Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things I've noticed: Making Top Five lists can be tricky

Last night I watched a show on ABC with my wife called Best In Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time. The show was basically a collection of Top Five lists – best action film, best comedy, best kiss, etc., but for me, the most interesting list was their best Science Fiction film list.

Here were the top five SF films they listed:
5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
4. The Matrix (1999)
3. Avatar (2009)
2. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1. Star Wars (1977)

As I watched this list being televised, I turned to my wife and said, “I’m okay with Star Wars – it belongs at number one, and E.T. and Close Encounters was pretty awesome, but do either the Matrix or Avatar actually belong on this list?”

Now, before all you Avatar fans or Matrix-heads start getting mad at me, let me state, I loved both movies (although I hated both Matrix sequels – deal with it), I’m just not sure that either film belongs on a Top Five list of all Science Fiction films of all time.

My first choice for a replacement – Avatar director James Camerons first big film (no not Piranha II) The Terminator. Seriously, I could probably spend a good afternoon doing nothing but going on about how amazing that film is, and I’m sorry but in my books it beats the pants off of the two newer films that one.

Next up, a little film I like to call Back to the Future. Seriously, that movie takes a classic SF concept (Time Travel) and creates one of the funnest films I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the thing though, both of those films come from my childhood – I would have seen both of them before I was fourteen, so am I being biased? After all, whenever a best Science Fiction films list has been created in the past it couldn't be considered complete without 2001: A Space Odyssey (hee hee hee, I can hear my BFF groaning at that title), or perhaps films like Metropolis, or even Modern Times?

I’ll be the first to admit it’s tricky, but in the end I’ve got to realize that top five lists are entirely subjective. My list will be different than your list and your list will be different than mine.

For the record – I’ve been thinking about my own top five science fiction film list for the last day, hoping I could add it to the end of this blog post, and you know what? There are simply too many amazing movies for me to choose from.

I promise I’ll try harder next time.

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