It’s been a while since the last time I set up a “best of” list, this will another trip to memory lane, dedicated to the sci-fi movies made in the first decade of this century. There’s no particular order, I’ve enjoyed all of them, so fast your seat belt and have fun.
At number ten there’s “Pitch Black”. It’s a dark movie, modeled around an anti-hero character who fight against all odds in a very dangerous planet. It spanned two sequels and gained a worldwide cult following. Even with a modest budget, the visuals are great and the action is gruesome.
Number nine, make room for some old guy. “Space Cowboys” is a message of love for the Apollo generation and for the dream of a space exploration program that has been devoured by budget considerations in the ’70s. Clint Eastwood delivered in spades, both as an actor and as the director of this movie. It took my heart away.
Dystopia has been a favorite trope for decades, at number eight there’s “Equilibrium”. Another low-budget project built around a few well-played ideas. Hard-faced acting, the deadly geometric moves of gun kata and the not-so-distant echoes of Fahrenheit 451. Do you really need more?
Number seven for a box-office flop. “Immortal” is a movie vaguely based on Enki Bilal comics (he’s one of my favorite artists ever, by the way). The plot is somewhat suspended between science fiction, deviated mythology and the not-so-well articulated agenda of a fallen god. A lot of eye candy and the feeling of something unfinished at the end.
A good movie stands on a good plot, that’s a given for me. “Primer”, the number six of this list, is another low-budget movie wonderfully constructed around time travel and paradoxes. In my opinion, it’s also one of the best-scripted movie ever. Shane Carruth is a name to remember for the years to come.
Science fiction is often about crews, no matter how deranged they could be. Number five is “Serenity”, a movie that sums up all the good stuff the TV serial “Firefly” has been , adding two hours of magic to the saga. Space western? Yes, tons of it. Cult following? Yes again, by the millions.
Dystopia, here we are again. Well written comics, we are here too. “V for Vendetta”, the number four of this list, is one of most powerful narrative I’ve ever seen on the silver screen. The darkness, the deep shadows of a fascist regime, the hard-hitting determination of a man who has been pushed too far to stay human and the bitter legacy of freedom.
Well, we’re approaching the end of this long list. Glad to see that you’re sticking around. Number three, a movie that hit hard from the first second. “District 9” is more than an action sci-fi movie, more than a transposition of the Apartheid. It’s a slap in the face and a vision of misery, a movie that will grab your wallet and leave you unconscious in a dirty alley.
Number two, a movie modeled around a single actor. “Moon” is more than a low future movie and goes well over the great work of Sam Rockwell. It’s a deep look inside the mind of a man, an approach to the dark edges of technology. Another demonstration of how a low-budget movie can hit the spot big time.
All right, it’s almost over. Ready for the last one? The number one is the only blockbuster of this list, it’s another take on the dystopian themes and it’s another comic-based movie. “Watchmen” isn’t a perfect movie, nor it’s 100% consistent with the Alan Moore’s comic. It’s powerful, painfully accurate when it comes to small details and the visuals are stunning. The whole “superheroes gone bad” trope is on steroids, leaving small choices left in the narration.
Still here? Go watch a movie!