So recently my friend Dr. Bombay posted a list of 100 best sci-fi films as decided by the Online Film Critics Society. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s not a bad list, I mean, there are some great films on there. But there are also some notable absences, in my opinion. I started thinking about this when I realized that City of Lost Children makes the cut, while Jean-Pierre JeunetÃ¯Â¿Â½s earlier and more coherent masterpiece, Delicatessen, is nowhere to be found.
Ok, so that one can be explained away. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a relatively unknown french movie, and the english overdub version is known to be horrible. Not everybody likes subtitles. But far more disturbing in its absence is one of my favorite movies of all time, The Dark Crystal. That kind of negligence is criminal!
Also notably missing are humorous sci-fi movies. Toward the top of my list would be the parody Spaceballs. (Along with another great parody, Galaxy Quest.) Not to mention Mars Attacks!, which is hilarious and great.
I would like to have seen a list of all the submissions. I can think of a ton of other films that would maybe (probably) have made my cut, above some of the crap that was included in their list. (The x-men movie, Cocoon, Explorers, Final Fantasy, Ladyhawk, Legend, lawnmower man and David LynchÃ¯Â¿Â½s Dune, to name a few.)
Alright, so I havenÃ¯Â¿Â½t thought much about the possibility that they were going for all sci-fi, and no fantasy. That would scratch the dark crystal, Ladyhawk and Legend off my list, I guess. But they include some that I would consider fantasy as well — Highlander (albeit low on the list), King Kong (which Nate pointed out was about as sci-fi as Jaws), Jacob’s Ladder, Pi and Donnie Darko. None of these movies were particularly sci-fi, for crying out loud!
My personal least favorite on the list is The Cell, although I know many people liked the movie, The Cell was barely sci-fi in my opinion. And while it was pretty to look at, the pathetic plot and poor acting would put the movie itself high on my list of worst movies of all time, lack of sci-fi not withstanding! I suppose it was technically more sci-fi than fantasy, however.
The list included Starman, (a shitty movie), but not The Last Starfighter! (Laura and Nate would also add Flight of the Navigator.)
More understandably, (especially if you were taking Ã¯Â¿Â½how sci-fi were theyÃ¯Â¿Â½ into account,) they included Superman, but not Batman (or Spider Man).
If we are including fantasy, a few more I would add to the list are Labyrinth, Willow, The Princess Bride, The NeverEnding Story, LOTR, and Harry Potter.
I am seriously thinking about making my own list. Almost as hard as putting them in order will be thinking of all of them. I wonder if that was the OFCSÃ¯Â¿Â½s real problem. (I could make a separate list of top fantasy movies.)
Nate and I have been talking for a good hour now about what makes a movie sci-fi. I personally would rate movies that show the science above movies that are just conceptually sci-fi. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of the older sci-fi classics right out of the picture, and also my original beef with the list, Delicatessen.
Anyway, this is a huge issue that I could probably think about until the end of the world.