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Is Sunshine the best sci-fi flick of the century?

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Agree or disagree, one of my favorite space films.

Original question posted on the Total Film website:

http://www.totalfilm.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17742

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post #2 of 99
Maybe one of the best sci-fi LFE tracks, but not much else. I do like the film, though...till it decides 20 minutes from the end that it's going to be a vastly different movie than it started out to be.
post #3 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 View Post

...till it decides 20 minutes from the end that it's going to be a vastly different movie than it started out to be.

You know, more than one person has told me that (where Pinbacker shows up.) Stuff like, "I liked it until it became a ripoff of Alien."

I really don't think it was that bad, and certainly not a monster movie (he was just a deranged guy.) But I do think it could have been handled better.

Still love the rest of it, and still LOVE the ending.
post #4 of 99
snoozer at best
post #5 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Agree or disagree, one of my favorite space films.
Original question posted on the Total Film website:
http://www.totalfilm.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17742

One of my personal favorites, absolutely! Best of the decade? Could be a stretch but I might be one of the guys rooting for it to be the one. biggrin.gif
post #6 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Agree or disagree, one of my favorite space films.
Original question posted on the Total Film website:
http://www.totalfilm.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17742

Sci-fi? Alien? I' gotta watch it, that's one of my favorite subjects.
I heard that U.K scientists announced that human being would meet creatures from outer space half century later from now.
Well, maybe I'll be old enough to face that then. biggrin.gif
post #7 of 99
Thread Starter 
The new century began January 1, 2001 so we're talking about sci-fi films since then. That makes your favorite list a lot shorter.

Don't think Sunshine is the best so far? Fair enough, give me something that is superior to it.
post #8 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

The new century began January 1, 2001 so we're talking about sci-fi films since then. That makes your favorite list a lot shorter.
Don't think Sunshine is the best so far? Fair enough, give me something that is superior to it.

Avatar
post #9 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

Avatar

*thread suddenly jumps to 4,000 posts in two hours*
post #10 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

*thread suddenly jumps to 4,000 posts in two hours*

LOL - well keep in mind that we are discussing a very subjective subject. All we have to do though is look at the box office take for both movies to determine which consumers liked better.

I guess you could call Sunshine a box office bomb:

Domestic Total Gross: $3,675,753

Worldwide: $32,017,803
post #11 of 99
Tall, blue tree people in the jungle works real well for the kiddies. wink.giftongue.gif
post #12 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Tall, blue tree people in the jungle works real well for the kiddies. wink.giftongue.gif

So the great visuals, the fighting scenes . . . they don't count? I guess kiddies aren't interested in that stuff huh? rolleyes.gif

I can only think of one Sci-Fi movie worse than Sunshine in the last 10 years . . . Moon

BTW - if Avatar isn't your cup of tea, how about District 9 - FAR superior to Sunshine
post #13 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

So the great visuals, the fighting scenes . . . they don't count? I guess kiddies aren't interested in that stuff huh? rolleyes.gif
I can only think of one Sci-Fi movie worse than Sunshine in the last 10 years . . . Moon
BTW - if Avatar isn't your cup of tea, how about District 9 - FAR superior to Sunshine

I kid, Lee. wink.gif

Though Avatar, to me, felt like a glorified kid movie just like the Star Wars movies do and those are full of political intrigue and stuff. Kids LOVE that! tongue.gif

Sunshine, Moon and District 9 are all better 'Sci-Fi' movies, imho.
post #14 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

LOL - well keep in mind that we are discussing a very subjective subject. All we have to do though is look at the box office take for both movies to determine which consumers liked better.

Well, to be fair, Avatar was marketed a heck of a lot better, a heck of a lot more and in more markets, had constant news about the 3D tech, and had James Cameron.

Were the majority of moviegoers even made aware of Sunshine? Hard to go see something if you don't know it exists. I'd heard very little about it when it was in theaters, and I usually seek out stuff like it.

Boyle (Danny, not Susan; wonder if they're related?) was fairly well known, but was still a couple years off from Slumdog making him a name.


I personally connected better to Sunshine than Avatar, but as you said, subjective. smile.gif
post #15 of 99
Sunshine is one of my most favorite space films too, In terms of story premise, it's true hard sci-fi, something that could have come out of an Arthur C. Clarke story. In fact, I was reminded of Clarke's novel The Songs of Distant Earth, since it too used a problem with the sun based on an actual scientific theory to set the story in motion, in this case what was called the solar neutrino discrepancy, the difference between the expected amount of neutrinoes coming from the sun and what was actually observed. It was very refreshing to see, compared to the usual alien nonsense that we get.

Avatar is more soft sci-fi than hard, and is really just an action movie. Cameron gets points for creating the alien environment of Pandora, the avatar program and the spacecraft used, but that's it. The Na'vi are simply the Lakota from Dances With Wolves and not alien at all (disregard the window dressing). If Cameron wanted something alien he should have looked to the creatures of the deep sea that he loves so much, there are species on our own planet that could pass as alien lifeforms. I'm thinking of a floating species, like a jellyfish-gas bag cross, something like the Jovian inhabitants in Clarke's short story "A Meeting With Medusa" (a manned ballon probe discovers life in Jupiter's upper atmosphere). But of course you can't have a cliched love story between a human an an alien if the "alien" is truly alien. And the whole matter of setting the story in Alpha Centauri (is that still true?) is a joke, since Alpha Centauri most likely has no planets, certainly not a gas giant, since the star is a binary in which the K-class companion is about the same distance from the primary as Uranus is from our sun, and would have prevented any gas giant planet from forming (probably any planet as well, but I think it's theoretically just possible to have a rocky terrestial planet around either one of the stars in the system, it's just not likely)
post #16 of 99
I still love that documentary, Alien Planet. smile.gif
post #17 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Well, to be fair, Avatar was marketed a heck of a lot better, a heck of a lot more and in more markets, had constant news about the 3D tech, and had James Cameron.
Were the majority of moviegoers even made aware of Sunshine? Hard to go see something if you don't know it exists. I'd heard very little about it when it was in theaters, and I usually seek out stuff like it.

The movie test-screened very badly. The studio lost faith in it and decided to dump it in theaters without much promotion.
post #18 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Don't think Sunshine is the best so far? Fair enough, give me something that is superior to it.

Children of Men, certainly. I'm also partial to Soderbergh's remake of Solaris (though I know that's not a popular opinion).

I like Sunshine overall. It's a great-looking movie and has several really terrific set-pieces. But its basic premise is not terribly dissimilar to the moronic The Core, and the last half hour pretty much throws away whatever good will it had earned up to that point.
post #19 of 99
I think if Pinbacker had been more normal looking, and less "peely-skin dude", it would have been better.

I get the point they were trying to make with his appearance (the whole sun worship thing that Searl was also falling into), but it was overshadowed by the gruesomeness.
post #20 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

the last half hour pretty much throws away whatever good will it had earned up to that point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

I think if Pinbacker had been more normal looking, and less "peely-skin dude", it would have been better.
+1
post #21 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

I think if Pinbacker had been more normal looking, and less "peely-skin dude", it would have been better.
I get the point they were trying to make with his appearance (the whole sun worship thing that Searl was also falling into), but it was overshadowed by the gruesomeness.

If you think of Pinbacker as more of a metaphysical manifestion of the crew's fears (sort of like what happens in Solaris) rather than literally an atronaut who'd been living there alone for years and turned into a superhuman, unstoppable psycho-killer, the ending of the movie is slightly more palatable. Unfortunately, this requires really reading into themes that aren't particularly supported by what the movie presents us with.
post #22 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

If you think of Pinbacker as more of a metaphysical manifestion of the crew's fears (sort of like what happens in Solaris) rather than literally an atronaut who'd been living there alone for years and turned into a superhuman, unstoppable psycho-killer, the ending of the movie is slightly more palatable. Unfortunately, this requires really reading into themes that aren't particularly supported by what the movie presents us with.

What I think he's supposed to represent is the notion of scientific vs religious reverence of the sun. There are repeated references to people staring at the sun in a mesmerized state, contrasted against Capa's fascination with his own bomb (and how that related to the sun itself.) The captain just before his demise, Searl, etc. I don't think Pinbacker needs to be metaphysical, but yeah, the astronaut-turn-monster part was a flaw of sorts.

But you're right, it wasn't followed through too well thematically.

A lot of it was brought to light when you read stuff about Danny Boyle's vision of atheism and the movie, and screenwriter Alex Garland's views atheism and the movie.
post #23 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

If you think of Pinbacker as more of a metaphysical manifestion of the crew's fears (sort of like what happens in Solaris) rather than literally an atronaut who'd been living there alone for years and turned into a superhuman, unstoppable psycho-killer, the ending of the movie is slightly more palatable. Unfortunately, this requires really reading into themes that aren't particularly supported by what the movie presents us with.

Yes! Thank you, Josh for 'getting it'. smile.gif

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

What I think he's supposed to represent is the notion of scientific vs religious reverence of the sun. There are repeated references to people staring at the sun in a mesmerized state. The captain just before his demise, Searl, etc. I don't think Pinbacker needs to be metaphysical, but yeah, the astronaut-turn-monster part was a flaw of sorts.
But you're right, it wasn't followed through too well thematically.

Awesome. I felt like I was the only person on Earth that saw the movie's "turn" from what you guys have articulated. Thank you.
post #24 of 99
Best? No, I'd give that to District 9. That said, I really liked Sunshine and have come to not mind the sudden change of tone when Pinbacker is introduced. I also really liked the other movies mentioned here, Moon and Solaris. I'm fond of The Fountain as well but only one portion of that story is 'sci-fi'.
post #25 of 99
Not the best for me. I prefer to choose The Matrix as best. This movie comes with Si-fi and goes with horror
post #26 of 99
This movie is one of the BIG disappointments of the genre (in recent memory).
So much was right for the first 3/4....
post #27 of 99
The Fountain gets my vote.

Another Earth is also good stuff.

District 9 was science fiction in the way Fifth Element or New Trek or Wars is. It was a chase movie with Aliens as the protagonists and antagonists. NTTAWWT.

Funny to see Josh liking Solaris! Also another good one.
post #28 of 99
Thread Starter 
All great comments - but let me jog everyone's memory as to the other films in contention.

Here is the list of Saturn Awards (who supposedly look out for our interests in the realm of sci-fi) nominees and winners since 2001.

Like the Academy Awards I disagree with many of the winners listed and some years were weak competition-wise. You will notice District 9 was not nominated in 2009.

2001
A.I. Artificial Intelligence - Winner
Jurassic Park III
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
The One
Planet of the Apes
Vanilla Sky

2002
Minority Report - Winner
Men in Black II
Signs
Solaris
Star Trek: Nemesis
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

2003
X2: X-Men United - Winner
Hulk
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
The Matrix Revolutions
Paycheck
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

2004
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Winner
The Butterfly Effect
The Day After Tomorrow
The Forgotten
I, Robot
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

2005
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Winner
Fantastic Four
The Island
The Jacket
Serenity
War of the Worlds

2006
Children of Men - Winner
Déjà Vu
The Fountain
The Prestige
V for Vendetta
X-Men: The Last Stand

2007
Cloverfield - Winner
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
I Am Legend
The Last Mimzy
Sunshine
Transformers

2008
Iron Man - Winner
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Eagle Eye
The Incredible Hulk
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Jumper

2009
Avatar - Winner
The Book of Eli
Knowing
Moon
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

2010
Inception - Winner
Hereafter
Iron Man 2
Never Let Me Go
Splice
Tron: Legacy

2011
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Winner
The Adjustment Bureau
Captain America: The First Avenger
Limitless
Super 8
X-Men: First Class
post #29 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

.
Here is the list of Saturn Awards (who supposedly look out for our interests in the realm of sci-fi) nominees and winners since 2001.

Of the nominees, this is my Best-of-the-Year:

2001
A.I. Artificial Intelligence

2002
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

2003
X2: X-Men United
The Matrix Revolutions

2004
I, Robot

2005
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
War of the Worlds

2006
Children of Men
V for Vendetta

2007
Cloverfield
The Last Mimzy*

2008
Iron Man

2009
Avatar

2010
Never Let Me Go

2011
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Captain America: The First Avenger
X-Men: First Class


* Haven't seen yet.
post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Here is the list of Saturn Awards (who supposedly look out for our interests in the realm of sci-fi) nominees and winners since 2001.
Like the Academy Awards I disagree with many of the winners listed and some years were weak competition-wise. You will notice District 9 was not nominated in 2009.

Sadly, any organization that would nominate both Lara Croft movies for "Best" anything has to be automatically discounted in my opinion. I don't care how weak the competition was in those years.
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