If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Another week and another top ten list of more sci-fi movies. Back in april i wrote a blog about 10 sci-fi movies I'd rate as better then sex and everybody should see once. I had such a good time writing about each one of my favorite sci-fi movies that I feel like doing it again. Only this time I'm doing a full price list, this only means that I feel that if your a sci-fi fan these are just ten of what I think of as the best you should own, if you don't already. I'd also just like to say that I've seen thousands of movies from all over the world. So forgive me if I left out one of your favorite, it may not be because I don't like it. So don't freak out.
It's not like a giant monster is coming after your ass, I'm just talking about movies here Spilldoes. Now with that said let's get into the 10 full price films I like the best.
What can I say about The Host that hasn't been said before? If I ever do a monster movies list, The Host would easly rank high in the top five spot, if not higher. Most monster movies I watch I enjoy on a purely shoddy level, but every now and again I see a monster movie that hits all the right notes. Films like Cloverfield, King Kong, Godzilla, and The Host all work on a level other monster flixs just don't reach. The first time I saw Gwoemul it was without subtitles and there was no english dub, plus I do not speak or understand a word of Korean, however it wasn't difficult for me to grasp the story or get caught up with the believable characters and the horror of the situation. The Host is one of those movies that walks that fine line between being a comidy/Science Fiction/Drama/and Horror but it does it seamlessly. Directed by Joon-ho Bong (kick ass name if I do say so myself) Bong made one of the best monster films I've ever seen, and now own. Also one of the few monster movies that choked me up, in more then one scene.
Including a scene that was more unbearable to watch then anything someone like Eli Roth has ever put on the silver screen. If you want to watch an amazing giant monster film and your a fan of movies like Cloverfield be sure to see The Host.
The first time I saw Enemy Mine I was very young and I didn't think much of the movie. I didn't hate Enemy Mine but I didn't get it either. Fast foreword a few years, to my high school years, and when ever I talk about sci-fi movies with my friend, so many of them (who would never call themself sci-fi fans) seem to really love Enemy Mine, I had to rewatch it, see what I miss the first time. I did and I loved it enough to go out and buy it. Well, besides being Dances with Wolves, 5 years before Costner ever got the idea in his head he could be a directer. (COSTNER!!!) Enemy Mine is about two soldiers, one from Earth and one from an alien world called Draco. The two soldiers have to work togather to survive a hostile world they crash landed on after a cool space dog fight, The planet is called Fryine IV, some kind of volcanic planet. Both Davidge (human played by Dennis Quaid) and Jeriba (drac played by Louis Gossett Jr.) our professional warriors, filled with nothing but hatred for the other at first, each is a repulsive alien to the other, and both now has to reach out and try to understand one another to stay alive. I have to say Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. make this movie what it is. Now is it me or our Davidge and Jeriba the most adorable inter-specie gay couple in cinema history?
Now we're getting into some classic sci-fi goodness. You know, I feel like thier's really great movies and then their are those select few that change the way you view the world around you. Soylent Green is one of those films that does that. Soylent Green stars Charlton Heston as a New York cop named Thorn. In a overpopulated future, Thorn finds himself to close to a bizarroe secret involving a new food called soylent green. and that's all I'm going to tell you, just incause you have never heard of Soylent Green and you don't want any spolors. If you've seen this classic sci-fi movie, you know just how good it is.
And if you have not seen it yet, check it out, not just for Heston but for Edward G. Robinson in his last role as Sol Roth. I can't think of many films that are so consistently new and original like Soylent Green. If you can view this movie with out knowing the ending line, do so. I know how difficult that can be, but you don't know how difficult it is for me not to quote that famous last line.
John Carpenter has made some of my all time favorite sci-fi movies, from The Thing, They Live, and Escape from New York to even his lesser known ones like Terror from Space and Dark Star, but the Carpenter film I find myself revisiting the most has got to be Big Trouble in Little China. When it comes to action, comedy, sci-fi adventure movies it doesn't get any better then this. With a plot that doesn't get anymore foolish, you have a loud mouthed truck driver named Jack Burton (played by John Carpenter's long time collaborator Kurt Russell) who arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown where he agrees to help out a old friend named Wang (Denis Dun) Jack drives Wang to the airport to pick up Wang's green eyed fiance. Things quickly go wrong when a gang of street punks kidnap Wang's girlfriend and our duo go off in hot pursuit. The pair soon find themselves caught up in the middle of a magicle gang war, Jack and Wang are forced to flee while Jack's truck is stolen. All this shit occurs within the first fifteen minutes people, and thing just keep getting crazier from there.
Despite Big Trouble's greatness it was also Carpenter's biggest commercail flop. The biggest reason for this is actually incredibly simple. Carpenter's loving part tribute, part send up to all kung fu films was very much ahead of it's time in any commercial respect. Take for example the relationship between our "hero" and his "sidekick" the dynamic of this relationship is a wonderful slant on the cliche buddy film that existed in a lot of 1980's action films, and it was done long before that kind of humour was fashionable in cinema. Despite receiving staring billing, Russell is actually in a lot of ways the sidekick of the movie, he lags behind, being brash, ignorant and of little use in a fight. While Denis Dun has all the knowledge, and the skill, plus the courage to make him more like the classic hero archetype. Ultimately while the look of Big Trouble in Little China may have aged, its sense of humour is as fresh today as the day it rolled into the cinema. In short, Big Trouble is good magical escapism.
Because with all it's imperfection, and even if it is just a mish mash of every man vs futuristic Oppressive Society story ever told, it manages to pull it off as good if not better then some of it's inspirations. The action scenes are fresh and novel to watch, plus unlike some other action movies I could name you can see what's going on during the fight. The cast is fantastic. I think one of the keys to making a good low-budget film is having a great cast, and Equilibrium has the best cast you can get. Emily Watson, Sean Bean, Sean Pertwee, William Fichtner and Taye Diggs all do an amazing job with the roles their given. This was the movie that turned me into a Christian Bale fan.
If you have not seen Equilibrium yet, give it a try, it'll leave you feeling satisfied. Or It'll leave you thinking I'm totly crazy for loving it so much, one of the two. I wrote a lot for this one but don't worry number five well be short an to the point.
But, the real reason I have Children of Men on my list is because this movie has the caricature Jasper in it. Jasper is played by Michael Caine and is the charming pot dealing lovably hippie father figure to Theo. Maybe it's because I know a coupe of people like Jasper or maybe I just have a sufe spot for lovably pot dealing hippies, either or, but I still trully love Jasper. Caine brings much needed light in a overly dark story line.
The Dark Crystal is kind of like watching Jim Henson's dream world come to life. Because in a lot of ways it is. Directed by Jim Henson with help from Frank Oz, and concept art done by Brian Froud (Labyrinth, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland) Dark Crystal is a darker film then Henson other work. (most notable The Muppet films) The movie starts with a prologue that explains that the story takes place on another world called Thra, a world full of many diffrent kinds of creatures, landscapes, and magic. This unbelievably original sci-fi fantasy is also one of Henson's and company best work. It took five years to get Dark Crystal from Henson's imagination to the big screen, including 3 years in pre-production designing and molding state of the art puppets, and special visual effects.
All the characters in The Dark Crystal are alien creatures, and this was one of the first live-action film without any human ever appearing on screen. From what I've read Jim Henson originally wanted the muppet creatures to speak their own language with english subtitled, but it was dropped after test audiences thought the subtitled to be too distracting. Despite popular belife The Dark Crystal wasn't a box office bomb. With a budget of $15 million dollors the movie made over $40 million at the world box office as well as being the highest grossing movie in both France and Japan that year. Plus the Dark Crystal has belt up one hell of a cult following over the years. If you have never seen Dark Crystal before, give it a shot. It truly is one of the best sci-fi fantasy films ever made.
"If it bleeds, we can kill it" true words to live by. So let me ask you one thing. Who is the coolist space hunter with the kick ass dreadlocks? Predator is one of the true classic sci-fi/action films and is certainly one of Arnold's best science fiction films (along with T 1 & 2 and Totle Recall) but what I love about Predator is we don't just get Arnold in Predator. Nope, we get an all star cast of he-men to rute for. Carl Weathers (Rocky 1 & 2) plays Dillon, Bill Duke (Car Wash, Commando) plays Mac, and Jese Ventura (The Running Man) as Blain. Anyone who doesn't like Blain is, "A Bunch of slack-jawed faggots" Blain is "A goddanm sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me." (sorry couldn't help myself) But the guy who steals the show isn't Ventura or Schwarzenegger but the guy behind the Predator costume Kevin Peter Hall, (RIP) with costumes and make up design by Stan Winston. (RIP)
Predator besides being one of the must quoteble sci-fi film you can see, (If you "ugly motherfuckers" couldn't tell) but also one of the best man vs monster movies out there. So if you're a young movie viewer who has not seen Predator yet, be sure to do so as soon as you can. I'll let Arnold have the last word.