Originally Posted by Dean Roddey
What I always find is that, relative to how many sci-fi movies get made, how many of them that I consider to be quite good is quite low. I think my average rating of sci-fi movies on the whole might be lower than any other genre, despite the fact that I love sci-fi. Or maybe it's because I love sci-fi and have higher expectations, I dunno.
A lot of them are OK, and I don't mind having spent the time to watch them, but they are nothing to brag about. And so many of them are just stupid to me. And it's not because of being un-scientific. I really enjoy sci-fi that is really about exploring the human condition or the psychology of dealing with what's 'out there'. Stuff like "Europa Report" or "Another Earth" or "Solaris" I think are very good, though it's nice to have something like The Martian as well (which still fell factually short in a number of obvious ways.) And there are CGI-fests I love, like The Matrix, and completely non-CGI stuff I love, like Gattica or Primer. So it's not because I'm disliking some whole area of the genre really. Well, there's a lot of sci-fi-terror, and I don't like terror much. Real life is scary enough for me. Though I will give a pass to Alien/Aliens I guess.
But so much of it is empty CGI, or silly slash super-hero stuff, or has one idea and milks it to death, or are just OK despite being very good in some specific respect. Some are just so-so in terms of story, but have something really interesting. Like Oblivion, which I think is just average good overall, but absolutely gorgeous design-wise, and it has some good story moments. A lot have a lot of promise but end up falling a bit short, like Edge of Tomorrow.
I addition to the above... In terms of big budge CGI stuff, Inception I think is very good, and highly re-watchable. The recently done Planet of the Apes trilogy I thought was very well done, surprisingly so. Of course Terminator and T2. Looper I liked a lot. Limitless is excellent. Cloud Atlas a lot of folks didn't like, but I think it's very good though not a frequent re-watcher. Elysium was pretty good. The Martian as mentioned already. Interstellar had some really good moments but went stupid at the end. I think Minority Report is excellent.
On the lower budget side, Moon is excellent. 12 Monkeys I think is an uber-classic. I loved Arrival. Deep Impact is a big favorite. A.I. I really love, though a lot of folks didn't. Melancholia was challenging but good. Source Code was very good. Ex Machina is incredibly good.
But that's out of hundreds of sci-fi movies that came out just in the last couple decades from which most of the above hail.
Very nice summary, Dean. Some of the above I have seen. But alot I have not. So you've given me a few new ideas to at least consider.
was decent, and had some fairly striking visuals at times. It was a little bit of a slog though for me at its nearly 2 hour running time. And might tax some people's patience if they aren't that into the plot/subject matter.
I did watch the first 2011 Planet of the Apes
reboot movie. And for some reason it just did not grab me, visually or story-wise.
Not necessarily suggesting people watch it. But the practical FX in the 2001 Tim Burton version with Mark Wahlberg where pretty ok imo (though still not perfect). I wouldn't have minded seeing an updated version of the films that used an approach more along those lines, with possibly a few more tweaks or some morphing to make the facial movements and expressions a bit more convincing. Not really sure though about that.