Bandits
King Kong (1933 version)
Planet of the Apes
Soylent Green
The Thing (1982 version)
Fail Safe
ET
Minority Report
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Forbidden Planet
Night of the Living Dead (1968 version)
Day of the Triffids
Stargate
Men in Black / Men in Black II
The Fifth Element
Buckaroo Banzai
Earth Girls are Easy
Total Recall
Running Man
Predator
They Live
Starman
Escape From New York / Escape From LA
Dark Star
THX 1138
Dreamcatcher
RoboCop
Screamers
Jurassic Park
Looker
Westworld
The Andromedra Strain
Sleeper (It helps if you've seen a bunch of bad 60's and 70's SF films)
Logan's Run
Silent Running
Demolition Man
The Fly
Barbarella (Find the evil Duran Duran. Learn the secret of the orgasim machine.)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ("Khaaaan!") / Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ("Nuclear Wessels") / Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country ("You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.")

TV shows:
Babylon 5
Blake's 7
Red Dwarf
Farscape
Firefly
Stargate SG-1
Andromeda
Star Trek (The old show with Shatner, Nimoy, et. al.) / Star Trek: The Next Generation / Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (my favorite of the Treks) / Star Trek: Voyager (In general I find all of the Treks except for DS9 suffer from some painfully bad episodes/acting, at the same time there are some episodes of all the Trek series that rank among some of the best dramatic SF I've seen)

Re:My list (1)

lithron (88998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12735052)

I'm seconding the Firefly TV show suggestion. Its out on DVD and later this year Serenity (a movie about the Firefly crew) comes out.

A few suggestions (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12733928)

  • 2010 (2001 sets the scene, but 2010 is a much better film)
  • Contact
  • Silent running
  • Stargate
  • The postman
  • I, robot (if you haven't read the book, you won't cringe too much)
  • Equilibrium
  • Dark city

Just off the top of my head (1)

stephenbooth (172227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745447)

Dark Star
Day the earth stood still
Last Starfighter
Silent running
Abyss
Day after tommorrow
I, Robot
Quatermass
Flash Gordon
Superman
Supergirl
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