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Friday, September 28, 2007

Top ten Sci-fi movies

Science fiction is one of the major genres of Hollywood movies. Just think about the aliens and the space vehicles, the laser swords of the jedi knights and the depiction of various planets in George Lucas’s famous movie, Star Wars; or think about the recent hit movie, Transformers. Science fiction themes pose a great challenge for film makers. They truly represent the strength of human imagination. Here is a list of top ten Hollywood science-fiction movies:

Matrix Trilogy:
In the distant future, machine rules over men. The machines use human bodies as power generators. Human beings spend their lives in enclosed glass fetuses. Tubes are attached to their bodies to feed them. They can not move but they are attached to a computer which has a program that creates an illusion of reality. This program is called Matrix, the creator of the virtual reality. A small group of human beings are able to free themselves from these machines and fight against them. This is the story of Matrix, the 1999 block buster science-fiction. The central character of the movie was played by Keanu Reeves. Keanu plays the character, Neo, who has the power to bend the rules in the Matrix. Written and directed by Laurence Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, Matrix is a trilogy movie. The three series are: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions. There is also an animated film Animatrix.

Day After tomorrow:
Released in 2004, the movie is based on a book titled, The Coming Global Superstorm. The best thing about the movie is showing the destruction and natural catastrophe with CGI. I like the scene where a big ship floats on the street of New York. Originally slotted to be released in 2003, the movie was released next year and became the 47th highest grossing science fiction movie in the world. The movie also holds record for one of the biggest opening weekend gross with $68.7 million. Jack Hall is a paleoclimatologist. In the UN conference in New Delhi, Jack explains his theory of global warming but the officials do not agree with his theory. However, Dr. Terry Rapson who attends the conference accepts his theory. The rest of the movie deals with how the theory of Jack Hall proves to be true.

AI:
Two of the pioneering figures in the field of sci-fi films, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick made this movie. AI is based on the story of Brian Aldiss, a UK based science-fiction story writer. The story of the movie takes place in a futuristic world after the global warming disaster. Majority portion of the United States of America is under water and the number of people has decreased sharply. Now, androids are created to save the human civilization. The hero of the story is David, an android child created for a married couple who are losing their son, Martin. Initially, David was accepted by the family. He faced problems after Martin was cured and returned to live with his family. David left the house and embarked on an adventure. The movie was nominated for Oscar in Best Effects, Visual Effects and Best Music, Original Score category.

Time Machine:
Another popular science fiction movie theme is time travel and Time Machine can be referred as one of the best movies in this sub genre. The movie was based on the novel titled, “Time Machine” by famous English writer H.. Wells. The movie has two versions: one made in 1960 and the other in 2002. It is the 1960 version that became successful. I watched the 2002 version starring Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba. The main difference between the two films is in the starting of the story. The 1960 movie was made by George Pal. For introducing lapse photographic effects, the movie own Oscar in 1961. George wanted to make a sequel of the movie but his dream never came true. In 2002, the movie was remade by his great-grandson, Simon Wells.

The Fly:
This movie has two versions: the first one released in 1958 and the second one in 1986. The 80’s version was very successful. Jeff Goldblum played the brilliant scientist, Seth Brundle and Geena Davis played the character of journalist, Veronica Quaife. Seth Brundle is a scientist who develops this machine that can teleport objects. In the beginning, the machine could only teleport inanimate objects. Later, Seth modifies it and successfully teleports a baboon. Meanwhile, he meets Veronica Quaife (Davis), a journalist working in a science magazine. The two fall in love. One day, Seth decides to teleport himself. During the teleportation process, a housefly accidentally gets into the machine. As a result, the gene of the fly gets mixed with the gene of Brundle. After the teleportation process, Brundle initially exhibits high energy and stamina but his body starts to change. He then finds out that the gene of the fly that got into the pod got mixed up with his gene and gradually turning him into a big human fly. At the end of the movie, Brundle understands his mistake and tells Veronica to kill him. Critics like the movie because its description of human emotion.

Jurassic Park:
Released in 1993, Jurassic Park is one of the successful dinosaur movies. A research center on a remote island works on creating cloned dinosaurs. Then one day, accident happens which allows the dinosaurs to come out of their confinements and kill people. This is the basic story line of the movie. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie boasts of an impressive special effect showing dinosaurs creating havoc. It was liked by both the critics and audience. Upon releasing, the movie collected $914 million making it one of the top grossing movies of Hollywood. The movie was followed by two sequels: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001). Jurassic Park own three Oscars in 1994 in best effects, sound effects, editing best effects, visual effects, best sound category.

Deep Impact:
I will never forget the gigantic waves engulfing the sky scrapers of New York city. I wish I do not have to live to see the day when our lovely planet earth gets hit by a gigantic comet. Honestly, Deep Impact will have a DEEP IMPACT on your brain. Many scientists and astronomers also admit that there is possibility of earth being hit by large meteor or comet. Released in 1998, Deep Impact tells the story of a comet named “Wolf-Biederman” colliding with planet earth and causing tsunami and other natural disasters. Like all other disaster movies, Armageddon, Day After Tomorrow, this movie also has some very impressive special effects. The after effects of the collision are vividly described in the movie.

Apollo 13:
This movie tells the story of the 1970’s Apollo 13 lunar mission which became a failure. An explosion in the oxygen tank caused problem to the space craft. Fortunately, the three astronauts returned safely to the earth. Aside from vividly describing the technical details, the movie shows the dedication and determination of the NASA crews to bring the astronauts home safe and sound. The movie is inspired by the book “Lost Moon” written by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

Terminator:
After seeing this movie, many of you must have got familiar with this Spanish phrase, “Hasta la vista” (See you later). Terminator was not just a block buster movie but one of those movies that had changed the face of cinema in the coming years. James Cameron, the director of the movie, got the idea of the film in a dream. At that time he was in Mexico. In the beginning, James wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger to play the role of human soldier; later, Cameron felt that Arnold would suit the role of the robot soldier. Terminator was released in 1984. It was a low budget movie but it was a huge success. Time Magazine included the movie in their list of top ten movies of the year. However, it was Terminator 2: Judgement Day that enjoyed both critical acclaim and box office success. Released in 1991, the movie is also significant in terms of using CGI effects.

Blade Runner:
The future world, a dystopia, is another major theme of Hollywood movies. Matrix can be referred as one of the most successful movies in this sub-genre. Blade Runner was not commercially successful in USA but the movie was critically acclaimed and commands faithful followers. The story takes place in a future world where “humanoids” are created to do all the dirty works. Eventually, the humanoids revolt and they are declared illegal by the government. A special police unit called “Blade Runners” is created to search and destroy these humanoids. The story revolves around the relationship between some humanoids and a blade runner.

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