This week, our fellow staff at Renegade Cinema decided to give their picks on one of the most popular sub-genres in sci-fi. What category, you may ask? Best Space Movies! Films with outer-space settings mostly provide genuine entertainment because of their sense of adventure with the added ingredient of discovery. Exploring the unknown is something I think we all wanted to do at one time. So, without further ado… Here is Renegade Cinemas picks for this week!
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Yup. I dig this one the most. Suck it. It’s a dark, brutal film that features my favorite character, The Emperor in a fantastic battle against Yoda, not to mention just reveling in all of his evil duties. It’s a hell of an action film, and finally delivered on the prequel-trilogy promise that was set with the original trilogy.
Serenity – Even though I love The Empire Strikes Back, I’ve got to say that right now my favorite space movie is Joss Whedon’s Serenity. I became a huge fan of the Firefly television series a few years ago, and when I finished its all-too-short run, I immediately wanted more. Thankfully, Joss and friends were able to resurrect the beloved crew of the Serenity for one last adventure, which did everything we ever hoped it could and more. The only problem I have with it is that there isn’t another one!
Serenity – If I may, space movies are never a bad genre of choice on any level. Stick bad acting in a giant ship with a back drop of stars and you have yourself a watchable flick, after all it is space movies that put all the same old overdone spaghetti westerns to rest. But if I was to pick a favorite space movie, beside the norm of star wars and star trek, it would be Serenity. Hopping worlds dodging weavers and no aliens anywhere in the show, it’s a good story written by an amazing person and it has its action, humor and suspense … plus no when yells FAAAAAATHER.
Aidan Myles Green
2001: A Space Odyssey – My pick is Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. My personal pick for the greatest film ever made, actually. “Cerebral’ doesn’t even begin to describe it – it’s such a transcendent, dense, monolithic (no pun intended) experience that it has no equal. It’s a profound statement on the past, present, and future of humankind – of life in general, actually – as well as a dazzling isolation thriller. I can’t say enough about this film’s importance. It’s like BLADE RUNNER – all science fiction films made since owe it an enormous debt and will forever live in its creative shadow.
2001: A Space Odyssey – Why do I think 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best space film I’ve ever seen? Question for you: have you seen it? If so, then you already know the answer. This is master director Stanley Kubrick’s finest work, full of imagination, imagery, music and ambiguity that leaves you, the viewer, to take from it what you will. A cautionary tale on artificial intelligence? Perhaps. A call to evaluate our place in the cosmos, and our effects upon it? Most definitely. This 1968 masterpiece still holds up better than all current sci-fi competition in terms of storyline, acting, effects and sheer thought provocation.
2001: A Space Odyssey – I agree with, Rick, 2001 is easily the best space film ever. Not only deftly portraying space in an artistic and compelling way, it also influenced all space films that followed — including star wars, alien, and even more recent films like moon. It would be hard to surpass 2001, not only in terms of technical innovation but in narrative inventiveness and overall ahead of its time-ness.
The Empire Strikes Back – The best of all the Star Wars films. It has the right pacing, acting, actors, sense of adventure, discovery,betrayal, and twist and turns a true science fantasy film needs! The Empire Strikes Back is THE best Star Wars film to date and it even ends on the lowest low for our heroes. Thank goodness I was born in ’91 or I wouldn’t be able to wait for Jedi! If there is anything The Empire Strikes Back taught us it’s that George Lucas shouldn’t direct these films. Granted he created the series but he also wanted Luke Skywalker to be an old man with a robot face. He created a great lore that needed to be handled by other people. That’s beside the point however, Empire Strikes Back is the greatest Star Wars film to date. Here’s hoping J.J Abrams can save the franchise!
Shawn S. Lealos
The Empire Strikes Back – I really considered saying Aliens, but I have to go with Empire Strikes Back. It remains one of my favorite films of all time, regardless of genre. It was a huge jump from the simple hero’s tale in Star Wars and really brought a spectacular story with a fantastically downer ending. Everything about this movie was perfect.
Moon – One of my favorite space movies is actually the fairly recent indie flick Moon directed by Duncan Jones. The first time I saw it I was very intrigued, but after several repeat viewings it’s a movie that has stuck with me on both an intellectual and emotional level more so than almost any other sci-fi movie. Sam Rockwell’s performance as multiple character mixed with the very human script really highlighted exactly what science fiction is all about. It spoke to many hot button issues and larger themes that were all anchored by the main character. 2001 may be the classic, but I believe that Moon delivered a comparable experience that is more articulate and coherent than the beloved classic. The Empire Strikes Back will always be near and dear to my heart as an infinitely re-watchable favorite and 2001 will always be that one classic I never quite connected well with, but Moon may be a film I’ll remember as something that changed my perception of the genre.
Sandy Cilla Stachowiak
Alien – I would have to say my favorite space movie is Alien: ‘In space no one can hear you scream.’
This 1979 Ridley Scott film was definitely one most people remember, along with its sequels. This movie sparked books, toys, and video games. It won an Academy Awards for Visual Effects and was nominated for several others including a Golden Globe, Grammy, and BAFTA.
I am pretty picky with the sci-fi movies that I watch; however, this sci-fi horror was one of the most terrifying of its time. That alien was a massively scary creature that ended up wiping out Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) entire crew. Who could forget the scene where the alien emerged from Kane’s (John Hurt) chest during dinner or the one where Ripley finally came face to face with the alien??
When it comes to space movies, I have to stick with what I love; horror, and “Alien” certainly provided that!
John “D-Rock” Dotson
Sunshine – As Ben said, it’s extremely tough to find a space film that isn’t enjoyable on some level. Hell, the first time I watched Prometheus, I thought it was a decent thrill until I went home and thought about the movie. That being said, with so many space movies to choose from, Danny Boyle’s Sunshine is one that I always find myself revisiting constantly. It’s like a song you appreciate that no one else hears the way you do, or a band that no one else follows, but you try to show how beautiful the artist is. Not many talk about Sunshine and I think that is why I pick it. It’s an under-appreciated work of art about the lengths mankind will go to save humanity. The film’s finale with the addition of John Murphy’s score will absolutely leave you breathless and chills flowing through your core.