May 21, 2007

Best Sci-Fi of the last 25 years

A good buddy of mine sent me a hard copy of Entertainment Weekly's best science fiction of the last quarter century. Here's some of my comments on selected picks:

#25: "V." OK for its time (1983) but a no-go for "intelligent" sci-fiers. They came to take our water?? Anyone who's read science fiction knows how utterly ridiculous that would be; it'd take a fraction of the time, effort and cost to just haul an ice asteroid to your planet's orbit!

#19: "Starship Troopers." Three letters: W-T-F???

#16: "Total Recall." Bloodier than a typical day in Iraq, this Ah-nuld vehicle kicks ass. The effects are awesome, the story is based on psycho (in a good way, mostly) Philip K. Dick's story, and Ah-nuld has his usual classic one-liners with thicker-than-usual accent. Best Laugh-Inducing Ah-Nuld Line (said to "fake" wife Sharon Stone): "You know your da girl of my dreams, baby."

#14: "Children of Men." I actually rented this flick based on this list, and I wasn't disappointed. Well, much. The ending let me down, and the side story (world anarchy dystopia) was actually more interesting than the main plot, but definitely a keeper.

#13: "Terminator/Terminator 2." What is there to say? A worthy choice. My fave moments from each flick: In the original, an "injured" Terminator selects response choices to answer a complaining landlord. He goes with "F*** you, asshole." In the sequel, I agree with ET: The chase scene through LA's sewer system.

#10: "The Thing." One of my favorite sci-fi films ever, this gorefest is also a legitimate scarefest. Light-years better than the original, I'm surprised director John Carpenter hasn't made a sequel as it would have been quite easy to do so. The best scene by far is when all the suspected "things" are tied to a couch while Kurt Russell tries to figure out who's who. If you're not freaked out AND laughing at the same time, it'll be a surprise.

#9: "Aliens." "Game over, man! Game over!" One of the best science fiction films ever, let alone the last 25 years.

#8: "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Only one thing to say: It should have been rated higher.

#6: "Brazil." One of my best friends absolutely loves this flick, and I can see why. Too many themes are touched on here, but the main ones are the scourges of collectivism, Communism, and centralization. Robert DeNiro's cameo is hilarious.

#5: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." "He tasks me! He tasks me, and I shall have him!" -- Khan (Ricardo Montalban) regarding Admiral James T. Kirk.

#3: "Blade Runner." Definitely worthy of this high ranking, what I dug most about the review was what the critic liked best about the film: Antagonist Rutger Hauer's "Roy's" final words before he dies. One of the best scenes ever in science fiction.

#2: "Battlestar Galactica" (reimagined series.) Certainly worthy of a top-25 ranking, but #2?? After the mini-series and first season I might have said "Sure!" But the last season has left me many doubts.

#1: "The Matrix." Tough to argue with if your bag is intelligent sci-fi!

Posted by Hube at May 21, 2007 09:32 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

X-files and Battlestar are both too high on the list. Battlestar, like ST:TNG before it, has lots of storytelling problems and continuity issues. Unlike TNG, it doesn't have massive amounts of back story to blame it on. By the middle of X-files run, it was apparent that they were just making it up as they went along.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist at May 22, 2007 10:44 AM

Its hard to think just how much they ruined a great book with a mess of a movie like Starship Troopers. That movie shouldn't even be mentioned in this list. Battlestar's last season moves it into a bottom half of this list at best. There's way too much current stuff on this list - Heroes (yet to prove its staying power) Lost (W.T.F?) - but that's because no one remembers anything other than possibly yesterday.

But any list for this category that doesn't even have The Day The Earth Stood Still (Klaatu barrada nicto) isn't complete.

Posted by: ColoradoRight at May 22, 2007 04:46 PM

Good points, CR; however, keep in mind that the list is only for the last 25 yrs. "TDTESS" was made in the 1950s.

Posted by: Hube at May 22, 2007 05:43 PM

One thing, where is Babylon 5 on this list? There is no way it should be left off of a Top 25 of the last 25 when movies like Starship Troopers make it.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist at May 23, 2007 11:51 AM

My take on BSG is that because it is so fresh, it ranks high on the list. Of course there is a long string of episodes, going back to Lorne Greene and pre-computerized high tech (it's a blast, really)

I find it hard to believe that anyone interested in reading your post on this topic, did not look forward, anticipating the next BSG airing, week after week, despite being disappointed after the high season of last year.

There still were concepts that provoke. Why just today in arguing the concept of forgiveness and moving on versus that of retaliatory justice and moving on, ( I was leading a Sr. High Wed. night Bible class ) Baltar and his trial came to mind. Like most people I know, I tend to overrate my comprehension of how the world works. BSG always seems to open my eyes a little wider.

And for that, in a small way, I am eternally grateful.

Posted by: kavips at May 24, 2007 12:45 AM

I'm guessing A Boy and his Dog was left off the list. An amazing cinematic performance by a young Don Johnson. Not.

Posted by: G Rex at May 25, 2007 01:27 PM