Film Genre

Needs more giant babies

Elements of Moon I had already seen/read/encountered:

Non-spoilery things about Moon I actually liked:

  • The silly “turning on the music every time the other person tries to talk” bit
  • Kevin Spacey as Gerty — perfect voice casting
  • Uh… good set design?

I know I say this all the time, but I really wish that mainstream reviewers (and SFF fans!) wouldn’t fawn over genre movies for rising above the level of “not entirely crappy.” (Ahem, District 9, I’m looking at you.)

To end this entry on a less curmudgeonly note, here’s an interesting list of the decade’s best SF films, by John Scalzi. Thoughts? Comments? I haven’t seen Blade II, Cloverfield, or The Incredibles, but I’d definitely kick one off sight unseen to add Children of Men. (And I know T. would vote for Hellboy II, because he thinks it should be on every best-of list ever.)


  1. I quite liked Moon, but I was lucky enough to be in the audience for an interview with the director, Duncan Jones (TCFKA Zowie Bowie) who came across as a genuinely nice guy who was quite passionate about making interesting sci-fi films. You couldn’t help but like him and want the film to do well. I agree there were a lot of noticeable precedents in the film, Silent Running is another that one reviewer made a point of mentioning (but it is one of his favorite films, so he’s a bit biased). I watched Silent Running later and was underwhelmed. I do need to see Solaris and 2001 though.

    As for the list…I think it’s a mixed bag. I was very pleased to see V for Vendetta and Serenity on it. 28 Days Later and I Am Legend suffer from the same problem of the first 1/3 – 1/2 of the film being really good and then not knowing how to end. I recommend The Incredibles. I wouldn’t have called Eternal Sunshine sci-fi, so its inclusion puzzled me. Not seen Blade II, but Hellboy II I liked all right, the ending has set up some interesting situations for a third film, should del Toro decide to make it.

  2. I understand the sympathy-for-the-director thing, absolutely! I guess I tend to be very down on movies that don’t live up to the high expectations I’ve developed for them in advance, whether I’m expecting cinematic brilliance or just something really fun (see also: Sherlock Holmes). So when I see something lauded as a really smart SF film and then I’m disappointed by it, I get all HULK SMASH. Or at least HULK SNARK.

    Totally forgot that that was who Duncan Jones was! That, uh, lends a weird resonance to the movie.

    I actually liked 28 Days Later a lot, partly because it was the first time I’d seen Cillian Murphy in anything, and because it was mostly creepy rather than gross. Also, I really liked the female lead. I wish they’d stuck with the darker ending, though. (And yes, I Am Legend‘s ending was full of WTF!)

    I wouldn’t have thought of Eternal Sunshine either, but of course it is SF, and I remember being kind of wowed by it. Also: great title.

  3. You know the stuff about Sci-Fi films rising about low quality is interesting in light of the fact that Avatar and District 9 got Oscar nominations. Greater success for sci-fi, but neither narrative stands out.

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