Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s theme is all to do with films. I thought about making it bookish related but then I realised hey, I’ve already done a post like that! So if you’re interested, here are some of my favourite book-to-screen adaptations.
For this post, I’m going with my favourite Sci-Fi films. As you’ll know, I love Sci-Fi, and it’s a much bigger and more encompassing genre than some people think. They hear ‘science fiction’ and they think ‘oh god that’s so geeky. Isn’t it just spaceships?’. But Sci-Fi has so many subgenres, like dystopian and apocalyptic a la The Hunger Games and Mad Max. Or Superhero films, those are Sci-Fi! Time travel, alternate history, cyberpunk. Sci-Fi is everywhere.
I’m not going to include superhero films in my list because pretty much the whole thing would just be Marvel movies, so, without further ado, here are some of my favourite Sci-Fi films:
1. Star Trek (2009)
I had never been interested in Star Trek. I’d watched all the Star Wars films but Star Trek just didn’t seem as cool. Which is ironic, because I now think Star Wars is the geekier of the two franchises. But anyway, Star Trek just didn’t float my boat, until they rebooted it and oh my god. This film blew me away.
I watched it at home one day on Sky Movies because it was free and I was bored and I’d heard it was good, so why not? After watching it, I immediately bought the DVD and then waited impatiently for the DVD release of Star Trek: Into Darkness because I’d just missed it in cinemas.
Now I’m just waiting for Star Trek: Beyond as I didn’t have time to go watch it at Vue, but I am a little sad about seeing it as it was one of Anton Yelchin’s last films and he was such a great actor. Hopefully the film is good though.
2. The Martian
This film was so tense it gave me a migraine. The climactic end just made me unbelievably stressed. However, I still want to read the book (and risk another possible migraine) because the film was so enjoyable and moving. Plus, Sebastian Stan.
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
Now, for all my talk about loving post-apocalyptic fiction, I was hesitant about Mad Max: Fury Road. From all the trailers it just looked like a real man’s film like yeah lads cars guns yeah lads. Don’t get me wrong, I like action, but I hate those films that are just all about blowing things up and have zero plot. However, because it was post-apocalyptic, I decided to give Mad Max: Fury Road a go.
And just like Star Trek, it totally exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen for one moment in case I missed something. In all honesty, it is just one big car chase, but it has so many crucial underlying themes revolving around feminism and humanity and the environment. It’s so much fun too, and the world-building is fantastic. Honestly, this one is a total gem, and Charlize Theron steals the show from Tom Hardy, which is a difficult thing to do because normally it’s Tom Hardy who steals the show in pretty much everything he’s in, main character or not. I highly recommend this one.
Now this is a real hidden gem. Danny Boyle is one of my favourite directors and pretty much masters whatever genre he takes on. Whilst most of his films have made it quite big, Sunshine has stayed in the shadows as a cult film loved by the critics but not really known by the general public. I’ve never really understood this because it’s such a brilliant film. It has well known actors like Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Hiroyuki Sanada and Mark Strong. Yet somehow it never really took off.
If you’re a fan of Gravity with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, then you’ll love this, it’s along the same kind of vein and just as tense.
5. District 9
There’s a line from this film my Dad quite often likes to repeat in his rather good South African accent because it makes him laugh. It’s when the main character, a man in charge of evicting the malnourished aliens from their South African slum, approaches a small alien – labelled a “prawn” – and says, “Hello, little guy! It’s the sweetie man coming!”. It’s funny and unsettling all at once. Because the irony is, whilst these aliens came to Earth seeking help, they are vastly more intelligent. I mean, they were able to leave their planet and travel millions of miles through space for a start, something we’re nowhere near close to doing. Yet we haven’t assisted them at all. The novelty of extra-terrestrial life has worn off and we’ve confined them to an impoverished slum and oppressed them.
This film, whilst humorous, is a social commentary on man’s treatment of the ‘other’ and is really hard-hitting. Definitely a modern Sci-Fi masterpiece.
6. Children of Men
I’ve featured this film before in my best book-to-screen adaptations, which I linked to at the top of this post, because both book and film are brilliant pieces of dystopian fiction and film-making. With no baby born for almost two decades, humanity is faced with its own extinction. What lengths would we go to?
7. Edge of Tomorrow
I’m not a massive Tom Cruise fan, and it annoys me that he seems to play the same role in every film. However, Edge of Tomorrow breaks this mould. Cruise is a bumbling, haughty Major who has never seen combat, until he’s suddenly thrown into a suicide mission battling the war against superior alien forces. Yet the real hero of this film is Emily Blunt as hardened veteran Rita Vrataski. She shows Cruise how it’s done and he never quite gets up to her level.
Overall, this film is a solid effort with some great moments of comic relief (at Cruise’s expense). It’s also based on the manga All You Need Is Kill. I was a bit disappointed to find out about this afterwards and see that they had changed the central character from Japanese to American. Whilst it may have been refreshing to see Cruise play someone other than the macho hero who can do everything, the studio obviously wanted a big name to try and attract an audience. The usual Hollywood white-washing.
8. 28 Days Later
I told you I liked Danny Boyle. And Cillian Murphy, for that matter, and it seems Danny Boyle agrees. There’s no need to explain this film because if you haven’t heard of it then you’ve been living under a rock; it’s a zombie sci-fi horror classic. But instead of the dead coming back to life, it’s actually a virus known as Rage, and these ‘zombies’ are some of the scariest you’ll ever see on screen.
This film was a total mind-bender but oh so good, and definitely one of a kind. Great acting, amazing plot, and a brilliant soundtrack from Hans Zimmer, this is one that will always stay with me.
10. Star Wars
Just all the Star Wars. The old, the new, and the even newer. Whilst the script for the originals and the prequel franchise were extremely corny, they’re still total classics and made Sci-Fi mainstream. Plus I’m so excited for Rogue One this December.
What are some of your favourite Sci-Fi films? Do you agree with my picks? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!