A Sci-fi Movie Primer

  • Feb 14, 2011
Rating:
+4
I am a major film buff and received 101 SCI-FI MOVIES YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE as a gift from a friend. The 101 movies covered in the book are listed in the order of their initial theatrical release: the first movie discussed, VOYAGE TO THE MOON came out in 1902, and the last movie talked about, CHILDREN OF MEN came out in 2006. The first page for entry contains the movie poster for the film. That's followed by a two-page discussion of the movie with the discussion containing at least a brief a synopsis. The last part of each entry is a screen shot from the film. The movies chosen come from just about every sci-fi branch: there's a nice balance between American and foreign films, between big budget Hollywood blockbusters and low budget indies, between old and new. There are at least a couple sci-fi animated pictures, some of sci-fi comedies, a few sci-fi horror films, lots of sci-fi dramas, and all kinds of sci-fi action films. The book strikes a nice balance between movies everyone's heard of (e.g. STAR WARS) and pictures that even a longtime film buff like myself never knew existed (e.g. TETSUO). There are some movies that will make you scratch your head and wonder why they were included but it can make for a good discussion. For instance personally I thought THE FIFTH ELEMENT was a disaster of a film and though I enjoyed STARSHIP TROOPERS and I, ROBOT, I wouldn't list them as being one of the 101 Sci-fi films you should watch before you die.

The movies listed in the book are:
VOYAGE TO THE MOON*A TRIP TO MARS*AELITA*PARIS ASLEEP*METROPOLIS*THE INVISIBLE MAN*THINGS TO COME*THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD*WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE*THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL*INVADERS FROM MARS*IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE*THE WAR OF THE WORLDS*THEM!*GOJIRA*20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA*INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS*FORBIDDEN PLANET*THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN*
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH*THE TIME MACHINE*THE AMPIBIAN MAN*LA JETÉE*ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS*ALPHAVILLE*THE TENTH VICTIM*
FAHRENHEIT 451*SECONDS*FANTASTIC VOYAGE*WHO KILLED JESSIE?*
QUATERMASS AND THE PIT*PLANET OF THE APES*2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY*
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE*THX 1138*SILENT RUNNING*SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE*
SOLARIS*FANTASTIC PLANET*SLEEPER*SOYLENT GREEN*WESTWORLD*
DARK STAR*THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH*LOGAN'S RUN*
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND*STAR WARS*STALKER*
TIME AFTER TIME*ALIEN*THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK*FLASH GORDON*
SCANNERS*ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK*THE ROAD WARRIOR*E.T.*
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN*BLADE RUNNER*THE THING*TRON*
VIDEODROME*THE FINAL COMBAT*RETURN OF THE JEDI*REPO MAN*
THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET*1984*THE TERMINATOR*DUNE*
STARMAN*BRAZIL*BACK TO THE FUTURE*THE QUIET EARTH*ALIENS*
STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME*PREDATOR*ROBOCOP*AKIRA*
THE NAVIGATOR*TETSEO*THE ABYSS*TOTAL RECALL*
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY*JURASSIC PARK*GHOST IN THE SHELL*
12 MONKEYS*INDEPENDCE DAY*THE FIFTH ELEMENT*MEN IN BLACK*
GATTACA*STARSHIP TROOPERS*OPEN YOUR EYES*Π*THE MATRIX*
GALAXY QUEST*SIGNS*CODE 46*PRIMER*ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND*I, ROBOT*THE HOST*CHILDREN OF MEN*

Overall, 101 SCI-FI MOVIES YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE is a great movie book that film buffs and those who like sci-fi movies will enjoy reading.

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February 14, 2011
Nice review, tomtom! Thanks for the review and posting it in Cafe Libri!
 
February 14, 2011
I should see Independence Day before I die? what a life! good review!
February 14, 2011
According to the book's editors, you should. I like INDEPENDENCE DAY just because it's good cheesy fun. There are a handful of those in the book, too. It's a pretty balanced collection overall.
February 14, 2011
I was just kidding around. ID4 is one of my fav Will Smith films. This sounds like a good book to check out.
February 14, 2011
I kind of thought you were joking around, but I wasn't for sure, so I opted for a more straight-forward response. It's one of my favorite Will Smith films, too.
 
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About this book

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From the classic, low-budget Flash Gordon Saturday matinee serials of the 1930s and '40s to mammoth blockbusters likeStar Trekand2001: A Space Odyssey,filmdom's most imaginative contributions to science fiction are vividly recaptured in this compelling book. With intriguing insights from film critics and a wealth of factual details from historians and academics, general editor Stephen Jay Schneider has brought together the data, the drama, and the passions that have inspired movies about time travel, close encounters, distant planets, extraterrestrial monsters, alien invasions, and the many other story ingredients that enliven science fiction films. Plot summaries, cast and credit listings, and 200 dramatic illustrations recapture unforgettable moments from sci-fi hits that includeAlien, The Andromeda Strain, The Empire Strikes Back, The Fly, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Planet of the Apes, Silent Running, The Thing,and many, many others. Illustrations include dramatic still shots from the films and memorable movie posters. Here is a reference volume that belongs on the bookshelf of every film buff and science fiction fan.
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