Sunday, September 06, 2009

My Favourite Movies Part 1 - Science Fiction

I have a big problem, and that is my favourite movie changes from time to time. So for this, I will just go about this in a random order in which I type. However, I will be first doing my current favourite which is Aliens.

Aliens (1986)
Ripley: "get away from her you bitch!"

This has been my favourite movie for a few years now. As you will see through this list, I am an absolute sucker for science fiction, which many find rather weird in a girl. A girl liking a sci-fi film/tv show isnt terribly bad (all my sisters love Dr Who, yet think Star Trek is geeky - boohoo!!) but I just love everything about the genre, because ANYTHING can happen. And Aliens is no exception. In fact, this movie has pretty much everything I love: brilliant death scenes, cool action scenes, a fucking amazing line, James Cameron and of course... Michael Biehn (my favourite actor of all time!!).

Aliens is one of those movies that has a lot going on for it at once. It has a story which is essentially a Vietnam War Metaphor (for more on that, see the Left Field Cinema Analysis) and a story about Ripley's psychological journey to getting rid of her inner demons and one about rebuilding her family (which no doubt goes hand-in-hand with her psycological journey).

Sigourney Weaver was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress playing Ellen Ripley. Even now, this would be considered a benchmark since the Academy very rarely gives that kind of recognition to the science fiction genre. Her delivery of that line is one of my favourite quotes in cinema history. However, it has to be said that the amazing Bill Paxton has a much bigger handful of amazing lines and easily the most fun supporting character, even if he is a bit of a knobhead!

Serenity (2005)
Mal: "This is the Captain, we have a little problem with our entry sequence so we may experience some slight turbulence and then...explode'"

Any Joss Whedon fan and/or science-fiction fan will know the story of Firefly, the TV show that got cancelled after only 14 episodes. It was highly acclaimed, yet suffered from the Friday night slot it was giving, with low ratings. However, the DVD release largely contradicts this. It became a cult hit with fans all over the world. And this in itself spawned the movie "Serenity"; reuniting its main cast and keeping the elements of the show. Most movies that come from TV shows always tend to have a different atmosphere to them in order to reach out to a larger demographic, however, Whedon hardly changed anything about it and, despite the "episodic" feel to the film, it reamins as awesome as ever!

Empire Magazine wrote a blog in 2007 about how Nathan Fillion makes anything he is in 27% better, which applies to most of his filmography. He carries this film exceptionally well with a fine performance of a man torn between the safety of his crew and the fate of a young woman with an amazing, if deadly, ability. The well written script also helps with this, with amazing dialgogue. My personal favourite of this is in this video:

A wonderful mix of comedy and drama makes this one of the freshest, and must-see science fiction films to see.

Terminator (1984)
Kyle Reese : "Come with me if you want to live. "

Once again, I put another Cameron films into the mix. James Cameron has this wonderful ability to create engaging charaters and amazing special effects, which most do not tend to do these days (Michael Bay, I point my finger at you!!). And it is also anther example of making a film like this on a low budget, only made with $6mil. It is proof that a movie CAN be made with so little money and have all the ingredients that modern blockbusters lack (Bay...Bay...). Other recent examples of this are Neil Bloomkamp's District 9 (which I hope to see soon) and Duncan Jones' Moon (stunning).

In my opinion, it is on of Cameron's better writing acheivements (everyone loves Titanic, but the writing is a little rubbish!), with lines the will echoes not just through the franchise this film spawned, but EVERYWHERE. However, its the suspense that is the real winner here; an enemy that you cannot destroy that does not feel pain, or have any moral conscience is unstoppable and thats the real kicker.

Every single scene that Arnie is in is completely dominant. However, this has to be put down to the wonderful use of music by Brad Feidel; the intimidating "heartbeat" that is in the background in every scene he is in builds the tension to near heart-shattering suspense. What I love about that heartbeat sound is that it completely symbolises everything the the Terminator is: a killer who does not flinch.

I would love to chat about science-fiction films forever, however, I have decided to restrict this to 3 films per section or else you will all get bored! (and for all you trekkies wondering in amazement as to why it is not in her... it has its own section hehe).

laters x x x