Strange Brouhaha

Friday, May 04, 2007

Great Sci-fi

I was going along with Entertainment Weekly's list of the greatest sci-fi of the last 25 years for a while. I don't think "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is necessarily science fiction; I think it falls more into the magical realism camp, and thus it really has no place on the list...but that didn't really bug me. Yeah, it bugged me that Star Trek: The Next Generation made the list, but I have to acknowledge that people liked it. That doesn't make it great, but, you know, whatever. (Ugh, and I'm also tired of the undeserved lauding of ham actor Patrick Stewart.)

In general, this is a good list. I was REALLY pissed that Star Trek wasn't on it, until I realized that Star Trek is a little bit older than 25 years. I definitely applaud them for having the guts to include "Starship Troopers," which is a risky move given the definite lack of support it has among most science fiction fans. (I liked it.)

Thing is, there are things that I would take off the list, but I'm not sure what I'd replace them with. I'd split Terminator and Terminator 2 and put T2 significantly higher on the list. I'd put STII:TWOK higher as well, certainly above the new Battlestar Galactica. But what else could possibly go on the list? "Pi," maybe. Especially if "Eternal Sunshine" is there. "Heroes" should be higher.

(It's starting to bother me more that "Eternal Sunshine" is there. I'd rather see something like "The Jacket" on the list--and if you haven't seen "The Jacket," I recommend it, especially if you can watch it on a home theater system with good sound and the lights turned down. Some of the scenes are brilliantly claustrophobic.)

The PopWatch blog has a good group of comments that answer the "what would you replace them with" question. Yeah...where's Red Dwarf?


  • I'm surprised "The 5th Element" didn't make the list.

    I really like the new BSG - I think it's one of the best shows on TV. Heroes is great, too, although I've been somewhat disappointed with Hiro's character the last few episodes.

    By Blogger Terry, at 8:44 PM  

  • I think it's fair to call Eternal Sunshine sci-fi. The epicenter of the plot revolves around the memory-erasing machine. What's more sci-fi than that?

    If you wanted to swap it out for another gadget movie that's less arguably appropriate for the list, how about "Primer"? Awesome, awesome movie. I've seen it a few times and still am struggling to understand it.

    By Anonymous Josh, at 10:12 PM  

  • I see your point about the machine...but the movie isn't about the machine. It's about the relationship between the two characters.

    I may not be remembering the movie accurately; it's been a while since I watched it. But I think we're never told how the machine works, and the characters merely accept that it does work. Along with a lot of other things that I may be faultily remembering about the movie, that points to magical realism. At least for me.

    Of course...some people consider magical realism to be a form of science fiction, so I suppose it all comes down to how you see it.

    I have "Primer" on my list to watch. I know Terry enjoyed it.

    By Blogger Robert, at 7:50 AM  

  • Oh yea! I loved Primer. I couldn't stop thinking about it after I saw it. I've been meaning to watch it again because I still don't quite understand what was happening at the end. I'm able to follow pretty much everything up until the last 20 minutes or so.

    By Blogger Terry, at 2:12 PM  

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