Saturday, May 9, 2009

Violent Sci-Fi Action Recommendations

So I logged onto Netflix yesterday to find that my first recommended genre was "Violent Sci-Fi Action". Have I been watching so much violent sci-fi that the Netflix algorithms picked up on it? Has anyone else encountered such specifically tailored recommendations on Netflix?

Anyway, being that my girlfriend has been out of town, I have in fact been watching an inordinate amount of Sci-Fi. I thought that I would fire off a couple of titles in case you too find yourself without your significant other for an extended period of time and have a hankering for 80's Sci-Fi action.


The Thing (1982):

I may have caught this one on the the tail end of our Kurt Russell celebration. The truth is, I'm surprised I had never seen it until now. In this early eighties sci-fi action/ horror flick, a team of American scientists in Antarctica are faced with the realization that an alien lifeform which absorbs and then replicates any living thing it pleases, has infiltrated their ranks. Now it's up to Russell and friends to figure out who is still human and who is waiting to suck out his brains the first chance they get. Pretty good thrills coupled with gross-you-out special effects, this little guy is a gem for the fan of classic sci-fi.


Outland (1981):

This was actually one of the violent sci-fi's that Netflix recommended. I had never heard of it and thought I would give it a shot. Overall, a pretty good experience. This one tells the story of Marshall O'neil, who makes it his job to clean up an outer ring mining colony. Turns out the general manager, played by Peter Boyle, has been flooding the colony with a dangerous narcotic which boosts productivity in his workers but has the unfortunate side-effect of turning them into psychotic killers. O'neil quickly finds himself the target of an assassination attempt, which he, having made few friends on the colony, has to quell all my himself. Kind of a sci-fi detective story, which I thought was both gritty and frank. Quite enjoyable.



Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985):

This one needs no introduction. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is the third and final installment of the Mad Max films. Most people consider this movie to be the worst of the three. While they may be right, that by no means makes this a bad movie. On post-apocalyptic Earth, folks either fend for themselves on the open road or take refuge in one of the few "civilized" establishments. Barter Town is one of these. Powered by an army of swine, Barter Town is ruled above by Aunty Entity (Tina Turner) and below by Master Blaster (who is actually two people). Max stumbles into town after having had his team of camels stolen. To get 'em back, he makes a deal with Tina to kill Master Blaster, but after seeing Blaster's sweet face, busts the deal. Unfortunately, in Barter Town, bustin' a deal means facin' The Wheel. He is soon exiled to the desert where he is taken in by a starry-eyed tribe of kids who together return to take back what's theirs and to let Tina know who really runs Barter Town. Strong sci-fi and, as always, great western-like chase scenes with dune-buggies.


Also on the list:

The Road Warrior (1981)
Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD ( 1996)
Serenity (2005)

Have you seen anything good lately?

4 comments:

Jeffrywith1e said...

I thought Equilibrium was a great action sci-fi introducing us to Gun-Kata.

Casey said...

Yeah, Equilibrium is a goodie. How about Gattaca? Dark City? Also friggin' good.

Serenity was actually crap. And Sgt Kabukiman NYPD is not really Sci-Fi, and is also arguably not good.

Sean Ferrell said...

gattaca was prob my favorite movie when i was in high school. dark city was awesome when i saw it, but i had a tough time dealing with kiefer's stutter the second time (still great, though, and i think this was def wachowskis' biggest influence for the matrix). and i have to disagree about beyond thunderdome - i really hate that movie. maybe because i like the first two so much? like watching avp after predator and alien.

for something a bit more cerebral and haunting, try solyaris (the original, russian version, not the one with clooney). it's a bit like 2001, only with subtitles, so wear your patient hat, and be ready to work for it.
i think it's safe to say that it has informed every internal epic and especially every space film since it was made (sunshine, event horizon, alien, maybe even the sixth sense).

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