This weekend my buddy and I watched the movie John Carter. It’s a science fiction movie based on my all-time favorite novel “A Princess of Mars” which was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs (who is best known for the Tarzan series). The movie did not get great reviews so far, but I thought the movie was excellent. My buddy, who is also a huge science fiction fan, and I were talking about other movies so I decided to list my ten favorite science fiction movies. There are too many to handle (I love 1950s scifi too, and the 1990s produced many awesome scifi movies) so I decided to focus only on scifi movies since 2000.
1. The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) – Vin Diesel battles a race of conquerors. Brilliantly imaginative film in my opinion but didn’t do well at the box office.
2. Inception (2010) – Leonardo DiCaprio and friends enter the dreams of other people to get information. The dreams within dreams within dreams plot and the acting are terrific.
3. John Carter (2012) – I thought the movie captured the essence of the novel on which it’s based and liked the rationalization of the Earth-to-Mars travel and the Therns.
4. I, Robot (2004) – Thirty years from now, Will Smith is a detective who is no fan of the way robots have become essential. He unravels a murder. Did a robot do it?
5. Paycheck (2003) – Ben Affleck, one of my favorite actors, is an engineer who allows three years of his memory to be erased, but then has to uncover the mystery of what he did. More action-mystery than scifi.
6. A Sound of Thunder (2005) – I think I’m one of the few people who love this movie about time travelers going back to a safari in the days of the dinosaurs but accidentally changing the future. A huge box office disaster.
7. Source Code (2011) – Jake Gyllenhaal is part of a military experiment that allows him to go back in time for eight minutes at a time. He tries to determine who blows up a train.
8. Minority Report (2002) – Fifty years in the future precogs can predict crimes before they happen. Tom Cruise is a detective who the precogs say will commit murder. Does he?
9. The Butterfly Effect (2004) – Ashton Kutcher discovers he has the ability to travel back in time but changing the past has unexpected consequences.
10. Dreamcatcher (2003) – Rather bizarre movie based on a Stephen King novel where a group of friends must deal with an alien invasion and a crazy Morgan Freeman. Gave me nightmares.
Honorable Mention: The 6th Day (Arnold Schwarzenegger gets cloned), The Core (a team races to the center of the earth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr. as the comic book hero), Déjà Vu (Denzel Washington time travels to prevent a terrorist attack), I am Number Four (teenage alien evading bad aliens on earth), Star Trek (the early days of Kirk and Spock), Surrogates (Bruce Willis in virtual reality)
Note: Originally I had John Carter ranked as #2 and Inception as #3, but switched order after a second viewing of John Carter.
Some Big Movies I Did Not Like: War of the Worlds (give me the 1953 version any day), Avatar (sorry, just didn’t like big blue cartoons), X-Men (love the comics, don’t like the movie), The Matrix Reloaded (thought both sequels were duds), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (too touchy-feely Spielberg), Transformers (hated this movie), Star Wars Episode III (hated it).