We have been blessed with an awesome run of Science Fiction movies

Come on, now. Evolution was 15 years ago! Certainly that is too far back to be part of a recent run, no?

Not at my age!

I agree in aggregate with the opening post. We’ve seen a good number of thought provoking films recently. As a bonus, through a combination of available budget and available film making technology they’ve been able to realize their ideas in a convincing way, with great production values.

Personally I wouldn’t have put Gravity on the list. That movie annoyed me. It had the artistry and craftsmanship of an interesting movie, but the plot of a silly action movie. Moving from one implausible disaster to the next over and over again actually made it quite boring, in my opinion.

I’m not saying that I’m not occasionally in the mood for a silly action movie, but this movie felt like it was pretending to be something more stimulating, and wasn’t.

Contrary to ftg’s comments, the only problem with The Martian was that they didn’t include enough of the book’s story development to understand how plausible the whole thing was. Which is understandable, since the book is a heavy slog in some ways precisely for that reason. If you’re going to rate it down for the simple fact that it’s about someone stranded trying to get home, well, then I guess we just had best give up on anything since Robinson Crusoe.

I agree that it’s nice that science fiction movies are slowly overcoming the tendency to focus on special effects and focus instead on trying to accomplish a decent story line and reasonably accurate science. Of course, it’s ironic that this trend is the complete opposite of what has happened to the Star Trek franchise, which gave up decent stories and semi-plausible science (as it were) for nothing but slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am special effects and “science” that simply boggles the mind with its inaccuracies.

It is, also, one genre which hasn’t been as bad about re-booting/re-visiting/re-telling movies already done. I’ve about given up on Hollywood in general for this reason (really, you felt a need to remake The Magnificent Seven??). There are occasional lapses in the sci-fi genre (really, you felt a need to remake The Day the Earth Stood Still??), but it’s no where near as bad, in my opinion. Though I have heard that they intend to re-make Starship Troopers, as if horribly screwing that excellent story up once wasn’t bad enough. <sigh>

Isn’t it a little early to worry about Hollywood re-making Starship Troopers? Let’s let them do it once, and wait to see how good it is. Personally, I’d be optimistic, since it’s a story that would be really easy to make into the sort of movie that Hollywood loves to make.

I agree we’ve been blessed with some very good SF recently:

Ex Mechina
The Martian
All very good, however:

Arrival is the worst movie I’ve seen recently. Slow, pointless, no character development, no real story line, no tension or drama. Lifeless and dull.

Hey, my mother used to watch that when I was a kid!

Oh, wait, that was Search For Tomorrow. Never mind.

Wow, I disagree with that wholeheartedly. Yes, Arrival lacked set pieces and such but as a thought piece and a character study - including a great reveal - it’s one of the best science fiction movies I’ve seen in years.

Also, behold.

I think this guy got what he wanted with Mad Max: Fury Road.

Yes, I meant to say 2003, but apparently there’s no edit button.

Well, Johnathan said “lately,” and listed Primer (2004), only one year after The Animatrix. So I figured “we” were talking about the 2000’s and 2010’s.

I haven’t seen Ex Machina, but I think it’s pretty obvious that the protagonist is Gleeson’s character, Caleb. I got the impression that the trailer gave the entire movie away. I’m going to guess that Caleb goes to the rich guy’s mansion, at first is taken in and believes what he’s told, but then starts to see that things aren’t quite what they seem. In the end I’m guessing Nathan (Oscar Isaac) turns out to be a villain, and Caleb frees the AI.

Personally I think that Oscar Isaac can’t act his way out of a paper bag. Every movie I’ve seen him in has been horrible except Body of Lies. X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, A Most Violent Year, and Sucker Punch) were all terrible movies.

I saw Edge of Tomorrow in theaters, and for a Tom Cruise action Blockbuster it was fairly entertaining. In no way shape or form would I call it a decent movie, but at least I didn’t walk out. Aside from the two leads not a single other character had more than a hair’s width of personality, but at least the plot was explained and somewhat plausible. Some of the dialogue was meaningful, and the acting wasn’t too terrible.

2046 (2004) is directed by Wong Kar-Wai for anyone who likes Chinese New Wave. It’s acting, cinematography, directing, writing, and content blow anything from Hollywood in the last fifteen years well out of the water in my opinion. Though, it’s pretty light on the sci-fi elements.

Ex Machina - as an Asimov/Fisk/Clarke fan, Caleb for me was the villain. When he first lies to Nathan I literally screamed at the TV with my hands on my head. I think that might be the only time I’ve ever done that. For me the outcome from then on was inevitable, and mostly with morbid curiosity I watched it until the end.

The Martian - Loved it. When Damon’s character says “I’m going to science the shit out of this” (paraphrasing probably) I inwardly hugged myself. As good as Cast Away with Tom Hanks, and I’ve been fans of both actors since Big and Good Will Hunting.

Gravity - Made me feel like a bit of a dick, when Clooney gets back in the pod I was thinking ‘Ahh, the equilibrium is restored’ and then felt like a sexist prick later on.

Europa Report - no memory of this, what-so-ever, and yet I rated it an ‘8’ on IMDb! I probably have it somewhere so should watch again soon.

Looper - I thought this was good sci-fi, not hard sci-fi, and have watched it a few times.

Inception - a very good film, although personally it doesn’t appeal to me very much. Bit too much fantasy and not much science in it.

District 9 - watched this on a plane journey to a country I’d never visited before, the metaphor (when it ‘clicked’) had me totally engrossed in it. Quite obvious when you look back, but fertile ground that needs covering some more, I think.

Her - Beautiful, touching, etc. I think all that has been said about it is enough.

I found myself fast-forwarding over lengthy excessively-chatty parts of that movie, though the ending cracked me up.

I’m also tentatively optimistic for the upcoming “Life.” Saw a preview this weekend before Dr. Strange. Looks like an Alien/Thing-esque “alien critter terrorizing people in space” flick.

I liked it, but I’m not smart enough to have understood everything that was going on. Jesus, that movie was convoluted!

Also, I rather enjoyed the low budget Time Lapse.

I’m totally on board with your spoilers. I thought Gravity was all “drama” and “acting” - no, don’t need that.

And just on the topic of The Martian, an edition for young readers has just come to my attention and this is how it starts:

I’m pretty much screwed.
That’s my considered opinion.

:slight_smile: love that!

So, what about Oblivion? Another great Tom Cruise SF/action movie, IMO.