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Old 04-04-2016, 02:32 PM   #25181
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I said *good* sci-fi.
Fair enough (the original is pretty good, though).

Second attempt: Edge of Tomorrow.
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:38 PM   #25182
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Fair enough (the original is pretty good, though).
The 1968 B&W Russian version? I'll be honest, I found it extremely tedious to watch, and I don't think I even finished it. Same goes for the '72 color remake.

Still, most of the basic elements are there. Shadowy government overlord throws a small group of people into an oppressive situation aboard a remote space station, in order to advance scientific knowledge for the betterment of the mother country. While there, they encounter replicants.

Falls well outside of my 35 year timescale, and I personally hated it, but it still ticks most of the boxes.


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Second attempt: Edge of Tomorrow.
Now that one I hadn't even heard of. I'll give it a watch.
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Old 04-04-2016, 06:23 PM   #25183
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True enough. And also an excellent film, though not really sci-fi in the popular sense; no aliens, no fictional technology, etc. More of a pure drama which happens to be set against a technological background. eg: it portrays events which are plausible in the present-day, rather than being futuristic or other-worldly. (Yes, technically Mars is an "other world," but you know what I mean.)

Falls into much the same category as 2001. Very intellectual, and conflict arises from circumstances and from within, with no external antagonist.


So, revise my above to read "90% of all good sci-fi..."
I agree about The Martian being pretty different than most "sci-fi" movies (there's a discussion about the differences between "sci-fi" and "science fiction", but I won't get into that). Awesome movie, IMHO it deserved the Academy Award, but science fiction will never win that, so... Hopefully it wins the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), although it's going to be an uphill fight against Star Wars.

You're basically describing SF with a dystopic setting, which is one that's been popular for the last couple decades. I think it's popular because directors/etc like to use it to make statements about today's world. Serenity and V for Vendetta probably belong on your list of examples too.

Just to be contrary though, I'm going to list some more counter-examples. Star Wars TFA was pretty good, and doesn't really fit into that category. ROTJ doesn't either, and is (just barely) inside your 35 year window. None of the Trek movies do (TWOK and TVH were good, others were more mixed). Terminator 2 is a different kind of dystopia, Contact wasn't dystopic at all, Galaxy Quest is a comedy/spoof sci-fi film. Do you count comic-based movies like the X-Men film from 2000, the 2012 Avengers movie, or Guardians of the Galaxy?

In the TV area (you mentioned BSG, so I figure it's fair game), that setting has been present in some of the new Dr Who episodes ("Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel" for example), but most of the best ones ("Blink", "Girl in the Fireplace", "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead") don't feature it. It didn't feature in Stargate: SG1, and wasn't a major point in Babylon 5 either.

--Ian
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:45 PM   #25184
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I just went back and watched the first episode of the original Battlestar Galactica on Hulu. I was left with the same impression of the coucil leader as I get for many characters in horror movies. No! Don't go in there! Don't do that! Don't fall for it! There was the obvious Neville Chamberlain reference, of course, and Adama playing Churchill in juxtaposition.

I forgot Apollo had a younger brother. I forgot how hot the women were, and the first episode only had some of the regulars.

I loved the original series and think it holds up well.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:58 PM   #25185
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JOE WTF?!?!??

Edge of Tomorrow????



I will be awaiting your Event Horizon review...



..fwiw: The Martian was pretty good, I believe I gave my opinion when watching it with my mother on her new HD TV vs 480p quality. Mars landscapes looked beautiful & loved the story. Definitely more enjoyable than the Sandra Bullock film Gravity.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:30 PM   #25186
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I just went back and watched the first episode of the original Battlestar Galactica on Hulu.
I was actually thinking of the recent remake, but you raise a good point.

The original BSG exemplifies one category of sci-fi. It's a fun, slightly comedic, not-too-serious romp through space. Star Wars, Star Trek, and a lot of other sci-fi falls into this category. Lots of aliens and explosions, but not too heavy on substance. Drama, where present, is shallow and forced. It's hard to create good dramatic tension within the space of 26 or 52 minutes, outside the context of serial plotlines arcing over multiple episodes to a whole season. That's what made the reincarnated BSG a "serious" show worth watching.

I mean, can you imagine if every episode of Breaking Bad was essentially a standalone reboot of the plot, with no meaningful continuity from one to the next? That's how SciFi TV series worked during the entire Star Trek era.

Then there's the category which I'll call "realistic science fiction." 2001 and The Martian fall into this category. To a certain extent, so do things like Chappie, Contact, and Deep Impact. They push the boundaries a tad, but are ultimately grounded in present day Terran life and technology, with a few embellishments. They attempt to portray a slightly enhanced version of life as we know it, with science and technology as the backdrop.

Dystopic sci-fi is a different category entirely. I guess that's what I was attempting to describe, while failing to grasp the correct adjective for it.

Add The Island to the list, which I just watched. Not the greatest film ever, but ok. And more importantly, it followed the formula exactly. A giant corporation grows a whole society of clones who are kept in captivity within an artificial, THX-like world under the fiction that they are safe there from a contaminated earth, and enticed with the dream of being chosen to be transported to the Island, a fate reserved for those whose organs are required for transplantation to "real" humans who can afford the service.

Exact. Same. Formula.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 04-04-2016 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:31 PM   #25187
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Definitely more enjoyable than the Sandra Bullock film Gravity.
Gravity sucked. I couldn't finish watching it.

Will report back on Edge of Tomorrow.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:37 PM   #25188
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Gravity was ****. If you want to watch a good space movie watch the Martian.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:52 AM   #25189
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I was considering arguing "jupiter ascending" on account of "we are the clones", but then remembered that the movie was complete and utter garbage. I then considered the perspective of the "aliens" in this sci-fi movie, and recalled them being in the exact dystopian condition that was prescribed - which makes my argument fail on two accounts.

I think the "dystopian future" is merely a sub-genre of sci-fi, and because of it's popularity, it's a rather large sub-genre.

"interstellar war" is probably another sub-genre of sci-fi. Independence day is my favorite film of all time, probably because I was in my early teens and it was correctly timed with my formative understanding of many of the associated concepts. A great number of the films that have been argued to fall outside of the "dystopian future" argument are actually "interstellar war" films. It's really just a different type of conflict that must be overcome - if there were an interstellar war during a dystopian future, then there would need to be multiple conflicts overcome - which would make for a very long move or a long series of movies in order to accomlish this feat. "Tragedy Avoidance/Escaping Death/Unfortunate Circumstances" is another sub genre of science fiction. The Martian, Gravity, and Armageddon are examples.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:10 AM   #25190
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Gravity was entertaining on the big screen. Wife smuggled in a bottle of 80 proof whatever which was mostly used up during the crap they show beforehand. Then she started laughing uncontrollably thru the first few *completely silent* minutes of that movie.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:07 AM   #25191
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Gravity was entertaining on the big screen. Wife smuggled in a bottle of 80 proof whatever which was mostly used up during the crap they show beforehand. Then she started laughing uncontrollably thru the first few *completely silent* minutes of that movie.
That's the way the ex-wife and I always went to watch movies.

But Gravity was terrible. I was sad we spent the money on it.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:33 AM   #25192
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We liked Gravity, as a "movie experience." I can barely remember the storyline, but the visuals were great. Would not watch again, though.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:36 AM   #25193
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Okay, another non-cookie cutter sci-fi film: Contact.

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Old 04-05-2016, 10:39 AM   #25194
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Joe have you watched the TV show Dark Matter yet? It is sort of firefly like, but a lower budget.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:55 AM   #25195
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War is popular background for stories in any genre because it offers more options for plot devices. Battlestar Galactica would be as interesting as hell if Starbuck and Apollo went on a long range patrol every other day and nothing happened.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:02 AM   #25196
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:19 AM   #25197
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Dont forget to include interstellar. That movie was also ****.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:21 AM   #25198
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Windows 10 Start Menu stopped working, restarted and it began working again.

I don't trust anything in this new operating system. It's buggy as **** and I want Windows 7 back.

[Placeholder for hating on Windows 10 in the future]

Last edited by Enginerd; 04-07-2016 at 12:51 AM. Reason: Removed 4 lines of f-bombs about Windows 10 and how I hate it.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:50 AM   #25199
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Use Cortana. Damn bitch is always watching even when you disable her.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:12 AM   #25200
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Windows 10 Start Menu stopped working, restarted and it began working again.

I don't trust anything in this new operating system. It's buggy as **** and I want Windows 7 back.

[Placeholder for hating on Windows 10 in the future]
FUUUUUU WINDOWS TEN It's Terrible!

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