I believe it is mandatory for me to play this song today:
Archive for the Movies Category
Each December, people make lists about the things that passed in the previous year. Now that it’s January, let’s look forward. Here are the movies coming out in 2011 that I’m looking forward to seeing. Well, maybe not looking forward to. These are the movies I’ll probably just see with friends.
The Green Hornet
Apollo 18 – This is probably a rental.
Battle: Los Angeles – Probably a rental as well.
Paul – One I am looking forward to.
X-Men: First Class – One I’ll probably only watch with friends.
Rise of the Apes – Another one I’ll probably only watch with friends.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – I’ll admit, I’m a tad curious about this one. Of course, I never saw the second one, so it’s probably a rental. Or I’ll wait for it to air on TV.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Another one I am actually looking forward to watching.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys & Aliens – This one looks stupid, but a watchable stupid.
The Darkest Hour – This is probably a rental.
Conan the Barbarian – It’s a sacrilege, but I’ll watch it.
The Three Musketeers – Probably wait for this to air on TV.
That’s all the ones I know about.
Everywhere you look this time of year you see lists for The Best/Worst Whatever for the Past Year/Decade. So, I might as well get in on it as well.
This is my list (in order of release date) of what I consider the ten best scifi/fantasy movies of the past ten years. The main difference between the movies listed here and some big name movies is that these have coherent plots. For me, that means far more than flashy special effects.
Donnie Darko – 2001
Harry Potter – 2001-2010
(I lumped all of these together because it’s easier than trying to pick one. I also tried to find something that had all the trailers together, but I couldn’t find a good version, so this is just the trailer for the first movie. How far they have come.)
Lord of the Rings – 2001-2003
(Same as with the Harry Potter movies.)
Spider-Man 2 – 2004
(This one it is easier to pick one of the three movies as better.)
Serenity – 2005
V for Vendetta – 2006
Children of Men – 2006
Iron Man – 2008
(The second movie was good, but I think this one is better.)
Watchmen – 2009
District 9 – 2009
There has been an issue that has been bugging me for some time. Usually, it has just been a slight buzz in the back of my mind, but several incidents in TV shows and books have brought it to the front. The issue is prophecy, premonitions, ESP, all that gobbledygook, mumbo-jumbo being treated as a real thing. As a skeptic, I know that if a person makes 100 predictions (by whatever means they wish) and one – by chance – comes “true,” they will focus on that one and ignore the 99 failures. But what do we see in TV and movies and in books? A character has a premonition or a prophetic dream and not only does the premonition or dream come true, it’s a key plot point. Have you ever seen a character’s premonition or dream not come true? And I’m not talking about the psychic the main characters make fun of because their predictions are wacky only to have one come “true” so that everybody becomes a believer. About a month or so ago there was an episode of Castle about a psychic. I believe at one point Beckett points out all the time that is wasted by the police following psychic “leads” that are just gobbledygook mumbo-jumbo. That’s true. But did they leave it there in the world of reality, or did they leave it on a “it just may be possible” ending? I know, I know, it’s fantasy, it’s escapism, but shouldn’t art try to imitate life?
I’ll end this with a great quote from the Babylon 5 episode “The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari.” This was what Vir’s image in Londo’s prophetic dream told him: “Prophecy is a guess that comes true. When it doesn’t, it’s a metaphor.”
A day or two after coming to the conclusion that I needed to take some time off from writing, I came up with an idea for a novel. Sigh. Anyway, as part of my laying the groundwork for this novel, I asked myself if I could send ten movies out to aliens, which ones would I send? These don’t have to be the greatest movies, or even ones I like, but movies that give a broad overview to what it is to be human and our view of the world. Here is what I came up with. (Since I don’t know that many non-English films, I just stuck with English ones.) What do you think, and what would your ten be?
Gone With the Wind (1939)
Citizen Kane (1941)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Apollo 13 (1995)
(How sad is it I’m using YouTube to post a Hulu video?)