Monday, July 20, 2009

The Return of Smart Sci-Fi?

Robert here, feeling a little behind the buzz for Moon, but those of us in fly-over country are just getting a chance to see it now.

I shan't repeat anything already said about the movie here or across the web, but needless to say, we sci-fi fans are encouraged... and quite hopeful for the rest of the year. Could 2009 mark the return of good, intelligent sci-fi?

Thus far the new Star Trek has proven that sci-fi blockbusters can actually entertain and Moon has returned the genre to some of its Tarkovskian philosophizing.

And there's much more to come. We have yet to see if District 9 lives up to it's "presented by Peter Jackson" hype, or if Shane Acker's 9 can be an animated Oscar contender. We don't know if James Cameron's Avatar will be as revolutionary as is rumored or if Roland Emmerich can turn in another masterpiece with 2012. Is it possible that all of these films will disappoint? Sure. Is it likely that I'm just kidding about 2012 being any good? Absolutely.

So here's my question for you. Are you holding out hope for the return of good sci-fi? Did it ever really go away? What was the last truly great, intelligent science fiction film released?


Ryan Ray said...

Gattaca maybe? That was about 12 years ago though...hmm.

Anonymous said...

Here's another one, sort of.

I know a lot of people who finally checked out 2007's Danny Boyle film Sunshine after Slumdog won him the Oscar.

Anonymous said...

I think all Star Wars episodes had elements of greatness but were not that in the whole.

I do expect scifi to make a grand comeback to its "smart" roots. I expect Avatar to be closer to 2001 or 2010 than to Star Trek.

Flosh said...

Minority Report.

Ryan T. said...

Not film, but it IS 5-hours long:

Torchwood: Children of the Earth.

The 5-episode long miniseries starts tonight on BBC America and continue all week! Seriously, it's AMAZING sci-fi.

Wayne B said...

"The Fountain" was probably the most recent GREAT sci-fi flick I've seen.

Devin D said...

Children of Men, Danny Boyle's Sunshine and - if you count it - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Notas Sobre Creación Cultural e Imaginarios Sociales said...

"A.I. Artificial Intelligence"
"Children of Men"
and the greatest of them all: "WALL-E"

BLH said...

Soderbergh's Solaris


Robert, o writer of this post, please tell me that Roland Emmerich sentence was a joke.

otherwise i shall worry ;)

brianmaru funny because Sunshine is SO much better than Slumdog Millionaire.

Anonymous said...

For pure destructive carnage, 2012 could be awesome.

You can't tell me no one had some perverse joy watching Jake Gyllenhaal outrun the freezing air. So ridiculous.

Robert said...

Of course the Roland Emmerich bit is a joke. No worries!

Andrew K. said...

Gattaca and Minority report are both great. Minority Report is definitely the last good one, but I think I like Gattaca more.

Daniel Armour said...

I love the Star Wars Saga but that's more space fantasy than science fiction. Anyway:

A.I: Artificial Intelligence
Solaris (2002)
Minority Report
Children Of Men
The Fountain

It's funny. I'm not excited to see Avatar because there's been no footage shown for it yet but I'm excited to see Inception and that just started filming. Go figure.

verninino said...

my last truly great
12 Monkeys
Blade Runner [2007; the FINAL cut]

Heretofore unmentioneds
The Matrix [trilogy]
Firefly/ Serenity

verninino said...

eXistenZ was pretty good too.

MB said...

Sunshine may be sci-fi, but it certainly isn't smart. About as dumb as Armageddon or The Core, actually, and that's saying something.