We wish you a techie Christmas

The holidays are just around the corner! This year we asked our staff what their favourite science fiction movies are. Check out some of the answers:

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John Shillington

Primer

The ultimate time-travel movie, with all of the logical consequences woven into a beautiful knot that demands to be unravelled. After two viewings, this may be possible.

inception

Alex Valiushko

Inception

I love the premise, cast and visuals. While Mad Max is equally thrilling, Inception wins due to a healthy dose of melodrama.

fifthelement

Meagan Hampel

Fifth Element

It’s set in a futuristic world in which the Earth is so overcrowded, and the air pollution is so bad, people have to live in tiny, sky-rise apartments built high above the smog, and travel via flying cars. Oh, and a mysterious evil blob from an alien galaxy is on its way to destroy the planet. The premise makes it sound like a bleak, Blade Runner-esque dystopian film, full of hand-wringing about the faults of man. It’s actually a very light-hearted, fun movie, full of playful characters, colourful costumes, and intriguing predictions for future tech.

bladerunner

Joe Topjian

Blade Runner

Although technology plays no part in some of the best noir stories, there's certainly an exception: Blade Runner. Blade Runner combines some of the best characteristics of noir (the reluctant detective, his one last case, moral dilemmas) with an incredibly vivid depiction of a possible future (immersive technology-driven urban environments, off-world colonies, artificial intelligence and the control of its mortality). Besides being a favourite movie of mine for decades, Blade Runner has taught me that I'd rather give Leon Kowalski a Voight-Kampff test than ever have to sit through Contact again.

contact

Robin Winsor

Contact

It’s a nice mix of a plausible story line, anchored in the grunt work and funding hassles of big science projects, and a believable extension into the possible future. It explores ethical questions of who gets to own and control scientific discoveries in our society. Lastly it finishes with the question: is absence of evidence evidence of absence in science any more or less reasonable than in religion? Deep questions in an enjoyable, well acted movie – hard to beat!

her

Alyssa Moore

Her

First, I love that weird and sort-of-uncomfortable feeling evoked by Spike Jonze's work. I mean, have you seen his music videos for Fatboy Slim? Here he explores the theme of romantic intimacy through the lens of a man living in the disturbingly near future. A withdrawn writer, destroyed by his divorce (Joaquin Phoenix) falls hopelessly in love with his operating system (Scarlett Johansson) with such ease that I'm convinced I would do the same. The film showcases the link between our increased reliance on technology and a decrease in meaningful human interaction. I laughed. I cried. I questioned my humanity.

interstellar

Samir Rana

Interstellar

I love the film. It strikes a perfect balance between fact and fantasy.

alien

Natasha Kapty

Alien

First encounter. A robot that doesn't follow Asimov's three laws. H. R. Giger. Dan O'Bannon and Dark Star. Brilliant realism and suspense.

tron

Byron Chu

Tron Legacy

This film has an excellent soundtrack. They were able to make a decent sequel from a pretty cool original and update it. I liked the gloomy kind of theme with haunting music combo and then the nice optimistic ending.

realsteel

Zafar Yousufi

Real Steel

I really like the child and father’s relationship in this film. I was cheering, crying, laughing and thoroughly entertained by the movie.

kaza

Dmitry Vagin

Kin-dza-dza

For those who were born and raised in the Soviet Union, this is considered a cult sci-fi dystopian black comedy movie. The film is full of good humour and catch phrases. I would recommend starting with the cartoon version Ku!_Kin-dza-dza. It is made in the Machinarium (famous computer game) style, but has the story from the original movie.

aliens

David Ackerman

Aliens

1. It’s one of the few cases where the sequel is arguably better than the original.

2. It is the origin of one of our team’s favourite sayings: “Take off and nuke the site from orbit… It’s the only way to be sure.”

3. I’ve watched it enough to know what’s going to happen at each point… and it still manages to creep me out.

 

wargames

Neil Stewart

Wargames

This movie gave us the term "wardialing", showed "phreaking" in action, and provided policy makers and law enforcement enough FUD to actually believe a hacker could start World War III with a phone call.

solaris

Iman Bukhari

Solaris

Love is the most interesting human emotion, and the idea of a mysterious planet that messes with your mind is something I can’t resist. The protagonist, a psychologist, finds himself entrapped on the planet, which presents him with a second chance at love and entreats him to change the course of a past relationship that has caused him overwhelming guilt. But can he really revisit the past and alter the course of events? Or is he fated to repeat its mistakes?