Friday Five: SciFi/Fantasy

I’m liking these Friday Five threads. If nothing else, they allow for a little more fun and sunshine in a frustrating political time. We can argue tooth and claw on one thread about foreign policy and then join together in, say, our hatred of Battlefield Earth.

Today’s is top science-fiction or fantasy films. Broad swathe but only films, not TV series. You can lump series together, as I have, or consider them as separate films, as pleases you. I wrote a very long post on this for my own site, so I’ll just summarize here:

2001: As much out of respect as anything else. It’s one of the few that I would classify as a great “feeeelm”.

The Lord of the Rings: Yeah. The trailer for the Hobbit looks good. I’m still not seeing three movies, but the trailer looks good.

The Star Wars Trilogy: Empire is what elevates this one to the top three.

Pan’s Labyrinth: Wonderfully visionary and I always find something in my eye in the final scene.

The Harry Potter Series: Amazing what you can do with good writing and acting, isn’t it? more here for the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

You can read the long post for any honorable mentions.

What are your five?

Comments are closed.

  1. juddling

    Top 5 (in no particular order)

    Back to the Future

    Rollerball (James Caan version)

    Empire Strikes Back


    (not a top film but one i can NEVER pass up on tv) GalaxyQuest

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  2. Ed Kline

    Sorry, can’t do just 5 :
    10. Avatar ( I didn’t love it, but I have to respect the creativity)
    9. WALL-E ( more heart than every movie ever made by Katherine Heigl or Kate Hudson combined)
    8. Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan ( “Khan, I’m laughing at the ‘superior intellect.’ ” …Nuff said)
    7. The Matrix ( blew my mind the first time I saw it)
    6. The Terminator ( still can’t turn it off if I stumble upon it while channel surfing)
    5. The Thing ( Still makes my shoulders tense when I watch it)
    4. E.T. ( c’mon, this is just good ol American movie making at its finest)
    3. Star Wars, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back (1 out of 6 ain’t bad, though honestly the original Star Wars probably deserves to be on this list, I just cant stand watching Luke whine through it anymore)
    2. Firefly ( for those who know no explanation is neccessary)
    1. Blade Runner (Roy Batty!!! )
    I did not list any comic book/super hero movies like The Avengers because I think of them as a separate genre.

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  3. Thrill

    I’m not going to repeat a few of the great ones here since I agree with all of them, but will add some others (in no particular order):

    1. Labyrinth–The most underrated Jim Henson movie. My kids love the songs (whatever gets them into Bowie is a-ok with me)

    2. Ice Pirates (because “space herpes”, that’s why)

    3. Westworld–One problem I have with this movie though: If the guns only fire at targets that don’t have normal human body temperature, does that mean that if you fucked one of the robots, it would be cold? If so…eww.

    4. Aliens (Incredibly influential film. I’m stunned this one wasn’t listed yet)

    5. Demolition Man–I like the story, like the characters and actors.

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    Scifi books will come in the future.

    Repmom, I haven’t seen the Hunger Games or read it but several friends told me the movie was actually quite good. Have to check it out soon.

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  5. Thrill

    Yeah, five isn’t enough.

    6. Enemy Mine

    7. Escape from New York

    8. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog:–A musical: NPH at his best

    9. Akira–Ought to be one animated film on here, at least

    10. Big Trouble in Little China

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  6. repmom

    Repmom, I haven’t seen the Hunger Games or read it but several friends told me the movie was actually quite good. Have to check it out soon.

    I went to see it with a friend who had read the books. I knew absolutely nothing about the storyline at the time. I found it disturbing, but very good.

    I won’t try to read the books, because I’m way too far behind on my reading already, but will definitely want to see the movie sequels.

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  7. Xetrov

    In no particular order –

    Army of Darkness

    Empire Strikes Back

    Back to the Future (All Three)


    The Matrix

    Space Balls/Young Frankenstein

    The Neverending Story (Hey, Don’t Judge!)


    Wrath of Khan


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  8. Hal_10000 *

    5. Demolition Man–I like the story, like the characters and actors.

    THrill, that movie becomes more prophetic with each day that passes.

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  9. Iconoclast

    I agree with many that have already been posted, and won’t repeat them here…

    Five to add to the list:

    1. Dragonslayer — Perhaps the best of the dragon-slaying genre, hard to believe it’s a Disney film.

    2. Nineteen Eighty-Four — The remake released in 1984, one of those rare times where the remake is better than the original (released in the 1950’s). Very true to the novel.

    3. Terminator II: Judgement Day — One of those rare times when the sequel outshines the original movie.

    4. Red Planet — Gotta love Val Kilmer as a space janitor.

    5. The 5th Element — For sheer comedic, kitchy campiness.

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  10. Argive

    1. The Alien series. Even the 4th one (which sucks) for its occasional brilliant scenes. While the theatrical edition of Alien 3 was terrible, the extended work cut is awesome. There was a great movie in there before 20th Century Fox tried to turn it into a scifi blockbuster and wound up ripping the guts out of it. The first two movies in the series, of course, are just incredible. Now let’s never speak of those horrible Alien versus Predator movies.

    2. 2001. We will never see another like Stanley Kubrick.

    3. Akira. I’ve never done hallucinogens. Don’t need to, ’cause I’ve seen this movie.

    4. Event Horizon. The drinking game associated with this movie is to do a shot every time something scary happens. Do not play this game if you enjoy being alive.

    5. Predator. Arguably the pinnacle of 80s badassery.

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  11. Thrill

    Anybody ever see The Final Countdown from the early 80’s? It’s the one where the USS Nimitz goes back in time to just before the Pearl Harbor attack and the captain has to make the decision whether or not to intervene and change history? I love that one.

    F-14 Tomcat > Mitsubishi Zero

    That’s one remake I would pay to see.

    Another good one in that vein is The Philadelphia Experiment.

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  12. Monolith

    Logan’s run – Jenny Augutter naked & sandmen are cool

    Silent running – Bruce Dern & three robots. Directed by the great effects guru, Douglas Trumball

    Marooned – James Franciscus, Gene Hackman, & Richard Crenna as astronauts and Gregory Peck as the flight director. Remarkably good for 1969, not 2001: A Space Odyssey effects though

    Time After Time – time travel & Jack the Ripper

    Planet of the Apes – Chuck Heston and a hot chick in animal skin. The last shot alone puts it up there

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  13. Monolith

    honorable mention:

    Children of Men

    Hellboy (the first one)

    Close Encounters

    Total Recall (the Arnold version) (Verhoeven)

    Starship Troopers – Verhoeven again

    Robocop – Verhoeven trifecta

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  14. repmom

    E.T. (c’mon, this is just good ol American movie making at it’s finest)

    I can’t wait until my granddaughter is old enough to watch this movie. She already knows how to do the finger, even though she has no idea what it means, except that we say “phone home” when we do it with her. (She’s 15 months old).

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  15. thelastdakrat

    1. Labyrinth–The most underrated Jim Henson movie. My kids love the songs (whatever gets them into Bowie is a-ok with me)

    I completely agree. Love that movie.

    The Alien series
    12 Monkeys
    The new Star Trek from 2009
    Wrath of Khan

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  16. HARLEY






    ST 2: WoK

    Forbidden planet

    Blade Runner

    Mad Max/ Road Warrior

    Terminator1/ 2


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  17. Mississippi Yankee

    Underworld – at least the first two

    The Day the Earth Stood Still – 1951 with Micheal Rene

    Re-animator – where else can you see a man hold his decapitated head and lick a young girl who is tied to a gurney? (Opps TMI)

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The movie for the sheer camp, and Kristy Swanson

    Barbarella – Hate Jane Fonda simply b/c I’m a Vietnam vet but this movie appealed to my baser instincts.

    Honorable mention:
    Alien Nation with Mandy Patinkin and James Caan 1988
    Enemy Mine. I can’t pass this up, ever.
    Blade I II III, actually any movies about “real” vampires ;)
    Any movie about Hercules. All the way back to the Steve Reeves portrayals in the 50’s

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  18. Hal_10000 *

    I’m glad several people mentioned Enemy Mine. That is a forgotten classic.

    Repmom, I’ve been trying to get my daughter to watch ET, but it’s still a little past her (she just turned 5). Hopefully, soon!

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  19. Argive

    I know the guy who wrote Enemy Mine (the book). He lives in the Absolute Middle of Nowhere, Maine. The last time I visited him I spent half the trip helping him stack firewood for the winter. It would have been a lot more fun if I’d gotten to use his hydraulic log-splitter. Instead I just wound up with a lot of splinters. Still, he’s a really nice guy.

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  20. repmom

    Repmom, I’ve been trying to get my daughter to watch ET, but it’s still a little past her (she just turned 5). Hopefully, soon!

    Sounds like it’ll be a few years then. Guess we’ll stick with Disney animation for now.

    I get to take her to see “Hotel Transylvania” when they come to visit in a few weeks, but I’ve been told by her parents not to expect her to last more than ten or fifteen minutes. :)

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  21. hist_ed

    Enemy Mine: wan’t that a remake of Hell in the Pacific? Also remade as the only watchable episode of the second Battlestar Galactica series-with a return of Starbuck.

    Ha beat that for geekiness.

    Should split this, done one week sci fi and one week fantasy.

    I say, before I add one or two, that some of you have really crappy taste… Blade? The Second Underworld? KRULL!!?? Steaming piles of shit, all. And 2001. Never liked it. Even watched it once on acid-the flashy scene was cool and all, but still thought the movie kinda sucked (though not in the steaming pile of shit category)

    I think all my top choices are up there, so I am going to do a few of my favorite really bad movies (hey that could be another Friday five):

    Barb Wire: Could have used a few more shots of Pammy’s tits, but wow what a great, awful movie (remake of Casablanca-if I were a billionaire, I;d finance remakes of more Bogart films with Pam Anderson playing Bogey. Could you imagine the African Queen with Pam? Awesome.).

    Battle Beyond the Stars: John Boy Walton stars in the Seven Samurai of space

    Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone–Molly Ringwald!!

    Lord of the Rings: Animated version. Wow did it stink, but cool animation (actually had some short where they filmed actors and then painted over the images frame by frame to create animation)

    Finally, FLASH FUCKING GORDON!! Music by Queen, starring Timothy Dalton, Max Von However you spell his name, Brian Blessed, Topol and some wooden post with a blond wig playing Flash. I love this movie and it sucks.

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  22. Mississippi Yankee

    Ah, Flash Gordon, I still have fantasies of Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) and Princess Aura(Ornella Muti ). But Dr. Zarkov keeps singing “If I Were a Rich Man” in the background and it is very distracting if not somewhat of a mood suppressor.

    some of you have really crappy taste… Blade?


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  23. satch

    Late to this one but here it goes.

    Blade Runner. I have also read the book that inspired it and it is different to the movie and not as sympathetic to androids. Sci-noir, Sean Young with 40’s hair, and cigarette smoking in shadows. Awesome.

    The Thing (1951). Kenneth Tobey and cast were great. Tight script and direction.

    Lord of the Rings. I am amazed they were not politically corrected.

    Star Wars IV-VI. They still look fresh close on thirty-five years since their introduction. I cannot believe it has been that long. First movie I ever lost myself in as a young teen.

    Planet of the Apes. Watch the original then Marky Mark and the Clunky Bunch remake. Enough said.

    Since everyone kind of went over I would also add Terminator and Predator. Both were somewhat ground breaking in story and fx and look good nearly three decades later. In both cases the protaganists were completely vulnerable and did not magically get up after a fifteen minute arse kicking by a seven foot, three hundred fifty pound creature. It required a certain cunning and luck to trick the monster. Good thread.

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