Monday, October 17, 2005


John Scalzi's got a new book out, Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Films, in which he talks about, well, sci-fi films. I don't know if I'll read it or not -- he mentions that he maintains his snarkiness, singling out whatever he's written on Star Wars as an example, and I'm still mad that he compared people who like The Phantom Menace, people like me, with Michael Jackson fans who cavorted outside the courtroom -- but I see that he posts a list of what he considers to be the most significant sci-fi movies ever made, and faced with such a list, how can I not follow blogging convention on such matters and reproduce the list here, bolding the ones I've seen? So here it is:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! (God, I love this movie! I quote it all the time at work, and no one ever recognizes the quotes. My favorite quote comes from the early scene involving brain surgery: "Whoa, don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to.")

Aliens (I can't stand either of these movies. Or the third one. Didn't bother with the fourth one.)

Back to the Future
Blade Runner (I think this movie is stunningly overrated.)

Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange (A college roommate of mine fell in love with this movie.)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Contact (I think this film is underrated to the same extent that Bladerunner is overrated.)

The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still (Dammit! We had DVDs of this movie at The Store for under ten bucks, and to my astonishment, they sold out in a day. Been kicking myself ever since.)

Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
The Fly (1985 version) (Another movie whose near-classic status I don't get. It's just a big gross-out flick.)

Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell
Gojira/Godzilla (To be honest, I'm not sure if I've seen the actual Japanese original, but I've seen several of the Japanese sequels, as well as the horrid Devlin-Emmerich production of a few years back.)

The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix (I like it a little bit less each time I watch it.)
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (See my Star Trek Redux series, posted in the sidebar, for my views on the Trek movies. I like STII, but it's not my favorite.)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)

I actually think this is a pretty good list, as "significance" goes as the main qualifier, although I'm honestly not sure I'd include The Incredibles, given how recent it is. But PIXAR's significance can't be understated, and The Incredibles is probably their only true SF film (the rest of it is pure fantasy), so I won't quibble too strongly.

UPDATE: Whoa! Welcome aboard, Phayngula readers! Stick around a while -- archives and links to other stuff about me, including my favorite posts, are available on the blog's main page -- link below, or click the masthead image at the top of this post. According to Dr. Myers, I look like an axe murderer, but I hope I don't also write like one!

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