25 Years of Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TerryRL, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

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    Starlog did a very cool issue focusing on the last 25 years of sci-fi/fantasy filmmaking since the historic release of "Star Wars" in 1977. They even list their picks for MOVIE OF THE YEAR since then. Here they are...

    1977 "Star Wars"
    1978 "Battlestar Gallactica" (I would've chosen "Superman: The Movie", but that's just me)
    1979 "Alien"
    1980 "The Empire Strikes Back"
    1981 "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
    1982 "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"
    1983 "Return of the Jedi"
    1984 "The Terminator"
    1985 "Back to the Future"
    1986 "Aliens"
    1987 "RoboCop"
    1988 "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
    1989 "Batman"
    1990 "Total Recall"
    1991 "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
    1992 "Batman Returns"
    1993 "Jurassic Park"
    1994 "Stargate"
    1995 "Toy Story"
    1996 "Independence Day"
    1997 "Men in Black"
    1998 "Armageddon" (this over "Dark City" and "X-Files"?)
    1999 "The Matrix"
    2000 "X-Men"
    2001 "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
    2002 "Spider-Man" (so far, the issue went to print shortly after Spidey's release)

    Do you agree with these picks? And do you think the level of sci-fi/fantasy has increased or decreased in recent years?
     
  2. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Terry RL wrote:

     
  3. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

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    What I meant is that do you think the quality of sci-fi/fantasy flicks today is on par with the ones from the '70s and '80s.

    In other words, do you think the films made today are as good or better than ones from the past?
     
  4. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    There was a lot more of the D&D type fantasy back then....

    Not so much of that now...

    As far as quality, umm...you have good ones now(Spidey, AOTC, Matrix, LOTR) and bad(Armageddon, Godzilla) just like back then...
     
  5. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Terry RL wrote:



    Quote:



    . . . do you think the quality of sci-fi/fantasy flicks today is on par with the ones from the '70s and '80s? . . . do you think the quality of sci-fi/fantasy flicks today is on par with the ones from the '70s and '80s?





    I don't want to spoil your thread with a rant, and I haven't read the article in question, so I can't respond as meticulously as I would like, but I get an uneasy feeling seeing a list that groups movies like Alien (or even Aliens), The Terminator (maybe even Terminator 2), and even Total Recall together with Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Independence Day, etc. They ain't all apples in that barrel.

    The technology to enable and enhance the escapist fantasy gets better all the time (although some of the CGI has taken a couple of steps backward, in my opinion). But the motivations of too many of the people making the decisions about what gets made and/or issued by the major studios has markedly changed in two decades, and, despite some earnest film makers, like Peter Jackson, movies ("film") have become seen by these folks as first and foremost marketing opportunities.

    If you weren't around in the early 80's when the then new technologies---well VistaVision is from the 50's, but ILM revived and enhanced it---made it seem as if a whole new world would be opening up to science fiction, horror, and fantasy (including comic book super-heroes), you probably don't and can't appreciate what a let-down---in terms of story content---some of the delay has brought. It's hard to tell whether X-Men or Spiderman would have had better stories if they had gotten off the ground in the mid- to late 80s when they were first brought up, as opposed to now.

    On average, the level of story-telling is about the same, but there are now appreciably larger budgets (even if you adjust for inflation) for much emptier films. (Armeggedon, hello!) Roll the dice, clean up quick, and move on. That's today's Hollywood mainstream. And you see the result: for example, a lot of big-budget films opened large last year and died rather quickly. "No legs!" in the old Hollywood parlance.
     
  6. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

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    Good point.
     
  7. Feng

    Feng Stunt Coordinator

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    1981 "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
    This movie is action/adventure, nothing to do with sci-fi or fantasy.

    1988 "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
    Cartoon

    1995 "Toy Story"
    Animation

    1998 "Armageddon"
    So many scientific errors and you call it sci-fi?
     
  8. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Feng wrote:
     
  9. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    I concur that I too am a little uneasy about Raiders, Rabbit,.. appear along side with T2, Aliens,... That said, since it is supposed to be scifi + fantasy, I am sort of OK with it.

    Not a bad list, there's always personal preferences on some choices over others, but as a whole, I have no major arguements against it.
     
  10. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    FOTR over A.I.? Yeesh... [​IMG]
     
  11. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

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    "Pitch Black" came out in 2000.
     
  12. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I generally agree with the list except that Superman should have been selected WAY above Battlestar Galactica. I would have liked to have seen Blade Runner and Superman II in there but I guess it's hard with Empire and E.T. during those years.
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  14. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  15. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Well, disregarding merits of the magazine, I'd say we are in a nice resurgence, though good films always have made their place. Lately we are back to getting more quality options.

    But I think T2 and Jurrasic Park are excellent SF/Fantasy works. But there was a time that it was getting thin again.

    Of course lately there have been keystone films to begin to bolster the genre (Star Wars, LOTR trilogy, Potter) which ensure financial interest. Plus XMen breaking through has helped lock in the addition of comic book fantasy coming to the screen. Matrix was a nice suprise and also guarantees 2 more quality options coming soon.

    So the DEPTH is certainly back. That is probably good for quality as a whole meaning that you are more likely to get a few high quality films in there somewhere if more films are getting made.


    And we even will be getting a nice cross-genre film in Reign of Fire (hopefully this will at least be as good as Tremors).
     
  16. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I think it would be more fair to make Sci-Fi and Fantasy two separate genres. LotR doesn't really seem to fit right next to Armageddon and The Matrix.

    I think SF/F films have gotten better overall. Instead of making a bunch of so-so movies, we're getting a select few that are REALLY good and a few others that are really bad.
     
  17. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Hmmm ...

    It's interesting to note that Starlogs' 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982,and 1983 winners are not yet available on DVD. (Although the 1982 winner, E.T., will finally be available on DVD in October ... for an MSRP OF $70.00!)

    It's also very sad to note that the 1977, 1980, and 1983 winners will never be available on DVD at any price!
     

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