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May. 30th, 2007 (UTC)

Forbidden Planet best of all time (to date)?

Eh. I donno, Doc. Lots good about it, and it's certainly worn well, but it's not all that deep. If you had a movie with the depth of 2001 and the plot value of FP, now, boy howdy, that would be a sumbish of a moom picher, neh?

I'd say Blade Runner comes close; if you can discard the PKD novel (or the Alan Nourse novel, for that matter) and take it as it is, it's amazing, and not just because of the kewl nwarish look that prefigures the whole cyberpunq thang: also because it's got real depth, it's about identity and conscience and what the frick does it mean to be a "person" anyway; and it manages to do this all in a solid adventure plot (esp if you get the version without the annoying narration the studio put on -- they released the "for Dummies" version to theaters...). Far from perfect, yes, but an intense and rewatchable movie that makes you both feel and think.

Roughly contemporaneous was the PBS adaptation of UrsulaK's The Lathe of Heaven, which is even more amazing when you realize it was done on a budget that might best be described as "laughable." They captured the book, but (unlike the first couple of Harry Potter flicks) they didn't forget that they were making a movie -- they didn't just "film the book," they adapated it.

If you want to go back a bit further for something that has shown longterm staying power, a couple of HG Wells films come to mind: Things to Come (which, yes, does get a bit preachy toward the end, as did HGW), and The Invisible Man. Or for that matter the classic Frankenstein, which for all its messingsabout with Shelley's luminously dark plot, conveyed a great deal in a short space.

Or more recent: First, I almost feel guilty mentioning it, but The Matrix -- not its loathesome sequel! -- looks to me like it will wind up sitting on the classics shelf in time, after we get over all the bullet-time SFX mania u.s.w.

I guess I'm not really arguing with you (I have not the presumption), but suggesting that there is no single "best" SF film of all time.

Certainly not Star Wars; on that we are in compleat accord, sir.

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George R.R. Martin
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