JB: Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang) I find myself needing to re-watch this film every two years or so, not just for the awe-inspiring art direction and iconic performances, but also to continually remind myself that THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN THE HEAD AND HANDS MUST BE THE HEART!
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick) Wow.
Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott) I have written at length about this film and the special place I have in my little black heart for it. But as we all learned earlier this year at F This Movie Fest, this film is so goddamn great that you can even screen the compromised 1982 original theatrical cut and still enjoy the hell out of it.
Idiocracy (2006, Mike Judge) Every prediction about the future in this film has already come true, hasn’t it? Yes, it has. Fuck you—I’m eating.
It made me sort of fall in love with Terry Gilliam, which is weird (I know, I really do), but it leads me to hold his movies (as uneven as they are) in a special place in my cold, cold movie heart.
Erich: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986, Leonard Nimoy) Star Trek IV isn't my favorite Star Trek movie, but it was a pleasant surprise to find out recently that it's every bit as fun and funny as my kid self remembered. Sure, the mission to go back in time to save the whales is a little bit cheesy -- and about the most '80s thing ever except for going back in time to save an Air Jordan factory or Bill Cosby's sweater. But the way the story is treated shows a lot of affection for the characters, and the movie never takes itself too seriously. The time travel is more Doctor Who than Terminator (a series that should have taken its time travel MORE seriously, in my e-pinion). Instead of fretting over paradoxes and wormhole, Scotty talks into a computer mouse and Spock neck-pinches a boombox-toting punk. Then Spock swears! So great! By the way, does anyone know if they made a Swearing Spock action figure? I've been scouring eBay for weeks, but so far...nothing.
Erika: Idiocracy (2006, Mike Judge) Many classic, beloved films are set in the future -- or the future from when they were originally made. But my choice does not have much to do with being beloved, classic, or even pleasant to look at; instead it has everything to do with OH MY GOODNESS IT’S REALLY COMING TRUE. I’m not sure Idiocracy takes place too far in the future anymore… have you gone anywhere lately without some sort of advertisement staring (or screaming) at you? Do places without corporate sponsorship still exist? Are presidents ever NOT WWE stars? And electrolytes! They’re what plants crave!
Patrick: Demolition Man (1993, Marco Brambilla) One of Sylvester Stallone's most underrated movies imagines the future as a dystopian utopia. Daniel Waters' script tells us that today's commercial jingles will be tomorrow's Top 40 radio, that swearing will be outlawed and that people will wipe their butts with three seashells. How can you not love a future in which the ONLY restaurant is Taco Bell? Enhance your calm.
Avatar, humans have burned out all of the planet's resources and are forced to relocate elsewhere to survive. In both cases, though, he offers the possibility of something greater. We can travel back in time and fix things. We can put our consciousness into a laboratory-grown alien and conquer the frailty of our human bodies. I don't know that I want to live in any of Cameron's futures, but at least it's not all darkness. He gives us hope, too.
Escape from New York (1981, John Carpenter) In the distant future of 1997, crime has gotten so bad that Manhattan is sealed off and turned into a giant prison. I support this idea.
I agree with so many of the choices here, but let me add another - Logan's Run (1976). Although it takes place in "the future," you can't get more quintessentially 70s than this film - it's as if someone designed an entire society around a night out at Studio 54. The first hour is the best, depicting the all-for-pleasure world of the domed city. The hedonistic society is (I think) meant as a criticism of the "me" decade. In the 60s, the sexual revolution had a political edge to it - a challenging of conventional norms. By the mid-70s that edge was gone, and it was pretty much sex for sex's sake with a hefty side order of cocaine.ReplyDelete
To be sure, this is a profoundly flawed movie - poor special effects aside. Unfortunately, some critical scenes were cut that are meant to depict how the film's society is intellectually and spiritually empty, with no one caring or feeling for anyone else. The end result is that they make the world look so good, I imagine quite a few young people would take that bet - live a life of pure pleasure and no responsibility until age 30, followed by a quick death (and a vague promise of reincarnation). The second half of the movie is a big misfire, with Peter Ustinov endlessly quoting TS Eliot. Still, I come back to this film over and over again - it's a fascinating cultural touchstone.
I'm so glad JB mentionned Metropolis. One of my favorite movies of all time. I was fortunate enough to see the ''Complete Metropolis'' accompanied by an orchestra; one of the most amazing experiences of my life.ReplyDelete
I can't believe Patrick didn't mention Back To The Future 2.
It's only because I'm not that crazy about BttF II.Delete
But... but... HOVERBOARDS!Delete
Also: would Dark City count as a movie about the future? Love that one.
More: A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report.
Dark City is a tricky one, because all of the production design is '40s noir. But I think it counts. And it's GREAT.Delete
OH Gabriel! I love MINORITY REPORT. Yes.Delete
Modern Times(!936) Dir. Charlie ChaplinReplyDelete
The Road Warrior(1981) Dir. George Miller
Death Race 2000(1975) Dir. Paul Bartel
Delicatessen(1991) Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
A Boy and His Dog(1975) Dir. L.Q. Jones- A telepathic dog! That is all.
Equilibrium(2002) Dir. Kurt Wimmer-Yes, I know that this an unpopular pick(Patrick disliked this film a lot!). I agree it is far from a perfect movie and that it is too heavy-handed. But damn if I didn't find it exciting. Also, it might be because as a kid I loved the Lois Lowry YA novel "The Giver", which is very similar to this movie in spirit(except for the gun-kata, that's all Wimmer).
I was thinking for a good while about Equilibrium, but realized I'd said everything I wanted to about it on the Taken podcast.
JB and Erika - I'm so glad there are other people out there who appreciate Idiocracy! I loved it and recommended it to several "friends" (heheh) who didn't like it at all, so I was worried it was just me! Looks like THEY'RE the stupids!ReplyDelete
They must be spending all their free time watching "Ow! My Balls!"Delete
Heheh - or America's #1 Movie: "Ass"Delete
What, no love for THE ISLAND?ReplyDelete
No. None at all.Delete
And you owe the producer/writer of "Parts: The Clonus Horror" money for mentioning it.
I think Titan A.E. (from the visionary director of Rock-A-Doodle) is maybe 1,000 years ahead of its time. And what a soundtrack!ReplyDelete
I just bought "Southlad Tales" on Blu-ray cheap (and, since it has a Richard Kelly commentary track, I get to watch it twice and make my money back while passing the savings on to... no one! :-( ). Any bets on whether this will make my favorite 'future' movies list ?ReplyDelete
They are (in no particular order except for the first two which tower over the rest) "2001: A Space Odyssey," "The Complete Metropolis," "Event Horizon," "12 Monkeys" (though technically it's mostly set in the "present" I dig the dystopian future from which Bruce Willis comes from), "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" (ditto), "Dark City," "Escape from New York/L.A." (they're the same movie you know), "Total Recall" (1990) and, just for hearty "MST3K"-inspired laughs, 1988's "Space Mutiny" with Reb Brown.
I've never laughed at vitamins!ReplyDelete
Metropolis (Complete AND the Moroder soundtrack)
The Thirteenth Floor
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
And if someone can mention Equilibrium, I can nominate Ultraviolet. :-p
The Kurt Wimmer admiration society is getting out of hand...Delete
I forgot "MST3K: The Movie" but I made-up for it by mentioning "Space Mutiny," which gave us an all-time classic Season 8 "MST3K" episode: "Bob McLarge Huge," "Sting, Debbie Reynolds and God," "Hey, she's nude," "We'll be reaching speeds of 10," etc. :-)Delete
"Admiration" is a little strong, Patrick.Delete
Wimmer is good at "dumb fun" movies...and he hires William Fichtner a lot. :-)
Am I the only person who prefers 12 Monkeys over Brazil?ReplyDelete
I don't think you are. I like Brazil more (I think I say as much on our 12 Monkeys podcast), but I know there are a lot of people who dig 12 Monkeys more.Delete
They're both pretty great. I think Brazil has a little more to offer on repeated viewings.Delete
I would agree with both of those statements.Delete
Maybe i need to rewatch Brazil to get the full effect. I have however rewatched 12 Monkeys countless times. I seem to not only love it more each time, but I also notice something different each time.Delete
Which edit(s) of Brazil have you seen, Luke?Delete
To be honest, I'm not sure. I viewed it many years ago, rented it from Blockbuster lol. I feel i need to rewatch it. Does it make a difference? What would you recommend?Delete
Planet of the Apes, sure. But what about Beneath The Planet of the Apes or Battle for Planet of the Apes?!?ReplyDelete
Ill tell you what. Blah!
There is a strong negative correlation between the presence of post-apocalyptic humans and the quality of those films (and by quality I mean my preference).
Gattaca is up there for me.ReplyDelete
And Children of Men. Finally a dystopian future that doesn't feel prescient.Delete
'nuff said. :)
I am hoping that LOOPER makes a future version of this list. (Although I'm a little scared of the hype.)ReplyDelete
What do you guys think of Dune? I haven't seen it. I would have if Jodorowsky directed it instead of Lynch.ReplyDelete
We did a podcast on Dune a year or so ago. I like it, even though I know it doesn't actually work as a movie. Too bad we never got to see the Jodorowsky version. It would have been more interesting. But so would the David Lynch version of Return of the Jedi that we never got.Delete