For the Love of Science Fiction

The National Board Review declared Spike Jonz’s film Her as the Best Film of the Year. It will not be in my neighborhood until the first week into January.

I love reading and watching science fiction, and I’m intrigued by the upcoming Spike Jonze film starring Joaquin Phoenix,  Scarlet Johansson’s voice, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde. Samantha is an A.I. program in the near future who connects with the reclusive writer from L.A. Like all true science fiction, the future world offers something new humans have to grapple with. In this case, what is love and can one be in love with a voice?


I have thought about science fiction a lot this past week. Aliens are intelligent beings and our friends. Aliens are bug-like scavengers that want to take over earth. The future is a dystopia and only the fittest survive.  Artificial intelligence will evolve into independent states of being and not need humans. Time is a tunnel where one can travel back and forth. Etcetera, etcetera.


The best part of science fiction is that it always poses a philosophical dilemma. Often it is a satire, a warning to us in the present, to change our ways so we do not inherit the future proposed in books or screen.

In anticipation of Her and Transcendence starring Johnny Depp, here are some of my favorite Sci-Fi films in no particular order.


I miss Richard Dreyfuss.


12 Monkeys, 1995, my favorite acting performances by Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.


The story was great, the cast superb, the effects wonderful.

Star Trek 2009

I’m a fan of this franchise.


The 1996 version is cheesy, yes, but I still love it.


1990, Total Recall, with Arnold blew me away when I first watched it.


Love it when Vin dislocates his shoulders to escape.


Made in 1968, Kubrick’s masterpiece was way ahead of its time and still fresh today.

Metropolis (1927) 5

1927, by Fritz Lang, Metropolis

There are so many I left out including my two favorite sci-fi films of all time. Can you guess? Which ones are your favorites?

Remember, while those special effects are dazzling, no amount of razzle-dazzle will replace a great script and good acting.

20 thoughts on “For the Love of Science Fiction

Add yours

  1. All excellent choices. I haven’t seen them all, mind you, but I like the ones I have.

    Sci-Fi you left out that are your favorites? Hmmmm. I got nothing, so I’ll guess Gravity. It’s a popular choice these days. 🙂


      1. Ah the first Matrix. Not sure why that didn’t occur. Probably should have.

        I haven’t tended to see all that much sci-fi, really. So it’s hard for me to pinpoint my favorite. The first Matrix is great. I think Cloud Atlas was good. So are Gravity and Europa Report from this year. But my favorite? Hmmmm.

        If Children of Men and/or Eternal Sunshine count (I’m unconvinced either does), I could pick them.

        I could also potentially pick the first Aliens flick.


        1. You sure could pick Aliens, and Children of Men was good, just too dark, too depressing for me. Wouldn’t you say ‘Gravity’ is in the present? I will say, I bet it ends up winning Best Picture.


          1. It might. I think 12 Years a Slave could give it a real run in that department, though.

            You might also be right that Gravity doesn’t count as sci-fi either.


  2. You know what? when I originally saw some images for Her, I didn’t recognize Phoenix. I had to look again. This guy is a rather amazing artist – does some different things.
    The concept of cyber(?) mates has been explored before in Star Trek (I gotta get one of those Holodecks!) and more recently in Caprica – a TV series I was very sad to see fail. We are extremely close – if not there already there – to this reality – or false reality. ??? It’s inevitable.
    I don’t know whether it’s good or not – but it ain’t gonna be stopped.


    1. Yes, you are right. Friendship and love with mechanical inventions? Did you see ‘Robot and Frank’? That was a good one this year. The end of libraries and the future of robots to care for the geriatric baby-boomers. Just around the bend!


    1. Hi Chris! Yes, SW for nostalgia’s sake. It was an obvious one I didn’t put on the list along with The Matrix. 12 Monkeys is probably 3rd if I ranked them. Wasn’t Brad Pitt fantastic? I loved the story line, the acting, Terry Gilliam’s directing was smart and fun. I never tire watching it.


    1. Thanks, Keith. The premise to Transcendence looks promising–I sure liked Pfister’s work in Inception. This is one where the script needs to be tight to carry out the effects. We’ll see! Merry Christmas to you and your family 🙂


  3. Fantastic picks. I haven’t seen a couple of these but the ones I’ve seen are my favorites as well. One my personal faves is Terminator 2, one of many classic James Cameron film. Thanks for sharing your love of sci-fi movies & happy holidays to you!


        1. Me, too! In 12 Monkeys, there was a believable future, the quirky music, great acting, and a fun script. So rare to have all those components. It’s my favorite Terry Gilliam film.


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