Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Reader Top Ten Greatest Science Fiction Films 2000 - 2013: Cannon
The great Cannon returns for today’s second reader top ten list, of science fiction films 2000 – 2013.
Cannon writes: “As usual, I preface the following list with the opinion that Star Wars isn’t science fiction. Otherwise, them prequels would be all up in this mother.
10. Hulk (2003)
Judge it not as a superhero movie, but as a monster movie, one that explores, psychoanalytically, the origins of its monster before ending with an expressionistic, god-level battle between father and son.
9. Déjà Vu (2006)
A love story that spans time between a dead woman and a living cop who’s trying to solve her murder. Here, time is a window that can be replayed and reshaped like all other modern visual mediums. Destiny can be re-edited.
8. The Thing (2011)
As much a response to the original’s premise as it is a mere repeat, though repetition itself might be considered a theme: the same thing happening twice, but to different characters, or at least different character dynamics. An end-piece holographic pixelator suggests the evolution of recurring patterns.
7. Ghosts of Mars
A Space Western/Horror with a nifty Rashomon-style (x 3) narrative that pits a matriarchal empire against voodoo Martian nativism, the latter of which is understood only through drug use. The ensuing fight exposes the law(wo)man and the outlaw as two sides of the same coin.
6. Pacific Rim
Canceling the apocalypse with giant robots means piloting said robots with two separate people, which in turn means connecting these people via neural-rift symbiosis. Therefore, to save humanity is to connect humanly. A rocket punch to the face also helps.
5. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
In a future of cyber-brain hacking, Batou and Togusa investigate the deaths of seemingly unrelated victims inflicted by seemingly non-autonomous, Gynoid sex dolls. What they discover are ghosts, naturally, and what they must face is the profound question: Who is the doll-maker and who is the doll?
4. War of the Worlds
Not just 9-11, but the horrors of the holocaust and distant cultural memories of America’s Revolutionary War underline this invasion of Earth by soulless harvesters. Spielberg renders darkly imagery in the vein of movie posters and magazine covers from 50s sci-fi. And consider the notion that Harlan Ogilvy (Tim Robbins) isn’t even real!
The events within a single tower block structure serve as a microcosm of the surrounding Mega-City One metropolis. A world slowed through eyes of a drugged up Ma-Ma and pierced with the mind of a psychic Judge Anderson. Dredd, however, is simply Dredd: unwavering, unrelenting, incorruptible.
2. Minority Report
Spielberg kicks into high gear his storytelling through visual motifs -- eyes, water, Lincoln -- juxtapositional editing and the deft staging of action-suspense for this bleached, neo-noir thriller where the ends justify the precognitive means ...until they don’t. "Can you see?" is the film’s mantra; the ability to see the future is the ability to change it.
1. Youth Without Youth
A superhero movie that isn’t a superhero movie, taking the mutant premise away from blockbuster spectacle and adolescent comic book trappings into a leisurely but hypnotic narrative where metaphysics, anthropology and religion swirl amidst a central theme of love and love lost. On the cusp of WWII, Tim Roth is a lonely, elderly professor of 70 blessed/cursed by a freak lightning strike with lasting body rejuvenation, mind powers and a double (who no one else can see or hear) that guides him along his journey to discover the secret origin of languages. There’re pulpy elements of war espionage and Nazi mad science mixed with the travelogue romance of vintage European cinema, and even a few moments of downright horror–all of it strung together through FF Coppola’s penchant for painterly, surreal imagery; "dream-like" is more than apt. At its core, the film transcends the linear concept of time and showers it’s viewer with a sense of infinite cosmic possibilities while never forgetting the very human price paid for by its protagonist.
V for Vendetta
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Supernova (hey, sue me)
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Cannon: Every time you make one of these lists, you give me new titles to see, and I appreciate that. I have not seen Déjà vu, or Youth Without Youth, and am now very curious about both. I have only seen Supernova (2000) once, but I remember that I liked it very much…despite the critical drubbing. I also don't know how I managed to forget to include Dredd (2012) on my list...
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