Amph Best/Worst Sci Fi Movies 2012

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jabbadabbado, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    My best-to-worst:

    Looper

    Excellent on almost every level, from classic time travel paradox story to its presentation of a dystopian near future to its bleak and satirical deconstruction of the Bruce Willis action brand. A retro film lifted from the golden age of sci fi.

    Chronicle

    Another interesting sci fi movie about the ethics of telekinesis. Not great, but something that elevates the superhero genre above the bland Avengers baseline.

    Hunger Games

    Another workmanlike adaptation of a popular book series, but the story is relatively entertaining and the performances are solid.

    Men in Black 3

    Not entirely sure the franchise needed resurrecting, but an acceptable entry with a cast that really knows how to deliver.

    Avengers

    A megablockbuster that makes a solid case for its popular appeal. But the story is a bit worn and typically absurdist for the comic book genre. Comedy keeps the film alive more than anything else.

    John Carter

    Tedious, but not unwatchable and at least true to its origins and sci fi era, which makes it miles better than the horrible and unnecessary

    Total Recall

    or

    Dredd

    remakes, or the sad re-release of

    The Phantom Menace

    in 3D,

    or the horrific and embarrassing mess of

    Prometheus

    Edit: I should add

    Cloud Atlas

    Just read the book, and

    Lockout

    which pretty much stands alone on a unique level of stupid. Bad sci fi from every angle. Made me want to send sympathy cards to Guy Pierce and Maggie Grace.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 4, 2013
  2. Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
    I thought Chronicle was great, especially the way it handled the whole found footage style. Still need to see Looper.
  3. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    You can pretend it's a remake all you want, but it really isn't, and saying it is only makes you look like you're trolling. It was pretty decent for what it was, which was an attempt to adapt 2000AD's Judge Dredd comic-strip on a limited budget while clawing back a little credibility from Stallone's misfire. I didn't love it - I thought they jettisoned too much of the humour and character that made the comic-strip work - but lots of Dredd fans did.
    V-2 likes this.
  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Fair enough. It's not a remake in the same sense as the Colin Farrell misfire. I'd be willing to flip Dredd's position with Total Recall on my list as a way of conceding your point.
  5. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Again, adaptations of literary materials are not remakes, they are just new adaptations (unless they specifically copy a previous adaptation that did something differently to the source material).

    Basically, what soitscometothis said.



    But anyway:

    Good Sci-fi - Avengers, Looper, Chronicle, Dredd

    I'll add in stuff I liked but that was not as good yet not really bad either - Prometheus (looked great and well-acted but felt rather wayward & confused in terms of plot), Dark Knight Rises (similar issues), Phantom Menace 3D & MIB 3 (see previous, except for acting in TPM when Qui Gon is not around)


    Poor - John Carter (I don't care how accurate to the source material it was, it felt about 3 hours long and I couldn't bring myself to be interested in anyone who was in it), Lockout, Battleship, The Watch


    Not sure where I would rank Total Recall. I didn't really see the point of making it but at the same time I didn't think it was as terrible as the films I listed in the bad catergory (though few things seem as Bay-Transformers-bad as Battleship).
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Jan 4, 2013
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I don't think you can reject the word "remake" out of hand when there's been a prior film adaptation. For example, some of the recent remakes of Christmas Carol:

    A Muppet Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol (1984), Scrooge (1970), A Christmas Carol (2009), Scrooge (1951). They're all in a real sense remakes. The act of adapting a book for the cinema can only be original once.

    But that's just a definitional quibble. I will say about Dredd that I like Olivia Thirlby in pretty much everything, even when it's something like "The Darkest Hour."

    And I forgot about Battleship. It does make Prometheus look better by comparison.

    Revised best-to-worst list:

    Looper
    Chronicle
    Hunger Games
    Men in Black 3
    Avengers
    John Carter
    Dredd
    Total Recall
    The Phantom Menace
    Prometheus
    Cloud Atlas
    Battleship
    Lockout
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 4, 2013
  7. The other Cleopatra's Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Lockout was fun. Not the greatest, but i really enjoyed that one.

    Any big Sci Fi movies released outside the US in 2012?
  8. EmpireForever Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    I'm not going to rank or rate these movies, I'll just say what surprised me, was a disappointment, or met expectations.

    The Hunger Games
    Was disappointing. The effects were terrible, most of the already sparse action from the books is cut further--and what isn't is a mess of shaky cam--and the actual games are rushed along. Not a great adaptation from a great series of books. On the positive side the acting is pretty well done, overall. I don't dislike it, it's just not the book.

    MIIIB
    Was surprising. I didn't see it because I wanted to, and I thought it was going to be pretty bad based on how bad the second one is, but it was fun, if incredibly predictable. Probably wouldn't watch it again, though.

    Prometheus
    Disappointing, but it was bound to be with all of the hype. Michael Fassbender is the only reason to watch, really.

    Dredd
    Surprising. Karl Urban is amazing(how does he do that with his face for so long?). I like that it was a day in the life of Dredd, rather than Dredd saving the world--a nice introduction to the character/franchise(that wasn't Stallone's god awful "movie").

    John Carter
    Surprised, considering I went after it had been out for a few weeks and it was bombing. I don't know why it did so poorly, because it's not poorly executed in any area. It was pretty generic, but I guess that will happen when you're adapting a story that's 100 years old.

    Looper
    Not surprised, but only because I'd been waiting to see it the entire year. Favorite movie of the year.

    Chronicle
    Surprising. Wasn't great, and the turn to villain is a little sudden, but not jarring with the hints they dropped throughout, but I enjoyed it.

    The Avengers
    Not surprising. This is a comic book movie. It plays exactly like an arc in a comic book. I'm not expecting my life to be changed, I'm expecting to be entertained, and visually awed, and I was(tracking shot). Great job.

    Spider-Man
    Disappointed. Yay, another Spider-Man introduction. As if one of the most famous Marvel characters needs one. Maybe I wasn't disappointed, actually. I was not expecting anything special from this movie, and there was nothing special.
    Healer_Leona likes this.
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Looper was good. Maybe not great, but very good.

    Prometheus was a heck of a thrill ride while I was watching it. The longer you live with it in your head, the crappier it gets though. The birth scene is maybe the only really great bit.
  10. tom Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    yeah, prometheus was fun. it's best just not to think about it, at all.
    AaylaSecurOWNED likes this.
  11. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    Looper was excellent entertainment, but I am still trying to make sense of the ending. I actually thought the Total Recall remake was decent, but then I was forced to watch it again with family and realized how stupidly bland it was.
  12. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    Do we really have to do this again.
    Yes, you can.

    No, they aren't in any sense.

    Yes, and? The act of baking a pie from a recipe can only be original once. Okay, congratulations, that's true in the most literal and meaningless sense. Everyone making a pie from the Betty Crocker recipe is doing something that other people have done before. But you don't call all subsequent pies baked using the same recipe "remakes" of the first pie. They're making something based on the same source material, they're not remaking the first pie. This is a truly idiotic stance.


    IDK why we're calling Hunger Games sci-fi. Because there was a hovercraft and a control room with holographic gadgets? Either way, I loved it. It was one of my favorite movies of the year.

    I enjoyed John Carter and I'm putting it second. Wasn't quite as good as Prince of Persia, but I enjoyed it, and I think Disney's sci-fi romps should be getting more love than they are. I don't understand why most people don't seem to like the formula they have going, and I think it bodes poorly for Ep VII.

    I loved Looper, although it wasn't what I was expecting going in. Not sure how I feel about the end, but -unlike in Chronicle - the concept and the execution made up for story flaws for me.

    Prometheus was a bit of a mess, it got a little too Lindeloffy and I still have some questions about why they chose to do some of the things they did. But I loved Shaw, Vickers, and David enough to make up for that, and I thought it had that Alien feel to it. Looking forward to the next one.

    Chronicle was an interesting take on found footage, but I agree that the turn to villain wasn't executed that well. There was a lot more telling, not showing, and it got pretty heavy-handed. Interesting idea, and it improved upon some of the things I didn't like about Hancock (not that it was necessarily meant to be compared to Hancock), but not the greatest writing or storytelling.
    V-2 likes this.
  13. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    lol, Spider-Man and the Avengers are Fantasy movies not Sci-Fi
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Try not to be so pedantic. One difference between baking pies and making movies is that average people following recipes aren't referencing each other's pies, just the recipes. You'd be hard-pressed to find a later version of Christmas Carols not influenced by earlier versions. That qualifies them as remakes in my view, since even if they have an express goal of making different interpretive choices from earlier versions, that still means influence, creating a tradition within the sub-sub-genre of Christmas Carol adaptations. The Spider-Man reboot becomes a remake just by being forced to clear its own creative space distinct from the Raimi version.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 4, 2013
  15. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I guess if you didn't like TPM you won't like in in 3d? I not only liked it but enjoyed the seeing a SW movie in a theatre again as did the audience which gave applause at the end which is rare. Oh, but I guess that means we were all just stupid.

    Prometheus was not 100% what I wanted but it was still good.

    Hunger Games, I did not read the book and could care less. It was new and interesting and well delivered.

    Dredd, underrated. I hope for a sequel rated R and all.

    Total Recall, ok, not horrid, not great. I am more upset that such potential was not used.

    The rest in the OP I did not see.
  16. Darthkat76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    I tried to watch Lockout, but I had to turn it off after the first 15 minutes. It was ridiculous how easy that prisoner took control of the command center.
  17. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The best worst scifi movie I saw in 2012 was Iron Sky. The best that others thought was the worst was Cloud Atlas. The worst that others thought was the best was The Avengers.
  18. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Good:
    The Phantom Menace
    Looper
    John Carter

    Meh:
    Prometheus
    Total Recall

    Bad:
    The Avengers

    P.S: I've included fantasy.
    Last edited by Alexrd, Jan 4, 2013
  19. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I tried to watch John Carter when it hit cable. Ugh.
  20. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    All the versions of Pride & Prejudice or The Three Musketeers are not remakes of each other, each one is a different adaptation of the book (not sure why we need so many versions mind you). Ridley Scott's Robin Hood was not a remake of Prince of Thieves or the Errol Flynn movie (which in itself was not a remake of the Douglas Fairbanks silent movie), it was a different take on the same legend.


    If someone made new Lord of the Rings movies in 10 years time, they would only be remakes if they tried to copy Jackson's movies (for example copied many of the same deviations/changes he himself made from the books). If not, they are simply new adaptations of the Tolkien books.
    Do you consider PJ's LOTR Trilogy to be a remake of the animated version?

    Nolan's Batman movies are not remakes of Tim Burton's films.


    Anyway, this has been debated before. I guess we should agree to disagree



    Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are fantasy movies.


    How is a guy flying around in a metal suit he made & a man who was turned into a huge green monster by science (not magic) not sci-fi?




    As for The Amazing Spider-Man which I forgot to list - I did like it but I felt it didn't need to spend so long going over the origin story. The Lizard also looked really weird, but no worse than Willem Dafoe's Plastic Power Ranger Goblin.
    Darth_Invidious likes this.
  21. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I still need to see Looper and I'm not sure I should bother with Chronicle, but I don't think I've liked any "sci-fi" movie I've seen this year.

    Hunger Games was nonsensical crap. Yeah, I know it's meant for "teens," but such properties can be pretty smart if they bother. I want a better excuse to gawk at Jennifer Lawrence.

    Prometheus was a really dumb film that thought it was genius and profound ("Like, what if Jesus really wanted to kill everyone?! And he were a ten-foot albino? Take that, religion!"). Avengers was a really dumb film that reveled in its stupidity and flew RDJ through its plot holes and shouted, "WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT WHO THE **** THESE ENEMIES ARE WHEN THERE ARE EXPLOSIONS?!" It managed to be the most brainless film out of the whole Marvel studios franchise, and that's saying something. I don't understand the notion of turning one's brain off to have an enjoyable viewing experience. Suspension of disbelief is different than not being able to keep the drool from falling out of your mouth.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Jan 4, 2013
  22. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Because 95% of all Hollywood movies ever made don't have plot holes right?

    Pretty much every movie that came out this year had some plot problem if you look hard enough (or are pedantic about science and so-on).

    I personally thought Avengers was fun enough to overlook most of the inconsistencies
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Jan 4, 2013
  23. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    For the first time I actually want to see Prometheus.
    Arawn_Fenn likes this.
  24. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Sadly, that's only very vaguely implied within the film and more confirmed by outside commentary from Ridley Scott.
  25. Adam of Nuchtern Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I thought John Carter was pretty enjoyable despite some glaring script issues (seriously, we did not need three separate prologues). Kind of like Star Trek '09.
    Last edited by Adam of Nuchtern, Jan 4, 2013