I haven’t done one of these in a while, a big super long post of pointless ramblings (my favourite kind). Today I’m nattering on about films, of the fantasy/sci-fi genre to be precise. I’ve had to update my favourites list following last night’s viewing, you see. Having missed out on it at the cinema, which I now very much regret, I rented Terry Gillingham’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. And, oh, but it was excellent.
Granted, it could’ve been so much better if Heath Ledger’s death hadn’t forced a script rewrite towards the end. This prior knowledge combined with the fact that I’d heard only mediocre reviews of the movie, and that I find Gillingham’s stuff to be a bit hit or miss, meant that I wasn’t expecting too much. But considering the circumstances I think they did an admirable job. I was both awed and entertained in equal measure.
So I suppose maybe the pleasantly surprised factor may be playing a wee part in it’s ranking, but my Top 10 which had already grown to a Top 17 is now a Top 18. Still with me? Well you can find said list below.
I want to point out that this is only a tally of my fantasy/sci-fi faves and in no way covers my top films of all time. That is one list that can never be finished because I can never decide what goes at the top. Kind of the opposite to the novel I’ll never write because I can’t settle on an ending. At least that’s the excuse I tell myself.
There are notable absences on it too; some flicks I simply didn’t find worthy, some I haven’t seen yet. Others aren’t there because I feel the fantasy/sci-fi tag doesn’t quite cover them. Like The Shining or Dr Strangelove, both of which would make my top 10 films of all time (although I have deliberately omitted A Space Odyssey- me thinks the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes). Night of the Living Dead, Hero, X-Men, Harvey, Superman, Sleepy Hollow, Pi- all of these and more I toyed with but decided to leave out in the end.
Anyway, here you go. My top fantasy/sci-fi films as of April 2010.
1- The Lord of the Rings TrilogyObvious but worthy.
2- Star WarsOriginally trilogy only, naturally.
3-Pan’s LabyrinthI always find it interesting to hear how the ending of this amazing film made people feel. I watched it with my fiance and at the end I was almost moved to tears while he found it quite uplifting. Still, beautiful either way.
4- Princess MononokeIt’s tough choosing between Hayao Miyasaki and Studio Ghibli’s many wonderful animations, but I think this is my favourite.
5- AlienMy pick of the only two good films in the franchise.
**New Entry** 6- The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusSuch a pity that Mr Ledger passed on towards the end of production, it could’ve been a masterpiece.
7- SunshineSurprisingly brilliant sci-fi from Danny Boyle. Almost as good as Alien and so much better than 2001.
8- Howl’s Moving CastleMore Miyasaki mastery.
9- Big FishBurton’s best, in my insignificant opinion.
10- DelicatessenThis may shock a lot of people, but I wasn’t a big fan of Amelie. The ending gave me a toothache. I rather enjoyed this though. And The City of Lost Children, although I watched that after the pub one night and my memories of it are rather dreamlike.
11- First ContactI had to include a Trek film here somewhere and, while most of such a persuasion would opt for The Wrath of Khan, I grew up with The Next Generation and have to swing in that direction.
12- Edward ScissorhandsI really will watch absolutely anything with good ole Mr Depp in the lead but this proves that it’s not just for that pretty little face of his.
13- The Brothers GrimmGillingham again. I can’t believe it, a film with Matt Damon I actually love!
14- StardustBritish fantasy action for the whole family (god, I sound like one of their publicity blurbs).
15- The FallLesser known fantasy flick from 2008 set in 1920s LA.
16- The Fisher KingMore Gillingham, this time with The Dude and Mrs Doubtfire searching for the Holy Grail- in New York City. How could it not be great?
17- Total RecallMore than muscles and action, this is actually a really decent sci-fi movie. As are the TWO Terminators, but I’m a girl who likes fairies and could hardly put three Arnie films in the one list!
18- LabyrinthYes, I am a child of the 80s and this is just a random pick of the cheesy fantasy films that shaped my childhood. Other options included Willow, The Never Ending Story, Bill and Ted, or The Last Unicorn.
p.s Just a thought, wouldn’t the latest Alice movie have been so much better if Gillingham had directed it? Don’t get me wrong, I love Tim Burton, but I think the former Python could’ve given it that darkly absurd quality it was lacking.