Wednesday, December 2, 2015

13 of the most game changing Sci Fi Movies: Influential Science Fiction round up

   Which stories helped shaped the Sci Fi genre?  After reading Our sci fi gadgets list and our Facts about darth vader ,  our long time ... thumbnail 1 summary
 Which stories helped shaped the Sci Fi genre?  After reading Our sci fi gadgets list and our Facts about darth vader,  our long time supporter from twitter @StumpmeisterUK (feel free to show him love, he is a great guy) suggested an article on influential Science Fiction classics.  we decided to delve in at GeekyLists HQ and sort out the most influential Sci Fi stories.  After compiling a list of over a hundred titles, we decided that the books and TV shows would be eventual later posts.  Narrowed down to just films for now, this list is still probably going to be our biggest. The amount of begging, pleading, trading and arguing was truly a spectacle, but we ended up hashing it out, for the sake of sanity and article length, the 4000 word arguments have been edited down to highlights.  We also decided because every movie on this list has a crazy amount of awards, we were just going to let that lie.  So without any more hesitation, we give you the most game changing Sci Fi movies. 

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey 

Few Sci Fi movies can match the realism of 2001, Everything was handled right, down to what noises you could hear, all the way to HAL, and the way HAL does things.  Following Carl Sagans advice not to show aliens but suggest the super intelligent beings.  The technological designs have been reused constantly and even the iPad or Samsung tablets some of you are reading on are shamelessly stolen from the idea in the movie.

The filming techniques Stanley kubrik pioneered were later used in star wars and blade runner.  Features one of the most terrifying villains in a movie, and since HAL has influenced almost every robot design since.  The praise from the other film makers on this list is such that it is the best of the best, and that no one can top it.

Get 2001 A Space Odyssey here

2. Star Wars

First point right off the bat, I can't remember a single day of my life I haven't heard a star wars quote, or seen a reference, its so common that being a huge star wars fan is a character archetype now.  It inspired an entire generation of people to embrace science fiction and try to make there own.  Even non science fiction creators are huge fans that credit it as an influence.  It is credited from popularizing the hero's journey format again.

 It also popularized block buster films,  all those giant showy special effects we all love so much, thanks star wars.  The special fx boom that followed was brought to you by the force.  Plus genre mixing, It popularized pulling from multiple genres to make a stronger story, so all the action comedy, space western, fantasy epic type movies.  Yeah Darth Vader did that for you.  It also created the film trilogy model and  proved that a merchandising model could be profitable, hello toys and shirts, so it modernized the fandoms everyone rallies together with now.  You KNOW you have had a lightsaber fight, yes, I want a real one too.

Technologically it influenced holographic video, bionic limbs, and even the weapons and vehicles are finding their way into real life.

Get the original trilogy here The prequels

3.  Metropolis

Metropolis is the oldest sci fi movie here, but is considered a father to all science fiction, It introduced the ideas of world building.  Giant sets were constructed and tons of extras employed, It aimed to pull you directly into the future.  It was the first science fiction movie to use an alternate reality as a form of real social commentary as well. 

The designs in this movie actually influenced every other movie on this list heavily, openly acknowledged by the creators themselves.  C3PO is a clone of the Machine-Man in this movie.  The city in blade runner emulated the future city designs. 

Any Science Fiction not influenced to it, is only because it is influenced by a movie that was influenced to it.  It is still showing up in design and ideology today, almost a century later.

Get Metropolis here

4. Alien

Alien is credited with using science ficture in order to solve a lot of horror movie problems.  You can't run away on a space ship, and the xenomorphs are the perfect monster, all the attributes are designed into one big list of  you are dead.  It showed that Sci Fi heroes could be female and still action heroes.

The industrial grit in the designs and the universe has been noted to possibly share a universe with Blade Runner by Ridley Scott so influence is split, but it is still a landmark for the design and the design of real feeling truly terrifying monsters.  It also gets credit for introducing the working man side of space travel, were not everyone is a scientist or a criminal and ships are more like vehicles.

It is also the namesake for the "Save the Cat" moment, in screenwriting, so it has made all the protagonists using it since more likeable.  The idea of taking a B movie idea and executing it as an A movie has risen from this very film.

Xenomorphs and the ships and bases that followed are a gold standard in scary for Sci Fi.  The organic industrial design was pioneered for alien, and remains a creepy staple to this day.

Get The Alien anthology here

5. Frankenstein

When Frankenstein came out, it was Sci Fi, thats why he is Frankensteins monster, They didn't even credit Boris Karloff, and Dr. Frankenstein is the main focus of the story.  What Frankenstein did is show that the monster/alien itself can be the best part of the movie.  Before that the science fiction elements were seen more like stage props that lived.  The idea of giving screen time to the other worldly stuff got solidly proven here, and started a new age of exploring the less human side of the stories.

Get the complete Frankenstein legacy here

6. Blade Runner

The set designs met with the entire dystopian future setting makes blade runner influential in that the view of the future isn't always lofty.  The special effects are considered some of the best of all time, using multipass exposures and mainly practical effects.  Production and design wise it is a monster of influential shots.

Any noir type Science Fiction is compared to it, because every movie in that genre is drawing from it.  It has so many guesses in the future that turned out accurate, the money of corporations taking power and influence, how the lack of connection between characters can make a new kind of connection with an audience.

Blade Runner left a big foot print and its doubtful that any one is going to fill its shoes.  It forged a blue print for cyber punk and showed that blueprint in the cinematic equivalent of a beautiful moving fine art painting.

Get Blade Runner here

7. Le Voyage Dans La Lune

Sometimes things get a little crazy, and Le Voyage did it in all the right ways.  It used so many experimental techniques and dystopian themes that have been brought into the present.  It also employed looped narrative and story telling over multiple periods of time.  It introduced a tool set that is still used today for time travel stories, you know how most people love the time loop episodes in a show?  Thank Levoyage Dans La Lune.  It is listed as a major influence to many actual story telling styles in science fiction, not just science fiction films.

Get a trip to the moon and the extraordinary voyage here

8. The Matrix
The matrix was an influence in that science fiction hadn't pushed action before.  It showed the world that if you add super science to an action film, you end up with a hybrid that makes both sides of the genre stronger, whether it is a good action movie with excellent science fiction elements, or an excellent Science Fiction movie with the best action scenes that have been seen becomes immaterial. 
It raised the bar for battles in Sci Fi, and for experimental shots, and at least for the original it showed that you don't always have to underestimate the audience.

Get the Matrix Triology here

9.  The day the earth stood still

Klattu is the icon for more benevolent aliens,  that some aliens may actually be nicer than humans.  While Gort acted as a silent enforcer to add credence to klattu's claims, he largely meant well and tried to warn the world to be more peaceful.  It aslo was the debut of using a theremin in a sound track,  Cheesy seeming now, it is still a staple in Sci Fi parody and went on to inspire the theme song for star trek.

It also might be the widest known example of "Humans are the real monsters." And "Klattu Barada Nikto" would go on to aid Bruce Campbell in fighting the army of darkness.  So this film literaly saved Bruce Campbell.

Get The Day the Earth Stood Still here

10.  Westworld

Westworld not only introduced modern day artificial intelligence to films, but also showed the idea of the big bad corporation, 23 years before soylent green ran with it.  Delos was the first giant corporation that valued money over people as business model. 
John carpenter cited the robot walk for Michael Myers, which means by transference of the unstoppable killer angle, West world had a hand in creating the entire slasher flick genre.
The core concept was actually revisited and turned into Jurassic Park, another movie on this list.  Westworld it contains the first computer digitzed image in a movie  as well.  It crossed three genres with its area of influence and technically all movies with any GGI.

It is one of the more stand out examples of the automated voice being subversive "Nothing can go wrong."
Never trust an automated voice.

Get Westworld here

11. Jurassic park
While many other movies went overtly electronic, Jurassic park went a road less traveled with gentic engineering, by mixing the genres of Sci Fi, Action, and Thriller, it is largely hailed as one of the greatest of each of those genres.
The computer generated visual effects would go on to  effect the star wars prequels, as well as getting other directors to make films such as Ai, and lead to The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and Godzilla to be made. 
It also just set new movie experience standards across the board and forced all following movies to try to be bigger visually. 
In has also driven real world improvement on the development of DNA research and technology

Get the Jurassic Park collection here 

12.  Superman the movie

This was the first time a comic book super hero floated off the pages into cinema.  It proved there was a market and is responsible for every other super hero comic movie that has been made.  At the time it was considered Science Fiction and has since grown into its own genre, or sub genre if you prefer.   The large scale visual effects are all done pre digital age, and used enormous models.
Next time you are comparing comic book movies and shows, without Supermans first movie, you should realize that you would be arguing over paper comics that most people didn't know and getting picked on for your superman shirt.
It also allowed for more super powered protagonists to show up and how to handle them so they were still accessible.

Get the Christopher Reeve Superman Collection here

13. Solaris 

Solaris is probably the most art house film, and I think that is part of why it made the list.  The film had a dream like quality and the focus is more on the internal dealings of Kelvin as he tries to make sense of what Solaris is doing to him. 
It influenced Science fiction in showing that sometimes it is ok to leave fx and monsters out of the loop and instead explore the mind.  Sometimes watching a complex concept unfold and be related thought he lense can be as riveting as blowing up a planet, or at least as resonant.
Most other film makers regard it with a sense of artistry, and it has been implicated in the deepening of Science Fiction characters in other movies ever since.

Get Solaris here (now in hd)

14. Forbidden Planet

With Robbie the robot being king among robotic looking robots until Star Wars two decades later.  Watching Forbidden Planet will feel very familiar to most people, this is due to how heavily it was copied in the making of Star Trek. Including the exploration of colonies, the sexy girls, the phasers...etc.  The entire movie was created from scratch and basicly gave birth to the entire Star Trek franchise.

Get Forbidden Planet here

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