Monday, March 22, 2010

Great Science Fiction Movies You May Have Missed

Some science fiction movies that may have slipped under your radar...

A dystopian look at the future…

Equilibrium 2002

Staring Christian Bale, Sean Bean, William Fichtner, Emily Watson, Taye Diggs

In a futuristic world, a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. When he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it.

Time travel and an aircraft carrier - what more could you want?

The Final Countdown 1980

Staring Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Charles Durning

The USS Nimitz, a modern-day nuclear aircraft carrier, is drawn through a time warp from 1980 to a couple days before the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor, and the crew must decide whether to launch a preemptive strike against the incoming Japanese carrier fleet with their more advanced air wing, or allow history to take its course, which might not happen since they had rescued Senator Chapman, who disappeared shortly before the attack, from his death.

Space man + Vikings + space creature = great time!

Outlander 2008

Staring Jim Caviezel, John Hurt, Ron Perlman

During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking's Iron Age weaponry.

One of Cronenberg’s earliest and best.

Scanners 1981

Staring Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan

There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created... and they are winning.
Darryl Revok is the most powerful of all the scanners, and is the head of the underground scanner movement for world domination. Scanners have great psychic power, strong enough to control minds; they can inflict enormous pain/damage on their victims. Doctor Paul Ruth finds a scanner that Revok hasn't, and converts him to their cause - to destroy the underground movement.

Bizarre mind trip of suspense…

Cube 1997

Staring David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer

Six total strangers awaken one day to find themselves alone in a cubical maze. Once they meet, they work together using their given skills and talents to survive the deadly traps which guard many of the colored cubic rooms. Using Leaven's mathematical skills, they press forward, upward, and downward through the hatches to try and find the outer shell.

Alex Proyas’s intricate and incredible masterpiece.

Dark City 1998

Staring Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, John Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland

John's life has become a nightmare. He is hunted by the police for a series of murders he knows nothing about, a woman who claims to be his wife is after him, and so is a mysterious "doctor". But his worst trouble is the strangers, a series of vastly powerful beings who seem to manipulate just about everything in the city, and want him because of the extraordinary powers he manifested. John decides to find out what is happening in his city; why is it always night? And why can nobody tell him a way to leave the city?

Science fiction writing at its very best!

The Lost Room 2006 mini-series

Staring Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies, Kevin Pollack

A Policeman uncovers a key while working on a murder case. The key can open every door and take him into a motel room, but if you leave there something that doesn't belong to you- it will be gone as soon as the room "restarts"... He discovers that there are objects hidden in whole the world. They don't look special, but they have special powers. When his daughter is kidnapped and he is framed for killing his partner, he must find a way to bring her back from the room, while working with different groups and men searching for all the objects. But who can he really trust when everybody goes crazy once touching the objects...

And in case you missed this outstanding Terry Gilliam flick – funny, quirky, strange, and with little people!

Time Bandits 1981

Staring John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelly Duvall, Ian Holm, David Rappaport, David Warner

A young boy's wardrobe contains a time hole. Through this hole an assortment of short people (i.e. dwarfs) come while escaping from their master, the supreme being. They take Kevin with them on their adventures through time from Napoleonic times to the Middle Ages to the early 1900s, to the time of Legends and the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness where they confront Evil.

What else would you select? What outstanding science fiction film has not been seen by the masses or enjoyed a decent box office take?


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've seen most but not all of those.

I'd challenge anyone who's not seen the original Gojira to go back and watch the first Godzilla movie before he became campy.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I'm sad to say that of all of those I've only seen Equilibrium and Time Bandits (both of which are great movies). I've wanted to see Outlander and Cube for a while, but never got the chance. I find it amazing that many people haven't even heard of Equilibrium or Time Bandits, they're the kind of films that you need to see!

Summer Frey said...

Anyone who knows me knows that my movie-watching is sadly minimal, but I have seen two of these! I always liked Equilibrium, because one of my favorite all-time books is Fahrenheit 451. Saw The Cube on TV one time, though not sure that counts. :-)

The mini-series looks good, and I've been wanting to see Outlander.

DEZMOND said...

Ah, EQUILIBRIUM is one of my favourite movies, and I constantly keep persuading people it's much better than MATRIX :)

OUTLANDER was also a fun movie, I like when sf mixes with history. I also like PATHFINDER with my favourite Karl Urban which is in one way similar to OUTLANDER.

CUBE had quite a lot of success here in Europe, and you even have at least 2 or 3 sequels to the original movie.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Time Bandits is a classic!
I've only seen about 2/3ds of these so i'll be added the rest to my netflix queue

Julie Dao said...

Wow. I haven't seen ANY of these. I need to catch up on my sci-fi flix! Looks like the Netflix queue is about to expand a bit. Thanks for the recommendations!

B. Miller said...

I've seen many of these; Time Bandits was one of my favorite movies growing up, but I haven't seen it in years. Thanks for posting about these! I love sci-fi and am always looking for new movies to watch!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes these smaller movies get overlooked, but what they might lack in budget they make up for in heart and story.

Helen Ginger said...

I've seen only two of those:
Cube, which I barely remember
Final Countdown, which I've seen several times and love.

Straight From Hel

Marvin D Wilson said...

You're right, I did miss most of these. I saw the Cube and Time Bandits but appreciate the heads up on these other ones.

Okay, off to Hollywood Video ... (wink)

<a href='">The Old Silly</a>

joe doaks-Author said...

Thanks for the Final Countdown reminder; haven't seen it in some time. Wife is gonna order it on Efflux.

Re the book cover question from my blog: Haven't seen the final. Just hoping I don't have to cringe.

Best, Galen.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great so many here have seen Cube!

Galen, I almost didn't put Final Countdown up there as I'm sure it's a little cheesy now, but it was such a great flick at the time.
And here's hoping the cringe factor is nil.

Jemi Fraser said...

Surprisingly I've seen only 1 of these - the Lost Room - which was awesome. Thanks for the list!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, The Lost Room is the greatest show ever created. SyFy really dropped the ball with that one.

Glynis Peters said...

I have probably seen a few of these, but I watch with one eye while writing.I am afraid I do not watch a lot of TV, DVD's or go to the cinema. DH is the SF fan, so will have seen most on your list I am sure.

Hannah said...

I'm proud to say, not only have I seen all of these movies but I own half of them!! hahahaha!

I just recently watched "Dark City" for the millionth time.

You should have put "The Thirteenth Floor" on that list, another great scifi.

David Constantine said...

I liked Equilibrium a lot--Christian Bale back in his Reign of Fire days . . also good is its "sister" move Ultraviolet.

ggray said...

That's cool you mention Dark City. I think it's one of the most creative movies out there and it amazes me evertime I watch it. I'm a huge fan of Alex Proyas because of it. The fact things could happen to our whole town while we sleep still frightens me. When I hear weird grinding, roaring sounds at night, even now, all these years later, all I can think of is buildings moving, shifting, disappearing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good for you, Palin!

David, Reign of Fire was an excellent movie as well.

Ggray, Dark City is just so unique. I think most people just didn't get it.