2011: The Year of Sci-Fi . . .

2011 isn’t quite over yet, but it’s close. And I’ll be honest: I kind of gave up on my sci-fi challenge way back in October. I was already behind, see, and there were so many bad horror movies to watch during the Halloween season. How could I resist?

The real reason I never got around to Brazil.

So, with that in mind, I present to you the list of the Must-See Science-Fiction Films that I did watch this year:

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
3. Forbidden Planet
4. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
5. Total Recall
6. Robocop
7. A Clockwork Orange
8. Mad Max: The Road Warrior
9. Escape from New York
10. Gojira
11. Logan’s Run
12. A Boy and His Dog
13. Soylent Green
14. Moon
15. Event Horizon
16. The Stepford Wives

I did see other science-fiction movies this year, of course (Cowboys and Aliens and The Search for Spock, for example), but they weren’t on the must-see list and are thus ineligible for my end-of-the-year superlatives.

And speaking of those superlatives . . .

Most WTF Movie:

And here I assumed this award would go to the movie about a guy in an apocalyptic wasteland who uses a dog (who he communicates with telepathically) to find women to rape. Silly me.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Most Badass Protagonist:

Snake Plissken – Escape From New York

Least Likable Protagonist:

Alex – A Clockwork Orange

Best Makes-You-Bawl-Like-A-Baby Scene:

“I have been and always shall be your friend” – Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

Creepiest Scene:

“I thought we were friends”  – The Stepford Wives (Can be seen here. Includes spoilers.)

Best Invention In the Future

Instant Nail Polish Change – Total Recall

Best Movie Score:

Moon (by Clint Mansell—“Welcome to Lunar Industries” can be heard here.)

Best Sidekick:

Blood – A Boy and His Dog

Chief Asshat:

Walter – The Stepford Wives

Worst Vacation Destination:

Mars – Total Recall

Best Robot:

Gerty – Moon

Squickiest Scene:

“Singing in the Rain” – A Clockwork Orange

Worst Fashion Sense:

Lord Humungus – Mad Max 2: Beyond Thunderdome (I can’t even begin to tell you how many people made the shortlist for this “award.”)

Least Favorite Film:

2001: A Space Odyssey

And finally . . .

Favorite Film:


That’s it for 2011. Since I didn’t complete my challenge, I guess I won’t have to watch Battlefield Earth. Damn. That’s a crying shame, that is. I hope you can tell how broken up I am about it.

Upcoming in 2012: Horror.

(Yes. Again. I may be coming back to this every other year.)

10 thoughts on “2011: The Year of Sci-Fi . . .

  1. Okay, looking at films you missed…

    You clearly need to see the original Charlton Heston version of “Planet of the Apes”. Personally, I’d also suggest “Escape from the Planet of the Apes”, partly because it’s my favourite, but also because it’s the preceding movie to “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” which was remade wonderfully recently as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” with clear references to both “Escape” and the original “Planet”. “Rise” is undoubtedly getting a sequel and you are best off not being left behind…

    I don’t know which version of “The Fly” you wanted to watch, but I have to say that both versions are excellent.

    You specified the 1970s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, but I’d say the black and white version is pretty clearly the superior of the two. If you haven’t seen it already I’d strongly suggest that you see the original black and white version. It’s probably the most genuinely scary of the 50s black and white horror films I’ve seen.

    • I don’t think Rise if a remake of conquest…did you see Rise? I don’t think they’re similar enough. There is only a somewhat brief ape rebellion at the end of Rise and the apes escape into the redwood forest, after breaking out of an primate shelter.

      • @Susan
        I don’t think it’s an exact copy of “Conquest”. “Rise” tried to do the whole ape revolution thing in a way that wasn’t utterly ludicrous. I’d say it delivered more on what “Escape” had promised that “Conquest” would be. For one thing, the way the first ape speaks occurs in the way that Cornelius described it, rather than seeming like an afterthought.

        As for the length of the rebellion, it only takes place in the second half of Conquest too. But let’s not forget that Rise had to rebuild the whole mythology from scratch. And as for the size of the rebellion, Conquest wasn’t prepared to be as daft as to suggest that the revolution had already spanned the entire planet before the credits rolled. Caesar says that there will be more ape uprisings to come.

        I think that’s actually what’s really exciting about the new reboot. It’s giving the franchise an opportunity to explore an area that hadn’t been dealt with yet in the original series of films: The period between Conquest and Battle where the apes establish their dominance.

    • I honestly think Rise of the Planet of the Apes made me lose interest in the original Planet of the Apes. I know Rise is supposed to be a really good movie, but I still have zero interest in it and have no plans to watch it in the foreseeable future.

      I have seen the black and white Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and loved it. It’s been a really long time, though. I’d really have to watch both to offer a proper comparison between the two. Maybe at some point . . .

      • I don’t have any interest in “Rise” either, but I concur that the original is still worth seeing at least once. I first saw it when I was about eleven, and the reveal at the end completely blew my mind.

      • As a fan of the original Planet of the Apes movies, I really was not keen on Rise when I first heard of it. The trailers all look awful and I was convinced that they had turned it into “Deep Blue Sea” only with apes instead of sharks.

        I rewatched the Tim Burton version of Planet of the Apes last week (I first saw it before I watched the original films) and was surprised to find that it was worse than I remembered. (I had previously thought that it was better than “Beneath” and “Battle”. Not anymore…)

        You should see Rise at some point. I think you’ll be surprised.

        However, I would recommend seeing the originals first. The first “Planet of the Apes” movie along with “Escape” and “Conquest” are probably the most important ones to see.

        If you’ve seen the black and white version of “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers” already, then yeah, you should probably see the 70s remake. I don’t think it’s as good, but it makes some interesting upgrades to the visuals.

  2. Pingback: 1 Month Bite-Free: A Retrospective « That Thing I Like

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