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Looking for recommendations for Smart Sci-Fi movies

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09 Jul 2019 16:50 #299474 by jeb
I just got this (THE SHAPE OF WATER) from the library and ripped it, but haven't seen it yet. I hear it's so great. Might have to wait for a bit though, home life is insane right now.

There a bunch of other films mentioned here that I really enjoy, but given mezike's niche needs, I didn't think they'd fit the bill. SF movies can end up very violent and very misogynistic as they explore the boundaries of human possibility, so I was trying to tread carefully. Like, I know an ORYX & CRAKE miniseries is in the works, but there is no fucking chance it would fit the bill for mezike.
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10 Jul 2019 10:26 #299504 by mezike
Jeb, you’re absolutely right that it’s a bit of a niche however I can push at the edges a little so it’s great to have options where e.g. I can let her know the one or two grim scenes she should look away from. For example, she likes the episodes of Doctor Who with the Weeping Angels even though they can be downright terrifying at times but any kind of violence/gore/body horror gets a big thumbs down.

Thanks again for all the suggestions everybody. I’ll answer the ones that came up since my last post, however I wanted to single out Snowpiercer because I love the totally outrageous yet strangely compelling theory that it is an unofficial post-apocalyptic sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and so I’m very keen to see it.



• Another Earth – sounds interesting and could fit the bill quite well.
• Under The Skin – I’ve seen it and I really don’t think it would be her thing.
• I, Mother – this is on Netflix right now but she skipped past it. I’ll endeavour to watch it myself to see if I should convince her otherwise.
• Tremors – it’s kind of a moderate monster action-horror so I don’t think she’ll like it.
• Strange Days – I like the premise but need to check out what’s driving that R-rating.
• The Arrival (Charlie Sheen) – it’s a horror movie so no go.
• Upgrade – another horror.
• Wings of Honneamise – she’s not interested in anime but I’ll check it out myself at some point. My father subjected me to a barrage of anime in the 80's so I may even have seen it before!
• The Expanse – I started watching but didn’t get too far into it, could be worth another look. I remember the book going balls-deep into body horror, does the TV show go that way too?
• The Thing – amazing movie and one of my personal favourites but yeah it’s definitely not going to work!
• Akira – as pointed out it’s not a good fit.
• Buckaroo Banzai – one to check out, I’m vaguely aware of having seen it many years ago.
• Repo Man – fantastic movie, I don’t know if it’ll be a good fit but I do want to watch it again now that you’ve mentioned it!
• Apollo 11 - really good suggestion, a bit of science fact(ish) is just as good as science fiction (cf. Gravity)
• Annihilation – lots of good things but there are some fairly horrific elements that I know will put her off.
• Serenity – intriguing. I never got into Firefly so haven’t thought about this but it is up on Netflix so will give it a go.
• In Time – I’ve seen it and not sure it’ll keep her interest so likely a pass.
• Invasion of the Body Snatchers – this has always been played out as having horror overtones (psychological if not gore) so would be a hard sell. The older one might be a good punt though.
• The Fountain - good shout, I think she might have seen this one before but will put it on the list.
• Contact – yes, great suggestion, also has those Carl Sagan credentials behind it.
• Somewhere in Time – I’m pretty sure that I’ve read the novel. Looks like a good one to check out, although films described as cult classics can be a hard sell.
• Time After Time – vague memories of seeing this as a kid, will track it down.
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10 Jul 2019 11:26 #299507 by mezike
Just compiling a watch list from all of this for my own reference, which will no doubt keep us going for several months. Some of the other suggestions we’ll get to once we’ve worked our way through the most appropriate ones.

• 2001 (my son also expressed some interest so this will be the next one) then 2010
• The Shape of Water - #1 pick so far
• Pleasantville
• Hidden Figures
• About time
• Forbidden Planet/Day the Earth Stood Still/Things to Come – clumsily lumping these B&W films together as I don’t yet know if she’ll like Western films from this period.
• Solaris/Andromeda Strain (next time they are on TV)
• Ex Machina
• Apollo 11
• Children of Men
• A.I.
• Contact
• Another Earth
• The Fountain
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10 Jul 2019 16:11 - 10 Jul 2019 16:17 #299519 by Nodens
Saw 'See you yesterday' yesterday, that might fit on the list. A straight and real kids' movie that takes its audience seriously, so not only for kids. Whatever, I liked it.

PS: better make sure about Ex Machina before,
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Last edit: 10 Jul 2019 16:17 by Nodens.
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10 Jul 2019 21:49 #299532 by jeb
Ooh I liked MIDNIGHT SPECIAL a lot. It turns on a child in danger, but it does it really well. Definitely check this out. Try to avoid trailers.
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29 Jul 2019 23:20 #300246 by Ancient_of_MuMu
Been absent from here for a while, but I can't let this pass. Some unmentioned ones:

Never Let Me Go - about people raised as spare parts

Sorry to Bother You - weird but so much fun

Detention - Still don't know what to make of this, so unusual

The Stepford Wives (original) - tacky but fun

The Abyss - Not mentioned yet as far as I could see, but make sure it is the duirectors cut

12 Monkeys - Don't recall this being listed but it is possibly the best time travel movie after Primer

Dark City - Some regard it as a poor mans Matrix, but I think it is superior

The Man From Earth - simple low budgt sci fi that delivers

Donnie Darko - sci fi or drama?

Frequency - My deceased wife's favourite thinky sci fi. Good but I never got her fascination with it
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30 Jul 2019 04:58 #300250 by mezike
Thanks for the recommendations!

Never Let Me Go - oh yeah, from the author of Remains of the Day as well, got to be worth a look.

Sorry to Bother You - I so wanted to see this but missed out on its very brief release so thanks for reminding me! I've heard that there is maybe some mild body horror toward the end so I might need to check it out on my own first.

Detention - the horror vibes will probably put her off

The Stepford Wives (original) - classic movie, pretty sure that she's seen it as she gets references made about it.

The Abyss - yep, it's a possibility.

12 Monkeys - I love this film but she hates it, c'est la vie.

Dark City - I also think it's great, but I also doubt that she will agree.

The Man From Earth - this sounds great, definitely one to watch.

Donnie Darko - I've been waffling on this. I think it qualifies because the central conceit is the protagonist travelling through a time loop that sends shockwaves back into his life that create all sorts of oddity. But it isn't played that way which makes the denouement all the more interesting.

Frequency - certainly worth a watch. We'll be sure to raise a drink when we do.
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