Between recordings of Shut Up! I Like This, Kyle and I have a lot of other discussions about film that may not pertain to that particular episode. After recording our Pandorum episode we talked about how that film would be in our top 10 science fiction films and how we should each do our own personal top 10. Well, after about an hour I had a page and a half of potentials and we bumped it up to a top 15. If you’re movie geeks like we are you can imagine how difficult it would be to narrow and it down and if others would consider Mad Max a “science fiction” film.
Well it’s been about 2 weeks since that night and I’m finally doing my top 15.
I remind you these are my personal top 15 and while I realize 2001: A Space Odyssey was revolutionary and a pioneer in the science fiction genre, it’s not on my list. That’s an article for another day. These are the films that I grew up with and still hold up today as my favorites.
One last thing before I start, let’s get some honorable mentions out of the way. This doesn’t mean I don’t love these gems, they just didn’t quite make the tip top cut.
Interstellar, Robocop, The Time Machine, Predator, Jurassic Park, Blade Runner, Cloverfield, Ghostbusters, Children of Men.
In no particular order;
Aliens, plural. The first film is obviously amazing and set a new bar for science fiction horror but the second entry added memorable characters played by Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein. Quotable lines and more aliens to survive. Oh and it’s directed by none other than James-freaking-Cameron! I’ll take Sigourney Weaver in the power loader fighting aliens any day of the week.
We just dicussed Pandorum recently on Shut Up! I Like This with The Comedy Bull Podcast, and did we have fun or what. Such a deep dive of a film that requires repeat viewings, not because it’s confusing or anything, but just to pick up all the subtle hints. There’s a facebook group rallying together for a sequel, which I think we rightfully deserve. Let’s make this happen, I need more Ben Foster.
Star Wars: Episode V
I’d be hard pressed if I didn’t include a Star Wars in my list. Recently I had a mini Star Wars marathon watching IV, V, and VI. Still as fun and gripping as the first time. I will say that VI was almost a winner, Return of the Jedi is very close to being my favorite. The final fight between Luke and Darth Vader, the Emperor, redemption, seeing Vader’s face, holy cow there’s a lot of cheese there. I will say that I don’t mind the Ewoks either, there, I said it. Kashyyyk would have been amazing but there’s still find to be had on the Forest Moon of Endor.
Some of my best memories as a child come from this film. We owned the movie but there were weekends it would play on television over, over, and over. We would sit there and watch The Matrix all night, with commercials and didn’t care. Only now do I realize how deep and truly great it is. The choreography is phenomenal, cast, and themes are unmatched. I always teased that Keanu Reeves was perfect for the role because neither the actor or character know what the hell is going on. I’m kidding Keanu, we all love you.
Back to the Future
Who doesn’t love Back to the Future? No really. I’ll fight you. Ideal for garage door projection movie nights, summer fires, and feeling good. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and put you in a better mood. This science fiction film isn’t a typical “sci-fi” film. Generally you think of space, monsters, or complicated science and wires. All you need is a car and enough space to get up to 88 mph and you’re off.
As I chose a sequel with the Alien franchise, I have to go with the original in the Terminator films. I agree Terminator 2 is a great film but I still believe Terminator is superior. Time travel, Michael Biehn, guns, and leather jackets. What’s not to love? He’s a killing machine, hunting down Sarah Connor and he’ll be back! This was Cameron’s first full feature directing gig and holy hell did he blow everyone away and thus began the epic duo between Cameron and Schwarzenegger.
Is the ending still bugging you today? Did they come back? Is Sharlto Copley still a prawn? I need answers and I’m sure I’ll never receive them. District 9 began the “trilogy” from Neill Blomkamp, following with Elysium and Chappie, and I love them all. District 9 still sticks with me today though and I wouldn’t be mad at a direct sequel.
I understand this film can be divisive between fans but I really enjoyed it. Be perfect for a Shut Up! I Like This episode wouldn’t it? I like the backstory of the Engineers and the ending scene of the Xenomorphs we know and love. The actors did great and watching videos of fans discussing the film are a ton of fun. If you haven’t seen it in a while I suggest going back and giving it another try.
The Fifth Element
Like Back to the Future, this is one of the science fiction films I saw at a very young age and will show my children. It’s a fun sci-fi ride in space that is appropriate for everyone. Everyone wants their kids running around saying multipass right? I love Bruce Willis in this film, well, every film. The plot is fun, Gary Oldman is being Gary Oldman and it looks pretty amazing. Kind of want to go watch The Fifth Element now.
I never saw this film until about three years ago and I feel like I missed out! Christian Bale, Sean Bean, and Taye Diggs make this film and are perfect. Probably overshadowed by The Matrix a year prior because of similar themes, it’s a shame more people haven’t seen Equilibrium. Christian Bale shoots everyone, feels feelings, and cuddles with puppies. This movie is famous for Gun Kata, an interesting martial arts technique using guns fluidly but standing still, it sounds silly but looks great and it’s science fiction so don’t worry about it.
This was hard to decide if it was “science fiction” or not. I threw it in anyways, it has demons, and hell portals. The Mist terrifies me to this day, and not for the reasons you think. It’s not the flying bug demons, or the towering beasts that stomp cars in a single step. It’s the ending that twists my stomach just thinking about it. I spoil a lot of films because enough time has passed but my golden rule is I will never spoil The Mist for anyone. I love this movie so much, it has incredible suspense and build and has incredible star power, maybe not the Tom Cruise or Will Smith names but people you see everywhere including Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, the list goes on!
I’ve seen this movie more than any man should. I love it! It’s a bit long and is a bit of a sitter but you get what you bargain for. We use the “Would you like to know more” bit for our trivia section on the podcast but we could sit around and talk quotes for an hour. I don’t really have a great reason why I enjoy this film so much but, look, Neil Patrick Harris!
Pitch Black should be on our show soon! This film blends horror, science fiction, and action perfectly. This was almost The Chronicles of Riddick, but this steals the prize. Vin Diesel can see in the dark because of an eye surgery, wait, I got lasik. Could I have gotten eyeshine? They’re on a desolate planet with aliens and Riddick’s going to kill stuff, need I say more. Oh yeah and remember Cole Hauser? He’s kind of cool.
So far on the list we’ve seen James Cameron twice, two films from the Alien franchise and now Schwarzenegger for the deuce. I seem to have a pattern to my science fiction films and I’m not ashamed either. Total Recall, not the remake, is a classic sci-fi film right? Of course that’s under the assumption it was real and not part of the plugged memory they gave him. It was real. It was.
I’m going to kill them all sir. I love this film so much, even with it’s 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie rocks! Kurt Russell is a bad ass who doesn’t even have to say anything because he’s so bad ass! The classic tale of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, oh hey that’s another line from the movie. If you haven’t seen Soldier I highly implore you to check it out, tonight, now. It’s Rambo, meets Universal Soldier, meets space. I don’t know exactly what my obsession is with this movie, but if you watch it, you’ll see and we can have an unspoken agreement every time we lock eyes across the internet.