Over at Jason Sanford’s site, he tags John Scalzi’s little game of improving on the AFI’s Top 10 science fiction films. I imagine every blogger with any opinion about science fiction at all will want to play, because I know I do. And it’s not that I disagree terribly with AFI, which I do, I just think a person’s favorite Top 10 SF films are their own Rorschach test of personality.
Here are my favorite Top 10 SF Movies at the moment:
- The Matrix
- Fahrenheit 451
- Things to Come
- The Abyss
- Starship Troopers
- The Fifth Element
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
They are somewhat in order, but actually fluctuate moment by moment because my choices are not based on intellect, but mood. Like music, I experience movies as a mood enhancer, and I like my science fiction to turn up the sense of wonder to the max and make me feel intensely philosophical. However, my philosophical mood changes often, and if I made the list a month from now it might be very different.
All of these films are upbeat, even if they are sometimes about people who are beaten down. I prefer Aliens and The Fifth Element over Alien and The Twelve Monkeys because they feel so much more positive. I also have a nagging feeling there might be dozens of better movies I should be listing but I just can’t remember them at the moment. What was that little Australian film that showed Saturn rising up in our sky? That was a cool film.
I quickly pulled these ten titles from Sci-Fi Lists Top 100 Sci-Fi Films. If you hop over to Google and search on the phrase “Top Science Fiction Movies” you can find all kinds of lists, and surprisingly, there’s a tremendous overlap. I guess hundreds of SF films were pretty ho-hum or even ha-ha silly and are quickly forgotten. And ten or twenty years ago my list would have been very different, but many of my old favorites like Planet of the Apes, 2001, Forbidden Planet, Back to the Future, etc., I’ve watched so many times they fizzle more than they bang. The above list are the ones that still make my neurons explode with excitement.