This year was a pretty good year for Scifi films and despite some disappointments I must admit that 2009 was a pretty good year for scifi film fans young and old with a nice mix of films to suit all tastes.
Two films that did not make my list because they did not play anywhere near me were The Road and Moon. Both films looked truly fantastic and were high on my list to watch but alas the distributors released the film very poorly so only the critics and a select group of film fans got to see both films. I am sure that they both would have made my top list if I had a chance to see them.
So with that said and done here are the 10 Best Scifi Films of 2009 as I see it.
Mutant Chronicles: Straight up in the #10 spot we have Mutant Chronicles. I was really looking forward to this film because of its premise and overall visual look. I am a big fan of films scifi or otherwise that take chances on bluescreen. It reminded me of a lower budget 300 and really when can you go wrong when you mix war, famine, the end of the human race and mutants!The film suffered a bit from its limited budget but overall Mutant Chronicles which starred Thomas Jane was a fun tale of human destruction, faith and the human spirit. At times the story and visuals were mesmerizing and makethis film a must see for Scifi film fans.
Terminator Salvation: I struggled long and hard with putting Terminator Salvation on this list. I am a massive fan of James Camerons Terminator franchise and even have a place in my heart for Terminator 3. Terminator Salvation was a bit of a debacle with Christian Bales over the top acting and a less then impressive storyline but one thing saves this film, Sam Worthington. Going to see Terminator Salvation i expected your typical McG fare with over the top effects, shallow plot lines and lots of action. I got all of that but I also got a fantastic performance out of Sam Worthington as he plays a survivor out to find his way and save his new companion Kyle Reese only to discover a very dark secret that will tear him and his friendship apart.Terminator Salvation is a B grade Terminator movie but it still had fantastic FX, some great scifi-action and combined with Sam Worthingtons excellent acting this movie deserves being seen. See it if you ejoyed Terminator 3 or just cant help but want to see the cameo of the Governator which alone was worth the ticket price. Gotta love nostalgia.
Battle For Terra: Battle for Terra is animated family fare wrapped up in the Scifi Genre as ‘Earth Force’ goes looking for a new home on a planet called Terra and wages war with its peaceful inhabitants. The story is a bit cliché but it is not any worse than AVATAR and as the film progresses it gets a lot less PG and really starts to make you think. Battle For Terra is clearly targeted to a younger demographic but overall it is a fun scifi film that I enjoyed. Its message and interesting turn at the end make it well worth checking out for scifi fans.
Splinter: Splinter never got a wide release in theatres but it did hit DVD this year and its one of the best scifi horror films ever to come out of the low budget film market. I have no idea why a big flagship studio like Paramount did not pickthis film up and throw it out to theatres. It recently made my Top 10 Horror Films of 2009 and it also has a deserving spot on the Top 10 Scifi films of 2009. Made for a very limited budget the film tells the story of a couple who get carjacked by a convict only to find themselves stranded with something much worse. The definition of eco-scifithis film is the next best thing to THE THING and is must see fare for all fans of scifi filmmaking. Dark, gorey and truly creepy Splinter is a perfect blend of horror and scifi which is sure to leave you wanting more.
9: Unlike Battle for Terra ‘9’ is a very dark and desolate film clearly not targeted to the younger generation. It tells the story of an apocalyptic world where all that is left is a group of ‘puppets’ that are left in the wake of a holocaust between man and machines. Think Terminator Salvation but with sock puppets. Overall the films story is quite well done and visually is very impressive. It suffers with a less then exciting conclusion but overall it’s a dark and entertaining scifi tale about human destruction and redemption.
Pandorum: I have a soft spot for Scifi horror and Pandorum is one film that fit nicely into that pocket. From Mad Max to Doomsday and everything inbetween I love my scifi horror! Pandorum is best described as Doomsday meets Event Horizon as a crew on a desperate mission soon find themselves in incredible trouble in deep space. As the action presses you soon discover that alot of what you think is true is not and the characters you think you know… are far from who they seem. A gruesome scifi experience that fans of Horror Scifi will find room to love!
Avatar: Oh James Cameron… your film Avatar was billed as the greatest thing since microwavable craft dinner but unfortunately I was stupid enough to see it in 2D. The 3D showing was sold out and I really should have gone back another day to see it in 3D. A mediocre and cliché storyline about an evil corporation taking on local natives, wrapped in space makes Avatar a less than impressive experience. If you see it in 2D you will likely babble like me about how horrible it is. See it in 3D and everyone agrees it is the most innovative film experience of the year. Clearly see it in 3D as it is one of the must see scifi films of our generation but if you see it in 2D you will be bitter and angry like I was.
Star Trek: You cannot very well do a Top 10 SciFi Films for 2009 list and not include JJ Abrams Star Trek. This is the kind of film that brings new generations to the Trek front and re-invigorates existing fans for more films. Star Trek was a well produced film with an outstanding cast of characters that really brings the Star Trek verse back to the forefront for fans. I can say I am not a Trekkie or really a big fan but having seen JJ Abrams Star Trek I was drawn into that universe and really impressed with how JJ Abrams and his team humanized Star Trek and made it not just about a space ship, but about beginnings and the human experience. Star Trek is a great film with a lot of scifi action and an overall deep message of mankind and its potential.
District 9: District 9 was the sleeper hit and well deserving to be #2 on my list. The film lacked the budget and big name casting of AVATAR yet its the far superior film. You talk about films that resonate with fans and connect with filmgoers and District 9 is one of those films. This is easily one of the best scifi films made in many years. From start to finish as you follow the lead characters mental and physical transformation through District 9 you will find yourself drawn in but also blown away by the fantastic story telling, the insane FX and scifi action. This is one movie I look forward to seeing a sequel to in the coming years.
To think that Neill Blomkamp the director and Peter Jackson were going to get a shot at the HALO movie. I dont even like HALO but if these two could bring half the magic of District 9 to a HALO movie I got one word.. WOW!
Watchmen: Last but not least comes Watchmen. Clearly not entirely true to the comic book but anyway you cut it Watchmen was the biggest film of the year and more so over AVATAR. Directed by Zach Snyder of 300 and Dawn of the Dead fame it brought the comic book to the big screen and despite some legal issues it delivered a truly fantastic scifi experience for deep thinking scifi fans and fans of the Watchmen Comic willing to overlook Zach Snyders iterations on the comic book story. Watchmen is long, though provoking and easily one of the most visually stunning films of the year. Despite some of its flaws Watchmen in my views is well deserving as the #1 Scifi Film of 2009.
Now that you have read my list… whats on your list? And yes.. feel free to keep your trolling to yourself this is my list afterall which makes it perfectly correct to me. If your wondering why Transformers Revenge of the Fallen did not make my list the answer is simple. The film lost its focus and was far to entrenched on Megan Fox and her boobs bouncing around in a low top cut.No tags for this post.