HAMMY’S TOP 10…SCIENCE FICTION FILMS

Last week, 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in cinemas to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Some regard it as the best science fiction film of all time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it on the big screen, thanks to the stupid cinemas in my area stupidly not showing it. Hopefully I’ll be alive when the film is rereleased for its 75th anniversary! My fiancee asked: “why don’t you just watch it on DVD?” Sigh, she’ll never understand…but back to my original point. What are the best science fiction films of all time? I love science fiction (an ex-girlfriend once referred to me as a sci-fi geek!). There are so many that I literally couldn’t limit my list to 10 choices…but I’ve tried my best. As usual, I’m only going to limit myself to one film per franchise/director. It makes the choices (a little) easier!

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Number 10, I hear you say? Yes, number 10. But I’ve only watched 2001 twice (unlike most of the films in this list). It’s a stunning achievement in all areas. Whilst it’s ponderous on first glance, it hides a stark depth that many science fiction films are missing. It’s not for those who like their science fiction full of boom and bombast, but that’s not the point, is it? It’s a reflection of ourselves, of our purpose. And all the better for that.

  1. Blade Runner 2049

The sequel instead of the original? That is blasphemy, and I feel like I’ve blasphemed myself by mentioning it. But I felt a great emotional attachment to Villeneuve’s spectacular sequel, one I never felt with the original. That’s not to say anything negative about the original; I adore it. But Villeneuve and co. craft a sequel that adheres to the values of the original yet expands them far beyond the original’s imagination. I could have chosen the original and had Arrival in place of this, but I think Blade Runner 2049 is Villeneuve’s most impressive achievement to date.

(Click here for my review)

  1. The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

Klaatu barada nikto. Of course, I’d say that all of the films on my list are must-see science fiction films. But The Day The Earth Stood Still has a timeless message to tell us, in the guise of an apparently friendly alien invasion. It’s Cold War parallels are ever more applicable to today’s hectic world, as Trump brings us closer to nuclear Armageddon. Don’t let the black and white put you off: it’s an example of science fiction films breaking out of their B-movie shackles and aiming for something more.

  1. Children of Men

If there’s ever a science fiction film that looks like our possible future, it’s Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men. The infertility epidemic is plausible, but what’s even more plausible is the xenophobic, pseudo-totalitarian society that Clive Owens’ Theo Faron lives in. More than most films, the juicy details are hovering in the background, haunting the corner of your eyes. Oh, and the brutal action sequences are among the most realistic and traumatising you’ll ever see. Cuaron’s masterpiece? Perhaps.

  1. Wall-E

Wall-E is my favourite Pixar film. End of story. And it’s coincidentally a science fiction film as well! It’s a master class in visual storytelling (especially the first act). Like the great science fiction films of the 1970s, has a vital eco-socio-political message to tell us. And it’s impossible not to love Wall-E, a Johnny Five for the new millennium.

  1. The Empire Strikes Back

Ahhh, The Empire Strikes Back…The Godfather II of the science fiction world. It improves upon its predecessor on almost every level, from characterisation to maturity to humour. I still think it’s the peak of the Star Wars saga, and doubt it will ever be surpassed. It’s the standard bearer for all middle entries to a sequel.

(Click here for my review)

  1. Robocop

Science fiction is a great vehicle for satirizing the present day, and I don’t think any science fiction film satirizes the contemporary present day (so, the 1980s) like Robocop. Some may only remember it for the ultraviolence, but look beyond that and you have a biting satire of the greed and excess of the 1980s. Oh, there’s a Christ parable as well. But, like Verhoeven’s other great sci-fi, Total Recall, it’s about memory and what makes us human. Dead or alive, there are few better R-Rated science fiction films out there…

(Click here for my review)

  1. The Fly

Apart from The Fly. The Fly gives us one of the great romances in science fiction film, between Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. It also gives us Goldblum’s greatest performance as Seth Brundle. Like Robocop, some may remember it for its stomach churning gore. But it’s so much more than that. Body horror, romance, science fiction…there’s never been a better blend of those three genres.

(Click here for my review)

  1. E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial

What’s Spielberg’s greatest film? Jaws? Schindler’s List? Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? There are plenty of choices…but my favourite is E.T. Whenever I watch it, I’m always emotionally involved in the story. I can’t imagine a time that I won’t care about E.T. or Elliot. The mixture of childlike wonder and adult themes is a perfect concoction. And the iconic soundtrack…

  1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

I flit between a preference for The Terminator or Terminator 2, and today it’s James Cameron’s sequel. After seeing T2 in 3D at the cinema last year, I gained a whole new appreciation for it. I know almost every line of dialogue, every sound effect in Terminator 2. I could watch it from now until the end of my time and still not be bored of them. Sometimes, you need science fiction to explore deep issues. But other times you just need science fiction to give you a rollercoaster ride like nothing else. And Terminator 2 delivers the best science fiction/action film in history.

(Click here for my review)

Honourable Mentions

Alien

Aliens

Arrival

Back To The Future

Blade Runner

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dark City

ExistenZ

Gattaca

Mad Max: Fury Road

Metropolis

Moon

Primer

The Terminator

Timecrimes

Total Recall

Tron Legacy

Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

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5 thoughts on “HAMMY’S TOP 10…SCIENCE FICTION FILMS

  1. lkeke35 June 13, 2018 / 6:06 am

    Great list, but I’d have put The Thing in place of E.T. And T2wpuld have been replaced with the first movie in the franchise. Almost any of the honorable mention movies would’ve made it onto my list, especially Dark City or The Fly, and 2001 would most definitely have been on it . Do they have to be American films, cuz I would’ve added Akita or Ghost in the Shell if so.

    Still, this is a great list!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. dbmoviesblog July 3, 2018 / 10:38 am

    That’s a great list. I am pleased to see here The Fly. You don’t usually see this film on many lists. I would also have added Akira or maybe even the original Blade Runner on the list. I see it is on your honourable mentions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews July 3, 2018 / 11:08 am

      Akira! Need to rewatch that. Also, Blade Runner 2049 is fresher in my mind than the original!

      Liked by 1 person

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