i09 posted a list of "25 classic science fiction movies that everybody must watch"
I had not seen:
1) Primer - never heard of it, so I'm calling shenanigans on "classic" here
2) Children of Men - came out at an awkward time, and I've meant to see it. Not sure anyone would call it "classic", though.
3) Moon - is really new and gets very mixed reviews (sorry, Jamie, its true). I think calling it classic is a stretch, but it is directed by Zowie Bowie (look it up), so that give sit extra sci-fi pedigree, I guess.
Mostly, the list doesn't feel very "classic". Firstly, its incredibly sparse on vintage film. Yes, "Forbidden Planet", "Metropolis" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" all still hold up remarkably well, and are instantly recognizable, but do we really need to jump from there to "Planet of the Apes"? You could fill the list with all kinds of stuff from the middle of the century. I mean: where the @#$% is Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, the most important sci-fi concepts of the 20th Century?
Not here, that's where.
And while I loved "District 9", its like time traveling to 1989 and declaring "Alien Nation" a sci-fi classic. And for goodness sake, Jamie is going to see "Inception" in the theater again this evening. Shouldn't something have had to make it to Blu-Ray before we declare it a "classic"? To use "classic", you need to point to more than classic tropes, you need to prove that the film endured and influenced other works.
I do not think that word means what you think it means.
1) Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein - Look, Frankenstein is straight up science fiction. It might be scary, but so is "Alien".
2) Fahrenheit 451 - if we're going dystopian future, why not include the one about the future that's rapidly becoming our present?
3) Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind - You included ET, but not Close Encounters? That's just wrong. Also, Richard Dreyfus + potatoes gave me ammunition for dinner table antics for years.
4) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Nuclear powered submarine in the 19th Century.
5) War of the Worlds - Steven Spielberg is an amazing guy, but his remake doesn't hold a candle to the 1950's original (or the terrifying radio drama that caused all that hubbub in 1938).
6) The Time Machine - I don't love this movie, but even I'll agree it should have been included
7) Things to Come - Straight up, if you want to use the words "science fiction" and "classic" and "list" in the title of your article, this has to be on it. The fact that this wasn't on the list tells me Charlie Jane Anders needs to get herself to a video store.
8) The Fantastic Voyage - If Raquel Welch in a white lycra suit cannot get you to watch a movie about people miniaturized and placed inside a dude to laser out a blocked artery... I cannot help you.
9) Godzilla (and its many sequels) - Man mucking with forces beyond his understanding creates 30-story, atomic flame spewing (yet adorable) bi-pedal engine of destruction. There is nothing not awesome or classic about our buddy Gojira.
10) About half of the Ray Harryhausen Catalog - When he wasn't making swashbuckling monster movies, he was making movies about giant monsters that would eat you alive in your car. 20 Million Miles to Earth is pretty darn good.
11) Omega Man - Seemingly missing the point of the original novel, which was remade with the novel's title but yet another ending, this riff on I am Legend is a wild ride of a post-catastrophe zombiefied world in which Charlton Heston is the last sane man on Earth. As it should be.
12) Marooned - This movie is totally depressing, but it is also fiction about actual science. And unlike Moon, it will be watched long after the last hipster has hung up their skinny pants and ironic sunglasses.
13) When Worlds Collide - This movie has been imitated so much, I have no idea if people even know about the original.
14) Them! - The original Atomic Age cautionary tale. Also: Aliens totally ripped this movie off.
15) A Clockwork Orange - This is technically sci-fi. It happens in the future and uses technology that does not yet exist.
16) Buck Rogers - There aren't any straight up Buck Rogers movies. I'm only aware of the serials.
17) Flash Gordon - The Star Wars to Buck Rogers' Star Trek, Flash Gordon is far more fantasy than sci-fi, but its impossible to ignore the influence of Flash Gordon.
18) Akira - Lately its become trendy to bag on Akira. @#$% those guys. Akira is @#$%ing amazing. I don't care if, like all anme from the era, it totally falls apart in the 3rd act.
Anyway, I could go on.
A very partial list of classics I haven't seen:
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Journey to the Center of the Earth
More recent sci-fi films that I think will endure?
28 Days Later
Total Recall (because I love Total Recall)
There are also films that are cinematic favorites that seem to have been ignored as they're not American:
City of Lost Children
Until the End of the World
Wings of Desire
So what do you think?