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The 100 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time? ...
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cmeisenzahl
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Oct 18, 2012, 10:12 AM
 
Discuss amongst yourselves. ;-)

The 100 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time - Popular Mechanics
Cinema exists to project our dreams. Science-fiction cinema exists to project our most creative dreams—time-travel, alternate worlds, expanded consciousness, and more. That's why we're science-fiction maniacs and why we gathered up our top 100 movies. And if your favorite isn't on here, we want to hear about it.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/digital/fact-vs-fiction/the-100-best-sci-fi-movies-of-all-time
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 18, 2012, 12:19 PM
 
Wow what an annoying website. For the lazy:

100. Escape From New York (1981)
99. Splice (2009)
98. Attack the Block (2011)
97. City of Lost Children (1995)
96. Westworld (1973)
95. Serenity (2005)
94. The Black Hole (1979)
93. Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971)
92. Silent Running (1972)
91. They Live (1988)
90. War of the Worlds (1953)
89. Galaxy Quest (1999)

88. eXistenZ (1999)
87. The Fountain (2006)
86. Starman (1984)
85. Sleep Dealer (2008)
84. Men in Black (1997)
83. Stalker (1979)
82. Dreamscape (1984)
81. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
80. Cube (1997)
79. Fantastic Planet (1973)
78. Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
77. Scanners (1981)

76. Outland (1981)
75. Dark Star (1974)
74. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
73. Ikarie XB-1 (1963)
72. Day of the Triffids (1962)
71. Rollerball (1975)
70. Alphaville (1965)
69. Inception (2010)
68. Sleeper (1973)
67. THX-1138 (1971)
66. Repo Man (1984)
65. Them! (1954)

64. Destination Moon (1950)
63. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
62. Altered States (1980)
61. 12 Monkeys (1995)
60. Frankenstein (1931)
59. The Last Starfighter (1984)
58. When Worlds Collide (1951)
57. 1984 (1984)
56. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
55. Contact (1997)
54. Predator (1987)
53. Abre Los Ojos (1997)

52. The Andromeda Strain (1971)
51. The Time Machine (1960)
50. Avatar (2009)
49. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
48. Starship Troopers (1997)
47. Moon (2009)
46. Soylent Green (1973)
45. Enemy Mine (1985)
44. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
43. Back to the Future (1985)
42. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
41. Donnie Darko (2001)

40. Gojira (1954)
39. Brazil (1985)
38. Solaris (1972)
37. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
36. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
35. Primer (2004)
34. Idiocracy (2006)
33. Jurassic Park (1993)
32. The Thing (1982)
31. Mad Max (1979)
30. Sunshine (2007)
29. Tron (1982)

28. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
27. District 9 (2009)
26. Minority Report (2002)
25. The Matrix (1999)
24. Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977)
23. Total Recall (1990)
22. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
21. The Fly (1986)
20. Children of Men (2006)
19. Dark City (1998)
18. Akira (1988)
17. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992)

16. Logan's Run (1976)
15. Wall-E (2008)
14. Forbidden Planet (1956)
13. RoboCop (1987)
12. Alien (1979)
11. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
10. Planet of the Apes (1968)
9. The Terminator (1984)
8. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
7. Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
5. Metropolis (1927)

4. Aliens (1986)
3. Gattaca (1997)
2. Blade Runner (1982)
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 18, 2012, 12:19 PM
 
I couldn't name 100 sci-fi movies, let alone good ones, if you asked me.
     
sek929
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Oct 18, 2012, 12:24 PM
 
For and easier read, click on the print version.

Totally agree with 2001 taking the top spot, easily one of my favorite movies of all time.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Oct 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
 
I'm sorry but Escape From New York, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984 are not science fiction.
     
Thorzdad
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Oct 18, 2012, 01:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
I'm sorry but Escape From New York, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984 are not science fiction.
Neither are several of these. A lot of them are more horror. Others seem to get the sci-fi label for simply being set in the future. The capper is including Avatar as a "best" sci-fi movie. Ugh. I suppose I should be thankful it didn't make their top-10.
     
Doc HM
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Oct 18, 2012, 01:07 PM
 
District 9 should be higher. And I guess which order Alien and Aliens come in is a philosophical debate.
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Oct 18, 2012, 01:16 PM
 
Aliens, while a great movie, is not one of the best "sci-fi" movies.

I'm not going to say it's not sci-fi, but it's more of an action movie.

To me, a great sci-fi movie is more about ideas and philosophical questions... and less about shooting monsters in the face.

There are a lot of bad picks on this list, enough that it's not worth really going through them.

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subego
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Oct 18, 2012, 01:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
District 9 should be higher. And I guess which order Alien and Aliens come in is a philosophical debate.
Alien would win if it didn't fall flat in the third act.
     
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Oct 18, 2012, 01:47 PM
 
They get number one right.
     
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Oct 18, 2012, 02:01 PM
 
Eww, why is Splice on that list, even at 99. I thought that flick was awful, despite two supremely talented lead actors.
     
knifecarrier2
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Oct 18, 2012, 03:53 PM
 
wow. This is wrong for lots of reasons:

Somehow, someway... Logans Run, Robocop, and Terminator are better than Moon, T2, The Matrix, etc?!

And NO FIFTH ELEMENT?!

**** this list.
     
Shaddim
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Oct 18, 2012, 04:03 PM
 
How did The Time Machine drop into the bottom 50? And Serenity at 95? Seriously?

Edit: Agreeing with Rob, no Fifth Element? WTF?
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Oct 18, 2012, 04:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by knifecarrier2 View Post
And NO FIFTH ELEMENT?!

**** this list.
Probably because it's not fiction
     
SSharon
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Oct 19, 2012, 11:14 AM
 
I've seen fewer than 5 of the movies listed in the bottom 50 and only about 20 or more of the top 50.

I haven't seen Enemy Mine (#45) in years, but remember it being a great movie.
No Fifth Element is a major omission.
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by knifecarrier2 View Post
wow. This is wrong for lots of reasons:
Somehow, someway... Logans Run, Robocop, and Terminator are better than Moon, T2, The Matrix, etc?!
And NO FIFTH ELEMENT?!
**** this list.
That's because Robocop, Terminator and Logan's Run are all much much better movies than T2, Matrix or Moon.

Well, maybe not Logan's Run, but it is fun and it is a classic.

If Robocop and Terminator were filet minion, T2 and the Matrix would be bologna. Moon would be a bland cracker. Logan's Run is pop rocks.

I agree that Fifth Element should be somewhere on this list, especially considering the garbage that made it on.

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Shaddim
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
That's because Robocop, Terminator and Logan's Run are all much much better movies than T2, Matrix or Moon.
Well, maybe not Logan's Run, but it is fun and it is a classic.
If Robocop and Terminator were filet minion, T2 and the Matrix would be bologna. Moon would be a bland cracker. Logan's Run is pop rocks.
I agree that Fifth Element should be somewhere on this list, especially considering the garbage that made it on.
Garbage?!? That's atmosphere. Something more modern films are severely lacking.



Edit: or are you talking about the actual garbage that was piled up in the spaceport terminal?
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:31 PM
 
I watched Logan's Run recently. It was not that great.
     
Leonard
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:37 PM
 
What a lousy list. Any list with 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) at #1 has got to be bad. Most of 2001: A Space Odyssey is a bore. I'm not sure I ever made it through the whole movie. Then they put Serenity at #95? Serenity should be in the top 25. As other people mentioned, no Fifth Element? Even Gattaca I wouldn't put in the top 5.
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The Final Dakar
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:41 PM
 
I better stop reading this thread. OP, I hope you go to hell.
     
Leonard
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:46 PM
 
There's another movie missing on the list, can't think of the name right now. It's about a woman, she's a futuristic terrorist almost. Everybody is a clone. It's based on a comic or cartoon. They find having babies the real way is disgusting.

Ahhh, it's called.... Aeron Flux or something like
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Shaddim
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Oct 19, 2012, 12:59 PM
 
Aeon Flux. It, umm... it's better than Splice.


that's not saying much, is it?
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Oct 19, 2012, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Garbage?!? That's atmosphere. Something more modern films are severely lacking.
Edit: or are you talking about the actual garbage that was piled up in the spaceport terminal?
I was talking about the garbage on the list, not the Fifth Element, which is I consider a good movie. Super fun with some problems. (mostly at the very end, which sucked)

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I watched Logan's Run recently. It was not that great.
Time for you to renew.

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Oct 19, 2012, 02:33 PM
 
I could have sworn I posted in this thread to say that while I like Gattaca, its not top 3 material.

Why is Demolition Man not on the list either?
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Oct 19, 2012, 02:37 PM
 
I just noticed, no Dune?!

Okay, I can't take that list seriously, it has to be troll bait for them.
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Oct 19, 2012, 02:51 PM
 
Have to agree with Leonard here, 2001 was boring.

Hard to chose my #1. I'll sleep on it.
     
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Oct 19, 2012, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I couldn't name 100 sci-fi movies, let alone good ones, if you asked me.
Yeah, I think the real entertainment value of this list is in trying to remember any other scifi movies that weren't mentioned. Like.... Spaceballs. Who's next?
     
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Oct 19, 2012, 03:41 PM
 
missing from list: A.I. - Artificial Intelligence
     
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Oct 19, 2012, 03:48 PM
 
and Bicentennial Man too. I guess they left out comics films on purpose, though Men in Black is up there, but they should have made an exception for Iron Man.
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Oct 19, 2012, 04:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by knifecarrier2 View Post
wow. This is wrong for lots of reasons:
Somehow, someway... Logans Run, Robocop, and Terminator are better than Moon, T2, The Matrix, etc?!
And NO FIFTH ELEMENT?!
**** this list.
My thoughts exactly. Especially Robocop - why on EARTH was it put this high in the list? Robocop was a pretty horrible movie, as were its sequels.
     
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Oct 19, 2012, 04:29 PM
 
I will add too that I thought that Prometheus was a pretty big disappointment. There were too many weird distracting flaws with the plot, and not enough thought provoking stuff.
     
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Oct 19, 2012, 06:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
My thoughts exactly. Especially Robocop - why on EARTH was it put this high in the list? Robocop was a pretty horrible movie, as were its sequels.
What was wrong with it (the original)?

I thought it was brilliant. One of my favorites of all-time.
     
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Oct 20, 2012, 02:46 AM
 
Agreed, the original Robocop was a masterpiece.
Also agreed, Prometheus was a massive, massive let down. It was wonderfully shot but the story was utter balls, it didn't really answer any questions in a satisfactory way, didn't tie up to the Alien movies properly so they can make yet another prequel (I'm sick of prequels, why do people seem to have such a problem developing stories further?) The cast of characters was largely cloned from other Alien movies. The captain even stole most of Parker's wardrobe.

I'd put the new Dredd movie ahead of many on this list. What about The Abyss?
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Oct 20, 2012, 04:35 AM
 
Prometheus was great, I enjoyed it quite a lot. I went in expecting it to be part 1 of a trilogy, so it left me looking forward to the next 2.
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Oct 20, 2012, 07:08 AM
 
I never heard anything about there being more than one until after I saw it. And the characters were still cloned from the other Alien movies for the most part. I also didn't like the whole atheism/theism discussions between the scientists. I think if you are a field-leading scientist going to another planet looking for the origin of human life, you are almost certainly an atheist. I was expecting an Alien prequel, not a prequel to an Alien prequel.
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Oct 20, 2012, 07:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post

What was wrong with it (the original)?
I thought it was brilliant. One of my favorites of all-time.
To me a good sci-fi brings up thought-provoking questions and issues pertaining to humanity, using its universe as a means to delve into these sort of hypotheticals. Robocop was not thought provoking at all, unless you find the question of "how much would a cop in a robot body be able to dominate bad guys, and who would be interested in weaponizing such a thing"? It's pretty tame, park your brain at the door sort of stuff. Plus, it has goofy, campy acting that has inspired cringe worthy memes like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85cL1HisrNc

I'd consider Robocop trading places in the list with Serenity.
     
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Oct 20, 2012, 07:37 AM
 
I think my favorite sci-fi might be the newer Battlestar Galactica series. It lost some steam and some didn't like the last episode, but at its peak it was really intense and delved into all sorts of interesting, intensely thought provoking questions.
     
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Oct 20, 2012, 08:21 AM
 
Robocop was a cynical prediction of where America was heading back at the end of the 80s. The rising crime rates, the increasing numbers of people who were enslaved to their TV sets watching increasingly trashy shows, there is definitely more to it than just the violence. Verhoeven painted a similar picture in Starship Troopers but Robocop was set in a much closer future. Much of it was very believable.

It was a justified warning. The ad for the car security system which electrocuted car thieves - there was a real system in South Africa that torched carjackers on either side of your vehicle and some of the TV shows we have now are even worse than I'd Buy That For A Dollar.
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Oct 20, 2012, 09:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Robocop was a cynical prediction of where America was heading back at the end of the 80s. The rising crime rates, the increasing numbers of people who were enslaved to their TV sets watching increasingly trashy shows, there is definitely more to it than just the violence. Verhoeven painted a similar picture in Starship Troopers but Robocop was set in a much closer future. Much of it was very believable.
It was a justified warning. The ad for the car security system which electrocuted car thieves - there was a real system in South Africa that torched carjackers on either side of your vehicle and some of the TV shows we have now are even worse than I'd Buy That For A Dollar.
I guess I never analyzed it that way. Is it safe say that this element was never all that clear? The main struggle seemed to relate to the robot getting his ass kicked and kicking the ass of the bad guys. The crime in the city was pretty generic, much like the sort of crime that a superhero typically combats. The connection between the movie and our reality seemed obscure.
     
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Oct 20, 2012, 10:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I guess I never analyzed it that way. Is it safe say that this element was never all that clear? The main struggle seemed to relate to the robot getting his ass kicked and kicking the ass of the bad guys. The crime in the city was pretty generic, much like the sort of crime that a superhero typically combats. The connection between the movie and our reality seemed obscure.
I think you may have been on the wrong wavelength when you watched it.

The police get privatized.
The corporation who runs the police treats it like a business venture, rearranging things so they get almost dead cops to turn into robots.
As a result of this treatment, the police to go on strike.
It comes to light the bad guys now rampaging through the city the are in the employ of the corporation.

That's like, hit you over the head political.
     
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Oct 20, 2012, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post

I think you may have been on the wrong wavelength when you watched it.
The police get privatized.
The corporation who runs the police treats it like a business venture, rearranging things so they get almost dead cops to turn into robots.
As a result of this treatment, the police to go on strike.
It comes to light the bad guys now rampaging through the city the are in the employ of the corporation.
That's like, hit you over the head political.
I'll watch it again with this in mind. Maybe what distracted me is that the movie seemed pretty much an archetype of an 80s movie at the time (i.e. not all that gritty).
     
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Oct 20, 2012, 12:34 PM
 
No Bill and Ted, either excellent or bogus. Heinous!
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Oct 20, 2012, 12:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I never heard anything about there being more than one until after I saw it. And the characters were still cloned from the other Alien movies for the most part. I also didn't like the whole atheism/theism discussions between the scientists. I think if you are a field-leading scientist going to another planet looking for the origin of human life, you are almost certainly an atheist. I was expecting an Alien prequel, not a prequel to an Alien prequel.
They're almost all trilogies these days, and for good reason. Studios look for properties they can extend, maximizing their investment dollars in those properties. One of the most recognized series of films of all time (Aliens) and they're only doing one film as a prequel to it? That would have been highly unlikely. Now, if it had flopped, they could have just backed off and said "fill in the rest on your own" but it did reasonably well, $400M worldwide, so Scott and TCF decided to keep it rolling.

Your belief that a scientist must be an Atheist is biased. The film does a good job of explaining background and conflicting emotions. In the face of meeting a vastly superior race, and wondering about their motivations and origins. Plus, it mirrors David's feelings about his own awakening consciousness. The fascination, and possible disappointment, on both sides of the issue of "meeting your maker". There's a good deal of philosophical meat for moviegoers to chew on, beyond the sticky sweets they're normally fed, and that's always a good thing.
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Oct 20, 2012, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'll watch it again with this in mind. Maybe what distracted me is that the movie seemed pretty much an archetype of an 80s movie at the time (i.e. not all that gritty).
Well, I think the political themes are very 80s-centric. The whole cyberpunk movement is very 80s, and Robocop is most certainly a part of it. Corporate takeover of private life, the dehumanizing effects of technology, the popularity of lowest common denominator entertainment (I'd buy that for a dollar!), and an almost comically casual attitude towards violence.

On top of this, Peter Weller is a really good actor.


If you watch it again, be sure to see the unedited version. There was violence which was so over the top it's meant to be a joke. To get an R rating they trimmed some out, which killed the joke and just made it violent. The early ED-209 scene in particular.

Even that specific moment is used to make political commentary. After the junior executive gets shredded he lands on top of the corporation's architectural model of the "Detroit of Tomorrow", smashing it to pieces and drenching it blood.

Good shit, man.
     
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Oct 20, 2012, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I guess I never analyzed it that way. Is it safe say that this element was never all that clear? The main struggle seemed to relate to the robot getting his ass kicked and kicking the ass of the bad guys. The crime in the city was pretty generic, much like the sort of crime that a superhero typically combats. The connection between the movie and our reality seemed obscure.
They also make the point that the cops are being overrun and outgunned which is why Robocop gets built in the first place, saving an officer they would otherwise have lost and also gaining a far more efficient one who can deal with more bad guys more quickly and won't ever go on strike.

On the subject of editing, there was a version shown over here on a particular channel that cut it for violence and swearing. I think it was barely an hour long when they were done with it. Ridiculous. You should definitely give it another go.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c
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Oct 20, 2012, 03:05 PM
 
Are you guys saying that I might buy that for a dollar if I were to watch it again?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 20, 2012, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
They're almost all trilogies these days, and for good reason. Studios look for properties they can extend, maximizing their investment dollars in those properties. One of the most recognized series of films of all time (Aliens) and they're only doing one film as a prequel to it? That would have been highly unlikely. Now, if it had flopped, they could have just backed off and said "fill in the rest on your own" but it did reasonably well, $400M worldwide, so Scott and TCF decided to keep it rolling.
Oh I get why they did it, just seemed weird I didn't hear mention of it sooner. I watched a few interviews and some of the hype beforehand and it wasn't mentioned anywhere I saw that they were planning several. Also a successful prequel could just as easily pave the way for another sequel or a set of spin offs.

I only just found out they switched The Hobbit from two movies to three.

Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Your belief that a scientist must be an Atheist is biased. The film does a good job of explaining background and conflicting emotions. In the face of meeting a vastly superior race, and wondering about their motivations and origins. Plus, it mirrors David's feelings about his own awakening consciousness. The fascination, and possible disappointment, on both sides of the issue of "meeting your maker". There's a good deal of philosophical meat for moviegoers to chew on, beyond the sticky sweets they're normally fed, and that's always a good thing.
I had a feeling stating this opinion would raise some objections but I swear that isn't why I stated it. I never said a scientist must be an atheist, but I think scientists are more likely to be atheists than many other groups of people and I also think this tendency is likely to become more pronounced in the future. The most important part of my reasoning is that these particular scientists are working on the origin of life on Earth and are looking for it on other worlds. I don't think that ties in with the teachings of many religions. I was a massive fan of the original trilogy and there was never much mention of gods or religions in those. It all adds to this detail being unlikely to me. The whole theme therefore seemed out of place and together with the flagrant character copies made a big part of the film seem lazily done. A great shame, I was so looking forward to it beforehand. I probably should watch it again though, Ridley Scott has earned a second chance at the very least.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Shaddim
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Oct 20, 2012, 04:13 PM
 
Any film that deals with the origins of mankind is going to have some type of tie with creation myths. I would assume that's a given. Despite the fact that I'm not a traditional creationist, at all, I do believe there's something to our existence. So I don't see it as far-fetched that an anthropologist would be curious and searching for such information, in contrast the biologists and other "hard science" crew members weren't interested in that aspect of the discovery, at all. Even Weyland was simply looking for a way to extend his own life and didn't seem to care about the source. To me it all fits. My issue with the film is that Charlize Theron didn't know how to run sideways, and supposedly the most gifted biologists in the world didn't know to move away from a cobra when its hood is extended.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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besson3c
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Oct 20, 2012, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Any film that deals with the origins of mankind is going to have some type of tie with creation myths. I would assume that's a given. Despite the fact that I'm not a traditional creationist, at all, I do believe there's something to our existence. So I don't see it as far-fetched that an anthropologist would be curious and searching for such information, in contrast the biologists and other "hard science" crew members weren't interested in that aspect of the discovery, at all. Even Weyland was simply looking for a way to extend his own life and didn't seem to care about the source. To me it all fits. My issue with the film is that Charlize Theron didn't know how to run sideways, and supposedly the most gifted biologists in the world didn't know to move away from a cobra when its hood is extended.
Those were two plot holes of several. Should we flesh out a list? I have more....
     
Shaddim
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Oct 20, 2012, 05:17 PM
 
Nah, those were simply the ones that bothered me the most.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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