Friday, May 04, 2007
Entertainment Weekly in one of its frequent paeans to its inner geek has compiled a list of the top 25 science fiction movies or series of the last 25 years. The time limit keeps Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back out of the running and the three prequels don’t make the cut. Being a little discriminating and not quite a total a complete nerd, I am only familiar enough with about twelve of the list. Here are my opinions on ones I can give a valid opinion on. Click on the links to see what EW had to say.
24. Galaxy Quest: The best fanboy homage ever. Non-fans can view it as mocking the genre. True believers recognize the truth. The meta-casting of Sigourney Weaver alone is brilliant.
21. Futurama: Unevenly funny. It takes a real shotgun approach to the cultural references by throwing everything against the wall, but only a few things stick.
19. Starship Troopers. Despite it’s attempt at social satire, it’s still a bunch of kids shooting at giant bugs.
18. Heroes: Right now, one of my few must-see shows. The real test will be in Season 2 to see if they can hold the momentum.
15. Firefly/Serenity: Avery good show that suffers from raised expectations by its rather rabid fan base. It’s a very entertaining series, but it’s not THAT good.
13. Terminator/Terminator 2: As a pair, perhaps the best time travel paradox story ever filmed. And plenty of great kick-ass action.
12. Back To The Future: Another excellent time travel story that appeals to all genders and generations. This one was marred instead of enhanced by the sequels.
8. Star Trek: The Next Generation: In quality, breadth, and scope the TNG franchises eclipse TOS. The mid-run episodes (Seasons 3 to 6) were often great 45 minute long mini-movies that were better than most theatrical releases. I prefer Deep Space 9, but I know I’m in the minority. Voyager is where the concept ran out of gas and they should have never attempted Enterprise.
7. ET: A Citizen Kane level work of genius. “Happy” Spielberg at his pinnacle.
5. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: I actually prefer ST:IV, but without the second movie showing that a good Star Trek movie can be made, the series would have ended here.
3. Blade Runner: A paradigm shifting work of art direction. The sheer denseness of the look inspired a lot of good (and bad) cyperpunk literature. It’s not often cinematic science fiction affects the written versions this significantly.
2. Battlestar Galactica: The Best Show On Television™. As I mentioned in a previous blogpost, it shows what ST:Voyager should have been and then kicks it up another level. For gritty political intrigue and commentary it tops even The West Wing. Season 3 stretched on a little long, but the first three episodes and the season finale are worth the entire season.
1. The Matrix: Another paradigm shifter from a special effects point of view, but not a lot of new grand was broken storywise. The legacy of the original movie will be forever marred by the increasingly awful sequels.
The notable omission on the EW list is Babylon 5. I never watched it enough to become involved in the storyline because the truly dismal acting drove me away. I know Deep Space 9 was a complete rip-off, but the Federation folk did it better. Also missing are Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Dark Angel. I guess the editors at EW have something against kick-boxing hotties.
BlatantCommentWhoring™: What would you add to the list or demote?