QandO asked these question's...
So A) do you agree with Scott that the genre is "dead"? Or is this like the guy who wanted to close the patent office because he thought everything that could be invented had been invented?
B) do you agree 2001 is the standard for "best of the best" in Sci-Fi movies?
C) do you have any other Sci-Fi movies you'd add to Alien, 2001 and Forbidden Planet as among the best?
B. I haven’t been able to watch 2001 to the end.
C. The Fifth Element. That one with Vin Deisel doesn’t get near the credit it deserves. There are so many that are good and so many that are good but not remarkable.
And so many that are bad.
I’d suggest that one problem is that the science fiction movies that appeal to a non-science fiction audience simply aren’t very good and the really good movies that do science fiction very well aren’t considered particularly good because they self-limit the audience by being weird.
Ah, I just remembered the name... Chronicles of Riddick. Pitch Black was a really *good* science fiction movie that, underneath the "people die one by one" was squarely based on redemption with the twist that the wrong person survived. The sequel, Riddick was created for the big screen and the story, really, is very good... the forces of evil aren’t defeated and the hero isn’t a good guy and there’s enough strangeness to juxtapose unreality against stark human truth.
But it doesn’t seem intellectual on the surface of it. Someone who likes to go to the high-brow shows isn’t going to get past, "Well, there’s a death cult, see, except that what they are preaching is actually real, so it’s sort of like they’re turning everyone into zombies except that they don’t rot."
Blade Runner is a very good movie but it’s almost equally as Riddick, on the surface, about the strangeness. Of course it’s really about who has the right to even desire to live, which is a basic human question.