Monday, September 06, 2010

Check In: The 20 SF Movies We're Most Excited To See In 2010

I really like the website It gives me my daily geek quotient without going overboard with smarmy attitude or bland reports that aren't news to anyone. It's well written and pays homage to classic science fiction. I've gotten a lot of great book recommendations from the site, and even a few good movies, too.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, there's one thing I really want to kvetch about. It's the article from Jan 6, 2010, "The 20 SF Movies We're Most Excited To See In 2010." Here's the list:
  1. The Book of Eli
  2. The Lovely Bones
  3. Legion
  4. The Wolfman
  5. The Crazies
  6. Hot Tub Time Machine
  7. Repo Men
  8. Kick-Ass
  9. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  10. Iron Man 2
  11. Jonah Hex
  12. Toy Story 3
  13. The Last Airbender
  14. Despicable Me
  15. Predators
  16. Inception
  17. Priest
  18. Red Dawn
  19. Tron: Legacy
  20. Green Hornet

This list really stuck in my craw. I suppose it's that I just didn't share the excitement about many of the films on the list. Heck, I don't even agree that some of them qualify as "Sci-Fi." Now, the definition of a genre these days can be a slippery slope but Toy Story 3... Really?

The list bothers me in part because it shows just how shallow the pool of sci-fi films coming out of Hollywood truly is. I mean...

SequelIron Man 2
Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
Remake The Crazies
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Red Dawn
The Wolfman
Based on TVGreen Hornet
The Last Airbender
Comic Book Adaptation Kick-Ass
Jonah Hex
Book Adaptation The Lovely Bones
Repo Men
Original Idea?Legion
The Book of Eli
Hot Tub Time Machine
Despicable Me

Let it be noted that Green Hornet and Priest have been pushed back to 2011 while I have yet to really see a firm release date for Red Dawn. But, really, 17, 18, or 20 movies... I gotta ask... is this the best you've got?

It's September 6 and I've seen everything on the list that's come out so far and, really, I'm just not impressed. In fact, some of them were bloody terrible. I'm not even talking about movies that were lambasted such as The Last Airbender and Jonah Hex. I've got A Nightmare on Elm Street, Legion, The Lovely Bones, The Book of Eli, and Iron Man 2 in mind.
Now, I can't blame the list's author, Charlie Jane Anders, for choosing some duds. I've been fooled by previews, casts, and past director performance before. Though, I question some of the choices as being wise (The Crazies?) or even science fiction (A Nightmare on Elm Street? The Green Hornet?). But, more than anything, I'm sad about how slapdash this list is.

The list seems to have been culled from a year-long look at the fare from the major distributors. Didn't the last few years teach us anything? Some of the best sci-fi fare doesn't come from the majors but the independents. District 9? Moon? Time Crimes? Mock Up on Mu? Do any of these ring a bell?

With a little more research this list might have forgone the horror, fantasy or action movies and replaced them with actual science fiction.

Some of these I've seen... most I haven't... but I'd much rather take a chance on them than the kind of crap that's been junking up the multiplex all year:

  1. Splice
  2. Daybreakers
  3. Mr. Nobody
  4. Earthling
  5. Mars
  6. Monsters

I'm sure there are more that would better qualify and better entertain than Legion...

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