Double Take Comics Picks Their Top Sci-Fi Films

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Double Take Comics sent us a list of their favorite sci-fi films.  Does your favorite appear in this list?  Read on, and let’s find out together =)

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Michael Coast:  2001:  A SPACE ODYSSEYDavid Bowman enjoying the trip
Over the years, 2001 has become so revered that it’s taken on the mixed blessing of being a “classic.” And, as is often the case, having the distinction of being a “classic” gives the movie a sacrosanct and sterile air that it doesn’t deserve. It’s also been referenced and parodied so many times that the initial power of its imagery is often undersold. But looking at 2001 as if it’s a monument doesn’t do it justice. It’s a weird, wonderful movie with a life all its own, and with so many great moments that haven’t been pop-cultured to death. It’s a movie billed, literally, as “a space odyssey” that begins with a lengthy segment chronicling warring ape tribes a million years ago. It’s a movie where astounding technology is treated as something as an afterthought – there’s no moment where characters openly marvel at their futuristic surroundings. It’s a movie whose most tense moment occurs as a computer silently lip-reads as the crew plots its demise. Aliens are never seen onscreen (though they’re certainly implied,) questions are never explicitly answered (“What’s the deal with the giant space baby?”,) and the journey into the infinite is more akin to dropping acid while suffering from a concussion than to discovering new worlds beyond our solar system. If you can go into 2001 without the burden of it being a “classic” you’ll find a rich, rewarding, confounding experience that very few films can replicate.

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Lillian Tan:  TOTAL RECALLtotal-recall-arnold-schwarzenegger-600x400
Arnold S. on Mars—enough said. And I can never erase from my mind the scene of Arnold’s eyes bulging as he’s about to implode.

 

 

 

 

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Johni Licht:  AKIRAakira-otomo_katsuhiro_-695x511
As a big fan of both sci-fi and anime, there’s no other movie that can take the title of a classic the way this one can. This was where the two genres first really gelled and found a wider American audience. It’s funny that in this dystopian future, neo-Tokyo is going to host the Olympics, and in real life, old Tokyo is getting ready to actually do it, thankfully with much less cyberpunk motorcycle gang violence.

 

 

 

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matrix460Stan Chou:  THE MATRIX (1999, by The Wachowskis)
I grew up on Japanese animation, Hong Kong cinema and Shaw Brothers kung fu movies, and when those three genres came smashing together in the form of The Matrix, I was in geek heaven. I’ve since become less interested in movies or shows that glorify guns and violence, but even if you take out Matrix’s action scenes, it’s still a very entertaining modern hero’s journey.

 

 

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Bill Jemas:  THE FIFTH ELEMENT400px-5th_08
Thermal Bandages.

 

 

 

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stalkerJonathan Ashley:  STALKER (1979, by Andrei Tarkovsky).
The quote on the VHS box called it “Blade Runner on speed”, or something to that effect. But for the first half hour or so, I felt duped.  As a teenage sci-fi fan, I wanted my fix of futuristic architecture, special effects, and androids.  Plus, the box promised there would be “aliens”, but there wasn’t a single one in sight—just three guys philosophizing while walking through puddles and rubble.  But after a while, with its dreamy pace, haunted atmosphere, and allegorical storytelling, it worked its spell, changed what I expect from a film, and inspired me to spend the next several years hopping fences to hike through abandoned buildings.

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Caroline Flanagan:  THE FLY (1986)gold
I’m easily disturbed by body horror, so I sat down to watch The Fly to challenge myself. After all, Cronenberg basically invented the genre. I didn’t expect to like it. However, although the movie is packed with visceral, cringe-inducing scenes, there are also moments that are surprisingly touching, funny, and empathetic. I think it’s one of the most human monster movies I’ve ever seen. Brundle’s evolution is truly tragic, touching on the human preoccupation with aging and disease. The film was so much more than the gory sci fi movie I originally imagined. Also, Jeff Goldblum is the best.

 

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aliens-2

Michael Pfieffer:  ALIENS
Aliens kicks ass. It’s just a kick-ass movie. Every marine gives a kickass speech about how they’re a squad of “Ultimate Badasses,” everybody gets a one liner, the Aliens scream when they explode, and the last 45 minutes of it stands up as some of the best action filmmaking of all time. It’s so cool that you almost don’t realize that every badass is completely impotent and that’s the whole point. James Cameron set out to make a science fiction movie about the Vietnam war- a technologically superior military unit completely unprepared to fight a ruthless guerilla force. Sure, the characterization of the Aliens as insects does no favors as far as humanizing the Vietcong (Though the Alien Queen is maybe the only way you could top HR Giger’s original xenomorph design) but after the 20th consecutive badass marine goes down like a chump you start to think “Wait, maybe we had no idea what we were getting into- should we even be here in the first place?” Sci-Fi should make you ask questions like that about American Interventionism even as you cheer that Ellen Ripley blew the big mama xenomorph right out the airlock.

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Eun Jeong:  INDEPENDENCE DAYindependence-day-will-smith
Independence Day is one of those movies that I’ll stop and watch when I’m channel surfing no matter what time of the year it is. It has Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. Need I say anymore? Along with being a ’90s sci-fi classic and one of my go-to films in my movie library, it’s taught me some important life lessons:
Lesson #1 – Your first encounter with alien lifeforms should involve yelling “welcome to earth” and punching them in the face.
Lesson #2 – The president should always personally lead high-risk aerial maneuvers in interstellar battles.
Lesson #3 – Keep. Your. Dog. Leashed.
Lesson #4 – Alien spaceships need Norton antivirus programs.
Lesson #5 – Your final encounter with alien lifeforms should involve yelling “up yours” as your last words.

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960Will Graves:  JURASSIC PARK (1993)
Jurassic Park came out when I was 3 years old. I remember seeing it in theaters with my grandpa and being scared out of my mind. The film sparked my love for dinosaurs and it’s neat to see the franchise continuing thru 2016 for kids to have that experience as well (even though the new film is garbage compared to the original). Also, Jeff Goldblum is the best.

 

 

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Elysia Liang:  HERher-1
While many popular sci-fi movies tout special effects, explosive fight scenes, aliens, and the like, the beating heart of Her is its earnest and poignant love story. In a Los Angeles where skyscrapers and high-speed trains have become a part of the everyday landscape, romance blossoms between Theodore, a lonely writer who pens other people’s correspondence, and Samantha, the operating system that runs his electronic devices. With stellar performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, the movie makes Theodore and Samantha’s relationship plausible and compelling while tapping into modern-day anxieties about the ways we increasingly rely on technology to feel connected to others.

 

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Diane Naughton:  E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
This movie brought Science Fiction home for me. Very accessible, and truthfully, I will never look at Reese’s Pieces candy without thinking about this movie and that adorable E.T..

 

 

 

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Dis you enjoy reading this list?  Would you enjoy seeing seeing us publish more lists?  Let us know in the Comments section below.  And, remember to visit Double Take Comics, because indie graphic lit =)

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